Time for soup!
The weather, at least in Chicago, is getting colder, and I can feel myself coming down with a cold. While I am still clear-headed, I want to make some soup that can get me through the week. My typical soups are tomato parmesan, baked potato, bacon leek tomato, and chili. I am looking to expand my soup skills...anyone have a good soup recipe? Anything from chicken noodle to more inventive soups are welcomed.
This recipe from Epicurious is one of my absolute favorites. I actually increase the lemon juice and if I'm making it for a holiday I add a touch of cream just before serving. Without the cream, it's a very satisfying healthy soup! If I'm in a rush I just microplane some lemon zest on top rather than making the gremolata.
TOMATO-FENNEL SOUP WITH GREMOLATA
Gremolata is a parsley and lemon peel mixture commonly used in Italy with osso buco.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped fennel bulb
1 28-ounce can Italian-style tomatoes, drained, juices reserved
2 2/3 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped fennel bulb; sauté until tender but not brown, about 6 minutes. Add drained tomatoes; sauté
5 minutes. Add reserved tomato juices, stock and lemon juice. Cover; simmer
15 minutes. Puree soup in blender in batches until smooth. Return to pan. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Mix all ingredients in small bowl.
Bring soup to simmer. Ladle into bowls. Stir spoonful of gremolata into each bowl and serve.
My mushroom soup is virtually the same as sheiladeedee but I add a couple of things: nutmeg, which gives soup a wonderful flavor and I always have several types of dried mushrooms, which I soak in hot chicken broth and also add.
I make chicken stock by the gallon, here's an approximate recipe: I use a 16 gal stock pot. For every lb of chicken, use 1 quart of water (I like dark meat or wings only, never breast), inside of celery stalk (leaves give best flavor), 1 small bunch parsley; 2 leeks, 3 parsnips, 3 carrots cleaned
and trimmed, whole black peppercorns, fresh dill or dried and kosher salt (about 1 T). Usually 6-8 lbs. chicken and 6-8 quarts of water. Bring to boil, skim scum that accumulates on top, partially cover, turn heat down to simmer and let cook 3-4 hours. Strain when done and cool into freezable containers. I leave fat on top because it preserves soup from spoiling and don't degrease until I use it. Always have several quarts for those emergencies like hankering for mushroom or celery soup, chicken noodle soup etc. This is what I would call a "mother" soup, very versatile.
re: Diane in Bexley
This sounds like my chicken stock, when I make it, but I leave out the dill, parsnips, and carrots. I prefer to keep it neutral and add suitable aromatics later... but I have onions and leeks in everything so I leave those in. Another thing I do is watch for veal bones at my market and if I have some I add them to the pot for extra body. I like chicken stock much more than beef stock; easier and stronger flavor.
Nutmeg is a great addition to all sorts of cream soups, but I use thyme instead and I don't like the two together.
I don't really measure for soups either, but here goes....
Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup
brown 3/4 lb sweet italian sausage and drain most of the fat. Saute 2 onions in the remaining fat (I do this in a heavy saucier) and add a quart of chicken stock. Bring to a boil, add about 2 cups of potatoes cut in large chunks (I leave the skin on if it's not thick and ugly) and simmer until potatoes begin to break up. Add two cups of milk or half and half, and when it comes back nearly to a boil, add 6 cups of shredded and chopped kale; simmer until kale is wilted and tender and season with salt and pepper. You can also use ham, or kielbasa, or linguica...
Cream of mushroom soup (best as an occasional indulgence)
cook down about a pound of sliced mushrooms in half a stick of melted butter until mushrooms start to brown. Add a quart of chicken stock and a cup (or more) of heavy cream along with a branch of fresh thyme and the thinly sliced white parts of a bunch of scallions; simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the thinly sliced green scallion tops, salt and pepper to taste, a squeeze of lemon juice, and serve.
I love soup in cold weather. DH and I both enjoy fish chowders so I make these fairly regularly, New England with cream, and Portugese with chorizo, tomatoes and bell peppers, and salmon chowder as well. Jasper White's little book on chowders is great for recipes.
I do lentil soups, sometimes with curry, sometimes with kale. Very hearty. Actually I find kale to be a great soup vegetable - Portugese kale soup is great, ribollito is another soup that has kale in it.
I also do pumpkin/squash soups regularly. My latest favorite is from Cook's Illustrated's website and is amazing for flavor. It just has butternut squash (steamed), a little butter, onions and cream. But it has so much squash flavor, it was a big surprise to me. If you make it, be sure to make the cinnamon croutons to go with it.
don't hate me, but I hardly ever use real measurements when it comes to soup. I do most of my soup cooking by taste.
for the tomato parmesan, obviously it works best in the summer with heirloom tomatoes, but I've found that canned works just as well. I put chopped tomatoes, some carrots and onion into a large pot with water around halfway up (you can use stock, but if you have super fresh tomatoes, water tastes best) along with a few leftover rinds of parmesan. I simmer it all for as long as I can, and then throw it in a blender to puree it all, sometimes adding basil or more parm.
For the BLT soup, I fry up some bacon and save the fat. I use some of the fat to saute sliced leeks (just the white and light green parts) until they are soft, and then I add a large 28 0z can of crushed tomatoes, beef stock, and a few pieces of cooked bacon. I let it simmer for at least an hour, and then I use a hand blender to puree it all. I adjust the flavoring by adding just a little white wine (I just love the flavor white wine gives tomatoes!) and more bacon fat. Not exactly the healthiest soup in the world, but it tastes great! I top it with more bacon, or maybe a piece toast, grilled cheese, or a mini blt. This is one of the first recipes I created on my own, so I apologize for the lack of measurements. I had seen the flavor combo in a cookbook, and just improvised it into a soup form.
Broccoli Rice Soup
Saute about 1/2 medium onion in Olive Oil
Add 1 bag of cut up broccoli florets or 2 crowns broccoli cut up
Add 6 cups chicken stock and 1/2 cup rice
cook until rice is done
salt & pepper to taste
garnish with parmesan cheese and if you are feeling gourmet, white truffle oil
it makes enough for about 4 people, dinner size servings
Here is a recent thread on soup recipes that I started; lots of good ideas here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/327230?user_name=katie+nell&query=soups
Here is a recipe from Funwithfood that I'm actually planning to make this week: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/311730#1766745
And healthy soups: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...