BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘soup

The Simplicity of Soup: A Meaty, Tangy Chili for the Ages

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I have nothing but praise for this “Chili For a Crowd Recipe” from the venerable Silver Palate cookbook. We had it at an inauguration party, and I couldn’t wait to recreate it. Ah, The Silver Palate, that bible-like tome for those nouvelle foodies coming up in the 1980s. Fond memories of my parents peering over its sauce-splattered, dog-eared pages. I think I made our host feel old, referring to it as “my parent’s cookbook.” What will be our generation’s Silver Palate? Let’s hope it’s more Mark Bittman, and less Rachael Ray.

Chili demands cornbread: I made this rosemary/olive oil one from the Baltimore food blog Coconut & Lime. I halved the chili recipe and substituted brined kalamata olives, per our host’s directive. No need to drain the tomatoes– you’ll want that broth. The Italian sausage adds bite, but it did call for too much ground chuck, and not enough beans, for my taste. I might do ground turkey (or lamb and white beans!) next time. I can’t believe we’ve had beef two weeks in a row. Sinners, repent! At least tomorrow we are going to a soup lunch, sponsored by the statistics department, that’s a fundraiser for the Oregon State University Food Bank. Let’s hope they have vegetarian options:)

Written by baltimoregon

February 10, 2009 at 1:34 am

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The Simplicity of Soup: Wild Mushroom, Spinach & Barley from Atlanta

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I finally had the chance to attempt a recipe from Souper Jenny Cooks, the cookbook from the Atlanta soup diva whose cafe my sister Elaine loves. I just happened to try the “Wild Mushroom, Spinach & Barley Soup” recipe (see below), which Elaine says is one of her favorites.

This is a soup for the peak of fall mushroom season. But I still found the shiitake and oyster mushrooms I needed at the food co-op (mushrooms ain’t cheap, though). Luckily, cremini mushrooms were on sale so I used them too. I added a combo of homemade chicken stock and prepared vegetable broth, and tossed in wild rice because I didn’t have enough barley. Through in some celeriac and chopped cabbage, too. And I’m probably the only person who would have Chinese Shaoxing wine in the house but not dry sherry, so I made that substitution too (the two can be used pretty interchangeably).

It was a healthy, hearty soup. Can’t wait to try more of the recipes. Thanks for the great cookbook, sis! Can’t wait to visit the soup cafeteria in person with you.

Wild Mushroom, Spinach & Barley Soup (Serves 8-10)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

4 cups shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

4 cups oyster mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

8 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 cup dry sherry

16 cups low sodium vegetable broth

2 cups fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped

2 1/2 cups dry barley

salt and pepper

Heat a heavy duty stock pot and add olive oil. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Add all mushrooms and sherry and saute over medium heat until mushrooms are soft (about 15 minutes). Add vegetable broth and spinach and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in barley and simmer for another 25 to 30 minutes. Add more broth if soup is thicker than you like. Add salt and pepper to taste.

A Note on Cleaning Mushrooms

For this soup, I am very careful about how I clean my mushrooms. First put mushrooms in a colander and shake out any loose dirt or grit. Then, with a damp cloth, wipe down the mushrooms individually. Rinsing mushrooms causes them to absorb excess liquid, which makes them rubbery.

From Souper Jenny Cooks by Jennifer Levison

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January 28, 2009 at 11:52 pm

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Turkey Tortilla Soup: Thankful that I Froze Thanksgiving Leftovers

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No offense, Dad, but we’re tired of the same savory turkey-vegetable-rice soup we make every year with Thanksgiving leftovers. We wanted to make a soup we would actually make in its own right this year. And I had the stock and shredded turkey meat all ready to go in the freezer. If this bird had to die, at least we are using every inch of its meat.

Then I found the perfect tortilla soup recipe that has the wearied post-Thanksgiving cook in mind. It’s from the Baltimore-based food blog Coconut & Lime. Fire-roasted tomatoes and green chiles gave the soup a smokey tang. Grated cheddar, avocado and tortilla chip toppings cooled the heat of the mildy spicy soup. Man, is this recipe a keeper! I might add black beans next time to make more of a turkey chili.

Any other notable turkey soup recipes out there?

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December 9, 2008 at 1:34 am

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Wild, Wild Mushrooms Drag Us Away

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One of the three yellow chanterelles I found on our hike today up Mary's Peak just outside of Corvallis.

One of the three yellow chanterelles I found on our hike today up Mary's Peak just outside of Corvallis.

 My trip foraging for wild mushroomsin October has been one of the more memorable experiences I’ve had thus far in Oregon. So it’s no surprise my parents have gone ga-ga for the state’s champion champignons during their visit here.

For my birthday, we had a marvelous mushroom dinner at the Joel Palmer Housenear McMinnville, a meal that even included mushrooms for dessert in the form of truffle ice cream (I prefer to save the precious fungus for savory recipes!)

 Dad has worked his magic in our Corvallis kitchen, whipping up a spectacular Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup and a chanterelle pasta (made with local spinach fettuccine). Can’t wait to see what he’ll do with the three chanterelles I stumbled upon while hiking Mary’s Peak today.

Now the ‘rents are scheming up ways to smuggle mushrooms back to Virginia with them. Those precious chanterelles, for example, go for as low as $9 a pound here but can fetch as much as $20 to $30 a pound back East. And that’s only on the rare occasions when fresh ones are even available. Ah, a good reminder that life is good here in the fertile (and did I say wet!) Pacific Northwest.

Mom and Dad marvel over abundant but expensive matsutake mushrooms at the Saturday Farmers' Market in Portland.

Look But Don't Touch: Mom and Dad marvel over abundant but expensive matsutake mushrooms at the Saturday Farmers' Market in Portland.

Written by baltimoregon

December 2, 2008 at 1:33 am

The Simplicity of Soup

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Sesame-Eggdrop (Veggie) Soup by Mollie Katzen

Sesame-Eggdrop (Veggie) Soup by Mollie Katzen

When it’s gray and I don’t feel like an inspired cook, I turn to soup. Tonight, it was a gingery Sesame Eggdrop Soup, with tofu, veggies and a cider vinegary bite. Citrusy Brazilian Black Bean Soup fed us the other night. Both are from the cute little Mollie Katzen’s Soups (a la Moosewood Cookbook) easel book from my friend Ann.

Katzen loves stirring eggs into her vegetarian soup for protein (as in her Mediterranean Lemon, like the Greek avgolemono), which I’ve also made.

Have you turned to soup lately? It’s hard to mess up. Any recipes you’ve made to pass along?

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November 13, 2008 at 12:57 am

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You say chorizo, I say linguica

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Don't use Mexican chorizo (save it for eggs). Use Spanish chorizo or Portuguese linguica instead.

Use Portuguese linguica or Spanish chorizo instead.

Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup
Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup (Gourmet Jan. 1990).










Soup is what I like to make for Sunday dinners come fall. It’s a hearty start to the week and economical, leaving you with several lunch-size portions for the days to come.

I stumbled upon this recipe for Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup, a variation of that country’s national soup, known as caldo verde. I couldn’t find dry cured Spanish chorizo so I substituted Portuguese linguica sausage instead, which of course is how it would be made in Portugal. Mexican chorizo would probably taste fine too, it just wouldn’t retain its shape when removed from the casing and crumbled to sautee.

I also threw in diced turnips with the potatoes, as this recipe for Spanish Galician soup also inspired me. You could also add tomatoes, beans or whatever other veggies you have lying around. I topped the soup with grated parmesan to serve.

Vegetarians could substitute soy chorizo for the pork sausage or try just a simple Potato-Kale Soup without meat. The kale gives it a tangy kick that more demure potato-leek soup (though still a personal favorite) lacks.

Written by baltimoregon

November 2, 2008 at 11:15 pm

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