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.