Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spiced Parsnip Soup

Fran Stearns Memorial Bridge

Over the bridge and through the woods to the parsnip patch we went.

The weather was rainy in the high 40's and which made digging the parsnips easy even though it was cold and messy. My souper hubby Eric did the hard work while I picked up and cleaned the parsnips. I have not done much cooking with parsnips, but my mother wanted us to grow them in our garden. You just plant them in the spring and after the ground has been frozen in the winter, you can then dig this vegetable. We dug them in the fall and took them over to my mother, our parsnip expert, but she said to leave them for the winter dig - they were too tough and did not have the good flavor. The pioneers planted parsnips so when their food supply became sparse in the winter, they could go and dig them. For sure, we will plant parsnips this year, after tasting the tantalizing flavor of this soup with the garnish of garlic and mustard seed. This is so easy to make with only a few ingredients. Enjoy and savor the taste!

Spiced Parsnip Soup - Souper Sarah

from - The Soup Bible - Debra Mayhew

This pale, creamy-textured soup is given a special touch with an aromatic, spiced garlic-and-mustard-seed garnish.

Serves 6
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion,chopped
5 1/2 cusps diced parsnips
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 cups chicken stock
2/3 cup of light half-and-half
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, cut into julienne strips
3 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chopped onion

Parsnip - cleaned and ready to dice.

Diced parsnips

1 - Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the onion and parsnips and fry slowly for about 3 minutes.

2 - Stir in the spices and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the stock, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.

3 - Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes until the parsnips are tender. Cool slightly, then puree with a hand blender until smooth. Add the half-and half and heat through slowly over low heat.

4 - Heat the olive oil in a small pan. Add the julienne strips of garlic and the yellow mustard seeds and fry quickly until the garlic is beginning to brown and the mustard seeds start to pop and splutter. Be careful not to over cook the garlic. Remove from the heat.

5- Ladle the soup into warm soup bowls and pour a little of the hot spice mixture over each. Serve at once.

Oyster crackers are sooo good with this soup!

I changed and tweaked some of the ingredients in this recipe. It was a real adventure this week with digging and trying the different flavors that were used in this recipe. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

I'm going to do a post in the middle of the week with the recipes for the next month and a shopping list. I find it helps when you buy the ingredients ahead of time and are able to make soup at a minutes notice!
Thank you souper Eric for being the photographer and helping with all the editing each week, I couldn't do it without you!
The thought for the week - For the healthiest food, eat close to the source.
Happy souping until we meet again!
Souper Sarah

Monday, January 25, 2010

Leni's White Bean Soup

After a trip to
Snowridge Falls,
you will be ready for
a hot and hearty
country soup.

This week we have our souper grandchildren - Katie, Erin and Dan making Leni's White Bean Soup here. Katie was at a farm in Dordogne, France doing a WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) in exchange for room and board. She made this soup with Leni and thought it was sooo good. The pumpkin flavor just made it a special memory for her. You can read all about Katie and her travels on, she had quite an adventure! You will see wonderful pictures of our soup making process, as we had the professional photographers with us. Dan & Erin have their own business in NYC, so enjoy the pictures. The soup is a true Weight Watcher's dream, with just 55 calories per serving. Once you have tasted this traditional country soup, it will be hard to forget it's satisfying and wholesome flavor.

Leni's White Bean Soup - Souper Katie, Erin, Dan
and Souper Sarah

This is a filling and hearty soup with pronounced flavors of vegetables, a delicious main course for lunch or supper.

Serves 8
2 tablespoons butter
2 stalks celery chopped
2 leeks sliced 3 carrots sliced
1/4 kohlrabi diced
2 cans(14.5)s cannellini beans -- rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons pumpkins
4 cloves garlic diced
5 vegetable bouillon cubes
6 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons fresh parsley -- chopped
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon turmeric
Pepper Dash cayenne pepper

Dan dicing the garlic - smells so good!

Katie working the knife!

Erin slicing the carrots and making it look so easy!

This was my job - chopping the celery.

I had it made with all the soup makers working so hard!!!

Katie with the kohlrabi, I had quite a time finding the right spelling for this vegetable. Here is what the dictionary said - a cabbage of a variety with an edible turnipike swollen stem. I think it is some what like a turnip and has a mild taste. Good for a vegetable dip!

1 - Heat oil in large pan. Add leeks, celery,
carrots, kohlrabi, and garlic along with
thyme,turmeric, parsley. Cook over medium
heat for about 5 minutes, until they are soft.
2 - Add cannellini beans, pumpkin, vegetable bouillon cubs, water, bay leaves and simmer
for 10 minutes.
3 - Season with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper.

4 - Simmer for another 10-15 minutes until vegetables are cooked and seasoned through.

5 - Serve in warm soup bowls.

Erin waiting patiently waiting for soup!!!

Dan served Peruvian blue potatoes with our soup. He cut bite size pieces and put olive oil, salt, and pepper, baking at 400 in the oven. They were so colorful, plus tasty!!!

Sitting down with family and with this great meal was wonderful. What better way to connect!!! I can't thank Katie, Erin, and Dan enough for a great cooking experience! It was sheer fun!

In case you are looking to make something sweet, check out Katie's new blog

Today we celebrate our souper grandson Will's 7th birthday! He and his family will be a guest souper on the blog soon, making Will's favorite - Broccoli Soup.


Happy Birthday Will
I would like to thank my followers. If you have any suggestions, questions or a favorite soup,
just leave a comment and I will get back to you.
A thought for the week - There's no substitute for simple pleasures!
Happy souping until we meet again!
Souper Sarah

Monday, January 18, 2010

Oyster Stew

We have a guest souper with us this week. It is my souper Mom, who has been making this Oyster Stew recipe for over 70 years. She would help her mother make this favorite and continued on with the family tradition, which I made for my children as they were growing up. On Christmas eve every year, this was our treat with family and friends. It is a delicacy and the oysters make this delicious soup really special!

Oyster Stew - Souper Mom/Souper Sarah

This is a hearty stew for warming the heart, can be used for a celebration on a chilly, blustery winter's day.

Serves 6
3 tablespoon butter
4 cups whole milk
5 cups oysters with their juice
dash of cayenne pepper
paprika for sprinkling

1 - Melt 2 tablespoon of butter over medium heat and add the oysters. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the oysters plump up and their edges begin to curl.

2 - Add milk,salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper. Simmer on low 15 - 20 minutes until the oyster flavor has steeped through, being careful not to let it boil. Season to taste.

3 - Have your soup bowls warm and cut the remaining butter into 6 pieces and put one piece in each bowl.

4 - Ladle the oyster soup in and sprinkle paprika.

You can also use a tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp of dried tarragon leaves to garnish. The Cape Cod Oyster crackers are so excellent with the stew!
I loved cooking with my mom this week, she is such a great cook. I learn so much from her, she knows all the little tricks that make cooking so much fun.

Next week, I will have some of our grandchildren who will be making their own recipe for vegetable soup on the blog with me. They are great cooks, so I know you will enjoy.

The thought for the week - If you see someone without a smile, give them yours.!
Happy souping until we meet again!

Souper Sarah

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cheesy Thyme Split Pea Soup

Where has the week gone? I heard on the news - that this winter has been the worst in 25 years, so it is perfect for having soup!

Although, I haven't heard the dinner bell being rung lately, I made a Cheesy Thyme Split Pea Soup and took it over to my daughter's house for lunch. I served this soup with toasted sourdough bread, which had the right flavor to bring the best out of this soup. You will be in for a treat when you try this recipe.

Cheesy Thyme Split Pea Soup - Souper Sarah

Hearty thick and cheesy pea soup which takes on a new taste with sour cream and herbs.

Serves 4-5
1 small pkg of split peas
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoon parsley
2 tablespoon butter
2 boxes of (32 oz each) of chicken broth
2 to 3 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
2 teaspoon sea salt
a dash of cayenne pepper

1- Rinse the peas. Soak for 2 hours in warm water.

2 - Saute onion and celery until soft in butter.

3 - Bring chicken broth to a boil. Drain peas ( saving some liquid for thinning), add peas and
sauteed vegetables.

4 - Simmer, covered for about 1 hour until peas are tender. Add thyme leaves.

5 - Process the soup with a hand blender until smooth.

6 - Reheat soup and thin, if needed.

7 - Add sour cream, cheese, fresh parsley, and salt. Season to taste. Reheat, again and serve in
warmed soup bowls.

I like my Oyster crackers in this soup too! Another garnish that is good, is sourdough croutons and so easy to make. Just preheat your oven to 400. Cut bread in small cubes and place on cookie sheet that has parchment paper on it; brush with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes until golden and crispy. Let cool and store in an airtight container. You can reheat them in the oven before serving.

I first made this soup from "My Great Recipes" cards that I would receive in the mail in the "80's". It was with great anticipation each month to see what exciting recipes would be included. I have tweaked several of the ingredients and added some.

The pictures this week were a challenge, but I think I will breeze through them next week. Speaking of next week, my souper Mom will be here with one of the family favorite!

Happy souping until we meet again!

Souper Sarah

PS: I'm still working on the ingredient spread sheet.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Corn-Potato Chowder

This being the beginning of a new decade, it is time to try old and new soups that give comfort to the soul. January 1st was certainly that type of day (cold weather and relaxing with family). My favorite son-in-law helped setup the blog for me to start my journey this year. He even brought me a case of my favorite Olde Cape Cod Oyster Crackers -Exclusively baked by Westminster. If you haven't tried them, you should - they are crunchy and have been made the same way since 1828 (even our dog Sammy likes them). I made a Corn-Potato Chowder for the family to celebrate the New Year with. There were great comments on it -"You can make this the next time I come here to eat!" So here is my recipe - let me know how you like it.

Corn-Potato Chowder - Souper Sarah

This simple, thick and creamy soup is full of country flavor.

Serves 6-8
3/4 cup diced onion
1 cup diced ham
6 cubed medium potatoes
1 pint corn (I used frozen corn)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1/2 cup half & half
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf
white pepper
dash of cayenne pepper

Heat butter and olive oil in a large soup pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute, until light brown in color.

Add ham, frying and browning the meat. Mix 1 cup chicken broth and cook down to half of the broth.

Add potatoes, bay leaf, salt and rest of chicken broth and bring to a boil,then simmer for 20minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Put corn in and stir around the soup and add the milk,half & half, salt, white pepper,and cayenne pepper; cooking down the liquid to soup consistency. Season to taste.

Let the soup set for 5 minutes before serving.

This will be a weekly blog with some quest soupers who have been an influence on my soup making. Our family is blessed with great cooks, so I'm sure you will find it interesting. An ingredient's spread sheet with each week's entry will let us know what to stock the pantry with. You can tell I like accounting! Hopefully I will have pictures for our next blog.

Happy souping until we meet again!

Souper Sarah