I was asked today to supply soup for our church's traditional Lenten meal of simple soup and bread.. Now it's perfectly acceptable to go to Costco and purchase big cans of soup but I was thinking about providing something nicer. This would be for about 75 people and must be meatless. Anyone have any easy recipe?
There is a restaurant in Hayward CA named Bancheros ( an old style Italian family restaurant) that serves their signature soup with all family style dinners. They've been around for about 45 years (maybe longer) and so has this soup. The soup is an Italian based chicken soup, just chicken broth with a little tomato sauce for a light color, tiny pastina, celery, carrots, and onions and probably garlic powder. So terribly simple and it's just so good! The way to eat it, is to cover the top of your bowl with dried parmesean romano cheese, and then dunk your garlic bread into it. I can't think of any soup simpler, and so easy to make for a crowd.
I have made what I thought was close to it and I came pretty darn close, anyway my kids thought it was exact. For that many people it would be a snap to put together.
re: chef chicklet
Ah, Chef Chicklet, a person after my own heart!!!! I've eaten at Banchero's most of my life and love their soup!! To my great sorrow, I read on the net that they have closed after 63 yrs, courtesy of the State of CA requiring them to "update" their equipment, tho nothing was wrong with the stuff they were using. That, combined with the failing economy, induced them to close. About their soup: You're correct - it's simple. I was able to put most of the pieces together for the soup, but was having a problem with the tomato part. Tomato paste wasn't right, nor was sauce. Finally, at 3:00 a.m. one night, I awoke with the answer - one of those small cans of V8!! I'm sure they did it differently, but I put a pot together with a 32 oz. container of chicken broth, 2 peeled and small diced carrots, 2 stalks of trimmed and small diced celery, 1 small can (5 oz. I think) of V8, a couple of handfuls of Ancini dePepi pasta, brought it to a boil, turned it down to simmer and let it cook for about 30 or so mins. Voila!!! Banchero's soup!! Give it a shot.
I'll add one more. We served this soup at a large luncheon during a craft fair. If you want, you can sub vegetable broth for the chicken broth. It is easily doubled/tripled, etc. I make it every Thanksgiving for the night before when our family is arriving. They love it with Fresh Beer Bread.
Creamy Vegetable Soup
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup green onions, chopped
2 cups non-fat dry milk powder
5 cups chicken broth
2 medium potatoes, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
1/4 cup uncooked rice
16 oz. frozen chopped broccoli
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook green onions in butter until soft. Add milk powder and chicken broth all at once. Whisk to blend. Add potatoes, carrots and rice. Simmer 15 minutes. Add broccoli and simmer 15 minutes longer.
If you can get your hands on the "Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for Crowd", there's a ton of great simple recipes for vegetarian soup in the the 25-50 servings range that can be adjusted as needed. One of my personal faves is the "Finnish Golden Split Pea", which for 50 servings (6oz) takes 3 lbs of split peas (yellow, but green work too), 1.5 gals of water, 3 lbs of potatoes, 2 lbs of onions, 1.5 lbs each of celery, turnips, and parsnips, and 1lb of carrots. Cook and puree as you would any pea soup, then add spices: 2 Tbsp dried mustard, 2 Tbsp salt, 1 Tbsp each of cumin, marjoram, and thyme, and a teaspoon of allspice. (I tend to adjust these a bit, and sometimes add various last-minute fancifications like buttermilk, or citrus) I also add a bit more spices.
I also recommend their west african peanut soup, but it's not to everyone's taste... The "autumn gold" soup made from winter squash is also very nice (I add lima beans for extra texture and interest)
This Tomato Bisque is deliciously satisfying and easy to make. The following recipe serves 8, so you'll have to scale it up.
1 large can (32 oz) crushed or diced tomatoes in puree
1 onion, chopped
4 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups water or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
Put all ingredients except evaporated milk into a soup pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and remove bay leaf. Using an immersion hand blender, puree soup until smooth. (If you don't have an immersion blender, you can blend soup in batches in a regular blender--just be sure to let it cool before you blend it.) Stir in evaporated milk. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or basil just before serving.
I make a really simple easy cabbage soup by sauteeing a lot of garlic, some yellow onions and tomato paste in a lot of olive oil, once the oil is nice and "red" and the garlic and onions are wilted, add canned low sodium veggie broth and some chopped coarsely carrots. Simmer for about 10 minutes, add thinly sliced green cabbage and cook an additional 25-35 minutes. For seasoning I use some fresh thyme, dried oregano and lemon juice and I usually toss in a left-over rind of pamesan cheese.I usually cook it for about 45 minutes to an hour.
My ingredient amounts are as follows: 1/4 cup olive oil, 5 large cloves garlic, 1 medium onion; 1/4 cup tomato paste (I use tuttorosso or some really good organic Italian kind from whole foods that comes in a glass jar with a gold lid); 6 medium carrots; 1 small head cabbage, 5-6 cups broth, juice of 2 lemons.
To serve, provide hearty rye or pumpernickel bread, grated parmesan cheese and creme fraiche or sour cream.
People are always surprised that they actually like cabbage soup, but the combination of using a lot of olive oil to sautee the tomato paste really intensifies the flavor and the parmesan rind also works wonders.
This recipe serves about 36. If you've got a pot big enough you can double it, otherwise you'll need to make two pots.
Lenten Lentil Soup
1/4 cup olive oil
4 onions, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
6 celery ribs, chopped
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
1 gallon vegetable broth
6 cups dry french lentils, rinsed
1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (4 oz) tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
in a large stock pot, combine olive oil, onions, carrots and celery over medium high heat. When mixture begins to sizzle, reduce heat to low and cover. Let cook about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add garlic and let cook 2-3 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients and return to a boil. Lower heat to medium low, cover and simmer about 45-60 minutes, until lentils are tender.
Finish by adding salt and pepper to taste. Delicious with crusty bread.
sautee sliced leeks in olive oil.
when fragrant add some bay leaves and dried thyme.
add lots of chopped carrots and some chopped sweet potato, as well as a knob of sliced ginger. toss for a few minutes til it sizzles.
add water to cover and toss in some chopped garlic. bring to a boil and reduce to simmer til all veggies are tender. finish with s&p and a few squirts of lemon juice. let cool.
in batches puree the veggies in your food processor, adding enough broth to get the texture you like, and adjust the seasonings. if you have time, let it rest overnight.
you can also add cumin, coconut milk and chili to this.
a lentil or white bean soup would be nice and traditional too.
There is a soup event happening on one of the bloghs this month - and a huge list of soup recipes there, take a look:
I would go with a squash or veggie soup that will keep well. Feeding 75 is going to be a challenge though. :)