Thursday, September 17, 2015

Soups from Stove Stories 1


My late mother, also a journalist, wrote a cookbook that was never published. I'm blogging it. 

I ate very, very well as a child. I'll publish more over the next few days.

Autumn is the time for soups.



There are soups and there are soups! I mean there's the old chicken version with rice, with noodles with dumplings. There's tomato and vegetable and mushroom and minestrone and so many more.

But have you noticed the trend to more unusual soups that are gaining steadily in popularity both in restaurants and in home kitchens? Not that they're that new necessarily, but they're finding favor and adding a nice note to menu planning.

I refer to soups like carrot, peanut, cheddar cheese, 4-day, and salad (yes, that's right, salad soup) to list but a few. And that's not mention the "split-personality" soups that can be served hot or cold.

I first had cheddar cheese variety in a small soup and salad place opened by a young couple who were among the first to feature this light but nourishing luncheon menu. They also offered delicious home-made breads along with an informal salad bar while three different kinds of soups or chowder bubbled away in kettles on an old black stove. The place won instant approval and has been enlarged twice since its modest beginning.

When I first made this cheddar soup, my daughter, Donna-Lane, raved about it, took the recipe, went home and made a kettle full. A friend, whose office is in her home, makes it in double batches for an appetizing and easy luncheon. She likes with croutons. I like sauteed mushrooms added and rice crackers to munch with it.

My particular joy is the "salad soup" mentioned earlier. Haven't you found that you had a generous quantity of dressed salad left over and staring at you, the greens turning limp before your eyes, the croutons soggy? This is no reflection on your salad but on you overestimating the quantity needed.

Now in these days of spiraling food costs, I'm reluctant to waste a crumb, never mind a crust, or even worse a lettuce leave. Read on, for a most delicious way to salvage perfectly good and costly ingredients.

Leslie, a one-time neighbor, was a bride and a fine cook. We often exchanged recipes and the results and she was particularly delighted to receive the salad soup.

Carrot soup became a specialty of my cousin Grace and its deliciously different. I had a similar version in a very fine restaurant, but the texture was grainy. Hers is creamy smooth and with a salad and hot rolls it makes a lovely luncheon.

I love peanut soup and loathe pea soup. The latter probably puts me in the minority for a good old fashioned pea soup made with the essence of a ham bone is high on the popularity poll, especially with men. You won't find a recipe for it here, but you'll find directions for the peanut preparation.

If you really want to get exotic there's a pink strawberry soup recipe that I begged from a bare acquaintance. She said it came from a famous restaurant and I believe it! This is served cold only and is sensational on a hot summer day or night.

Saving best for last in my opinion, at least, I simply adore the cold cherry soup. It's from a famous Boston restaurant and was published in a national gourmet magazine some years ago. Again, Cousin Grace was the first to make this and earned plaudits.

So let's proceed with soups, there are more than I've mentioned.

A hot or cold soup entry, it's a pretty soup, appetizing and satisfying!
  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup cream
  • pinch of dry mustard
  • 2 drops of Tabasco
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Wash and trim the broccoli and put in heavy sauce pan. Add the celery and onion, both finely sliced or diced. Add the 3 cups of chicken broth and simmer until the broccoli is just tender. Put this mixture into blender and blend until smooth. Return to sauce pan, add 1 cup cream. Heat slowly, but do NOT boil. Season.

To serve hot add mushroom slices to each cup or served chilled with sprinklings of finely chopped chervil and chives.

1 comment:

Ginger Dawn Harman said...

Oh I can not wait to try this! Heck I might even make it a blog post because like soup... Stories are to be shared!