Three Photos and Six Recipes

Did you know that January is NationalSoup Month? Well it is, and rightly so. It’s perfect for the cold weather and seemsto nourish both body and soul. Soup is delicious and nutritious,and it’s easy to make. If you can boil water you can make soup. Andthere’s something about a simmering soup pot…it’s the originalcomfort food. Soup is, in fact, one of the simplest and oldest foodpreparations there is…cooking food in liquid to tenderize it andinfuse both nutrients and flavor to the ensuing broth. The word soup, in fact,is derived from the Middle English, sop, or sup,referring to a stale piece of bread onto which hot broth was poured,thus giving a slight meal some substance. To eat in this fashion was“to sup;” which is from where the modern word “supper” isderived. Thus, the classic French Onion Soup is one of the trulyancient soups remaining today, and its ingenuity lies in itssimplicity: broth, onions, and bread (cheese is a modern and moreluxurious addition). Anyhow, soup is about the simplest recipe one can prepare, it’s nutritious and flavorful…and you only have one pot to clean.
French Onion Soup
Yield: 5-6 cups
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 large onions, peeled and slicedthinly
2 cups beef broth
2 cups chicken broth
6 slices French bread, toasted
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
2 ounces grated Gruyère cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter and oil in a heavysaucepan. Add the onions and sauté over low heat until onions aregolden brown, about 40 minutes. Stir in the beef and chicken stock,bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook the soup for 30minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup intooven-proof bowls and top each soup with a slice of French bread andthe grated cheeses. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 to 20 minutes,or until cheese is melted and golden brown.
CurriedVegetable Soup
Makes about 12 cups
3tablespoons canola oil
1small onion, diced
2carrots, diced
2stalks celery, diced
1parsnip, diced
1turnip, diced
2cloves garlic, minced
2tablespoons curry powder
1teaspoon turmeric
1teaspoon cumin seed
2teaspoons crushed hot pepper
2teaspoons kosher salt
1cup diced cabbage
1cup chopped cauliflower
1cup diced tomatoes
1cup chopped kale
8cups chicken broth
1/4 cup lime juice
Heat the oil in amedium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery,parsnip, and turnip. Cook the vegetables in the oil for about fiveminutes, allowing them to realease their flavor but not brown. Addthe garlic, curry, turmeric, cumin, hot pepper, and salt; saute foranother couple minutes. Stir in the cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoesand kale; stir to coat the vegetables with oil and spices. Stir inthe broth. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cookthe soup for 30-60 minutes, skimming as necessary; if it becomes tothick add more broth. Taste it for seasoning, and add the lemon juicejust before serving.
SplitPea Soup with Garlic and Smoked Sausage
Makes about 12 cups
3 tablespoons canolaoil
2 cups diced smokedsausage
1 small onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic,minced
1 pound split peas,cleaned and rinsed
1 potato, diced
8 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
Heat the oil in amedium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook itfor a few minutes, until it releases some of it’s fat and begins tobrown. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic; cook the vegetableswith the sausage for a few minutes, until the vegetables begin tocook but are not browned. Add the peas, potato. Broth, and salt.Bring the pot to a boil, then lower it to a simmer. Cook the soup forabout an hour, stirring frequently. If it becomes to thick add morebroth.
ButternutSquash Bisque with Apple and Toasted Walnuts
  Makes about 6 cups
2tablespoons butter
1small onion, peeled and diced
2tablespoonsflour
2tablespoonssugar
1/2teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4teaspoon allspice
1/4teaspoon nutmeg
1/2teaspoon salt
1teaspoon black pepper
2pounds peeled and diced butternut squash
2cups chicken stock
1cup heavy cream
1/4cup chopped, toasted walnuts
1/2cup small diced apple
Meltthe butter in a small pot over medium heat and add the onions. Sweatthe onions over medium heat for 5 minutes or until they aretranslu­cent. Add the flour and stir over medium heat for 2minutes. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt, pepper,and diced pumpkin; sauté another minute. Add the stock and simmerfor 15-20 minutes, or until the squash is very tender. Add the creamand simmer for 1 or 2 minutes longer. Puree in a blender or foodprocessor. After ladling the soup into warm bowls, garnish it withthe toasted walnuts and diced apple.
 
Roast Red Pepper Bisque
Makes about 12 cups
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup diced onions 
1/2cup diced celery
1/2cup diced carrots
2teaspoons minced garlic
2teaspoons salt
2teaspoons black pepper
1/2cup flour
4cups chicken broth
3cups diced roast red peppers
2cups heavy cream
Sautéthe onion, celery, and carrots, over medium heat in the butter orolive oil for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for anotherminute or two. Stir in the flour and cook over medium/low heat for5-10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, stir with a whisk to remove anylumps. Stir in the diced peppers. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10minutes. Add the heavy cream simmer 2 minutes. Puree in a foodprocessor or blender. Strain if you desire a smoother consistency.
PotatoChowder
Makes about 12 cups
3tablespoons unsalted butter
12ounces diced lean ham
1cup diced onion
1/2cup diced carrots
1/2cup diced celery
2teaspoons minced garlic
2-1/2pounds peeled and diced potatoes
6cups rich soup stock
1teaspoon thyme
1teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon black pepper
1cup milk (optional)
Heatthe butter in a large heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. When itbegins to bubble add the ham, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic.Sauté the vegetables and ham for approximately 5 minutes, or untilthey are soft and translucent but not browned. Stir in the potatoes,chicken stock, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Bring the soup to aboil then lower the heat to a simmer; skim any impurities that mayhave risen to the surface. Simmer the soup for 45-60 minutes,stirring often. Using a wire whisk, gently break apart some of thepotatoes to give the soup some viscosity. If adding the milk, do sodirectly before serving the soup, and do not boil it once the milkhas been added.

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