Friday, February 26, 2010

Crab Bisque

Winter is still with us!

Souper Sister Lucy is here with us, she is the heart of our "VE" family, her family and the church family. If you want something to get started or done, you just call Lucy, and we are calling on her today. She is making one of my father's favorite soup, that he said was delicious, Crab Bisque. Dad would make this soup when friends came over to play cards with them in Florida. This bisque is creamy and flavorful, and not difficult to make. You can eat it cold or hot, so it is a natural soup for Floridians. We New Yorkers served this soup hot with hot popovers and orange/honey butter.


Souper Lucy/Souper Sarah

This recipe is simple and the result is a thick consistency that is rich and flavorful. The sherry makes the soup!


Serves 6-8

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of celery or asparagus soup

2 cups half & half

1 cup sherry

1 can crab meat - 14.5 oz


1 - In a soup pan, add mushroom soup, celery soup, half & half, and sherry. Mix with a whisk until soup is dispersed and thoroughly mixed.

2 - Drain and rise crab meat before adding to soup; then stir.

3 - Season to taste.

4 - If serving the soup hot, bring to serving temperature.

5 - If serving cold, chill for an hour. Chilled soup may need to have more seasoning added than soup that is served hot. Taste and add salt.

Add cream of mushroom soup

Cleaning the soup can out with half & half

Our tester - Mom - the wine is OK to use!

Stirring the soup

Testing the cold soup

Hot popovers - Mom taught us how to make them!

Serve in warm bowls

Good with oyster crackers

Mom's cookies!
Every week when we make soup, Mom always brings her homemade cookies for our tasting event. They are sooo good! Today, we made her famous popovers and they are quite easy to make. The light and fluffy taste was enhanced with the orange and honey butter.
Lucy you are a great cook and it was wonderful cooking with you again (we have cooked together on many church dinners). Here is her advise - always follow the recipe "exactly" the first time you make it, then make your changes. That piece of advise is hard for me to remember, as I have a tendency to change recipes! Lucy will be back on the blog making her favorite White Bean Soup with Mustard Greens. Thank you, Lucy, for being our guest souper.
The thought for the week - Find a few minutes each day to completely unplug!
Happy souping until we meet again!
Souper Sarah

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

Coal House Cafe

Owners - Zsolt Galambos and John Kadar

Entrance of Coal House Cafe

They kept their recipe locked up!!!!

Sign for Chicken Soup W/Matzo Balls

Award winner - you must try their soup!!!

This week we have our Souper Daughter Heather making Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls. Heather has a love for food that goes way back - she was always cooking at home!!. She has owned her own restaurant - Groover's Downstairs Cafe, coffee house - Eat Dessert First and Purity Ice Cream, , so she comes with lots of food experience. Bruce, her husband, took us out for lunch at the Coal House Cafe and we had their famous Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls. Their soup is so delicious that it became the inspiration for making our soup. I found a recipe in Cooking Light - April 2008, that we used as our basis. We changed and tweaked as we cooked. The matzo balls were not easy to make, but the flavor with the ginger and nutmeg is quite delectable. I hope you enjoy this chicken soup with the distinctive matzo balls.

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

Souper Heather/Souper Sarah

This is a must-have soup to start the spring rites. Prepare the broth a day ahead, so it's easier to skim the fat. You can assemble the matzo balls up to a day ahead, too.

Serves 8
1 32 oz box chicken broth
2 quarts water
5 - 6 chicken leg quarters
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon thyme

Vegetables and Herbs:
1 1/2 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion chopped
1 cup parsnips chopped
2 cups carrots chopped
2 cups celery chopped
4 cups finely zucchini chopped
1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
2 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Matzo balls:
1 1/2 cups matzo meal
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites - beat until stiff
1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 - Wash, clean chicken and pat dry.

2 - To prepare broth, combine first 5 ingredients in a large stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce beat, and simmer 2 hours or until chicken falls off the bone. De-bone the chicken and cut into bit size pieces. Cover and chill broth overnight. Skim solidified fat from surface and discard.

Skim solidified fat from surface

Bowl of bite size pieces of chicken

3 - Heat broth over medium heat.

4 - In a large fry pan add butter and oil over medium heat. Add all vegetables except zucchini and stir until soft, about 10 minutes. Add zucchini, dill, parsley and turmeric; stir for 2 minutes and then combine with broth along with chicken pieces. Season to taste. Continue simmering.

Cutting parsnips - Mom favorites!

Add vegetables to a large fry pan

Heather stirring vegetables!

Chicken broth with vegetable simmering

5 - To prepare matzo balls, combine matzo meal, egg yolks, parsley, dill, olive oil, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Fold in beaten egg whites; cover and chill 4 hours or overnight.

Ingredients ready for mixing matzo balls

Matzo balls mix - ready for chilling

6 - Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve piping hot!

We add turmeric to this recipe for it's flavor - distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell and for it's color - golden mustard. In medieval Europe, turmeric became know as Indian Saffron, since it was widely used as an alternative to the far more expensive saffron spice. Turmeric is currently being investigated for possible benefits in Alzheimer's disease, cancer, arthritis, and other clinical. " Wikipedia" I am fascinated with the flavors of herbs and how they intertwine with our health.

It is always fun when Heather and my Mom are cooking here. We had lots of laughs and did all those crazy things that cooks do!!!. Heather has a plan for making Bouillabaisse with us this summer. I checked to see what kind of soup this was and here is what I found out - it is perhaps the most famous of all Mediterranean fish soup. She has made this in New York City at a cooking weekend ( her picture was in New York magazine), so I know it will be good. Thank you Heather for cooking with me again!

The thought for the week -
Rather than just beautifying your skin, nourish it. (Body & Soul - March 2010)

Happy souping until we meet again!
Souper Sarah

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hamburg Soup

Love on the Rocks
Happy Valentine's Day
Today we have with us Souper Sister Johnnie, making her Hamburg Soup. She knows everyone and everyone knows her. She takes her soup to people that are sick or in need of comfort (she is a nurse too). I know first hand, she brought over a big pot of it when we had a death in our family. What a comfort it was to come home after making arrangements to this warming soup. This is a very healthy soup with all the vegetables. A meal in itself and hard to have only one bowl!
Hamburg Soup -
Souper Johnnie/ Souper Sarah

This healthy comforting and delicious soup has the wonderful sweet flavor of vegetables. Its makes a perfect main dish for a chilly evening.

Serves 20
2 pounds ground beef
1 can (48oz) tomato juice
1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
2 cans (14.5oz) diced tomatoes in juice
1 medium onion diced
2 cups celery chopped
2 cups carrots sliced
2 cups green beans 1/4 inch dice
2 cups corn
2 cups cabbage chopped
2 cups mushrooms sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons oregano
2 bay leaves

Browning the beef
1- In a large stock pot, add olive oil and brown the beef. Browning makes the soup have that rich flavor.
2 - Add worcestershire sauce, basil, oregano, garlic powder and bayleaves and stir around 2 minutes.
3 - Add all the vegetables and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours until the vegetables are soft and all the flavors are cooked through. Leave the cover off the stock pot.
Dicing the onions
Where is the potato water?
My mother wants to know why we aren't using potato water in our soup! She always does and claims it adds nutritional value and good flavor to the soup.
Chopped cabbage and celery
Sliced mushrooms

Sliced carrots

Adding diced tomatoes

This is a full stock pot!

Simmering down

4 - Season to taste.
5 - Serve at once.

Healthy soup!


Johnnie had make corn bread to serve with this soup. It was soo good! My family gathered to enjoy this delicious and satisfing soup as a planning session for my Mom's 95th birthday on March 20th. How better to plan than with full tummy!!

Family planning 95th birthday celebration
We had so much fun making much this soup together, just like the old days, thanks Johnnie. Take some time today and cook with your family. I guarantee you will enjoy it!!!
The thought for the week -To eat healthier, try giving yourself the benefit of better choices.
Happy souping until we meet again!
Souper Sarah

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hearty Onion Soup

Dave's Buffalo Herd


You need to eat Hearty Onion Soup
to take care of this herd of buffalos!

This week we have souper brother Dave as our guest, making his Hearty Onion Soup. Dave has been making his soup for many years. Quite often, he would have a family fare and serve it on New Year's eve. This soup is excellent if made the day before and reheated. The flavor just gets better as the days go by!

Hearty Onion Soup

Souper Brother Dave/Souper Sarah

This hearty cold weather soup is nourishing with it's rich beef broth, robust onions and mozzarella cheese .

Serves 8
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 large onions - sliced
3 quarts beef stock base
1 tablespoon Au jus gravy mix "LeGaut"

6 slices Italian bread - toasted and cubed
3 cups mozzarella cheese - shredded

Slice the onions

1 - In a large fry pan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 10-12 minutes until they are soft and beginning to brown. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.


2 - In a small sauce pan, put the onion's trimmings and ends or as Dave calls them "parts and pieces", then cover with water. The onion peels make for a good color in the broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer until beef stock is ready.

3 - Heat beef stock in a stock pot on medium heat. Stir in onions plus the onion stock and bring to a boil.

4 - Add Au jus gravy mix and season to taste. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

5 - Toast the Italian bread and cube.

Bowl of toasted bread cubed

6 - Heat the broiler. Place the soup bowls on cookie sheet and put toasted bread in bottom.

7 - Fill bowls about three-quarters full with the onion soup.

Filled bowls with onion soup

8 -Put the mozzarella on top of the soup.

9 - Broil for about 3 - 4 minutes until the cheese begins to melt and bubble.

Serve piping hot

This soup is as good as it looks in these pictures. Dave is an excellent cook and is always ready to cook up a storm at a minute's notice. I learned a new trick with him this week - the "parts and pieces" - that is something that I hadn't done before! Thanks, Dave, I really enjoyed cooking with you in your kitchen.


Happy Birthday Mona!

It's hard to keep those Navy Seals away!


A thought for the week - Cultivate a few practices that keep you whole!


Happy souping until we meet again!

Souper Sarah