Soup


It has been chilly here in the deep south for the last few days.  Highs only in the 60s and lows in the 40s.  Now that may not seem chilly to many of you up north where the temps are LOTS lower but to those of us in the south it is soup and gumbo weather. So last night I made gumbo and today I made a Whole30 Sweet Potato Soup.  And then the temps went up the mid 70s and it wasn’t soup weather any more.

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Sweet potatoes mixed with cinnamon and ginger then simmered in water and coconut milk .  Thick, filling, tasty.  Tasted like sweet potato casserole at Christmas.  Without the marshmallows and nuts.  Although, I could have garnished it with chopped pecans. Over the top for soup?  I don’t think so. { I was searching for the  recipe  on the Whole30 blog and  ran into a curried sweet potato soup where curry powder was added while the soup was simmering.  What a GREAT idea!}

Anyway.  The recipe is from The Whole30:  The 30 day guide to TOTAL HEALTH and FOOD FREEDOM  {page 300} my book for March’s Cookbook Countdown.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown 15 hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

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It’s still not cool outside. We hear cooler temps are coming but….

I really don’t care for soup unless it is cooler outside. Somehow it’s just not comfort food.

But despite that I did make some soup for today –

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Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

I’ve been wanting to make this soup for ages.  I have always enjoyed it when I get it out but never think to  make it at home.  .

Broccoli, cheddar, chicken broth, onions, garlic, nutmeg – how can you possibly go wrong with that ingredient combo?  The nutmeg was a definitely plus in the flavor.  Just a hint of it in the background that didn’t overpower the broccoli and cheese.  Definitely going to enjoy this one more often.

Thanks, Ellie, for a healthy version of the soup. {320 calories. 170 mg cholesterol, 9 gms fat}   And the fact that it is ready in about 30 minutes.

I found the recipe on page 95 of Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix.  But it also on her website.

More Soups on Eating with Ellie.  Want to join us?  Just follow the themes on Eating with Ellie and leave your link on the site.

NOTE:  In our posts, we do not publish the recipes from Ellie Krieger’s books as those belong to her, we like to honor that and encourage you to buy her books to get the recipes. There are also many of her recipes at her site here.  We know you will enjoy using Ellie’s books again and again as we all do and that your money will be well spent.

I have never been a big veggie eater.  As a child I ate, and still do, cauliflower and broccoli which was strange for a small child.  Corn of course.  FROZEN peas. But other veggies – no thanks.

Over the years I have learned to eat and love raw spinach, okra, cabbage, squash, and lentils.  In fact lentils are now one of my favorite veggies.

My goal this year – try more and eat more veggies?  This lentil soup from Heidi fit right into that.  And since it’s pretty chilly outside it was the perfect lunch.

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Red Lentil Soup

 

    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    3 shallots, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

    6 cups good-tasting vegetable stock (or water)
    1 1/3 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
    1/2 cup brown rice, picked over and rinsed
    as much fine grain sea salt as you need

    slivered almonds, toasted black oil cured olives, chopped feta, crumbled for toppings

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, brown onion, shallots, and red pepper flakes in the olive oil .

Add broth,  lentils, and rice and bring to a boil. Simmer  until the rice is very tender.The lentils will “dissolve”. You may need to add more water/broth to get the soup to the consistency that you want.  Salt to taste.

Serve each bowl topped with almonds, olives, feta, and a slight drizzle of olive oil if you like.

I made 1/2 of the recipe (three nice servings).  Even with salt I found it to be a little bland so I added 1 1/2 tsp of curry powder.  That added a really nice flavor and a little heat.  I topped it with yogurt because that is used quite a bit in Indian cuisine.  The yogurt added a little thickening and enhanced the flavor even more. LOVED IT!!  I will definitely make this again.  Definitely!

You can find her recipe at 101 Cookbooks

Want more Heidi.  Visit IHCC for this week’s Food Goals.

If you don’t live in the Deep South you probably don’t make a bisque.  You may not even know what it is. According to Wikipedia,

A Bisque is a smooth, creamy, highly seasoned soup of French origin, classically based on a strained broth of crustaceans. It can be made from lobster, crab, shrimp or crawfish.

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While you may think this is just a soup it is much more than that.  It is creamy, full of meat, and perfect on a cold winter day.  Did I say it was also delicious?

    ½ cup butter
    ¾ cup all-purpose flour
    ½ cup chopped yellow onion
    ¼ cup chopped celery
    ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
    2 cups half-and-half
    8½ cups Shrimp Stock, recipe follows
    ¼ cup brandy
    5 tablespoons tomato paste
    1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1 pound peeled and deveined large fresh shrimp

    Garnish: dry sherry, chopped fresh parsley

In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 6 minutes. Stir in onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and Old Bay. Cook, stirring constantly, 7 minutes.

In the container of a blender, combine onion mixture and half-and-half. Blend until smooth and return to Dutch oven.

Add Shrimp Stock, brandy, tomato paste, and smoked paprika. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 35 to 40 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink and firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Garnish with a drizzle of sherry and chopped parsley, if desired. Serve with French bread. {Notice there is no French Bread with the bisque. I served mine with Okra and Corn Fritters (recipe coming)

The magazine also has the recipe for the shrimp stock but I used my own.

    10 cups Seafood Stock
    shells and heads from 5 lb peeled shrimp
    1 cup sliced yellow onion
    1/2 cup celery, cut into pieces
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    1 tsp Tony’s Seasoning
    2 tsp coarsely grated pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce and simmer for about 1 hour. Strain for a clear broth.

I use seafood stock because it adds a more wonderful flavor. If you cannot find seafood broth, use veggie broth or 10 cups water.

This was filling, comforting, and so full of flavor. Definitely something to make when it’s rainy and cold outside. OR why wait for that kind of weather…..

For the month of March I am using Louisiana Cookin’ magazine for Cookbook Countdown.

The recipe is from Louisiana Cookin’ Sept/Oct 2013 but it is also online at Louisiana Cookin’.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

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There are several soups I order when we eat out.  A local cream of shrimp from The Cottage Restaurant.  The Queen’s Soup (wide rice and chicken)  from Atwood’s Bakery.  And Broccoli-Cheddar Soup from Panera. I don’t think they make any better soups anywhere than those three.  That being said, I have the shrimp soup recipe.  I’m working on the rice soup.  There are ton’s of copycats for the Panera soup.  But I needed to make something quick and didn’t have time to scan all of those recipes.  Lucky for me Chaya’s theme this week for Eating with Ellie was Cheesy Delights and some Broccoli-Cheddar soup was JUST what I wanted.

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I thought it would be hard to make but it is super simple and super quick.

Saute some onions.  Add garlic and nutmeg.  Add broccoli and chicken broth.  Cook.  Mix milk and flour.  Mix in cheddar cheese.  Add to the broccoli mix.  BINGO! Soup!

While many of the soups you find in restaurants are high in calories, this one is only 320/serving.  Win/Win!

The recipe is on page 95 of Ellie’s comfort food fix.  Also ONLINE.

There are more cheesy delights over at Eating with Ellie. Click on over.

Because this has been an out of town week I am going to cheat just a little and also submit this to I Heart Cooking Clubs for the theme – Bowled Over!

I know I’ve said before that Indian Cuisine is my favorite.  But I have to admit that anything with an Asian flair is right up there, too.  I realize that most of what we get in our local Asian eateries (NOT the buffets) is not as authentic as we would like but I like what is out there – Tiny Spicy Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Chop Suey etc.  Usually what I cook at home is much better.  Like Donna’s Wonton Soup (page 18 modern classics) which fit Chaya’s theme of Super Soups just right.  Light and fresh is perfect for a Spring day (in February).

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Ground pork mixed with green onions, ginger, hoisin sauce and sesame oil stuffed in little wonton wrappers.  Easier than I thought to make.  Cooked in a mix of chicken broth, soy sauce, ginger, and Chinese cooking wine.

I don’t think I’ll be ordering this any more since it is so easy to make at home.

There are more Super Soups on our Wednesdays with Donna Hay site.

Have you visited Wednesdays with Donna Hay lately?  If you haven’t let me tell you – the group has changed.  No longer are we picking a weekly recipe.  We are picking weekly themes.  This week – Baby, It’s Cold Outside  – Kayte’s idea.

When it finally gets cold outside we tend to gravitate toward stews, soups, and gumbos to fill us up and keep us warm.  This week we had all three.  One of them was Donna Hay’s  sweet potato soup.

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Sweet potato combined with ginger, coconut, cumin seeds, and lemon grass.  What a wonderful combination of flavors.  Although the lemon grass didn’t seem to add much to the mix.  Donna’s recipe said to boil the sweet potatoes but I chose to roast them instead.  Lots more sweetness and depth of flavor.  I liked the inclusion of the cumin seeds .  I didn’t like the inclusion of the coriander leaves so I left them out and garnished with some extra cumin seeds instead.  The recipe is in Donna’s the new cook page 68

Warm and filling.  Definitely a repeat as winter continues and the days get colder.

What do the others make when it’s cold outside?  Click on over to Wednesdays with Donna Hay and see.

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