Sunday, February 1, 2009

French Farmers Soup

I found French Farmers Soup in a magazine...Fine cooking Magazine, October/November 2007. It was included in the article "How to make Hearty bean & Vegetable soups" Without a recipe. This article gives you a "method" for making a soup.

First of all, one must start with dried beans. So, you do need to include some soaking time in your plan. Soaking 6-12 hours is a standard for most dry beans. I soaked mine all day on Tuesday, cooked them Tuesday night and refrigerated them. (I thought Wednesday would be a snap and I would be able to get them out in no time while getting ready for my bookclub. And if truth be told, it wasn't that hard. I just didn't get good photos because I was busy making a cheese and fruit and bread tray for the bookclub)
(You can find more pictures of the soup process on my other blog here )

The article told me to "create" a flavor foundation.

It gave me choices for the meat: bacon, pancetta, smoked sausage, Italian sausage.

For the aromatics: celery, leeks, onions, shallots

Seasonings: too many to chose from (You have to add the seasonings the compliment the rest of your ingredients and the ones you like)

Then veggie choices: you can choose from any vegetable you want to.

Add a broth, beef, vegetable or chicken.

And a finishing touch! An acid-- wine, lemon juice, vinegr orhot sauce.

A sprinkling of a fresh herb

And a topping: olive oil, croutons, orgrated parmigiano cheese

and there you have it!

The recipe also gave you "measuring" guidelines to follow.

3 cups of veggies
1 tbs of seasonings
1 1/2 cups aromatics
1/4 pound of meat.

It was up to me to decide what to mix and match and make for the soup. But...they had a picture of French Farmers Soup in the article and it looked delicious. I decided to make that one.

I chose baby lima beans. I was a bit hesitant, because my memories of frozen lima beans during my growing up years are not that pleasant. I didn't like the texture of them. but using dried baby ones in this soup....I loved the texture. They were so good! I think it would be a good soup with chickpeas also.

This soup was really good. And my husband, who is also not a fan of lima beans (he swears that's all his stepmother made) liked it very much.

It is said that soup is actually better in a day or two. And I actually have some of this left in my fridge. mmmmm.... SuperBowl food? Pfftt....let's have soup!

French Farmers Soup

8oz dried baby lima beans

1 med. clove garlic1 bay leaf

3/4 tsp kosher salt

Sort thru your beans and discard any little stones or clumps of dirt, and then give them a quick rinse. Transfer to a bowl and cover them with enough cold water to go 3 inches above the beans. Soak for 4-12 hours.Drain and rinse the beans and transfer them to a 3-4 quart saucepan. (I just used my red soup pot--much bigger than that)

Add 1 medium (or 2) garlic clove, smashed and peeled, 1 bay leaf and 6 cups of cold water.

Partially cover to limit evaporation and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and almost creamy inside. The cooking time will vary depending on how long they have soaked and how old they are. Approximately 1 hour.Season with salt.Drain the beans, reserving the liquid and discard the bay leaf.

Heat 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil or unsalted butter in a soup pot. To give the soup a more savory, meaty flavor add some bacon or smoked sausage. (I used bacon) Cook until the fat is rendered, 5-8 minutes. Drain off fat and set bacon aside.

Add the 1 1/2 cups celery, leeks and onion chopped ( 1/2 cup of each).

Season with kosher salt and fresh pepper.
Cook until they begin to soften, 4-6 minutes.
Add the seasonings of your choice. I used thyme, about 3/4 -1 tsp.
Add the vegetables, stirring to incorporate with the seasonings and aromatics.
I used a mixture of diced/sliced carrots and a turnip to equal 3 cups.
Add 2 cups of broth. Partially cover and simmer until the veggies are just barely tender, about 20 minutes.
Add the beans and 3 cups more of stock/broth and 1 cup of the reserved bean liquid.
Return the cooked bacon to the pot.
Stir to combine and cook for another 10-20 minutes to meld the flavors.
Taste the soup and adjust seasonings.

Finish your soup with an acid.I chose white wine ---just a splash.
And when I ladled it into a bowl, I sprinkled on some croutons.

Over all, we really liked this soup. It was a good choice

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chicken Tortellini Soup for Souper Sundays

We've had strange weather this January. It started out snowy and cold, cold, cold. Then it soared up into the 50's and stayed there for over a week, as we watched our heavy snow pack melt off. Then Mother Nature threw in a few foggy days, cold and damp, which is unusual for us, the damp, that is. Now we're back to sunshine, but we have wind. A cold, bitter, biting wind.
Good Soup weather.

My post is short today.... we've had a busy week, but I wanted to get this in in time for "Souper Sundays" hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen. Lucky for me, she goes by Hawaii time. (Usually I feel as if I'm running behind on PST, so this is a sigh of relief for me. )

A few days ago, I made this Chicken Tortellini soup. I have a few different recipes for tortellini soup, but this is a good one. It's easy, it's warm, it's good. You could use leftover chicken even-- if you had any. You can throw it together in nothing flat. Add a salad and some french bread and you have a meal.
This is one recipe I've made for years. An old standby, and everyone seems to enjoy it. You can change it around a bit by changing your tortellini. Three Cheese, meat, spinach, etc. The soup is your canvas.

Chicken Tortellini Soup

6 cups water (the recipe says water, but I use about half chicken broth...more than the 3 cans listed right below here. It's a taste thing)
3 10-oz cans chicken broth
1 10-oz can cream of chicken soup
2 cups cubed cooked chicken (or shredded)
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1 -oz package tortellini
1 10-oz package frozen chopped broccoli
Parmesan cheese

Combine water, chicken broth, soup, onions, carrots, wine, garlic and seasonings in a soup pot; mix well and bring to a boil. Simmer until carrots are tender. Add broccoli and simmer for 15 minutes. Add tortellini and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

And there you have it.
Simple and good.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Shrimp and Corn Chowder/Souper Sundays

Happy Sunday! And it's "Souper Sunday" today---my first entry with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen. (I'm so excited to be in the company of these awesome soup makers)

This is an "Almost Homemade" soup, and you can make it in a snap.
Every January, I host a party, which has come to be known as my "soup supper". (see the slideshow to the left? 2008 Jan Soup supper ) I invite friends and ask them to bring a soup, a bread or a dessert to my house and we taste the night away. It's January, cold and snowy and it's just a good night. My friend Julie's husband Dave told me it's his favorite night of the year...I've been doing it for quite a few years now... what a compliment! It comes across as such a "lame" party when describing it...soup! How much fun can eating soup be? But with good friends and lots of laughter... it's so much fun, to brighten the middle of a cold winter.

We're such party animals. Mmmmm....give me some more of that fish stew, it's made with WINE. Oh now, I want some of that lentil soup, oh yeah... bring on the broccoli cheese baby!
We usually end the night with a game. (and then we get really wild)

There are usually 4 or 5 different soups. There have been up to 8 which is too many, because we want to taste them all...but if 8 or 9 show up, we'll struggle thru. I usually buy bowls at the dollar store, or truth be told, there have been a couple of years when I do purchase disposable bowls, but I don't like it very much. It's not just something I like, eating soup from disposable bowls. We just have so many soups to chose from and sometimes we don't want to mix flavors.

There is some good bread too. My sister in law Meghan is well known for her "World famous Cheesy Garlic Bread" but little does she know, in these parts of Northern Nevada, Shelly has taken that over and now it is known as "Shelly's" World Famous Cheesy Garlic Bread.

One year, my friend Lisa brought this Shrimp and Corn Chowder. It's so good and cream and warm. And EASY. It's "almost homemade"....

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tablespoons butter
2 10-oz cans cream of potato soup
1 1/2 soup cans milk
1 16-oz can whole kernel corn, drained
8-oz cream cheese, cubed
2 cups fresh shrimp, peeled, deviened. (big salad shrimp is good)
salt and pepper to taste
dash of paprika

Saute the green onions and garlic in the butter in a medium soup pot over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the soup, milk, corn, cream cheese. Simmer until the cream cheese is melted, add the shrimp, salt, pepper, paprika and bring to a soft boil. Cook for 1 minute.
Serve with a green salad and fresh buns.

It's the best!!

And let's not forget...
Shelly's World Famous Cheesy Garlic Bread/Meghan Stone's World Famous Cheesy Garlic Bread
(recipe courtesy of Meghan, but the photo is of Shelly's bread)

1 loaf crusty French Bread--preferably Parisian brand if you can get it.
1 cube of butter
3/4 cup Best Foods Mayonnaise
2-3 T. minced garlic
8-oz shredded Parmesan Cheese
8-oz shredded Romano Cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh chopped parsley

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add garlic, saute till brown--about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Using wire whisk, blend in mayo. Add cheeses, mix together. You may add more or less cheese to your liking. Add parsley.

Cut loaf of bread in half--lengthwise. Rub with garlic cloves if desired. Spread on the cheese mixture.

Bake in oven about 10-15 minutes at 375. Adjust time with oven temps.
You can hit the broiler, but watch carefully.

Surfing for Soup

I'm very excited today, for while surfing thru some of my favorite blogs, I noticed there were quite a few with soup recipes.
These are some awesome blogs. I love their blogs... and when I get a soup recipe as a bonus, well, it couldn't get any better for me.

There are a couple of chili's and a couple of cauliflower soups, which I thought was interesting, since cauliflower is not a common soup. Not one you hear about every day anyway.

But the thing I'm most excited about is "Souper Sundays" from Debbie at Kahakai Kitchen. She has a standing invitation for people to link to her Souper Sunday posts, and she'll show-off all our soups.
I'm waiting patiently for a "logo" from her. It should be here within a few days and then, it will be on my sidebar.

All of these are worthwhile blogs and I think you'll enjoy them. I know I do.
Check them out.

Kitchen Clique
with a great "cheese and broccoli" soup. We love Velveeta. (it's good in soups! and chili-cheese dips. Yep, I'm sophisticated. )

A Good Appetite
has a wonderful looking "ham and bean" soup, that I cant' wait to try. I have a ham bone frozen in my freezer. (where else would it be frozen?)

Once upon a Plate
has a beautiful "one-two-three-tortellini-vegetable" soup. And her blog is so...nice. I just love it. It makes me feel calm after a hard day at work.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks
has one of the cauliflower soups. Her blog is funny and exciting. If Once upon a plate is calming, the Pioneer woman revs me up!

Audrey's Favorite Recipes
has the second cauliflower soup recipe this week. I'm wondering if there is a cauliflower conspiracy that I'm not in on.

Wives with Knives
has a good looking and sounding chili recipe. With Mole!

Karen Cooks
has not only a good chili recipe, but she's giving away a soup cookbook!!! By random number. Darn it, I want to be that random number. Oh...I gotta go comment on her blog to be entered. You go too.

Kahakai Kitchen
has "Souper Sundays". I'm so excited for this.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Turkey and Noodle Soup

Turkey and Noodle soup.

Is there really a recipe for it? Doesn't most everyone just take their turkey and boil it down to make a good stock and add vegetables and noodles and it's good to go?

I froze my turkey bones on Thanksgiving and brought them out today, while my son and daughter-in-law are here visiting. It seemed like a good lazy day soup.
And to answer the question above, I realize that some people really do have actual recipes for Turkey and Noodle soup.
I don't. Because here at our house, it's all about the noodles. The noodles are the star. And these are very rustic noodles. We like them thicker than the average noodle lover. And the shape doesn't really matter either.
If I had the time, I might have made spirals or curly cues, but as it is at our house, we take what we can get.

I brought the frozen bones in today and stuck them on the stove in the big red pot. (I love my big red pots) and....well.....boiled the heck out of it. It smelled so good, just simmering away on the stove.
When that was done, I took out all the bones and pulled the meat off the carcass, once it had cooled some. Added minimal vegetables and then made my noodles.

Everyone who makes pasta knows that you are supposed to let the noodles dry out before added them to the broth. I don't. I let them dry a bit....we ran to the store to pick up a few things, but when we got back, I went ahead and dropped them one by one into the big red pot.
And then we ate.

Turkey and Noodle Soup with Rustic Noodles

turkey bones
onion, chopped
carrots chopped
celery chopped

Boil your turkey bones/carcass down to make a good stock. Some salt and pepper may need to be added. Take bones out and let cool for a bit. Pull off meat and and back to the pot, which has been strained of any bones, skin and fat.
Add the onions, carrots and celery. However much you want. Make it how you like it. You could add garlic too if you wanted.
Let simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Rustic Noodles

2 cups flour
2 eggs
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk

Mix all together and roll out on a floured board to the thickness of noodles you want.
Cut noodles...however many you want, however thick you want, however long you want.
Let them dry. Or not.

Add to the soup pot and cook for a while. Sprinkle with parsley.
Then eat!

So easy.

My cousin Linda has a good turkey soup she calls Thanksgiving Soup.

Thanksgiving Soup

After you've had your Thanksgiving dinner and a day of leftovers, cut whatever turkey you can get off the bones for sandwiches. Then boil the heck out of the carcass. Drain (save broth), throw away bones, any fat and skin. Return broth to pot add in the meat you boiled off of the bones.

Now add in any left over mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, veggies you might have had. Cook until everything has heated clear through.

You can serve as is, OR you can add noodles, OR rice, OR dumplings.
It's good.

I have a book by Jacqueline Heriteau, "A Feast of Soups". In her introduction she talks about a summer spent in France when she rented a cottage from a couple in the country. The main house was close by and she would often wander over to visit and watch the madam of the house prepare a soup. She said, "Madame Bertrand never made her soup twice with the same ingredients, and there wasn't a cookbook in her house. Sometimes there were drippings from a roast, a bit of curried beef, a tail end of fish, leftover mussels, meat sauce from a pasta meal, wilting salad and it's dressing, bits of beef, a roasted lamb shank or baked chicken....."

My point being, that soup started out not having a recipe, so just go for it.
Make that Turkey noodle soup by just tossing in what you have in your fridge. Leftover Thanksgiving dinner or whatever.

Good soup!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Soups to Try

It's snowing outside right now, (Christmas Eve morning) and isn't supposed to let up until after Christmas Day. I'm going to make a pot of potato soup for my daughter in law this afternoon, so we can just have it whenever we want for the next few days. It's the "loaded potato soup" that you can find here.

Because I am so unbelievably slow with this blog...this soup blog, I've decided to give you some links to some really good soups. I search food blogs almost every day because I so enjoy them and am so in awe of what awesome cooks there are out there. It's also fun to get a little peak at our lives thru what we eat, how we cook, what we write about. I've noticed some really good soup recipes lately, so I thought, that throughout this long cold winter, I could at least keep you updated on "soups" whether they be mine or not.

Tomorrow while everyone is busy making their Christmas feasts, I will be making a brunch instead. And then having soup in the evening, while watching a movie, listening to my grown children playing cards or a board game and looking around my house at all the opened gifts, discarded wrapping paper and boxes, half drank cups of hot buttered rum and eggnog, pine needles scattered on the floor, and be lucky I am.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. And now...on to good soups links.

Wives with Knives is a new blog that I have found recently. I'm always on the search for West Coast bloggers, which she is. Cathy grew up on the "Mighty" Columbia River, as did I. Yay for us!
Here is her recipe for Fisherman's Chowder with Herb Oyster Crackers.
I can't wait to try it. You'll have to check out her blog. I'm enjoying it very much.

Another new blog to me is "For the Love of Cooking". In fact, this blog led me to Wives with knives. I love this blog, she makes just the kinds of dishes I want to make. And this soup? It looks delicious. I might give it a try for my annual Soup Supper party in January.

And Ali at "Home of the Lazy Dog" has an amazing Toscana Soup recipe. I can see what January has in store for me. Soups!

All three of these blogs are fairly new to me, but I am so excited at having found them, and looking forward to not only making their soups, but trying some more of their recipes too.

good soups!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Go To Soup

Hamburger "Go To" Soup

In 1983, I lived in Elko, Nevada, far away from my home state of Washington. Far away from my mom or any family for that matter, far away from my friends. I was pregnant and all alone...except for my husband and our 3 year old son, Lucas, We had moved for a job, but it was hard to leave our hometown. We lived in Elko for 8 years and by the time we left, we were heartbroken to leave behind what good friends we had made. Some of them remain our friends to this day. It was good place for us to have landed for a while.
When our 2nd son, Dustin was born, a lady from our church brought over a meal; Hamburger Soup, spiced Jell-o and a loaf of French bread.
It was the best meal I had ever had.
Well, the time, it was the nicest gesture, because we were without family (my mom did come down later in the week) and it was really, really good. A homecooked meal brought to me and my family.
Ever since then, it's been my 'go to' soup in case of emergency. It's quick, it's easy and most of's good.
My friend April had her gallbladder out this morning. Earlier this afternoon I took them a pot of Hamburger soup.
I just got the phone call.... it was a I knew it would be.

Hamburger Soup

1 to 1 1/2 pound lean ground beef
4 cups beef broth
4 cups water
16 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 medium onion--chopped
2 carrots--sliced
2 ribs of celery--sliced
1/3 cup pearl barley
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tsp. season salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1 bay leaf

Brown the ground beef, drain off the grease. Add water and remaining ingredients in order given. Simmer for 2 hours or until the vegetables are tender.