Category: Soup

One from way back when

Once again, I have been slacking off.  I’m still busy busy busy with the whole chef thing, and I try to spend any free time I have as far away from food related topics as I can get.  Have to avoid getting burnt out, y’know.

I recently reconnected with an old friend that I haven’t spoken to in four years.  We had lunch today, where one of the things we discussed was a type of soup I used to make for her back in the day.  The more I thought about it, I realized that I haven’t actually made that one ever since the last time I made it for her.  Weird, right?

In any case, I don’t have a lot of time to spare right now, so I apologize for the lack of bad jokes that you guys have come to know and loathe.  Here’s the soup.

Almond Bisque (recipe by the Keltic Lodge, Ingonish Beach, Nova Scotia)

1/2 cup whole blanched almonds

6 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup long grain rice

1 medium leek, white part only, chopped

1/4  cup heavy cream

3 egg yolks

salt and white pepper to taste

1 -2 tbsp Amaretto liqueur

1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Bring whole almonds, stock, rice and chopped leek to a boil in a heavy saucepan.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until almonds are tender, about 45 to 55 minutes.

In a blender, puree soup in batches until smooth and creamy.

In a small bowl, whisk together cream and egg yolks.  Return bisque to saucepan and bring to a near boil.  Add cream and egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly.  Cook for 1 minute, be careful not to boil.

Season to taste with salt, white pepper and Amaretto.  Return to blender and puree to a smooth, creamy texture.

Serve in cream soup bowls.  Garnish with toasted sliced almonds.

To toast almonds, preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C).  Spread almond slices on a baking sheet and bake, watching closely, until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.


Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

I believe I mentioned it before, but I love soup.  The combination of flavors and textures resonates with me on a visceral level.

I found the recipe for this one a couple of years ago (originally pheasant & wild rice), and I churned out a batch tout suite.

The guinea pigs loved it.  They loved it so much, I had several threats made against my life if I didn’t make more for them.

Granted, I didn’t feel particularly threatened, since none of them are as badass as Sumo, but I did appreciate the sentiment.

So………………… you are:

2 cups cooked wild rice (1 cup uncooked rice makes 2 cups)
½ cup butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled & diced
3 stalks celery, diced
5 tbsp all purpose flour
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced (or ½ tsp dried rosemary)
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare rice according to directions on package and reserve.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté onion, carrot and celery; stir frequently until soft but not browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Stirring constantly, gradually add stock, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.

Add milk, cream, chicken, wine, rosemary and rice, reduce heat to low and gently cook for 30 minutes; be careful not to boil. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Cheese, Beer & Sausage Soup

I love soup.  Such a simple concept, but infinite combinations result in a plethora of flavors and aromas that could last me until the end of time.

A few weeks back, I found the recipe for this soup.  Finding the beer was not a problem (for some odd reason, I know where all the liquor stores are in my neighborhood), but locating the cheese was more difficult.  I needed 2 cups of Gruyere, cubed.  A whirlwind circuit of the usual grocery stores only yielded a few thin slices of Gruyere for what would have turned out to be an insanely expensive soup, had I gone that route.

Fortunately, I was able to locate a specialty cheese soup, and procured a block of Gruyere.  A little slicing, dicing, and simmering later, and I had my soup.  I distributed some samples to my usual circle of guinea pigs (my co-workers), and waited for the feedback.

Alas, the soup turned out to have an unpleasantly high salt content.  As in, it was a bald faced lie to call it cheese, beer and sausage soup – my supervisor and bestest friend in the whole world re-christened it “salt soup”.  In addition, the cheese didn’t melt as evenly as I would have liked, resulting in some depressingly un-aesthetic lumps of cheese.

So, back to the drawing board I went.  Well, the cutting board, anyways.  Decreased the salt, diced the cheese a little more finely, and voila!  A soup I wasn’t ashamed to share with the test audience.

So, without further ado………….

1 or 2 kielbasa sausage rounds, diced or sliced into rounds
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp minced garlic
6 tbsp flour
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups lager beer
4 sprigs thyme
2 cups cubed Gruyere cheese

Saute the kielbasa until golden brown  in a large, hot soup pot, about 4 minutes. The sausage will not be cooked through, It will finish cooking in the soup. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper and bay leaves, and cook, stirring, until the onions are slightly caramelized, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the stock and beer. Add the thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the kielbasa and cook until sausages are cooked through. Add the cheese 1/3 cup at a time, stirring until nearly all melted and smooth after each addition. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.