It is Tuesday again, and that means it is time to play along with Carole and her latest Ten on Tuesday. As soon as the temps start to dip in the fall I am all about the soups. I usually have a few cans of some reduced -sodium, store-bought glop in the cupboard for emergency lunches, but I would much rather make my own. Here are my ten soups, but I am going to make them a Top Ten, so counting down:
10. Mushroom Barley Soup
Incredibly filling, and fun to cook because of the sheer quantity of things to chop: 4 WHOLE ONIONS, 1.5 POUNDS OF MUSHROOMS. All the onion-chopping does make me cry despite any trick (bread in mouth, burning candle, etc.) so I just put on the exhaust fan and make sure I am not wearing any mascara when I start. This is a Weight Watchers recipe from many moons ago, so it has next to no protein in it. While it is filling and hot I am usually hungry within an hour and a half.
9. Zucchini Buttermilk Soup
This is a childhood classic from my mother. She got it from her 1986 Cuisinart Cookbook of all things. This cold soup is perfect for hot summer days, especially if you have a garden full of zucchinis the size of baseball bats. (The recipe calls for 3 POUNDS of zuchinni!) Every August I start to crave this soup, but I can't quite get the proportions right so that it tastes like it did when Mom made it.
8. Portuguese Kale Soup
Another from my mother, but of unknown origin. I love using really spicy chorizo and dicing it really fine. I also cut the chicken broth in half (even with low-sodium broth) and substituting water since I find kale has a lot of natural salt in it.
7. Black Bean soup
I don't know what it is about black beans, but I think they are the best tasting bean out there.
I haven't made Miso Soup in a long time, but anytime I am at my local sushi place I am sure to order it. I have recently discovered how important Umami is in my meals. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Umami is the savoriness that can be found in parmesan cheese, miso, and several vegetables and fermented foods. I like salty over sweet, but love Umami above everything else. If I am having a food craving it is usually for Umami foods.
5. French Onion
I only order this at restaurants - all the melty cheese and the big crusts of bread are a real luxury!
4. Corn Chowder
My recipe is another Weight Watchers one. With just a tiny bit of Half and Half, this is a great chowder that really hits the spot after shoveling snow all morning. And the best part? Turkey bacon on top!
3. Tortilla Soup
I am still experimenting with different recipes to find something as good as Frontier Restaurant's, but I am beginning to suspect that they may have used MSG - upping that Umami flavor that I love so much, and therefore making it impossible to replicate without the preservative. My favorite soup was so thick you could stand a spoon up in it - I think I usually managed to get the bottom of their pot. So, still searching! I think I will try a recipe from The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook to see if theirs makes the grade.
2. Sweet Potato Bisque with Shiitake Mushrooms
From October 2002 Vegetarian Times, this is a delicious soup that I always make for Thanksgiving. SO GOOD. It is relatively healthy since you are only using 1/2 cup of Half and Half for the Bisque component. Topped with scallions and shiitake mushrooms this soup hits all my buttons!
1. Green Chile Stew
Ok, technically a stew, but I lump it in with soups. My recipe is from Jenny - my bestest in Austin, a knitter and former knit blogger (the blog is still standing here). I have made some adaptations to the recipe - so I call it a White Green Chile Stew. I use ground turkey instead of beef, and Great Northern beans instead of spincy pinto, but I put in a full pint of frozen green chile to make it really spicy. It is fantastic with a pan-warmed tortilla.
Here is my adapted recipe:
White Green Chile Stew
1 lb of Ground lean turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 pint frozen Green Chile (I use Bueno, but can only get it when I go to the Southwest.)
2 cups chicken broth
1 t oregano
cumin, salt, pepper to taste.
Using a little bit of olive oil, cook the onion on medium heat for a few minutes until translucent. Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Then add turkey and cook until browned. Add broth, 2 cups water, green chile, and remaining ingredients. Make sure the stew comes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Add more broth and water if it becomes too concentrated. Add your cumin (I usually omit the salt) and pepper to taste.
Serve with tortillas fresh from the pan and BLISS OUT!
(This is an excellent soup to help blow out winter colds. I don't think they can survive the cleansing action of really hot green chile!)