Category: soup


Bread and Butter Pickles Chez Edouard

Bread and Butter Pickles Chez Edouard

So what does this photo have to do with tonight’s menu? Nothing really. But yesterday I made these jars of bread and butter pickles and this morning I felt inclined to take a photo. Next fall and winter, I’ll be enjoying these as well as the dill pickles that I have been preserving along the course of the summer thus far. I’m anxious to make relish next weekend.

But on to tonight’s menu. On a hot summer day, a soup is probably the last thing most folks would think of cooking for dinner, but the abundance of fresh produce makes this a particularly wonderful time to combine the vegetables on hand with some fresh water, simmer until the flavors marry, and serve with a cornmeal muffin and a side salad. Simple, direct, and of the moment.

Summer vegetable soup of tomatoes, squash, onions, garlic, corn, new potatoes, and green beans garnished with finely diced banana peppers
Cornbread muffins
Garden salad with creamy dill dressing

A perfect peach

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A Recipe for Sunday

Cream of Asparagus and Wild Rice Soup

Boil ½ cup of wild rice with 1 ½ cups water until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, break off the tough bottoms of ½ pound of young asparagus spears. (If you gently bend the spears, they will naturally break at the point where the toughness begins.) Discard the tough bottoms, then cut off the tips of the spears and reserve. Chop the remainder of the stalks into small rounds.

Next, finely dice 1 small shallot, 1 small carrot, ½ stalk of celery, and 1 small potato.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large soup pot, and sauté the shallot, carrot, celery, asparagus rounds, and potato for about 5-6 minutes over medium-low heat. Add 1 ½ cups water and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Transfer this mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. (If you use a blender, take care to vent the top.)

Return the pureed vegetable mixture to the soup pot and add the wild rice, along with 1 cup heavy cream and ½ cup water or vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and then add the asparagus tips. Cook for a few minutes over medium low heat just until the asparagus tips are crisp-tender.

Watch the progress of the soup carefully. You may need to add additional water or stock. When the mixture meets with your preference of consistency (either thick or thin), add 1 tablespoon dry sherry or brandy for extra flavor (optional, but highly recommended.) Adjust with salt and pepper as needed before serving. Makes 2-4 servings depending on appetite and accompaniments.

Copyright © 2013 by Eddie Kent Tallent

Here in the western burbs of D.C., it was yet another winter day that started with snow in the early morning hours, transitioned to a lull during which no precipitation occurred, and then ended with a dreary drizzle of rain with temps never climbing above 40 degrees F. So, I decided to make something I had not made in a while and don’t think I have posted before—Vegetarian Jambalaya Soup.

The ice cream is my creation, featuring a mix of vanilla ice cream custard and orange juice blended together before being chilled and then frozen in the ice cream maker.

Chez Edouard veggie jambalaya soup of aromatic vegetables, diced red and green bell peppers, tomatoes, black-eyed peas, vegetable broth, and rice, seasoned with paprika and a dash of hot sauce
Baby lettuce salad with my sister’s homemade pickled okra and my house-made
buttermilk ranch dressing
Cornbread muffins

House-made creamsicle ice cream with walnut cookies

Soup Night

O.K. I know that most folks reading this are going to say why on earth would he propose this menu to us? Tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich?

Here is why. The soup is homemade “from scratch”  and doesn’t remotely resemble anything that would be tossed out of a can into a pot with a cup of water added. A couple of years ago, I made my “homemade tomato soup” in a large quantity for an office gathering, and so many people asked for the recipe I knew it was a big hit. There wasn’t even a tablespoon of my soup left at the end of that luncheon.

 And the “grilled cheese sandwich” is also updated a bit—including pepperjack and cheddar cheeses as the filling along with a slice of crumbled, crispy bacon.

So, ubiquitous as it may seem, a dinner of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwhich can certainly be revisited, updated, and made more interesting as a casual weeknight meal.

Eddie’s house-made tomato soup
Pan-grilled sandwich of pepperjack and cheddar cheeses on  house-made cheese bread
Fresh lettuces with vinaigrette

Ice cream and cookies

This is not the dinner I had planned to cook tonight, but when the D.C. area was suddenly hit with a major snow event today, I decided that a comforting stew was in order. So, I searched through what was available in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry—carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, turnips, a small amount of ground beef, canned tomatoes, garlic, beef stock, and some leftover braised cabbage. I cut all of the vegetables into large chunks and heated them in a bit of olive oil before adding the rest of the ingredients, and let everything simmer very gently on the back of the stove until the vegetable components were just fork tender. To my mind a true stew
requires that the finished dish should be “chunky” in nature and the vegetables,
in particular, should not have been cooked into a mushy texture.

I made some Irish soda bread which included whole wheat flour to accompany the
soup.

And for a sweet ending, the simplicity of a small wedge of milk chocolate was
satisfying.

I developed this soup many years ago and often make it when the weather is cold out. It starts out by boiling some finely-diced potatoes, carrots, shallots, and the trimmed, peeled, and chopped stems of broccoli together until soft. This mixture is then pureed in a blender (or processor), and returned to the stove with some milk and a small portion of heavy cream. Bring another saucepan of water to a boil and quickly blanch small florets of broccoli until tender and add to the overall soup just before serving.

This dish is certainly filling and the only accompaniment I need is a bit of bread. The cornbread muffins I suggest are enriched with other great flavors to compliment the meal and will be used later in the week in an unusual dressing recipe that I have developed. So stay tuned!

Eddie’s cream of broccoli soup thickened with pureed potatoes, carrots, and shallots, enriched with milk and cream
Cornbread muffins studded with sauteed red peppers, and cheddar and pepperjack
cheeses

Poached prunes with walnut cookies

A Hearty Winter Soup

There are many different versions of cabbage and meatball soup, so it’s easy to improvise. I’ve never made it the same way twice! Yet every time I make it a hearty and tasty repast follows. A tip to making GREAT meatballs as opposed to hard lumps is to handle the meat a lightly as possible while mixing and rolling; also it’s far easier to bake meatballs in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes than to go to the trouble of frying them on top of the stove—somewhat healthier as well, since no added fat is needed in the oven method. This is basically a one-dish meal.

Cabbage soup with mirepoix, beef stock, preserved tomatoes, spices, herbs, and grass-fed beef meatballs
House-made yeast rolls

Cookies

Sometimes, the simplest of menus are the best, especially when you have limited time to prepare a meal but still want to have something that is homemade. I often make potato soup, but haven’t made this variation in quite a while. Cutting up the leeks and potatoes only takes a few minutes and the components simmer away while you are engaged in other activities. Then, you pass about half of the ingredients through a blender for a quick puree and mix it back into the “chunkier” vegetables in the soup pot. In less than an hour, dinner is served.

Soup of leeks and potatoes with herbs cooked with filtered water
Cornbread muffins

Apple wedges with cheddar cheese

Lulu’s Soup for Lucien

Inspired by a recipe in Richard Olney’s book Lulu’s Provencal Table, I am making the
following menu. Lulu Peyraud, one of the great
bonne femmes in all of France, has influenced many chefs and cooks. And the wines made on the Domaine Tempier produced by her husband Lucien during his lifetime (and their extended family),  were and still are legendary. Even with a simple menu such as this, it is great to open a bottle of the Bandol Rose as an accompaniment. This is not a wine that is easy to find and if you do, don’t expect it to be cheap, but I promise that every drop of the bottle will be well worth the expense.

Lulu’s soup of mirepoix, turnips, potatoes, leeks, and garlic braised in spring water and pureed until smooth, served with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
House-made French bread croutons baked with parmesan topping
2010 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose

Apple baked with maple sugar

I didn’t originally plan to make soup for tonight’s menu, but it has been frightfully cold here today (with temps not reaching above 25 F). So, a soothing hot soup came to mind and found its way to fruition.

While my chicken soup contains some of the traditional components you might expect, there are also a few that you might not be accustomed to. And, it’s hearty enough to serve as a one-dish meal with only a small sidekick sandwich added, along with a dessert suggestion.

Chicken Noodle Soup with carrots, celery, onions, lots of garlic, cannellini beans, bitter greens, and house-made black pepper pasta
Grilled pepperjack cheese sandwich

Tangerine ice cream with macadamia-coconut-white chocolate chunk cookies

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