Sunday, October 11, 2015

Those Soups That Turn Out to Be Award Winning....

Soup. The food of Gods. Er, well, maybe not. But, here in this kitchen it's the stuff leftovers are made from. Wait, what?

Stopped at a Whole Foods yesterday (first time ever in a Whole Foods) on the way home from a beautiful hike at Ward Reservation in No. Andover, MA. There were two of us and we were famished after our 5-mile trek that included all kinds of hilly terrain. Along with some delicious-looking, organically grown red seedless grapes and fair-trade chocolate bars, we loaded up on the following:

From the hot bar:

"Curried" Cauliflower: way too dry and terribly made, it turned out. Someone simply sprinkled turmeric-heavy curry powder all over half-raw cauli and served it up in a chafing pan. One bite confirmed what the brain suspected upon scooping (bear in mind, "famished");
Mashed sweet potato "w/ lime": Such a disappointment. Looked great, but so bland and the lime was offputting;
Green beans with garlic: Bland, unseasoned, but snappy;
Red quinoa: soooo dry, and undercooked. Ugh.

From the deli:

Israeli couscous: looked typical, with cranberries and pecans, some bits of scallion. Meh. Mezza-mezza.

Needless to say, we ended up eating a lot of grapes, some potato chips, and chunks of that fair trade dark chocolate (72% cacao with coconut, almonds and sea salt), haha.

So what's this got to do with soup? Well, lemme tell you, in this house, those are primo additions to a thick, unctuous, perfectly seasoned, savory and scrumptious soup. Especially when it just so happens that leftovers from the dinner the night before included:
-roasted chicken (Patridge Farm...huge birds, fantastic breast meat)
-French-braised Tokyo turnips (cream an' butter, folks, cream an' butter) (turnips from Arrowhead Farm; cream & butter from Brandmoore Farm)
-steamed green beans, lightly buttered and salted (Barker's Farm)
-roasted butternut squash (Barker's Farm)
-roasted purple-skin potatoes (Arrowhead Farm)

Broke out my large Dutch oven and sauteed a red onion, chopped, in olive oil, along with the last few stalks of Arrowhead Farm celery, chopped. Cooked until shiny and translucent with a pinch of kosher salt and a quick grind or four of black pepper, then added in that undercooked cauliflower. And the mashed sweet potato.

Once the cauli was softened, in went just enough homemade chicken stock to cover all the veg in the pot. Out came the immersion blender (my favorite "cool" tool), and voila, the thickened base of this soup was ready for more action.

Next went in the green beans, Tokyo turnips (complete with the slightly congealed cream and butter stickin' to 'em), butternut squash and potatoes, all diced. Chicken, too, and a enough additional stock to make for a full pot. After a few stirs and a bit of simmering, in went the Israeli cousous, complete with its cranberries (and a hint of orange zest, I noticed once I had a bite of the soup) and finely chopped pecans. And, of course, the red quinoa, which really shined in this soup (it is a fantastic soup grain, period). Checked for seasoning, it was done. I was happy. And hungry.

Hubby and I each consumed three bowls for dinner (snicker....) So satisfying and nutrient dense, and comforting. Homemade chicken stock...the only way to fly when making soup.


  1. Sounds like even a strenuous hike wasn't enough to overcome unpalatable food, your hearty soup seems a perfect solution!

    1. 'Twas indeed! :) Good to hear from you! I enjoyed your quince post!

  2. Oh man that looks really delicious! Three bowls for dinner! hehe Can't say I blame you :) Looks great.

  3. That looks really delicious and simple which is important!