Lately, I have been defying the 90 degree weather by making soup. I mean, it’s OCTOBER for crying out loud. It is supposed to be fall.
I am forcing my children (and friends) to eat soup while sweating in my kitchen, made hotter by turning on the oven to make bread.
Cruel really. but I just love soup season and so the pot keeps filling up with soup at our house.
It all started last Wednesday with pumpkin and butternut squash soup. Plus bread, a fall pear salad and ginger cookies. Can you believe fall is still not here after that menu?
Then last night I made a huge pot of vegetable barley soup. A cross between Crescent Dragonwagon’s “solution to dieting soup” and my mother-in-law’s barley soup. It did not go over great with the 10 children I tried to feed it to at 6:30, but Cole made up for all of them by eating three large bowls of it when he came in from football practice.
So you would think i would give up. It’s just too hot for soup.
Nope. One more.
Tomorrow night we’re having Mexican soup with chiles and cheese. Surely three pots of soup will bring the temperatures down.
Come on fall!
Bring me a morning for which I need a sweater!
Late Harvest Soup (adapted from Martha Stewart)
I doubled this recipe and used one butternut squash and one large pie pumpkin
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 leeks, whites only, washed and thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ‘Yukon Gold’ potatoes, peeled and cut into
1-inch cubes3/4 pound celeriac, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pear, such as Bartlett or Anjou, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes (optional)
10 cups Homemade Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 heavy cream (optional)
1/2 milk (optional)
1. Wrap bay leaves, fresh thyme, parsley, and black peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth, and tie into a sachet with kitchen twine. Set aside. 2. Heat butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and onion, and cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic, and cook 2 minutes more. 3. Add potatoes, celeriac, squash, and pear, if using. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add sachet, chicken stock, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. 4. Remove sachet, and discard. Pass the mixture through a food mill into a medium bowl in several batches. Add heavy cream or milk if desired. Bring soup just to a simmer over medium heat. Taste, and adjust for seasoning. Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
Vegetable Barley Soup (adapted from Soup and Bread, by Crescent Dragonwagon)
(this feeds a large crowd)
3 quart boxes of organic free range chicken broth
3 cups V8
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup barley
2 zuchini, cubed
3 parsnips, peeled and cubed
1 cup diced celery root
2 cups cubed carrots
½ large head of cabbage sliced
3 ribs celery, chopped (leaves included)
2 onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons herbes de provence
1 teaspoon thyme
Lots of salt and pepper (to taste)
Parmesan for serving (optional)
Bring broth, V8 and white wine to a boil. Add barley.
Meanwhile, lightly grease a cast iron skillet and cook onions for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Then turn heat down to low and allow onions to cook slowly for 20-30 minutes. This allows the onions to get done without oil or butter, which makes the soup very low fat. Add garlic, carrots, celery, celery root and parsnips. Allow to cook on low for about 15 more minutes. Then add to soup along with herbes, zucchini and cabbage. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve lightly grated with parmesan and whole wheat bread.
Mexican Soup with Chiles and Cheese (adapted from Soup and Bread, by Crescent Dragonwagon)
6 cups Chicken Stock
1 can tomatoes
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
2-3 fresh green chilies, to taste (or a can of chopped green chilies)
1/2 whole jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed, diced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons good chili powder (Penzey’s chipotle is the best)
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups milk (or cream if you’re feeling indulgent)
12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups diced cooked chicken
chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
tabasco or salsa
crushed tortilla chips
chopped chunks of avocado
Bring the chicken stock and tomatoes to boil in a large soup pot
In a large cast iron skillet, heat the butter and oil together. Add the onion and sauté 4 minutes. Add the chilies and garlic. cook 2-3 more minutes. Then add the cumin and chili powder. Stir, then sprinkle in the flour, blending it with a wooden spoon. gradually add the milk, stirring to smooth. Let cook a few moments until thickened and free of all the raw flour taste.
Ladle 1 cup or so of the stock mixture into the thickened milk mixture and stir to thin it a little. Pour the entire contents of the skillet into the soup pot and let cook at a simmer over very low heat. About 15 minutes.
Very slowly stir in the grated cheddar cheese. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Taste and season with the salt and pepper. Serve hot with garnishes of your choice.