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Archive for Soups

TIP OF THE DAY: Beyond Gazpacho Light Summer Soups

Chilled Strawberry Coconut Soup
[1] Chilled strawberry coconut soup from Carlsbad Cravings.

Chilled Carrot Soup

[2] Spicy chilled carrot soup with ginger and turmeric from Gourmande In The Kitchen.

 

Cool off with chilled soup versions of a few classics, like borscht, cold cucumber soup (with yogurt and dill) and gazpacho are the classic soups of summer, and we love them all.

We have lots of recipes for these soups, so we decided to look at other options, and found more recipes than we could use in 10 summers.

You can make a chilled soup from any vegetables or fruits; corn and zucchini are excellent summer soups. The classic French potato soup, vichyssoise, is a chilled soup.

Any chilled vegetable soup can be served warm, but not vice versa. Some soups with animal fats don’t work, because the fat globules aren’t melted into the soup.

Here are summer soups for your consideration with a note: fruit soups can be served as a soup course or for dessert, the latter with a tuille or other cookie.

CHILLED VEGETABLE SOUPS

  • Beet Gazpacho With Cucumber & Avocado
  • Chilled Cream Of Basil Soup
  • Cold Avocado Soup
  • Creamy Zucchini & Coconut Milk Soup
  • Cucumber, Pineapple & Jalapeño Soup (sweet and spicy)
  • Green Tomato Gazpacho
  • Lobster Fennel Soup
  • Pea & Mint Soup
  • Spicy Chilled Carrot Soup (photo #2)
  • Sweet Corn Gazpacho
  • Sweet Pea & Avocado Soup
  •  
    BONUS TIP: Next time you’re putting shrimp or other seafood on the barbie, grill some extra for the next chilled soup garnish. It not only tastes great, it looks great.
     
    CHILLED FRUIT SOUPS

  • Chilled Cantaloupe-Basil Soup
  • Chilled Mango-Raspberry Soup
  • Chilled Melon & Lavender Soup
  • Five Minute Strawberry Coconut Soup, photo #1, a blender soup
  • Swedish Blueberry Soup
  • Watermelon Gazpacho
  •  
    Check out the history of soup and the different types of soup in our Soup Glossary.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Stocks & Soups From Trimmings

    Root Vegetables

    Chicken Stock

    Soup From Trimmings

    [1] Lots of trimming to come (photo courtesy True Food Kitchen). [2] Stock, ready to use or freeze—or season it and enjoy a cup of broth (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [3] Plan B: Instead of stock, turn those trimmings into a purée of vegetable soup (photo courtesy Botanica | LA).

     

    When we were quite young, a friend of the family was watching our mom cut vegetables for soup, and toss the trimmings. He had grown up on a farm in Sicily, and said: “We never threw away anything edible, not the smallest part. If we could have saved it, we’d have cooked the ‘oink’ from the pig.”

    That’s how it’s been through history, except in affluent homes in affluent countries, whose denizens weren’t scraping for every bit to eat.

    Modern cooks who want to minimize waste know that they can add flavor to homemade stocks by saving the carrot peels, celery leaves and trimmed ends, the last scrap of onion before the root, parsley and other herb stalks, wilted herbs, sprouted garlic and onions, the tops of scallions, and many vegetable trimmings.

    Consider anything that isn’t rotten or moldy, or on the “Avoid” list below.

    Limp vegetables? Stock. Herbs that have begun to yellow? Stock.

    Wash and trim the vegetables as usual. Then set the trimmings aside and let them dry a little bit to remove moisture before you bag them.

    Toss the ends, leaves, peel, roots and stalks into the same freezer bag—and feel good about not wasting money or contributing to a landfill. (If you’re planning to use them in a week, store in the produce drawer with the air pressed out of the bag.)

    When you’re ready to make stock, plan for 2 cups of trimmings per quart of stock from vegetables.

    And note that the venerable chef Jacques Pépin, an instructor at French Culinary Institute in New York City, always checks his students’ waste bins to see what they’ve thrown away. For him, scraps are more about flavor and less about thriftiness (although his wife has blocked the process at home; it drove her bonkers).

    SAVE THESE TRIMMINGS

  • Ends: asparagus, celery, chard, green beans, spinach.
  • Green tops: beet greens but not the rest of the beet (it will color the stock red), carrot and just about any root vegetable.
  • Herb stems: cilantro, parsley (basil and mint stems are best reserved for pesto or chopped into salads).
  • Onion family: garlic, leeks, scallions and any type of onion.
  • Peeled skin: cucumber, eggplant, potato, summer squash and zucchini, winter squash (unless you like to bake them—our Nana sprinkled them with cinnamon as a snack for us kids).
  • Root vegetable trimmings: except for the bodies of beets (color leaches in) and turnips (not everyone likes the way it tastes in stock).
  • Stalks: celery, chard, fennel (we’ve never tried rhubarb).
  • Other trimmings: bell peppers, bok choy, corn cobs, green beans, lettuce, mushrooms, napa cabbage snow peas, sugar snap peas (we’ve never tried the pods of green peas).
  •  
    AVOID: COMPOST OR TOSS THESE TRIMMINGS

    What not to use: vegetables with very strong flavors:

  • The cruciferous group: arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard greens, radish, rapini (broccoli rabe), rutabaga, tatsoi and turnips. Ditto, artichoke trimmings (but the cooked stem is delicious to eat).
  • Anything that will color your stock, unless you don’t care*, such as beet, tomato or the papery skins of onions (they’ll turn stock brown) and garlic. But here’s what you can do with those skins.
  • ________________

    *That being said, we once cooked a ton of beets and had lots of leftover red “beet water.” We reduced it and used it to cook white rice. It was fun.

     

    PLAN A: READY TO MAKE VEGETABLE STOCK?

    The difference between stock (photo #2) and broth is that broth is seasoned and ready to consume. Stock is left unseasoned, to provide flexibility for different recipes.

    You can use vegetable stock in braises, poaching, sauces, soups, stir fries and stews etc. We use it to cook rice and grains, including risotto: half-and-half water and stock (or all stock, if we have too much).

    Season it for udon or other Asian-style noodle soup.

    Substitute for cream in mashed potatoes, add to the vegetable steamer to infuse flavor, and many hundreds of other ideas.

    Ingredients For 2 Quarts Of Stock

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups of vegetable trimmings
  • 1 head of garlic, skin removed, halved crosswise
  • 6 sprigs parsley (if you don’t have stems in your trimmings bag)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HEAT the oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 3-5 minutes or so.

    2. ADD 4 quarts cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the stock is reduced by half. This should take about 1-1 1/2 hours.

    3. STRAIN the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and discard the solids. Let cool.

    4. USE immediately, or transfer to pint or quart containers (or freezer bags, if you prefer), portioning it based on how you think you’ll use it. Ideally use frozen stock within three months.

     

    Soup Used As A Sauce

    Root To Stalk Cooking

    [4] Trimmings cooked, pureed and turned into a sauce (photo courtesy Vital Choice). [5] This cookbook has delicious recipes for every part of vegetables (photo courtesy Ten Speed Press_.

     
    PLAN B: READY TO MAKE SOUP OR SAUCE?

    Make soup. Cook the trimmings (in stock or broth) and turn them into a puréed vegetable soup, like the one in photo #3.

    You can also turn the pureed vegetables into a sauce (photo #4).

    Good news: Plan B lets you use all the cruciferous vegetables. All those broccoli stalks and cauliflower stems: delicious! We cook them even when we aren’t making soup.

    Cook, taste and season. Dilute as desired with stock or milk and voilà: Your trimmings are now a tasty soup.

    And you’ll feel good about that!

     
    MORE FEELING GOOD

    There’s an entire cookbook devoted to using every part of the vegetable (photo #5): From Root To Stalk.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: The New Soup & Salad

    Part of our job entails keeping on top of culinary innovations around the world, to see might be interesting for the home cook.

    While a soup-topped salad may not sound like an innovation, we don’t come across it often. Usually it’s in the form of a small vegetable garnish.

    Today’s tip was inspired by Botanica, a new vegetarian-focused restaurant in Los Angeles (photo #3).

    Take your favorite chunky soup and add the salad on top, lightly dressed with oil plus vinegar, lemon, lime or orange juice.

    What kind of salad?

    Whatever you like, as long as its lightweight. Tomatoes or anything heavy will sink, and only work with a very shallow bowl of soup.

    Here’s our list:

  • Baby greens
  • Fresh herbs (we like basil, chives, dill, sage—whatever complements the soup)
  • Something for color: bell pepper (small dice), corn kernels, radish slices
  • Croutons
  •  
    Leave off the other logical contenders—broccoli florets, cheese, pepitas, e.g., and make this topping about the salad.
     
     
    THE HISTORY OF SOUP

    The history of soup is almost as old as the history of cooking. First: discover fire. You can place raw food over flames or on the hot embers. Then, invent a vessel in which to cook a liquid.

    Add water to the container, toss in whatever vegetables you’ve foraged, cook it over the fire, and voilà, soup: a hot, nutritious meal.

    The first containers for cooking over the fire were cleaned out animal hides. By the Neolithic era, rough pottery had appeared; but the pots could not withstand the direct heat of the fire. Instead, heated stones were tossed in to raise the temperature of the water and cook the food.

    By then Bronze age, at metal cauldrons appeared in the Mediterranean, and spread. This was a tipping point:

  • The round shape enabled the flames to curl up around the sides, so the food cooked faster.
  • The level of heat was controlled by how close to the fire the pot was placed. Food could be boiled rapidly over a high fire or simmered slowly in the hot ashes at the edge of the hearth.
     
    Here’s more on the evolution in cookware.

    Even in the evolved Greco-Roman times, travelers could not be certain of finding food. All travelers, including soldiers, had to carry their own dried ingredients to boiled into soups. Biscotti—twice-baked, dry rusks,—were invented in Roman times to add convenience and variety to the on-the-road fare.

    The very concept of the modern restaurant is based on soup. Restoratifs—meaning something that restores health, strength or a feeling of well-being, and in this case a hearty bowl of soup, is the basis of “restaurant.” Public restaurants with tables and menus first emerged in 18th century Paris, adding to the choice of fare from food stands and public markets.

    The word soup is itself the basis for supper, and the verb “to sup.” Soup derives from the post-classical Latin verb suppare, to soak in a liquid.

  •  

    Salad Topped Soup

    Salad-Topped Gazpacho

    Salad-Topped Soup

    Soup With Salad Garnish

    [1] A nice garnish, but hardly a salad. Here’s the recipe from Sunset magazine. [2] Clear gazpacho topped with salad, a twist from the creative chef Scott Conant. [3] Go big or go home with those greens: a “real” salad atop the soup at Botanica Restaurant in LA. Everything on the menu is equally wonderful. [4] This handsome labor of love is from Apples And Butter. Here’s the recipe.

     
    Poor Man’s Dinner

    Soup was the evening meal of the less affluent, who poured broth onto yesterday’s bread (the ancestor of modern soup croutons) and added whatever else they had.

    The affluent had soup, too, but they didn’t need it to make stale bread palatable. It began to be fashionable to serve the liquid broth on its own (consommé), and many different types of soup began to evolve. By the early 18th century, a bowl of soup assumed its present-day role as the first course of a meal. [source]

    Soup evolved into the categories of soup we know today (the chef Escoffier was first to categorized all French soups).

    The 19th century saw portable soups: canned or dehydrated, soups. These supplied cowboy chuck wagons, the military, wagon trains and other travelers, as well as the home pantry.

    The late 20th century brought us microwave-ready soup in disposable containers. One can only guess what science will produce going forward.

    Whatever it is, it needs a garnish!
     
    MORE ON SOUP GARNISHES

  • Garnishes For 20 Favorite Soups
  • Garnish Glamour
  • Leftover Grains As Soup Garnish
  • Seafood Soup Garnishes
  • Drizzled Soup Garnishes
  •  
    Also check out the different types of soup in our Soup Glossary.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Creative Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Combos

    April 12th is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. The Tip Of The Day is: Think outside the box.

    How can you make your grilled cheese sandwiches more complex, more creative, more…celebratory?

    Campbell’s did just that, creating four new approaches—if not exactly simple ones—to that American lunch favorite, grilled cheese and tomato soup.

    Kudos to Chef Eli Kirshtein’s recipe curation : We love the flavor combinations and fun factor.

    And we never would have thought of any of them!

    RECIPE #1: GRILLED CHEESE BENEDICT

    This riff on Eggs Benedict places the egg on top of a grilled cheese sandwich, and turns the hollandaise sauce into a tomato hollandaise with their iconic tomato soup.

    It makes this Grilled Cheese Benedict recipe we published in 2015 look so tame.

    Ingredients Per Sandwich

  • 2 slices honey wheat bread
  • 3 slices sharp cheddar (we’re fans of Cabot’s)
  • 2 eggs
  •  
    For The Hollandaise

  • 3 egg yolks, separated
  • 8 tablespoons (¼ pound) butter, melted
  • ¼ cup white wine, reduced by half
  • ¼ can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: fresh basil, shredded
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the hollandaise. Whisk the egg yolks and white wine over a double boiler until you have a ribbon consistency. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter.

    2. WHISK in the tomato soup slowly. Taste and season.

    3. MAKE a traditional grilled cheese sandwich with the bread and cheese. Cut in half. (Here’s a basic recipe and tips).

    4. FRY two eggs sunnyside-up and place eggs on top of grilled cheese. Top with hollandaise and garnish with basil.
     
    RECIPE #2: GRILLED CHEESE BREAD BOWL WITH TOMATO SOUP

    Ingredients Per Serving

  • 1 individual sourdough bread bowl (here’s a recipe)
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 ounces soft mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
  •  
    Preparation

       

    Grilled Cheese Benedict

    Grilled Cheese Benedict

    Grilled Cheese Soup Bowl

    Campbell's Tomato Soup Cans

    [1] and [2] Grilled Cheese Benedict. [3] Grilled Cheese Soup Bowl (all photos courtesy Campbell’s). [4] America’s favorite tomato soup.

     
    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Carefully pile all the cheese on top of the sourdough.

    2. PLACE the bread in the oven until all the cheese is melted and browned. Let the loaf cool to room temperature.

    3. SLICE off the top of the bread and reserve. Carefully scoop out the inside of the loaf, with care not to puncture the bottom.

    4. PLACE the soup concentrate in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir in the fresh thyme; then pour the soup into the bread bowl.

    5. GARNISH the top of the soup with chives. Place the reserved top back onto the bread and serve immediately.

     

    Grilled Cheese Pockets

    Michelada Grilled Cheese

    [5] Grilled Cheese Pockets With Tomato Sauce. [6] The drinking man’s/woman’s lunch (photos courtesy Campbell’s).

     

    RECIPE #3: GRILLED CHEESE POCKETS WITH TOMATO SAUCE

    Ingredients Per Serving

  • 4 sheets store-bought puff pastry
  • 2 ounces cheese curds
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) Campbell’s Tomato Soup concentrate
  • 2 eggs (for egg wash)
  •  
    Plus

  • Pastry brush
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F.

    2. DEFROST the puff pastry and lay on flat surface. On two pieces, place the cheeses in the center, leaving a half inch border.

    3. MAKE the egg wash: whisk the eggs with a splash of cold water or milk until they are pale yellow and completely integrated. Lightly brush the egg wash around the edges of the pastry.

    4. PLACE the remaining sheets over the top, pressing the edges to create a seal. Trim neatly with a knife, and use a fork to impress a pattern (crimp) on the edges. Brush some additional egg wash on top of the pastry.

    5. BAKE for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Meanwhile…

    6. REDUCE the tomato soup concentrate slowly in a sauce pan, until thick and dark red. Serve the pastry hot, with the tomato sauce on the side.

     

    RECIPE #4: MICHELADA WITH QUESO FUNDIDO GRILLED CHEESE

    Pronounced mee-cha-LAH-dah, a michelada is a Mexican “beertail” (beer cocktail) made from beer, tomato juice, hot sauce and lime, served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass.

    This “adult” lunch gives you a michelada with a Mexican-style grilled cheese.

    If you’ve never had a michelada, here’s some more information.

    This recipe requires a panini press or a George Foreman-type grill.

    The recipe can make one tall drink or two in rocks glasses.
     
    Ingredients For The Michelada /font>

    For The Rim

  • 1 lime, halve juiced, half sliced into wedges
  • Salt
  • Chili powder—or—Tajin seasoning
  •  
    For The Drink
    1 can Campbells Tomato Soup concentrate

  • Optional: 2 tablespoons clam juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 Mexican lager (e.g. Modelo), chilled
  • Ice
  •  
    Ingredients For The Grilled Cheese

  • 1 cup Mexican melting cheese (e.g. asadero, queso de papa, queso oaxaca,queso quesadilla)
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, sliced
  • 1 soft yeast roll
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CREATE the rim garnish by combining equal parts of salt and chili powder in a small dish. Or if you have Tajin seasoning, use it straight. Place the juice of half the lime in a shallow dish. Twist the rim of the glass in the juice, and then twist it in the dish of seasoning. You can use a Collins glass or a beer mug (or two rocks glasses). Set aside.

    2. COMBINE the drink ingredients except the beer; set aside in the fridge.

    3. MAKE the grilled cheese. Slice the roll open and toast the inside. Place the cold cheese inside the roll, press it into the bread somewhat so the layers adhere. Add slices of jalapeño to taste.

    4. BUTTER the outside of the roll lightly and, using a panini press or in a pan on the stove top, toast it until the cheese is melted. While the cheese is melting…

    4. COMBINE the beer and the michelada mix over ice and garnish the glass with a lime wedge.

    5. TO SERVE: You can serve the sandwich, halved, on the side, or quartered on a long toothpick or skewer over the michelada.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Bone Broth For Breakfast

    Breakfast Soup With Hard Boiled Egg

    Chicken Bone Broth

    [1] A hot, hearty, nutritious breakfast (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [2] You can buy bone broth in multiple or individual serving sizes (photo courtesy Appetite For Health).

     

    Over the last couple of years, bone broth—made from the bones of beef or chicken—has become the nutrition du jour, for lunch, dinner, and for breaks during the day.

    How about for breakfast? In Asia, soup is a breakfast standard.

    It’s hot, hearty, nourishing comfort food.

    And you can make it with whatever you like.

    We adapted this recipe from one by Good Eggs.

    You can substitute whatever broth you prefer (miso, pho, etc.). You can buy the packaged broth, and even individual portions of it (such as with Nona Lim’s and Pacific brands).

    If you have other vegetables in the crisper, or a piece of leftover chicken, just cut or shred them and toss them in.

    If you’d like tofu instead of ramen, ditto.

    And if you’d like to have the broth for lunch or a snack, no one will question your judgment.
     
     
    RECIPE: BREAKFAST SOUP WITH BONE BROTH

    Ingredients For 3 Servings

  • 12 ounces broth
  • 5 ounces (one packet) ramen
  • 1 head bok choy or ½ head chard or kale, sliced into ½” ribbons
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts chopped roughly
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped roughly (substitute mint, basil, parsley, chervil)
  • Optional: hot sauce or other favorite seasoning
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HEAT the broth, diluting with water as desired. When the broth boils, add the ramen and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the greens and scallions, and any extra vegetables or proteins.

    2. SIMMER for another 3-5 minutes, until the greens are bright and tender but still have texture.

    3. BOIL a small pot of water, add the eggs and simmer for 7 minutes and 20 seconds. Remove from the water and place in an ice bath. Peel them when they are touchable.

    4. PORTION the broth into bowls, along with halved egg. Garnish with herbs as desired.
     
      

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