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Sunday Slow Soupers Archives

November 22, 2008

Announcing: Sunday Slow Soupers

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I am excited to announce a new variation on the Sunday Slow theme - the Sunday Slow Soupers! After all that chilly ice cream, what we needed was some nice hot bowls of soup. And the difference this time will be that instead of cooking from a single cookbook, we are all contributing our favorite recipes.

So the plan is to post the recipe two weeks ahead of time to give people the chance to get the ingredients or to make it ahead of time. Well, somehow the time got away from me and we're starting tomorrow and I'm just now getting around to posting the recipe for tomorrow and the entire schedule, which you can find in the extended entry. I will post the following couple of week's recipes in the next day or so.

Let the soups begin!

Continue reading "Announcing: Sunday Slow Soupers" »

November 23, 2008

Sunday Slow Soupers: Porcini and Chestnut Soup

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Our first soup was selected by Amy of Destination Anywhere. I really can't think of a better soup to start this off. It is absolutely delicious, if not particularly gorgeous. Don't let my photo keep you from making this soup if you're on the fence. Yes, it is a plain brown soup, but it has a rich mushroom flavor and a hint of sweetness from the chestnuts.

I followed Amy's recipe somewhat faithfully. I forgot to get a carrot at the market, so I made mine with 2 stalks of the celery along with the shallots. Also, I used the mixed dried mushrooms that are available at Trader Joe's instead of all porcinis. And the recipe didn't call for any salt, so when I added the pepper, I tasted it and decided that it did need a little salt. I guess the thought of all those Top Chef episodes where the Tom Colicchio kept telling people that their dish didn't have enough salt, has really made an impression on me!

So, this would be a perfect soup to start of Thanksgiving. It is slightly rich and flavorful, but not heavy. I think we are pretty well limited to making it only around the holidays when chestnuts are available — unless we plan ahead and pick an extra jar or two. I've included the recipe again in the extended entry. I highly recommend it.

Continue reading "Sunday Slow Soupers: Porcini and Chestnut Soup" »

December 2, 2008

Sunday Slow Soupers: Mexican Turkey Soup

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Jerry's Mexican Turkey Soup was delicious, even if I did make it with leftover roasted chicken. I also left off the avocado because I didn't happen to have one and I added a little of the adobo sauce that my canned chipotles came in. The sauce is very spicy, so a little was all it needed.

December 6, 2008

Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This is one of my all-time favorite soup recipes. I got the original idea of it from a Silver Palate recipe and now I've been doing variations of it for years. It can easily be made vegetarian or even vegan, but is also quite tasty with the pancetta, butter, etc.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

2 butternut squash, about 2 pounds each (or 1 acorn squash and 1 butternut)
a little butter (or olive oil)

a couple tablespoons diced pancetta (optional)
1 onion, diced
a dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
5-6 cups of chicken (or vegetable) broth
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
dash of freshly ground nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

optional garnish: a little creme fraiche or plain yogurt


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scoop out seeds. In a roasting pan, place the squash with a little pat of butter or a drizzle of olive oil over each piece. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until completely cooked through.

2. In a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, saute the pancetta and onion (or just the onion in some olive oil) until lightly browned. Add some red pepper flakes to taste, if you like a little heat.

3. Scoop the flesh from the roasted squash and add it to the pot. Add 5 cups of vegetable broth and the seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes.

3. Using a hand mini blender, puree the soup until it is smooth and creamy. If it is too thick, add up to a cup more of the broth. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.

4. Serve garnished with with the creme fraiche or yogurt and an extra dash of freshly ground pepper.

Serves at least 6

Note: can be successfully doubled and can be made ahead of time and reheated just before serving.

December 7, 2008

Sunday Slow Soupers: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

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This week's Sunday Slow Soupers was my selection of Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. As I said in the previous entry, this is one of my favorite soups. There is something about the sweet and creamy nature of butternut squash that makes it irresistible to me. I love pumpkin or squash filled ravioli, and I love roasted squash with pasta or in all sorts of dishes. But most of all I love pureed squash soups. And this one is pure comfort food.

I think this is a good recipe, but like many soup recipes your actual results may vary. After making this again last night and also hearing some feedback from the rest of group, I realized that the seasoning really has to be to taste. Every squash is different, some need more seasoning than others. I find that the sweeter the squash, the more I need to add salt to balance it out. And the blander the squash, the more I need to add pepper, ginger and nutmeg. The flavor of your chicken or vegetable broth is also a huge factor in how much seasoning you need.

Luckily it is no real hardship to grab a spoon and taste it toward the end of the cooking time. Just be careful not to burn your tongue and wash your spoon or grab a new one before resampling — probably obvious to everyone reading this, but it seems like Tom Colicchio has to remind the Top Chefs of this every season!

One more practical tip that a couple people mentioned, roast the squash the day before you plan to make the soup. Since the squash takes so long in the oven, I think it's a great idea to do it ahead of time. It would make this a really simple soup to do for a dinner party. I have also served it as the first course to a Thanksgiving dinner and, in that case, I made the whole soup the day before and just reheated it.

If you are serving it for a fancy dinner, you could try some fancier garnishes. The creme fraiche and pepper is all very fine for eating while sitting on the couch watching a movie, but there could be some other options. How about crisp fried sage leaves and a swirly pattern of really good olive oil? Or how about a spicy chipotle cream with some carmelized onions? Or add a little more of the fried pancetta along with a little apple puree. There are a lot of delicious possibilities, so you just might want to keep this soup in your roster.

December 13, 2008

Recipe: Italian Wedding Soup

Here this week's recipe pick from Terry. She writes:

"I was originally going to do Escarole and Meatball soup, but decided to switch to Italian Wedding instead, although they are pretty close, but not entirely.

The list of ingredients looks a little long, but it's really not that many. As many or some of you know, I am lactose-intolerant, and I made this whole soup with soy cheeses, when dairy is called for. I also used turkey for my meatballs, but I think you could and should use whatever meat you enjoy for your soup. This soup serves 10. For us, that = leftovers! (I've had this recipe for a while; I believe it was from a magazine clipping, but I can't remember!)"

Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs:

2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound ground turkey (or ground meat of choice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
spices: 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt

Mix everything together, and roll into 1″ balls. Saute in the olive oil until lightly browned on the outside. Set aside.

Soup ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 cloves minced garlic
3 diced strips of turkey bacon (or regular bacon)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Marsala wine
2 quarts of chicken stock
1 cup orzo
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 fresh leaves of basil, chopped
3 cups of arugula
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano for garnish

Saute the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic in large soup pot for 5 - 6 minutes. Add the turkey bacon and the balsamic vinegar, and let all the flavors mix and blend.

Add the Marsala and let this cook down a little. When it is almost evaporated, add the chicken stock, orzo, meatballs, and oregano. Simmer this for about 15 minutes, til the orzo is soft.

Add the basil and arugula and cook for about 1 more minute. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmigiano for garnish.

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to In and Out of the Garden: A Blog in the Sunday Slow Soupers category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Sunday Slow Scoopers is the previous category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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