Sunday, April 29, 2012

More Soups from Soup Week

Emily wanted this recipe from Soup Week.  I love it at this time of year, because I can make it at lunch time and come home after a cold soccer game to a warm meal.  It's a recipe from America's Test Kitchen.  I modified it for the crock pot.  I like it better that way.  The beans are creamier.  Yum!

White Bean and Garlic Soup

1 lb white beans (The recipe calls for cannellini beans, but I've always used great northern beans.)
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped fine
1 small head garlic, top third and loose papery skins removed and discarded
6 cups chicken broth
1 sprig rosemary, or 1 tsp dried
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley, or 1 Tbsp dried

1.  Soak the beans by either bringing the beans and 6 cups water to a boil, simmer for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover and let soak for 1 hour.  Or you can put the beans in a big pot the night before you want to make this, cover them with water and let them soak until you are ready to make the soup.  Drain the beans and put them in your crock pot.
2.  Cook the bacon in the same pot you used to soak the beans in over medium heat until crisp.  Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving the rendered fat behind in the pot.  Add the onion and cook until softened.  Stir in the garlic head and cook for 30 seconds.
3. Transfer the onion and garlic to the crock pot.  Add the broth and 1 tsp. salt (If you are using the dried herbs, add them now).  Turn on the crock pot to low and cook for 6 hours.
4. Add the fresh herbs, if you are using them now.  Remove the garlic head and squeeze out the softened cloves.  Mince the softened garlic and return it to the soup.  Discard the fresh rosemary.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve, garnishing with bacon.

Serves 8

Don't be scared by the whole garlic head.  It roasts in the soup and turns nutty and mild.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Recipes from Soup Week

As promised here are the requested soup recipes from our soup week. (As a side note, when I asked the kids what they wanted for dinner this week, Sophie said, "Egg Drop Soup," and everyone groaned. I guess we're still recovering.)

This first recipe is for Hilary. I got it off the Martha Stewart website.

Seared Beef and Noodle Soup

1/2 lb rice noodles (You can also substitute angel hair pasta.)
1 1/4 lbs beef sirloin (about 1 inch thick)
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
10 oz white mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 c. beef stock
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
2 carrots, cut into thin strips
1/2 Napa cabbage, shredded (I used regular cabbage.)
2 scallions, including green parts, thinly sliced
1 c. bean sprouts (I left these out and put in peas instead.)

1. Place rice noodles in a large heatproof bowl; pour boiling water over noodles. Let sit until translucent but still slightly chewy, 5-10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Season beef with 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper and rub with 1 Tbsp oil. Sear beef in pan until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Sear other side, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove beef.

3. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining Tbsp of oil, mushrooms, and garlic; cook, scraping up any browned bits, until mushrooms are tender, 3-5 minutes.

4. Add stock, soy sauce, vinegar, and 2 c. water to the pan (I thought the water made the soup weak, so used more stock instead.); bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; stir in carrots cabbage, scallions, and bean sprouts. (I like my veggies less crunchy, so I simmered them until I thought they were done.)

5. Cut beef diagonally into very thin slices. Ladle the broth and veggies into serving bowls, and place the noodles and sliced beef on top.

Serves 4-6

This next soup is for Tammy. It's a recipe Aaron got in Germany on his mission.

Allgauer Kase Soupe

2 Tbsp butter
2 pieces of bread, cut into cubes
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
4 c. chicken stock, hot
125 g. (or so) soft, spreadable cheese
(We like Boursin, but Alluette is nice too. It should have garlic and herbs in it. This is the flavoring of this soup, so get something nice. You can find this kind of cheese in the specialty cheese section of most grocery stores.)
salt and pepper to taste
dash or two nutmeg
1 Tbsp dried parsley

1. Make the croutons. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the cubes, toss and saute until golden brown. Set aside. (When I make this, I cut up a piece of bread for each person who will be eating-8 for our family-then I melt the butter (4-6 Tbsp. for my family) in the microwave and toss with the bread. Then I spread the bread on a cookie sheet and broil it in the oven until it is golden brown. Toss the croutons and brown on the other side.)

2. Make the soup. Melt the butter in the soup pot. Add the flour and stir and cook for a little bit. You want to make sure it doesn't taste like flour. Whisk in the hot broth until there are no lumps. Cook at a simmer for 7 minutes.

3. Cut the cheese into chunks. Stir the cheese into the soup until it melts. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and parsley. Bring to a simmer.

4. Serve with the croutons on top. Or if you're a purist, with them on the side, you don't want your food to touch.

Serves 4 (I double this for my family and there's usually just one serving left over, which Aaron and I fight about for lunch the next day.)