Monday, January 16, 2023

I Love Soup

Allegedly, to everything there is a season. Right now it's time for soup, though I'm the kind of person who enjoys it all year long. Maryland Crab in the summer is a must, but so is gazpacho and any other chilled soup. But when there's a nip in the air, my instinct is to toss things in a pot, add water, and a few hours later enjoy a hearty bowl of something that warms me from the inside. (When soup isn't possible, I use bourbon.) 

There are 30+ soup recipes on Minxeats, a dozen cold and the rest suitable for the current season. The simplest of hot soups doesn't need a recipe. To make it, you need aromatics (onions, leeks, shallots, garlic, carrots and/or celery), stock, bouillon, or broth, and seasonings. French onion soup, for example, only requires onions cooked low and slow in olive oil and butter, stock (beef or a rich chicken or veg), and seasonings (salt, pepper, sugar, bay leaf, thyme, a bit of wine). A topping of sliced baguette and Gruyere cheese and a few minutes under the broiler is totally optional (and a great way to burn your mouth, if you're into that sort of thing). Homemade tomato soup needs tomatoes, garlic or onion, stock, seasonings, and quick rendezvous with a stick blender. Or an actual blender, if you are adventurous. Hot liquids expand while blending and can blow the top off. To avoid the mess, remove the center rubber cap from the blender lid and hold a folded kitchen towel firmly over the opening. Or better yet, avoid hot soups and blenders. Unless you really want to clean the kitchen thoroughly afterward. (I love my 40-year-old Cuisinart Stick Blender!)

If you decide to try any of my recipes, please do leave a comment and let me know how it went.

Avocado Soup and Crab Salad There are other versions of both avocado soup and crab salad below, but they're not the same as the ones in this recipe. Feel free to mix and match; I can't tell you what to do in your own kitchen. I can try, but I know you won't listen.

avocado soup with chipotle shrimp and blue corn polenta croutons

Avocado Soup with Chipotle Shrimp and Blue Corn Polenta Croutons Feel free to leave out the croutons, or use purchased ones instead. 

Black Bean Soup I often make black bean soup with some sort of meat protein, but this version is vegetarian. Use non-dairy yogurt instead of sour cream and it's vegan.

Bloody Mary Gazpacho Gazpacho, with celery, Worcestershire,

broccoli cheese soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup This is unlike a typical broccoli cheese soup in that it's not the texture of wallpaper paste. It's thickened with a modicum of roux, and flavored with hard cider and roasted broccoli.

Cantaloupe Gazpacho Keep reading, and you'll see that I can make gazpacho out of anything.

Cauliflower Soup This simple recipe is from a Rocco DiSpirito cookbook. His non-diet book, so it's actually good.

celery root vichyssoise

Celery Root Vichyssoise Vichyssoise is traditionally made with potatoes, but it can be made with any starchy tuber or root. Celery root just happens to be one of the more delicious root vegs.

Coconut Gazpacho I don't know why I called this gazpacho. It's more of a chilled tomato soup with Thai seasonings and coconut milk.

Creamy Chilled Tomatillo Soup was reverse engineered from a dish at SoBo Cafe. Tomatillos can be pretty tart, so add more honey or agave syrup if you can't hang with the tang.

Creamy Chorizo, Chicken, and Corn Chowder If you've never cooked with Mexican chorizo, definitely pick some up. It's an annatto-bright and spicy raw sausage, not cured like Spanish chorizo, with a distinctive flavor and crumbly texture. It's not easy to locate, but I have found it at Asian markets like H Mart.

Creamy Parsnip Soup Parsnips are another tasty root veg that is under-utilized. This soup is easy and filling, but if you need more than a bowl of soup for dinner, make the bacon pie recipe included in this blog post.

creamy roasted vegetable gazpacho

Creamy Roasted Vegetable Gazpacho I was tasked to use up some cottage cheese and this was the result. Yes, it's good!

Creamy Tomato Peanut Soup My Dad used to make peanut soup when I was a kid. IIRC, it was pretty simple: onions; peanut butter; chicken stock. I loved it, but it was a little heavy. This one includes tomatoes and seasonings and is a little lighter on the palate, though just as tasty.

Edward Lee's Tomatillo Gazpacho This version of the chilled soup uses cooked vegetables that are cooled before pureeing. 

Gazpeacho aka peach gazpacho.

Green Gazpacho Tomatillos instead of tomatoes and a wee bit of yogurt make this one different.

Mashed Potato Soup Random leftovers tend to make pretty good soup. 

Mediterrasian Seafood Soup I've made many variations on this theme, based on a reverse-engineered dish I ate at a long-closed restaurant called Ixia. It's easy and delicious, but needs to be simmered for quite a while to guarantee that the flavors meld.

Mr Minx's Gumbo Soup Gumbo is usually more stew-like, thanks to thickeners like roux, filĂ© powder, and okra. This batch came out rather more runny, but still had that lovely browned flour and Cajun spice flavor.

nectarine soup with crab salad

Nectarine Soup with Crab Salad This chilled soup is a little sweet, but the citrus dressing on the ceviche-like salad balances the dish nicely.

Polish Mushroom Soup Simple mushroom and potato deliciousness.

Red Cabbage Soup reminded me of my Grandma's barszcz, or Polish red beet soup. IYKYK.

Roasted Parsnip and Sweet Potato Soup I used white Japanese sweet potatoes, but you could use the easier-to-find red or orange ones instead. This would make a nice Thanksgiving starter.

Roasted Poblano Soup This is more of an appetizer soup than a full meal, but would work well as a side to a sandwich.

Spicy Corn Gazpacho This recipe calls for corn on the cob, which is cooked before blending. But you could use frozen corn kernels and skip the cooking part. Just make sure they are thawed before proceeding. And don't forget to strain the soup!

spicy fish soup

Spicy Fish Soup see Mediterrasian Seafood Soup above. Same base, different flavors. 

Spiced winter squash soup

Spiced Winter Squash Soup The cumin/coriander/cinnamon/paprika/cayenne mixture is fairly common in the southern Mediterranean cuisines and goes beautifully with mellow and slightly sweet winter squash.

Strawberry Gazpacho Strawberries stand in for tomatoes in this version, with balsamic in place of the usual sherry vinegar.

Thai Avocado Soup Apparently I like making soup with avocados. This one has that bright/sweet/ garlicky/ fishy/funky thing that reminds me of one of my favorite Thai dishes, drunken noodles.

tomato garlic parm soup

Tomato Garlic Parm Soup This is a copycat recipe of a dish served at my favorite Cajun restaurant, Cajun Kate's, though it's not quite as decadent as theirs.

White Bean and Kale Soup While there's a classic Italian soup that stars these two ingredients, this version is a pastiche of leftovers + freezer staples that is a bit different.

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