ISO: Healthy Soups of the Season....
SO and I LOVE soup. Especially healthy soups (Since we try to find balance with our chowhound ways...) For this fall and winter I've decided to focus my cooking on SOUPS! I already have a couple great recipes in mind (Cooks Illustrated Mushroom and Barley for one!) and want to see if any of you guys would like to lend a hand in this project project by sharing your favorte soup recipes! Broth based soups, tomato based soups, and soups with lots of green leafies are especially appreciated! :)
I have an easy method (that is probably lazy, after reading the above posts)...but it works for most "single" vegetable soups.
Step 1: Prep your veggies -- For non-winter squashes.
Wash, chop, steam (I use a stovetop steamer insert, but you could use steamer, micro., whatever.) I use this for broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, carrots (slice thinly).
For squash prep: cut squash in half; scoop out seeds; place in a baking pan. season/spice the top as inspired (add butter/brown sugar to eat plain if for some reason the soup may not happen). Pour hot water into the pan, about 1/2 inch deep. Cover the pan with tin-foil. Roast for about an hour at 375/400.
Step 2: Saute chopped onion (yellow or scallions or shallots) and minced garlic in butter or olive oil. (add ginger for carrot soup, curry powder for cauliflower soup, etc.)
Step 3: Add veggies (or roasted squash flesh) to pot.
Step 4: Dump broth (veggie or chicken) into the pot. stir. Add spices (whatever you're inspired by...ginger/cinnamon for butternut squash, chopped green apple for the curried cauliflower, tarrogon and ginger for the carrot.salt and pepper) Simmer for a bit until flavors are blended.
Step 5: Blend soup with your hand blender (if you don't have one buy one immediately -- SO cheap and fantastic.)
Step 6: Add some heavy cream, or butter to finish/smooth out the flavor. Stir and serve. (sometimes I garnish with the cream instead, or piece of the cut veggie).
I made a really nice winter minestrone the other day, there was a fair amount of chopping but other than that, it pretty much made itself. I guess the addition of butternut squash made it "winter"...I added barley to make it heartier. If you are interested, let me know, I don't have the recipe on me.
I made minestrone recently too, and added Barilla Mini Penne, they are GREAT in soup rather than the usual elbows, ditalini etc. Also they are ribbed and don't get overly soft, even after sitting a few days. And when I make chicken/turkey soup, I always add cavatelli rather than rice or noodles, I did it once because that was all I had around but now I buy them especially for this purpose.
I make mushroom barley soup often, always throw a head of chopped escarole in, makes it even healthier.
I make a greek bean soup that is very simple and amazingly deicious given its simplicity. SOak 1 lb navy beans in water overnight. Rinse and put back in large pot. Add 16 cups water, two carrots, sliced, two stalks of celery, sliced, 2 onions, chopped, and 8 cloves of garlic sliced thin. bring to boil and cook until beans are almost tender. Add 2 TBSp tomato paste dissolved in hot water and about 3/4 cup of good (really good- this is the key) greek olive oil. Stir and cook apprx. 45 minutes until beans are tender and soup has thickened. Season with slt and pepper.
Make the Cuban Black Bean soup recipe from the Daily Soup Cookbook. It's easy, healthy, and so delicious...and you don't have to soak beans first! You can find the book in a library or bookshop, but essentially, what you do is saute carrot, celery, chili, and onion in a heatproof pot till soft, add garlic, cumin, and thyme, then add black beans, crushed tomatoes, and water (sometimes I use veg stock). Then you put the whole pot, covered, into a 325 degree oven to cook for an hour or so.
Puree part or all of the soup if you want, add some minced garlic, serve with chopped scallions and a dollop of sour cream. The soup also freezes really well in small quantities, so it's great to have on hand for when you don't feel like cooking.
I made a very lazy version of lentil soup with greens recently that was great. Trader Joes (well at least in the Bay Area) now carries Melissa's steamed brown lentils (the same girl that does the steamed beets there). I sauteed some garlic + onion in a little oil, added a box of (un-)chicken broth, a can of organic diced tomatoes, some fresh & dried herbs on hand, and a chopped bunch of chard. Simmered this for about 15-20 minutes, then added the package of lentils and simmered for another 5. Splendid, healthy, fast, and easy. Ate it for days.
There's another post going around right now on soups that a dad posted to try and find soups to make with his daughter. Here's a link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
Some really nice soups wound up on that list - you should check it out! I love the Elephant's Tomato-Orange soup. I cut down the butter quite a bit, and used just a bit of whole milk to finish.
Because of a current thread about pressure cookers, I came across this interesting looking pressure cooker recipe for butternut squash bisque.
Because of some postings on another thread, I think I'll try this recipe without peeling the squash and apples but will run them through a food mill after cooking to get rid of the skins and the fibers. Then maybe a blender.
Also for this recipe, I keep thinking about apple pie or pumpkin pie seasoning and coconut milk.
Last year I had dinner at a local (and the only one in Boston) Polish restaurant, they always have such warm and comforting soups. This one time they had pickle soup on the menu. I'm not a huge pickle fan but since every other soup of theirs had been fantastic, I figured what the heck.
This soup was so good I wanted to take a bath in it, the flavor was like nothing I expected. I now make this often at home, it's easy and relatively quick.
I have been using this recipe as a jumping off point (I tend to use recipes as guide lines as opposed to the absolute)
A dollop of sour cream when serving adds a little decadence
Not a recipe but check out the new Nov. Food and Wine. They feature a woman who owned a restaurant and makes soup for a soup kitchen. Her soups looked so delicious I need to get my hands on a copy of the magazine (I was passing time at the library!). She had one in there with butternut squash and other veg. that looked fantastic!!
I think this should do the trick for what she calls Butternut Squash Soup. Man! With all that's in it. It really should be called something else:) Anyways, the recipe's now paraphrased so there shouldn't be a problem.
6 cups low-salt chicken broth
One 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded. quartered, cut into 2-inch pieces
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, cut in half
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 celery rib, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 thick slices of bacon, cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
2 packed cups coarsely chopped collards or kale
One 15-ounce can pinto or roman beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup corn kernels
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large kettle, combine the broth, squash, thyme, garlic, leeks and celery and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low 45 minutes.
In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the bacon strips and cook over med-high heat, turning once, until crisp, about 7 minutes.
Discard the thyme sprigs from the soup. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the pot. Add the bacon, collards, pinto beans, carrot, bell pepper and corn and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Season with s&p and it's ready to serve.
my favorite healthy: ginger carrot. sautee a chopped onion in a little butter and o.oil. dice up a bag of scrubbed organic carrots (i think organic makes a big difference taste-wise w/ carrots) and add them to the pot. next add a bunch of chopped or grated fresh ginger (the more the spicier) and continue to sautee all a little longer while stirring. after a few minutes add enough broth (chicken or veg stock) to cover all the carrots and then some, add salt, and let simmer until carrots are soft. use a soup wand (or soup stick, hand mixer, zoomzoom -- it has so many different names) to puree the soup and let cool and sit a bit. (it's better when reheated, after flavors marry) you can ad a touch of cream or milk to richen it or serve with a dolop of whole yogurt and a sprinkle of fresh chive.
I usually make a yummy butternut squash soup. I add garlic, onions, one large potato, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper to a pot with a little oil. Cook for about five minutes then add the squash and chicken stock. Bring to boil then simmer for 25 minutes or until pot squash and potato is cooked. Blend with an immersion blender and taste for seasonings.
This is a soup that I never measure. I just throw a bunch of stuff in. I have also roasted lots of root veg. and made the same kind of soup.