Friday, November 14, 2008

Fun Holiday Soups

Mussel Bisque
2 pounds mussels
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons butter
1 red onion, diced
1 leek, thinly sliced
1carrot, thinly sliced
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 strands saffron in 2 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons fresh chopped, parsley, basil
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1-cup heavy cream
Kosher Salt and pepper to taste

Scrub the mussels and remove the beards. Place in a large pan with the white wine and 1-cup water. Cover the pan and cook over high heat until they open. (Throw away any that don’t.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and leave to cool. Cover and set aside until needed. Strain the wine and water mixture and set aside. Heat the butter in the same pan and Sauté the onion, leek carrot, tomatoes and garlic over high heat for a couple of minutes Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes more. Add the mussel stock 1 cup water and the herbs and simmer for 15 minutes. Shell the mussels and add with the celery, pepper and cream. Season and serve. Serves 4-6

Pumpkin and Gruyere Soup
One 5-6 pound pumpkin
1/4-cup butter
1 onion, finely chopped
6 cups chicken or vegetable
2 cups heavy cream
Zest of one orange
Juice of one orange
Juice of one lemon
1 inch fresh ginger, finely chopped
1-pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
Cut pumpkin in half, Scoop out and strings and seeds.
Cut away the hard peel and coarsely chop the flesh. In a large soup pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté 5 minutes. Add the stock and pumpkin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until pumpkin is tender. About 45 minutes. Blend or process the soup. Return the puree to pot and stir in the cream, orange, lemon, ginger. Reserve a little cheese for garnish (perhaps with some fresh sage) Sprinkle into the soup. Stir over low heat until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Tomato and Red Pepper Soup with Chili Cream

3 Red peppers
2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
3/4 cup Sherry or sherry Vinaigrette
8 tomatoes peeled and seeded
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme, chopped
1 bunch basil. Chopped
1-tablespoon fresh black pepper
1-cup heavy cream
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut red pepper and roast on 350 oven for 45 minutes. (You can also place directly on a gas flame.) In a large soup pan sauté olive oil, garlic and onion
Add the sherry and stir until it evaporates.
Stir in the tomatoes and stock
Add the herbs and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and red peppers. Simmer 15 minutes. In small batches blend or process the soup until smooth serve with a dollop of chili cream.

Chili Cream
1 green chili
2 cloves garlic
1 cup spinach leaves, blanched in hot water
1/2-cup heavy cream
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper
In a small food processor place the chili, garlic, spinach and process until smooth. Add the lime and salt. Dollop over the soup

Beet Soup with Horseradish Cream
1 large red onion, chopped
4garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
5 medium beets (2 lb without greens), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red apple such as Gala, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

In a large soup pot sauté. Onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add beets and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
Add stock then simmer, uncovered, until beets are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in vinegar and brown sugar.
Purée soup until very smooth. Return soup to pan, then season with salt and pepper and reheat. If soup is too thick, add enough water to thin to desired consistency. Serve at once with a dollop of horseradish cream.

Horse Radish Cream
1 16-ounce tub sour cream
6 tablespoon prepared horseradish (or to taste)
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Whisk together in a small bowl. Add pepper to taste.

Cream Of Artichoke Soup
1 Large artichokes
1 lemon
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1/2-teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4-cup butter
4 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt, fresh ground pepper to taste
Cut stem at bottom of artichoke. Cut the top third of the artichoke and snip off remaining sharp tips of leaves with kitchen shears. Gently pull the leaves of the artichoke to spread them out a bit. In a large saucepan place artichokes in with 3 cups water and juice of one lemon. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium and cook for about 45 minutes until very tender. Drain the artichokes and cool down with water. When cool enough to handle cut artichokes in half lengthwise. Remove and discard the fuzzy choke part. Place artichokes in a blender or food processor until very smooth. In a large soup pan sauté the garlic and red pepper flakes in the butter over medium heat. When the garlic is golden add artichoke puree. Whisk in the heavy cream and salt and pepper. Serve when heated through.

Curried Red Pepper Soup
4 large red bell peppers, chopped
2 medium onion, chopped

4 tablespoons butter

6 cups vegetable stock

2 cups sour cream

1 teaspoon curry powder
Pepper to taste
Sauté onion and pepper in butter over medium heat 
When peppers are soft, add the curry powder and stock and cover 
Once the peppers are soft, add cream, and puree 
Return to low heat and simmer uncovered until a rich soupy consistency is attained 
Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Spicy Red Lentil Soup
1 tbsp olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp curry powder

¼- cup tomato paste

2 (15 ounce Can) crushed tomatoes

6 cups vegetable stock

½- cup red lentils

Heat oil in large pan, add onions, garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring, until onions are soft Add the rest of the ingredients and cook, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Lovely Lisa’s Minestrone
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 yellow onions, diced
6 stalks of celery including leaves, thinly sliced
3 carrots, chopped
1 Tablespoon Italian herbs
Sweat above ingredients in covered large soup pot 5 minutes
Uncover and add
4 cloves garlic, minced
Sauté 5 minutes
12 cups of chicken or veggie stock
3 cups canned chop tomatoes
2 Yukon gold potatoes diced
2 cans 15 oz cannelli beans, drained
1 small head Savoy cabbage, quartered and sliced
Bring to boil and simmer 30 minutes
8 oz pasta of your choice
6 more cups of stock
2 cups green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
Simmer 15 minutes
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese

San Francisco Style Clam Chowder
6 slices bacon, chopped
4 scallions, thinly sliced
3 Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped in ½ inch pieces
1 green pepper, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-cup water
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
Splash Tabasco and Worchester Sauce, to taste
2 cups raw clams with juice
2 cups heavy cream
Sauté bacon until crisp in a large stockpot. Add onions, potatoes, green pepper, celery and garlic. Add 2 cups of water and season with salt and pepper, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. In a separate pan heat the clams and their juice for 3 minutes. Add the clams and juice to the pot, pour in the half and half. Heat, stirring until piping hot. Makes 6 servings.

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