Sally's Soups

Broccoli, White Bean and Basil

This soup is best served immediately.  Broccoli has a tendency to go off and the white beans will thicken the soup as it sits.  Not a great one for the freezer.

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 Spanish onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 carrot, sliced

1 head broccoli, stalks and florets separated

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

8 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 - 1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans, rinsed

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus additional for garnish

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

shaved Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Place a stockpot over a medium-high heat and when it is hot, add the oil.   Add the onion, garlic, carrot, broccoli stalks, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the stock AND BEANS and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the broccoli stalks are very tender, about 15- 20  minutes. Add the florets and the mustard and cook for 5 minutes.

Off heat, add the basil and lemon juice and transfer the contents to a blender, in batches.  Blend until smooth. Serve immediately with fresh basil and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Yield: about 12 cups

Cauliflower Cilantro Soup

This soup tastes neither like cauliflower nor cilantro.  

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 Spanish onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 head cauliflower, chopped

8 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus additional for garnish

Instructions

Place a large stockpot over a medium-high flame and when it is hot, add the oil.  Add the onion, garlic and coriander and cook until the onion has wilted, about 3- 5 minutes.

Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cook until the cauliflower is soft, about 20 minutes.

Off heat, add the mustard and cilantro and transfer the soup, in batches,  to a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve garnished with whole fresh cilantro leaves.

Yield: about 10 cups

Mushroom and Sausage Soup

2 sweet sausages, taken out of casing

1 Spanish onion, chopped

1 celery rib, chopped

1 carrot, sliced

1/2 teaspoon dried Greek oregano

1 pound button mushrooms

1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms

2 small red new potatoes, sliced

1 teaspoon dried fennel seed

7 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon cracked  black pepper

2 scallions, julienned

Instructions

Place a large stockpot over a medium-low heat and when it is hot, add the sausage. Cook for 3 minutes, all the while breaking up the sausage with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add the onion, celery, carrot, and oregano and cook for 10 minutes

Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes, fennel and chicken stock, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Off heat, add the mustard and black pepper and  transfer the mixture to a blender, in batches. Blend until smooth.

Serve garnished with julienned scallions.

Yield: about 12 cups

Tomato and Sweet Potato Soup with Goat Cheese

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 Spanish onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, peeled and sliced

1 sweet potato, cubed

2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon dried fennel seed

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 tablespoons goat cheese, plus additional for garnish, if desired

Instructions

Place a large stock pot over medium high heat and when it is hot, add the oil.  Add the onion and celery and cook until the onion is soft, about 3- 5 minutes.

Add the sweet potato, tomatoes, chicken stock, brown sugar, fennel and cayenne and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cook until the sweet potato is tender, about 20 minutes.

Off heat, add the goat cheese and transfer to a blender, in batches.  Blend until smooth.

Serve garnished with additional goat cheese, if desired.

Yield: about 10 cups

Roasted Winter Borscht

It's not essential to roast the beets but it gives the soup a depth of flavor that only roasting can provide.  The color is a deep magenta that almost makes it not look like food.

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

2 bunches of beets (about 8), quartered

1 Spanish onion, chopped

1 carrot, sliced

1 celery stalk, sliced

1 tomato (any kind is fine), cored and diced

8 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/4 teaspoon white sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

1 cup buttermilk (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or mint

Sour cream or plain yogurt, for garnish

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Rub the beets lightly with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, place on a tray or a rack and roast for 30- 40 minutes.

After the beets have been in the oven for 20 minutes, place a stockpot over a medium-high flame and when it is hot, add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil.  Add the onion, carrot, celery and cook for 7 minutes. When the beets are ready, add them, the tomato, chicken stock, sugar and orange juice to the pot.  Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the beets are very tender, about 10 minutes.

Off heat, gradually add the buttermilk, if desired.  Transfer to a blender, in batches and blend until smooth. Serve garnished with chopped fresh dill or mint and sour cream, if desired.

Yield: about 9- 10 cups

Roasted Butternut Squash with Apples

4 teaspoons olive oil

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, if desired, and cubed

1 Spanish onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon dried basil

8 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup dry white wine

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Rub the squash and apple cubes with 2 teaspoons of oil and place on a sheet pan in the oven until the squash is browned and tender, about 40 minutes.

Place a stockpot over a medium-high flame and when it is hot, add the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil.  Add the onion, garlic, curry and dried basil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the roasted squash and apples, the stock and wine and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes.

Transfer to a blender, in batches and blend until smooth.

Tips

  • When adding hot broth to the blender, start with a small amount of solids and gradually add liquid.
  • For the best texture, use a blender rather than a food processor.  The blender emulsifies the soup whereas the food pro basically chops it to death.
  • Don't be intimidated by homemade stock.  It's easy to make and refrigerates and freezes well.