Soup Round Up IV

I haven’t been cooking much lately. It’s been too beautiful outside to not use the BBQ and my go to meals have been burgers and steak. These are my summer staples but unfortunately, they are not too exciting for blogging purposes. I have however, returned to making soups for lunch. I had an epiphany the other day where I thought “I eat other warm foods throughout the summer – why not continue eating soup?” Duh. Below are 6 soup recipes I have tried in the past few weeks and what I thought of them.

1. Chilled Potato Leek

I am still trying to figure out my thoughts about chilled soup. This was the first one I made and it was a good introduction to chilled soups. It is silky and smooth and has a subtle flavour, not jarring enough to confuse your palate with contrasting flavours and temperatures.

4 leeks, white parts only, chopped
4 large green onions, white part only, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1 lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
½ Tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and ground white pepper
2 Tbsp minced chives

In a large, heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat, combine the leeks, the green onion, and 1/2 cup of the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables have wilted and begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the ptoatoes and remaining 2 ½ cups broth, cover, and cook until the vegetables are very soft, 25-30 minutes. Let for for 15 minutes. Stir in the butter.

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender. Return to the pot. Stir in 1/4 tsp salt and season with pepper. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, 3-4 hours or up to overnight. The soup wil thicken and become very creamy., Serve, garnished with the chives.

2. Curried Carrot Purée

I loved, loved, loved this soup! It is one of my favourites from my trusty Williams-Sononma cookbook. It can be served chilled or warm, making it the perfect soup for the early summer when randomly cool days surprise us. The flavours are reminiscent of autumn in a way that makes you savour and appreciate our seemingly fleeting summers. I plan to make this soup all through the summer into the long hot days of September and October and you should too!

1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large shallot
½ lbs carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 tsp curry powder
6 cups of chicken broth
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large, heavy pot, warm the 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, curry powder, and broth. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the orange juice. Let cool slightly.

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper. This soup can be served warm or chilled. To serve warm, return to the pot and gently warm over medium heat. To serve chilled, let cool, transfer to a covered container, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight. Serve, drizzled with oil.

3. Spinach and Leek Soup

This is one of the most intensely green things I have ever eaten. If you want to feel like Popeye, eat this soup. It is rich with garden freshness and sweet onion flavours. It doesn’t make a huge batch of soup so this is the perfect soup to make when you need lunches for only a day or two.

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, white and pale green parts, chopped
½ tsp grated nutmeg
½ cups vegetable broth
2 large brunches spinach, tough stems removed
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter with the oil over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and the nutmeg and sauté until the leeks are softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the spinach and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender. Return to the pot, add the cream, and bring just to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

4. Simple Asparagus Soup

I did not like this soup at all. Asaparagus is one of my favourite vegetables and unfortunately, I live with someone who does not like it which means I rarely get to eat it. I thought a soup that masked the taste and texture of asparagus would be the perfect thing to eat. Maybe it was a little too perfect because GC loved this soup and I hated it. The problem lay in how much zest and lemon juice I used. I followed the recipe but that is too much lemon flavour. It results in a bitter tart soup that only tastes of lemon and not much else.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves glaric, minced
3 cups chicken broth
2 lbs asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1é2-inch pieces
2 Tbsp heavy cream
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large, heavy pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender. Return to the pot, add the cream, and bring just to a boil. Turn the heat off and stir in the lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

5. Cucumer-Dill Soup

Another chilled soup to ease my mouth into this way of eating soup. The texture of cucumber is slightly mealy and when blended, this is the texture that shines through. It was completely impossible to get this soup silky smooth and it was lumpy. I didn’t leave the chunks of cucumber in the soup because this was not a texture I was looking for. Texture and consistency aside, this soup had great flavour. It was cool and refreshing, with a hint of bite like a perfectly mixed gin and tonic. This mixture would make a good chilled salad and cucumber added to a gin and tonic is just delicious.

3 English cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeded
1 cup Greek-style or thick, whole-milk plain yogurt
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 green onions, white and tender green parts, chopped
3 Tbsp chopped dill
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp caraway seeds, crushed
Salt and ground white pepper
1 cup vegetable broth
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Coarsely chop 5 of the cucumber halves and transfer to a large bowl. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, green onions, dill, garlic, caraway seed, 1 tsp salt, and 1é4 tsp white pepper. Stir to combine, cover, and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to blend the flavours. Dice the remaining cucumer half and set aside.

Working in batches, purée the cucumber-yogurt mixture in a blender. With the machine running, slowly add the broth and purée until fully incorporated. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.

Just before serving, stir in the diced cucumer and oil. Pour the soup into wide-mouthed glasses and serve.

6. Roasted Red Pepper Purée with Spicy Corn Salsa

I made this soup on Thursday night and haven’t yet tasted it! GC took some to work and said it was yummy but that the salsa was too hot for his tastes. This soup is incredibly easy to make because the main source of flavour is already done for you: it uses jarred roasted red peppers. You can obviously make your own but who wants to turn on the oven in the summer? Turning on the stove is bad enough.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar (24 oz/750 g) roased red bell peppers
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp sour cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp mined jalapeño chile
1 Tbsp thinly sliced green onion, white and tender green parts
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large, heavy pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted peppers and ptoato, stir to coat, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender or food processor. Return to the pot, stir in the sour cream, and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, to make the salsa, melt the butter in a small frying pan over high heat. Add the jalapeño and green onion and cook, stirring constantly, until the butter begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the corn kernels, stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the soup, topped with the corn salsa.

Curried Cream of Celery Soup

The weather is randomly cold again which means I am making soup constantly. I am still making the slow transition into chilled soup and wrapping my head around them. Until I am completely comfortable with this idea, pharmacy warm soups will make an appearance on this blog. A few weeks ago I made curried cream of celery soup.

photo 1(1)This is a combination of flavours and spices that I never would have thought of. The soup is thick and completely infused with rich, rx curry flavour. It is the perfect soup to have on a cold, stormy day.

Recipe is below the cut – happy munching!

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Leek & Potato Soup with Blue Cheese

Another recipe from my favourite book, recipe Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day. This time it is the Potato and Leek Soup with Blue Cheese from January 28.

This is a great recipe that takes your standard potato-leek soup to the next level. The soup is thick from the starchy potatoes and creamy from the little bit of blue cheese. The leeks give the soup that subtle onion flavour that adds a bit of heat and freshness to the soup. The soup will look absolutely revolting once it is done, discount resembling a Dickensian sludge. But unlike that sludge, treat it is absolutely delicious and worth making again.

Recipe is below the cut – happy munching!

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Broccoli Leek Soup

Today you get something special: a peek into what Taste Buddies would be like if GC wrote this blog. Last week GC made a delicious broccoli leek soup (Williams-Sonoma – March 5) because I didn’t have time to during the week. As you will see, GC is much more deligent about his cooking and blogging – he photographed every step of the process.

IMG_5601This soup was delicious. The soup retains the texture of the broccoli florets and has subtle undertones of leek. Leeks are a great alternative to onion as they have the same onion flavour, but are sweeter and fresher, a nice mix between green onion and yellow onion.

The garlic croutons add a nice crunch but quickly dissolve into the soup. The sour cream and chives taste fresh and cool, tasting and reminding you of spring. This is the perfect soup to usher in the start of spring and I want to thank GC for doing such an amazing and delicious job!

Recipe and photos are below the cut – happy munching!

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Soup Round Up II

Another cold day, tadalafil another round up of the soups I have made in the past few weeks. 4 recipes are from the Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day cookbook, pilule the other is from Chef Michael Smith.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup – January 23 – why eat broccoli soup when you can eat soup with cheese in it? Exactly. This soup still had a strong garden flavour from the broccoli but had tons of creaminess from the cheese. This will likely not become a staple in our house but when I am craving broccoli I will turn to this recipe.

photo 1(2)

Cauliflower Roasted Garlic Soup – January 3- this soup was delicious but looked like something out of a Charles Dickens novel, which is why I did not bother to take a picture of it. Coworkers thought I was eating oatmeal. It was gray and sludgy but you need to look past this and enjoy! The strong cauliflower flavour is accented by the rich roasted garlic flavour. The garlic is slightly caramelized and sweet. By roasting the garlic for 45 minutes in the oven, all of the deep-rooted flavours ooze out. My kitchen smelt amazing after this  and could ward off vampires for days to come.

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup – January 10 – why ever use canned chicken noodle soup again when this is so easy? I baked the chicken in the oven for about 20 minutes until it was juicy and cooked through. Then slightly brown the vegetables, toss in the chicken, broth and noodles and wait. It is that easy. The noodles will continue to absorb the broth so you will need to add more the longer the soup sits.photo 4(2)

photo 5French Onion Soup – January 2 – I finally used my 25th birthday gift from GC: French onion soup bowls from Crate & Barrel. This recipe also made me realize something I desperately need for my kitchen: a scale. This recipe calls for 2 ½ lbs of onion but I had to guess and use all the remaining onions I had. A scale would also be good for all the cookbooks I have bought over the years that turn out to be British and use weights as opposed to measurements.

photo 3(2)The most time consuming part of this soup is caramelizing the onions but it is worth it. The onions are sweet and tender delicately floating beneath a sturdy bed of crusty bed and mounds of stringy, Swiss cheese. This soup is my idea of comfort food: warm, flavourful and cheese.

Michael Smith’s Old Fashioned Beef Stew – I like this recipe better than any of the beef stews I have made from my trusty Williams-Sonoma cookbook. The stew is thicker and has a huge range of flavours from the combinations of vegetables (parsnips, carrots, celery, potatoes, onions and peas) seasonings (rosemary, and bay leaf) and of course, red wine. This stew is substantial and filling, the perfect lunch on a cold, February day.

Recipes for the first 4 soups are below the cut. Happy munching and slurping!

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Soup, soup, soup and more soup

We all know that the weather is getting colder, icier and snowier and therefore, you need more soup recipes. Below are four more soup recipes to help you get through winter (of course, all from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day).

The Roasted Squash soup is a different way to make your traditional butternut squash soup: instead of browning the vegetables in the pot you roast them first. This brings out a stronger squash flavour and retains the natural fibrous texture of the squash.

The Vegetable Barley soup is a great way to use up vegetables in your fridge and is hearty. I officially love barley and would like to make more soups with barley.

photo 1The Broccoli soup with Parmesan-Lemon Frico. Broccoli and cheese, does it get much better than that? I didn’t make the parmesan-lemon frico (not included in the recipe below) so I can’t speak to that but next time I will and it will add a lemony, cheesy deliciousness to this soup. This soup has texture and thickness from the broccoli and has that grainy, foliage quality that the florets of broccoli have.

The Weeknight Hungarian Beef Stew is a simple, less time consuming goulash and what could be better than that?

Recipes are below the cut – happy munching!

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White Bean and Ham Soup

November 15th’s soup: White Bean and Ham soup.

IMG_4889This is another thick and hearty soup. I love a soup that can stand on it’s own alone as a meal. This soup was my lunch for an entire week of work.

The soup is salty and fatty from the ham and bacon and is overloaded with protein from the two types of pork and the beans. This soup was better after the first day. I didn’t add extra salt since there are so many salty ingredients in this soup. Because of this, the soup wasn’t well seasoned on the first day but afterwards, as the meat had time to infuse the broth, and it was the perfect amount of salt. We both loved this soup and it is being added to the “Make Again” list.

The recipe calls for corn bread croutons which I didn’t make since I am not the biggest fan of cornbread (sacriledge I know) but I have left the instructions for them in the recipe.

Recipe is below the cut! Happy munching!

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Goulash

November 19th’s soup: Goulash

IMG_4864

IMG_4861 This is hearty, and warm soup with a hint of spice that warms my Eastern-European soul. The meat is tender and falls apart. The vegetables retain a bit of crunch, but are still delicate enough to be sliced with a spoon. The best part of this soup is how the longer it sits, the more intense and combined the flavours become. The meat becomes more and more infused with flavours and the whole soup becomes so much more cohesive, the flavours becoming more combined but still distinct.

This soup is simple but intense, filling and full of flavour. Recipe is below the cut!

Happy munching!

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Carrot Ginger Soup

Soup, soup, soup! ‘Tis the season for soup and I have been making tons of different types of soups using the Williams-Sonoma Soup of The Day cookbook. My only issue with this cookbook is the fact that there are very few pictures. I understand that a soup, is a soup, and they look very similar but I still like to see what I am going to eat.

Get ready to be inundated with soup recipes all season long. The first soup I made was the soup for October 1: Carrot Ginger soup.

photo1.  I don’t love ginger. I didn’t grow up eating a lot of ginger and it is definitely an acquired flavour. It is a mixture of spice and sweetness which can nicely round out a dish or completely overpower. Unfortunately, in this dish, it completely overwhelmed all other flavours in the dish.

2. I would suggest using less broth to make this soup because in my opinion, all homemade soup should be thick and slightly chunky. This soup was too thin for my liking.

3. The orange zest was a nice bit of zing in the soup but when working in tandem with the ginger, it created an overwhelming citrus, fruity note to the soup.

We finished off the soup but I will not be making this soup again. If you love ginger, this soup is for you!

Recipe is below the cut, and happy munching!

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Sloppy Joes

We all have food guilty pleasures, some more embarrassing than others. One of my big ones is Sloppy Joes. Note: this is not one of my food guilty pleasures that I am embarrassed about. I will tell anyone who asks how much I love these sandwiches. Call them white trash, call them gross but I love them. I hadn’t eaten one in probably close to 15 years and I recently finished watching Roseanne and their loose meat sandwich inspired me to make Sloppy Joes. This past Friday was the perfect opportunity – it was a cold, rainy August day and I finished work at noon.

The receipe I used is from, again, Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food cookbook. Am I convincing you to buy it yet?

Again, because it is literally impossible for someone who is not a professional to make Sloppy Joes look appetizing, I stole the picture from the cookbook.

The meat has an amazing blend of spices and seasonings – chili powder, Dijon, Worcestershire and brown sugar – which gives it a warm, cozy taste. This would be a great base for a chili (and I hate chili). The vegetables become tender but sustain a slight crunch which are satisfying in every bite and give you the feeling that you can justify this meal as healthy since there are vegetables. The meat is slightly fatty but doesn’t feel heavy in your stomach. The whole mixture comes together and stays together really well, making these not-so-sloppy Sloppy Joes.

Recipe is below the cut. Happy munching!

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