Monday, September 3, 2012

Soups for Family Get-together

 The summer has been warm and busy and there has been no soup making on Sundays or any other day.  However today, being Labor Day, (and feeling like a Sunday) there was finally time and reason to make some soup.

We will be heading to Portland next weekend for a family get-together and I made two different soups today to bring along.

I made a hearty Corn Chowder and a tasty Spinach-Pea-Curry soup.

The Spinach-Pea-Curry soup I first made about 10 years ago for the same family get together when we gathered at the coast.  I remember it fondly and decided to make it again.  You basically put your curry together from the traditional curry spices - Turmeric, Coriander, Cumin, Cinnamon, Cardamom, and Cayenne.  You add these to the onions that have cooked and softened for 10 minutes then you add that to diced potatoes you've cooked to softness, a pound of peas, and 4 cups of spinach.  I blended it with an immersion blender to a smooth, yellowy-green color and its ready to heat up next weekend.

The corn chowder is a very easy blend of cooked diced potatoes, sauteed onion, celery, & garlic, corn, and half&half.  I doubled this recipe so we could have some for dinner on the night before school starts for the year.  Now that school's beginning, its time to get back to cooking up some Sunday Soups.
Curry soup prior to blending
Blended Spinach-Pea Curry Soup and the source

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Heavenly Asparagus Soup with Tarragon Cream

I'm finally catching up to report on the last soup we had in June, Asparagus soup.  Unfortunately, I don't remember a lot about it.  I do remember that I liked it very much, it was quite tasty.  I believe this soup was served to just my husband, the kids did not get to partake in it.

For this soup, you heat butter in the pot, add shallots (I used  onions) and cook until tender.  You then add the asparagus and cook a little bit longer before you add your stock, seasonings, and a little bit of rice.  After bringing this to a simmer, you cook it until the vegetables are completely tender.  You then puree it in a blender or use an immersion blender.  The recipe calls for Creme Fraiche mixed with Tarragon to be added at this point but I did not use this.  We ate it as-is and it was lovely tasting as well as being a bright green, pretty soup as well.

We haven't had any Sunday Soups for a few weeks but soon I will start on the Summer section and see what yummy soups we will find there.

Pureed Asparagus soup

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dream Creamy Artichoke Soup

Artichoke Soup
Artichoke Soup was our next spring soup in May.  This was surprisingly appreciated by all.  I assumed that the younger soup eaters wouldn't like it much but they all did.

I think its great how grocery stores are stocking such a variety of frozen vegetables.  For the most part, I would choose to eat fresh, local vegetables but having frozen veggies available make something like Artichoke soup easy and convenient.  This soup couldn't have been easier!

For this soup you add Leeks and Artichoke hearts to melted butter and cook until soft then add your stock to cook until tender.  Then, you can use your immersion blender or a blender or food processor to make it smooth.  At this point, you can whisk in cream and Parmesan cheese for a tasty thickener and season with salt and pepper.

For the garnish you can use more Parmesan and some Parsley.  Serve with a crusty baguette and some green salad.  Voila!  An easy but impressive soup with a great flavor that even kids enjoy.  We will have this soup again.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Carrot Soup scented with Sesame and Chives

This is a basic carrot soup with Sesame oil added to the soup once its been blended.  The garnish of croutons and sesame seeds makes it look nice when served and adds some depth.  This particular soup, however,  was not the most popular in the household.

The basic recipe calls for you to saute carrots, leeks, and celery in butter until soft.  You then add stock and simmer until tender enough to puree in a blender or with an immersion blender.

Once its smooth, you stir in the sesame oil and some half and half along with sour cream.  I left out both creams in our soup and just added the sesame oil.  The creams might have cut the flavor of the oil which I think is why this soup was not as popular with the family.  My guess is that the flavor of the oil would have been more mild in the soup had it been combined with the cream.

I tossed sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat to roast and put those along with green onions and croutons on top of the soup as a garnish. 

Don't get me wrong, nobody disliked the soup so much as they just liked past soups much more.  It was a nice tasting ,and fairly simple, soup.
Pureed carrot soup

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sweet Pea Soup with Early Chives

Pea Soup, blended
The next  soup we had in April was Sweet Pea Soup (without the early chives).

This is basically a fresh peas soup as opposed to a frequent menu item in our house - Split Pea soup which is made with dried peas.  Its a simple recipe that rewards you with lots of good flavor.

I sauteed leeks in butter until soft and added peas, a diced potato (I'm guessing they're for texture) and some salt.  You add chicken stock to this mixture and simmer until your vegetables are tender.  Now you can blend with an immersion blender or other tool until smooth.  You can whisk in sour cream, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper if you wish or just season with salt to taste like I did.

This was a popular soup in our family, it had good texture and good flavor without much help.  I would definitely make this again.

Leeks, potato, peas

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cream of Parsley Soup

Back in April we began moving into the Spring Soup section of the cookbook and for our first Spring soup, we enjoyed Cream of Parsley Soup.  Sadly, I completely forgot to use my camera while cooking this soup and there is no pictorial documentation of this light and tasty soup.

To begin, separate the sprigs and leaves of the Parsley from the stems and measure your parsley into well-packed cups.  Heat butter over medium heat, add leeks and cook until soft.  To the leeks, add chicken stock, cream and a peeled, diced potato.  Bring this to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender.  Then, add the parsley sprigs and cook for just a few minutes longer. Puree the soup with an immersion blender and season with salt and pepper, you can add some lemon juice to enhance the flavor.

This soup was loved by the entire family.  Everyone said they really enjoyed it and would eat it again.  This soup was a resounding success.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cream of Chicken and Fennel Soup

Its been months since a blog post but we have been enjoying Sunday Soups all along.  I always take the time to cook, just not necessarily to type up a post afterwards.  Back in March, I made Cream of Chicken and Fennel Soup.  I'd never eaten, let alone cooked with, Fennel before and I was pleasantly surprised by this tasty and easy ingredient.  It has a very mild licorice flavor and a texture much like celery.

Preparing a Fennel bulb is quick and easy, just cut off the feathery top, halve the bulb, and cut out the tough core. 

To make the soup I brought chicken stock to simmer, added the fennel and carrots and cooked until the veggies were tender.  Once cooked, I drained the veggies into a bowl and added diced chicken.  Next I made a roux in a heavy saucepan and whisked in milk, instead of heavy cream, and reserved chicken stock until the mixture thickened slightly.  Once it was thick I added lemon juice, fennel seeds, salt and the chicken and vegetable mixture and mixed it to combine - voila - Soup.

This was an easy and tasty soup and I loved it. We agreed that we would eat this soup again and again.  And I am excited to use the tasty Fennel in other dishes