chilled soups

forgot to mention one other thing I love about cruises.  Chilled soups for dinner.  I forwent most of the starters in favor of the chilled soups.  I love them.  Strawberry, Mango, that type of thing.  The first one I ordered was a total newb laugh on us.  I ordered the strawberry and they only brought a large shallow bowl with a molded strawberry thingy in the middle and a scatter of lime zest.  I thought-that’s not what I was expecting.  At that point I thought, that’s more hoity toity than I think it should be and only a tablespoon of gelatinized strawberries.  The server then came back with a tiny pitcher of soup to pour in my bowl.  I felt ridiculous and then happily spooned up my soup.

chipotle corn soup

this is a favorite recipe from a little place in Santa Fe called the Blue Corn Cafe.  Years ago I went to Santa Fe with my parents for a little getaway from school.  It was spring time and boy it was cold.  It was raining solidly and sort of mixed with snow.  We stopped for lunch at the Blue Corn where I ordered a bowl of this soup.  It is super spicy and comforting.  We made a pot today with only the air conditioning to keep us cool.

1/2 cup red onion – diced
3 chipotles in adobo (freeze the rest of the can)
2 cups water
4 cups heavy cream
6 ears of corn

husk the corn and lightly rub with oil and salt – broil turning frequently until some of the kernals black and pop.  About 15-20 minutes.  Once cool cut the kernals from the cob.
Add onion, adobo and water to stockpot.  Puree using immersion blender.  Add 3/4 corn and blend.  Add cream and balance of corn.  Heat to boiling and then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes to reduce and thicken soup.  We shallow fry flour tortilla chips and toss in cinnamon sugar to round out the meal.

sunday soup

Sunday Soup, a ‘new’ cookbook graces the shelves, having bought it sometime in the Christmas hustle.  Sunday night Z made Lentil Soup with Garlic Sausage.  Snow and ice envelops the country – a week ago we looked and there was snow in 49 states-but not Florida-yesterday it was 84 degrees here.  I see it’s -11 in Denver today with the wind chill.  Last night Z commented that it seems like years don’t pass when there is no winter.  Yesterday was also his two year anniversary for his transplant!  Time flies.

*we halved the original to get just 4 servings but you could easily double this for 8 servings.

1 T olive oil
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup diced onion

1/4 cup diced celery
2 medium garlic cloves, finely diced
6 oz 1/4″ diced kielbasa
1 t thyme
4 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 cup lentils (it called for Puy (french) but we used what I could find at our local market)
kosher salt

Heat oil in a stock pot (w/ lid) over medium heat.  When hot, add the carrot, onion and celery.  Cook, stirring often, until the veg are just softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, sausage and thyme.  Cook one additional minute.
Add the stock and bay leaf.  Bring mixture to a simmering boil over high heat.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 45 minutes (until lentils are tender)
If you desire, puree about 1/2 cup of your soup in a blender or use your immersion blender for just a few seconds to thicken the soup.  We didn’t do this and I think it might add a bit of extra body to the soup.  Serve with hot rolls and butter with a little honey.

baked potato soup

after feeling crummy and eating crummy while sick I really wanted something that had a little bit of heart in it.  I came home last night and made a pot of this super thick feel good soup.  Originally from Cooking Light I think they used less bacon. Z says the soup is just a vehicle for that but it is really warm and comforting.

4 baking potatoes (about 2#)
2/3 c all purpose flour
6 cups milk – I used 1%
1 c extra sharp cheddar
1 t salt
1 t black pepper
1 cup sour cream – I use light
3/4 cup sliced green onion
6 cooked and crumbled bacon slices

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pierce potatoes with fork.  Bake 1 hour.  Meanwhile, spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife.  Place flour in a large dutch oven and gradually whisk in milk.  Cook over medium heat until thick.
When the potatoes are done and cool enough to handle, slice in half and scoop out centers.  Mash with fork.Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup of cheese, salt and pepper.  Stir until cheese is melted.  Remove from heat.
Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup of green onions.  Cook over low for about ten minutes but do not boil.

Sprinkle each serving with bacon, cheese and onions.


oh Canada!

Canadia Cheese Soup

ever been to Epcot and watched the gripping 360 degree surround movie they play in Canada?  Well, the music goes something like Canadaaaaa, oooooh Canadaaaa…. CANADA, OHHHH Canadaaaaaaaa and is one of those things that randomly wanders through your mind.  OFTEN.
Now, I love Canada, which I fondly call Canadia.  Growing up in Seattle we often went north to Victoria visiting the wax museum, Butchart Gardens, the rainforest, etc.  We went to the world expo in 86 in Vancouver.   A good friend Linda and I went to Canada on the Victoria Clipper the weekend I decided food and cooking would be my hobby.  Shout out to La to because she is having a baby any day now which will be her new hobby.
All that said, we had this great cheddar beer soup while we were at Epcot on Friday and bought the cookbook to recreate it at home.  I can’t find a link for purchase.
Wycliffe is home to a couple of voting precincts so yesterday I worked a little bit of a weird schedule, 10:30-8 or so and when I got home, about 8:30, Z had a pot of soup sitting on the stove waiting for me to spoon it up!  He is a great cook and so good to make me supper after a long day of crowds at work.
This recipe makes a massive pot. He made a couple small changes from the Le Cellier Canada area recipe, including a bit of extra cooking for the bacon and extra chicken stock as the thick factor kind of nerved him up but they were good changes This is a pretty easy soup to made and so great.

1/2# of bacon, cut into lardons
1 medium onion, 1/4″ dice
3 ribs of celery, 1/4″ dice
4 T butter
1 cup flour
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups milk
1# grated white cheddar cheese
1 T Tabasco
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Moosehead Lager

serves 10
1.  Cook the bacon, stirring until crisp in a 4 or 5 quart pot.
2.  Add the onion, celery and butter, saute until veg are soft – about 5 minutes.
3.  Add the flour, whisking constantly for about 5 minutes over medium.  Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil for about 1 minute.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
4.  Add the milk and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.  Do not boil after you add the milk.
5.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese, Tabasco, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.  Stir in the beer.
6.  Garnish as you wish.  Serve with some toasty rolls.
The festival cookbook adds that you can add some extra milk if it is too thick but the addition of extra stock seemed to alleviate this problem.