Tag Archives: Soup Swap

Soup Smorgasbord

1 Mar

I was cruising the internet a few weeks ago when I came across a great idea — Soup Swap.  You get a group of friends, colleagues, strangers, etc. together and everyone brings 4 quart-sized containers of a great soup.  Then there is swapping!  Everyone goes home with new and exciting soups to stick in the freezer for later, or if you’re like me, pig out on meal after meal.  I immediately emailed a good friend known for her party-hosting prowess and the event was on!

Just to give you an idea of the diversity possible here, we set some parameters based on food sensitivities and preferences, and some of the soups I enjoyed were a delicious vegetarian chunky potato, a tasty chicken black bean tortilla with crispy tortilla chips for topping, and a warming carrot coconut curry.  Is your mouth watering yet?  Are you jealous of the soup bounty?  I can’t wait to do this again once the garden is producing something besides carrots and turnips.  One of our absolute favorite soups is Summer Vegetable Borscht, made with fresh beets and any summer veggies you have lying around.  In season I try to stuff as much of that into the freezer as I can, but we always seem to run out by October.  Another summer soup we can’t live without is Hot Cucumber and Potato, which sounds weird, but is soooo lovely and simple.  It was also the last thing I ate before producing the HoneyBea, so it can fuel some serious exertion, too.  I will be sure to share recipes as the season progresses.

For the Soup Swap I brought another favorite — Good Old Fashioned Tomato.  It’s hard to go wrong with a good bowl of homemade tomato soup.  Dip a grilled cheese or a peanut butter sandwich in it, or as shown here, serve it to a toddler along with a black bean burrito.  Instant meal and instant success.  You can see, HoneyBea is a BIG fan.

Really, it could have been worse. And she's so happy!

I’ve gotten great feedback from the tomato soup recipients as well, all of whom are accomplished soupers in their own right.  So here’s the recipe.  Be warned, this makes enough for a Soup Swap, right at a gallon.  Another way to look at that is Rejoice, it makes a GALLON!  This soup freezes beautifully, is easy to make in LARGE quantities, and can be turned into a lovely bisque with the addition of heavy cream before serving.

This is a batch I made late last summer. Fresh basil is a great addition if you've got a surplus.

Good Old Fashioned Tomato Soup

1 3/4 sticks butter

1/2 cup flour

2 medium onions, coarse chop

1/4 tsp ground allspice

3 cubes veggie bouillon* (or equivalent strong broth, see water amounts below)

1 small can tomato paste

3 28 oz cans tomato (I have since revised this to 3 boxes of Pomi, for a no BPA option, just add an extra cup water)

4 cups water (5 if using pomi, to maintain the gallon volume)

1/2 cup brown sugar

Start by making a nice thick roux with the butter and flour.  Add the chopped onions and stir frequently until those go a little glassy.  The longer you can cook the onions, the richer the flavor, but don’t be a hero.  Add tomato paste, brown sugar and allspice.  This is your soup base.  If you are short on time and need to do this in two stages, here’s a great stopping point.  This base can keep in the fridge for up to a week.  To finish the soup, add veggie bouillon and water, stir until dissolved and add tomatoes. Bring to a simmer then process with a stick blender or in the food processor until all the soup is the desired consistency.  Voila.  Nothing hard about it.  Fire up the griddle, make a stack of grilled cheese, and eat yourself stupid.

*I absolutely love and depend on Rapunzel Vegan Sea Salt and Herb bouillon for so many recipes.  Whole Foods carries it, but they are often out, so I just have a 6 pack shipped to me every 3 months from Amazon.  Although, in looking just now, they appear to be out of stock.  Sigh.

So, who’s up for another Soup Swap?

 

As Requested, Spinach Soup

9 Feb

I feel I should preface this by saying that my first few years of actual culinary training took place in the 18th century.  So my recipe creation skills lean more towards lists of ingredients and more away from exactness.  The good news is that I’m getting better at paying attention to how I make things, since Dan actually would like repeats of the same meals occasionally.  And I didn’t set my petticoat on fire making this (hopefully you won’t, either).

Since I happen to know a group of fantastic ladies who are hosting a Soup Swap at the end of this month, I’ll give the recipe in the large quantity I made.

Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Soup (because Costco’s having a sale!).

2 pounds fresh spinach
1 pound yellow onions
1 pound mushrooms
Veggie or chicken stock (about a quart, or enough)
Whole milk or cream (about a pint, or enough)
4 Tbsp butter
Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Allspice to taste
Dash of cream sherry if desired

Brown butter in stock pot. Add chopped onions and cook until they go glassy. Add chopped mushrooms and saute all together until the mushrooms have that great deep brown color and everything is starting to caramelize. Add the spinach (you may have to do this in several batches — it is a surprisingly huge pile) and stir around to let wilt. Now add enough stock to just reach the top of the veggies. You can add any seasoning at this point as well, since you are almost done. Let simmer until spinach is good and cooked, then begin adding milk. If you have a stick or immersion blender, this is a great opportunity to show it off. Whip that bad boy out and begin blending, adding milk as necessary to keep the soup fluid enough to actually blend. This can be an impressive feat of dual-action soupery, if someone happens to be watching. Or, as the alien blood splatter on the side of our otherwise shiny new fridge might testify, it is not the best task for the easily distracted or those with toddlers who like to pull cords. Taste. Adjust. Voila. Soup.

Dan thought this had a slightly bitter taste, but enjoyed it.  Spinach will taste a little like the often loathed veggie it is, so if you want to sweeten the pot (that was so intended), you can add a tablespoon of honey or a little brown sugar.

Note: If using fresh garlic, add in with the mushrooms.