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What's YOUR favorite soup recipe?

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 
(hyperbole)There are a gazillion soup recipes in my files (/hyperbole), and over the years I've made everything once or twice. While there are favorites, it would be nice to have some more choices, and considering the international scope of the list, some more that are not so "Americanized." And while it's easy enough to Google for recipes, or read cookbooks, maybe someone's got an old family favorite that they'd like to share.

Shel
post #2 of 101
One of my favorite subjects! Ah, where to begin...

I always make up my soups from my brain. I rarely use recipes.
Here is one without measurements. It's more exciting for you!

Pinto (or peruano) Bean Soup

Cooked or canned beans
some diced onion, celery, carrot
minced garlic
small cubed potatoes (red?)
Some canned tomatoes or a little tomato paste
a couple of dried chiles
1 clove
1 bay leaf
1 small cinnamon stick
a few sprigs fresh oregano
a few sprigs fresh thyme
Stem of parsley

Some chipotles with adobo
S&P

Sweat the vegetables except for the potatoes and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and stock or water to cover. Add tomatoes and garlic. Bring to a boil; add the chiles and spices (in cheesecloth) and tie it to the handle or something like that. Simmer at very low heat until the veggies are tender. Add the beans and heat through. If you'd like, add some smoked chicken at the end. Add your chipotles and adobo. Be sure to monitor the cinnamon strength. It can get too strong. Play around with the flavors until you like the result.

Season with S&P and turn off heat. It's good after it sits for awhile.

I made this up and it's good.

Oh, for all you meat people out there, I'm sure you could make something good out of this using bones and whatnot.
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post #3 of 101
Lots and lots of soups, but these two very simple homey soups are my favorites.
One is just plain chicken broth, or chicken and beef broth, with pastina or galuska.
The other is escarole soup.
You take a whole large head of escarole, wash it and cut up roughly in big pieces.
Put in a big soup pot with water to cover, a carrot, an onion, a celery stalk, all cut up. Salt and lots of black pepper. Let it boil till everything is soft. A parmigiano crust, cooked in with it is wonderful, especially eating it after, when it's soft and chewy.
It's very simple, you don't do any sauteeing (whcih would alter the flavor) but very very good.
Boil rice separately. Put lots of rice in the bowl , then the soup with all the vegetables. Add lots of grated parmigiano.
I make a big pot and eat it for days without ever getting tired of it. It's a one dish meal.

I think possibly teh escarole you get in the states is a little more bitter than what we get here, so you might have to discard the outer leaves, or add more onion and carrot for sweetness to counter the bitterness. a little bitter is really good, but a lot is too much.
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #4 of 101
Hm.... hard to narrow this down! I don't really have recipes.... :blush: but if you ask, I'll write a description of your choice of these:

Chicken soup with one or more of the following: matzo balls, kasha, noodles, kreplach
Beef, barley and mushroom soup
Vegetable beef soup with barley
As-yet-unnamed Italian style veggie and bean soup (okay, it's kind of a minestrone)
Hot and Sour soup
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post #5 of 101
Cock a leekie
and
Scotch broth
and
Poacher's broth
post #6 of 101
Pumpkin soup, Vichyssoise/Parmentier, lentil soup, caldo verde, tuscan bean and greens.

One of my favourites is a traditional hangover cure in the Basque country: chicken stock steeped with lots of browned garlic cloves, chili flakes and a poached egg on a garlic crouton. Probably wouldn't be the first thing I'd reach for if I actually were hungover....
post #7 of 101
I want your hot and sour soup recipe. I've been looking for a GOOD one a long time. I've been dissatisfied with every one of them to date. I've got one from Martin Yan I still have to try that includes dried shrimp and pickled sichuan vegetables.

As to my favorite soups, mine in no particular order: Potato Soup, Clam Chowder, Minestrone, Hot and Sour, Tom Ka Gai.

The potato soup and Minestrone are of my own creation although Minestrone is largely determined by what I have on hand so a set recipe isn't possible there.

Potato Soup

Sweat a chopped onion and some garlic butter or bacon fat or a combo of the two. Add some thyme and a pinch of sage. Grate in a peeled medium russet potato. Add chicken stock to cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes stirring every few minutes. Be sure and scrape up the bottom of the pot as the potatoes stick and caramelize there. Add stock as needed to keep from becoming too dry, but it will be gluey. Puree.

Add milk or half and half to your desired thickness. Peel and chop another medium russet potato. Add to the soup, or even more potato if you want a chunkier soup. DO NOT LET THE SOUP BOIL or it will curdle the milk. Still tastes good but looks grainy and broken. Season with salt, pepper, a bay leaf and a bit more herbs singly or together of thyme, rosemary and a bit of sage.

Keep it at a low simmer for another 20 minutes until the chopped potato is properly tender. Again, stir it every few minutes scraping across the whole bottom of the pot as the pureed potato settles and caramelizes. The broth won't be perfectly smooth but more homey and rustic.

Garnish with cheese and crispy bits of bacon, chives are good too. Many cheeses are good, cheddar, smoked gouda, swiss or cheddar, a gentle blue cheese even.

Minestrone is so varied and good in so many incarnations that I only have a few tips to add. Cook your own beans, don't use canned. Simmer the mirepoix with a chunk of parmesan rind. Add tender vegetables such as zucchini late in the cooking so they don't over cook. A dollop of pesto is good stirred in at the end just before serving. Leftovers are also good with stale bread added as a sort of bread and minestrone soup.

My preferred Clam Chowder recipe may be copyrighted so I won't post it here until I confirm that status. I use the Cook's Illustrated recipe for Tom Ka Gai from their Soups and Stews cookbook and find it to be excellent. My only change is how I handle the lemon grass. I don't chop it, just bruise and steep as I cook the soup then remove. Any mistake in the prep of the lemon grass and it's like fingernail clippings in the soup. I've had better luck with the bruise and steep method.
post #8 of 101

Yum Hot And Sour!

I also have been searching high and low for a good hot and sour soup recipe. I try to duplicate PF Changs. I am very excited to try your recipe. Thanks Shel!

Cat
 

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Cat
 

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post #9 of 101
Thread Starter 
I can't comment on PFChang's recipe. Is that a local restaurant, a Chef or cook?

I have numerous H&S recipes, including some I've developed myself. Try the one I posted and let me know what you liked or disliked about it, and I'll try to find one better suited to your taste.

Bruce Cost's recipes are usually very good, well researched and tested, although some may require ingredients that are hard to find in some locales. Here in the Bay Area we can usually get anything from ant earlobes to zebra cartilage (marinated, of course) :D

While a good brand of Chinese black vinegar, like Chinkiang brand, is an excellent choice in H&S soup, a couple of Japanese brands of brown rice vinegar can add an interesting and distinct character to H&S soup. I prefer Mitoku, which is not widely available, or Eden brand. Both are made on the Japanese island of Kyushu using traditional methods:

KYUSHU BROWN RICE VINEGAR

A third vinegar choice might be Spectrum Foods brown rice vinegar, which is milder. not as full flavored, and produced using more modern methods.

As for soy sauce, I'd suggest Kimlan, a rich, flavorful, dark Chinese soy sauce. Perferct for H&S soup, imo.

Oh, the black mushrooms have to be soaked in very warm or hot water. You probably knew that. You can substitue fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems cut off, but if you do, add one more mushroom.

shel
post #10 of 101

Halloween Witchs' Brew

Growing up, one of my favorite soups was the Halloween Witches' Brew my mother would make. No matter how much we would beg her, it would appear once a year on our dinner table. Yep, you guessed it. On Halloween. No...my mother was not a witch. :smiles: She wouldn't even let us watch the t.v. show Bewitched because it was about a witch. Go figure.
Anyway, this will serve between 10 to 12 people. Hope you like it!

Halloween Witches' Brew
(Using lean meats is a new addition. Have to watch fats now!)

1/2 lb lean bacon
3 lbs lean ground beef
1 1/2 c chopped onions
2 cans (26 1/4 oz each) spaghetti in tomato sauce with cheese (Before you could buy it in cans my mother used whatever spaghetti was left over)
1 can (16 oz) tomatoes
2 cans (16 oz each) kidney beans
2 cans (4 oz each) mushrooms with liquid
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp celery salt
1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
2 to 3 tblsp catsup (more if desired)
2 cans (10 1/2 oz each) beef broth
4 cups water (more if needed)
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the bacon in a large stockpot.
Drain off most of the fat.
Add beef and onions, cooking until the onions are limp.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the flavors blend.
Taste to correct seasoning.
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post #11 of 101
Sweet and Spicy Parsnip Soup, Bacon tomato and chilli, Sweet and Spicy butternut, Roasted sweet pepper and garlic, Mulligawtawny made from scratch with added cooking apples, chicken and rice :)
What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? ~Lin Yutang
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What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? ~Lin Yutang
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post #12 of 101

one thats become a signature dish for me is

my carrot and tomato soup its so easy
for two servings and its mega easy to multiply
is 3 large grated carrots
1large chopped onion
3 cloves garlic
1 16oz tin tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste (preferably fresh ground black pepper)
2 large chopped fresh tomatoes
1/4 tsp chilli more if you like your soup to bite you back:lol:
handful of fresh parsley
cover with water bring to boil simmer for 10 minutes, blitz in blender return to pot and serve with a small glob of sour cream or fresh cream and wooohooo gorgous tasty soup in less than 20 minutes



or my feel good soup ( perfect for getting rid of the flu greeblies)

once again for 2 people but super easy to multiply

2 chicken legs skin removed
what ever veges you have on hand but include at least one onion and one potato and make the veges enough to fill 2 cups
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 to 1 tsp chopped red chilli depending on howhot they like it
salt about 1/2 -1 tsp
fresh ground black pepper
1 cup of parsley chopped
enough water to cover, above veges by 2inches you can use chicken stock , if so just reduce the amount of salt
bring to boil , boil rapidly for 15 minutes or until chicken legs are cooked
turn soup off and take chicken legs out and shred meat roughly off bones with two forks . Add meat back to soup mix and put through blender just enough so that its stll got bits of vege visible not completely pulvarised place back in to pot and bring back to boil and serve immediatly to the sicky person, they will feel so much better fairly soon. this works every time i have made it for a sicky.:smiles:

some of my other favourites are cream of mushroom, mushroom and bacon, ministrone, cream of tomato and good ole pumpkin soup

my pumpkin soup is ultra easy too
peel pumpkin carrots, potatoes, onions,and cut in to big chunks, and place in large saucepan
then add 4 cloves garlic,
1/2 an orange with skin on ,
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
a large handful of parsley
cover with water and bring to boil , simmer for 15-20 minutes till all veges are soft , let cool then place in blender and blend till smooth and creamy serve with sour cream or regular cream as a garnish with some fresh parsley and some crusty bread , its perfect when the weather outside is really horrid

the chicken soup will keep for 2 days or so, the tomato and pumpkin soups will keep for 3-4 days
both the tomato and pumpkin soups taste much better the next day too


thats all i can think of right now hope you like them
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when life hands you lemons, make lemon gelee, lemon meringue pie, or any other dessert your heart desires

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post #13 of 101
Favorite? How could I list a favorite. I could eat soup everyday. But some that I particularly like, in no special order:

1. My mothers split pea and flanken. Really miss that one.
2. Kohl Rabi.
3. Butternut and pumpkin bisques (in all their forms).
4. Oyster stew---both traditional and my own.
5. Clam chowder (I prefer the Mid-Atlantic versions, which do not use cream).
6. Lentil and anything.
7. Italian wedding.
8. BLT (talk about unhealthy. But soooooo good).
9. Beef & vegetable.
10. Chicken noodle---chicken & rice---all the varients of this.
11: Corn chowder.
12. Lima bean & sausage.

I'm about to make Ana Sortun's Ladies Thighs with Red Pepper Broth. I'll let you know how it turns out.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #14 of 101

PF Changs -Shel

[QUOTE=shel;192168]I can't comment on PFChang's recipe. Is that a local restaurant, a Chef or cook?

PF Changs is a local "Chinese Bistro"

I will let you know how I do with finding ingredients and so forth on your recipe.. Thanks again!

Cat
 

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Cat
 

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post #15 of 101
PF Changs is a (somewhat) national chain. Some of their recipes have been cloned by Todd Wilbur over at topsecretrecipes.com

Phil
post #16 of 101
Thread Starter 
BTW, although not in the original recipe, you might think about adding sime matchsticks of ginger. I put fresh ginger in just about every version of H&S ....

Eden brown rice vinegar can be found at Whole Foods - at least around these parts.

shel
post #17 of 101
Shel, I had one too. She was my maternal grandmother. She used flanken in her vegetable beef soup too.

Several people asked about the hot and sour soup recipe I mentioned. As I said, I don't have a real recipe; I first made it when I was broke one summer, so it was a recipe born of necessity.

I bought a few of those odd-shaped pork chops on sale and broiled them. I cut the meat into bites and made broth from the meat and the bones, a can or two of chicken broth, and added veggies: onions (green and white), bean sprouts, celery, water chestnuts and some dried Chinese mushrooms I had on hand. I added white vinegar, ground black pepper and some soy sauce to taste, then swirled in some beaten egg at the end. It has most of the flavors (which I was exposed to in local Chinese restaurants) but not the refinements of "real" hot and sour soup such as Martin Yang's.
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post #18 of 101
Thread Starter 
Well, first of all, I don't think Yan's soup is that "refined," and only posted it as an example of the genre because that's about where the mouse pointer happened to be at the time. Bruce Cost has, I think, a more interesting version of H&S. H&S soup was created as much for it's medicinal properties as anything else. Your creation is, in some ways, more "authentic" than Yan's, in that a lot of Chinese use pork and chicken to make their broth. In fact, Jim Lee, the author of one of my favorite Chinese cook books, suggests using canned chicken broth and the meat and bones from pork chops. I often use a light broth made from the free chicken breast bones I get from the poultry monger, add whatever other odds and ends are in the freezer. Jim, BTW, was a teacher, a short kind of round gent who lived in a converted matzo factory in NYC.

One of my H&S soups was thrown together out of necessity as well, using some ramen noodles and a bunch of veggies that were on hand to make something inexpensive and nourishing. I use the "recipe," such as it is, as a fallback for when there are only odds and ends in the veggie crisper, or when I want/need something cheap, filling, hot, and tasty. I call it my Quick and Easy Hot and Sour Vegetable Soup, and it's never the same twice. I made a "recipe" for it mainly to jog my memory of the ingredients and the version I liked best, but really, sometimes, and perhaps especially with H&S soup, a recipe gets in the way of spontanaity.

I do, however, think that a good vinegar added at the end of cooking helps make the dish "pop," as does the addition of szechuan pepper and ginger.

Shel
post #19 of 101
Butternut squash soup

2 big butternuts, halved, seasoned and roasted until soft
diced carrot,onion,celery, shallot
minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 sprig basil
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig parsley
1 clove
1-2 sprigs sage (important!)
Stock to cover
S&P

Put squash in to roast for 40 minutes or until soft
sweat veggies then add stock and spices wrapped in cheesecloth. Simmer until veggies are tender. Add squash and simmer for a few more minutes until everything is soft. Use and immersion blender and blend it unil smooth. Adjust seasonings. Add a kiss of cream and a sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg. Serve with homemade garlic butter croutons and freshly grated hard cheese.
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post #20 of 101

My New Best Friend

So, had that Ladies Thighs with Red Pepper Broth and Peas tonight. I've only two things to say about it:

1. It's a real PITA to make, and
2. It's worth every bit of the effort.

Well, three things. Unless you're cooking for a crowd, better cut the recipe in half---at least.

This is an incredible soup! For anyone interested, the recipe is in the new book, Yum! Tasty Recipes From Culinary Greats, put out by Cumberland House.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #21 of 101
Thread Starter 
Hi,

This is quite similar to numerous soups that I've seen. There's a "lettuce" soup I've played around with a few times that's almost identical in ingredients, but uses a milder lettuce. This lends itself to many types of lettuce or greens. The parmigiano crust is a nice tiuch. I like to eat 'em in the way you describe ...

Shel
post #22 of 101
I made the Martin Yan Hot and Sour Soup recipe today. It's the best I've made yet. There's still room for improvement. I'll have to try the Bruce Cost recipe Shel posted.
post #23 of 101
Roasted Tomatoes and garlic soup with Basil (classic flavors I know but so tasty.)

Cheddar and broccoli soup.

Roasted Corn Chowder
post #24 of 101

Cream of Poblano anyone?

I went to a dinner theatre last night where they served Cream of Poblano soup.. It was incredible.. I am going to try and duplicate it.. but I thought I would ask if anyone had a recipe for it.

Cat
 

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Cat
 

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post #25 of 101
Thread Starter 
Which Yan soup did you make? From the recipe you mentioned having or the one I posted? Regardless, in what way do you feel it needs improvement? Does the soup need more of "something," or perhaps a different flavor, consistancy, aroma? Perhaps you can post the recipe you used (if not the one posted in this thread) and the specific ingredients you used. That may be helpful.

Perhaps if you explain more better we can help you more better :)

Shel
post #26 of 101
It lacked a certain earthiness and spice as well as clarity and gelatin. I mostly attribute that to the stock. I didn't have home-made on hand and made do with Swanson Natural Goodness.

I think a carefully prepped stock infused with a gentle ginger and star anise hint would add a good chunk of the last bit I was looking for.

I used the recipe from Yan's Invitation to Chinese Cooking.
post #27 of 101
Thread Starter 
OK, that helps. I agree about the stock/broth. I've been trying various packaged broths and stocks for the past few months, and have yet to find one that's acceptable in all cases, certainly none for H&S soup. Cook's Illustrated taste tested a number of boxed broths and stocks, and rated Swanson's Organic higher than the regular broth. But that's just in taste. The ingredients, IMO, definitely leave something to be desired.

A number of Chinese cooks that I've spoken with, and a few Chinese recipes, suggest making a broth using chicken and pork - it does help to add complexity and flavor. In fact, several even suggest using a broth like Swanson's (if you have to, or for convenience) and enhancing it with some meaty pork bones.

A number Chinese cookbooks note that a Chinese chicken broth is a lot simpler than what we usually make - just bone-in chicken meat, a little ginger, and that's about all. There is a "high" stock or broth and a "low" one. A high stock is generally used for H&S and other soups. Low stocks are used for blanching, and too add some additional flavor to the meat being blanched or simmered. A low stock may often contain some veggies. However, this a generalization, as there are many variations. Still, it's something to think about. Using an appropriate stock or broth canadd to the results of a soup.

Generally, ginger is a good addition to H&S soup. FWIW, I always add some, usually a generous amount (amount depends on age and intensity of the ginger - young ginger is nice as it offers a somewhat milder, but still invigorating, background) and usually cut in fine matchsticks. One thing that you might try is a mixture of fresh and ground ginger. The combination adds some interesting depth to some recipes, although I've not yet tried that technique with H&S soup. Some Szechuan peppercorns are a nice addition. Toast 'em a bit first, then grind them before adding to the soup.

Not having tried star anise in H&S soup, and not being familiar with the recipe you used, I can't comment other than to say there is Chinese and Japanese star anise, and a few chefs and cooks have suggested that the Chinese version is a better, more flavorful choice.

Good luck - hope to hear that you've gotten the soup to your liking.

Shel
post #28 of 101
Over dinner, during one of the Garlic Is Life symposia, Chester Aaron casually mentioned his root soup. When I expressed interest he graciously provided the recipe. It’s become one of our favorite winter soups:

Chester Aaron’s Root Soup

6 beets, roots & greens both
3 turnips
8 carrots
3 parsnips
2 large white onions
¼ cup wine vinegar
Juice of two lemons
6 tbls honey
2 tbls butter
Salt & pepper to taste
1 head garlic.

Separate beet roots from greens. Cut roots into slices or cubes. Cover with water. Add vinegar, lemon juice and honey. Boil until tender. Remove from pot.

Chop beet greens. Add to water and boil 10 minutes. Remove. Adjust sweet/sour taste with more vinegar or honey.

Cut other roots into chunks and cook in separate pot until tender. Reserve cooking water.

Slice onions and fry in butter until golden.

In a large bowl add all roots except beets. Blend with immersion blender, and keep adding vegetable water as needed until soup has a fine smooth texture. Pour into separate container.

Using immersion blender, bring beets, in their red juice, to same smooth texture.

Mix beet puree into other vegetable liquid. Stir. Add salt & pepper to taste.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #29 of 101
Both vegetarian, but so different

Lentil soup made with a smoked ham shank, carrots, swede. onions and seasoning So thick you have to be able to stand your spoon up in it. Pick the bone and mix the meat in.


And Tom yum Plenty of recipes around. all are good. Light and exciting and plenty of fresh coriander Thai basil and chillis
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post #30 of 101
Thread Starter 
So, how does a soup made with ham become vegetarian?

shel
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