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Soup Time

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    Posted: 30 September 2016 at 10:21
It’s that time of year, again. While members like Effigy are going into spring, most of us are facing autumn, and the long winter to follow. Days are getting shorter, and cooler. Leaves are starting to turn color. Road departments are stocking up with salt.

All of which means soup time.

In my household we don’t wait for cool weather, however. We eat soup year ‘round, making them in large quantities, and freezing (or canning) in portion sizes.

What makes something a soup, rather than a stew? Simply enough it has to do with liquid content. Stews are thick, and their liquid more saucy, whereas soups have a larger percentage of liquid. If you start, say, with a Beef Bourguignon, you have a stew. Thin it down with stock, and it becomes a soup.

There is, of course, a lot of overlap between the two. There are thick soups, like bisques and chowders, and thin stews, like gumbo. A well-made chili can be either.

Soups can be as simple as tossing whatever’s available in a pot with some water, to as complex as any fine-dining recipe. That, perhaps, is the real beauty of soup: its versatility.

Below are a few of the soups we’ve made lately. Hopefully this will serve as a springboard for y’all to post your own favorite soup recipes:

Fennel & Oyster Chowder

1 fennel bulb, quartered, cored, sliced thin
1 shallot, minced
2 fingerling potatoes, sliced
1 cup chicken stock
2-3 tbls sweet white wine
12-15 oysters, shucked, with liquid (or sub two 8-oz cans)
1 cup heavy cream
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 tbls pancetta (optional)

Caramelize the fennel and shallots in a little butter. Season with salt & pepper. Deglaze pan with wine. Cook until liquid evaporates. Meanwhile, simmer potatoes in stock until fork tender.

Transfer fennel to the pot. Add the oysters and poach until plump. Pour in cream, slowly, and reduce slightly until flavors have blended. Adjust seasoning.

Dice pancetta small. Sauté until brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels.

Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with pancetta.

Curried Apple-Squash Bisque with Shrimp

3 tbls unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 ½ tbls curry powder
1 butternut squash, about 2 lbs
1 large, tart apple, chopped small
2 ½-3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
10-12 oz apple cider or juice
Salt & pepper to taste
12 medium shrimp, cooked
Small pumpkin seeds

Melt butter in soup pot. Add curry powder and onions. Cook until onions are tender.

Peel, deseed, and cube the squash. When onions are tender add the stock, squash, and apple. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until squash is very tender.

Pour soup through a strainer, reserving liquid. Transfer solids to food process with one cup of liquid. Process until very smooth.

Return puree to pot. Add apple juice and remainder of cooking liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer briefly to heat through.

Ladle soup into bowls. Arrange three shrimp in the center of bowl. Scatter a few pumpkin seeds on soup surface as garnish.

Bialy Barszcz
(Polish White Borscht)


2 lbs smoked kielbasa
2 tbls butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 leeks, trimmed & sliced
1 small onion, sliced
2 medium potatoes, cubed
2 sprigs marjoram
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups sour cream
¼ cup flour
¼ cup freshly grated horseradish
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup roughly chopped dill
2 tbls chopped parsley
4 boiled eggs, cut in wedges

Boil kielbasa in 8 cups water for about 25 minutes. Reserve sausage and cooking water separately.

Add butter, garlic, leeks and onion to pot. Cook until soft. Add the reserved liquid, potatoes, marjoram and bay leaf; bring to boil, reduce heat, and cook until potatoes are tender. Discard marjoram and bay leaf. Puree soup in a blender, return to pot, bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, whisk sour cream and flour in a bowl. Temper with a half cup or so of the soup and whisk until smooth. Pour mixture into soup and cook until thickened, about five minutes.

Cut sausage into spoon-sized slices. Add to soup along with the horseradish, salt, and pepper.

Garnish with dill, parsley, and eggs.

Southwestern Turkey Meatball Soup

Vegetable cooking spray
½ lb ground turkey
1 small (3 oz) potato, peeled and shredded
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp ground cumin
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup beef broth
1 cup canned tomatoes
½ cup chopped onions
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 6” corn tortilla
1 tbls cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 500F. Lightly coast small baking dish with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the turkey, potato, garlic and cumin. Shape mixture into small balls. Place slightly apart in baking dish and cook in oven for 5-7 minutes until well-browned. With slotted spatula, remove ball and drain briefly on paper towels. Lower oven to 400F.

In a large saucepan bring broths to boil over medium-high heat. Coarsely chop tomatoes. Add to broth with their juice, along with the onion, carrot, chili powder and oregano. Turn heat to low. Add turkey balls. Partially cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

While soup is cooking, cut tortilla into ¼” strips. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake until crisp, about 10 minutes.

Ladle soup into shallow bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with tortilla strips and a few cilantro leaves.
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 September 2016 at 11:40
They all look pretty darn good, Brook. Thwre are a couple of combinations that I never would have though of, but they sound great. Of course, the Bialy Barszcz really catches my eye, and if I were only able to try one, that would probably be it.

For me, this time of year and soups are a real joy. The images that you mentioned are spot-on for me, along with gently-fallins snow illuminated by the streetlights on a quiet night, and other scenes....

I've got several favourites - too many to mention - but I will post three here:

Bacon Potato Chowder:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/baconpotato-chowder_topic904.html?

This is a sentimental favourite, more than any other. The Beautiful Mrs. Tas and I started out poorer even than churchmice, and this was always a special treat in the fall or winter, usually on a payday. It uses canned soup, which means that there is room for it to be "elevated" a bit; but to be honest, I like it pretty much as the recipe describes.

French Onion Soup:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/french-onion-soup_topic1298.html

If you follow the link provided, you will find that learning to make this dish has been an on-going and educational adventure for me, and I still consider myself only a rank amateur at it. Having said that, I love it - I love everything about it and I love the path that I've taken so far in learning how to make it. On top of that, it is absolutely just the thing to enjoy on a grey day.

Finally, a Belgian specialty, Carbonade Flamande:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/carbonade-flamande_topic274.html

The same comments about the French Onion Soup apply here; in addition, I love experimenting with different beers when I make this, nudging the profile this way or that....

Another one that I really want to try to make during this upcoming this "soup season" is one that I've been enjoying since I was knee-high to a grasshopper:



It's a regional favourite, and it is wonderful!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 September 2016 at 14:41
It's funny my wife and I were just discussing "soup season" last night. We decided it wasn't quite time yet, but another week or two should do it. We've been having some unusual warm spells for this time of year. Typically by now the AC would be shut down and I'd be cleaning out the pellet stove to get it ready but so far we haven't had the need for the pellet stove and the AC has still been running every day.

We were discussing clam chowder, and how she doesn't like it, but if we took out the clams it would then be potato chowder and she'd eat it! lol.

Anyway, your fennel and oyster chowder sounds really good! I might have to give that a shot, and make Taz's bacon potato chowder for her!
Mike
Life in PitRow - My often neglected, somewhat eccentric, occasionally outstanding blog
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 September 2016 at 14:52
Mike - that Bacon Potato Chowder is really something. Cooking the onion and potato cubes in a little of the bacon fat really brings out some incredible flavor.

I actually took some photos the last time I made this, but never got around to posting them. Your interest has motivated me! I will try to format them and get them posted this weekend. They're just iPod photos, but they're better than nothing....

If you try it, I'd love to hear how you and the family liked it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 October 2016 at 06:36
Kohl Rabi Soup

1 chicken, cut up, or equivalent in parts
4-6 kohl rabi
1 ¼ tsp salt
2 tbls chopped parsley
4 tbls butter or lard
3 tbls flour
2 egg yolks
½ cup cream

Cook chicken for 30 minutes in salted water to cover. Peel the kohl rabi and cut into julienne strips. Add to the chicken with the salt and continue cooking until chicken and kohl rabi are tender, about another 25-30 minutes.

Remove chicken and kohl rabi; set aside separately. Defat the broth.

In a small skillet, wilt the parsley in butter or lard; add the flour and blend. Stir in 1 cup of the soup and continue stirring and cooking until thick and smooth. Thin with remaining soup.

Remove chicken from bones and cut into bite-sized pieces. Return chicken and kohl rabi to soup and heat to boiling. Mix the egg yolks with the cream; temper mixture with some of the hot soup, and stir into pot.

Obviously, neither the amount of chicken nor the amount of kohl rabi is precise. But that’s one of the things than makes soup special; you don’t have to conform to a specific recipe.

For instance, whenever I make this I start with stock, rather than water, to make a more flavorful broth. I also tear the chicken, rather than cutting it, because I like the more rustic appearance. This last time around I used large chicken breasts, totaling just under five pounds. I pulled the skin and excess fat, but left the bones in; again, to give greater depth to the broth.

While the chicken and kohl rabi cooked, I cut the skin in small pieces, and rendered them out to make small grubenes. These were sprinkled on each serving as a garnish.

But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 October 2016 at 11:47
Sounds delicious!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2016 at 08:49
More soups:

Recently I made a pot of lamb stock, and salvaged about a pound of poached lamb. What better use, I thought, than to use it in a soup.

I was thinking a lamb and lentil soup, then remembered I had this recipe. All I did was add about half the lamb, at the last minutes, so it would heat through:

Sweet Potato-Red Lentil Soup With Lamb

1 tbls oil
½ cup chopped onion
3 cups water
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbls brown sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch red pepper
2 ½ cups peeled sweet potato in 1” cubes*
¾ cup red lentils
½ lb cooked, diced (or pulled) lamb (optional)

*Because I’m a big believer in having soup ingredients spoon-sized, I cut these into ½” cubes.

Heat oil over medium high heat in a soup kettle. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft. Add the water, orange juice, brown sugar, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and red pepper; bring to a boil. Add the sweet potato and lentils; cook, uncovered, over medium heat, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and, stirring, frequently, simmer 10 minutes longer or until the lentils dissolve and the sweet potatoes are soft.

Add the lamb, if using, and simmer until lamb is heated through.

This is a fairly thick soup, and may require additional boiling water as it cooks. I added an additional cup to reach the consistency I wanted.

When I was researching my Hungarian themed meal (http://www.foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/hungarian-themed-dinner_topic4120.html) I came across a recipe developed by chef Andrea Nemeth at theher restaurant Bagolyvar, in Budapest. Didn’t have a change to try it until now, and it’s a real winner.

For Friend Wife’s sake, I skipped the hot paprika, and substituted a combination of sweet- and smoked-paprika with just a pinch of cayenne.

Actual measurements are open. I’ve put what I actually used in parens.

Paprika-Spiced Cauliflower and Dumpling Soup
(Karfiolleves)


1/3 cup flour (I needed a bit more)
½ tsp kosher salt
6 tbls unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, divided use
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ tbls Hungarian hot paprika
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (heaping cup)
6 cups vegetable stock (or sub chicken)
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (2+ pounds yielded 6 cups)
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped (1/2 cup)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish

Make the dumplings: In a bowl, stir together the flour and salt; add two tablespoons of the butter, and, using your fingers, rub into flour until pea-sized crumbles form. Add the egg, and stir until dough forms. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat remaining butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the paprika and onion, and cook, stirring, until onion is soft, about five minutes. And the stock, cauliflower, and carrot, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Using a ½-teaspoon measuring spoon (and a butter knife pusher), portion out and drop all the dumpling dough into the simmering soup. Cook, stirring occasionally, until dumplings are cooked through, about three minutes.

Ladle soup and dumplings into bowls and garnish with parsley.
But we hae meat and we can eat
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 October 2016 at 08:57
Both look great, Brook - the Hungarian soup especially appeals to me.

Thanks for posting!
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