May 30, 2012 - Sweet Potato and Skippy
"This soup smells like Skippy", I couldn't help but crack a smile. This recipe called for a bit of peanut butter which was a first for Soup a Week. My plan was to buy some fresh, mix-it-yourself, organic, San Francisco made peanut butter..but I ended up with Skippy (yes, Skippy has its own website). The peanut butter actually added a unique and tasty flavor to the soup, but you don't realize the distinctive Skippy smell until you're scooping it into your mouth. Even the entire kitchen smelled like Skippy.
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1 tsp grated lime zest
-2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
-1 Tbsp butter
-1 onion, sliced
-2 cloves garlic, sliced
-5 cups chicken stock
-1/2 tsp ground cumin
-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
-1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
-1 lime, juiced
-2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
-salt to taste
-1 large roma tomato, seeded and diced
1. In small bowl, stir together the sour cream and lime zest. Set aside in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to blend.
2. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 5 min until softened. Add sweet potatoes and chicken stock. Season with cumin, chili flakes, and ginger. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 min until potatoes are tender.
3. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or regular blender. If using a counter top blender, puree in small batches, filling the blender just a bit past halfway to avoid spilling. Whisk peanut butter into the soup and heat through. Stir in lime juice and salt.
4. Ladle into warm bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream, a few pieces of diced tomato, and sprinkle cilantro.
April 30, 2011 - Creamy Lettuce
What product has the highest markup? A $2 Starbucks coffee that cost $0.04 to make? A $200 pair of Oakley's that cost $10 to make? How about a $12 Mixt Green salad full of dirt cheap lettuce? Ridiculous! For a head of lettuce from the local farmers market and some heat you can make this low fat, filling, and CHEAP soup.
-1 1/2 pounds green lettuce, such as 1 1/2 large heads romaine or 2 heads butter lettuce
-2 large leeks (white and light green parts only), split lengthwise, rinsed well, and sliced
-2 tablespoons butter
-About 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
-Zest of 1 lemon
-3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-1 qt. vegetable stock
-1/2 cup half-and-half
1. Cut ribs from lettuce and chop. Chop leaves. Set both aside separately.
2. Cook leeks and lettuce stems in butter in a 5- to 6-qt. pan over medium heat with 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, the zest, salt, and pepper, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in lettuce leaves and broth, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until lettuce is tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Whirl soup in batches in a blender until very smooth, pouring as blended into a bowl. Return soup to pot and stir in half-and-half. Heat, stirring, over medium heat until steaming (don't let boil), about 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning (if using homemade stock you will most likely need to add some salt).
5. Ladle soup into bowls or cups and sprinkle more nutmeg on top
March 30, 2011 - Italian Kale Wedding Soup
We biked 50 miles to make this soup. No really, we did. An adventure up to the Point Reyes hostel was tough on the legs but pleasant on the taste buds. With a commercial sized kitchen, random strangers, and aide from the hostel reception Sebastian, we whipped up our own version of an Italian Wedding soup. I highly recommend checking out this hostel if you want to get out of the city for a weekend and encourage making soup to fuel for the bike ride.
-2 medium onions, chopped
-4 garlic cloves, chopped
-1 bunch kale, ripped off stem
-4 cups chicken broth
-2 cups butter beans, pre-soaked
-4 spicy sausages, removed from skin and rolled into small balls
Sautee onion and garlic in a large pot 10 min until translucent. Meanwhile, heat chicken broth in a separate pan over medium heat with pre-soaked beans. At the same time (thats right, three things at once) begin to sautee sausage and cook until done.
When onion mixture is done, add chicken broth/beans and cook 15 minutes over medium heat. Add sausage, salt, and pepper to taste and serve.
March 24, 2011 - Butternut Squash
Soup is good for you is a recent article in the SF Chronicle written about readers' favorite soups. Soup a week adapted this soup from the article and Pam took it to another level adding her own secret topping. See below to find out...
-6 cups (about 2 large squash) seeded 2-inch wide chunks butternut squash
-Melted butter, for brushing, plus 1 tbsp unmelted
-1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
-1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
-3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
-3 tablespoons plus 1tsp honey
-1 teaspoon minced ginger
-4 ounces heavy cream
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
-Zest of half a lemon
-1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds.
3. Brush the flesh of the squash with a little butter and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper. On a sheet pan lay the squash flesh side up. Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the flesh is nice and soft.
4. Scoop the flesh from the skin into a pot and add the stock, 3 tbsp honey, ginger and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer and puree using an immersion blender.
5. Stir in the heavy cream and return to a low simmer. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Prepare Crispy Sage Garnish
Sautee fresh sage leaves in 1 tbsp butter until the butter turns brown and the leaves are crisp (take care not to burn the butter). Drizzle with 1 tsp honey and sprinkle with sea salt. Drain leaves on a paper towel and chop roughly. Add the saged butter to the soup and combine well. Serve the soup with crispy sage sprinkled on top.
February 14, 2011 - Chestnut and Celery Root
Nut soups have the best textures. This is our second nut based soup and once again it has not disappointed. This soup is filling flavorful and has got a great texture. Impress your guests with this soup as it is not very common.
-1 Tbs unsalted butter
-1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
-1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
-1/2 cup peeled and coarsely chopped celery root
-1 1/2 cup steamed chestnuts
-1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
-3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
-1 tsp kosher or sea salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-6 Tbs heavy cream
-Thinly sliced chives for garnish
1. Warm butter and oil in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook 10 min until soft. Add celery root, chestnuts, thyme, and stock. Bring to a simmer and cover partially until celery root is tender, 20 to 25 min.
2. Puree mixture in blender. Stir in salt, pepper, and 2 Tbs cream.
3. Whisk remaining cream into soft peaks. Season with salt and pepper. Top with cream and garnish
Feburary 7, 2011 - Italian Sausage and Artichoke
This soup took less time to cook than it did to post it on soup a week. Enough said.
-2 Tbps extra-virgin olive oil
-1 lb sweet pork sausage, removed and broken apart
-3 cans (15 oz ea) chicken broth
-1 lb frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and halved
-1 bunch chard(1 lb), stemmed and chopped
1. In large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add sausage until brown, stirring for about 10 min. Add broth, artichokes, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
2. Reduce to simmer, add chard and cook covered until wilted, about 3 min. Ladle into bowls and serve with parm and bread.
January 24, 2011 - Fennel and Tomato
Fennel is an amazing plant. Did you know it is used to make Absinthe? Eaten raw fennel has a strong bite, but when used correctly it makes for a sweet flavor which makes this soup so tasty. No need to hype here as this meal comes from Anthony's Les Halles Cookbook. This soup practically cooks itself making it a great way to impress guests at a dinner party.
-4 Tbps extra-virgin olive oil
-2 fennel bulbs thinly sliced
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-1 8oz can plum tomatoes
-6 cups light chicken stock or broth
-salt and fresh pepper
-flakes of Parmesan cheese
1. In large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add fennel, onion, and potato. Reduce heat to medium low and sweat the vegetables for 10 minutes taking care not to let them brown. Add tomatoes and cook for 10 more min. Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 1 hour.
2. Remove pot from heat and let cool. Puree mixture in food processor until smooth. Return to the pot, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and season with salt and pepper.
3. Serve with Parmesan flaked over the top
January 17, 2011 - Almond and Zucchini
This is the first nut soup that we've made and while this particular soup was just ok, I thought it could really provide a good platform to explore. The almonds give a nice textured base with flavor that is not overpowering. Almost any ingredient of your choice would add to this soup nicely. I also think that boiling the liquid away to make a thicker soup would be a great drizzle in another soup. Huh, soup complimenting soup...I like it...
-1 cup whole almonds
-2 medium zucchini
-4 cloves garlic
-2 Tbls butter
-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1/2 cup cream
-salt and fresh pepper
-3 to 4 slices of bacon
1. Preheat oven to 275. Place almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 min, until you can smell the roasted aroma. Set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon and set aside to drain on paper towel. Grate the zucchini and mince the garlic. Rub the almonds in a dishtowel to remove skins, then grind the almonds in a food processor.
3. In a soup pot, melt the butter on medium. Stir in zucchini and garlic, cook for 5 min, stirring constantly. Pour in the broth and wine and simmer uncovered for 15 min. Stir in almonds and remove from heat.
4. Puree the mixture in a food processor and strain it using a cheese cloth back into the soup pot. Stir in cream and salt to taste. Reheat but do not allow to boil. Crumble in bacon and garnish with black pepper.
January 10, 2011 - Cabbage and Bean with Duck Confit
I see a duck.
The duck sees me.
I like the duck.
The duck likes me.
Big green ducks.
One. Two. Three.
I like Cabbage and Bean Soup.
With Duck Confit.
-1 lb dried shell beans (navy or while, or flageolets)
-1 cured ham hock
-4 medium onions, peeled
-3 carrots, peeled
-4 oz piece seasoning bacon
-Bouquet garni (sprigs of thyme and parsley, a bay leaf, green leek tops, tied together)
-3 cloves garlic, peeled
-2 leeks (trimmed and washed)
-3 small potatoes, peeled and quartered
-4 small turnips, thick sliced
-1 medium head green cabbage
-2 tbsp duck fat
-2 cups chicken stock
-4 preserved duck legs (duck confit)
1. Soak the beans in water to cover for 2 hours. Drain them and put in a large stock pot with the ham hock, one whole onion, one whole carrot, the bacon and the bouquet garni. Add water to cover and bring slowly to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender (about 1 to 1.5 hours). When they are done, let them cool in their liquid.
2. Meanwhile, slice the remaining onions and carrots and garlic; slice the trimmed white part of the leeks; trim and core the cabbage and cut into thick slices.
3. In a large heavy skillet (or divide the following between two med skillets), melt the duck fat, add the onions, garlic and leeks, cook them over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover with the chicken stock, bring to a boil, add the potatoes, turnips, carrots and cabbage. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
4. Remove the ham hock, onion, bacon and bouquet garni form the pot of beans. When the other vegetables are done, add them and their liquid to the bean pot. Cut the bacon into small pieces and shred the meat from the ham hock and duck legs. Add all the meat to the soup, season to taste with salt, and simmer for another 10 minutes (check the potatoes are cooked).
Serve ladled over pieces of bread in warmed soup bowls.
January 3, 2011 - Mushroom and Cauliflower
Unless you really really really like cauliflower and really really really like mushroom, don't make this soup. No, I am not even kidding, it lacks flavor, substance, and spunk. This soup probably contains between 4 and 7 calories, but your taste buds will want to commit suicide, so its your call.
-1 1/4 pounds cauliflower
-1/2 pound (8 oz) cremini mushrooms
-2 cloves garlic
-2 Tablespoons olive oil
-5 cups water
-1/3 cup whole milk
-Salt and pepper
-4 Tablespoons walnut, almond, or avocado oil
1. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Cut the mushrooms into 1/2-in. slices and mince garlic.
2. In soup pot, heat olive oil on medium. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 min. Add the garlic and saute for 1 more min. Pour in the water and add the cauliflower. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 6 more minutes.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a New York minute. Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor and pour back into the soup pot over medium heat. Drizzle in the milk and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each bowl with 1-2 teaspoons of the oil of your choice.
June 17, 2010 - Golden Vegetable and French Lentil
Hey all you vegetarians out there! You have got to check out this soup. Its light, inexpensive to make, and meat free. An acquaintance once told me that Lentils are the heartbeat of a healthy diet. The only legume with more protein is hemp. Go figure!
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 onion, finely chopped
-1 garlic clove, finely chopped
-1 carrot, halved and thinly sliced
-1 lb green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
-14 oz can chopped tomatoes
-1 tsp chopped fresh or ½ tsp dried thyme
-2 Bay leaves
-6 ¼ cups vegetable or chicken stock
-7 oz French green lentils
-2 cups water
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Chopped fresh Italian parsley, to garnish
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, carrot and one of the bay leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to soften. Add the cabbage and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes and thyme, then pour in the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook gently, partially covered, for about 45 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
3. Meanwhile, put the lentils in another saucepan with the remaining bay leaf and the water. Bring just to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 25 minutes until tender. Drain off remaining water and set aside.
4. When the vegetable soup is cooked, allow it to cool slightly, and then blend until smooth with an immersion blender. Alternatively, transfer to a food processor or blender and process until smooth (if using a food processor, strain off the liquids before processing the solids, then recombine), then return the soup to the pan.
5. Add the cooked lentils to the soup, add salt and pepper to taste, and cook for about 10 minutes to heat through. Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with parsley.
June 10, 2010 - Everything But the Kitchen Sink
I believe that this is one of the best soups ever. Why? Its unpredictable, spontaneous, and always unique. Its personal. Its your creation. Its you.
Ingredients (self explanitory) - but this is what I made
-1 large onion, cut in half
-1 head of celery, cut into 3 in. sticks
-4 cloves of garlic, leave whole
-4 cobs of corn
-2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
-1 bag of bow tie pasta
-whatever spices are available
-salt and pepper
This soup is also known as caveman soup because I like to cut the vegetables in large sizes. Abnormally large sizes...
1. Put all drumsticks into a large pot and fill with water so the drumsticks are covered. Add the onion, celery, and garlic. Boil for 45 minutes skimming off the brown residue that surfaces.
2. Remove the drumsticks and cut the meat off the bone. Discard the bone and add the meat back to the pot. Add the tomatoes, corn, and spices and simmer partially covered for another hour. Add salt and pepper as desired.
3. In a separate pan, boil the bag of bow tie pasta.
4. To serve, fill bottom of bowl with pasta, then add the soup, and top liberally with Parmesan cheese.
June 3, 2010 - Curried Fresh Pea
Soup a Week has taken our famous weekly soups overseas to Saint-Alexandre France, as seen in the beautiful scenery on the right.
-1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
-1 bunch Italian parsley, washed and chopped
-1 small green lettuce, washed and coarsely chopped
-10 ½ oz shelled fresh peas (or frozen substitution)
-1 ½ oz butter
-5 tbsp whipping cream
-1 level tsp curry powder (see note)
-6 cups chicken stock
-4 slices of thick sliced white bread
Note:The flavor of this soup will depend a lot on the choice of curry powder, and there are many kinds to choose from. We made this batch with yellow Ras Al Hanout, a Moroccan curry powder used by the North African immigrants residing in Provence.
1. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or medium stock pot, sauté onion in half the butter until pale golden brown (about 7-8 minutes).
2. Add the lettuce and soften for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally
3. Add the curry powder and stir well
4. Add the stock, bring to a boil and cook briskly for 5 minutes.
5. Add the parsley and peas and simmer uncovered until the peas are cooked, about 15-20 minutes (check the seasoning after 10 minutes or so and salt to taste)
6. While the soup is simmering, chop the bread into 1-inch cubes and sauté in the remaining butter until golden brown, stirring often. Keep them warm in a low oven in a small bowl.
7. When the peas are cooked, turn off the heat and blend the soup to a fine cream using an immersion blender (preferred) or in batches in a blender or food processor
8. Reheat the soup in the pan and add the cream just as it comes to a boil
9. Check seasoning and serve in warmed soup bowls with the croûtons
May 20, 2010 - Cream of Wild Mushroom
The mushroom is very influential. It is the item you strive for in the first Mario to grow a little bigger. It is the aftermath of an enormous explosion. Someone must always point out that, yes, it is a fungus. A staple at a lot of restaurants, Cream of Mushroom soup is well known. I actually ordered a bowl at a restaurant the night after making this recipe in the test kitchen. This one...way better!
-5 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms
-5 oz fresh portobello mushrooms
-5 oz fresh cremini (or porcini) mushrooms
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1/4 pound (1 stick) plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
-1 cup chopped yellow onion
-1 carrot, chopped
-1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 tsp minced thyme leaves
-freshly ground black pepper
-2 cups chopped leeks, white and green parts (2 leeks)
-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
-1 cup dry white wine
-1 cup half-and-half
-1 cup heavy cream
-1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a dry paper towel. Do not wash them! Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick, if they are big cut them into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom stems, the onion, carrot, the sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid. You should have about 4 1/2 cups of stock. If not add some water.
Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown. Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes or until they are browned and tender. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 mintues. Add the half-and-half, cream, and parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat through but do not boil. Serve hot.
May 13, 2010 - Avocado and Corn
The Avocado. The name itself is derived from a male body part. But that is neither here nor there. The delicous fruit is becoming ever popular, especially in California where it can be grown during the spring and summer months. It has its own commission for gods sake. Paired with a great counterpart in corn, this light soup makes for a good summer selection. So, grab a couple gonad lookin' fruit at your local produce market and enjoy
-2 medium ripe Avocados
-1 cup fresh (if in season) or frozen Corn Kernels
-5 cups vegetable stock
-1 Tbsp lemon juice
-Salt to taste
-1 Tbsp oil
-2 cloves garlic crushed
-1/2 tsp white pepper powder
-2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
1. Halve the avocados and remove the pit and peel.
2. Blend the avocados with vegetable stock, lemon juice, and salt in a blender, until smooth.
3. Heat oil in a medium saucepan, add garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes
4. Add the avocado mixture and combine. Add the corn and cook on medium heat until just steaming. Do not boil.
5. Season with salt and pepper powder.
6. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot.
May 5, 2010 - Sopa de Tortilla Mexicana
Get out your finest tequila
-1 Spanish onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
-7 cloves garlic, smashed
-1/2 canned chipotle chile in adobo, seeded and coarsely chopped
-One 28-ounce can chopped fire-roasted tomatoes
-5 cups chicken broth
-Vegetable oil for frying
-6 white corn tortillas, halved and cut into thin strips
-2 tsps kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling tortillas
-2 dried pasilla chile, seeded, and cut into thin 3-inch long strips
-6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
-Freshly ground black pepper
-2 cups shredded cooked chicken
-1-1/2 cup grated Monterey jack or cheddar cheese (about 4 1/2 ounces)
-1 scallion (white and green), thinly sliced on the diagonal
-Fresh cilantro, for garnishaves,
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot. Arrange the onion and garlic in the skillet in a single layer and cook, turning once, until charred, about 7 minutes. Combine the chipotle, tomatoes, charred onion, and garlic in a blender and puree until smooth. Work in batches if necessary. Transfer the tomato mixture to a large pot. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until the mixture has thickened, about 4 minutes. Pour in the broth, return to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour the oil for frying into a large heavy-bottomed pot to a depth of 2 inches. Place over medium heat and heat to 365 degrees F. Add the tortilla strips and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the strips to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the pasilla strips, frying them for 10 seconds, and transfer to the plate.
When ready to serve the soup, stir in the 2 teaspoons salt and the lime juice. Divide the tortilla strips, chicken and cheese among soup bowls and ladle the tomato broth over them. Garnish with the pasilla strips, scallion, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
April 30, 2010 - Vietnamese Beef Pho
I took a long taxi ride across town one night in a rainstorm and struck up a conversation with the cabbie, an enthusiastic Vietnamese man named Tony. We talked about food, and in particular soup. He claimed to have the best family recipe for Beef Pho, and by the time I hopped out at my destination I was determined to attempt this signature asian soup. If I ever see Tony again I'll be sure to thank him for the inspiration. I chose this recipe on his description and much arm waving. I was lucky to arrive in one piece and live to test this out...
-4 pounds oxtails or beef short ribs
-18 cups water
-1 tsp vegetable oil
-1 medium onion, halved
-One 3-in. piece unpeeled fresh ginger, halved lengthwise
-2 bay leaves
-Two 3-in. piece of rock sugar or 6 sugar cubes
-2 Tbsp Kosher salt
-4 whole cloves
-4 star anise pods, broken into pieces
-2 tsp fennel seeds
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-3 large garlic cloves, chopped
-2 Tbsp crushed red pepper
-1 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
-1/2 tsp Asian sesame oil
Soup Garnishes (Essential)
-1 pound rice vermicelli
-1 pound beef round, partially frozen, very thinly sliced across grain
-sliced jalapeno chiles
-Thai basil leaves
Soup Garnishes (optional)
-Asian fish sauce, Asian sesame oil, Sriracha chile sauce, Cilantro sprigs, Sliced onion, Escarole leaves,
In a large soup pot, cover the oxtails or short ribs with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Drain off the water. Add the 18 cups of water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small nonstick skillet. Add the onion and ginger, cut sides down, and cook over moderately high heat until richly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and ginger to the pot along with the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, rock sugar and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Put the cloves, star anise and fennel seeds in a tea ball or tie them up in a piece of cheesecloth. Add them to the pot and simmer, skimming occasionally, until the oxtails are tender, about 2 hours. Add lime juice and strain the broth in a large sieve set over a heatproof bowl. Remove the meat from the oxtails. Refrigerate the broth and the oxtail meat separately overnight. Skim solid fat from surface of broth after chilling.
Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper and sesame seeds and cook for 1 minute; transfer to a bowl. Stir in the sesame oil and a pinch of salt.
ASSEMBLE THE SOUP
Put the rice vermicelli in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let the vermicelli soak until pliable, about 20 minutes. Bring the broth to a simmer over moderately high heat and add the chilled oxtail meat. Add more salt if needed. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Drain the vermicelli. Working in 6 batches, put the vermicelli in the strainer and lower it into the boiling water for 30 seconds, or until the vermicelli is barely tender. Drain and transfer to the bowls. Place the thinly sliced raw beef in a large strainer and lower it into the simmering broth for 4 seconds; transfer the meat to 6 soup bowls. Ladle about 1 1/2 cups of the broth over each bowl. Put each of the remaining ingredients in separate bowls and arrange the basil, limes, jalapenos and bean sprouts together on a platter. Serve the soup with the condiments and the sesame-chile oil.
April 23, 2010 - Fava Bean
A census taker once tried to test me, I ate his liver with some fava bean soup and a nice Chianti...
-4 pounds fresh fava beans
-1/3 cup olive oil
-1 med onion, sliced thinly
-1 fresh fennel bulb, trimmed, sliced
-1 teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely ground in spice grinder
-1 medium Yukon gold potato, sliced
-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
-4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
-1/2 cup pancetta, chopped
-1/2 tsp dried savory
-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1. Remove beans from their pods.
2. Cook shelled beans in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and plunge beans into ice water, drain when cold.
3. Remove the tough outer skins from beans by pinching the outer skin between your thumb and forefinger; discard skins
4. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and fennel bulb; sauté 5 minutes
5. Add favas and fennel seeds; sauté 3 minutes
6. Add broth, potato and 2 tbsp dill; bring to boil
7. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors
8. Stir in pancetta and savory
9. Simmer until favas are tender, about 20 minutes longer
10. Blend soup in batches in a food processor or blender OR use an immersion blender in the soup pot
11. Mix in lemon juice and 2 tbsp dill
12. Season to taste with salt and pepper
April 16, 2010 - Turban Squash & Ancho Chile
Sometimes spring cometh and then goeth away. That's the case with this week's soup. It was pouring down when I decided to cook and so a warm, spicy soup seemed like just the thing. My band came over for a rehearsal, and they concurred. Slurp, swing, sing, slurp!
-3 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
-2 leeks, tops removed
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1 med onion, diced small
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-Salt to taste
-Fresh ground black pepper
-2 1/2 punds turban squash--peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks (butternut squash may be substituted)
-2 golden delicious apples--peeled, cored and cut in chunks
-8 cups light chicken or vegetable stock or water
-6-8 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream for garnish
Lightly toast the ancho chiles in a dry saute pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover them in warm water for 30 minutes. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise. Rinse them well and cut them into thin slices. Set aside. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium and saute the onions and leeks until they are soft. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and continue to saute until the mixture is lightly brown. Add the squash, apples, chiles, and stock or water. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the mixture is very soft. Remove from the heat. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor and strain it through a fine sieve, OR utilize an immersion blender in the pot of soup.
Serve hot garnished with a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream.
April 9, 2010 - Spring Soup
Spring is here, spring is here! The cherry trees are blooming! Romance is in the air! There's nothing better on a warm spring morning than browsing a local farmer's market for fresh spring vegetables and making a quick, light healthy soup from them. I did just that at San Francisco's Alemany Farmers Market and made this recipe for Spring Soup. The original recipe came from Jamie Davies at Schramsberg Cellars, makers of fine sparkling wines. If you can't afford the bubbly rose, regular French dry rose will do. Yum!
-1 pkg. Won Ton skins
-12 tsp Pesto
-1 Egg yolk
-8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
-8 petite carrots, cut in long diagonals
-1 cup green beans, cut in diagonal pieces
-1 cup asparagus, cut in diagonal pieces
-1 cup small green peas
-1 cup green cabbage, finely shredded
-1 cup scallions, cut in diagonal pieces
-1 cup zucchini, cut in a medium dice
-1 cup mushrooms, quartered
-1 cup spinach leaves, cut in ribbons
-1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
Place 1 teaspoon of pesto on a wonton skin. Pat a dot of egg yolk in the corner as "glue", and fold to a triangle shape. Dot egg yolk on one outer point. Bring points around and press one on top of the other. Here is a helpful photo essay on how to fold a wonton.
Bring stock to a simmer in a large soup pot. Add each vegetable in the order given to the left, allowing the broth to come back to a simmer after each addition. Add pesto-filled wontons and cook gently until tender, about 5-8 minutes. Serve in warmed soup plates.
April 1, 2010 - Soup de Chien
Oh, so good, (lick) (lick), mmm, the fat, the bones. Oh my god! (ruf) (grunt) even some MEAT! This is better than the rock hard pebbles of dirt they feed to me twice a day. (sniff sniff) A HALF EATEN SANDWHICH! (romp) Mmmmm. This is heaven. I am in heaven.
-1 cup raw bacon fat
-3 partially degraded bones from the gutter
-1 half eaten sandwich, covered with ketchup and dirt
-8 cups compost stock including banana peels, coffee grounds, chicken skins, and stale bread, and egg shells
-3 cups cat food
-2 beer cans from recycling bin, sticky if possible
-Salt to taste
Mix and serve.
Suggested Parings (serves a pack of 4)
March 25, 2010 - Scallop and Bacon Chowder
The moment I tasted the first spoonful, I was flooded with childhood memories eating clam chowder in New England, where I spent the first 23 years of my life. I've tried a number of chowders in SF, but none compare to the rich creamy fish-filled chowder I used to eat back east. But, this soup gets my stamp of approval. I'll say flat out it is the best chowder in the city. Prove me wrong if you don't believe me.
-1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
-3/4 cup olive oil
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-8 ounces bacon, coarsely chopped
-2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
-3 garlic cloves, chopped
-1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
-1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
-1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
-3 8-ounce bottles clam juice
-1 cup whipping cream
-1 pound bay scallops, connective tissue removed
Blend parsley, oil, and salt in blender until smooth. Pour into small bowl. (Parsley oil can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)
Cook bacon in heavy large pot over medium-high heat until crisp and brown. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons drippings from pot. Add leeks, garlic, and thyme to pot and saute until leeks begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add corn and saute 2 minutes. Add potatoes, clam juice, and cream; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add scallops and bacon and simmer until scallops are just opaque in center, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle chowder into bowls. Drizzle 1 teaspoon parsley oil atop chowder in each bowl and serve.
March 18, 2010 - Thai Chicken-Coconut
[Tom Kha Gai]
This weeks soup is the result of an ill-advised, time-sucking detour into New May Wah Asian Market in San Francisco's Richmond District. Originally going in there for pickles and tea, I allowed myself to be mesmerized by the incredible variety of fresh vegetables in the produce area. Something drew me inexorably to the very back corner, where the colorful and fragrant baskets of kaffir lime leaves, red chiles, lemongrass and ginger seduced me. This feast for the eyes quickly swam together into a cohesive culinary vision--Thai Chicken-Coconut Soup, otherwise known as Tom Kha Gai. It's easy, it's quick, and it's good. You'll have to keep making it, if only to use up all the lime leaves you had to buy in a single package before they turn into a mysterious mulch at the bottom of your salad drawer.
-4 oz. dried cellophane noodles
-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
-1 lemongrass stalk, crushed
-1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
-2 fresh kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
-1 fresh Thai red chile, seeded and thinly sliced
-2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
-1 cup of coconut cream
-2 Tbsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
-1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
-1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
-4 scallions, green part only, finely sliced
-fresh cilantro leaves, to garnish
1. Soak the dried noodles in a bowl with enough lukewarm water to cover for 20 minutes, until softened. Alternatively, cook the noodles according to the package instruction. Drain well and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat, add the lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and chile. Simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add the chicken and simmer for an additional 3 minutes or until cooked.
4. Stir in the coconut cream, nam pla, and lime juice and continue simmering for 3 minutes.
5. Add the bean sprouts and scallions and simmer for an additional 1 minute. Taste and gradually add extra nam pla or lime juice if needed.
6. Remove and discard the lemongrass stalk.
7. Divide the noodles among 4 bowls. Bring the soup back to a boil and ladle into bowls. The heat of the soup will warm the noodles. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves to garnish.
March 11, 2010 - Tomato and Lentil
I grew up at my mother's knee in the kitchen, observing, helping, eating, and generally getting in the way. We ate soup every week, and one of the family favorites was this hearty tomato and red lentil concoction of my mother's. I went away to college in Leeds and became a poor hippie who lived in a crumbling student flat with three other poor hippies, where we subsisted on mainly beer, lentils and progressive rock music. My mother's tomato and red lentil soup became the go-to meal, especially when friends came over. I became famous for it in my circles, and carried this recipe through my life thereafter. Roommates craved it, heck even I crave it once in a while. So, hey beautiful people! Go put on some Birkenstocks and a hemp apron, crank up the Grateful Dead in the kitchen and make this soup!
-1 oz butter or 2 Tbsp olive oil
-1 very large onion (or 2 medium), sliced
-2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
-2 bay leaves
-16 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes (use plain if not available)
-2 Tbsp tomato paste
-2 cups red lentils
-2 tsp Marmite (optional, adjust salt accordingly)
-6 cups vegetable stock
-Juice and zest of 1 lemon
-1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (1/4 tsp dried basil)
-1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano (1/4 tsp dried)
-salt to taste
-several grinds of black pepper to taste
1. Melt the butter in a large stockpot or saucepan.
2. Sautee the onion, garlic, and bay leaves in the butter for about 10 minutes on a low-medium heat, stirring frequently
3. Add remaining ingredients and combine well
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1.5 hours, stirring frequently for the first 30 minutes to prevent the lentils from sticking on the bottom.
5. Remove bay leaves.
6. Reserve 2 cups of soup for texture and blend the remainder in blender or food processor. Return the reserved soup into the blended soup. (Make use of an immersion blender if available and blend soup in the existing pot to the desired texture). If soup is too thick, add a cup of stock.
7. Adjust seasonings and serve garnished with sprigs of whole basil in each bowl (see photo).
March 5, 2010 - Middle-Eastern Soup with Harissa
If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. This soup is not forgiving. She'll make you cry. She'll make you sweat. When you're done, your nose will be running like Yosemite Falls after the snowmelt. Mixed with tender cubes of lamb, the flavorful harissa adds the perfect kick in the pants to compliment this Middle Eastern soup.
-3 Tbsp olive oil
-4 lbs lamb shank
-1 small onion, chopped
-1 3/4 cups chicken stock
-7 cups water
-16 oz/400 g sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
-2 inch piece cinnamon stick
-1 tsp ground cumin
-2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
-2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
-1/2 tsp coriander seeds, dry-roasted
-1 oz fresh red chiles, chopped
-2 garlic cloves, chopped
-2 tsp caraway seeds
Process the roasted bell peppers, coriander seeds, chiles, garlic, and caraway seeds in a food processor. With the processor running, add enough oil to make a paste. Season with salt, then spoon into a jar. Cover with oil, seal, and chill.
1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Prick eggplants, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 1 hour. When cool, peel and chop.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the lamb and cook until browned. Add the onion, stock, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 1 hour.
3. Remove the shanks from the stock, cut off the meat,and chop. Add the sweet potato, cinnamon, and cumin to the stock, then bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Discard cinnamon and process the mixture in a food processor with the eggplant.
5. Return to pan, add the lamb and cilantro, and heat until hot. Serve with harissa.
February 26, 2010 - Curried Parsnip Soup
I am the carrot's younger brother, always getting the hand-me-downs. The potato and even the turnip shine in the spotlight before me. While I provide more nutrition and flavor, my place in the grocery store is usually ankle level. But not here. Not today. This is soup. And I make a damn good soup. So stand aside all you root vegetables becuase I am about to kick ass!
-1 medium onion
-1 1/2 oz butter
-1 rounded dessert spoon medium curry powder (Malaysian)
-1 slightly rounded tbsp plain flour
-4 cups well flavored chicken stock
-1 small unpeeled red potato (grated)
-1 lb parsnips (peeled and grated)
-1 large bay leaf
-1 large clove garlic
-Salt to taste
-Freshly ground pepper
-1/4 cup of Creme Fraiche
1. Finely chop and saute the onion in butter until soft and golden.
2. Add the curry powder and fry for a couple of minutes, then add the flour and fry for another couple of minutes.
3. Add the hot chicken stock, stir to make sure that the roux is incorporated into the liquid then add the grated vegetables, crushed garlic and the bay leaf.
4. Bring just up to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
5. Allow to cool a little, take out the bay leaf and puree half the soup in a blender until smooth. Add the blended portion back into the rest of the soup.
6. Check the seasoning and add salt to taste.
7. Add the creme fraiche just before serving but do not allow the soup to boil once the cream has been added. If you feel that the soup is too thick, add a little more chicken stock.
To Serve: Add a swirl of cream and grind the black pepper to each bowl. Pair with crusty peasant bread or naan.
February 19, 2010 - Celery Root Soup
The only thing that watching the Olympics does is make me feel hopelessly out of shape... Which is why we've chosen a light and healthy Celery Root Soup to eat while watching the winter games. This is the perfect diet soup that tastes delicious without packing on the calories. Even Oprah has claimed this soup can knock off 7 pounds a week!
-Pinch of sea salt
-3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
-2 medium celery roots, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
-2 ribs celery, chopped
-1 large onion, chopped
-2 qts. vegetable broth
-1 bay leaf
-1 cup thick cashew cream (see recipe at right)
-2 Tbs. Chive oil (see right)
-Salt and pepper to taste
Put 2 cups rinsed whole raw (not roasted) cashews in a bowl; cover with cold water and soak in fridge overnight. Drain nuts, rinse with cold water and place in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover them. Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth. If you're using a high speed blender (which creates an ultra-smooth cream), strain cashew cream through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Makes about 2 1/4 cups.
Blanch 1 small bunch of chives for 30 seconds in boiling water, then drain and chill in an ice bath. Squeeze the moisture from the chives, then place in a blender with 1/2 cup canola oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, puree for 2 minutes. Strain with sieve or cheesecloth. This oil is flavorful! So use only 5-6 drops per serving.
In a large pot over medium heat, warm the salt for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds being careful not to let it smoke (we're doing this for the non-stick effect). Add celery root, celery, and onion; saute for 6-10 minutes...stirring often, until soft but not brown. Add vegetable broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add cashew cream and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf from soup and puree soup in a blender. Season with salt and pepper. Serve soup with a drizzle of about 1 tspn. chive oil. Enjoy as you watch the speed skating finals.
Suggested Parings (going for the gold in the low calorie downhill)
February 12, 2010 - Soup au Vin
Bond...Alan Bond. One martini and a mandolin lesson later he had joined us in the Soup a Week test kitchen. This special soup taster was happy to trade his mandolin chops for a bowl of this weeks soup. A perfect soup to loosen up your Valentine date. Give it a go on Sunday and report back...Happy Valentine's Day!
-1 bottle of red Bordeaux wine
-2 Tbsp butter
-1 cup slab bacon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
-5 leeks, cut into 1/4 inch dice
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-2 Tbsp flour
-3 cups light or dark chicken stock or broth
-1 bouquet consisting of 1 sprig of flat parsley, 2 sprigs of thyme, and 1 bay leaf
Bring the wine to a boil in a large pot (except for a single splash, which you should hold in reserve). After 5 minutes of rolling boil, remove it from the heat and set aside. In another large pot, heat the butter over medium heat and once it has melted, add the bacon, and sweat it for about 5 minutes. Stir the leeks and the onion right in there and let them cook over low heat for another 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.
Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes more, then whisk in the wine and chicken stock and add your bouquet of spices. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, remove bouquet, then serve, topped with the remaining splash of wine.
Source: Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook
February 4, 2010 - Creamy Pistachio Soup
Anytime I can shovel down liquified pistachios, I jump at the chance. To be artfully blended with rich cream and a clever arrangement of spices, this soup dances on the pallet. From a swift sand shuffle to an executed jeté, only Julliard tasters are allowed for this soup
This soup was completed and consumed at 2 AM after a night of honky-tonking at Brisbane's legendary 23 Club with that notorious Bay Area rockabilly bon-vivant, Mitch Polzak. He drank Trumer Pils, told bawdy stories and slurped loudly. Apologies to the neighbors...
-1 cup shelled pistachio nuts (not dyed red)
-1 bay leaf
-1/2 cup celery, don't leave the leaves out!
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1/4 cup rice
-3/4 cup dry sherry
-1 small onion, minced
-6 cups chicken stock
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1 cup heavy cream
-4 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
-salt and pepper to taste
-1/4 cup parsley, minced for garnish
January 29, 2010 - Sweet Potato and Blue Cheese Soup
I remember the first spoonful clear as day, but after that, I blacked out. I woke up in my superman sweatshirt with no pants on face down on the kitchen table. Unfortuately for me, Pam got some video, seen here. What can I say...drunk off flavor.
-4 Tbsp butter
-1 large onion, chopped
-2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
-6 oz/175g sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (this is approx one large one)
-3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
-1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
-1 bay leaf
-2/3 cup heavy cream
-5 1/2 oz/150g crumbled blue cheese
-fresh ground black pepper
-2 tbsp finely crumbled blue cheese for garnish
the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and
leeks and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes until soft (do not brown).
Add the sweet potatoes and cook another 5 minutes, stirring, then pour in
the stock, add the parsley and bay leaf, and season with black pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 30
minutes. Remove from the heat and let cook for 10 minutes. Remove
and discard the bay leaf.
Transfer half the soup into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Return this to the pan with the rest of the soup, stir in the cream and cook for another 5 minutes. Gradually stir in the crumbled cheese until melted. Don't let the soup boil!
Remove the soup from the heat and ladle into warmed bowls. Garnish with finely crumbled cheese and serve
January 24, 2010 - Pork Posole
"The house still smells like Posole!", Pam excitedly announced when she returned home from a weekend trip at Yosemite. Posole's top quality is its ability to make itself known - aromatically and on the tastebuds. It's full of lots of meat, fresh chili flavor, and warm wintertime heartyness. It's delicious!
-2 (29 oz) cans white hominy posole, drained
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 tsp salt
-freshly ground black pepper
-5 lbs boneless pork shoulder or butt cut into large chunks
-1 onion, finely chopped
-12 cups water
Red Chile Sauce
-6 guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded
-2 ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
-1 cup chili soaking water, strained
-1/2 medium yellow onion, quartered
-5 cloves garlic
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 tsp dried Mexican oregano or 1 Tbsp freshly minced
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp salt
-3 to 4 limes cut into wedges
-1 bunch fresh radishes stemmed and thinly sliced
-1 bunch green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
-cilantro, coarsely chopped
-2 avocados, chopped
First, clear your afternoon, this one takes about 4 hours start to finish (1 hour of labor). Don't worry, its definitely worth the time and it will serve a family of 8 to 10.
Red Chili Sauce