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No recipes to clip and paste, sorry, but:

Do you own Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything? I just looked at it this past weekend and was impressed by the diversity of recipes. Made me buy a big bunch of plain old ordinary kale which I am turning into a dieter's version of caldo verde (Portugese soup with potatoes and normally a lot of sausage) in addition to something Judy Rodgers calls "boiled kale" and a few Asian-style soups. There's inspiration in this survey of Asian noodle soups to which our own Bilrus has contributed.

If you can find Tuscan/dinosaur kale (for some reason it hasn't been in Whole Foods this winter) at the farmers's market or _____, buy some Savoy cabbage, white beans, etc., and make ribollita, one of my favorite winter soups.

Onion soup is also great this time of year as is a simple vegetable-beef soup. Lentil soups can be made new again just by switching ingredients.

In Lulu's Provencal Table, there's a stunningly simple one made just with Le Puy lentils, water and lots and lots of garlic (well, maybe a little more). Tastes blah, blah, so-whatish on Day 1, then divine, Day 2, especially with crunchy croutons. Use carmelized onions, red lentils & tiny black buttons of Beluga lentils, diced Acorn squash and bacon? Something else, entirely. Deborah Madison offers good recipes for lentil soups including one with generic lentils, tomato, lemon juice and pinch of cayenne with thin broth. Another one of my very favorites is Italian, made with chestnuts (source: Trader Joe's, though you'll have to peel the frozen ones) and pancetta. (The public library is a good place to go to find inspiration, too.)

If you're in a rut, I'd recommend scrolling through posts in the dinner thread or Summer Challenge here, and then googling. I also suggest going over to egullet.org and searching the other cooking threads devoted to soups, dinner, the soupy cook-offs, Vietnamese cooking, Italian soups, etc. and find the best pictures.

Otherwise, make a big pot of a kind of stock you haven't made before (beef instead of chicken, pork, duck) and go from there.

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Otherwise, make a big pot of a kind of stock you haven't made before (beef instead of chicken, pork, duck) and go from there.
Then aromatize (with ginger, lemongrass, galangal, garlic, shallot, whatever you want), add miso if you want for body, blanch some veg, bowl, thinly sliced raw meat from the asian supermarket, some noodles, bang! yummy noodle soup.
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That DOES look good!! Having made it so often, is there anything you've found to tweak the recipe at all?
Not a lot. I use extra garlic instead of the garlic flavored tomatoes that it calls for, and I have recently been adding in an extra can of black beans to bulk it up a bit, but I like it both ways. I change the spice ratios a bit sometimes depending on my mood, but not by a ton. I've always opted for the kielbasa; never even tried the ham. It makes a lot and nothing is lost in the freezing.
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Niall: When I made the snert, I didn't use the pile of pork products that Klary's Dutch recipe. I put my smoked ham hocks (shanks are better, but WF was out) in at the beginning despite instructions and used smaller variety of vegetables, if in the larger quantities the recipe advises. I also cooked the soup in the oven (250 F) which meant close to zero effort after the soup reaches a simmer. I found that the other aspects of the traditional recipe made for a superior soup. especially the instructions to use twice the amount of water you normally add, cooking the soup down slowly for a longer period of time. It was delicious enough on the first night and worthwhile if you make a vat of it to tide the sleep-deprived adults (I am guessing if avatar is recent) in your family over over the course of a full week.

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the deborah madison recipe for celery root and wild rice chowder is good for the winter. you can give it a splash of truffle oil at the end, if you want. it tastes french and uses a russet potato. i was really strumming my mandoline, but avoided slicing off the tips of my fingers. they do, however, grow back (if you stop yourself in time):

http://wellfed.typepad.com/well_fed/2007/0...y_root_wil.html

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I love anything with butternut squash and pureed. My basic recipe is to peel, seed, and cut a butternut squash into big chunks. Throw into a soup pot with some chopped up veg. We go with whatever is in the fridge. Last night it was a big green zucchini, carrot, and some yellow onion. Saute this in a bit of olive oil to caramelize everything, then add chicken broth to cover the veg. Wrap a head of garlic in foil to roast in the oven. Simmer veg until tender. Squeeze soft garlic into the pot and puree the whole thing with a stick blender. Add more broth to thin to your liking, finish with some heavy cream.

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thanks again for all the suggestions guys - I made this split pea recipe and it was GREAT - I would highly recommend it for folks - the ease-final taste factor is very high with this one.

Kept fairly close to the recipe except for using some diced Niman Ranch pork instead of bacon - I also didn't bother with the rice or lettuce and only had thyme and rosemary for my 'bouquet garni' - if you soak the peas overnight you can knock this out in an hour the next morning - I then let it sit all day while I was at work and pureed when I got home

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It's About Thyme in Culpeper makes a lovely garlic and artichoke soup that I have been craving but cannot replicate. The last three times I've been there it hasn't been on the menu, it's one of the soupes du jour. I ask about it, but get polite deflection.

The garlic cloves are whole, the artichokes are very small and tender, the broth is clear. There are also small chunks of potato, and the occasional piece of tomato (sun dried?). Not a creamed or pureed soup, it's all chunky.

Not a hearty winter soup but I am looking for a change.

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Artichokes almost unattainable. Whole Foods in Alexandria has them for $3.99 each. Can't find them anyplace else and $4 an artichoke is too much. Probably due to very cold weather in California.

Even with 4 inches of snow now and the end not in sight, I am determined to make a spring vegetable soup. Base of carrots, celery and onions, starring whole cloves of garlic (many) and chunks of floury potatoes.

What to do in lieu of artichokes? I am thinking parsnips and fresh green peas.

Also making a traditional beef stew for the rest of the family, which is NOT in spring mode yet.

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Cardoon soup! (insert "nausea" emoticon).
I've never even seen a cardoon! The bushes look pretty in photos, but as a garden plant, not dinner.

At any rate, the soup turned out well. Ingredients, 5 Yukon gold potatoes, not peeled, cut into 32nds. 1 lb carrots, sliced. 3 parsnips, sliced. 2 sweet onions, quartered and sliced. 20 whole cloves of garlic. 4 stalks of celery, stems sliced, leaves chopped. Small bunch Italian parsley, leaves only, chopped. Small fennel bulb, peeled, quartered, thinly sliced. 2 qt (or less) aseptic pack of vegetable broth. Thyme. Salt to taste. Simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hour lowest heat until all vegetables soft, parsnips are sweet, and flavors married.

I wouldn't call it Spring soup, but not wintery either. Not browning the vegetables, not adding oil, makes a light soup, but parsnips, fennel and 20 cloves of garlic adds complexity.

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It's About Thyme in Culpeper makes a lovely garlic and artichoke soup that I have been craving but cannot replicate.
I'm glad your substitution worked out well. That's one of the beauties of soup. Should the craving return, go to the frozen food aisles. Not all supermarkets carry frozen artichoke hearts, but Trader Joe's may have the best deal; Bird's Eye is the brand you'll find elsewhere at a higher price for half the quantity.

Whole Foods--and probably other stores--sells canned artichoke hearts which I've never tried. However, I have heard they are superior in cans to oh, say green beans, beets or asparagus.

Cardoon soup! (insert "nausea" emoticon).
Them's fighting words, monsieur! No appreciation for my quest last year? :o
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I made minestrone last night, as soup was very much called for on a winter-stormy night with a fire crackling in the cast iron woodstove. I did use some homemade chicken stock, though I know that it is traditionally a water-based vegetable soup. Leek, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, parsnip, San Marzano tomatoes cooked all afternoon with thyme, parsley, bay leaf, then potato, cannelini beans (from a can...) and finally oricchiette pasta went into the pot. Served with fresh basil and grated Reggiano and some good crusty bread. And some nero d'avola. Hey, Anna Blume--can I be an honorary Italian, too?

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Hey, Anna Blume--can I be an honorary Italian, too?

I thought you had to be baptized while sleeping across the street from Sally's and Pepe's, but I am sure there are other ways! :o

Perhaps Porcupine or others with genuine claims can offer guidance?

(Soup sounds really good and a perfect response to the weather.)

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made another lovely soup yesterday - I think the recipe was in the Post a few weeks ago

Asparagus Parmesan Soup

Sweat some finely chopped leeks in olive oil.

Add 12 oz asparagus, cut into inch long pieces

Cook until bright green

Add chicken/veg stock to cover veggies

Bring to boil

Cover and simmer for 20 mins

Add grated parm

Season

Blend and serve

It was delicious and the parm added a nice creaminess and taste.

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I've been working on my soup skillz for the past few weekends. I've arrived at my "potato method" for making any of a number of soups. Works like this:

Saturday-- make a stock, any stock, cool and refrigerate

Sunday-- heat up stock, add diced potatoes, find immersion blender

At this point I have my base. I could add diced celery root and roasted garlic then blend when appropriately softened. Last night I went out on a limb and made neon fuschia beet and potato soup with roasted walnuts and walnut oil. The color was downright alarming, but it went beautifully with the walnut. Next week I think I'll try a leek and onion and perhaps throw in a little bacon.

The possibilities are endless... :mellow:

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Spinach and orzo soup with turkey meatballs

Mix egg, panko, ground turkey, romano, garlic, S&P. Form into meatballs.

Brown meatballs.

Simmer meatballs and chopped carrots in chicken broth.

Add spinach; simmer.

Add cooked orzo.

Season with Sriracha and serve.

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Spinach and orzo soup with turkey meatballs

Mix egg, panko, ground turkey, romano, garlic, S&P. Form into meatballs.

Brown meatballs.

Simmer meatballs and chopped carrots in chicken broth.

Add spinach; simmer.

Add cooked orzo.

Season with Sriracha and serve.

This sounds really delicious and then the Sriracha at the end just put it over the top for me!

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My wife really likes broccoli cheddar soup, but every recipe I could find for it was pretty much the same. A pasty roux, heavy cream, and almost no broccoli flavor whatsoever. I wanted to create a version that would bring out the flavor of the broccoli but still feel comforting.

First I finely diced only the stems of the broccoli and sweated them for about an hour with some onions.

In another pot, I made a broccoli broth with the heads, garlic, and thyme. I strained the broth, with some chicken stock, into the pot with the stems and onions.

I let this reduce for a bit, then took my immersion blender to it.

Then it went through a chinois. The result was a beautiful pale green liquid with a deeply bright and satisfying broccoli taste.

Next I made a very light roux with only half a tablespoon or so of butter and poured in the broccoli liquid.

Orange plus green doesn't make for pretty color, so I used a nice five year old white cheddar. Very sharp, very flavorful. This was grated and melted into the soup, along with a very small amount of cream.

It is important to note that AT NO POINT during this entire process was the broccoli allowed to saute or the liquid to boil. I wanted the soup to taste like fresh broccoli, not sulfur.

Meanwhile, I took the greenest florets I could find and infused some grape seed oil to carry some raw broccoli into the mix.

Into the center of it all went a floating cheddar gougeres.

My wife likes chunks, so I lightly blanched a few small heads and threw them into hers - no need to cook them with the soup.

It was light and it was good and it actually tasted like broccoli and cheddar!

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Looks great, Dan. The cheddar gourger is a fantastic idea, and I appreciate your sharing the method of cook-I hadn't thought of what boiling does to the taste of broccoli.

The infused oil looks beautiful. Just how did you make it?

Cook broccoli heads in grape seed oil. Mix in food processor. Strain broccoli and cool the oil. Add uncooked broccoli heads. Steep for a week.
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I once watched one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurant-rescue shows, and he made a broccoli soup with just pureed strained broccoli and water, so it would "taste like broccoli." :P

Yup, not that hard. You can also use a bit of chicken stock too. Also no need for a roux at all and you can just add a bit of cream should you want that indulgence.

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Yup, not that hard. You can also use a bit of chicken stock too. Also no need for a roux at all and you can just add a bit of cream should you want that indulgence.
The NYT Cookbook cream of broccoli soup, which is the one I generally make, has a small amount of cooked macaroni in it as a thickener, plus a little cream.
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I once watched one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurant-rescue shows, and he made a broccoli soup with just pureed strained broccoli and water, so it would "taste like broccoli." :P
Yup, not that hard. You can also use a bit of chicken stock too. Also no need for a roux at all and you can just add a bit of cream should you want that indulgence.
The NYT Cookbook cream of broccoli soup, which is the one I generally make, has a small amount of cooked macaroni in it as a thickener, plus a little cream.

The Gordon Ramsay rant that went along with his minimalist broccoli soup, was against any additives, such as chicken stock, cream, roux or anything else. He wants us to taste only broccoli. To which, I say, in that case, why bother to make soup? Just plunk down a dish full of steamed broccoli and a glass of water in front of us, Gordon. We'll use our teeth to make your soup. What I'm looking for in a bowl of soup is deliciousness, and that may in some cases involve chicken stock and/or cream, aromatics, and sometimes a hint of sweetness and/or acidity.

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The Gordon Ramsay rant that went along with his minimalist broccoli soup, was against any additives, such as chicken stock, cream, roux or anything else. He wants us to taste only broccoli. To which, I say, in that case, why bother to make soup? Just plunk down a dish full of steamed broccoli and a glass of water in front of us, Gordon. We'll use our teeth to make your soup. What I'm looking for in a bowl of soup is deliciousness, and that may in some cases involve chicken stock and/or cream, aromatics, and sometimes a hint of sweetness and/or acidity.

While I agree that his broccoli soup was extreme in terms of minimalism, didn't the chef in that episode use 1,000 different ingredients to make mediocre to crappy food? I think his rant was used to make a point to the chef that you can do things simply and cheaply. Most of the places he goes into are hemorrhaging money so he helps them get that in control.

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Regarding the recent string of posts regarding minimalist soup recipes: granted the broccoli-water thing sounds both extreme and not particularly good, but I understand that for many culinary professionals, when it comes to preparing soups that feature vegetables, long-simmered stocks are going the way of complicated sauces for other types of dishes.

Instead of even throwing together a quick vegetable stock, they'll advocate water since it doesn't interfere with pure, simple flavors.

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I made a lovely (non) cream of broccoli soup this weekend, and it took all of a half an hour.

Sautee a bunch of onion and leek--if you have it, which I didn't, so I used some shallot and garlic--in a bit of oil and salt until soft. Toss in a chopped-up potato and some stock (I used a box of chicken stock and some Better Than Boullion mushroom paste with water) and whatever herbs you've got around (for me, cracked pepper and thyme). Simmer until the potato is tender. Toss in some chopped up broccoli and simmer for about 4-5 minutes. Puree. Season to taste.

Because of the short cooking time, the soup is absolutely bright green and bursting with broc flavor. I suppose you could stir in some cream or cheese at the end, but this was just so darn tasty and pure and healthy I kept it as is. Can't wait to get home and have another bowl for dinner...

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I made a lovely (non) cream of broccoli soup this weekend, and it took all of a half an hour.

Sautee a bunch of onion and leek--if you have it, which I didn't, so I used some shallot and garlic--in a bit of oil and salt until soft. Toss in a chopped-up potato and some stock (I used a box of chicken stock and some Better Than Boullion mushroom paste with water) and whatever herbs you've got around (for me, cracked pepper and thyme). Simmer until the potato is tender. Toss in some chopped up broccoli and simmer for about 4-5 minutes. Puree. Season to taste.

Because of the short cooking time, the soup is absolutely bright green and bursting with broc flavor. I suppose you could stir in some cream or cheese at the end, but this was just so darn tasty and pure and healthy I kept it as is. Can't wait to get home and have another bowl for dinner...

The same basic method works for just about any sort of vegetable soup-- I've even made lettuce soup. I do something similar, without the potato or BTB base, using sugar snap peas, to make a fresh pea soup. My secret ingredient is throwing a couple of handfuls of frozen peas into the blender with the cooked sugar snaps, onions leeks and stock. Then running it through a sieve for a super silky soup with tons of fresh pea flavor. And I add some creme fraiche at the end.
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While I agree that his broccoli soup was extreme in terms of minimalism, didn't the chef in that episode use 1,000 different ingredients to make mediocre to crappy food? I think his rant was used to make a point to the chef that you can do things simply and cheaply. Most of the places he goes into are hemorrhaging money so he helps them get that in control.
Indeed - the point was not that this was The Only Way to Make Broccoli Soup Dammit , it was that, in this case, you could make a perfectly acceptable broccoli soup without adding stock, cream, truffle reduction, aardvark toenails, or the 47 other things the chef in question would have put in.
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The same basic method works for just about any sort of vegetable soup-- I've even made lettuce soup. I do something similar, without the potato or BTB base, using sugar snap peas, to make a fresh pea soup. My secret ingredient is throwing a couple of handfuls of frozen peas into the blender with the cooked sugar snaps, onions leeks and stock. Then running it through a sieve for a super silky soup with tons of fresh pea flavor. And I add some creme fraiche at the end.

Yes! I neglected to mention that this was exactly the base recipe we were given in a CulinAerie class for cream of [veg] soup. I hadn't thought of using sugar snaps, though, which are my favorite. Will give that a go next!

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Using this topic as a general discussion of soup cooked at home:

I bought an organic Blue Ballet winter squash at market this weekend. As a variety of Hubbard squash, the Blue Ballet could either be very bland or extremely flavorful according to what I've read and I was being optimistic. Yes, Zora, I know you favor kabocha and I love them, too, but I have faith in the farm and just wanted to try something new. Blue Ballet? Couldn't resist.

Roasted it while prepping a vegetable broth with leek greens, bay leaf, carrot, potato skin, the scrapings from within the squash, parsley and peels from a celery root plus S&P and a little olive oil.

Stewed leeks w white onion in butter w bay leaf and some butter. Thyme. White wine to cook down. Celery root (just half) and broth w a little apple cider. Added squash.

Gorgeous puréed. Lovely texture. Pretty bland, though. Celery root would have overpowered the soup had I used the whole thing.

I could zing it all with lime juice when I reheat it for meals, but I'm looking for other ideas to bring out the flavor ( :( ) or compensate for lack thereof.

Thanks.

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Using this topic as a general discussion of soup cooked at home:

I bought an organic Blue Ballet winter squash at market this weekend. As a variety of Hubbard squash, the Blue Ballet could either be very bland or extremely flavorful according to what I've read and I was being optimistic. Yes, Zora, I know you favor kabocha and I love them, too, but I have faith in the farm and just wanted to try something new. Blue Ballet? Couldn't resist.

Roasted it while prepping a vegetable broth with leek greens, bay leaf, carrot, potato skin, the scrapings from within the squash, parsley and peels from a celery root plus S&P and a little olive oil.

Stewed leeks w white onion in butter w bay leaf and some butter. Thyme. White wine to cook down. Celery root (just half) and broth w a little apple cider. Added squash.

Gorgeous puréed. Lovely texture. Pretty bland, though. Celery root would have overpowered the soup had I used the whole thing.

I could zing it all with lime juice when I reheat it for meals, but I'm looking for other ideas to bring out the flavor ( :( ) or compensate for lack thereof.

Thanks.

Wow, I was surprised that this soup turned out bland because my mouth was watering as I read the recipe! My thoughts-add a teaspoon or so of tomato paste for depth, and a pinch of chili pepper flakes (after puree) to "wake it up".

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Using this topic as a general discussion of soup cooked at home:

I bought an organic Blue Ballet winter squash at market this weekend. As a variety of Hubbard squash, the Blue Ballet could either be very bland or extremely flavorful according to what I've read and I was being optimistic. Yes, Zora, I know you favor kabocha and I love them, too, but I have faith in the farm and just wanted to try something new. Blue Ballet? Couldn't resist.

Roasted it while prepping a vegetable broth with leek greens, bay leaf, carrot, potato skin, the scrapings from within the squash, parsley and peels from a celery root plus S&P and a little olive oil.

Stewed leeks w white onion in butter w bay leaf and some butter. Thyme. White wine to cook down. Celery root (just half) and broth w a little apple cider. Added squash.

Gorgeous puréed. Lovely texture. Pretty bland, though. Celery root would have overpowered the soup had I used the whole thing.

I could zing it all with lime juice when I reheat it for meals, but I'm looking for other ideas to bring out the flavor ( :( ) or compensate for lack thereof.

Thanks.

Just last week I also had a squash-centric vegetable soup turn out to be silent on the flavor set. I, too, tried punching it up with cider vinegar, but it still fell flat. After adding in some fresh thyme and black pepper, I finally resorted to something shocking...something brutal...something anathema to all things veggie soup.

I added a two teaspoons of Penzey's chicken soup base.

Instant transformation! The vegetables magically emerged with their intended flavor intact, and the final pureed soup a smash hit (squash hit?).

Cheating, I know, big time. But it worked.

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Lots of good ideas, and KM, I am not so shocked. I like chicken stock in vegetable soups, too.

I forgot I have some ginger root that was too pricey to waste, something that came to mind after reading Joe's post, though I think a strip of bacon would crumble nicely into the center. A chili in adobe would marry Monavano's suggestion to dcs's. Thanks!

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I find that winter squash soup always seems to want some additional sweetness--more or less, depending on the basic sweetness of the squash itself. I love Hubbard squashes, by the way-- I love the way they look as part of my Fall veg cornucopia. When it gets around time to cook them, however, they are invariably not so flavorful. What I often do to give any roasted squash soup added depth of flavor is to include a pear. You could also use apple, which I can't because of an allergy. Or cider. Or some honey, Grated citrus zest, either orange or lemon. A little fruit vinegar. Ginger would definitely help. A touch of curry powder--not too much. Some cayenne. A garnish of toasted pumpkin seeds or a little drizzle of roasted pumpkin seed oil or roasted almond oil. Creme fraiche or Greek yogurt. Next time, keep blue squash for home decor and make soup with a butternut, a buttercup or a kabocha... :(

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Despite 40-degree temperatures, rain, grey skies and all that kept Lola007 away :( , Chef Kevin Villalovos (Cure) and a cheerful woman from his line spent two hours at the farmers market ladling butternut squash soup from a black Cocotte (Staub---envy!!!) to shoppers passing by. What I loved best about his recipe: a sage-pepito pesto as garnish, the former flavor enhanced by sautéing, I believe. Worth replicating.

Also, I have to admit the buttery taste of the soup is something I miss in the version I prepped this week. I remember a heavenly soup whose ingredients were simply butternut (yes, again) squash, cream, butter, salt and water.

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Despite 40-degree temperatures, rain, grey skies and all that kept Lola007 away :( , Chef Kevin Villalovos (Cure) and a cheerful woman from his line spent two hours at the farmers market ladling butternut squash soup from a black Cocotte (Staub---envy!!!) to shoppers passing by. What I loved best about his recipe: a sage-pepito pesto as garnish, the former flavor enhanced by sautéing, I believe. Worth replicating.

Also, I have to admit the buttery taste of the soup is something I miss in the version I prepped this week. I remember a heavenly soup whose ingredients were simply butternut (yes, again) squash, cream, butter, salt and water.

It sounds like I missed quite a treat, Anna! Thanks for the update and lovely soup description. Today I'm in Chevy Chase in search of good soup in between client meetings...:P

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Adapted this recipe for North African Cauliflower Soup from a Moosewood cookbook.

Using an enormous Cheddar cauliflower (i.e., bright orangey-yellow), I also substituted a generous mirepoix for the veg boullion (or the chicken stock I normally add), sautéeing chopped, fresh gingerroot along with the other spices while softening the onions.

Sweet potatoes replaced white.

After blending the soup, I found the purée was too thick despite increasing water and throwing in a little leftover roasted beef stock. So last night I decided to mix White Miso paste into hot water to thin soup before squeezing a wedge of lemon over the bowl. Worked very well.

Highly recommend using this color cauliflower for soup. Kids might appreciate purple; what Jim of Anchor Nursery calls "Monkey-vomit green" cauliflower would sound fun but look pretty much like fresh pea soup.

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This year's turkey soup:

Stock prepped the day before & skimmed; made w lots of leek greens frozen last week, some fresh turkey added to leftover roasted meat on bones.

Sofrito: carrot, celery, unpeeled sunchoke and garlic clove, all minced, sautéed in olive oil. Highly recommend the sunchoke; could actually smell it despite cold.

To stock: more fresh turkey, thighs, meat taken off bone after 45-60 mins. and returned to pot at end. Celery root. Half butternut squash. Sunchoke. Turnip. Parsnips. Sautéed leeks. Savoy cabbage. Minced parsley.

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From one of the "Truffles" threads:

Start with French Laundry mushroom stock, then add dried porcinis, chanterelles, golden oyster, hen-of-the-woods, and a few shiitake. Cook down in stock, then whiz in a blender until the motor starts smoking. (If you're feeling masochistic, run it through a tamis.) Finish with cream, then serve hot with a generous shaving of black truffles. Almost the essence of funk.

Add whatever mushrooms you can get to the varieties I mentioned - the more the merrier. Add a little dollop of creme fraiche on top in addition to the truffles. I'll be making this again to take to a fancy dinner party on the 19th.

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