In celebration of National Soup month, soups on. Soup is whats bringing warmth and comfort on a cold day. Who can resist a bowl of chicken noodle soup prepared with a slow cooked broth, carrots, celery, onions and egg noodles? I like to add fresh ginger to my stock for additional flavor. And top it off with a few sliced mushrooms and sprigs of fresh dill.
Think you can't make a delicious soup? Here are Soup Basics that will help.
Chef Jenn Louis has written a new book called the The Chicken Soup Manifesto which details the nuances of what makes for all manners of chicken soup from around the world. If you have an opportunity, listen to her recent discussion with Francis Lam of the Splendid Table podcast on Spotify.
Here’s one of the recipes from the book.
Isabel’s Matzo Ball Soup
The story goes like this: My mom’s (Isabel’s) matzo balls were never as tender as she wished until she made a batch of matzo balls, turned off the heat and left them in the poaching liquid while we went to services at the synagogue. When we returned to eat dinner, the balls, sitting in the warm water for an hour or two, softened and plumped up. Her, and now my, cooking method was changed forever.
Place the chicken fat or olive oil, eggs, matzo meal, water and salt in a large bowl and stir until completely combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of very well salted water to a simmer. Scoop the batter into soft but not packed golf-ball-sized balls, then lightly drop into the simmering water, partially cover with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to stand, still covered with a lid, for 30 minutes.
Gently heat the stock until hot, season with salt and ladle into serving bowls with 2 matzo balls each. Garnish with dill.
- 2 tablespoons rendered chicken fat or olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 125 g (4½ oz/½ cup) matzo meal
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1.9 liters (64 fl oz/8 cups) Chicken Stock
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped dill, to garnish
My Mom made hearty soups from whatever happened to be in the cupboard, freezer or refrigerator. She would start with Goodmans or Manischewitz cello soup mixes, simply because they were flavorful; but you don’t have to. I find that using good stock, carrots, celery, onions and a few spices can be the start of a good dinner soup. I routinely toss veggie scraps, celery tops, into a plastic bag and freeze to cook up into stock.
Soup can double as a one bowl meal or a start to a meal. When I commuted a long distance into New York City, a crockpot was a lifesaver, thanks to my friend Lori who generously gifted this to me. I'd make overnight oats, a soup or stew the night before a workday and then wash out the pot and make another dish while I was at work. Those one dish meals were SO appreciated by the family.
I recently asked friends what their favorite soups were and received a bevy of responses including split pea, butternut squash, carrot ginger, Moroccan harira, lobster bisque, pot au feu, Italian Wedding, cream of mushroom and a few more (some of the recipes are posted below). My family often says that soup tastes better the day(s) after it’s made. I believe it tastes better because they're just hungry!
Here are a few soup recipes that I’ve bookmarked to make soon.
Creamy Veggie Soup, courtesy of my friend Judi
Green Minestrone courtesy of my friend Crystal
Here are a few links to some delicious gluten free soups
Do you have a favorite to share—recipes are welcome!
Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food company. Pat's Granola is sold online at www.patsgranola.com and is also available at several Northeast Ohio businesses including:
Troubadour Coffee Roasters www.troubadourcoffeeroasters.com
Sports and Spine Physical Therapy www.sportspine.com
Local Flavors Shoppe www.localflavors.net
Rittman Orchards and Farm Market www.rittmanorchards.com
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport www.clevelandairport.com
Locle Box www.loclebox.com
Market Wagon Northeast Ohio www.marketwagon.com
Made Cleveland www.madecleveland.com
Mister Brisket www.misterbrisket.com