Tag Archives: soup

Gazpacho with Herbed Goat Cheese Toasts

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I have to admit that I have never been drawn to Gazpacho. The idea of cold tomato soup just isn’t very appealing to me. But, since this is Cook the Book Fridays, I willingly made this week’s recipe, Gazpacho with Herbed Goat Cheese Toasts.

One thing that did appeal to me about making this recipe was that I was able to use home grown tomatoes. It seems like a recipe featuring tomato is the perfect match for garden tomatoes.

I made a change to the technique: rather that boiling the tomatoes briefly to peel them, and then pushing the tomato pulp through a strainer, I just ran them through my food mill. I’m not sure it saved me any time, but for some reason I find the boil-and-peel method to be tedious, and I also got to use one of my kitchen toys!

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The herbed goat cheese toasts were an interesting contrast to the goat cheese we made a few weeks ago. This was the “quick and easy” version, while the other recipe required at least 24 hours. Both versions were good, and both have their place.

I was pleasantly surprised by the gazpacho! It was very flavorful, and the olive oil and my San Marzano tomatoes added a richness I didn’t expect. My husband loved this soup, and has requested it a couple times since I made it last weekend (alas, we don’t have enough garden tomatoes for it right now). I gave a small bowl to my daughter and she liked it too. I still don’t think I will ever crave gazpacho, but I now see it as a nice way to enjoy tomatoes from the garden.

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FFWD: Côte d’Azur Cure-All Soup

Côte d'Azur Cure-All Soup

Happy French Friday! This week for French Fridays with Dorie, we made a simple, wholesome soup intended to cure anything that ails you, from a cold to a hangover. It’s called Côte d’Azur Cure-All Soup.

There isn’t much to this soup.  The main ingredient is a whole bunch of garlic. The cloves are thinly sliced and cooked in equal parts water and chicken broth for 30 minutes to soften and mellow it. A bouquet garni of fresh sage, thyme, and bay leaves is simmered along with the garlic. When the garlic is done, 3 to 6 egg yolks are whisked in with a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese. Drizzle each bowl with a bit of olive oil and serve!

Côte d'Azur Cure-All Soup

There isn’t much to say about this soup, except we liked it!  It isn’t really meant to be served as a meal, but I did anyway.  It’s really meant to sip when you are feeling under the weather.  It was much more flavorful than it looks, and very “warming”. I would definitely make this if we found ourselves fighting colds or the flu.

I hope all of you out there have a wonderful weekend!

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FFWD: Riviera Fish Soup

Riviera Fish Soup

It’s another Fishy French Friday!  We are really get down to the final recipes.  There are some iffy ones left, but also some really good-sounding ones.  I am looking forward to trying them all!

This week’s recipe was a little iffy-sounding to me. Pureed fish soup?  It was hard to get my head around that one.  But, I forged ahead in the name of French Fridays with Dorie.  I bought my whole red snapper (I got the last one!).  The nice folks at Whole Foods cleaned, scaled, and chopped it up for me.  I made sure they left me the head.

When I arrived home, I simmered that snapper, head and all, with a bunch of lovely aromatics, including onions, fennel, saffron, tomatoes, and some herbs and spices. The secret ingredient is pastis, an anise-flavored liqueur. Next, I ran the whole shebang (minus the fish head) through my food mill!  It was actually kind of hard work. After adding a little more salt, pepper, and pastis, my soup was ready for serving.

Another important element of this fish soup are the garnishes: a large crouton and rouille.  I attempted to make my own rouille (a cousin of aioli) using Dorie’s recipe, but failed miserably.  It was looking good.  But, at the last minute it it suddenly turned to liquid!  Did I add the last bit of olive oil too fast?  Who knows? The next day I found this Saffron Rouille recipe using pre-made mayonnaise. It was delish!

Riviera Fish Soup
So, back to the soup.  To serve the soup, it is topped with a slice of toasted country bread and a large dollop of the rouille. I have to say, after eating this both with and without the rouille, it really adds a lot to the soup. Don’t skip the rouille!

This soup was met with mixed reactions in my house.  I loved it!  I loved the flavors and textures. It was unique (to me) and delicious.  Certain other people couldn’t get past the fact that this was “fish soup”, and didn’t care for it.

I probably won’t have a chance to make this soup again because it was a lot of work for just one person to eat it. But if you are looking for a soup to impress a group of fish-liking, adventurous eaters, give this a try!

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FFWD: Simplest Breton Fish Soup

Simplest Breton Fish Soup

Happy New Year!  January 2015 is going to be a fishy month for French Fridays with Dorie, and we’re getting off to a very fishy start with Simplest Breton Fish Soup.

As the name implies, Simplest Breton Fish Soup is a very simple soup, inspired by the soup fishermen in the Breton region of France would make aboard their fishing boats. It’s made with some basic vegetables (onion, shallot, garlic, celery, leek, and potatoes) and whatever fish is fresh.  I added carrots and saffron, as suggested by Dorie in her bonne idée.

Dorie recommends using a variety of fish and mussels for this soup.  I used one sardine, a nice amount of cod, and a handful of mussels.

Breton Fish Soup

So how did my family like this simple, fishy soup?  I loved it!  My husband…not so much.  I didn’t even try giving any to my daughter.  I loved the rustic simplicity and straightforward flavors.  It was almost refreshing after the heavy eating of the holidays. Even though I loved this soup, I doubt I will make it again since the rest of my crew would not be on board.

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FFWD: Beatrix’s Red Kuri Soup

Beatrix's Red Kuri Soup

Happy Friday!  To those of you in the U.S., I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I am here in Seattle visiting family and we had a delicious feast yesterday.

We’re rounding out this month’s French Fridays with Dorie selections with another soup.  This one is squash soup, specifically Beatrix’s Red Kuri Soup.  According to Dorie, her Parisian friends look forward to this soup all year long!  They love the sweet, chestnut flavor of the squash.

I’m not convinced I really had a red kuri squash, at least not the same kind Dorie uses for her soup.  It was labelled “Red Kuri”, as evidenced by the picture below:

"Red Kuri" Squash?

It certainly has the right color, and the skin became soft during cooking, a hallmark of the red kuri squash.  But I didn’t detect any chestnut flavor, and it wasn’t a sweet squash.  Also, it doesn’t have the right shape.  Here is an image I found elsewhere online:

See that pointy top?  Mine didn’t have that at all.  If I ever find (or grow!) a red kuri squash that looks like the image above I will try this soup again to see if it tastes different.

Anyway, did we like the soup?  Not really.  It didn’t have much flavor, and I was expecting this soup to have a special flavor after the build-up Dorie wrote about in the lead-up to the recipe.  My husband said we might as well have been eating boxed soup.  Ouch!

I can’t help but think it was the squash that wasn’t right.  I had part of the squash left over, and I roasted it as a side for dinner another night.  The roasted squash also did not have much flavor.

If you are certain you have a real red kuri squash and want to try this soup, you can find the recipe on Dorie’s site:  Red Kuri Soup.

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Provençal Vegetable Soup

Provençal Vegetable Soup

Happy Friday!  Here we are at the last French Fridays with Dorie recipe of July already.  Does anyone else feel like this summer is flying by?

This week we made Provençal Vegetable Soup.  Soup seems like an odd thing to make in the middle of summer, but this one is chock full of summer vegetables.

What vegetables are in this soup?  Here is the long list:  onion, garlic, carrots, potato, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, and fresh corn.  Add to that some pasta and cannellini beans, then top with pesto, basil, and Parmesan cheese.  For an all-veggie soup, this one is quite hearty!

Provençal Vegetable Soup

I was able to use several herbs and veggies from our garden:  rosemary, potato, tomatoes, and basil.  Even the pesto came from last year’s garden.

Now, we’ve been having some hot weather here in Reno.  We had a couple weeks over 100°, and soup really doesn’t sound appealing when it is that hot out.  Thankfully, early this week we had a patch of cooler weather, and the day I made my soup it was a little cloudy and rainy, with a high of *only* 85°.

We loved this soup!  To me, the pesto really makes the soup.  Even though the corn is non-traditional, we felt that it really added a nice flavor and texture.  This soup is a winner for sure.  Maybe I’ll make it again in the Fall when the weather is a little cooler?

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie, and online group cooking our way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.  If you would like to try Provençal Vegetable Soup, I highly recommend getting this wonderful book!

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Vegetable Barley Soup (with Chicken)

Vegetable Barley Soup

It’s Friday once again!  Where does the time go?  I was concerned that this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe would fall inappropriately on a warm Spring day, but luckily (for the soup, anyway) our weather cooled off quite a bit this week.

We made a simple soup called Vegetable Barley Soup with the Taste of Little India.  The “taste of Little India” comes from the spices: ginger, turmeric, and garam masala.  The rest of the ingredients are very basic: onion, carrots, parsnips, garlic, barley, and chicken broth.  After Trevor (of Sis Boom Blog!) mentioned on Facebook that he wished he had added chicken, I decided that chicken was something we needed.  I simmered two small boneless, skinless chicken breasts with the rest of the soup and chopped them up when they were cooked.

Veggie-Barley Soup with Chicken

We enjoyed this hearty, yet light, soup.  I was happy with my choice to add the chicken.  Next time I would use a little less ginger; I felt the flavor was a bit too strong.  I was looking forward to seeing if the flavors mellowed a bit after an overnight rest in the fridge, but unfortunately I accidentally left the pot of soup out on the stove overnight.  Quite frustrating, as I hate to waste that much food!

This would be a great recipe to use when you need to “clean out the fridge”.  Many vegetables and meats would work well with the barley and spices.

I will be out of town next week visiting my family in Seattle for Spring Break, so I won’t be making next week’s recipe, and I might not be able to comment on other soup posts.  However I did make a catch-up recipe this week that I will be sharing with you next Friday!

 

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Garbure From the Supermarket

Garbure from the Supermarket

It’s Friday once again!  This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe is called Garbure From the Supermarket.

A garbure is a rustic soup, usually containing beans, cabbage, potatoes, and duck confit.  Since duck confit is not easy (or inexpensive) to find in the United States, Dorie came up with this version using ingredients more readily found here.

Dorie gave us several options:  1) pork shoulder or ham bone; 2) an optional duck leg; 3) an optional sausage; and 4) a variation using duck confit.  I went with 2 small ham shanks, no duck, and no sausage.  Also, I had some Christmas Lima Beans on hand, so I used them instead of the navy or cannellini beans.  Otherwise, I stuck with the recipe.

Garbure with Christmas Lima

As I read through this recipe I had one big concern.  This soup simmers for 3 hours, and the vegetables (carrots, celery, turnips, potatoes, and cabbage) are cooked that entire time.  I was concerned the vegetables would turn into mush, and a fellow Dorista confirmed this fear.  So, I added the veggies at the half way point.  I still felt that they were overcooked, so next time I would only cook them for the last hour.

I really liked this hearty soup.  I was happy with my choice of using ham shank, but I would love to try it with pork shoulder and a sausage someday.  Having this soup simmer away all day made me wish for wintery weather (my apologies to those of you on the East coast…).  I could picture myself and family holed up in a cozy cabin in the snow with this soup to keep us warm.

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Hélène’s All-White Salad + Leek and Potato Soup

Helene's All-White Salad

I am running a day late for French Fridays with Dorie because we have a sick girl in the house.  I had to pick my daughter up from school early yesterday; it seems she has a cold.  My poor little girl is so congested!  Unfortunately my husband and I are not feeling optimistic about our own health, but so far neither one of us is ready to admit we have the cold too.

We will be discussing two FFWD recipes today:  Hélène’s All-White Salad and Leek and Potato Soup (a make-up from the early days).  Let’s start with the salad!

Hélène’s All-White Salad

When Dorie’s friend Hélène opened up a restaurant, she created a bunch of “color-themed” salads.  The all-white salad was Dorie’s favorite.  It contains celery, apples, mushrooms, and Napa cabbage, tossed with a yogurt-based vinaigrette.

All-White Salad

This one had mixed results in my house.  I thought it was fine, and would eat it if it were given to me, but I probably won’t make it again.  My daughter doesn’t usually eat salads, but I gave her some as an experiment.  She picked out all the apples.  My husband declared after one bite, “I won’t be eating this one again”!

I think I would have liked this one better with a different type of apple.  The Granny Smiths were too tart for my taste.  Also, my dressing was a little bitter.

Leek and Potato Soup

The Leek and Potato Soup fared better.  The French Fridays group made this one early on and it had received mixed reviews.  I read some of the old entries to figure out what people didn’t like about it, and how I could make sure it was a success for us.  Very helpful!

Leek & Potato Soup with Bacon

I didn’t change much.  The main issue is that Dorie tends to like thinner soups.  Leek and Potato seems like it should be a bit heartier, so I reduced the liquid by 2 cups (I used 3 cups broth & 2 cups milk vs. the 4 cups/3 cups called for).  Also, I didn’t have whole milk, so I used half 1% milk and half heavy cream.  The cream definitely added a nice richness to the soup!

Leek & Potato Soup

This soup can be served chunky or smooth, with any number of toppings.  I chose smooth, blending it with my immersion blender and leaving it slightly chunky.  For dinner the first night, I topped it with Gruyère cheese and bacon.  Everything tastes better with bacon!  For lunch the next day, I just used Gruyère and chopped parsley.

I am so glad I had the wisdom of the Dorista’s who made this before me!  We enjoyed the soup and I would definitely make it again with my changes.

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This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie, and online group cooking our way through Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.  We don’t share recipes, but I encourage you to get this wonderful book!

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Simple Party Soups + Baked Apple

It’s another two-fer French Friday today!  I made two French Fridays with Dorie recipes this week:  Christine’s Simple Party Soups and Baked Apples Filled with Fruits and Nuts.

Simple Broccoli Soup

Christine’s Simple Party Soups are a trio of simple vegetable soups: asparagus, broccoli, and red pepper.  The technique is the same for each soup.  Simply simmer the vegetables in chicken broth until tender, then puree and season with salt and pepper.  Serve the soups with a dollop of flavored whipped cream and you are good to go!

Rather than trying to tackle all three soups, I chose to make just the broccoli soup.   As advertised, it was very simple to make.  The cream was flavored with curry powder, which I felt added a very nice flavor.

I served the soup with grilled cheese sandwiches for a simple weeknight meal.  We liked the soup, but probably not enough for me to make it again.

Baked Apple with Fruit & Nuts

Some of you may recognize this apple from my previous photo challenge!

Simple was the theme of the week.  Baked Apples Filled with Fruits and Nuts are an easy-to-make dessert, perfect for a cold night.

The apples are filled with the cook’s choice of dried fruits and nuts mixed with honey.  Add a little butter and some apple juice for moistness and you are ready to bake.

Apples out of the oven

Fresh from the oven!

These baked apples can be served with any number of creamy topping, such as heavy cream, yogurt, or vanilla ice cream.  I decided to try the unwhipped cream, which was very nice with it.

I like this one better than my husband did.  He thought it seemed more like a snack than a dessert.  These would be great with vanilla ice cream!

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