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Sunday, December 22, 2013

SOUPS HEARTY ENOUGH FOR A MAIN COURSE

CHEDDAR CORN CHOWDER

Ingredients: 1/2 pound bacon, cut into pieces (6-8 per slice); 1/4 cup regular olive oil 6 cups yellow onions, finely chopped; 4 tablespoons butter; 1/2 cup all-purpose flour; 2 teaspoons salt; 1 teaspoon pepper; 1/2 tsp turmeric; 12 cups chicken stock; 6 cups diced potatoes (skins can stay on); 10 cups corn (about 3 pounds of frozen corn); 2 cups half-and-half; 1/2 pound white Cheddar cheese, grated.

Preparation: In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Reserve it to use for topping the finished soup. Take the bacon drippings and add the olive oil and heat to medium. Add onions and butter and cook until onions are translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and turmeric and cook for several minutes. Add chicken stock and diced potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the corn, half-and-half and cheese; cook until cheese is melted. Garnish with bacon.

POTATO LEEK SOUP

Ingredients: 8 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces; 6 leeks, cleaned, trimmed, chopped; 3 large baking potatoes, cleaned, peeled, cut into pieces; Kosher salt; coarse ground pepper; pinch of crushed red pepper (optional); 48 ounces chicken broth; 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half.

Preparation: In a large dutch oven, cook bacon over low-medium heat to render fat, remove from pan before crisp. Add leeks, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper into bacon fat, saute until soft. Add potatoes. Pour in chicken broth and simmer, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. While soup is cooking finish crisping bacon in a skillet or microwave. Using an immersion blender, carefully puree soup until smooth. Add cream and blend well. Serve immediately with crisp bacon on top.

TUSCAN VEGETABLE AND BREAD SOUP

Ingredients: 3 (15.5-oz.) cans cannellini beans; 4 cups cubed sourdough bread, stale; 3/4 cups olive oil; 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 medium onions); 1 cup chopped carrots; 1 cup chopped celery; 3 tablespoons minced garlic; 1 tablespoon kosher salt; 2 tablespoons black pepper; 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes; 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes; 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes in juice; 4 cups chopped kale (1 bunch); 4 cups chopped green cabbage; 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil; 2 cups diced red skinned potatoes; 6 cups chicken broth; 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Preparation: Heat oil in heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender. Add garlic; cook 2-to-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, kale, cabbage, and basil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes. Puree 1 can of beans (with liquid) in food processor until smooth. Add pureed beans, 2 remaining cans of beans (with liquid), potatoes, and chicken broth to soup pot. Simmer over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add bread to soup and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Serve soup in large bowls and top evenly with Parmesan cheese.

WHITE BEAN BACON AND SPINACH SOUP

Ingredients: 1/4 pound chopped bacon; 2 (16-oz.) cans white beans; 1 (12-oz.) package fresh spinach; 2 heads garlic; 1 tablespoon olive oil; 1/2 cup chopped carrots; 2 cups chopped red onion; 4 cloves garlic, minced; 1 cup chopped celery; 1 teaspoon dried rosemary; 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes; 1 teaspoon kosher salt; 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth; 1 cup diced tomatoes; 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.

Preparation: Break apart garlic into cloves, peel, and toss in olive oil. Place in oven-proof baking dish and cover with foil. Roast in preheated 350°F oven for 30-to-40 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven, place garlic in bowl and mash with fork to puree, reserve. In large soup pot cook bacon over medium-low heat until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Add carrots, onion, garlic, celery, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5-to-10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add roasted garlic puree, white beans, and chicken broth; bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Place 2 cups soup in blender or food processor and puree until smooth; add to soup pot. Stir in spinach and chopped tomatoes. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish evenly with Parmesan cheese.

CURRY GINGER SQUASH SOUP

Add curry and ginger to squash soup and a new classic is born.

MUSHROOM BARLEY SOUP

Just like grandma used to make it, only better, this classic mushroom barley soup will stick to your bones.

TOMATO STELLINE AND ESCAROLE SOUP WITH ANCHOVY TOAST

Stelline pasta and crispy anchovy toast make this tomato soup a complete meal.

CREAMY WILD MUSHROOM SOUP  

With Cremini and Shitaki varieties, this soup will make a mushroom lover out of you if you're not already.

ROASTED FENNEL AND CARROT SOUP

This soup gets thumbs up for two reasons: carrots are loaded with nutritional benefits and this roasted fennel and carrot soup recipe is gluten free.


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