Thursday, October 22, 2009

Soups for the fall


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped

2 cups chopped leeks

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

3-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

6-1/2 cups chicken stock

8 tablespoons sour cream, divided

2 tablespoons lime juice

Kosher salt, pepper

Garnish: chopped cilantro and grated lime zest
Method of Preparation
Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add carrot and leeks and sauté until leeks begin to soften, about five minutes. Add garlic and sauté one minute. Add cumin and red pepper flakes and sauté 30 seconds more.

Add the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered, about 35 minutes.

Purée the soup in batches and return soup to the pot. Serve hot, with a dollop of sour cream and a squeeze of lime juice stirred into each bowl. Or cool the soup, whisk in 6 tablespoons of sour cream and refrigerate for three hours or overnight. When ready to serve, stir in lime juice, season to taste and serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkling of cilantro and lime zest.

Servings: 6

— Betty Rosbottom, “Sunday Soup” (Chronicle Books, $19.95, 168 pages)


18 plum tomatoes

2-1/4 teaspoons black pepper

1-1/8 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary

3 large garlic cloves minced

1/2 cup olive oil plus extra

3-1/2 cups chicken stock, divided

2 tablespoons fresh basil

Garlic Croutons

1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups bread cubes (1-inch dice), made from French bread, crusts included

1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
Method of Preparation
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a large baking sheet generously.

Halve tomatoes lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes. Let drain.

In a large bowl, mix pepper, salt, rosemary, garlic and 1/2 cup olive oil and whisk to blend. Add tomatoes and toss well. Marinate for 15 minutes.

Arrange tomatoes, cut side up, on the baking sheet. Drizzle any remaining oil mixture over them. Roast until tomatoes are softened and browned around the edges, about 50 to 60 minutes.

Place half the tomatoes in a food processor. Pour in 1 cup stock and pulse until puréed.

Coarsely chop remaining tomatoes. In a soup pot, combine the chopped and puréed tomatoes and remaining stock and bring just to a simmer. Season with salt.

For the croutons, melt the oil and butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add bread cubes and cook, stirring, about three minutes. Add garlic and cook for another two minutes until bread is golden and crisp.

Garnish each serving with basil and croutons.

Servings: 6

— Betty Rosbottom, “Sunday Soup” (Chronicle Books, $19.95, 168 pages)


1 big fat leek, or 2 slightly slimmer ones

1 smallish onion

2 small-to-medium new potatoes

1 tablespoon butter

3 cups water or more

Salt, fresh ground pepper

1-2 tablespoons heavy cream, optional
Method of Preparation
Trim the leeks, discarding the tough green tops, and cut them into 1-inch chunks. Rinse thoroughly and drain. Peel and chop the onion and potatoes.

Melt the butter in a heavy pot and sauté the onion for a few minutes. Add the leeks and potatoes and sweat them over low heat for another few minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the water and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook at a lively simmer, with cover askew, for one hour, until the potatoes are velvety soft. Now mash roughly with a potato masher or slotted spoon. Add considerably more salt to taste, and a few grindings of the pepper mill. Serve as is, or swirl some cream on top.

— Judith Jones, “The Pleasures of Cooking for One” (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009)

1 cup green split peas, soaked for one to two hours

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 large onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 large celery rib, including any pale leaves, diced

2 tablespoons chopped rosemary, divided

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 bay leaves

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Sea salt, fresh pepper

1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika

2 cups fresh or frozen peas

1 cup half-and-half

Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Method of Preparation
Heat the oil and butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, half the rosemary, parsley and bay and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add garlic, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and the paprika and cook a few minutes more.

Add the split peas and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, about an hour. Add fresh peas; cook two minutes more.

Add the half-and-half and purée the soup in batches. Return the soup to the pot. Add remaining rosemary and lemon zest and heat. Season to taste with salt, pepper, lemon juice and paprika. Serve with a sprinkling of homemade croutons.

Makes: about 2 quarts

— Deborah Madison, “Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen” (Broadway Books 2006, $19.95, 230 pages)


1 medium butternut squash

3 tablespoons olive oil

1-1/2 cups chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped carrot

2 garlic cloves, minced

4-6 cups chicken broth

3 teaspoons minced, canned chipotle in adobo

1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream

Salt, fresh ground pepper
Method of Preparation
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds, discarding the stringy pulp. Put the seeds in a sieve and rinse. Set aside.

Grease a glass baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil, then place the squash in the dish, cut side down. Pierce all over with a fork and roast 45 minutes or until tender. Let cool.

Heat remaining oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, celery and carrot for 10 minutes. Add garlic; cook two minutes more.

Scoop the flesh of the squash into the pot and stir. Add 4 cups broth and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender.

Meanwhile, toast the reserved squash seeds in a small pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until crunchy, about 30 minutes. Season heavily with salt and set aside.

Purée the soup in batches in a blender, adding more broth to get the desired consistency.

In a separate bowl, stir 1 teaspoon of the minced chipotle into the crema. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir the remaining 2 teaspoons chipotle into the bisque and ladle into soup bowls. Top each with a dollop of cream and a sprinkling of seeds.

Servings: 6 to 8

— Marcela Valladolid, “Fresh Mexico” (Clarkson Potter 2009, $22.50, 240 pages)

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