Tag Archives: soup

Butternut Squash Bread Soup


I went rogue on this week’s Cook the Book Fridays recipe. First of all, I was having trouble picturing this layered and baked “soup” that the original recipe seems to be. Secondly, my husband loves butternut squash but doesn’t eat bread, so I couldn’t figure out how to make this into something he could enjoy too. I had my “a-ha moment” when I realized I could puree the onions, butternut squash, and broth into a delicious soup, and then top off my serving with bread and cheese.

So, the recipe as written, has one layer toasted sourdough bread with cooked onions, broth, thinly sliced butternut squash, herbs, and generous amounts of cheese. It’s baked in the oven until everything is cooked through and the top is nicely browned.


To make my version, I cooked the onions as instructed. When it came time to add the broth, I also added cubes of butternut squash. I simmered it all until the squash was very soft. Then I added the herbs and pureed the whole thing with an immersion blender. I topped my bowl of soup with cubes of toasted sourdough bread, then topped the bread with shredded Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses. I ran it under the broiler until the cheese was melted and beginning to brown.  For my husband’s soup, we just topped his soup with the cheeses.

It worked! I felt like my version of the soup was in the spirit of the original recipe, and my husband really enjoyed his. Win, win!

If you would like to try Butternut Squash Bread Soup, with or without my modifications, you can find the recipe on page 163 of David Lebovitz’s book, My Paris Kitchen.



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Celery Root Soup + Some Catching Up

Happy Friday! I have some catching up to do! While I’ve been doing a pretty good job keeping up with my Cook the Book Fridays cooking, I have been terrible about keeping up with the blog. Which means I have three recipes to share with you today.

Celery Root Soup with Horseradish Cream and Ham Chips

First up is Celery Root Soup with Horseradish Cream and Ham Chips.

The soup itself is pretty basic: leeks, celery root, butter, and some herbs and spices cooked until tender and then blended smooth. What makes this recipe shine is the garnishes! The horseradish cream is made from crème fraîche, horseradish, and a squeeze of lemon juice. The “ham chips” are thin slices of prosciutto baked until crisp. The final flourish is a sprinkling of chives.


I liked this soup a lot, but the rest of my family thought it was only OK (actually my daughter only took one bite and moved on…).

Indian Cheese Bread

Next is Indian Cheese Bread. It’s basically naan stuffed with cheese.

I made a few of these with the cheese stuffing, and the rest I cooked plain. I actually preferred the plain ones, but I can’t quite put my finger on why.

The cheesy version:


You can’t really see the cheese, but it’s there. Also, when I cook this type of bread, I can’t quite seem to find the fine line where the pan is hot enough to actually cook the bread, but not so hot that it gets charred.

The plain version:


There’s nothing like a photo to point out that you should have wiped the plate clean before taking pictures.

Individual Chocolate Cakes with Dulce de Leche and Fleur de Sel

I saved the best for last! Individual Chocolate Cakes with Dulce de Leche and Fleur de Sel are decadent single-serving molten chocolate cakes. You might guess from the title that they each have a spoonful of dulce de leche and sprinkling of sea salt in the middle.


These cakes are best eaten when they are still warm from the oven. As an experiment, I baked half of them right away and baked the rest the next day. They were just as good after an overnight rest, which means they are perfect for a dinner party: assemble early in the day (or the day before) and bake right before serving.


Huge hit! We loved these! I love that these little cakes are flourless. My husband is eating grain-free and he loves chocolate, so this recipe will probably be my go-to decadent treat recipe.

All the recipes mentioned in this post can be found in David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen.


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Gazpacho with Herbed Goat Cheese Toasts


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!


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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