My husband called me during the day to tell me, he was not feeling well. He called again, on his way home, to tell me that he was feeling even worse and wanted to come home, eat and go to sleep. What does a wife do when her husband is under the weather? She makes soup.
The problem, I had, was that I had less than a half an hour to pull this off and I was in the midst of making a quiche for dinner. While, I chopped and mixed, I was thinking about what kind of soup, I could put together in a few minutes time. That is when I spotted a very small butternut squash on the counter. A light bulb lit up and thoughts raced through my mind.
Step 1 – Microwave squash so that this would be possible.
Step 2 – Chop onions and brown in a pot.
Step 3 – Get out the immersion blender.
Step 4 – Finish the quiche and get it into the oven.
This worked well. While the squash cooked and the onions browned, I put the quiche together and got it, into the oven. Now, for the soup…….. Opening the refrigerator usually works for me. I pulled out vanilla yogurt and apple sauce but something was missing. Honey – I wanted some honey for my honey. (Corny huh?)
We both oohed and ahed over this soup. It was absolutely delicious and I am not sure if it was the yogurt, apple sauce or honey. All, I know is that this is by far the best butternut squash soup, I have ever made and I will go further and say, it may be the best soup, I have made.
Vanilla Butternut Squash
1 small butternut squash, mashed
1 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup milk (I used low-fat)
2/3 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup apple sauce (unsweetened)
cinnamon (optional – I didn’t include it)
In microwave, cook butternut squash until it is cooked completely. It took 10 minutes on my microwave but I am sure, it will vary, with different microwaves. Of course, you can bake it, in the regular oven, if you prefer.
In 3 quart saucepan, heat olive oil and add chopped onions. Cook onions on a low flame until translucent. If you have time, caramelizing them would, most likely, give it an even better flavor.
When onions are cooked, add honey and mix it in. Keep a very low flame on.
Remove squash from skin. This small squash had almost no seeds. Do remove the seeds with a spoon. Mash squash in a medium-large bowl. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
Add to pot with onions and heat thoroughly for about 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to make soup smooth. If the soup is too thick, add some more milk and heat a little while longer.
Swirl some yogurt on top of each bowl of soup.
Each year, when Passover arrives, I pull out my two biggest pots and make chicken soup, lots and lots of chicken soup. I don’t use a recipe. Rather, I look around and grab almost every vegetable in site. I did that, this year, and once again, we had superb soup. It always amazes me, how the same soup tastes better on Passover than the rest of the year.
I end up freezing containers of soup except for the soup, we use, in the immediate following two days. I take these containers out of the freezer, as I need them and I always add fresh vegetable to the ready-made soup. That gives the soup a wallop of flavor.
Usually, I use nothing but fresh vegetables and chicken. I experimented with each batch, this year and one of those I made a little bit Thai. I added some soy sauce and cut up ginger and it took on a subtle flavor. No rice on Passover, for us, so I made Pesach noodles out of egg, potato starch and water and we had mock noodles in our soup.
As you can see, I made this soup, plain, no vegetables, no chicken but yes kneidlach.
Chicken Soup with lots of Vegetables
I am going to give you the ingredients for only one pot.
- 1 chicken for each pot (In this case, I bought packages of bottoms and used from 4-6 in each huge pot.
- water 3/4 up the pots
- 3 stalks celery, cut into chunks
- 2 onions, cut into quarters (I used large onions)
- 1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
- 1 turnip, cut into chunks
- 3 parsnips, each cut into 3 pieces
- 5 carrots, cut into 3 pieces, each
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 turnips, cut into chunks
Put all the vegetables in the pot except the parsley. Cook for another 40 minutes, again simmering.
Add parsley and seasonings and cook for another 30 minutes.
Remove vegetables from pot. If you want to serve with vegetables, put in new ones and cook until they are done, about 20 minutes. Cut them into smaller pieces than the chunks. You can chop them or make them slightly bigger.
Remove the chicken and break into small pieces and return to soup.
Put into bowls and enjoy this.
The name of this recipe appealed to me, immediately, because I thought, it had no meat in it. I was wrong. It calls for a choice Italian sausage, bone-in pork chops, comfit duck legs or duck breasts. No, no, Mr. Bittman – not for me and I don’t believe we missed anything without the meat. I like what Mark put into it – that is Mark Bittman, the author of Food Matters. I left out the meat and will ask, “Who needed it?” This totally vegetable dish was filled with flavor and we cleaned our dishes.
We like this cassoulet and I would be happy to make this again. It was filled with veggies, which we love and the combination was one, both hubby and I enjoy. I pretty much followed the recipe but I turned it, into a soup by adding some organic vegetable broth and water. It was rich and delicious.
The Food Matters Project can be found here and we hope any Bittman fans will join right in. Cooking Bittman is interesting and tasty. You can also find the cooks and where to find their latest creations on The Food Matters site.
In the future we will be cooking up the following recipes as follows:
April 16, 2012: No-Work Mostly Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (page 533) and Topping Pizza, the Food Matters Way (p
April 23, 2012: Real Whole Wheat Bread (page 539) or Mostly Whole Wheat Baguettes (page age 535),
542) April 30, 2012: Roasted Asparagus and White Bean Soup (page 110) May 7, 2012:
Five Quick Salsas for Chips, Dips, and Other Stuff (page 46 May 14, 2012: Bruschetta, Rethought (page 51),
Don’t theysound good?
I love my new group, the FOOD MATTERS Project. Bittman has always been an open door to walk through and the room, you walk into is filled with deliciousness such as this soup.
Curried Tomato Soup with Hard-Boiled Eggs (page 107), chosen by Joanne is a delicious soup that we devoured. I have always known Joanne has good taste and she certainly proved it this week. This is one of those dishes that caused my husband to sigh almost immediately and to claim its greatness. The seasoning blended perfectly to make a full bodied soup.
I chose not to hard boil the egg (or so I thought) and dropped into the soup to soft boil but I had made this in a slow cooker and I judged incorrectly so the egg hard-boiled without the shell. It was the best hard-boiled egg, I have ever eaten. It absorbed the flavors of the soup.
The soup did well in a slow cooker. I put it up, before going to work, and left it on low. I came home to a cooked soup, to which I added the cauliflower and eggs. Potatoes, carrots and tomatoes all make this a success.
To see what other members of the group did with this soup, stop over at the Food Matters Project, and enjoy.
Tonight, I made a green soup. Last week, I made an orange soup. Another night, I made a yellow soup and still another, the soup was red. I think that food was created with color, for our pleasure.
I am sharing last week’s soup, today, and I hope you will like it.
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 bag of baby carrots
one onion in chunks
one white potato, peeled and cut in chunks
one yellow squash, sliced in chunks
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cups organic vegetable broth
2 cups Rice Milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
salt and pepper to taste
Put liquids in crockpot. Add cut up vegetables. Add spices.
Cook on medium for 6 hours.
This is a mellow, soothing soup.
Other Soups From This Blog
- Crock Pot Potato Soup
- Have Leftovers – Make Soup
- Honesty Soup
- Ginger Carrot Soup with Apples – Guy Fieri
- Butternut Squash Soup
I had my meal plan in place, for tonight, until I looked into the refrigerator to find quite a few vegetables and fruit which would survive for a short time, if I didn’t use them, very soon. The sweet potatoes, in particular were ready to get up and walk away. Usually, I keep four sweet potatoes, in the house, and have plans for them. This morning, there were six potatoes and I had no idea what to do with them.
I also found lots of leftovers sharing space with the sweet potatoes. I decided quickly, leftovers would become the fare for, this evening and I would make a soup to go with the meal.
Emptying the refrigerator – 4 sweet potatoes, 1 apple, container with some apple sauce, leftover vegetable soup. Can you picture and taste my soup?
Apple Cinnamon-Sweet Potato Soup (made in a crockpot)
4 medium sweet potatoes
1 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup applesauce
1 apple, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
Put liquids in slow cooker. Add sweet potatoes and applesauce. Cover and cook on low for three hours.
Add apple, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg plus black pepper. Cook on high for another hour.
Using an immersion blender, blend until the consistency you want. Mine was smooth and creamy.
If I had cranberry pecan goat cheese, I would have crumbled it on top of the soup.
This soup had a distinct apple flavor to it and it was delicious.
This is not my photo.
I made this, one night, when my eyes were literally closing. Forget cooking, I didn’t even want to eat.
The other of lifting a fork to my mouth overwhelmed me. I am sure, many of us, have these days or evenings where everything looms large. I have them more, these days, when I am on extra duty for my job.
That night typified exhaustion but I knew, not eating, was not going to do me any good. I could see sleeping for an hour and waking up with hunger pains. Then, I would, very likely not fall back to sleep for hours. No, we were going to eat even if was lettuce without dressing.
Why I picked up Giada’s book up, I don’t know and why it opened to this soup is even more strange. Who am I to ask questions? I had dinner, Italian style, ready in a short while. Tomato soup, something I love and something comforting.
I will hang my head, in shame, for those of you who always cook from scratch, something I often do, very often, but not that night. This soup embarrassingly is made from bottled Marinara soup, boxed Vegetable Soup and canned beans plus a few extras. I, even peeled carrots…..Wow! Chopped an onion…..Double wow!!
Let me tell you, this soup was very good. It had flavor and was smooth and went down, easily and I loved it, at least that night. My instincts tell me, I would like it again and then again. It was not simply the desperation but I can keep it for another desperation night when sleep calls.
Quick and Spicy Tomato Soup adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce
- 28 ounces vegetable broth
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 any small pasta
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
Add the carrots and onion. and saute until soft, about 2 minutes.
Add the jar of marinara sauce, chicken broth, cannelloni beans, red pepper flakes, pasta, salt and pepper.
Simmer for 10 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and serve.
Eat and enjoy!
Note the length of time for this soup, if you cook the pasta while you are browning the vegetables………12 minutes. Even a tired lady should be able to handle this and if one can’t, sleep is the only answer.
Tonight was a choice of the Heirloom Tomato Soup or the Ginger Carrot Soup. I could have gone in either direction but at the moment, I was going to cook, carrots won out. I made this in a crockpot. Check the original recipe here.
With apologies to Guy, I did make some changes, basically with the topping which I eliminated. I also added chopped apples, an hour before the soup was completed with some thin sliced carrots. The soup was very thick. after blending, and I added 2 cups of Rice Dream to thin it out, a bit. This was not a gutsy recipe, as I think of Guy’s recipes but, in no way, did this fail in flavor. It had a delightful flavor and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri Ginger Carrot Soup (adapted from Guy Fieri)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped into even pieces
1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock for vegetarian version
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon pepper
In a heavy skillet, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and the sweet onions. Sprinkle with salt and sweat for 10 minutes, until just starting to caramelize. Add in the ginger and saute for 2 minut
es more, being careful not to burn the mixture.
Add onions and ginger to the crockpot along with the carrots, potatoes, honey and the vegetable stock. Cover and cook until vegetables are cooked. Keep warm.
With a stick blender, puree the carrot mixture
(In the crockpot, it took about five hours to cook and an extra hour after I put the apple pieces into the soup. Cook for another hour with the apple.)
Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, to taste, Add apples and leave on medium for another hour.
Sometimes, honesty works against me. I am compulsively honest and this gets me into trouble. I know how to be honest if someone asks if I like her shoes when I don’t. I know, I can say, “What a great color!” or “Wow! Where did you get them?” I can walk away, feeling fine with myself. Honesty can’t be meant to hurt the feelings of someone who has already paid one hundred dollars for the shoes that can’t be returned.
I remember, working for a man, who was rather sneaky. Giving him the truth was like turning over the secrets of the atom bomb (OK, something more current). When he asked me who had said something, at a meeting, I went to, the previous night, I jumped in and said, “It was me.” Well, it was and eventually, he got rid of me. I have no regrets. No one else got hurt.
What am I leading up to? The name of the recipe which is called Summer Corn Soup in Fine Cooking –I couldn’t leave it like that when it is winter. Please, stop laughing at me. I honestly could not do it.
At least, you know, you can trust me.
Winter/not Summer Corn Soup (adapted from Fine Cooking)
2 cups of frozen corn (Fresh corn when available…)
1 tablespoon olive oil