Posted on

Creamy Homestyle Veggie Soup

Soup weather is here to stay! This week’s box of good contains a staple soup ingredient: Celery. Celery is an often-neglected veggie, but it tastes absolutely delicious in soups, especially in a poultry or vegetable-based broth. Avoid letting it slip out of sight and out of mind in your vegetable drawer: rinse, slice and dice, then add it in as the star of this tasty soup!

Recipe adapted from: The Daring Gourmet

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup) OR 1 medium leek, greens removed, white parts well-rinsed, and finely chopped
  • 2 cups celery, very finely chopped (about 5 large stalks, organic recommended for optimal flavor).
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • About 2 purple carrots OR parsnips, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1½ cups whole milk (or use ¾ cup milk and ¾ cup cream for even tastier results)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste (if you use a low-sodium broth, you may need to add more salt)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced, optional, for garnish

Pairing Suggestion

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat and cook the onions (or leeks if using), celery and until soft and translucent, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and carrots (or parsnips if using) and cook another 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth. Increase the heat and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, add the milk/cream and stir until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, and simmer, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes. Add salt to taste. Remove from heat, dish into soup bowls and garnish with optional parsley. Serve alongside warm or toasted slices of buttered bread. Enjoy!
  2. If using this soup as a base for other recipes, this soup will keep in the fridge for at least 3-4 days.

Notes

One batch of this soup is roughly the equivalent (in quantity) of 2 cans canned condensed cream of celery soup. Enjoy as a stand-on-its-own soup or you may use in any recipe calling for prepared canned condensed cream of celery soup.

If you’d like this soup to be thicker, use an immersion blender or food processor to process part or all of fully cooked soup (working quickly, to keep hot soup from cooling off too fast) until desired consistency is reached and then serve with garnishes.

Posted on

Late Summer Soup

For weeks now people around me have been hinting at fall. “It’s coming!” they’ll say. Or, “Did you feel the chill in the air? It’s almost here.” And I would just simply look at them and shake my head, not yet. I wasn’t ready and fretted a bit not knowing if this would be the one year that I regret the coming of the next season. But I should know this by now; it happens in an instant and I think today is that instant.

We’ve just returned from three days of camping in the woods. A sort of last hurrah complete with a camp fire that never quit, a breezy hike to the beach, bacon cooked until crisp over the fire, stories told with sticky marshmallow covered fingers, and dirt, well, everywhere. As we were packing up our tents, the gray clouds started to sprinkle and the ice cream cone that I craved just the day before turned into a spiced cider craving. Suddenly, thoughts of apples hanging low in the trees made me giddy and raspberries seemed so last season. I’m craving butter baked into pies tucked around tart, crisp apples and sturdier vegetables roasted until sweet then whirred into a light, yet creamy soup that gently warms during the soft coolness of the evenings.

I have that sort of soup today (recipe below). It’s hearty and yet somehow light, which in my mind is the perfect setup for a transitional soup. You know, the sort that can still be enjoyed on a sunny day but satisfies when the days are getting shorter and you need more heft than the salads of summer can offer. This soup uses an assortment of vegetables with cauliflower making up the bulk, but really it could easily be adapted to what you have lying around. The idea is a tray filled with roasted vegetable blends with onions, stock and cooked potatoes, so that it’s creamy but not heavy cream creamy – that wouldn’t be right for a transitional soup.

There’s also the leek, which is a member of the allium family, but the flavor is lighter and somehow more refined. We could boast of all the vitamins found in leeks here too but we don’t want them getting a big head.

Their paper-thin layers tend to collect dirt so I like to cut the leeks in half then run them through cool water. From there I thinly slice them and use them as you would onions. But even raw in a salad they do just fine, as their flavor is less abrasive than their cousin’s. They are just the right match for this sort of late-summer soup.

I should have remembered that my moment would come eventually. The one where I’m suddenly ready for cool weather and cozy evenings at home, or maybe I’m just too tired and don’t want to think of unloading the car from our camping trip. Either way, tonight seems like the perfect one for this soup.

by Ashley Rodriguez                                                                           

Chef, food blogger, and full-time mom.

You can read more of her writings at www.notwithoutsalt.com

Creamy Roasted Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

1 medium head cauliflower,

1 large leek, white part cut in 1/2-inch slices

4 celery stalks, cut in 2-inch pieces

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, sliced

1 potato, diced

1 tsp thyme leaves

Pinch chili flake

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (or whole milk)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Pepper

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 400° F.
  • Toss cauliflower, leeks, and celery with 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Roast on a baking sheet for an hour or until vegetables are tender and there is a good deep color on many bits of the vegetables.
  • In a large pot add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil shimmers add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted vegetables, potatoes, thyme, chile flakes, stock, coconut milk, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to the heat to medium low. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Carefully puree the soup in a blender. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Recipe adapted from the book Small Plates and Sweet Treats


Posted on

Cool Weather and Hot Soup Week

photo (15)As the weather becomes cooler and the leaves start to change, I can’t help but feel excited about this time of year. I had never experienced a true fall season until I moved to the beautiful northwest eight years ago and, oh my, it is a gift to see nature prepare itself for the cold months that lie ahead. This past summer, we spent our time with family and friends playing outdoors, having al-fresco dinners, grilling and enjoying fresh salads. These past few weeks, however, have brought some crisp weather and a bit cooler evenings, which I have welcomed with the occasional hot soup or stew.

Sometimes there’s nothing more soothing than a good bowl of soup. I find soup to be the best way to get warm after being in the cold and an excellent way to cut down your cooking time if you are in a rush. There are recipes for all palettes, plus soups satisfy the appetite and warm the soul. It’s been so fun to introduce the different soups I grew up with to my soup-loving husband, especially since growing up I did not like soup! Now, I can’t have enough of it! Peruvian Minestrone, Seafood Chowder, Bisques, Chicken and Rice Soup and my go-to soup “My Dad’s Better Than Wonton Soup,” to mention a few. 

Growing up, my Dad would make his own version of wonton soup whenever mom would be out of town. It was his turn to be in the kitchen. To this day, he makes this soup every time I come home and I look forward to it. He’s never spent much time in the kitchen, but he has two specialties: Peruvian Garlic Rice and “Dad’s Better Than Wonton Soup.” Every time he makes it, after the first sip and with a smile on his face, he will jokingly say, “You won’t even find a soup like this at the restaurant around the corner.” 

I am always amazed at how food can evoke so many different feelings, bring back comforting memories and feed the soul. It doesn’t matter how simple or complicated the recipe is, how many ingredients you use, or how pretty it looks, that special dish you make for your family is doing more than feeding them dinner. When your kids leap over the stairs so they can get the first seat at the table, fight over the last piece of something or even lick the plate, memories are being created that will forever stay in their hearts and minds. 

For me, it is this soup. It’s light and filling at the same time, full of flavor and delicate. I have applied my own twists to it, but I was taught to always give credit where credit is due, so in this circumstance I hope you enjoy “My Dad’s Better Than Wonton Soup.” 

What is your special dish?

Sara Balcazar-Greene (aka. Peruvian Chick)
Peruvian Food Ambassador
peruvianchick.com
instagram.com/peruvianchick
facebook.com/theperuvianchick

 

My Dad’s Better Than Wonton Soup.

INGREDIENTS:

12 cups of water and 3 cubes of vegetable bouillon (or you can replace for 6 cups of water + 6 cups of vegetable broth)
3 thumb size-pieces of ginger, peeled
8 tablespoons of soy sauce
4 tablespoons of sesame oil (I use Trader Joe’s Toasted Sesame Oil)
1 lb of fresh white mushrooms, sliced or 1 lb of chicken breast washed and thinly cut into slices
1 bunch of green onions, green part finely chopped
1 pack on Vermicelli rice noodles (Beans thread style)
6 organic eggs (soft boiled)
Garlic-Chili Sauce (optional)

PREPARATION:

Boil the water with the three pieces of ginger and bouillon. If using chicken, add chicken now. Boil for about 7 minutes. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Add the rice noodles and boil for 4 more minutes. Add mushrooms and green onions. Turn off the burner and let it sit for a few minutes.

Separately boil the eggs to a soft boil. Exactly 6 minutes once the water starts boiling. Cool down with cold water and peel. Learn how to peel soft boiled eggs here.

Serve with half a boiled egg and garlic-chili sauce.

Posted on

White sweet corn and potato soup

INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon flour
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon dried thyme
4-5 yukon gold potatoes, diced
2 cups of white sweet corn
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped (save a little for garnish)
1/2 cup milk
a splash of cream (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
 
PREPARATION:
In a large pot over medium high heat, add oil and saute onions for about 5 minutes, until tender. Then mix in flour. Add vegetable broth and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil.
 
Reduce heat and add thyme and chopped potatoes. Simmer for about 20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Mash some potatoes if soup needs more thickness (optional). Stir in corn, parsley, milk and cream. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
 
Original recipe and photo credit: http://www.wishfulchef.com/2012/01/corn-and-potato-soup/