Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Kim’s Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

Last month’s cooking club was hosted by the lovely Kim, our lone vegetarian. One of my favorite cooking club conversations occurred thanks to her eating habits, (plus a few glasses of wine and some sheer honesty).

Bianca: “Kim. To be honest, I didn’t know if I’d like you after I heard we had a vegetarian in the club. But I really do. You are fantastic.”

Kim: “Thanks, Bianca. I’m happy I changed your mind.”

Appropriately enough, her theme was a vegetarian fall harvest, which was delicious. One of the highlights from the meal was a creamy, slightly spicy pumpkin soup.

This recipe serves eight.


4 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

2 tsp minced garlic

1/8 to ¼ tsp crushed red pepper

2 tsp curry powder

½ tsp ground coriander

Pinch of ground cayenne pepper (optional)

3 (15 oz) cans of 100% pumpkin (or 6 cups chopped roasted pumpkin*)

5 cups vegetable broth

2 cups milk

½ c brown sugar

½ c heavy cream

1 tsp salt


Pumpkin SoupMelt butter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stir often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add spices and stir for another minute.

Add pumpkin and 5 cups of broth; blend well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Transfer soup, in batches to blender or food processor. Cover tightly and blend until smooth. Return to saucepan.

With the soup on low heat, add brown sugar and mix. Slowly add milk while stirring. Add cream and salt. Adjust seasonings to taste. (More cream if too spicy). Pumpkin Soup

*To make pumpkin puree, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on tin-foil lined baking pan. Bake at 350 until soft (45-60 min). Cool, scoop out flesh.*


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Chilled Corn Soup

Corn Soup

This recipe comes from the Bon Appetit Cookbook.


6 ears sweet corn

6 cups broth

3 shallots

1 onion

Salt and pepper

Optional Additions:

Creme fraiche


Fresh chives


Remove husk from corn and using a large, sharp knife cut ears in half.

Chop onion and shallots.

Corn SoupCorn Soup

Add corn, broth, onion, and shallots to a large pot.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Corn SoupCorn Soup

Using tongs, transfer corn to a separate bowl. Let cool. Keep broth.

Once cooled, cut kernels off cobs. Add 4 cups kernels to broth.

Working in batches, blend corn and broth together in a blender. Then, press mixture through sieve over a large bowl, Corn Soupusing the back of a spoon to press all the liquid out. You can stir in additional broth if you want to thin out the soup.  I like to add leftover corn kernels into the soup. Adds a sweet crunch. Season with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate, uncovered, for about four hours. When serving, add creme fraiche, pancetta, and chives, if you like.

Corn Soup


Corn Soup

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Tomato Soup

I was ecstatic last week when I saw how many ripe, red tomatoes were waiting to be picked in our garden. This year’s harvest is a little late, but not to complain. There are plenty of recipes for fresh tomatoes. And coming from your backyard is as local as you can get.

TomatoesAnatomically, tomatoes should be classified as a fruit. A Supreme Court ruling at the end of the 19th century found that tomatoes are, in fact, a vegetable. At the time, an import tariff existed, that applied only to vegetables. So, when a clever man started bringing in tomatoes under the “fruit” label, the court was quick to put an end to it. Their basis for decision? Linguistic reasoning. Tomatoes were found to be, “usually served at dinner in, with, or after the soup, fish , or meat” (McGee).

McGee, Harold. On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. New York: Collier, 1984.

I love a good tomato soup, especially once the weather turns cold. Growing up, my mom used to make a “sick day” meal for me that consisted of two simply delicious things; tomato soup and grilled cheese.

This recipe is perfect for summer, however. It was almost like a gazpacho, in that there were little chunks and grains of fresh tomato in it. And rather than a grilled cheese sandwich, I made Parmesan croutons to put on top. Tomato SoupIt comes from Ina Garten’s newest cookbook, Back to Basics. It provided my husband and I with two dinners, and one lunch for myself.


1 1/2 cups chopped red onion

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic

4 pounds tomatoes, chopped (5-6  medium/large)

Tomato Soup1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 cup chopped basil

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

3/4 cup heavy cream


Olive oil

Grated Parmesan (preferably freshly grated)

Salt and Pepper


Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, deep pot over medium/low heat. Add onions and carrots and cook for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant. Tomato Soup

Add tomatoes, sugar, basil, tomato paste, stock, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper, and stir to mix.

Bring mixture to a boil, then turn heat to low and let simmer, uncovered, for about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice baguette into 1/4 inch slices. You can use however much you’d like, and save the rest by storing it in the freezer and reheating in the oven for later use.

Parmesan CroutonPut slices on baking sheet. Drizzle or brush with olive oil. Sprinkle parmesan on top. You can use a lot here Bake for about 5-10 minutes, until cheese is golden brown on top. Remove from oven.

Once soup has simmered for 3-40 minutes, add the cream and process the entire mixture through a food processor, blender, or food mill.

Reheat once ready to serve. Place Parmesan croutons on top.


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Miso soup

Health Benefits of Miso Soup

Miso begins as a substance made of soybeans, sometimes mixed with grains (ex; rice, barley). The mixture is injected with  yeast mold, and ferments anywhere from a few weeks to years, depending on the type of miso. Then it is mashed up into a pasty mixture. It is an excellent source of protein, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, Zinc, and Copper, (some of those pesky nutrients that are so beneficial yet sometimes hard to find in our daily foods).

In addition, Miso is also considered to have a positive influence on one’s digestive tract. It has high levels of fiber, and because it is fermented, is rich in probiotics. I recently read a Q & A in Martha Stewart’s Body and Soul magazine that asked prominent doctors what they ate for breakfast. One of the responses, from a cheery looking M.D., was steamed rice and a bowl of miso soup, in addition to some salmon, vegetables, and green tea. Most likely a good route to take at the start of your day. Perhaps I’ll try this next week. Miso is price conscious, and simple to make. You could create a big batch on Sunday, and there is breakfast for a week!

This serves four.


 4 cups water

2 teaspoons powdered dashi

4 tablespoons miso

6 ounces of tofu, cut into squares

Mushrooms of your choice, sliced thin (I like shitake and regular white)

A few scallions, sliced thin

Seaweed sheet, sliced into one-inch pieces (optional)


Bring water and dashi to a boil in a medium pot. Add tofu, mushrooms, and seaweed (if you are using).

Turn heat to low and let simmer for a few minutes. Stir in miso. Add scallion and enjoy!

Miso Soup

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Cream of Watercress Soup

Watercress Soup

I love, love, love watercress. It is listed as a member of the mustard family. Who would have thought?

A little background info on watercress:

This herb is fully stocked in the nutrition department. It has high levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Iron, and more. In plant form, it survives in a bed of water. Most of our watercress supply comes out of Central Florida, however I have found several how-to’s for home watercress growth. The first suggests sanctioning off a small area of a stream, but since most people I know don’t have private access to one I’ll describe the home garden method.

Dig a 6-inch deep plant bed in your garden and line it with polyethylene. In the bottom, make a 2-inch deep soil bed of composted soil or potting soil. Sprinkle seeds over soil and gently rake them into it. Keep the soil moist, but not covered. After seedlings appear (about 5 days) raise water level daily until the plants are growing in water. They will be ready to harvest after 3-4 weeks.

The following recipe comes from the Silver Palate Cookbook. It serves four.


4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups finely chopped yellow onions

1/2 cup minced shallots

3 cups chicken stock

1 medium potato, peeled and diced

4 bunches watercess

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Grated nutmeg, to taste

Cayenne pepper, to taste


Melt butter in a large, heavy pot over low heat. Add onions and shallots and cook, covered, until tender and lightly colored, about 25 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and the potato, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, until the potato is tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the leaves and stems from the watercress and rinse thoroughly.



When the potato is tender, add the watercress to the pot, cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes.


Pour the soup through a strainer, reserving the liquid, and transfer the solids to a food processor. Add 1 cup of the cooking stock and process until smooth.


Return the pures to the pot, stir in heavy cream, and add 1/2 to 1 cup more stock until soup is of the desired consistency.

Set over medium heat, season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne and simmer until just heated through. Serve and enjoy!

Watercress Soup

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