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.
2 cloves of garlic
1 handful of mint (I used a cup of cilantro)
1 handful of chives (I used ½ Vidalla sweet onion)
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.
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 …
Souper Linda LaRosa
Evan's Farmhouse Creamery Store
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.
Snack time for Malory!
Crushing the garlic
Serve with chive garnish
(the recipe is a secret)
Dont you wish you were there!!
Served with Evan's yogurt and
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.
The thought for the week - "Let the beauty of what you love, be what you are." - Rumi
Happy souping until we meet again!