Soup is like a softly glowing and occasionally crackling fire in the fire place; it’s soothing, therapeutic, and nourishing all the way to the bones. Soup warms the belly, gently bathes the soul and simply does the body good.
|Louis XV silver soup tureen|
King Louis XV made soup an upper-class dish. He turned soup from “fuel” for the poor to pure pleasure to satisfy the court at Versailles.
We‘re still having heat waves here in Texas but we’ll be welcoming autumn before long. The weather has finally shown signs of fall; we’ve had a good amount of wind, the nights have cooled quite a bit and a few times a hint of that “something in the air” that we all recognize as a welcome signal of change.
The biggest sign that fall is here is that college football has begun. Fall, Football, Food…such a perfect combination that makes your senses come alive. I love to hear the noise of the game combined with good smells coming from the kitchen. A soup can simmer for hours and make the house smell cozy and just where you want to be.
One of my favorite scenes from the movie Julie and Julia is when Julie says, “You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure and when I say nothing, I mean nothing. You can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. That’s such a comfort.” I love that about soup. I can start chopping vegetables and hear the broth simmering and instantly feel better. After a long week, I needed to cook lots and LOTS of soup!
Perhaps due to growing up in Rhode Island where my husband Derek says he had soup so often as a child, (resulting in a few common scorched tongue memories), I have had a job to do in persuading him of the pleasure of a delicious bowl of soup. After making the best chicken noodle soup he said he’s ever had, I think I’m winning him over to the soup side!
Here’s to letting your good evening turn into a “super” one. Remember, if fall, football and food are an appreciated combo at your house too, do your best to make each new serving a “super bowl.” It goes well with the season. And, if the soups too hot, do what Lauren Bacall said in To Have and Have Not, “You just put your lips together and…blow.”
French Onion Soup:
2 T olive oil
4 red onions, thinly sliced
¼ t sugar
4 leeks (white part and a little of the light green) thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 C beef or chicken stock
½ C white wine
1 bay leaf
¼ t thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
¾ C Gruyere cheese, grated
In a large saucepan over medium heat sauté onions about 15 minutes. Add sugar and leeks and continue to cook, stirring frequently until caramelized. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add stock, wine, bay leaf, and thyme. Cover partially and simmer until flavors are blended, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into oven proof bowls and place sliced bread on top and sprinkle with cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.
12 Roma tomatoes
2 shallots, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 potato, diced
1 T tomato paste
1 T ketchup
½ C white wines
Dash of cumin
Place tomatoes under broiler for a few minutes then peel and remove skins. Sauté shallot in olive oil and add carrots. Pour in wine, add the whole tomatoes and diced potato. Cover with chicken broth and simmer until the vegetables start to fall apart. Process the whole mixture and strain the soup through a chinois. Stir in the tomato ketchup, paste, and cumin, then season. Optional: fry tomato skins in olive oil for garnish
Chicken Noodle Soup:
1 stewing chicken (about 4 pounds), cut up
5 celery ribs, coarsely chopped, divided
4 medium carrots, coarsely chopped, divided
2 medium onions, quartered, divided
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
8 ounces uncooked medium egg noodles
In a large stockpot, combine the chicken, water, half of the celery, carrots, onions, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2-1/2 hours or until chicken is tender. Chop the remaining vegetables; set aside.
Remove chicken from broth. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and cut into bite-size pieces. Discard bones and skin; set aside.
Strain broth; return to stockpot. Add the salt, chopped onion and remaining celery, carrots, red bell pepper and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add noodles and chicken. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until noodles are tender.
Leek and Potato Soup:
1 bunch of leeks (white part and a little of the light green) sliced
4 C diced potatoes
6-7 C water or chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring leeks and potatoes to boil in the water, simmer 20-30 minutes. Puree soup and serve warm.