Tag-Archive for ◊ soup ◊

20 Apr 2012 Ham Bone Bean Soup

I love Honeybaked ham.  Love it, love it, love it; but have you heard the definition of eternity? Two people and a ham!  Thank goodness I have a panini press for grilled ham and Swiss sandwiches.  Thank goodness I know how to make and enjoy ham and pineapple pizza. Finally, the last of the ham appeared, the bone,  and now it’s time for Ham Bone Soup.

I could NOT find a recipe on the Internet that I liked.  I knowwww, shocking!  So I took a bit from this and a bit from that and came up with this recipe.  It tastes good,  looks good, and is fibrously good for you with lentils, split peas, yellow peas, 4 kinds of beans, tomatoes, onions, celery and carrots plus chicken broth and ham broth. The spices came from a soup on the Honeybaked Ham website, cinnamon, cumin and thyme. I knowwww, sounds odd, but it’s what gives this soup it’s depth.

Enjoy.  (BTW, The new definition of eternity?  One person and a vat of Ham Bone Soup!) This makes a LOT of soup, about 6 quarts. “Fortunately” a friend of mine broke her ankle, so I was able to take one-third of it over to her.  Now I  should check my Facebook to see if anyone has had a baby lately*

Ham Bone Bean Soup

  • 4 cups chopped ham from the ham bone
  • one ham bone plus assorted root veggies and peelings, covered with water
  • 1/4 cup lentils
  • 1/4 cup split peas
  • 1/4 cup yellow peas
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1 large onion, diced ( approx. 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (approx.)
  • 2 cups diced celery (include some leaves)
  • 1 leek sliced
  • 4-5 carrots, peeled and sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 3-4 quarts broth (mixture of ham bone broth and chicken broth)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2  teaspoon black pepper
  • salt, to taste (depends on saltiness of chicken broth) maybe about 1 teaspoonful
  • 4 or 5 16 oz. cans beans (use your favorites, of course)  I used 2 cans white beans plus one can each black beans, pinto beans, and pinquito beans (all my favorites)
  1.  First off, cut the meat off the hambone, so that you have 4 cups diced ham, set aside.
  2. Now make some stock from the ham bone. Put the ham bone in a large pot, cover with water and add a whole quartered onion (peel and all), a handful of carrots (or the peelings), some coarsely chopped celery, and any other extra veggie you have on hand.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 4 hours.  When cooked, strain the broth. Discard the bone and veggies.  Keep the broth. (The broth can be made one or two days in advance, just refrigerate cooled broth until ready to use)
  3. In another pan, boil the lentils, split peas, and yellow peas (or all lentils, or all split peas) in about 2 cups of water until very soft, about 45 minutes.  Add more water to pan if necessary.  Let cool, and then blend into a liquid.  This puree will thicken the soup (and hide the “icky dried stuff” from picky family members).
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add in chopped onion.  Gently sautee until onion is cooked through and slightly caramelized.  Stir in chopped celery and sliced leek, saute for an additional 3 minutes or so.
  5. In a large soup pot, pour in the ham bone broth and enough chicken broth to equal about 3 quarts.  Stir in crushed tomatoes and lentil/split pea puree and spices (cinnamon, cumin, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper). Bring to a boil. Stir in carrots. Simmer until carrots are almost tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Drain and rise the canned beans.  Add to simmering broth.  If soup seems too thick, stir in up to one additional quart of chicken broth.  Simmer for an additional 30 minutes.  Remove bay leaves.  Let soup cool, then refrigerate overnight (if possible, soup always tastes better if refrigerated overnight).
  7. When ready to serve, reheat soup, add diced ham, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.  Taste broth.  If necessary add more salt, pepper, and cinnamon.  Serve hot with some nice bread, foccacia, or cornbread.

Hope you like this. Hope it was just the soup you were looking for but couldn’t find anywhere else on the Internet.

*Update:  Woke this morning to find the empty soup pot on the kitchen counter and three dirty soup bowls stacked in the sink along and dredges of sourdough toast everywhere.   Looks like my son and two friends had a late night snack after I went to bed.  They emptied the pan; there’s no more Ham Bone Soup left.  Should I put a happy face icon after this update, or a sad face icon?!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

 

 

19 Jan 2011 Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

Depending on where you live, you may or may not have a proliferation of “Pho” restaurants in your community.  If you do have a Pho restaurant nearby, I encourage you to try it out.  You’ll be rewarded with a huge bowl of broth and noodles, to which you add fresh basil, cilantro, mint, bean sprouts, peppers, chili sauce, and freshly squeezed lime.  The broth is quite tasty, and with the addition of all the toppings, the Pho has a very fresh taste.   On your first visit to a Pho restaurant, stick to Beef Pho or Chicken Pho, with the parts of beef and chicken that you are familiar with.  There are some other types of Pho which might be a bit challenging to an uninitiated American palate.

Having fond memories of Pho, I wanted to make it for myself.  I wanted to have a clear, rich, fat-free broth. I thought it would be great to have some of the broth on hand, and be able to boil it up and stir in some fresh ingredients whenever I wanted to.  I also think Pho would be a great dish to make ahead and then take to share with friends and family at a snow condo or beach house.   I found this recipe adapted from the cookbook Into the Vietnamese Kitchen at Steamy Kitchen.  It’s great!  I served it to seven friends, and three family members, and they all though it was great, too.  SCORE!

Before you make this dish, you should know how to pronounce it, “pho”  is pronounced “fuh” and not “foo” or “foe” or “poe” or  “puh” — that’s fuh-sho’!

If you have made your own chicken soup before, Pho is no more bother.  Follow the recipe below and make sure you buy good bones, start the day before, rinse and blanch the bones, have three hours to let the bones simmer. Then you can let the broth sit in the refrigerator overnight so that the hardened fat can be removed before finishing the pho.

Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

The broth

  • 2 onions, peeled, sliced across into 4 slices
  • 4″  of fresh ginger, peeled, halved lengthwise
  • 5-6 lbs of good beef  knuckle bones (beef shanks/knuckles $1.99/lb)
  • 6 quarts of water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

In the soup bowls

  • 1 rice noodles (dried or fresh)
  • cooked beef from the broth
  • ½ lb flank, london broil, sirloin or eye of round, sliced as thinly as possible.

On the side

  • fresh mint leaves
  • fresh cilantro
  • sliced fresh basil
  • limes wedges (2)
  • 2-3 chili peppers, sliced
  • bean sprouts (about 1 lb)
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha hot sauce

Char:

Turn broiler on high and move rack to the highest spot. Place ginger and onions on baking sheet. Brush just a bit of cooking oil on the cut side of each. Broil on high until ginger and onions begin to char. Turn over and continue to char. This should take a total of 10-15 minutes.

Parboil the bones:

Don’t skip this part! Fill your biggest pot (12-qt capacity would be ideal) with cool water. Boil water first, and then add the bones, keeping the heat on high. Boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse the bones and rinse out the pot. Refill pot with bones and 6 qts of cool water. Bring to boil over high heat and lower to simmer. Using a ladle or a fine mesh strainer, remove any scum that rises to the top.

Boil broth:

Add ginger, onion, spices, sugar, fish sauce, salt and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the beef meat and set aside. Continue simmering broth for another 1 1/2 hours. Strain broth and return the to the pot. Taste broth and adjust seasoning – this is a crucial step. If the broth’s flavor doesn’t quite shine yet, add 2 teaspoons more of fish sauce and 1 teaspoon of regular sugar–and another pinch of salt, if needed (I over-salted my broth, so be careful). Keep doing this until the broth tastes perfect refrigerate broth overnight and remove hardened fat the next morning.

Prepare noodles & meat:

Slice your flank/london broil/sirloin as thin as possible – try freezing for 15-30 minutes prior to slicing to make it easier. Cut or shred the cooked meat from broth and set aside. Arrange all other ingredients on a platter for the table. Guests will garnish their own bowls. Follow the directions on your package of noodles – for some fresh rice noodles, just a quick 5 – 45 second blanch in hot water is all that’s needed.

Serving:

Bring your broth back to a boil. Line up your soup bowls next to the stove. Fill each bowl with rice noodles, bean sprouts, shredded cooked beef and raw meat slices. As soon as the broth comes back to a boil, ladle into each bowl. The hot broth will cook your raw beef slices. Serve immediately. Guests garnish their own bowls with the mint, basil, cilantro, peppers, lime, and sauces.

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do. It’s a chin dribbling, big bowl of healthy, comfort food with a fresh & crunchy twist.  One of my favorite foods I believe. I have my fingers crossed that I will taste the real thing in Vietnam next year.  I hope this measures up. Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

17 Nov 2010 Wild Rice Turkey Soup

I know you are all busy making your Thanksgiving grocery list, and checking it twice; be SURE you have the ingredients for this soup on the list.  You have to make this with your turkey carcass, have to, have to, have to!  This is the best turkey soup I have ever tasted.  I made no changes to the recipe I found in “The 150 Best American Recipes” cookbook.

Mmmmm… Homey, rustic, northwoods-y…, which, with a little imagination, might just transport you to a log cabin in the snow, fire blazing, a quilt over your feet, and a good book on your knee.  The soup has wild rice, mushrooms and turmeric, yes, turmeric, which compliment the strong flavor of turkey to make a soup that, according to “The 150 Best American Recipes” is “neither exotic nor bland”.  It’s my favorite after-Thanksgiving treat.  I can’t imagine making any other turkey soup.  It’s just the thing for an-after-Thanksgiving restoration, before the Christmas craziness commences.

BTW, I like this soup so much I can’t just make it once a year.  When it’s not Thanksgiving, I start with a whole chicken which I boil or roast.  I remove 4 cups of the meat from the chicken, and then proceed as below.

Wild Rice and Turkey Soup

For stock

1 turkey carcass (remove 4 cups of meat from the carcass-set aside for the soup)
2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, coarsely chopped

Put turkey carcass in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, remove any foam from the top. Add the celery, carrot, and onion (peels and all). Simmer for at least 90 minutes (I cooked mine for about 3 hours). Strain broth into a large (4-5 qt) bowl. Discard carcass and all veggies (You will need 3½ – 4½ quarts of stock for this soup). If at all possible, refrigerate stock overnight and then remove all the hardened fat from the top of the broth. The next day continue with the directions below…

For soup

1½ cups wild rice, rinsed (the book specifies “hand harvested” but I couldn’t find that written on the package I bought from Trader Joe’s)
½ cup long grain white rice
4 T. butter
2 cups sliced celery
2 cups sliced carrots
1 diced onion
½ cup sliced green onion
2 T. chopped fresh dill
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
3 cups sliced mushrooms (8 oz. pkg sliced)
4 cups diced cooked turkey
salt and pepper to taste

Bring 3 ½ quarts of stock to a boil. Stir in rinsed wild rice and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet; add celery, carrots, onion, and green onions and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in dill, bay leaves and turmeric. Turn off heat, and set aside. Add white rice and sauteed veggies to the stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir sliced mushrooms and diced turkey into hot soup. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, or until mushrooms are cooked. Add more broth if the soup gets too thick for your taste (I added the extra 4 cups). Season to taste with salt (I used 2 tsp. Kosher salt) and pepper. This makes a lot of soup. The recipe says the soup freezes well for several months. If you do reheat the soup, it will have thickened and you will need to add more broth or water when reheating.

You’re going to love this, I just know it!  Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.

24 Oct 2010 French Onion Soup

As a newlywed, wed to a man who owned a copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking“, French Onion Soup was one of the first things I learned how to make well, thank you Julia Child, and one of the first things I got high praise for. I first made this soup in 1981. It seems everyone loves French Onion Soup, and since it’s getting harder and harder to find a good French Onion Soup at a restaurant, there is  always an appreciative fan base.  French Onion Soup isn’t hard to make, it’s just a bit time consuming to finely slice 5 cups of onions and then  caramelize them, but once that is over it’s smooth sailing.

I remember the first time I had the so-called French Onion Soup at Marie Callender’s.  I was so disappointed, it was the worst; sliced onions boiled in beef stock topped with a crouton and too much cheese.  Shame, Marie, shame.

Here’s the first tip for French Onion Soup, the onions need to be caramelized, Julia’s method is the best I’ve found.  Tip number two, the better your beef broth, the better your French Onion Soup.  For years I used canned beef broth, and was happy with it (just go easy on the salt elsewhere in the dish).  The new “Better than Bouillon” bases would probably work, too, but again, watch the salt.  I’ve just now started to make my own beef broth.  It’s not as intuitive as chicken broth.  Basically I buy two packages of meat from the market, approximately one pound of stew beef, and two pounds of beef bones (often beef ribs).  I throw them in a pot, along with with some onions, carrots, and celery, a bit of garlic, a grind of pepper, and a bay leaf, cover with water and simmer for 2-4 hours.  Then I strain, refrigerate overnight, remove the hardened fat, strain again, and then use in the recipe.  It’s a bit of a bother, but I feel good about the broth,  it’s real food, with no additives or preservatives., and it’s no more expensive than buying cans of processed beef broth.

French Onion Soup is a bit of a bother to make, but it’s worth it.  Larger bowls, with two croutons, are satisfying as a meal (as long as there is a nice dessert!  Ohhhh…, some people might want a sandwich or a baked potato or a slice of quiche, too), and it’s very elegant in small bowls, with one crouton, served as a starter.  Most people swoon over French Onion Soup, so it’s usually a safe dish to make for company.

French Onion Soup

5 cups thinly sliced yellow/brown onions (slice into rings, or half rings)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 quarts hot beef broth (canned, or make your own)
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons of Cognac (approximately)
6 slices of a good quality French baguette
approx. 2 cups grated Swiss cheese

Melt butter, stir in olive oil to blend, then stir in sliced onions.  Cover and saute for 15 minutes.  Uncover, stir in salt and sugar, and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes.

In another pan, heat the beef broth to simmer.

Stir 3 tablespoons flour into the onion mixture over medium heat.  Stir constantly for 3 minutes, then remove from heat.

Immediately stir in one scoop hot beef broth.  When broth has totally been incorporated into the flour, gradually stir in the rest of the broth.  Add wine, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Partially cover pan and simmer (not boil) for 40 minutes.

Toast the baguette slices.

To serve: ladle the soup into ovenproof bowls. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon Cognac.  Top with a toasted crouton and approx 1/3 cup of cheese. Broil until the cheese melts.  Then serve. Makes six servings.

Now you too can make better French Onion Soup than any restaurant. I guarantee it. Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.

14 Sep 2010 Baked Potato Soup

I found this recipe in the crock pot cookbook “Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook” by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufman.  So, I tried this recipe in the crock pot.  When I was in the midst of it, I was thinking “WHY”?  Why cook potatoes for 5 hours in the crockpot, when they only take 20 minutes on stop of the stove?  It’s not like the crockpot did anything special to the potatoes, plus I still had to peel the potatoes, blend the soup, cook the bacon, chop the green onions and grate the cheese. Does cooking the potatoes for 5 hours in the crockpot make more sense than boiling them for 20 minutes?  I don’t think so.  I liked the soup though.  LOVED the soup, so I revised it to make on top of the stove (didn’t take much revising…).

This soup starts with water! You don’t have to find 2 or 3 quarts of chicken stock to get started (which makes it economical, too).  Just boil five pounds of potatoes (one small $1.99 bag) in water until done.  Blend.  Then serve with baked potato toppings of butter, sour cream, grated cheese, chopped green onions, and crumbled bacon.  Soooo yummy. So easy!

Baked Potato Soup

5 pounds russet potatoes
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup sour cream
8 oz. bacon, cooked crisply, and crumbled (OK, so I used a bit more than 1/2 lb.)
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
2-3 cups grated cheddar and jack cheese blend (to taste)

Peel and dice the potatoes.  Cover with cold water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil.  Boil until potatoes are falling apart (cooked more than you would for mashed potatoes).  Depending on the size of your potatoes, this could take 20-40 minutes.  Turn the heat to low.  Add in butter and half-and-half.  Simmer until butter is melted, about another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.  Stir in sour cream.  With an immersion blender (the blender-on-a-stick thing), blend soup until creamy. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a regular blender.  Be careful, and don’t fill up blender more than half full.  Hot liquids tend to splash out when the blender is turned on).  Return soup to stove and turn on heat to medium.  Gradually blend in the grated cheese (to taste).  Stir in the chopped bacon and sliced green onions. Taste.  Add more salt and pepper if needed.  Serve hot. (I actually prefer this soup the second day.  I like to have the flavor of the green onions and bacon settle into the potatoes.)

Mmmm. Make this your first soup of the season. It was mine!  I’m happy!

 
21 Jan 2010 Polly’s Seafood Chowder
 |  Category: Main Dish, Seafood, Soups  | Tags: ,  | 2 Comments


It was my turn to host book club tonight. The book was “Ahab’s Wife”, which I knew we had to discuss over a bowl of chowder and a slice of pie. Not having made Seafood Chowder before, I began a search for a great recipe. I found one in the book “The Book Club Cookbook” by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp (which actually had a whole chapter on “Ahab’s Wife”) and another I found on “Laura’s Best Recipes” attributed to Chef David Wells. I made one, which was good, but not great, then I made that one again, took some stuff out, added parts of the second recipe plus some crab and creamed corn, adjusted the method…and “Voilà!” a GREAT Seafood Chowder! Really, it is good. Everyone at book club said so!!! I am quite proud of it. This recipe makes a vat of chowder, and the leftovers reheat very well in the microwave-the seafood doesn’t get overcooked and rubbery.  LOVE this recipe.

Polly’s Seafood Chowder

6 slices of bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled (apple smoked if possible)
2-3 Tablespoons fat from cooked bacon (if you can’t bear it, use olive oil)
1 cup diced onions (can sub some shallots for the onions-I used one and then made up a cup with the onion)
1 cup diced celery
2 cloves minced garlic
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken broth
1 bottle clam juice (or seafood stock)
1 cup white wine
1.5 lbs (total) of Yukon Gold and Red potatoes, diced (I used half of each)
1 cup diced carrots
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
1 ½ tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 – 4 green onions, diced
1 lb. firm white fish, cut into small cubes (snapper, halibut, cod-I used cod)
1 lb. raw scallops, cut into small pieces, if large
1 lb. raw shelled shrimp, cut into halves or thirds
3 cups frozen corn (can substitute 1 can creamed corn for 1 cup of frozen corn)
16 oz. lump crab meat (found in the refrigerated section of grocery stores…Lucky and Costco carry it in San Jose)
2 cups half and half or whipping cream (I used the whipping cream. Bad Polly, bad Polly)

Set aside cooked and crumbled bacon. (I save only the meaty parts and discard all the fat) In bacon grease left in pan (remove excess if you have more than 3T) sauté onions, shallots and celery for about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, bay leaves, chicken broth, clam juice, white wine, finely diced potatoes and diced carrots. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until potatoes are cooked. Remove bay leaves. Remove one-half of mixture (4 -5 cups) and blend or puree until smooth. Return puree to pan with non-pureed mixture. Stir in thyme, tarragon, salt, pepper, corn, and creamed corn (if using). Can be made up to this point and refrigerated overnight (Which I recommend because it gives the flavors a chance to meld, and gives you the chance to skim excess hardened fat of surface before continuing). Bring base to a simmer and then continue. Stir in green onions, diced fish, scallops, shrimp, corn and half-and-half or whipping cream. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in crab and reserved cooked and crumbled bacon. Let chowder sit for 10 minutes before serving.

This makes a whole heck of a lot of chowder…3 qts…which is 24 cups. If you have seafood lovers in your circle, then it’s about 12 hearty servings. I have found that leftovers reheat very well in the MW. YUM!

Thanks for visiting!