Archive | Soup

STRAWBERRY GAZPACHO

strawberryGazpacho

1 (6-inch) piece of baguette, crust removed
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, 2 tablespoons finely diced, the remaining chopped
2 pounds strawberries, hulled, 2 tablespoons finely diced, the remaining chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, 2 tablespoons finely diced, the remaining chopped
1 large green bell pepper, 2 tablespoons finely diced, the remaining chopped
1/2 medium fennel bulb, 2 tablespoons finely diced, the remaining thinly sliced
1and 1/2 cups sparkling mineral water
3 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup basil leaves, loosely packed
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
A few dashes of hot sauce, or to your taste
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Scatter the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, or until crisp. Allow to cool.

In a large bowl, combine chopped vegetables and other remaining ingredients except finely diced vegetables and olive oil. Combine diced vegetables and refrigerate until service.

Working in batches purée chopped vegetable mixture in blender or food processor. Strain gazpacho through a fine sieve set over another large bowl. Refrigerate until chilled. Season the gazpacho with more salt, pepper and hot sauce if needed. Spoon the diced mixture into shallow soup bowls and ladle the gazpacho on top.

Drizzle each bowl of soup with olive oil and serve. Storage tip: To get a little more love from your berries, we recommend washing them in a 3–1 water to vinegar solution.

Allow berries to rest in solution for about 10 minutes. Pour into a colander and rinse well. Place berries on a sheet pan, preferably on a draining rack, and allow berries to dry well. Pat dry as necessary. A salad spinner lined with paper towels works well too. Store berries, refrigerated, in layers of paper towels in a zip top bag only partially closed to allow moisture to escape. The white vinegar solution destroys bacteria and mold spores, increasing the life of the berry by 2–3 times.

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GREEN PEA AND ASPARAGUS BISQUE WITH CHIVE OIL

grnPeaBisque

Serves 6

This soup is inspired by a delicious version served by Steven Howard at the divine KoKoa in Brookside, which closed many years ago. During warmer weather, we serve the soup both warm and chilled, drizzled with spicy chive oil. For a lower-fat option, substitute buttermilk for the cream and serve the soup cold. In the winter, serve it warm with a generous drizzle of truffle oil.

1 pound green asparagus
1 cup olive oil
1 bunch chives
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek (tender part only), sliced lengthwise then crosswise into ¼-inch pieces
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 pound shelled fresh, young peas (or frozen peas, thawed)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
Whipped cream or sour cream, for serving
A small handful fresh, young pea-vine shoots, for serving

Trim and discard tough woody ends from asparagus. Cut stalks into 1-inch pieces and set aside.

Meanwhile, pour olive oil in a blender and add chopped chives. Blend until well combined. Pour oil through a cheesecloth lined strainer into a bowl, discarding any solid chives. The oil will keep, refrigerated, for a few weeks.

Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add stock and thyme and bring to a gentle simmer. Add asparagus and peas and cook until tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, discard thyme sprigs, season well with salt and pepper and purée in batches until smooth. Transfer soup to a clean pot, stir in cream and heat until warmed through. Serve immediately (or chill until ready to serve), topped with whipped or sour cream, pea shoots and chive oil.

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OKRA, CHICKEN AND ANDOUILLE GUMBO

okraGumbo

Makes 4–5 quarts

Try to resist the urge to eat your gumbo right away. Many cooks let their gumbo rest in the refrigerator overnight and then put it back on the stove the next day—it definitely benefits from a little rest period. This recipe makes a lot, but it freezes well. So, if you are going to take the time to tend the roux, you might as well make enough for a great dinner, plus a good amount to freeze for later.

FOR THE STOCK:

1 (3½-pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces if desired
1 large onion, quartered
2 stalks celery, halved
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
2 medium carrots, halved
2 sprigs thyme

Bring the chicken, onion, celery, peppercorns, bay, carrots, thyme and 14 cups of water to a boil in a large stockpot. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked chicken to a plate to cool. Strain the stock and skim off any excess fat that accumulates at the top. Set aside 12 cups of stock for the gumbo. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and discard; shred the chicken and set it aside or chill until ready to use.

DO AHEAD: Stock can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool, then cover and chill, or freeze up to 3 months. Let meat cool completely, then chill for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.

FOR THE GUMBO:

1¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound andouille sausage, roughly chopped
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 yellow onions, chopped
3 tablespoons minced garlic
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 jalapeño, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1½ teaspoons dark chile powder
1½ teaspoons filé powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
12 cups chicken stock
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
16 ounces frozen, sliced okra
Kosher salt
Cooked white rice, for serving
Sliced green onions, for serving
Tabasco or other hot sauce, for serving

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot (big enough to hold 5 quarts) over medium-high heat. Cook andouille until fat renders, 8–10 minutes; transfer sausage to the plate with the chicken. Add the remaining 1¼ cups oil and heat until hot and shimmering. Sprinkle the flour over the oil, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook, whisking often, until the roux is dark brown (it should resemble melted milk chocolate), 1 to 1½ hours (or even up to 2 hours).

Add onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper, jalapeño, thyme, chile powder, filé, cayenne, white pepper, paprika and black pepper to the roux, stirring to coat the vegetables. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Slowly stir in the reserved chicken stock, mixing well to dissolve the roux. Bring to a boil and stir in tomatoes, okra and reserved chicken and andouille. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve, topped with a generous scoop of rice and a sprinkling of green onions.

 

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RED CURRY PUMPKIN SOUP

redCurryPumpkinSoup

This recipe makes a large amount of soup but it perfectly utilizes 1 average Sugar Pie pumpkin. Feed a crowd, give to friends or freeze for later. Use any left over soup as a sauce to spice up the average stir-fry. You can certainly get ambitious and make your own curry paste, but the prepared version available at your market works just fine.

Yields 1 gallon

About 5 pounds Sugar Pie pumpkin (also called “pie pumpkins” or “pumpkin pie squash”)
Olive oil
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
3 ounces shallots, finely chopped
1 heaping tablespoon grated ginger, preferably on a micro-plane
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons prepared red curry paste
2 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk
2 quarts chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
Salt and pepper
Toasted pepitas and plain yogurt for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°. Halve pumpkin and remove seeds* and pulp.

Drizzle pumpkin cavity with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast, flesh side down, for about 30 minutes or until flesh is very soft and skin peels away easily. Remove from oven. Remove skin and discard. Set pumpkin flesh aside.

While the pumpkin is roasting:

Heat coconut oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot (about 5 quarts) until shimmering. Add shallots and a dash of salt and cook until soft.

Add ginger, garlic and curry paste and cook 2–3 minutes. Do not brown garlic. Add coconut milk, stock, fish sauce and roasted pumpkin.

Bring to a simmer and allow to cook 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, purée soup until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a sprinkling of toasted pepitas and a swirl of yogurt.

* Don’t discard those seeds! Instead, toss them in olive oil with a little salt and roast them at 400° until golden brown. They make a great snack as well as garnish for your soup.

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VELVETY CAULIFLOWER SOUP WITH TRUFFLED RYE CROUTONS

velvetCauliSoup

Many people consider the humble cauliflower as a lowly second choice…or worse, don’t even consider it at all. My hope for the holidays is to elevate this down-to-earth member of the brassica family to a spot worthy of even the fanciest holiday table. This rich soup serves as a gorgeous and delicious first course at any holiday feast, yet would also fare nicely served in teacups at a casual holiday open house. I have also added grated white cheddar and baked it with pasta as a cheese sauce.

Serves 4 to 6 as a first course

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds), chopped
2 bay leaves
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups heavy cream
6 ounces cubed pancetta or thick-sliced bacon
2 cups cubed day-old rye bread
¼ cup chopped herbs, such as sage, parsley and thyme
Truffle oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Ground white pepper, to taste

Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, about 5 minutes—take care not to brown them. Add cauliflower, bay leaves, chicken stock and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook at a gentle simmer until cauliflower is very tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, sauté pancetta over moderate heat until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain. Add bread cubes to remaining fat in the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the cubes are crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer cubes to a bowl, add pancetta and chopped herbs, drizzle with a little bit of truffle oil and add a sprinkling of salt and black pepper. Toss to combine and set aside until ready to serve.

Purée cauliflower mixture in batches, in a blender or food processor, until smooth. Pour soup into a clean pot and set over low heat. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Ladle soup into serving bowls, sprinkle with bread cube mixture and drizzle with more truffle oil (or olive oil if desired). Serve immediately.

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