Archive for the ‘soup recipes’ Category


April 17, 2011

From Danielle and Jason Bitner

Danielle and Jason — and adorable baby Hollis — brought this zesty “caulichowder” waaay back on March 9. Oops. Honestly, I’m not even sure this is the right photo, as March 9 was, careful readers of this blog may recall, The Night of Beige Soups. So I’m just sort of going by the garnish here. Seems plausible, yes?


2 heads cauliflower, roasted
3 strips bacon
1/4 cup Marsala wine
1 large onion
5 cloves garlic
1/8 cup olive oil
3 quarts (12 cups) stock
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2, whole milk, or heavy cream
1/2  tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon smoked salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons Sriracha (or to taste… it’s spicy!)
salt & pepper to taste
sour cream, chevre and/or green onions to garnish


Make a chicken stock one day ahead (or buy ready-made).  The Bitners used Alton Brown’s recipe, but in addition to the chicken carcass, threw in a smoked turkey leg for flavor. The stock was rich, golden and super flavorful.

Roast the cauliflower. Chop, toss in olive oil, spread on baking sheet & cook at 425 degrees F for 25-35 minutes, until golden.  Let cool.

In a big soup pot, sauté bacon until crisp. Remove cooked bacon, leaving grease in the pot. Let cool a few minutes.

Deglaze the pot with marsala wine, getting all the little stuck on crispy bits up.

Turn heat back on to medium-high and saute the onion and garlic. Once transparent, add the olive oil and the spices. Sauté for another few minutes until fragrant.  Add the stock and cauliflower and the reserved bacon, crumbled. Puree with immersion blender, or if you have to use a blender, do so now while everything isn’t too hot. Blend in batches.  If you want some added texture, reserve 1/4 of the cauliflower and add to the puree.

Add the cream. Cook over low heat for an hour (more if you can) to let the flavors blend together.  Add water or more stock if soup is too thick. Add more cream if you want it super creamy.

Serve with a dollop of chevre or sour cream & chopped green onions.


Bison and Squash Chili

April 17, 2011

From Lawrence Peters

The dapper Lawrence Peters is a country singer, songwriter, DJ, and drummer. When he’s not tending bar at the Hideout he’s playing music or spinning records somewhere around town. Or, just maybe, he’s making chili — like this tasty blend, which he served at Soup & Bread on (eep) February 23.


1/2 cup chopped red onion

3-5 cloves garlic, crushed

some ground black pepper

some salt

about 1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lb ground bison meat or lean ground beef

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1 teaspoon powdered chipotle pepper

1 tablespoon rubbed sage

3 bay leaves

3 cups uncooked squash, cubed (I used butternut)

3 1/2 cups cooked black beans (I use canned beans, reserving juice and adding to taste)

3 1/2 cups cooked white kidney beans (I use canned beans, reserving juice and adding to taste)

2 cans (28 oz. each) fire roasted tomatoes, with juice, chopped

12 oz. beer (I used a medium-bodied ale, but use whatever sounds good to you)

water, as needed


In a large stockpot, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil. When slightly translucent, add bison, and enough black pepper to cover the meat. Add chili powder, ancho and chipotle pepper, and cook meat until brown.

Add all other ingredients, and simmer until squash is tender – about three hours. Add salt to taste.

Note: The chili should be thick and savory, but not dense, and it should have a little kick to it. I usually serve this over some chopped rapini, cooked al dente in a little chicken stock.

Tadashi Ramen: Pork, Beef and Chicken Dashi, Pork Belly Sous Vide, Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms

April 5, 2011

From Hugh Amano

Serves roughly 10

The dashi found in last year’s Pork Dumpling Gang has been developed and enriched here with the addition of roasted beef and pork neck bones, chicken feet and pig trotters. The broth gets a huge bolt of smokiness from bacon ends from Benton’s in Tennessee, but a standard bacon can be used–the smokier the better. The pork belly is cooked sous-vide, meaning it is sealed in an airtight bag, which is placed in water and cooked low and slow, essentially braising in its own juices. There’s more at Hugh’s blog, Food on the Dole.

For the dashi:


2 pounds beef neck bones
2 pounds pork neck bones
2 large pieces of Kombu
1 pound chicken backs or bones
1 pound chicken feet
2 pig trotters
1 pound smoky bacon, the smokiest you can get
2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms
2 onions, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 bunch scallions, sliced
2 star anise
1/2 cup cane vinegar, or to taste
1/2 cup soy sauce, or to taste

Heat oven to 400°. Put beef and pork neck bones on sheet pan and roast in oven for 30 minutes. Flip bones and roast for an additional 15-30 minutes, until bones are deeply roasted.

While bones are roasting, put kombu in large stock pot and cover with 20 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Let steep for 10 minutes. Remove kombu and discard or save for another use.

Put raw chicken backs or bones, chicken feet, pig trotters and bacon into the kombu water and return to the stove over medium heat.

When the beef and pork bones are done roasting, pour off any melted fat and save for another use. Add roasted bones to the water. Put roasting pan over a high flame and pour a cup or so of water into the pan to deglaze it. Scrape the pan with a spoon or spatula to remove any flavorful bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Pour all of this goodness into the stockpot with the bones. Be sure bones are submerged. If more water is required to submerge bones, add whatever it takes.

Bring stock just to a simmer, and allow to simmer slowly (a bubble or two every couple of seconds) overnight, occasionally skimming any scum that forms on top. Naturally, water will evaporate from the pot, so take note of the liquid’s starting level and replenish every hour or so as necessary.

Add mushrooms, onions, carrots, scallions and star anise. Simmer for one more hour.

Remove from heat and let fully cool under refrigeration or, if it is winter in Chicago, on a porch/stoop/fire escape. When cooled, the stock will be separated into solid fat at the top and gelatin beneath the fat. Scrape solidified fat from the top of the stock and discard, or save for another use, then reheat the stock until it is liquid again. Strain the stock through the finest strainer available. Reserve mushrooms for the pickled shiitake mushrooms and discard everything else.

Taste stock and add cane vinegar and soy sauce. Stir stock completely and taste again. Adjust flavor using additional amounts of these two seasoning agents. This broth should last about seven days.

For the pork belly:

2 pounds boneless pork belly, skin off
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 star anise
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in plastic bag designed to be vacuum sealed, evenly spacing ingredients. Vacuum seal bag, then place in an immersion circulator set around 142 degrees and cook for 12 hours. Let pork belly cool, then place in a pan, still in the bag. Cover with another pan, then weigh this pan down with heavy cans and refrigerate overnight. The idea is to compress the pork belly into a compact “block”. After pressing, remove belly from its bag. When ready to serve, sear pork belly on a hot cast iron pan over medium high heat, 3 minutes per side. Let cool slightly, then cut into thin slices.

For the pickled shiitake mushrooms:

Reserved shiitake mushrooms from dashi, sliced thin
1/4 cup dashi
1/2 cup cane vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sambal (chile paste)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

Bring all ingredients but the mushrooms to a boil. Pour over mushrooms and let cool. Cover and keep refrigerated. This’ll keep for about a week.

To assemble dish:
Good quality packaged or homemade ramen noodles (available in most Asian markets)
pork, beef and chicken dashi
pork belly sous vide
pickled shiitake mushrooms
scallions, sliced
radish Sprouts

Simmer noodles until cooked, then rinse in a bowl of very hot water. Drain, then place in a bowl. Add a few slices of pork belly and a few pickled shiitake mushrooms, arranging in an attractive manner. Sprinkle scallions and radish sprouts in bowl. Place a piece of nori in the bowl. Present to your guests. At the table, ladle hot dashi into each bowl. Serve with chopsticks.

Onion Soup with Gruyere Croutons

April 2, 2011

From Sarah Steedman

Sarah picked this soup because she wanted to make something seasonal, and while not a lot is in season in March, you may well have some onions lurking in your root cellar — if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s adapted from a recipe in the March 2010 issue of Bon Appetit.


8 tablespoons butter, divided
24 cups thinly sliced onions (about 5 3/4 pounds)
8 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups multigrain bread, cut into ½” cubes
3/4 cups coarsely grated gruyere cheese
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons (or more) white wine vinegar


Melt six tablespoons butter in an extra-large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until onions begin to soften, 15 to 18 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and sauté until onions are very tender, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed, one hour longer.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss bread cubes with cheese, one tablespoon thyme and two tablespoons melted butter, season with salt and pepper and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until cheese has melted and bread is lightly crisp, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

Add eight cups broth to onions in pot and bring to boil.  Add two tablespoons thyme.  Reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes to blend flavors. Cool slightly.  Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return to same pot and add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to thin soup to desired consistency.  Season soup to taste with vinegar, salt and pepper.

Divide warm soup among eight bowls. Sprinkle each serving with croutons.

White Bean, Tomato and Basil Soup

April 2, 2011

From Monica and Laura Fox

Serves 12

Laura and her mother Monica teamed up for this fresh and hearty (if dark) variation on tomato-basil soup.

4 15-ounce cans of cannellini (white) beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
10 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 sprig parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 pound new potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pound can of Contadina diced tomatoes with the liquid (don’t drain!)
2 medium zucchinis sliced, or a bunch of green beans or spinach
3 tablespoons fresh basil

Make a bouquet garni from the bay leaf, parsley and thyme. I wrap these into a coffee filter with a rubber band or twist tie around it. Sweat the onion and half the garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add the white beans, water, chicken broth, bouquet garni and diced potatoes and simmer for one hour.

Add remaining garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste and thyme and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in vegetable and a dash of pepper and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in fresh basil and you’re done.

Thai Carrot Soup

March 28, 2011

From Gillian McLennan

Serves 6


1 tablespoon canola (rapeseed) oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 inch knob ginger, grated or minced
1 pound carrots, about 6 large carrots or 10 medium, sliced thin
1 potato, diced
3-4 cups vegetable stock (maybe more)
1 cup coconut milk, plus extra for serving
juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons orange juice (juice of 1/2 orange)
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
snipped mint leaves, coriander, or chives

Heat the oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the curry powder and turmeric, then stir in the onion and sauté over medium heat. After five minutes, add the ginger, potato and carrot. Stir.

Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, and cook about 20-25 minutes or until the carrots are soft. You may have to add more stock or water – make sure the carrots are covered and don’t dry out. (But don’t drown them in liquid, either—enough to cover is fine.)

When the carrots are soft enough to break easily with a wooden spoon, remove the pan from heat and stir in the peanut butter. Let cool for 5 minutes. Pour the carrots into a food processor or blender and whiz until smooth (at high speed for several minutes). Add the coconut milk, lime juice, and orange juice, and whiz again. If the mixture is too thick, add more stock or orange juice or a combination of the two.

If necessary, heat the mixture in the same pan briefly before serving. Pour a stream of the extra coconut milk into the top of the soup after filling bowls. Garnish with mint leaves, or coriander (cilantro) or chives, depending on your taste.

Italian Mistress Soup

March 28, 2011

From Jeanelle Hayner and Won Kim

Serves 8

Well – we are finally slogging through a soupy backlog of recipes. Hopefully it’ll stay bite-ass cold just long enough for you to try out a couple at home before we move into Gazpacho & Flatbread season. Herewith, Jeanelle and Won‘s Italian Mistress Soup. It’s like Italian Wedding Soup, but more scandalous. Eat with plenty of hand gestures and the scantily clad partner of your choice.


½ pound ground pork
½ pound ground veal
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ pound dry Israeli couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 quarts chicken or vegetable stock, homemade or storebought
1 bay leaf
1 large parmigiano rind/heel
2 bunches kale (we used a mixture of lacinato and green curly), stripped and chopped
½ teaspoon red chili flakes (or more, to taste)
juice of 1 lemon
splash of white wine vinegar (optional)
salt & pepper
¼ pound pancetta, cubed and cooked into crispy bits (optional, as garnish)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine the veal, pork, parsley, garlic, and salt and pepper (to taste) in a large bowl and mix with your hands. Roll into small meatballs (just under one-inch diameter), and place on a sprayed or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake until just cooked through (about 30 minutes, depending on your oven). Make sure not to overcook them, as they’ll cook a little bit more in the soup.

Meanwhile, place the couscous in a dry, cool skillet, and toast gently over medium-low heat. Stir/shimmy the pan occasionally, and toast until the couscous is golden on a few sides and fragrant.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and add the red onions. Saute the onions until slightly caramelized. Add the couscous and red chili flakes to the pot and stir to combine, making sure the couscous is thoroughly incorporated with the onions & oil. Add the stock, bay leaf, and parmigiano heel and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until the couscous is about halfway cooked (still chewy in the center), about 5-7 minutes. At this point, add the meatballs, kale, and lemon juice, and continue simmering until the kale is wilted (that won’t take long), the couscous is fully cooked, and the immediate acidity of the lemon has mellowed to a bright kick. If you like your soup kickier, feel free to experiment with the splash of vinegar (we did!).

Garnish with pancetta and serve.

West Town Tavern Wild Mushroom Chowder

March 28, 2011

From Susan Goss

Serves 6

Here is is: the long-awaited wild mushroom chowder. Sadly, I still haven’t been able to wangle the recipe for the blue-cheese croutons out of her. But if and when Chef Susan gives up that secret, rest assured you’ll be the first to know See below for blue cheese croutons specs — because while this soup is sublimely rich and shroomy, the crunchy, funky croutons really kicked it to somewhere I’d certainly never been before.


2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled, finely chopped, about 2 cups
4 cups chopped mixed mushrooms (cremini, shiitake, oyster and the like)
1 1/2 cups carrot, diced small
2 1/3 cups potato, peeled, and diced small
1 tablespoon garlic, peeled, smashed, minced, about 3 cloves
½ cup dry sherry
5 1/3 cups water or vegetable stock
2 large  bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon bottled hot sauce
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves


In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and sauté the onion until tender and browned, about 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cover the pan and lower the heat. Steam the mushrooms for 5 minutes or until they begin to give up their juices. Uncover the pan, raise the heat to medium and sauté the mushrooms until they are tender, another 7-10 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes and garlic and stir well. Add the sherry and bring to a boil. Boil until sherry reduces to a glaze, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the water. Tie the bay leaves and thyme sprigs together and add to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the soup until the potatoes and carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

Add the cream and return the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the cream is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes more. Season the soup with salt and pepper and stir in the Worcestershire, hot sauce and minced thyme.

If desired, transfer one cup of soup to a blender and puree. Return puree to the saucepan and stir well.

Blue Cheese Croutons
Makes about 2 cups


2 cups French bread, cubed, about 1”x1”

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled


Preheat oven to 350° F. Place bread cubes in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and cheese and melt, stirring occasionally until smooth. Pour butter mixture over bread cubes and toss gently to mix.

Spread bread cubes onto a cookie sheet and separate as much as possible. Scrape any remaining buttermixture over cubes.

Bake bread cubes in the oven 7 minutes. Turn gently with a spatula and bake until golden brown and crisp, about 5 more minutes. Let croutons cool completely before using.

Store croutons covered at room temperature up to 24 hours.

Roasted Beet Soup With Smoked Trout and Sour Cream

March 27, 2011

From Cleetus Friedman

Cleetus, the owner of City Provisions deli in Ravenswood,  is so awesome he not only brought this stunning soup, which had the magical power to send a seven-year-old boy back for THIRDS, he also brought me a turkey sandwich. Which I desperately needed later on that night. Here’s what he has to say about his soup:  “I grew up, like most kids, disliking beets.  When I started committing to cooking seasonally, I ran into the dreaded beet season.  This made me start working with them and having more fun with them.  These days, beet soup is not only one of my favorites, but something that will convert those like I was into beet lovers, too.  Although I like to garnish this soup with smoked trout and sour cream, you can use yogurt or croutons as well.”


¼ pound red beets (about 3 medium)
¼ pound golden beets
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 leek, chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 cups water
1 small bay leaf
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 fresh parsley sprig
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sour cream


Preheat oven to 350° F. Wrap beets in foil and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour. Cool. Peel beets. Cut 1/4 of 1 beet into 1/4-inch cubes; reserve for garnish. Cut remaining beets into 1/2-inch pieces.

Melt butter with oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek, onion, and celery and cook until beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 13 minutes. Stir in ginger, allspice, white pepper, and ½ inch beet pieces. Cook until vegetables begin to stick to bottom of pot, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Add 2 cups water, bay leaf, thyme sprig, and parsley sprig. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes.

Strain soup through a chinois.

Cool soup slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender with cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made one day ahead. Cool slightly, cover, and refrigerate.)

Garnish with sour cream and shredded smoked trout, if you like.

Fennel Soup with a Swirl

March 22, 2011

From Bonnie Tawse
Serves 4-6

Up until she was 30 or so, Bonnie hated fennel because it smelled like black licorice. And, she says, “I loathe black licorice.” But then one summer afternoon, her brother-in-law, who is a farmer and caterer in Boulder, made a mess of sliced fennel that he caramelized and then sprinkled with shaved Parmesan. “I took a bite just to be a nice person and then had one of those transformative food moments. I said, ‘Wait, this is fennel? This is amazing.’ And since that afternoon I’ve been happy to try fennel in all sorts of preparations. I have a lot of lost time to make up.”

She got this recipe, adapted from one found in David Tanis’ cookbook Heart of the Artichoke, which was just nominated for a James Beard award, in a roundabout way thanks to the soup swap she hosted last month. A friend of a friend approached her at the gym and said, “I heard you had a soup swap! That is so cool! I love soup, I make soup all the time! I am so jealous I didn’t know about it.” She went on to praise the “bad-ass” fennel soup of their mutual friend, Tracey. Says Bonnie: “We got to talking, we talked about soup for almost an hour and then the next day she emailed me Tracey’s recipe.” The next week they wound up going to Re-Thinking Soup, at Hull House. “She had never been,” Bonnie says, “didn’t know it existed.”

Soup: It just keeps on giving.



1/4 cup olive oil
3 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed (reserving fronds), cored and cut into very thin slices
half of a large white onion, cut into thin slices
2 shallots, cut into thin slices
4 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (raw) long-grain white rice
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth


1 cup coarsely chopped fennel fronds (from the fennel bulbs)
Leaves from 4 to 6 stems flat-leaf parsley (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon capers, drained
1/2 cup packed basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and light-green parts
1/2 cup olive oil
freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the sliced fennel, onion, shallots, and garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture has softened and picked up a little color.
Add the rice and the 6 cups of broth. Increase the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Cook for 20 minutes.

Working in batches transfer the soup to a blender and puree; remove the center knob in the blender lid and place a dish towel over the opening to allow steam to escape. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into the pot that was used to cook the soup; discard any fibrous solids. Place over medium-low heat. If the consistency is too thick, add broth as needed.

While the soup is warming, make the green swirl: Rinse and dry the blender, then add the fennel fronds, parsley, capers, basil, scallions, oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Puree on high speed until smooth, then transfer to a small bowl. 
Ladle equal portions of soup into individual bowls, Swirl a tablespoon of the green puree into each bowl.