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The Soup Topic (2005–2006)


maggiethecat
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The Al Dente Institute

SEAL OF APPROVAL

of Excellent Threads

I look forward to watching and participating in this one!

Edited by Al_Dente (log)

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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...my favorite type of split pea soup, an austere, pureed, all-veg version from the 1981 Los Angeles Times California Cookbook supposedly based on the famous-pea-soup-restaurant Andersen's recipe.

Oh, this is one of my favorite old-school cookbooks. My mom gave me a copy when I first moved out of the house, and I am continually amazed at how often I still turn to it ... not only for "pea soup andersen's" but for Little Joe's spaghetti and meatballs, El Cholo's chiles rellenos, and a number of other family faves. (It actually has 2 recipes for lentil soup: one from a priest at Our Lady of Malibu parish, and the other from Sportsmen's Lodge!)

A great compendium. Like (the old, unimproved) Sunset mag and its associated cookbooks, there's stuff in there regular Californians and other Westerners actually cook, or maybe cooked. It is, as you say ScorchedP., old-school. There's also the more ecumenical, excellent West Coast Cookbook by Helen Evans Brown.

And, I now strive to start a discussion that will earn:

The Al Dente Institute

SEAL OF APPROVAL

of Excellent Threads

And, Jackal's eGCI class is on the syllabus as assigned reading.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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Couldn't you do two soups a week?  One new 'recipe of the week' one, and one 'use up the leftovers' one?

:rolleyes:

:blink::blink::blink:

How much soup do you think I can eat, woman? :laugh:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I was finishing off a split pea soup today. I had overthinned the remaining lovely 3 day old sludge for lunch. Instead of just reducing it back to the thickness I wanted, I pureed in the remains of an avocado. I had never tried that before and it added a wonderful, billlowy voluptousness to the soup wthout diluting the flavour.

Creamless cream of mushroom tomorrow.

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I love soup! It's my ultimate comfort food - to cook as well as to eat.

Today I made a simple beetroot-cucumber soup: some for dinner tomorrow, some for the freezer.

When I see Jerusalem Artichoke at the market (which does not happen very often) I buy it for soup. Very simple: just sweat cubes of the Jerusalem artichoke in butter with an onion and some potato. Add light stock, boil until done, season with salt and pepper, puree. I think that is my favorite winter soup. The texture is unbelievably velvety and creamy.. the taste subtle and warming..

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My rough list of resolutions is a screed of the usual guilt and fears: Stop smoking.  Make more time for friends. A thousand words a day, day in and day out.  Start shopping around the six pieces I've finished this year, that are sitting in a neat stack on the bookshelf.  Regain my lifetime record of fifty military pushups.  Never let unfolded laundry stack up on the dryer. Pedicures every two weeks.

A fine list, but I can cross off half: it ain't gonna happen.

But I've been thinking about soup.  I don't make it often enough -- maybe once a month.  Soup, in its infinite variety (52 varieties in this exercise,) is the perfect stroll through history, geography, gastromomy, botany and biology. It has the added value of being cheap, nutritious and seasonal. 

I usually have stock in my freezer, thanks to Barbara Kafka and Jacques Pepin.  Jacques for telling us that he puts his meat and veg scraps in a washed out milk carton in the freezer, to be transformed into a delicious and essentially free Bastard Broth. (My name.) And Kafka for urging us to make stock in the microwave ---a third the time and no scum.

Did onion soup last week, split pea in November.  I am perhaps the only person on earth who hasn't made squash/pumpkin soup, so that will be this week's soupe de semaine.  I'm liking Mark Bittman's recipe from The Minimalist Cooks at Home but  I'd love your suggestions, and your experience.

And if you add your favorite suggestions -- Asian, Latin American, Lithuanian or Hungarian, vegan or carnivore --  I'll try to make them all.  Just nothing that requires reading the date on a dime in the depths of the stockpot, caviar garnish or liver.

Off to do pushups. Please tell me if my spine isn't straight.

Funny you should mention Lithuanian... My grandmother, the daughter of two Lithuanian immigrants, passed away almost exactly a year ago at the age of 89. Toward the end of her life she started craving the traditional Lithuanian food that her mother had made her, specifically a sardine soup that she ate as a child.

I don't know the recipe, but she did tell me that her neighbors in her retirement complex came knocking to request that she never make it again. Apparently, you could smell it three buildings away. She said it was delicious, though. Just like my great-grandmother used to make.

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i'm in!

tonight i'll make lentil. fat guy's liquid comment inspired me to use the liquid from last night's pulled/braised pork for some of the broth. i'll add some fresh onion and garlic, celery and carrot, roasted cumin, corriander, chili powder and tomato paste. i'll use my immersion blender to puree some of it before i top with some shredded pork from dinner last night, some chipotle cheddar and cilantro.

maybe a photo, but lentil is hardly the most photogenic of soups.

from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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Soup is my favorite dish, too. I try to make a soup a week, and we eat it once for dinner and then I get to finish off the leftovers during the week.

Some of my favorites:

Chowder - any kind

Avgolemono - with extra lemon

Potato cheese

Veggie beef made with short ribs and broth fortified with red wine

Harira

Senegalese

Pozole

Vichyssoise

Gazpacho - garnished with shrimp and avocado

Chilled cucumber with dill

One my whole family adores from Dean Fearing at The Mansion on Turtle Creek:

Tortilla Soup

3 tbsp. corn oil

2 qts. chicken stock (recipe below)

salt to taste

cayenne pepper to taste

4 corn tortillas, coarsely chopped

1 cooked chicken breast, cut into strips

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 avocado, peeled, seeded & cubed

1 tbsp. chopped fresh epazote (or 1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro)

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1 c. fresh onion purée

3 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips & fried crisp

2 c. fresh tomato purée

1 tbsp. cumin powder

2 tsp. chili powder

2 bay leaves

4 tbsp. canned tomato purée

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté tortillas with garlic and epazote over medium heat until tortillas are soft. Add onion and fresh tomato purée and bring to a boil. Add cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, canned tomato purée, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil again, then reduce heat to simmer. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes. Skim fat from surface, if necessary. Strain and pour into warm soup bowls. Garnish each bowl with an equal portion of chicken breast, avocado, shredded cheese, and crisp tortilla strips. Serve immediately. Serves 8-10

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This is my new absolute favorite soup. It's more like a stew, as the soup braises in the oven, the flavors meld, the soup thickens, and the boneless chicken pieces become meltingly tender. It evolved as an experiment, a variation of coq au vin but using boneless chicken pieces instead of a whole chicken, and white wine, or even no wine.

Just flour and then brown in oil, a pound or so of boneless chicken, cut into bite size pieces, about an inch big. Brown in small batches, and set aside. Into the same pan add 3 medium onions, sliced thin. Saute until almost carmelized. It may seem like a lot of onion, but they reduce, and almost completely dissolve into the soup, adding a rich sweetness. If you want to use white wine, add 2/3 of a cup or so at this point and let it reduce for a few minutes. Add the chicken back in, a few handfuls of chopped carrots, ( I make this super easy by using prewashed baby carrots, and sliced mushrooms) baby new potatoes, 2 or 3 parsnips, chopped (they add a great sweetness), add the carrots, then the mushrooms, and about 2 cups of good chicken broth. A spring of Rosemary and bay leaf and you're set. Cover and bake at 325 for about an hour and a half. The chicken will absolutely melt in your mouth at this point, and will have a nice rich coating.

And of course, it tastes even better the next day.

:biggrin: Pam

Edited by pam claughton (log)
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Al: you are too kind! But how I'm enjoying everyone's stories and recipes, and I'm thinking I just might be making two soups a week. Heck a resolution not only kept, but exceeded!

About microwave stock, and scum abatement: I don't know why it works-- any SSB who knows about the science of microwaves is invited to speculate or pontificate -- but it does. And I don't worry about "impurities," because everything I stash in the stock can in the freezer is wholesome, peeled and clean. I checked Kafka's Microwave Gourmet for her proportions, which are two to one water to flesh and bone. I just eyeball, and I always have mushroom stems and odd bits of celery and onion in there too. Put everything in a large microwaveable bowl (I use a huge English bread basin) cover it with wrap and spin it for twenty to thirty minutes. Remove the wrap --carefully--allow to cool, and strain strain. (I've cooked it uncovered too.)

Anyway:

Soup's On! And lentil it is. (Family note: My redoubtable Nonna-in-law was an Italian-American Signora Malaprop. She gave us "reddishes" for radishes, and invariably called lentils "lentans" and Lentil Soup "Lentan Soup.") I sweated about two cups of chopped aromatics (celery, onion, carrots, garlic) in some olive oil , accompamied by a 2X3X2 inch chunk of salt pork. Washed a pound of lentils, dumped them in with nine cups of water, a bay leaf, a big pinch of thyme, and a dab of rosemary. I won't salt until it's almost ready, because I don't know how much salt the pork will add. In a little while, I'm, going to add some coarsely chopped carrots, because I like the pretty orange chunks, and some diced tomatoes -- per the ineffable Priscilla. After I've pureed most of it with my immersion blender I'll stir in some smashed baked potato (medium-sized) as a binder.

Presentation:

I love Fat Guy's touch of sherry vinegar for an acid finish, but my store is out of it. I think I'm going to reduce a solution of Madeira and red wine vinegar until it's syrupy, swirl pretty patterns atop the soup, add a dab of sour cream, dusting of parsley, coarse pepper.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Beef barley is done. I sauteed a good sized shallot and a garlic clove in a little butter. I dumped in about a quarter cup of brandy and let that cook off. I ended up buying some more mushrooms so they went in next and the lid went on for them to sweat down. I added the barley, water and the mushroom base. Simmer simmer. For the last 15 minutes, the cubed roast went in. It is really beefy and good. the brandy added a nice touch. I just wish it were colder outside.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Maggie, I glad to see you're feeling better and back to making soup.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Maggie, thank you for the info on micro-nuking the stock and I'm glad to see you're feeling better.

Soup's on at the Jensen household as well. We'll be dining on an Asian-flavoured chicken noodle soup. I sweated some onions and garlic, adding cubes of skinless, boneless chicken thighs, a bunch of chicken broth, a bit of vegetable water (saved from steaming bok choy last week), some green beans, peas, corn, a generous bit of miso paste, and some tamari sauce.

I've got a five pound bag of Vietnamese rice noodles (like the noodle in phô) that I will cook separately, dole out into bowls, and ladle the soup over.

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It's as if a higher eG power told me to make gallons of chicken stock and lobster soup this past week. I started off with a lobster bisque. Damn good but not thick enough.

Since life is going to get crazy in a couple of weeks I am trying to stock up the freezer while I can. But before I go crazy I have a couple of questions.

a) Can I freeze soup with noodles in it? I have a couple of containers of chicken soup with stars in my freezer for a friend's son. I'm worried that the noodles will get mushy. Am I totally crazy?

b) Can I freeze cream based soups? There is a mushroom soup in my future but only if I can put some of it up.

BTW, when we run out of ideas I have 262 recipes: The Big Book of Soup and Stews :wink:

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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Maggie, I'm glad you're feeling better. I've got beef stock simmerin on the stove in preparation for any beef based soup you care to work on. I only burned myself a couple of tiny times doing it too. :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I haven't had any problems freezing soups. Noodles seem to come out fine. And even that mushroom soup recipe does well. I was worried that since it is so heavy on the cream and cheese that it might separate but I haven't had it do that yet. I am careful not to let cream soups get to a boil, though, and heat them gently. Freezing soups flat in a zip lock baggie helps with the thawing and it can go into the pot without getting scorched around the edges.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I eat soup everyday for lunch. I think it's partly comforting because my Mother would usually have a pot of soup simmering on the back of the stove when I got home from school on those cold winter days.

One thing I like about soup is you can make it without a lot of fat and add lots of veggies to make it healthy. I make a basic vegetable soup and I can toss in some leftover meat, cheese or cooked beans depending on my mood.

Sandra

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Thank you, mes amis de soupe, for your well-wishes. As wonderful as my soup smells I want fifi's Beef Barley, Marlene's beef stock (wanna compare burn scars at a hundred paces?) jensen's Asian chicken noodle...I feel as if I'm drowning, but in a lovely way. Soup.

Yes, I love that soup can be very lean and healthful. Or it can be More is More, as my humble lentil soup is fast becoming. As well as the Madeira/vinegar sirop, the sour cream, the "parsley" -- turns out I bought cilantro ( tant pis, that's fine) I'm sizzling up cute lardons of salt pork. And I might thin the soup with a little cream.

But I was counting up cost here: I have at least ten servings, and with all the falderol, it's still less than 50 cents a serving. And delicious, nourishing soup can be made for much, much less. (And much, much more, of course, if you're including lovely large clumps of butter-poached lobster garnish.)

I have a couple of ripe Anjou pears and some Stilton, so I'm doing the salad that's become cliche because it's so darn good, nestled in a bed of romaine. I'm just waiting for bread to come out of the oven. I think I might have all the food groups covered.

(About freezing soup: I've never had a problem. Reheat it slowly in a pan, or nuke it -- it will still be the best lunch you ever had.)

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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No Maggie, I'd rather not compare burns. you'd win (I think). but if you saw my stupid kitchen post tonight, you'll understand why I have blisters raising on each of my fingers of my left hand. top and bottom.

In the meantime, soup, we need soup! I made on onion confit that will work very nicely with my new beef stock to make onion soup at some point in the not to distant future. :smile:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I just remembered that someone mentioned posole earlier. I dug this one out of the old RecipeGullet. It is really good. I have been forced to throw a small hunk of brisket or pork on the smoker just to have some to make this since leftover smoked meat is a problem around here. There are gremlins around that eat it!

Barbeque Posole

Submitted by: fifi

Keywords: Main Dish, Barbeque, Mexican

Servings: 4 as a main dish

This is one of those recipes that is definitely more than the sum of its parts. I had something very like this in a restaurant in Queretaro in central Mexico and went nuts. They use up the barbecue from the day before to make this. With my lousy Spanish, I got what I could out of the cook and tried it. This is damn close. Posole as a general term is a Mexican stew made with hominy. This one makes great use of left over barbecue, whatever kind as long as it is good smoked stuff. (Beef brisket and pork are the favorites.) This recipe is really the basics. You can add whatever you like, more and different kinds of peppers or other seasonings to your taste. I suggest you start with the basic and add from there. The amounts are approximate. No need to get too serious about this. I don’t think you can mess it up. It is really amazingly delicious and great on a cold night.

2 T lard, bacon fat or cooking oil

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

4 c coarsely chopped or shredded barbeque meat

4 c beer, broth or water - enough to cover the meat

2 14 oz cans hominy, drained but not rinsed

2 4.5 oz cans diced green chiles

1 tsp dried Mexican oregano, or more to taste

Heat oil and saute onions until they just start to brown. Add garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes. Add the meat. Add liquid until well covered. Simmer slowly for about 30 minutes. Add the hominy and green chiles. Add the oregano, crushing between your fingers. (The cook seemed to think that the oregano was VERY important.) Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. It is important that you don’t add salt and pepper until this point as it depends on what the barbecue has on it. Best to taste first. Simmer about another 15 minutes.

Serve with some or all of the following condiments for the diner to add as desired: fresh lime wedges for spritzing, chopped radish, chopped white onion, chopped fresh chiles, shredded cheese, crumbled queso fresca, sour cream, chopped cilantro, shredded cabbage.

I have served this over traditional frying pan corn bread (not sweet) and gotten rave reviews.

A crisp salad with orange or mango is a great side dish.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Soup as a healing agent.

We have all (all five of us) been sick with colds. To the point of two big boxes of Puffs (at least) every day since Xmas night.

So, I looked forward to today. The kids back in school, Paul at work, me at home alone. Alas and alak, it was to be me at home with three sick kids, a sick me, and Paul at work (accountant, year end or he'd have been home too).

So, I decide to get busy. I had figured pasta for dinner tonight. When I opened the freezer, several chicken carcases (some roasted, some raw) almost crushed my foot. Into a pot with water. To a simmer. Skim, blow nose, skim. (wash hands in between).

Hours later, it is looking good, thanks the addition of a few chicken feet.

Some onions, some celery, sauteed (I'm not a carrot fan unless they are raw).

Pull those odd pieces of chicken (a couple of thighs here, a leg there). Add to pot. Fish them out when done.

Broth is done. Strain. Add those odd veg from the bin and the New Year's Eve tray to soup. And the meat from that odd thigh and leg. Oh, plus a boneless beast that has somehow made its way to my freezer. That 1/3 cup of each of this pasta and that pasta that is hanging around. Some parsley. A bit of leftover cilantro.

It was yummy. I spiked heavily with hot pepper condiment, so by the end of the meal, everyone was "Puffing" heavily. Each of the kids had a long hot tub after this meal, so hopefully, everyone is working this out of the systems.

Hot peppers in soup when one has a cold is a good thing. Hopefully a good enough thing that everyone will feel like going to school and work tomorrow.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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For those of you that are sick, or trying not to get sick, I prescribe this. It's an amazing restorative. My whole family clamors for it when feeling puny.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Prescription Garlic Soup

Recipe By : Adapted by Abra from Gilroy Garlic Festival Cookbook

Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00

Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

1 quart chicken broth

20 cloves garlic (20-30)

5 sprigs parsley -- minced

6 sprigs cilantro -- minced

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 tablespoon mint leaves -- minced

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 lemon

salt to taste

Peel garlic cloves, leaving them whole. Place all ingredients except lemon in a saucepan, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Before serving, juice the lemon and stir juice into the hot soup. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

This smells fantastic while cooking and cures all ills!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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