Monday, April 30, 2012

ZUCCHINI SOUP

A-Z Soups
If you grow zucchini or know someone who does, you probably have plenty. Why not make a simple, satisfying zucchini soup of this wonderful vegetable? What a great way to whet your appetite for a nice meal.


Zucchini Soup                               Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 3/4 pounds zucchini, sliced
3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup half & half cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano for garnish
Method
·        Heat butter and oil in a 3- quart saucepan
·        Add onion and fry over low heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
·        Add zucchini and continue frying for 2 minutes.
·        Add stock and 2 Tablespoons oregano and bring to simmer.
·        Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until tender.
·        Puree in a blender.
·        Return to saucepan to heat up again. Add salt and pepper and half and half.
Taste for seasoning. Garnish with fresh oregano and serve.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

YOGHURT AND SPINACH SOUP

A-Z Soups
Here is a lovely colourful soup, low in fat, high in protein and vibrant with healthy yoghurt and spinach.

From: Cook’s Library, Parragon Publishing, UK, 2002

Yoghurt and Spinach Soup         Serves 4

Ingredients:

20 ounces chicken broth or stock
4 tablespoons long grain rice. Rinsed and drained
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 ½ cups low-fat plain yoghurt
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
Juice of 1 lemon
12 ounces young spinach leaves, washed and drained, large stems removed
Salt and pepper

Method:

Put a pot of water on heat to boil for the spinach blanching to come.

Put the chicken stock into a large saucepan, season with salt and pepper (careful, the stock might have salt) and turn heat on.

Put in the rice and simmer for 10 minutes, until just barely cooked.
Remove the pan from the heat.

Combine water and cornstarch and make a slurry.

Pour the yoghurt into a separate pan and stir in the cornstarch slurry

Put pan over low heat and bring yoghurt to boiling, stirring in one direction only (either clockwise or anti-clockwise), this is important to keep the yoghurt from breaking down.

When the yoghurt approaches boiling state, simmer under the gentlest heat for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
When cooled down, stir in the beaten egg yolks

Pour the yoghurt mixture into the stock and stir in the lemon juice, blending thoroughly.
Keep the soup warm, but disallow it to boil.

Blanch the spinach in salted boiling water for a minute or two only, so as to soften but not wilt.
Then pour the spinach into a colander and drain well.

Stir the spinach into the soup and warm through.
Taste for salt and pepper.

Serve with baguettes if desired.

The whole spinach leaves add a lovely colour to this extraordinary yoghurt and spinach soup.

Enjoy.

Friday, April 27, 2012

XEROPHILIC SOUP

A-Z Soups
Xero means “dry” as in Xerox Corp. who invented dry copying.  In the 1950’s, prior to Xerox, copy machines used a liquid and special paper. Phile means fondness for or liking.  So this soup involves a vegetable that “likes” a dry climate. This could have been titled Cactus soup or Sopa Nopalitos but …   …that doesn’t start with an “X”.  Okay, fine.

Everyone thinks of cactus as a prickly, off- putting vegetable; however cactus, known as Nopalitos in old Mexico, is relatively mild with a slight tart quality. You can find nopalitos, sliced and recipe-ready, in cans or jars and fresh tomatillos at Mexican groceries or ethnic sections of large markets.





Xerophilic Soup or Cactus soup                    Serves 8

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and chopped
6 cups chicken broth or stock

1 large jar (2 pounds) sliced cactus
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons coriander leaves (cilantro)

2 ounces feta cheese

Lime wedges

Method:

Put oil in a 5 quart Dutch oven and add onion
Cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally

Add the tomatillos; cook about 5 minutes, just to soften
Add the broth and bring to boiling over high heat

Stir in cactus, lime juice and coriander and cook until hot

Sere with cheese and lime wedges.

Xerophilic soup, sopa nopalitos or cactus soup. By any name it is a delicious soup.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

WATERCRESS AND ALMOND SOUP

A-Z Soups
Add the watercress and cook it for 2 minutes
Stir in the vegetable stock, cover and cook gently, simmering for 10 minutes

In an electric blender or a food processor with a metal blade, puree the watercress mixture.

Rinse out the saucepan and put in the puree
Stir in the ground almonds

In a small cup, combine the cornstarch and one cup of cold milk.
Stir cornstarch mixture into the watercress mixture

Stir in the remaining cup of milk and simmer it for 5 minutes, Here is a refreshing cool, green soup you can enjoy sipping on a warm, sunny day. Watercress and Almond soup is a delight to eat when the heat is on and the more you know about watercress, the more you will appreciate it.

Watercress goes way back. At about the time that Plato was studying philosophy under Socrates, the Greek doctor Hippocrates started the first hospital and used watercress to treat blood disorders. He grew this herb in nearby natural springs. Watercress is among the oldest leafy greens consumed by humans and is much more than a garnish. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Back in the early sea journey days, scurvy was a problem and we’ve all heard about slivers of lime being given to sailors to prevent scurvy. Lesser known is that a 17th century herbalist celebrated watercress as a remedy for the scurvy problem. When James Cook went around the world he actually took plenty of watercress for him and the crew.

Since watercress was served at the very first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims in New England, it has been acknowledged as an important leafy green vegetable.

If you have tasted potage cressionniere you have enjoyed watercress in an enchanting hot soup.

Today I present watercress in a chilled soup because I want people to eat soup even when the temperature is soaring. If watercress is new to your pantry, get ready for a thrilling expedition when you make watercress and almond soup. Bon voyage, mates.

From: Book of Soups, Lorna Rhodes, HP Books, N.Y., 1989


Watercress & Almond Soup                                                     Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 large bunches watercress
2 tablespoons butter
1 small  onion, minced
2 cups vegetable stock
1/3 cup blanched almonds, toasted and then ground

1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
2 cup scold milk

Salt and pepper
Thinly sliced almonds, toasted lightly

Method:

Wash and drain watercress. Reserve a few sprigs
Cut off coarse stalks and chop the watercress

Melt butter in a large saucepan
Fry the onion in the butter until softened
stirring intermittingly.
Remove from heat, allowing to cool.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours to marry flavours.

Garnish with thinly sliced almonds and watercress sprigs. Enjoy this delicious, multi-vitamin of a plant in watercress and almond soup

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

VERMICELLI SOUP

A-Z Soups
 Here is a wonderful Italian soup full of good groceries like pasta, olive oil, tomatoes and cheese. I hope you will give vermicelli soup a try.



Vermicelli Soup                              Serves 6-8

Ingredients: 

½ pound vermicelli, broken
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter

½ cup minced onion
1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup tomato puree
8 cups beef stock or broth
½ cup Italian parsley, minced

½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 recipe Pilou (below)
Freshly grated parmesan or Romano cheese

Method:

Heat butter and oil in skillet.
Fry the broken raw vermicelli in the skillet until golden, stirring constantly.

Remove with slotted spoon and reserve
Add onion and garlic to skillet and fry until soft.

Add tomato puree, stock, parsley and reserved vermicelli.
Cover, bring to boil and cook until vermicelli is tender.

Add the salt and pepper.
Prepare Pilou in a soup tureen or serving bowl.
Gradually pour the soup over the pilou.
Ladle out the soup and offer the cheese.

To make Pilou:

In soup tureen place 3 egg yolks.
Beat the yolks until golden.
Gradually beat in 3 tablespoons olive oil
Beat until smooth.

Simple to make, enjoy some vermicelli soup soon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U.S. SENATE BEAN SOUP

A-Z Soups
Congress may not be too popular right now, but the bean soup served there is just as popular as it was over 70 years ago. I was at a microbrew restaurant in Florida a couple of years ago and it was served up there for 35 cents a bowl. It was absolutely delicious, and not just because of the price. Hearty and robust, we all enjoyed a bowl.

In his “The Complete Book of Soups and Stews”, Bernard Clayton Jr. provided the recipe that he obtained after enjoying U.S. Senate Bean Soup in 1940. And it is still a wonderful soup today.

U.S. Senate Bean Soup            Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 pound dried white beans, such as great northern or navy
Water to soak beans
1 meaty ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
3 quarts water for cooking

3 medium onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped

1 cup cooked, mashed potatoes
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon pepper

Method:

  • Either soak the beans covered with water overnight or cover the dried beans with water and boil for a minute and then let sit for one hour.

  • Drain the beans and discard the soaking water.
  • Put the beans and ham in a 5 quart saucepan.
  • Add 3 quarts of cold water, bring to boiling and then simmer gently for 2 hours.

  • When the beans have simmered for 2 hours, add the onion, garlic, celery, parsley and mashed potato to the pot.

  • Simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are tender.

  • Season with the salt and pepper.
  • Remove the bones and meat from the pot.
  • Dice the meat into ½ inch pieces and return to pot. Discard the bones.

You can garnish with chopped parsley or chives.

You don’t have to campaign to enjoy  U.S. Senate bean soup. You can make it yourself and enjoy it without counting votes.

Monday, April 23, 2012

THAI COCONUT AND CHICKEN SOUP - TOM KHA GAI

A-Z Soups
If you find citrus and ginger overtones delightful in food, you are sure to love Tom Kha Gai, a flavorsome Thai coconut chicken soup. Tom Kha Gai, among Thailand’s most popular soups, may be served at the beginning of a meal or even as the entrée, perhaps with noodles. One thing about the foods of Thailand – they all have a sense of taste balance, including sweet, salty, tangy and savory references all together. This unique Thai coconut chicken soup is bursting with exotic flavour.


Tom Kha Gai - Thai Coconut Chicken Soup                         Serves 4

1 pound boneless and skinless chicken (breast or thighs, cut into strips)
2 cups of chopped mushrooms, assorted varieties is fine 
          
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water or chicken stock
1 stalk lemongrass, cleaned and cut into 3-inch lengths and pounded
6 kaffir lime leaves, lightly bruised or substitute ½ teaspoon grated lime rind
6 slices galangal, if unavailable, substitute fresh ginger *
4 small, whole, red chilies (lightly pounded) or 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce or ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
4 basil leaves, cut into long strips or ½ teaspoon dried but fresh is better here
1 teaspoon brown sugar

3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice (or to taste)

2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves

Method:

Place coconut milk, water, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, chilies, basil and brown sugar, into a pot and bring it to boil.

Add mushrooms and chicken and cook on medium heat for a few minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add lime juice and fish sauce.

Put chopped coriander on soup when serving.

* The galangal is preferred over the ginger in this soup because galangal’s flavour is a little different and more authentic. But if you cannot get galangal, use ginger.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

SHRIMP BISQUE

A-Z Soups
Shrimp bisque (say: Bisk) is a classic, full of flavour, rich and creamy- thick soup.  Originally, the shrimp and shells were cooked together and then sieved out but nowadays the stock is made from the shells after the shrimp are peeled.  Roasting the shells prior to poaching them heightens the flavour, but isn’t strictly necessary.

There is a little flambé to be done here but nothing is complicated. Make this soup and your guests will absolutely rave about it. Hopefully their enthusiasm doesn’t lead to pandemonium.

Recipe from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/shrimp-bisque-recipe/index.html

Shrimp Bisque                   Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined, with the shells (and heads, if included) reserved
3 tablespoons highest quality olive oil
8 tablespoons (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter

2 leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, rinsed well
3 stalks celery, cut into big chunks
2 carrots, cut into big chunks
3 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
2 strips of orange zest
2 tablespoons tomato paste

¼ cup (2 fluid ounces) cognac or brandy
Long kitchen match to ignite the liquor

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Water
4 cups heavy cream

Salt and pepper

Finely grated orange zest
Finely chopped chives

Method:

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium flame, add the butter and melt it

  • Put in the shrimp shells, leeks, celery, carrots, thyme, bay leaf, orange zest and tomato paste.

  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shells are red and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

  • Shut off the heat and pour in the brandy.

  • Carefully ignite the brandy with the long kitchen match and let it burn until the flame subsides.

  • Turn on the heat, sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes.

  • Add the water to cover the contents and deglaze the pot by scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon or spatula.

  • Pour in the cream and bring to boiling but lower heat and gently simmer until the soup is reduced and thickened, about 40 minutes, keep an eye on it.

  • Strain the contents of the pot into a clean pot and season with salt and pepper.

  • Chop the shelled shrimp and put into the pot and simmer for a couple of minutes, just enough to cook the shrimp. Don’t cook more than 3 minutes or the shrimp will toughen and become rubbery.

Taste the bisque for seasoning, pour into bowls and garnish with orange zest and chives.

If you like shrimp, this marvelous shrimp bisque is made for you.

Enjoy.

Friday, April 20, 2012

RED BEAN SOUP

A-Z Soups
We love red beans and rice and not just on Mondays. Red bean soup is just as good.

Starting a meal with soup is a good thing, one advantage being that eating soup can quiet down cravings for a huge amount of food. With red bean soup however, you might have to control your cravings for more red bean soup. Yes, it’s that good.


Red Bean Soup

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp Creole seasoning Here
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery

1 Cup Andouille sausage, or other smoked sausage such as kielbasa, thinly sliced
1/2 lb small red kidney beans (soaked overnight or quick soaked)
1 cup finely diced ham
1 tablespoons minced garlic
10 cups chicken stock (or water or half stock, half water)
3 bay leaves
1/2 Cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped finely
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced on the bias
Hot Sauce to taste, such as Tabasco sauce
Worcestershire sauce to taste

Method:

Drain the overnight soaked beans. Or to quick soak: cover the beans with plenty of water in a saucepan and bring to boiling. Shut the flame off, cover and let the beans soak one hour.

Mix together the holy trinity (onions, celery, and bell pepper).

Melt the butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven.
Add 3/4 of the holy trinity and just 1 Tbsp of the Creole Seasoning.
Turn the heat to medium high and cook this for about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to get some color.

Add the drained beans and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid from the vegetables is absorbed.

Add the chicken stock or water, diced ham, Andouille, garlic, bay leaves, the remaining trinity and Creole seasoning. Bring this to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Let this simmer for 2- 2 1/2 hours.

After the beans have cooked for two hours, add the Tomato Sauce, Parsley, Hot Sauce, Worcestershire, and 1/2 of the Green Onions.

Cook the beans for another half hour. Puree 1/3 of the soup, being very careful to avoid any pieces of Andouille, and bay leaves.

As is the case with most soups, if you make this a day ahead, the flavors will be immensely better. Add additional stock or water if necessary, it should not be too thick.

To serve, remove the bay leaves. You can garnish with 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped and the lemon slices.
 
Here is a fine soup of humble origins. Red bean soup is deservedly delicious.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

QUICK CREAMY CAULIFLOWER SOUP

A-Z Soups
Ok, so you know soup is important to a meal as well as your dietary well-being, but time is not always on your side. Well, today you can beat the clock because this gem of a soup can be made rapidly. Oh no, you don’t open a couple of cans and plop them into a microwave, this is a rich-tasting, culinary comforting, made from scratch soup.

You want soup with your meal for all the right reasons, so even if you’re strapped for time, this luscious potage can be your meal’s centerpiece. Please try it, you have nothing to lose, not even a lot of time.

Recipe adapted from:  365 Easy Mexican Recipes, Marge Poore, Harper Collins, New York, 1993

Quick Creamy Cauliflower Soup                             serves 6

Ingredients

  1. 3 tablespoons butter
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 1 ½ pounds cauliflower (a medium head) trimmed and chopped

  1. 1 cup milk
  2. 1 cup chicken broth
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. ¼ teaspoon pepper (white if you have it or black)
  5. 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  6. 2 green onions (scallions), chopped

Method

  • In a large saucepan, melt butter on medium flame
  • Put in onion and cook 3 minutes
  • Put in cauliflower and cook, stirring 2 minutes
  • Put in Nos. 4 through 8 and bring to boiling
  • Reduce heat and simmer, covered 15 minutes, stirring intermittingly
  • Check that vegetables are soft, if not cook longer
  • Add green onions and cook 2 minutes
  • In electric blender, puree cauliflower mixture, perhaps in batches, until smooth
  • Reheat to serve hot
  • If planning ahead, put in icebox, covered

That’s it. Not only is this quick creamy cauliflower soup simple and easy to prepare, but very delicious as well. I know some cauliflower loathers who enjoy this soup, and why not?  It is very good groceries.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

PARSNIP SOUP

A-Z Soups
Parsnips have a slightly sweet quality, esteemed by many.  The exotic taste of this marvelously seasoned soup is lip-smacking good.  You'll cherish it and serve parsnip soup time and again . I’ve made different parsnip soups, this one is my preferred recipe.

If you like carrots you would like parsnips too. However, if you are not sure, do this: The first time, use 1 pound of carrots and 1 pound of parsnips. Either way, make this parsnip soup, because you deserve it.

From: Cooks Library Soups, Parragon Publishing, UK, 2003            

Parsnip Soup                       serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons highest quality olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large leek, sliced

1 ¾ pounds parsnips, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
4 tablespoons grated fresh gingerroot (fresh ginger)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Grated zest of medium orange
6 cups water
Pinch of salt

Pepper to taste
Chopped chives or parsley for garnish

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium flame
  2. Add onion and leek – cook 5 minutes, stirring from time to time
  3. Put in the parsnips, carrots, ginger, garlic, orange zest, water and salt
  4. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 40-45 minutes, stirring now and then
  5. Remove from stove and set aside to cool somewhat
  6. In electric blender or with stick blender puree soup, in batches if necessary
  7. Return soup to the saucepan and stir in the orange juice. Add a little more water or juice if too thick.
  8. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper
  9. Simmer for a few minutes to heat through.
  10. Ladle out into bowls and garnish.

Partner up with parsnips, they are good groceries to have in your vegetable bin, especially to make this parsnip soup.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

ORANGE TOMATO SOUP

A-Z Soups

Here is a refreshing, cool soup perfect for a warm day. If that isn’t enough to recommend it, it is also quick and easy to prepare.

Adapted from: Cooks Library Soups, Parragon Publishing, UK, 2003

Orange Tomato Soup                              serves 6

Ingredients:

2 cups orange juice
2 cups tomato juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup dry white wine
¼ teaspoon finely minced fresh basil

Dash of celery salt (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper or liquid hot sauce (such as Tabasco) to taste
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint (optional)

Method:

  • Combine the juices, wine and basil in a 2 quart bowl
  • Stir in the salt and peppers
  • Chill until ready to serve.

A simple, charming soup for a backyard bbq, easy to make ahead and keep chilled in the icebox. When ready, just bring it out and ladle into bowls or mugs.  You could garnish it with fresh mint sprigs - if you are growing mint in your garden you may need to thin it out anyway. 

Enjoy this Orange-Tomato soup soon.

Monday, April 16, 2012

NUT SOUP

A-Z Soups
Nuts in small quantities are extremely hale and hearty for us. You can eat nuts from the palm of your hand or from a bowl. You can even eat them from a soupspoon if you make a soup of nuts and enjoy a healthy bowl of tasty nut soup.

Adapted from: Soups and Stews the World Over, Louise Driggs, Hastings House. N.Y. 1971

Nut Soup                           Serves 6

Ingredients:

½ cup shelled filberts or hazelnuts
½ cup shelled almonds
1 pint chicken stock
1 pint water
1 slice onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup light cream

Method:

  • Chop the nuts coarsely
  • Combine the chicken stock, water and nuts in a saucepan
  • Add the onion slice and celery
  • Simmer for about 45 minutes
  • Check that nuts and vegetables for tenderness
  • Blend in an electric blender
  • When ready to serve, add salt, pepper and cream
  • Heat to simmering and serve

So go nuts and prepare this flavorsome nut soup, you will be glad you did.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

MUSHROOM SOUP

A-Z Soup
If your only reference to mushroom soup comes out of a can you are in for an unexpected delightful indulgence. This mushroom soup is tremendous.

Years ago, Graham Kerr presented this mushroom soup and it was so special that I’ve made it many times through the years and have never grown tired of it.

There is nothing wrong with Cream of Mushroom soup I suppose, but this particular Mushroom soup deserves a prominent place at you table. Make it once and you’ll make it yours.

Adapted from: The Galloping Gourmet Television Cookbook, Vol.3, Graham Kerr, 1969

Mushroom Soup                                        serves 4

Ingredients:

  1. 2 Tablespoons butter
  2. 2  Tablespoons olive oil
  3. 2 garlic cloves, bruised (smashed lightly)
  4. 1 Medium onion, diced finely
  5. 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  6. One pound mushrooms, sliced thinly
  7. 2 Tablespoons sweet Italian vermouth
  8. 3 Cups chicken stock or broth
  9. 4 Egg yolks
  10. 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped finely
  11. 3 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese


Method:

  • Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan
  • Add the bruised garlic for a few moments

  • Add the onion and gently fry
  • Remove the garlic and raise the heat
  • Add the tomato paste and stir
  • Add the mushrooms and stir
  • Add the chicken stock and the vermouth

  • Bring to boiling, then lower heat to a simmer
  • Simmer 2 minutes

  • Whisk the egg yolks with the parsley and cheese
  • Add a little hot soup to the yolk mixture and mix

  • Whisk the mixture into the soup and bring to boil
  • As begins to boil, ladle into bowl
  • Serve in a small dish with the soup

This is one lovely mushroom soup  I hope you try it soon.

Friday, April 13, 2012

LETTUCE SOUP

A-Z Soups.
If you thought lettuce was only good for salads or on sandwiches, you should try a bowl of lettuce soup because the new dimension presented will be a most pleasant surprise.

Adapted from : Soup, Coralie Castle, Cole Group, Santa Rosa, Ca 1993

Lettuce Soup                                     serves 6

Ingredients:

  1. 3 cups of shredded Romaine lettuce
  2. 4 cups of rich, dark beef stock (canned consommé is good)
  3. 1 cup of chopped watercress

  1. ½ cup minced onion
  2. 3 tablespoons minced green bell pepper (capsicum)
  3. 1 minced garlic clove
  4. 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon or ½ teaspoon dried
  5. 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


  1. 3 tablespoons butter
  2. 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  3. 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  4. 2 tablespoons raw rice
  5.  1 cup whole milk
  6. 2 egg yolks beaten
  7. ¾ cup heavy cream
  8. salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Finely chop lettuce, either by hand or with processor
  • Put into medium saucepan and add stock
  • Put in chopped watercress

  • Fry onion, bell pepper, garlic and herbs in butter until soft
  • Add seasonings and combine with stock mixture
  • Add rice, bring to boiling, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes
  • Add milk
  • Beat together the egg yolks and cream
  • Put ½ cup of the hot soup into the cream and yolks and whisk it
  • Return to soup pot, heat without boiling
  • Add salt and pepper and taste for seasoning

Lettuce soup is a good way to enjoy a ,healthy green leafy vegetable.

Enjoy

Thursday, April 12, 2012

KALE AND WHITE BEAN SOUP

A-Z Soup
If Popeye were around today he wouldn’t be gobbling down spinach at all.  Knowing what we know now about kale’s nutritional power, Popeye would surely be ingesting kale.

Who knew? Years ago I used to take meals in a certain restaurant where every plate they served had this curly green thing as garnish. When I asked what it was, no one knew- until they read the box. Now we know that kale is probably the healthiest green vegetable there is, chock full of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals etc etc.  But forget about all that, kale tastes great and in this soup, exemplifies a wonderful flavour.

Adapted from:   Epicurious.com/ kale and white bean soup   
                                                                 
Kale and White Bean Soup                                            Serves 6
     
Ingredients:                                                                                 
  • 1 lb dried white beans such as great northern, cannellini, or navy
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 8 carrots, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 lb kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
Method:
·        Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour OR INSTEAD soak overnight in water to cover. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.
·        Cook onions in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
·        Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
·        Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary
·        Simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.
·        While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.
·        Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes.
·        Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, about 15 minutes.
·        Season soup with salt and pepper.
Kale and white bean soup is best if made 1 or 2 days ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then store in icebox covered. When you reheat it, thin with water if necessary.
This is a fine soup.
 Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE SOUP

A-Z Soups
Maybe you have seen Jerusalem Artichokes in the market but didn’t know what to do with them. Confusion comes easy here. They have nothing to do with Jerusalem and they are not related to artichokes. Some greengrocers have taken to calling them Sunchokes.

Italian immigrants in the USA called the plant girasole (meaning: turning toward the sun) because it looked like the sunflower, and girasole got corrupted to Jerusalem.

You can make a nice creamy soup with Jerusalem artichokes and when you serve this to guests, sit back and take the compliments they are sure to issue.

Recipe from Cook’s Library Soups. Parragon Publishing, UK, 2003

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup                                             serves 6

Ingredients:

  1. 1 pound of Jerusalem Artichokes
  2. 2 teaspoons butter
  3. 1 onion, chopped finely

  1. ½ cup peeled and cubed rutabaga or turnip
  2. 1 strip of peeled lemon zest (yellow part only)

  1. 3 cups vegetable bouillon or stock
  2. 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  3. 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
  4. 4 tablespoons lightly toasted pine nuts

Method:

  • Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and cut into pieces
  • Place in a bowl of cold water to prevent darkening
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium flame
  • Put in onion and cook 3 minutes, stirring, until soft
  • Drain the Jerusalem artichokes
  • Put them in the saucepan along with the rutabaga and lemon zest
  • Pour in the bouillon plus a little salt and pepper
  • Stir and bring to a boil, then simmer 20 minutes until vegetables are tender
  • Allow soup to cool slightly
  • Puree in batches in an electric blender
  • Return the soup to saucepan and stir in the cream
  • Simmer for about 5 minutes to reheat
  • Add the lemon juice and check the seasoning and adjust accordingly
  • Ladle soup into bowls and place pine nuts atop.

Serve this Jerusalam artichoke soup (or Sunchoke soup if you prefer) now and brace yourself for the imminent praise, maybe even from as far away as Jerusalem.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

ITALIAN CREAM OF CHEESE SOUP

A-Z Soups.
If the aroma of Italian cheeses has great appeal to you, you will surely love this soup. It is quick to prepare with a taste that belies its simplicity.

From: Soups and Stews the World Over Louise Driggs, Hastings House, N.Y., 1971

Italian Cream of Cheese Soup      Servings            6

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk

  • 6 slices of carrot
  • 2 thick onion slices
  • ¼  teaspoon of allspice
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced in half

  • 1  cup grated Romano, Parmesan or other firm Italian cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley

Method:

  1. Combine the stock and milk in a Bain Marie (double boiler)
  2. Add carrot slices, onion slices, allspice and garlic
  3. Place over slowly simmering water and simmer for one hour. Set your timer and come back.
  4. Strain out carrot, onion and garlic
  5. Stir in cheese
  6. Beat egg yolks
  7. Add a little hot soup to beaten egg yolks and stir
  8. Stir the tempered yolks into the soup pot
  9. Heat the soup without boiling
  10. Add salt and pepper
  11. Pour into bowls and garnish with parsley

This is a great first course, or perhaps a complete lunch with some bread and a salad. Enjoy.
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