Saturday, May 29, 2010

Evan's Farmhouse Creamery Yogurt Soup

The fountain on the square
Oxford, NY

This week I traveled to Oxford, a village that was settled in the early 1794. The Chenango River flows southward through the town and it was part of the former Chenango Canal in 1837. It is quite a lovely village with many beautiful historical houses to admire as you drive through.

I meet with Souper Linda and we drove out to Evan’s Farmhouse Creamery, Norwich, NY to buy yogurt for our soup. Their yogurt has a thick inch of heavy cream and a rich flavor to it (European style). It is all organic, high protein and low calories. It is awesome; I can taste it right now!

We meet with Sue Evans at their store which sells many organic items - yogurt, butter, creme fraiche, eggs are some of the items. She is in charge of their 20 cows and had just finished the morning chores. They are proud of the fact that their business helps supports five local farmers, each with about a 20 cow herd. We saw a pickup truck with milk cans come and unload at the plant. A site you don’t see very often! Their 5 children are involved and contribute to all aspects of the business. When I asked Malory (the youngest) what her job was- here is what she told me­­ –“I help make yogurt, fold Siggi’s boxes, and stock the coolers” Isn’t she quite the worker!!! Sue showed us their operation and how they package for Siggi’s yogurt. She believes in getting back to basics and a local economy that supports each other. Sue is an enjoyable person and you feel like you have known her forever – so very generous with her time too. Thank you Sue!

We then drove to Kutik’s Honey Farm, Norwich, NY to the honey shack. Linda needed some for her chocolate delight dessert. They had many different kinds of honey and I picked up the raw honey. It melts right in your mouth and it is now my favorite!!

Now we were ready to make our yogurt soup and decided to name it Evan’s Farmhouse Creamery Yogurt Soup in honor of the Evan's unique yogurt! My contribution to the soup making was cilantro leaves, which I forgot, so Souper Linda made some substitution in the ingredients –more mint, chives and garlic. This cold yogurt soup conveys a real sense of iciness and richness. A perfect soup for the sizzling summer heat! After my return home, I made the same soup with the forgotten cilantro leaves and part of a Vidalla sweet onion­ – it was amazing! It had the same wonderful taste but with a different flavor. Linda mentioned that you can use whatever herbs are available – very versatile. Try it and I’ m sure you will make it your summer favorite!

Evan's Farmhouse Creamery Yogurt Soup

Souper Linda/Souper Sarah

This soup is an easy hot weather soup with a great cool taste. Its flavor is only enhanced as the days go by.


Serves 6-8

2 Cucumbers
2 cloves of garlic
1 handful of mint (I used a cup of cilantro)
1 handful of chives (I used ½ Vidalla sweet onion)
1/2 lemon
24 oz of Evan’s Farmhouse Creamery Yogurt (I used 32oz of that good yogurt!)

1 – With a peeler, peel alternate strips on the cucumber. Cut in half and take the seeds out and cut in 3 inch pieces.

2 – Crush the garlic

3 – Add the first 4 ingredients in the food processor and pulse until blended

4 – Add the juice of the lemon and the yogurt; blend and season with salt and pepper.

5 – Chill for 2 hours. Serve with an herb garnish

Here is a bio on Souper Linda and her Nanny's Pasta Fazool.

Linda LaRosa-Mosner, is a gardening advocate, having developed close ties with CCE’s Master Gardner Volunteer Program, 4-H and Ag in the Classroom via Page’s Plant-A-Seed Program. Linda is a Rural Solutions consultant and “researches, develops and administers non-medical grant proposals for mid-size corporations, non-profits, businesses and government agencies.”
Linda lives in Oxford, New York with her 13 year old son, Aaron. She enjoys entertaining new and old friends and clients at home with good food, wine and conversation! Her son, Alex, a student at BU is a frequent visitor.

I love soup –it’s my favorite food group! However, “soup isn’t science – it’s a matter of taste”. Here is the base recipe for my Nanny’s Pasta Fazool. I’ve indicated some personal preferences …

Pasta Fazool

Souper Linda LaRosa

This peasant soup is said to have originated in Tuscany and has many versions. Unlike some lighter soups, this one really feels like eating a meal. It’s a soup that should be simmered and savored! The fragrance alone makes it worth trying.

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrot

½ cup chopped Basil
½ cup chopped sweet onion
½ cup fresh oregano
Dry herbs can be substituted – but reduce by ½

Salt-Pepper to taste

White bean – any white bean, even chick peas may be used:
Two 15.5 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed.
28 ounces Chicken broth
1 15 oz tomato sauce

1 cup sea shell or small elbow pasta
Fresh Herbs and/or parmesan cheese for garnish
1 1/2 – 2 #s Italian sausage cut into 2 inch pieces.

Over low heat, allow garlic, veggies and herbs to caramelize. Add beans, chicken broth, tomato sauce and 4 cups of water and allow the soup to come to a boil. Allow to simmer for an hour. Stir occasionally.
The aroma is delicious!

Version #1: This is the version my sons prefer.
*Pasta Fool can be eaten this way. Garnish with grated parmesan or Romano cheese, fresh herbs from the garden and supper is served. You can add a pound of spicy Italian sausage (cut into 2 inch pieces) at the beginning of the process.

Version #2: Nanny’s Italian Version
Remove soup from heat and allow to cool. Reserve 1 cup of vegetables. In a blender, puree the remaining soup. Return to pot and add the cup of reserved vegetables. Add 1 cup of pasta (elbow or shell) and allow to cook until pasta is tender. When the pasta has cooked, the soup will have the texture of a thick, hearty stew. Garnish with herbs and/or grated cheese. Serve with Focacci and anti-pasta for a truly Italian supper.

Version #3: Version 2 can be thinned back to a lighter consistency by adding additional water and chicken broth in equal amounts. Note: Add just prior to the pasta being done to avoid overcooked Pasta.

My paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Cuccheria, arrived at Ellis Island, NY in 1813. For most of my early childhood, I lived next door and was a frequent visitor – especially at mealtime. Her house always smelled warm and delicious – a pot of soup or spaghetti sauce simmering on the back burner of the stove.

Evan's Farmhouse Creamery Store

Processing Plant

Snack time for Malory!

Kutik's Honey Shack

Kutik's Pure Wildflower Honey

Lots of bee hives ready to use!

Evan's wonderful yogurt


Crushing the garlic

Soup Ingredients

Ready for chilling

Serve with chive garnish

Souper Linda enjoying the her soup

Our 2nd soup - simmering Pasta Fazool

Serve this delicious soup hot!

Hot Chocolate Delight!
(the recipe is a secret)

Dont you wish you were there!!

Served with Evan's yogurt and
Kutik's honey

This week was so exciting to me – a five for one week!! Traveling to Oxford, visiting the Evan’ s Farmhouse Creamery, Kutik’s Honey Farm and cooking two soups with Souper Linda. What more could a Souper ask for!!! Linda is like a Souper Achiever - cooking 2 soups and that special chocolate delight! (She still has not given me that recipe!) It was a fantastic day with so many sweet and wonderful memories. Thank you Linda, I appreciate your friendship.

Pink lady's-slipper
Cypripedium acaule
This was my gift from God this week, found in our own forest!


The thought for the week - "Let the beauty of what you love, be what you are." - Rumi

Happy souping until we meet again!

Souper Sarah

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup

Flocks at the forest edge

R. Ponticu Rhododendron

Every day is so special here with all the new beauty of spring. I love to just sit, listen and look at the wonderland that is right before my eyes! Then it is time to make soup again. I have never made soup with sweet potatoes, so the Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup from The Soup Bible sounded like an adventure. In checking the ingredients, it called for leeks and I decided to search for wild leeks in the forest with Souper Mom and Sammy. We saw a large patch and were excited with what we found. The wild leeks enhance the sweet taste of the other two main ingredients – sweet potatoes and parsnips. The garnish of the roasted strips of sweet potatoes and parsnips was the crowning glory of this soup!

Sweet Potato and Parsnip Soup
The Soup Bible - Debra Mayhew
Souper Sarah

The sweetness of the two root vegetables comes through strongly in this delicious soup!

Serves 6

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 large leek, sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 cups diced sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups diced parsnips
3 1/4 cups vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the garnish
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Roasted strips of sweet potatoes and

1 – Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the leek, celery, sweet potatoes, and parsnips and cook slowly for about 5 minutes, stirring to prevent them browning or sticking to the pan.

2 – Stir in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Season to taste. Remove the pan from the heat and let the soup cool slightly.

3 - Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return the soup to the rinsed pan and reheat slowly. Ladle into warm soup bowls to serve and sprinkle with the chopped parsley and roasted strips of sweet potatoes and parsnips..

Leeks in the woods

Digging the leeks

Supervising the dig - Souper Mom
and Souper Sammy

Soup ingredients

Simmering Soup

Pureed soup

Roast strips of sweet potatoes and parsnips

Serve soup hot sprinkled with parsley and
roasted stripes of sweet potatoes and parsnips

I used 8 wild leeks in making the soup instead of the 1 large leek. For the roasted strips of sweet potatoes and parsnips, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, tossed the strips and baked for 10 minutes until brown in a 400 oven. This is the 3rd parsnip soup we have made and I hope you have enjoyed them as much as we have. I really love this vegetable and for sure we will be planting it in our garden this year.

Souper Daughter Heather - Ithaca College
MBA Hooding Ceremony

Heather we are so proud of your accomplishment!!!

The thought for the week - "Fear less, hope more: Eat less, chew more: Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours" Swedish Proverb

Happy souping until we meet again!

Souper Sarah

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Soup

A walk in the woods - Boiling Springs, PA

Souper Susan & Marty

We went to our souper family – Susan, Marty and Sarah - in Boiling Springs, PA for Mother’s Day. They had just moved into their mountain home after living the Navy life for many years and always on the move. They live on the South Mountain – the last mountain of the Blue Ridge. It was a great adventure walking along the creek on their property– we checked out special trees - the tulip tree and brought back lots of rocks. After the hike, we got busy making this traditional Pennsylvania soup. Susan’s idea was to go on Google and here is what Marty found, a classic favorite – Best Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Soup. We started on Saturday and finished on Sunday. The prep time is only 10 minutes, but the cooking time is 3 hours 30 minutes. This soup makes a very rich broth and the smell of nutmeg permeates the kitchen. It smelled soo good!! We thought the dumplings would be hard to make, but really they were quite easy. The dumplings are called rivels. This soup is a must if you like chicken and corn!

Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Corn Soup

Souper Susan & Marty/Souper Sarah

"This dumpling soup is made entirely from scratch with fresh corn and stock from the whole checken, seasoned with nutmeg and flecked with hard-cooked egg."


Serves 12

2 (3 pound) whole chickens, cut into pieces
3 quarts water
3 onions, minced
1 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
10 ears fresh corn
3 eggs
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk


1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine chicken, water, onions, celery, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 2 hours, adding water as needed, until chicken is very tender. Remove the chicken from the soup. Refrigerate chicken and soup.

2. When fat solidifies on surface of soup, remove from refrigerator and remove fat. Remaining soup should equal about 2 1/2 quarts.

3. Remove corn from cobs by splitting kernels lengthwise with a sharp knife and scraping corn from cob. Combine soup and corn in a large pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until corn is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, place two of the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop. Set aside.

5. Chop cooled chicken meat and add to soup.

6. In a medium bowl, beat remaining egg until light in color. Beat in flour and milk until smooth. Drop batter by partial spoonfuls into hot broth to make small (1/4 -1/2 inch round) dumplings. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 5 minutes, until dumplings hold their shape and float to the surface. Season to taste. Stir in reserved cooked egg.

Mincing onions

Put whole chicken in large stock pot

Adding salt

Bring to a boil

Magnalite stock pan - simmer for 2 hours

Rich chicken broth

Debone and chop the chicken

Add chicken to soup

Making little dumplings (rivels)

Simmering soup

Serve soup hot

Souper Granddaugter Sarah

Happy Birthday Sarah

This package comes with a bow!!!

This soup has a distinct taste with the chicken and sweet corn flavored by the nutmeg. Did you notice the special stock pot? Susan’s mother had given her the Magnalite stock pot and it was so perfect for making this soup. I had no heard about this type of pot, but here is what I found out from Magnalite Cookware. It was originally developed in 1934 and is best known for its distinctive finish, timeless design and commercial durability. It boasts of its extremely thick base, which not only speeds up the cooking but also distributes the heat evenly up the sides. The vapor-tight pot and pan lids, on the other hand, lock in moisture to keep the food flavorful, (which was true).

Susan and Marty it was so much fun cooking with you in your new kitchen. You have a beautiful new home. What a wonderful way to spend Mother’s day – cooking and being with your family! Thank you Sarah, Susan and Marty for making my day so special!!!

The thought for the week - Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

Happy souping until we meet again!

Souper Sarah

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tuscan Bean Soup

Apple blossoms, tulips and daffodils

We arrived from our trip to find a paradise right at home. It was breath taking!

To say the least, we were behind in all our spring work. 300 trees had arrived on Earth day waiting to be planted and the blog needed to be posted. We had setup with Souper Dave, Mario, and Spencer, our California family to Skype and make Tuscan Bean Soup.
Here is the bio that Dave wrote for the blog - "I guess you can call me the "Souper" lawyer from Los Angeles, and the son of the Souper family of New York. I learned from Souper Sarah to make mental notes when I have a dish I really enjoy when dining out so that I can try to make it at home. That is how I came to this Tuscan Bean Soup recipe. I have enjoyed this kind of soup at a place I regularly go for lunch and set about to make it at home. After looking at a number of recipes, I finally found one that I thought was close, and then I modified it to create what I had in my mind's eye (or tastebuds!) After some refinements, I have arrived at a recipe that Mario, Spencer and I all love! And we all loved our cooking adventure with you today".

We both made the soup, Dave in LA and us here on the farm. It was fun getting our computers set up, so we could check on each step and see the process. Spencer (with his cars) and Mario would appear to be helpful for Dave! When it came to cover and cook for a couple of hours, Eric and I went out to plant blue spruces and then we were really ready for this satisfying soup. It was so delicious and such a hearty soup with the savory flavor of sage and rosemary capturing all the flavors of Italy!!!

Tuscan Bean Soup

Souper Dave/Souper Sarah

This classic Mediterranean soup is creamed with its own ingredients - no outside thickeners. The beans and vegetables gives it a sweet and earthy taste.


Serves 6-8

1 lb of cannelloni beans, picked over, soaked overnight (or 24 hours) in water and a tablespoon or so of kosher salt

2T Olive Oil

1/2 lb pancetta cut into 1/4 inch dice

1 medium onion chopped (small, but not quite a mince - I use the food processor)

2 medium carrots chopped (small, but not quite a mince - I do these in food processor with onions)

6 medium sized cloves of garlic minced

1 T fresh rosemary (from our front yard!), minced

2 T fresh sage chopped finely

1 bay leaf

8 C chicken broth

1 to 2 tablespoons of tomato paste

- Soak beans for 12 to 24 hours; drain and rinse

- In large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat, and brown the pancetta until lightly crisped (about 10 minutes)

- Add onions and carrots and saute until softened (about 8 minutes)

- Add garlic, and saute for another couple of minutes

- Add rosemary, sage, bay leaf, beans, broth and tomato paste; increase heat and bring to a simmer

- Cover and cook for a couple of hours, until beans are tender. (Can also put in a 275 degree oven and cook as well, but when I have done this, a bit too much of the liquid dissipated, although the flavor was good and with a little water, leftovers made a very nice soup!)

Adjust seasoning, if needed, add fresh ground pepper and drizzle with olive oil, if desired.

I like to serve it with slices of baguette for dipping!!

Setting up for Skype

Soup ingredients

Beans soaking in salt water

Carrots and onions

Processed carrots and onions

Pancetta cut 1/4 inch dice

Browning the pancetta

Saute until soft

Bring to a simmer

Blue spruce seedlings

Digging hole for seedling

Soup is ready!

LA style

Farm style

Eating our soup together

We had a great time making soup with Dave,Mario & Spencer, even though we were many miles away. I thinkg Skype is a wonderful tool and I love seeing and talking to our family!!! I like the flavor of the pancetta and did not realize it was unsmoked bacon. We did not have to adjust the seasoning in our soup, I think soaking the beans in salt over night did the trick. I have not done that before when soaking beans, but will from now on. I’m learning new techniques every week!! This soup taste even better the next day as the flavor have more time to mellow and marry. Thanks Dave you are a great cook, as always it is so much fun to cook together and the soup was superb.

Happy Birthday Spencer

The thought for the week - The quality of your connections with other people will carry you further than you think.

Happy souping until we meet again!
Souper Sarah