12.23.2009

A Soup a Day


I've been on a soup making kick lately. It all started because I wanted to make authentic Italian food and there are a lot of soups. I made a curried butternut squash soup which upon reading the intro is not actually Italian. The author included it because " it is a favorite of mine". The book is called the New Italian Cooking. I guess this is from the "new" part.

It was delicious but I still hadn't made an authentic Italian soup, so I picked a Minestrone. I made a vegetarian version from Genovese, but the broth was missing something.

So then I decided to make Carrot Ginger Soup from PeerTrainer. However, she doesn't have the recipe written out, it's all in youtube videos that are  long and unedited. So I wrote up the recipe here: Carrot and Ginger Soup.  The PeerTrainer lady says it's her favorite soup of all time. I did not like it at first so I added a lot more ginger and onions and it's growing on me. The spice is nice and it is very healthy.

The lady does points out you have to replace old not so healthy recipes with healthy recipes or you won't be able to successfully change your diet. I believe this to be true. I'm working on developing a set of recipes that fit into my new food mantra. After processing the carrot ginger soup in four batches through my food processer, it reconfirmed my desire for an immersion blender.

Then Miranda posted about split pea soup over on her blog An Austin Homestead. I love yellow split peas. I used to make them for us all the time when we lived in Panama. They taste so rich and buttery. So I updated my recipe and made a healthier version with no oil and some chard and carrots thrown in. The yellow split pea soup with carrots and chard might be my favorite soup I've made so far.

Soup has a lot of things going for it:
  • Can be made in large batches
  • Adaptable, flexible recipes 
  • Can mix in lots of healthy vegetables
  •  Doesn't have to have meat
  • Filling and warm on a winter's night
  • Freezes and reheats well
What's your favorite soup?

6 comments:

  1. here's a recipe for the peanut stew that you almost got to try:
    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/THE-GREAT-DANE-INNER-WARMTH-PEANUT-STEW-1236084

    it is a LOT of ginger and garlic, but trust me, it is worth it. you can also add some hot pepper if you'd like.
    -------
    and here is the hungarian soup that we just had as a pre-christmas treat:

    Jókai Bean Soup
    (Hungarian: Jókai bableves)

    * 7 oz (200 g) dry beans (pinto)
    * 8 ¾ oz (250 g) smoked pork hock (boned)
    * 1-2 bay leaves
    * 1 medium carrot, cut in small cubes
    * 1 medium parsnip, cut in small cubes
    * 1 slice celeriac, cut in small cubes
    * 8 ¾ oz (250 g) smoked sausage
    * ¾ oz (20 g) lard
    * 1 ½ oz (40 g) flour
    * 1 small onion, finely chopped
    * 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    * ½ teaspoon paprika [we actually put in much more than this. a mixture of hot and sweet paprika works nicely]
    * white vinegar, to taste
    * ½ - ¾ cup (1-2 dl) sour cream
    * ½ bunch parsley, chopped

    Soak the bean in lukewarm water overnight, also soak the hock if necessary to take away salty taste. Begin cooking the beans, the hock, and the bay leaves in 1 ½ quart (1 ½ liters) cold water (usually, the salty taste of smoked hock makes the addition of salt unnecessary).

    When the beans and meat are tender, add the cubed vegetables and the sausage, and simmer, adding water to the level where it began (you can tell by the residue line that remains).

    After 15 minutes remove the cooked meat and sausage.

    Make a lightly browned roux from the lard and flour flavor with onion, garlic and paprika and stir in the soup. Simmer for 10 minutes.

    Flavor the soup with a little vinegar and the sour cream and simmer for a short time, about 3 minutes.

    Cut the smoked hock into small pieces, slice the sausage and put them in the simmering soup. Top with parsley and sour cream.

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  2. Mmm. I am also on a soup kick. I made the BEST tortilla soup last night. I even made it vegetarian and usually I hate vegetarian crap. I should write down what i did, I suppose.

    Just realized that this is no longer my Jeff Update. Not even a goodbye? I need some closure, Jeff.

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  3. Laura - Thanks for the recipe! I do want to try this. I will add it to the soup queue.

    Marigold - I'm very curious how you made a veggie tortilla soup, I think of it as always being chicken and tortilla soup.

    And yes, Jeff gets no send off. This blog has had many incarnations. Jeff's welcome to be a guest blogger whenever he likes ;).

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  4. Sad, I didn't even know I was kicked off until I read your comment.

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  5. There was supposed to be chicken, but when I opened up my left-over chicken to toss in, it had gone bad. So I made it just the same without the chicken.
    Let's see--Melted about 3-4 Tbs of butter in the bottom of a big pot and threw in half of an onion, chopped, and 3 cloves of garlic. Stir to coat then let it sit there until the onions start to brown/blacken a bit. Then threw in 3 chopped celery stalks and cook for a couple of minutes. Then a can of corn, drained, a can of black beans, drained, and a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, not drained. Then two cans full of water and two packets of reduced sodium chicken broth concentrate (and just realized that makes it not vegetarian--I'm sure veggie broth would work just as well) Added spices-salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, until it tastes good, and simmer for ten minutes or so. Then pour over tortilla chips and top with loads of cheddar cheese.
    The End!

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  6. Yes, get an immersion blender! you will practically want to make love to it, though that would be highly dangerous. I know tomorrow's christmas, but you should put that on your christmas list anyway, santa might come out of the woodwork for you

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