Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Soupy Loopy

I got a little soup crazy at some point in the winter. I think I was inspired by my new 'vegetable guy', whom I was introduced to in November or December. He only sells at the market in Ledeberg on Sunday mornings and the Friday morning market in Vridagmarkt, and is the only both organic and local seller. At first, he had lots of vegetables which I had never tried nor knew the names of nor knew how to use (kohlrabhi, endive, sunchoke!?). Now, I have pretty much gone through his entire selection of winter vegetables, using them in some form or another, but quite frequently in soups! He is a friendly guy in his 50s, who is quite chatty when his tent is not mobbed, and even throws in occasional free item or two now that he knows me as a regular. I was introduced by a Romanian girl, and have since brought Ethiopians, Costa Ricans, Australians, and others....he seems to enjoy the international contact and even asked me about US politics on one occasion (he said the Tea Party was a bunch of crazy people, haha). 

So, for the pleasure of your taste buds, here are a few of my yummy winter soup recipes:


Belgian Endive Soup (Serves 6-7, can  halve recipe)…damn good :)
4 Belgian Endives, cored
2 white onion,
2 garlic clove, diced
4 tablespoons butter
4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken broth
2 cup milk or cream (I used half of each)
(I also added 1 carrot and 1 turnip in addition to what was called for in original recipe)
salt and pepper to taste
chopped chives dill sprigs for garnish
Mince the Belgian Endives, reserving a few small leaves for garnish. Saute the onion, garlic, and minced Belgian Endives in the butter for three to five minutes. Add the potatoes and chicken broth and simmer for about fifteen minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Put this in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add the milk, salt, and pepper and blend. Serve hot or cold. Garnish with the small Belgian Endive leaves, chives, and dill. Serve with white rice (also veggies or salmon would go well). 
French Veg Soup
3 tbsp EVOO
6 cup Water
2 tsp Salt
1 onion, cut ¼” dice
2 medium yellow potatoes, ¼” dice
3 Leeks, white and pale green part only, thinly sliced
2 medium turnips, diced
3-4 carrots, diced
1 celery root, peeled, cut, diced
1 fennel, trimmed, cored, diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Note: You can probably put chicken or something in this, or chicken broth. More salt is probably necessary and maybe pepper.
Boil EVOO, H20, and Salt. Then, add all veggies. Cook 30-35 minutes. You can probably saute some of the stuff first like the leek, onions, & carrot.
Pumpkin Soup (wow, this was awesome) Serves 6 or so
1 kilo pumpkin (can keep skin on), chopped
1-2 potatoes peeled chopped
1 sweet potato (orange)
1 large yellow onion peeled diced
Approx 1 to 1.5 L chicken broth
1 carrot peeled chopped
Sautee onion for about 5 minutes with oil and butter. Then sauté a chopped piece of garlic. Add chopped pumpkin, chopped sweet potato, and chopped regular potatoes and chopped carrot. Add coriander (1/2 tsp). Cook approx 30-35 minutes .After, blend to desired consistency. Add about 150 ml of cream. Garnish/serve with chopped parsley and/or cinnamon. (can serve with shredded white cheese also). Serve with good brown bread (can make croutons out of it with oil in a pan). Also sauté the seeds (don’t use much if any oil at all) on low heat for awhile until brown.  Serve with bread. 
Rojas Soup/Stew (perfect for when your sick!)
Place uncooked chicken thighs (drum+thigh) in pot. Add small-medium yellow potatoes which have been cut in half. Add water. Boil for 20 or 30 minutes or so until cooked. Serve with rice. Also serve with Rojas tomato paste: cook a tomato in a sauté pan for a long time until liquid sauce consistency. (She actually grated the tomato on a cheese slicer first).
Generic Simple Veg/Chicken Soup
Sautee sliced leeks and carrot slices in pot with oil. After awhile, add a shallot (could add onion) and minced garlic. Then add something like 6 cups water. Add chopped celery root, chopped turnip, sliced potatoes. Then add chicken (best in wings or breasts with bones & no skin). Also add an ear of corn (cut into 6 or so sections). Add the Claudia special (puree some red/yellow peppers and carrots then add to pot). Seasoned with salt & pepper. Red pepper flakes might be nice (for some hotness). Could add other vegetables also. Or other spices such as oregano or tyme. Boil 30-40 minutes until all is tender. Could add a chicken boullion cube also for more flavor. Even good with couscous added. 

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