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Soup

It's the season.The leaves are falling off the trees.I'm craving soup. Fish soup,which I made tonight. Bean soup, vegtable soup.Leftovers mixed with___ to make soup. As I learned from my father, a great Lithuanian soup maker.A little bit a dis and a little bit of dat. Do you make soup?

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  1. we love soup! I'm planning this Sunday to make a veggie soup with ground turkey - we called it hamburger soup growing up because my mother used ground beef. Tonight, since I roasted a chicken Sunday and made stock from the carcass, I'm making chicken noodle - perfect for a cool rainy day.

    at the moment we're eating turkey chili that I made Saturday.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jujuthomas

      I make turkey soup after the Thanksgiving meal. But I always make it curried with root vegetables and celery. Delicious!

    2. Need to learn to make small batches of soup. We always waste or freeze and then find it unappetizing. Three servings is ideal, One each and my lunch the next day.

      Tips?

      11 Replies
      1. re: melpy

        Start with a smaller pot......or bigger bowls for serving.

        1. re: melpy

          I bring it to neighbors, especially an elderly man who lives with his son and neither really cook. Appreciated and a cheap gift.

          1. re: rccola

            Agree. I have a neighbor while is still working full time, while dealing with a senior husband who has had cancer, heart attacks - and keeps having more "fun". Fab guy, just, well, health challenged. So a tub of soup, simple happy food she does not have to cook? She almost weeps her thanks.

            So if I ever have to choose between a bigger batch and smaller, - I go for the bigger. It's such an easy, helpful gift.

            1. re: happybaker

              That is incredably nice. I want to live near you happybaker. And if you make to many cookies and bread....

            2. re: rccola

              I have been giving it to neighbors this fall. I just don't want to be annoying because there are only so many people I feel comfortable doing this with.

              1. re: melpy

                I stopped bringing cake to neighbors because the husband made me feel it was intrusive. I recently ran into the wife who asked what happened to the cake? When I told her, she said, "He's just weird."

                From now on I shall assume it's weirdness on the part of others until told otherwise. Anyone who is offended by kind thoughtfulness IS weird.

            3. re: melpy

              I think these generous folks are on to something, but I did have a thought about how to make smaller. Make stock and freeze it in smaller containers. If you start with a pint container of stock in stead of a quart container, you're already limiting the amount you'll make.

              1. re: yayadave

                I make my own stock and freeze a cup to a pint in sandwich bags in the freezer.

              2. re: melpy

                Work backwards! Make a hearty stew like goulash or chili, serve it as you normally would (like over rice or whatever), then add a couple of cups of passata or stock or milk and some small veg like peas or beans to thin the leftovers out into a chunky soup :)

                1. re: Elster

                  Interesting. I generally like smooth purreed soup but this has potential.

                2. re: melpy

                  Why do you find frozen soup unappetizing? We freeze soup all the time and find it to be great thawed and reheated. The only thing we do to make sure the frozen soup is good is to not put pasta in it before freezing. For example, chicken noodle soup is always made without noodles. The noodles are cooked separately, placed in the bottom of the bowl and then the soup is ladled on.

                3. Soups and stews are my bedrock--so to speak. I can't get enough. And if the Khantessa would eat creamed soups, there would be even more in our repertoire.

                  1. Yep. Only the other day, we had celery soup for lunch. Simplicity itself - a head of celery, a little onion, a little potato, vegetable stock. Simmered and blitzed.

                    Last week it was butternut squash.

                    There's usually enough for a couple of portions to freeze.

                    37 Replies
                    1. re: Harters

                      Thank you for reminding me of some ideas I've tucked away but never persued. Somewhere I have a recipe shared by a friend for celery and stilton soup that I had forgotten about and never made. I'm going to have to try celery soup.

                      I also ran across an old French cookbook recipe that adds pumpkin to the classic leek and potato soup, but I'm going to use butternut squash instead.

                      1. re: Terrie H.

                        I add artichoke hearts to my potato leek, it's a nice touch too.

                        1. re: coll

                          That sounds very good -- fresh, or would frozen do? I don't live in artichoke country, I'm afraid.

                          1. re: Terrie H.

                            I'm not even sure where artichoke country would be! Although I got the recipe from the Tabasco cookbook, so maybe that's a clue. Frozen is the best, I think I've used canned in a pinch.

                            1. re: coll

                              Half Moon Bay on the central California coast.

                              1. re: sydthekyd

                                Thanks, so early and I already learned my one new thing for the day!

                                  1. re: sydthekyd

                                    yep! Castroville, it's always been Castroville sort of like nearby Gilroy has always been the garlic capital of the universe.

                                1. re: coll

                                  Castroville is "Artichoke Center of the World" -- also along the central CA coast.

                                  1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                    Is Duarte's in Pescadero still open? That was my first introduction to cream of artichoke soup, I was a teenager and my Dad lived in Half Moon Bay at the time.

                                    1. re: weezieduzzit

                                      Yes, still open, still have the artichoke soup.

                                      1. re: pamf

                                        Supposed to be good half and half with their green chile soup.

                                        1. re: sydthekyd

                                          At the risk of spoiling the fun of those who love Duarte's green chile soup, I must report that it's basically Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, put in a blender with green chiles and cream. I was told this by a member of the Duarte family while he was serving it to me, decades ago. I tried it at home and it seemed identical. Sorry to ruin the mystique.

                                          Definitely OT, but Marilyn Monroe got her start as Castroville's first Artichoke Queen, FWIW.

                                          1. re: Steve Green

                                            You could probably improve on it by using cream of chicken or celery then, as Campbell's cream of mushroom has very little flavor. And then it would be Green's green chile soup.

                                            OTOH: love the Marilyn.

                                            1. re: rccola

                                              I wasn't going to get into those details, but on subsequent tries, I left the mushroom soup in, but added cream of celery -- worked out well. Do you mean Greens, as in the Fort Mason restaurant?

                                              1. re: Steve Green

                                                I mean "Green's" as in "Steve Green's green chile soup."

                                  2. re: coll

                                    a little late to respond but i remember road tripping through CA and right outside monterrey on the main highway there were tons of fried artichoke shacks...really delicious!

                                    lots of other varieties cause they grew them there but people went nuts over these fried artichokes.

                                    1. re: pie22

                                      I'm trying to remember if I've every fried artichoke hearts, although I have at some point. I think it's time to pull that one out of the attic!

                              2. re: Terrie H.

                                Tried a celery, pear and stilton soup recipe from an old cookbook this winter that was very good. I've overlooked celery for most of my cooking life, but am finding new respect.

                                1. re: Terrie H.

                                  I love celery as a judiciously used flavoring in soups and stews and stirfries. Don't like it alone, raw. Feel same way about cilantro. Savory pears are delicious.

                              3. re: Harters

                                Butternut squash or pumpkin or sweet potato soup is delicious. I always use a lot of ginger in it. Brings out the flavor.

                                1. re: rccola

                                  Thanks for the ginger tip. When you "a lot", roughly how much are we talking about? I like ginger but wouldnt want to overdo it and kill the flavour of the squash

                                  1. re: Harters

                                    For a small butternut squash, I use a 1" chunk of ginger. I cut it into. 2or 3 pieces, cook it in the soup, and remove before serving. You get the flavor, but no one bites down on ginger.

                                    1. re: Harters

                                      Another way to add ginger is to use crystalized ginger. You have good control of how much you're adding. You can get it at Penzey's or other spice places.

                                      1. re: Harters

                                        Uh, I'm bad at measuring. I just chop it up fine to make blending easier and add some until it tastes right. (Yaya, the crystallized doesn't make it too sweet does it?)

                                        Don't forget a dollop of sour cream/yogurt/creme fraiche on top each bowl! Or chives/scallions! Or chopped peanuts! Or sauteed shrimp! or...

                                        1. re: rccola

                                          Never thought about that. What's wrong with "sweet"? It's good in carrot soup and squash soup, by the way. Good in ginger bread, too.

                                          1. re: yayadave

                                            If you're fond of sweet, that's fine. I'm not. Starting with already sweet squash or sweet potatoes/yams/carrots and adding more sweetness would be a turnoff to me, cloying, especially at the start of a meal. I might like it as a dessert soup but I don't like dessert. Like all cooking it comes down to personal taste.

                                            In ginger bread or chunked in carrot/zucchini bread or honey cake would be good. Then I toast to almost burnt to decrease the sweet and have with strong black coffee. But in soup? Not for me.

                                          2. re: rccola

                                            I rinsed off the sugar from the candied ginger in a pinch...mostly I keep knuckles of fresh in the freezer and the use my microplane to taste.

                                            1. re: MartiniGenie

                                              So they last well in the freezer? I love ginger in things but am fairly new to using it as my husband hated for years. Coming around now. Finally.

                                              1. re: rccola

                                                I keep ginger in the freezer and microplane it when I need it too. It keeps very well. I peel it first before freezing. Then just pull it out, use what I need and pop back in the freezer. Things never tasted so good!!

                                                However I never thought of using it in butternut squash soup. This afternoon I am going to cut up 3 squash I picked up and blanch it, then freeze for soup. I'll have to try using some ginger in one next time. Love the idea.

                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                  Just curious, why do you all freeze your ginger? It's so cheap (typically 99¢/lb) and so readily available from Chinese groceries - usually of fresh/pretty good quality (at least in my parts and in stores in Chicago) - that I normally buy whole heads of plump, fresh stuff and just discard what I don't use or what goes bad and just get more. Yes, I can use quite a bit of it - but for the occasional user, 50¢ for a half-pound of fresh stuff as needed seems better than using frozen stuff. Unless, of course, one does not have a decent/good Chinese/"Asian" grocery nearby. I think you are in Portland, and rccola is in the SF area - surely Chinese groceries must be readily available?

                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                    I'd like do so to avoid trips to the store especially last minute trips in the middle of making something. And I really hate to toss food of any variety.

                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                      I'm with rccola on this one. It's convenient. And why toss when you can just keep using it? It may be inexpensive, but sometimes that is not the point. And it doesn't taste frozen. It's also easy to grate frozen.

                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                        I do the same. It's SO much easier to handle too when frozen, grates incredibly well and finely. Just last night I made a garlicky ginger vinaigrette and ginger in that form is perfect! Almost powder like, but fresh.

                                                        1. re: tiffeecanoe

                                                          Duly noted, all three of you.

                                                          I guess I just differ in my practices. I always have fresh ginger in my fridge (see above comment about cheap fresh stuff) and I have no problem finely grating fresh ginger on my grater - it's pretty simple, easy, and I get the juices running into the bowl holding the grated stuff. Then, with the fresh (unfrozen) material, it is a simple matter to smash the (trimmed) pieces with the flat surface of my cleaver or chef's knife, or to slice it, etc etc as I make my soups or stews or stir-fries or whatever.

                                                          Come to think of it, I grate my ginger only when I am using it for a sauce of some sort. Otherwise, it is sliced or smashed - for soups, stews, braises, etc etc.

                                                  2. re: MartiniGenie

                                                    I used the frozen, microplaned ginger tonight in stir-fried cauliflower/onions/sweet potatoes, curried and with black mustard seed. Brilliant suggestion!

                                                    If only I'd remembered to squeeze on the lemon juice at the end. =(

                                                2. re: Harters

                                                  I saw this recipe in Coastal Living Magazine last year and decided to make it for Thanksgiving. Fantastic! Everybody raved. One comment is that the fresh ginger in the recipe is MY addition, as the recipe called for dried. Using fresh really adds some zip. You can get fresh ginger already minced in the produce section of groceries or Asian markets. I also came up with the pumpkin oil garnish, which makes an elegant presentation.

                                                  Spiced Butternut Squash-and-Pear Soup

                                                  Yield: Makes about 10 cups
                                                  Total: 1 Hour, 13 Minutes

                                                  Recipe Time
                                                  Cook Time: 3 Minutes 
Prep Time: 20 Minutes 
Bake: 40 Minutes 
Stand: 10 Minutes 
Total: 1 Hour, 13 Minutes
                                                  Ingredients
                                                  2 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
                                                  2 firm-ripe Anjou pears, peeled and quartered
                                                  4 large shallots, peeled and halved
                                                  4 tablespoons vegetable oil
                                                  1 teaspoon sea salt
                                                  1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
                                                  4 garlic cloves, minced
                                                  1-2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
                                                  4 tablespoons dry white wine
                                                  5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
                                                  2 tablespoons heavy cream
                                                  Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt & toasted pumpkin oil for garnish
                                                  Preparation
                                                  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Gently toss first 3 ingredients with oil; season with sea salt and pepper, and place in a jelly-roll pan. Bake 35 minutes or until tender and browned. Add garlic, ginger, salt & pepper and toss well; bake 5 more minutes.
                                                  2. Pour wine over squash mixture, stirring to deglaze pan. Let stand 10 minutes. Transfer to a soup pot, add broth and stir in cream. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. (For smoothest texture, press squash puree through a wire-mesh strainer, discarding solids.)
                                                  3. Cook over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through. Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and a drizzle of pumpkin oil
                                                  Laraine Perri, Coastal Living 
OCTOBER 2011

                                            2. I make lots of soups in cooler weather, and freeze portions for lunches. Not every soup freezes well, but most do.

                                              In the last few weeks I've made a beef and veggie soup using the last of the season green beans, corn and tomatoes along with leftover pot roast; corn chowder with the end of season corn (I add shrimp or chicken after thawing for serving); chicken and vegetable soup using the remainder of a roast chicken plus a couple of thighs; oyster stew (what do you do when there are leftover oysters?!); and leek and potato, which is one of my favorites. I always make at least one large batch of bean and ham each winter, which also freezes well.

                                              Smaller batches of soup that I also like but don't freeze are clam chowder (try it with fresh clams Rhode Island style), tomato basil (using canned tomatoes), a very quick Thai style hot and sour soup with shrimp or fish, and cream of mushroom (was my treat to my grandmother years ago).

                                              Guess I love soup!