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(The Kitchn)   Fark Food Thread: What makes a good soup? Is your go-to soup hearty or lighter fare? Have a tried-and-true recipe or do you just use whatever's handy? Help keep us warm now and all year long with your recipes   ( divider line
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947 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Jan 2014 at 5:00 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2014-01-16 05:24:45 PM  
I make a killer potato leek soup. I also make the best borscht a non-Russian could possibly make, but I don't know if that counts as soup, since it's not called soup. Is it more like stew? Can we talk about stew in this thread? Or chowdah? Is there a consensus on this?
2014-01-16 05:25:54 PM  
Loooove a good tortilla soup in cold weather. It's highly variable though. Some restaurants have an amazing, well-rounded and viscous gold. Some restaurants that are otherwise good seem to make it by throwing all the primary ingredients in a pot of water and leaving it at that.

Haven't been able to nail down a good home recipe yet, the closest I get is a chunky stewy mess that's good but not really homogenized at all.
2014-01-16 05:25:56 PM  

Old_Chief_Scott: vudukungfu: Old_Chief_Scott: My all time favorite is to get some smoked ham hocks and render them down for the stock. Once you get them simmering for several hours the meat (which there is a surprising amount of) will strip off easily. Add beans. Sometimes I do those 15 bean packages, then add a couple of onions to the pot about 30 minutes before serving.

Isnt' that farking hoppin john?

OK, looked up Hoppin John and it is not Hoppin John because there is no rice in it.

It's not a soup, but to avoid confusion...

My Hoppin John recipe (or as close to it as I can write down):

1lb dried black-eyed peas, soaked in water overnight (you can also do the trick where you cover them with water and boil them, then reduce to simmer for about an hour)

1 large-ish yellow onion, diced

Several pieces of bacon (4 or 5 strips), or jowl bacon, diced (or at least cut into small strips)

Chicken stock

Black pepper


Fry the bacon in a dutch oven until nice and crispy, getting a little bit of nice bacon fond in the pot. Set aside the bacon and remove all but a tablespoon or so of the fat. Saute the onion in the fat. Diced bell pepper isn't a sin. Garlic is always good, too. Deglaze with a bit of the chicken stock, then add the beans. Add enough stock so you can see it in the beans, but not so much that they're covered or soupy. This takes a bit of practice, but you can always shoot a little low and add more as it cooks to get the right consistency (which is soft and not dry, but not watery).

Season heavily with black pepper. Pepper is a primary flavor in hoppin john. Add a dash of cayenne if you like things a little spicy, but don't go overboard.

Bring to a simmer. Stir in about half of the crispy bacon. Cover and simmer. Make sure it's not getting dry by adding some chicken stock if it needs it, you don't want to burn anything here.

Continue simmering for at least an hour. Stir during this process, taste, adjust seasoning.

Serve over white rice, or mix the rice in. The beans should be a little saucy, and the rice will cut the richness, so don't go overboard on seasoning the rice beforehand or fancying it up with more stock. Top with a little bit of the remaining bacon and maybe some green onion if you like. Chopped parsley never hurts.
2014-01-16 05:26:21 PM  
lots of meat
2014-01-16 05:26:32 PM  
I like to add a quarter cup of uncooked basmati rice 30 minutes before the soup is done. A quarter cup is more than enough. It swells.

If I have butt ends of vegetables I can't use, I toss a few of them in boiling water, let them boil for a few minutes, then take them out and start making soup.

It's like a bouquet garni but without strings. Plus I don't tend to use herbs--mostly asparagus or spinach ends, leek greens, etc.
2014-01-16 05:26:37 PM  
Water. You can't make soup without it.
2014-01-16 05:26:58 PM  
and wiskey
2014-01-16 05:27:01 PM  

Captain James T. Smirk: I make a killer potato leek soup. I also make the best borscht a non-Russian could possibly make, but I don't know if that counts as soup, since it's not called soup. Is it more like stew? Can we talk about stew in this thread? Or chowdah? Is there a consensus on this?

That was going to be my next submission here.  Nothing like hot beet soup with sour cream and rye bread.
2014-01-16 05:27:29 PM  
Anyone with a molecule of Greek ancestry is about to spit and curse my name, but this is my easy version of avgolemono.  I travel a lot and spend weeks at a time in tiny hotel rooms with barely adequate kitchens.  I needed a way to make this that I could do while on the road.

Avgolemono Soup

  2 tablespoons  olive oil
   1 cup  onion -- chopped
  5 cups  chicken stock
  1 cup  water
  1/2 cup  orzo -- cooked
  1 pound  boneless skinless chicken breast -- chopped
    salt - to taste
  3 tablespoons  lemon juice
  3 eggs

Sweat onion in olive oil until translucent
Add stock, water, onions and orzo to a stock pot and bring to a low simmer
Add chicken and simmer until chicken is cooked through
Test the broth for salt, seasoning as needed
In a heatproof mixing bowl, whisk eggs until yolks lighten in color
Add lemon juice to eggs while whisking
Slowly temper eggs by adding a ladleful of hot broth while whisking.
Remove soup from heat, whisk egg mixture into soup
Serve immediately
2014-01-16 05:30:42 PM  

Honest Bender: First you're gonna need a stone.

Up until a few weeks ago, I would have had no clue what this meant.
2014-01-16 05:31:39 PM  
Slow cooker soups are the savior of family weeknights when everyone is in and out of the house on their own wild and crazy agendas.  Everyone can just get a bowl of hot soup when they slow down enough to notice they're hungry.

Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup

4 boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped
2 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 zucchini, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans enchilada sauce
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup masa corn flour
1 1/2 cups water

Add everything to slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, salsa, etc.
2014-01-16 05:31:50 PM  

AngryDragon: Captain James T. Smirk: I make a killer potato leek soup. I also make the best borscht a non-Russian could possibly make, but I don't know if that counts as soup, since it's not called soup. Is it more like stew? Can we talk about stew in this thread? Or chowdah? Is there a consensus on this?

That was going to be my next submission here.  Nothing like hot beet soup with sour cream and rye bread.

As offensive as it may be to purists, I don't add the sour cream dollop after it's done, at least not on my own bowl. I can't stand the stuff. However, I totally agree on the rye bread. There's a bakery near here that makes a really delicious rye, I always buy a good-sized loaf when I make borscht, and while I'm eating I just tear chunks out of it like a savage.
2014-01-16 05:33:53 PM  
Portuguese Caldo Verde

This is best if you can make it with homemade portuguese sausage - longaniza, which are skinny and have extra rosemary.  If you can't find longaniza, then use a chicken&garlic sausage or a sweet italian sausage, and put 1/2 tsp dried rosemary in the broth.

1/2 pound sausage, sliced on the diagonal about 1/4" thick.
1 onion, diced
1 pound kale, stemmed, washed, and chopped
3 quarts chicken stock
2 cans white beans (drained and rinsed), or 1 cup dried white beans cooked until al dente, then drained and rinsed (the easiest way to do this is overnight in a slow-cooker)
1 carrot, peeled and sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, crushed

Preheat the chicken stock
In a frying pan, saute the sausage slices in a little olive oil until they are just starting to brown.
Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, sweat the onion and carrot in olive oil until they start to soften.
Transfer the sausage to the soup pot, and add the stock and beans.
In the frying pan, cook the kale and garlic in small batches in olive oil, just until the kale turns bright green. Do not let the garlic scorch!
Transfer each batch of kale & garlic to the soup pot.
After everything is in the soup pot, turn the heat down to a simmer, cover loosely, and cook about 45 minutes. Keep your eyes on it that it doesn't boil strongly.  Don't overcook, as the kale will lose it's color and texture.
Serve hot with some crusty bread.
2014-01-16 05:34:28 PM  
I make a handful of soups during the winter.

Chicken or turkey noodle with drop dumplings

Roasted butternut squash

Roasted vegetable

Split pea and ham

Buffalo cauliflower

French onion

Potato leek
2014-01-16 05:36:01 PM  
My all time favourite soup.


 Recipe By     :
 Serving Size  : 6    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Soups                            Meats

   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    3       lg           Onion
    1       tb           Peanut oil
    5       lb           Beef & chicken bones, meaty
    4                    Ginger slice -- julienned
    2                    Carrot -- julienned
    1       sm           Cinnamon stick
    1                    Star anise
    2                    Cloves, whole
    1       t            Peppercorn, black -- whole
    2                    Garlic clove -- smashed
      1/2   lb           Fresh bean sprouts
      1/2   lb           Beef sirloin -- sliced very
                         -thin across grain, bitesize
    1                    Scallion -- finely sliced
      1/4   c            Cilantro -- chopped
    4                    Chiles serranos -- sliced
                         -(wimps only devein them)
    2                    Lime -- cut into wedges
    8       oz           Rice sticks, soaked in hot
                          -- water for 30 minutes
                          -- drained
    3       tb           Nuoc mam
                         Fresh black pepper to taste

   Slice 2 of the onions into 1/4 inch slices. Heat 1
   Tbsp oil in a frying pan. Add the sliced onion, and
   cook, stirring, until the outside has browned. Remove
   and drain. Slice the remaining onion into paper-thin
   slices and set aside.

   Rinse the bones and place in a stockpot. Cover with
   cold water. Bring slowly to a boil. Reduce heat and
   simmer, uncovered. For a clear broth skim off foam.
   After 10 - 15 minutes, add browned onion and ginger,
   carrots, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves,
   garlic and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Simmer the
   stock, partially covered for 6 to 12 hours, skimming
   regularly. If necessary add more water to keep the
   bones covered. Strain the stock, skim off, and discard
   any fat.

   At serving time, arrange the sliced beef on a platter.
   Garnish with reserved white and green onion. On
   another platter, arrange the bean sprouts, coriander,
   chiles and limes. Meanwhile, plunge the rice sticks in
   boiling water to heat. Drain. Place equal portions in
   each soup bowl. Cover to keep warm. Heat beef stock to
   boiling. Season with fish sauce and pepper. Pour into
   a soup tureen or chafing dish. At the table, place the
   soup on a portable warmer to keep hot. Offer each
   guest a bowl of warm rice noodles. Each diner adds
   some beef and onion to a bowl. Ladle the hot stock
   over the meat, stirring to cook the meat. Add the bean
   sprouts, coriander, chiles, and lime to taste. Enjoy
   with chopsticks and a soup spoon.

   Optional: pass fresh basil leaves, coriander,
   additional chilies, fish sauce and ground peanuts at
   the table.
2014-01-16 05:37:29 PM  

Captain James T. Smirk: I make a killer potato leek soup. I also make the best borscht a non-Russian could possibly make, but I don't know if that counts as soup, since it's not called soup. Is it more like stew? Can we talk about stew in this thread? Or chowdah? Is there a consensus on this?

The Russians are funny about soup names.  Russian cabbage soup (schee) is not soup either, it's schee.  I think it's really a cultural-historic thing, not anything with a culinary basis.  They lived on schee and borscht so much that those things just became a category unto themselves.
2014-01-16 05:37:35 PM  
OK. One large can Progresso or Campbells tomato soup. The fancy stuff. Throw in one can diced potatoes. Drained. Now add about 10 to 12 ounces of canned clams. Do not drain the clams. Add some Old Bay. Simmer till it thickens add some salt and or pepper to taste and don't forget the Goldfish crackers.
2014-01-16 05:38:02 PM  
My new favorite soup is

1 lg sweet onion, rough chop
2-4 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 T olive oil


Add 1 lg bunch of kale, stemmed
1 container of baby spinach
Bunch of broccoli florets, stems if you like
1 celery heart, rough chopped
Handful each of fresh parsley & mint

Stir and let wilt a bit, cover with water, add salt to preference and let simmer till purée-able. Purée with immersion blender. Add a can of unsweetened coconut milk (full or low fat, whatever you like), salt and pepper if needed.

Really yummy. I likes garlic, so I make mine with 4 cloves.
2014-01-16 05:39:36 PM  
Damn, now I need borscht. I hate these threads, they always make me hungry for things I don't have the ingredients to make.
2014-01-16 05:39:42 PM  

Mirrorz: I don't care much for soup.

I guess I could chew up a few bites of hamburger and take a swig of Dr. Pepper.
That's kind of soupy.

That made me throw up in my mouth a little for some reason
2014-01-16 05:39:59 PM  
No soup with this heat in California. But I do like a good homemade chicken soup as others have described.
2014-01-16 05:41:04 PM  

Roasted red pepper and smoked gouda soup.

6 red peppers roasted under a broiler
1 medium can crushed roasted tomatoes
1 small onion and 1 clove garlic minced and sauteed in a little olive oil
chicken stock

blend and throw into a sauce pan, then take smoked gouda and chop it up in a food processor until it's just little bits and sprinkle into the soup a little at a time.
2014-01-16 05:41:14 PM  
I personally love the cheap-ass/easy/fast clam chowder I make when I'm missing Rhode's not sexy homemade chowda but it suffices.
Sautee 1/2 cup chopped onion and 1/2 cup chopped celery in some butter.
Add in 1 can of condensed New England clam chowder, 1 can cream of potato, 1 can cream of celery, 6.5oz can chopped clams, and 4 cups half & half.
Throw in 2-3 chopped, parboiled potatoes, then add a buttload of black pepper(that's what I do anyway). Let it heat through until it only just starts to simmer. Aww yeeah. Freezes well, too.
2014-01-16 05:41:53 PM  

Gonz: IF you're making your own chicken stock, find an ethnic grocery in your area and buy feet. Throw a few in your stockpot, freeze the rest. I believe the traditional ratio was around two per carcass, but three will thicken up a full pot really well.

When you take the stock out of the fridge the next day, you'll notice a difference. Chicken Jell-o.

Ran across this a few weeks back.  Now if only there was a reliable source of chicken feet closer than an hour's drive from my house...
2014-01-16 05:42:10 PM  
Rice is a great base in a soup: it gives body and texture.  Here's a good use of it:


8 carrots, sliced (2 cups)
2 medium onions, sliced
3-4 stalks celery sliced, with leaves
3 cups chicken stock
2 tsp. salt
pinch cayenne
1 cup cooked rice
1 ½ cup milk

Place carrots, onion, celery and 1 cup chicken stock in saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat.  Simmer 15 minutes.
Transfer above ingredients to food processor.  Add salt, cayenne and rice.  Process with metal blade on high until mixture is very smooth.  Remove to pan and blend in remaining stock and milk with wire whisk.  Heat to serving temperature.

Serves: 8

With samosas, you have a perfect meal!
2014-01-16 05:46:11 PM  
Oh, and here's a trick for July and August when you have zucchini coming out your ears.

Quarter, seed, and grill those leftover squash. Grill a couple of onions too.

Let them cool, then throw them in a blender or food processor with some cold water and puree.  Freeze in 2-cup portions.

When you're ready to make vegetable soup in the winter, combine that puree with stock and you have a great soup-starter.
2014-01-16 05:46:50 PM  
2014-01-16 05:47:37 PM  
Onion Soup

3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs flour
3 onions sliced thin
1 qt beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp sage
1 cup vermouth
1/2 cup brandy (optional)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

dry bread rounds, emmenthaler cheese, parmesan cheese

saute the onions and sugar in the butter until golden brown (the longer this takes the better so adjust heat accordingly)
add salt and flour
reduce heat a bit; whisk sauteed onions in the flour until the flour is well-blended
add stock, bay, wine, and sage
bring to a boil then reduce heat until it simmers
put rounds of bread into a baking dish with emmenthaler
add soup to baking dish
sprinkle with parmesan
put soup dish under the broiler until the parmesan lightly browns
serve with a couple of tsp of brandy in each bowl (optional)
2014-01-16 05:48:14 PM  
Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash, diced
1 big onion, chopped
1 big can small white beans.  Whatever you like.  Drain and rinse.
couple stalks of leftover celery and/or carrots and/or a red pepper, if you have them, diced
1 pound sweet italian sausage, browned.
1 quart chicken broth
2-3 bay leaves
black pepper to taste

Brown the sausage.  Really brown.  Pretend you're making crispy bacon brown.  If you had to buy links, peel off skin and flatten them in the pan when you brown them.  Drain well.  Cut up into small pieces if necessary.

Sweat onion in stew pot in a little oil.  Then dump everything into the pot and bring to boil, then down to simmer.  Simmer for 20-30 min until squash is tender.  Serve with crusty bread.  Garlic bread even better.

If you want a more developed flavor, add everything EXCEPT the squash and simmer 30 min.  Then add squash and simmer another 20 or so.
2014-01-16 05:50:42 PM  

hubiestubert: My favorite sick time soup was taught to me by a wee Puerto Rican sous chef. He called it "Bring Back the Dead" soup.

It is simple enough to do a la minute. And in fact, it's best done to order, and served immediately.

1t chopped garlic
1T chopped shallot
5-6 peeled and deveined Tiger shrimp
3T chopped fresh tomato
2t fresh chopped parsley
1t crushed red pepper
1 lime--juice and zest from half
1 C chicken stock
Splash of white wine to deglaze pan
Chopped scallion to taste as garnish, and for the onion goodness

Sauté garlic and shallot in light oil for about a minute, the sear shrimp, turn, then deglaze with white wine. Add tomato, chicken stock, lime juice, crushed red pepper, and bring to a boil. When soup reaches a rolling boil, toss in lime zest and parsley, stir for a moment to help release the citrus oils, salt and pepper to taste, and then pour into serving bowl, and garnish with fresh scallion. Done. Cook time is fair quick in a standard sauté pan, and takes less than five minutes.

You have protein from the shrimp and stock, citrus from the lime, and loads of flavor and a scent that will penetrate even the most stubborn of head colds, and enough hot pepper to help penetrate said fog and loosen up stuffy noses. It is also a damn effective hangover cure.

Even on a busy line, the ingredients are easy to have on hand, and it's what I feed waitstaff and cooks alike when they feel under the weather or are just feeling the effects of a bender. It is marvelous stuff.

Saving this one.  It sounds delicious, and it's something I can do while traveling--all of the ingredients look easy to come by.
2014-01-16 05:54:35 PM  

Seacop: Roasted red pepper and smoked gouda soup.

6 red peppers roasted under a broiler
1 medium can crushed roasted tomatoes
1 small onion and 1 clove garlic minced and sauteed in a little olive oil
chicken stock

blend and throw into a sauce pan, then take smoked gouda and chop it up in a food processor until it's just little bits and sprinkle into the soup a little at a time.

I am going to eat this.

Yes. Yes I am.
2014-01-16 05:54:55 PM  
I really really want to make and try Burgoo. Seems like all the recipes I find make like 10 gallons though. Don't need that much, obviously.
2014-01-16 05:55:22 PM  
Open a can of Progresso, put it in a microwave safe bowl, nuke for 2 minutes and enjoy with some crackers or garlic bread.

/seriously though their Chicken Pot Pie soup is pretty decent.
2014-01-16 05:55:37 PM  
My wife makes an awesome tortilla soup.

No, I don't know how she makes it.

/this is a bookmark.
2014-01-16 05:59:27 PM  

Purelilac: One rotisserie chicken carcass
half an onion
hacked up carrot
Any leftover or wilting veggies you have around.
Salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, parsley, poultry seasoning, half a bay leaf

Simmer for an hour. Strain.

Throw in chicken, veggies, noodles or whatever and eat it.

Haven't eaten much soup this joke of a winter.

damn, didn't expect to find my recipe so soon in this thread.

rotisserie chicken carcass (I'm partial to the seasoned rotisserie chicken)
3 carrots
3 celery stalks
hot sauce
one package of Success rice (or any kind of rice that boils in ~ 10 minutes)
Swanson chicken stock, maybe 2 boxes will do.  Reduced sodium products can be used if you're queasy about salt intake

Boil the carcass, I used to employ plain water.  Next time I do it, I'm using chicken stock instead of water, though.  Simmer for an hour.  Let it cool for a couple, three hours (I can handle hot stuff but not greasy hot liquids.)  Strain.  Pick the meat off the bones, set aside.  Chop up 3 peeled carrots and 3 celery stalks, set aside.  Bring broth to boil, put in veggies. after 10 minutes, put in success rice and cook 10 more minutes.  Veggies should be al dente and rice cooked perfect.  Add chicken and several drops of favorite hot sauce.

Mmm, now I'm hungry
2014-01-16 06:01:40 PM  

maddman: I make a lot of soup

Use stock instead of lots of water

THIS.  Homemade stock will contain a fair amount of gelatin, which both thickens the soup and gives it great mouthfeel.  I go so far as to use beef bone broth (like stock, but simmered for 24 hrs) to maximize the gelatin and minerals) in recipes that call for beef stock.For some quick gelatin, add 1-2 chicken feet (found at Asian grocery stores) to the soup as it cooks.
2014-01-16 06:03:28 PM  
Go-to: Campbell's cream of mushroom soup. Shut up.

With accompaniment: tomato soup/or bisque (with obligatory grilled "cheese" (Kraft) sandwich).

Warm up after being out in the cold: potato soup, thick.

I dig my mom's potato soup with ribals (or however they're spelt).
2014-01-16 06:05:03 PM  
I'm trying to learn how to make soups.
I've been happy with my results with butternut squash, french onion, and tomato basil soups.
Still having trouble with lighter soups, though.  My chicken noodle was bullshiat.
2014-01-16 06:05:26 PM
2014-01-16 06:05:52 PM  
Silly question: these threads pop up routinely; has anyone tried another Farker's recipe? Success? "OMGhowcouldyoueatthis?" Does anyone compile a book of "The Best of Fark Food Threads" recipes?
2014-01-16 06:05:55 PM  
My new soup this winter is Giadia DeLaurentiss' winter minestrone soup, made with beef bone broth (see comment above), grated parmesan (economical) and sweet potato instead of russet potato to lower the carb count and provide a slightly sweeter flavor.
2014-01-16 06:08:03 PM  
Does chili count as a soup?
It does in one my Junior League of Denver cookbooks.
2014-01-16 06:08:16 PM  
French Onion Soup

5 lbs. onions
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 t. pepper, freshly ground
2T. Paprika
2 bay leaves
7 (16 oz.) cans beef broth, divided  (I use Better than Bouillon for the beef broth)
1 c. dry white wine
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 baguette
Swiss cheese

Peel onions and slice 1/8" thick.
Melt butter in a 6qt. or larger stockpot. Add onions; cook, uncovered, over low heat for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
(The long cooking time makes them mellow and sweet.) Stir in pepper, paprika, and bay leaves, sauté over low heat 10 minutes more, stirring frequently.
Pour in 6 cans broth and wine. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
Dissolve flour in 1 remaining can of broth. Stir into boiling soup.
Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.  Cool and refrigerate overnight.
Reheat soup and pour into ovenproof crocks. Top with slice of baguette and Swiss cheese.  Place under broiler until cheese is melted. Serve.
2014-01-16 06:09:37 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: Silly question: these threads pop up routinely; has anyone tried another Farker's recipe? Success? "OMGhowcouldyoueatthis?" Does anyone compile a book of "The Best of Fark Food Threads" recipes?

I have. It was last year and some kind of crock pot think. Can't remember exactly and unfortunately didn't save it. I do remember it was awesome though.

/wish I could remember and find it again
2014-01-16 06:17:00 PM  
My favorite chicken soup:

2 T. Butter or extra virgin olive oil
2 cups celery, chopped.
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
2 cups carrot, chopped
2 T. garlic, minced
1 cup green pepper, chopped
2 cups russet potato, peeled and chopped
1 can stewed tomatoes, chopped
1 whole chicken, rinsed and innards removed
1 cup ditalini pasta
Pinch of fresh chopped rosemary
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat butter/oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering and add celery, onion, carrot, and garlic.  Stir well, cover and let cook until vegetables start to become translucent.  Add green pepper, potatoes, tomatoes, stir well to combine, and set whole chicken on top.  Add water to 1" below the top of the chicken.  Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer until the chicken is fully cooked through.  Remove chicken from pot and set aside, uncovered, to cool, and turn the heat back up to medium-high, uncover, and let boil.  Once the chicken cool enough to handle (but still warm) remove wings, legs, thighs, breasts, and oysters, picking meat from all and setting aside on a plate.  You can shred the meat by hand or chop it up (I prefer shredding into 1" long thin pieces).  Discard skin and bones.  Before adding the chicken to the soup, partially mash the vegetables in the pot with a potato masher to thicken.  Add chicken, rosemary, salt & pepper to taste, and ditalini.  Remove from heat and set aside covered; the pasta will absorb some of the water.

As an aside, one of my favorite things to do with this soup is to make little heaps of shredded parmesean and romano cheese on a greased cookie sheet, bake it until they are melted and slightly crispy, and put the flat cheese "chips" at the bottom of a bowl before covering with hot chicken soup.
2014-01-16 06:24:42 PM  
Passed on by a co-worker.  I roasted the butternut instead of using microwave - gave it a whole different dimension.

Butternut Squash Soup

2½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch chunks (about 7 cups )
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 leek, white and green parts only, quartered lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly (about 1½ cups )
Salt and pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
1 - 2 cups water
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
pinch cayenne pepper
Sour cream

1. Place squash in bowl, cover, and microwave until paring knife glides easily through flesh, 14 to 18 minutes, stirring halfway through. Carefully transfer squash to colander set in bowl (squash will be very hot ) and drain for 5 minutes; reserve liquid.

2. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, leek, and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until squash pieces begin to break down and brown fond forms in bottom of pot, 10 to 13 minutes.

3. Add 2 cups broth and scrape bottom of pot to loosen and dissolve fond. Add remaining 2 cups broth, reserved squash liquid, 1 cup water, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and cayenne. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until leeks are fully tender, 6 to 7 minutes.

4. Remove and discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Working in batches, process soup in blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return soup to clean pot and bring to simmer, thinning with up to 1 cup water to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve with dollop of sour cream.
2014-01-16 06:25:07 PM  
Soak two cups of soldier beans overnight.
Simmer a small to medium picnic shoulder for a couple of hours with a couple of bay leaves. Remove. Skim most of the fat and use for whatever. Add a couple of crushed chopped garlic cloves, a couple each of carrots and onions, celery if desired. Add drained beans, cover and simmer. In the meantime, cut sandwich slices from the picnic shoulder, leaving whatever seems right to go back into the soup. Course chop ham left over and add. Season with black pepper. The longer it simmers the thicker it will get as the beans break down. If the soup is too salty, peel and quarter a large potato and add while simmering. Serve with Italian bread.
2014-01-16 06:33:04 PM  
I've got two go to soups, depending on what's in the pantry:

LoneCoon's French Onion Soup:
2.5lbs Onions
2 tsb butter
1/4 Cup flour
1 tsp sugar
2 quarts beef stock/ bullion
French bread
Mild White cheese (Provolone, Groue, etc)

French or ring your onions,
Sweat your onions in butter for at least 20 minutes in a covered dish.
Add flour and sugar to onions, mix vigourously.
Add 2 quarts stock / bouillon, simmer for 1 hour.
Before serving, toast bread, and break into chunks.
Top with cheese and Broil for 3 minutes.

And the other is Alton Brown's Potato Leek Soup
2014-01-16 06:33:48 PM  
One way I found to doctor up store bought chicken broth:
1)      Heat 1 or more quarts of chicken broth in a pot to simmering.
2)      Add Chicken bones from last night's chicken. Leave the tendons, cartilage and other connecting tissue on.
3)      Add 10-20 whole peppercorns
4)      Smash a couple cloves of garlic with your knife, peel away the paper and toss them in
5)      Add any non-leafy veggies that are on the verge of getting tossed out. Semi-limp celery, carrots, parsnips, etc.
6)      Add a cup or two of water

Simmer for 45 minutes, strain out the solids and use the broth for anything  that calls for Chicken Stock. The broth will be richer, thicker, and the color much deeper yellow. All from simmering with stuff I was probably going to throw away anyway!
2014-01-16 06:34:06 PM  
A good way to make some excellent stock when using carcass/bones is to let it boil for a few hours, adding water every once and awhile. When the broth turns cloudy, that's when you have all the treasure out of the carcass, especially with poultry. Add some celery, an onion, a carrot, and some thyme during the boiling, and you'll have a badass stock.

/can't wait to make some chowder this weekend, or maybe some potato onion cream soup
//maybe Moravian poultry pie if I feel really ambitious!
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