|From Big ‘Dawg Eats|
Is it possible in this goofy strip between the peidmont and the coastal plains to have a seasonal weather transition? I enjoyed this past summer, and was looking forward to some good fall porch-sittin’ weather, and here we are facing 30 degree nites this weekend.
The benefit is that it’s also soup time. I don’t know about you, but I find it challenging to enjoy soup in the summer. Soup is purported to warm the soul. My soul gets hot enough in the summer and needs no assistance. But cold weather triggers the dewey decimal locator for the soup recipe catalog in my long term memory. This week, it was Laura who began the soupfest with a barley and lentil soup she adapted from Ina. Good chicken stock base, a little sausage thrown in. Can’t beat for an inexpensive soup that can feed a family of four for three days; however, you’ll need to stay attached to an IV drip of simethicone the entire three days.
If you are bored, don’t want significant gas, and don’t want to go out in the cold, Google Soup Nazi (from Seinfeld) recipes. The Soup Nazi didn’t post his recipes, but someone (many years ago) tried to recreate them by straining and dissecting a serving of each, and then posted those recipes online. I made the Muligatawny a few years back.
One of my favorite soups is my adaptation of the Bouchon potato leek soup. I love the flavor of this preparation, but i enjoy a hearty soup, with manly chunks. Keller makes his smooth as glass by pureeing in a blender. My manly preparation involves pureeing about three-quarters of the soup, then pouring that back in with the un-pureed portion. I also use butternut squash with the potato for color and additional, but not overpowering, flavor. The last addition to the Bouchon recipe is to top with a small bit of onion confit. I leave the onions out of Keller’s recipe because I have this step. These buttery onions add nice flavor and texture to the soup.
Cook the potato and butternut squash in boiling water with the sachet. Cook the shallots and leeks in the butter in the bottom of a large stockpot or dutch oven until soft and then transfer the cooked potato/squash into it, reserving two or three cups of potato/squash. Pour in the chicken stock, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the sachet, let the soup cool, then puree in batches in a blender till smooth. Pour back into the pot, with the reserved potato/squash, and simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Stir in the cream during the last 5 minutes. Serve with minced chives and a spoonful of the onion confit. Salt and pepper to taste. Lardons are nice bonus too.
- 1 pounds potatoes
- 1 pound butternut squash
- 2 or 3 large leeks (white and light green parts only)
- 1/2 cup shallots minced
- 6 cups homemade chicken stock
- Sachet (peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme, parsley)
Onion Confit (thinly slice the onions and simmer in the melted butter with the sachet for 2 hours in a saucepan covered with the parchent lid, being careful not to brown the onions – stir often)
- 3 large spanish onions
- 2 sticks butter
- parchment lid