Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Warm Soup on a Cold Day

It's supposed to be spring here in CNY but the weather has turned regrettably cold, so I thought I'd share some recipes to add to everyone's  comfort food arsenal. There are 2 here that are veggie friendly. I've made all but the Squash and Pepper soup specifically, though I have made a similar recipe that was very good.

Yellow Squash & Bell Pepper Soup

1/4 C chopped onion                                                                 1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 TBS unsalted butter                                                                1 C low salt chicken broth
1 large yellow bell pepper, thin sliced (about 1 1/2 C)                 2 TBS chopped fresh coriander
3/4 lb yellow summer squash, sliced thin crosswise (about 3 C)

In a large skillet cook onion in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add bell pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until pepper is softened, about 5 min. Stir in squash and garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender, about 10 min. Stir in broth and bring mixture to a simmer. In a blender puree soup until smooth and transfer to a saucepan. Cook soup over moderate heat until just heated through, stirring in enough water to thin to desired consistency, and season with salt and pepper.
Serve soup sprinkled with coriander.

Corn Chowder

1 Potato, peeled & cubed                 2 C Milk
1 Onion, chopped                                    2 TBS Butter
1 C water                                         1 - 16 oz can Cream Corn
Salt & Pepper                                  1 Egg
4-8 slices Bacon                                         Cubed Cooked Ham (optional)

Cook bacon til crisp. Cool & crumble, set aside. Simmer potato & onion in water til potato is tender. Stir in corn, milk, butter, ham, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Beat egg in a small dish. Add some of the hot chowder to temper, stir well & return to pot. Re-heat the chowder for a minute or two, but dont let it boil. Ladle into bowls & garnish with bacon

Recipe can (and should!) be doubled, and meat can be omitted if desired.

French Onion Soup

One of my favorite and easiest soups to make  - and very satisfying

4 C Beef broth
5 - 6 large Sweet Onions (Like Vidalias)
Fresh Thyme
Gruyere/ Fontina/ Some kind of melty cheese
Crusty bread

Chop the onions & a few sprigs of fresh thyme & saute in a pan. Add Beef broth and simmer (15-20 min?).
Ladle into crocks & top with slices or cubes of crusty bread and slices of Fontina cheese. Pop them in the broiler for about 5 min or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

You could sub the beef broth with vegetable stock, but I haven't tried it.

Apple Cheddar Soup

Bad photograph, but I think it's delicious soup.

1/2 C fine chopped onion                                                    2 C apple cider
1 TBS butter                                                                      1/2 C milk
2 med baking potatoes, peeled & diced                              1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp snipped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried & crushed)        1 med cooking apple, peeled & coarse chopped
Dash cayenne                                                                     4 oz grated sharp cheddar
2 TBS flour                                                                        Green Peppercorns (optional)
fresh apple slices

In a large saucepan cook onion in butter over medium heat until tender. Stir in potatoes, cider, thyme, salt and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the chopped apple & simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender. In a small bowl combine milk and flour, then stir into soup. Cook and stir until bubbly. Slowly add in cheese, whisking until cheese is melted. Divide among 4-6 bowls, top with apple slice & pepper corns (if using)

And as a bonus, I'm going to put in one more, from an older swap that was for Fall themed recipes -

Pumpkin Soup with Chili-Cran-Apple Relish

This is a Rachael Ray recipe from her magazine. I made it the first time because my boyfriend had made a squash and sausage soup and I wanted to find a recipe to make myself. This came out really well (in my opinion - if you dont like squash you might not like it), and I think the relish for the top is a great finisher. You could always leave out the relish and the sausage and kick up the spice in the soup if you didn't want to go all out.

1 TBS olive oil, 1 turn of the pan                                     2 tsp poultry seasoning
2 TBS butter                                                                  1 tsp hot sauce/ to taste
1 fresh bay leaf                                                               6 C chicken stock
2 ribs celery, fine chopped                                         1 - 28 oz can pumpkin puree
1 medium yellow onion, fine chopped                              2 C Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper                                                              1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

Heat a medium soup pot over med to med-high heat. Add oil and melt butter. Add bay leaf, celery, and onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook 6-7 minutes til tender. Add flour, poultry seasoning & hot sauce, then cook flour 1 min. Whisk in chicken stock and bring liquid to a bubble. Whisk in pumpkin in large spoonfuls to incorporate it into the broth. Simmer soup 10 minutes to thicken it a bit, then add cream & nutmeg.

While soup cooks, assemble the relish by combining these ingredients in a bowl:
1/4 red onion, fine chopped                                            1 tsp chili powder
1 crisp Macintosh apple, chopped                                   2 tsp honey
2 TBS lemon juice                                                          1/2 tsp cinnamon.
1/2 C dried cranberries, chopped

Adjust seasonings in soup to tast and serve in shallow bowls with a few spoonfuls of relish.