Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Soups Worth Slurping

I don’t know if there’s any truth to the story that blood thins when one lives in the desert. Despite bright sun, I think it’s cold outside but I’m inside with a good book and a cuddly kid and a pot of soup on the stove. Good book + cuddly kid + soup = perfection in my book.

Soup for Slurping

I love that soup can be complex or simple, light or hearty, slow cooked or quick. In the end, I typically prepare them in a very similar manner. Heat a chopped onion and minced garlic in olive oil until soft, add spices. Add the other ingredients and stock, simmer and then blend. There are infinite varieties that could I write of but here are ten favorites.

1. Broccoli with green apple – This delightful combo comes via Chef Robert Engel of Russian River Vineyards.

Saute 1 small chopped onion in 2 Tbs olive oil until partially soft. Add 2 tsp curry powder and continue for 3 minutes. Chop 6 cups of broccoli flowers and stalk. Peel lower stalk if tough. Core and chop 1 green apple. Put 4 cups of stock, broccoli and apple into the pot with the onion and cook until broccoli is soft. Strain with a sieve. Return stock to the stove and put the strained ingredients into a food processor. Make a roux of 2 Tbs butter and 2 Tbs flour and cook on low for 5 minutes. Cool the roux and add it to the stock. Add the puree and 2/3 cup milk or cream.

2. Carrot with cashewsMollie Katzen is the designer of this soup and it’s variations.

Peel, trim and cut 2 lbs. carrots into chunks. Cover with 4 cups of water and bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer until tender. In a small skillet, heat 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add 1.5 cups chopped onions and saute ’til soft. Add 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 Tbs. grated ginger, 1.5 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp of the following spices; cumin, ground fennel, cinnamon, allspice. Saute until well mixed and add 3 Tbs lemon juice. Puree everything in a food processor. Add one cup of toasted cashews and blend some more.

3. Turnip with greensDeborah Madison pays homage to the lowly turnip like no one else. Even those who tell you they don’t eat them, will gobble this down.

Place 1.5 lb of sliced turnips (small ones are best) into 3 qts of boiling salted water. Cook 1 minute and drain. Melt 3 Tb butter into stock pot with 1/2 cup water. Add 2 – 3 sliced leeks (whites only), blanched turnips, 1/4 tsp thyme, 1 tsp salt. Stew, covered for 5 minutes and then add 4 cups milk. Heat without boiling until turnips are tender. Puree it in a food processor. In a separate pan melt 2 Tbs butter and add 2 cups of chopped turnip greens. Cook 5 – 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Add chopped greens to the top of each bowl.

4. Beans and greens – This is as easy as the title suggests. In a deep pot, heat 4 cloves minced garlic in 3 Tbs olive oil until it begins to soften. Add your favorite chopped greens and turn frequently as they wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 cups of stock and 2 cups of cooked white beans. Sprinkle parmesan on top  to serve.

5. Black bean with wheatberries – Probably the most complex on my list but hearty and enjoyable.

Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in dutch oven over high heat. Add 4 cups chopped onion, 1.75 cups chopped carrots, 1 cup chopped celery and 3 cloves of minced garlic until soft. Stir in 1/2 cup uncooked wheat berries. Add 4 cups of water and 3 cups of stock and bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (no oil), 2 tsp ground cumin, 4 cups cooked black beans, and 1.5 tsp adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle chiles) and cook until wheatberries are soft. Combine 1/3 cup water with 1 Tbs tomato paste and whisk into the soup. Simmer 15 minutes longer.

6. Roasted tomato and red pepper – perfect when you don’t want it creamy.

Rub oil on 3 red bell peppers and place under broiler until blackened – turning to get all sides. Put into paper bag and let rest 15 minutes. Peel, core and chop. Heat 1 tsp olive oil. Add 1 chopped onion and 2 cloves minced garlic. Cook until soft but not brown. Stir in 4 large seeded chopped tomatoes, peppers, 1.5 tsp dried thyme, 2 tsp paprika, and 1/8 tsp sugar. Cook over medium heat until tomato juice evaporates. Stir in 6 cups stock, salt and pepper, and a pinch cayenne. Bring to boiling, lower heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes. Strain soup, reserving broth. Place solids in food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Add puree back into broth. Melt 2 Tbs butter and stir in 1.5 Tbs flour, cook for 1 minute. Stirring slowly, add broth/vegetable mixture. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes.

7. Cauliflower and Fennel – These are my favorite vegetables. They often don’t make it to the soup pot once they’ve come from the oven.

Toss 1 head cauliflower broken into florets, 1 large chopped fennel bulb, and 6 cloves garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400º for about 25 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer to a soup pot and saute in olive oil and a little butter for about 10 minutes. Add 6 cups broth and 2 chopped potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are soft. Puree. (add 1 cup cream or milk if you like)

8. Lentil – This is a staple. I first shared this recipe here. It comes from Food and Wine and is divine.

Combine 1 cup of rinsed brown lentils with 4 cups water, 4 cups stock and 1.5 tsp of salt and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook over low heat until lentils are barely tender. In a separate skillet, heat 3 Tbs olive oil. Add 1 chopped onion,pinch crushed red pepper and a pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat, until the onion is lightly browned. Add 4 cloves minced garlic and 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add 1 bunch of chopped swiss chard (ribs removed) until wilted. Add the chard to the lentils, cover partially, and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

9. Potato with Kale – This is another Deborah Madison recipe definitely on the comfort list. Heat 3 Tbs. olive oil in a soup pot and add 6 cloves of sliced garlic, 1 diced onion, 1/2 tsp of red chile flakes, 1 bay leaf and 1 tsp salt. Cook for a few minutes. Add 1 lb of diced potatoes and 1 cup of stock and cook covered for 5 minutes. Add 1 bunch kale torn from the stems. Once wilted, add 6 more cups of stock, bring to a boil and then simmer covered until the potatoes are soft. Puree 2 cups of soup in a blender and return to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and let sit for an hour before serving.

10. Gotta include Sweet Onion – For us, this is more of a summer soup but if you’re lucky enough to be able to store your sweet onions into the winter, it’s so worth it.

Heat 2 Tbs butter over medium heat. Add 7 chopped sweet onions and stir to coat with butter. Cover and reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. About halfway through, add 1/4 tsp dried thyme. Remove lid and add your choice of 1 cup milk, cream or soy and 1 cup stock. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until you get your desired thickness.

Slurp away! What are your winter favorites?

Leave a comment

94 Comments

  1. Sally Mom

     /  January 22, 2012

    The snow and ice are melting, the winds died down and a pot of lentil soup on the stove while I finish the last of wind blown branches outside. I can hardly wait to go in and chow down with my book and only wish I had a little grandson handy. I can hardly wait to try the broccoli and green apple soup! Comfort food at its very best!
    You are a good cook, Miss tammy!

    Reply
  2. Thanks for these soup ideas…I’ve never thought of a few of these combinations!

    Reply
  3. Love this, Tammy. Where is the Cuddly Kid :-)

    Reply
  4. My favorite farm truck is overloaded with turnips–a vegetable I’m not too sure how to work. I just might buy a bunch this week for this soup, especially since I have leeks and thyme in my garden.

    Reply
    • oh good. I hope you do try it. It really has surprised a bunch of people who thought it was potato! Let me know.

      Reply
  5. These sound great. I just made a pot of split pea soup ~ very similar to your lentil soup (onion, celery, carrots, split peas, bouillon, potatoes, greens).

    Other faves: onion soup, minestrone, harvest vegetable, creamy broccoli and potato soup, vegetable barley, corn chowder, black beans and rice, and peanut soup (as made in Wmsburg Taverns).

    Reply
  6. I just evernoted this one. I’ll be back. We have so many dried beans I don’t know what to do with. Thanks for the ideas. And for the visit, although I’m much more active on blogger (sorry, wordpress)

    Reply
  7. Well, if you are longing for real cold and some picturesque snow we’ve got ya covered in sweet home Chicago. These soup recipes sound really interesting! It’s funny with soup – I always think it sounds ‘blah’ or won’t feel like enough to eat and then when I eat it i really like it. We had a really good vegetarian chili as one of the choices at church today (we have food after the service). I try not to eat much wheat so i wasn’t thrilled that it included pasta but absent that it was heavenly good – all the more so with a few splashes of tabasco. I’m thinking beans and greens and the roasted tomato and red pepper sound most interesting to me now. Thanks!!

    Reply
    • oh Diane. I made the roasted tomato red pepper for lunch and it’s absolutely fancy! Tonight I made the potato kale and we’ll have it tomorrow. I love tabasco so adding that is always great. Maybe next winter we can make soup, eh?

      Reply
  8. This is definitely soup season! I did some tonight by adding the following into our Vitamix:
    4 nice big tomatoes cut in half,
    1 cup raw cashews,
    a small bunch of cilantro,
    1/2 tspn garlic powder
    1 tspn onion powder
    1/2 tspn anise seeds
    1 cup water
    Blended until creamy smooth and just a little warm, about two or three minutes. Done! Would have added basil if we had some in the garden already. This was a nice way to recharge after our run tonight.

    Reply
    • Wow. a raw winter recipe. Awesome. I’ll make the recipe this week and report back! I love to find raw recipes that work for real life.

      Reply
      • Tammy, you may have many links to raw food ideas, but in case you don’t, here’s our local “Rawsome” Chris. http://rawsomecoaching.ca/author/chris/ She and her husband have a little farm where they grow all their own food, offer raw food chef classes, and open as a cafe once a week in summers. We adore our time at the Rawsome Cafe.

        Reply
    • Made this today and so grateful. Thanks.

      Reply
  9. I think I’ll make it my goal to try each of these before spring. The cauliflower and fennel soup sounds especially divine.

    I made a basic heavy (lots of veggies) chicken stew last week and a pot of minestrone today.

    Here in the deep South, we tend to boil turnips with the greens, so it comes out something like the turnip green soup you describe. The only things missing are the leeks and butter. My parents are bringing me turnips and greens from their garden next weekend, so that one may be the first up on your list for me to try.

    Reply
  10. You didn’t include my favorite “What’s in the fridge?” soup, but otherwise this is a very tasty list. I especially like the idea of combining apples and curry. Thank you for all the inspiration!

    Reply
  11. Tanner Hamilton

     /  January 22, 2012

    I love the lentil soup mom.

    Reply
  12. I loved the title and the soups sound soooo good! Broccoli and green apple really caught my eye! Now, can I get anyone to try it with me? hmmm. Thanks Tammy!

    Reply
  13. I’m not a soup person. At all.
    But these are interesting, and I’ll have to give some of them a try :)

    My favorite soup is Peach Soup, which you saw when I posted it. Which reminds me, did you remember to try it? http://estrella05azul.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/recipe-of-the-month-peach-soup/

    Reply
    • Oh we did but I have to confess that when I made it, I could not remember where I got the idea! I’m so glad you reminded me. None of these recipes is at all like your peach soup. My kids had yours for a dessert.

      Reply
  14. Oh my Tammy, my mouth is watering, alas it’s too hot (29° Celcius – 84.2 Fahrenheit ;) ) for soup here in sunny South Africa, so I will keep the recipes for a much colder day sometime in winter. And I do love your idea… it’s still my daughters favourite relaxing activity… my homemade soup, and cuddling while we both read or watch a DVD. *Grin* Enjoy, Mands

    Reply
  15. This is a really perfect and helpful post for winter :) I’ve been craving soup every night :)

    Reply
  16. Jane Ward

     /  January 23, 2012

    It’s soup and sandwich night tonight, and I’m hoping to try the wheatberry soup. Sounds yummy, thanks for all the great ideas. I’m not much of a gadget person, but have found a stick blender hugely helpful for pureeing soups right in the pot. No extra mess, good for pureeing those fruits for jams too.

    Reply
  17. Wow! Broccoli with green apple!?!?!! Have never heard of that combo before- I am on a serious soup kick- dinner is usually soup and sald- I’ll try that one! Sounds like it would taste very refreshing!

    Reply
  18. Hi Miss Tammy! Thank you for all the yummy recipes. Also wanted to touch base and say Hi and wish you the very best in 2012!

    Reply
  19. Lisa H

     /  January 23, 2012

    There is nothing like a hot pot of soup on the stove! We just finished the last bowl of borscht, which brought back so many memories of our favorite little shop in Seattle (unfortunately, it is long gone now). Your roasted cauliflower soup sounds divine! I will certainly be making this winter. My personal favorite, though, is potato leak soup. Thanks for all the inspiring recipes!

    Reply
  20. Ooh, thanks so much for the turnip soup recipe. I have a bunch sitting in my fridge from last week’s CSA and I didn’t know what to do with them. Now I do!

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  21. Mmmmmm, these sound wonderful, Tammy! I’d love to try them all! And yay, a pic! :D

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  22. These all sound delicious! I can’t wait to try them. Looking forward to reading more posts.

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  23. wow, some of these sound great! I made my own Turnip with greens soup (before I read this post) but I found the greens to be quite bitter. Have a great day :)

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  24. Thank you so much for these, Tammy. They all sound so good. I just made a 13 bean veggie soup and was wondering what could be my next taste temptation.

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  25. Cauliflower and carrot, carrot and chickpea, black bean and sweet potato! I also regularly subsist on beans and greens and lentil soup. A simple garlic soup also graces the table frequently, and I think I can turn anything into soup…

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    • Ohhhhhhh. I should have said garlic soup and when you drop a poached egg inside, it is divine energy.

      Reply
  26. Turns out my picky eater likes soup! Hope to try the Carrot and cashew soon.

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  27. This, Tammy, must be printed out and treasured. A fabulous round up! Can’t wait to get started!

    Reply
  28. We enjoy eating soup at least once a week…recently we have eaten; chicken veggie, broccoli cheese, white bean and ham, red beans and rice and lentil…thanks for the suggestions!

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  29. Love the broccoli with apple idea! I would never have thought of that!

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  30. Ooooh, that first one sounds so interesting! I LOVE soup! Just had a wonderful ‘Porcini Cappucino’ at a restaurant in Florida. Like sipping a warm hug…

    Reply
  31. Wow! What a list. You have some amazing soups there with a lot of my favourite ingredients. I didn’t know you could eat turnip tops. Usually when you see turnips in the shops here the tops have long gone. If I had to choose a favourite it would be potato with kale.

    Reply
  32. These soups are so great for these cold (semi-cold) nights! I think I’m going to start with the carrot & cashew! Thanks for the recommendations!

    Reply
  33. I loved Freakonomics – glad you’re enjoying it too

    Reply
  34. Great shares! Awesome title!

    Reply
  35. Mmmm, I have a lot of these ingredients left from the CSA! I have a really easy version of a roasted tomato & red pepper soup (basically roast, then puree everything) that I make at: http://artofnaturalliving.com/2010/09/08/slow-roasting-tomato-days/

    Reply
  36. Great post! Just in time for winter.

    Reply
  37. another terrific t3 list! (maybe it should be renamed t4?)
    cauliflower-fennel has captured my attention…..that has got to be fantastic.

    Reply
    • hahaha t4! Yes, cauliflower and fennel are in my top 3 vegetables and sometimes they don’t make it to soup.

      Reply
  1. Turnip soup with greens | Gourmet Veggie Mama

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