300 Sensational Soups with Meredith Deeds
“Soup is comfort in a bowl, love on a spoon, satisfaction simmering on the stove.”
Nothing makes a house feel and taste more like home than a pot of freshly made soup.
After growing up in the restaurant business and spending two years at California State Polytechnic University’s Restaurant School, Meredith Deeds set out on a career that, 20 years later, has allowed her to cook, teach, and write (all over the country) in all places big and small. Meredith’s passion for fresh, seasonal cooking combined with her fun, energetic, “You can do it!” approach to teaching, writing, speaking and culinary event planning has helped hundreds of people feel good about cooking, and given them the confidence they need to express their own creativity in the kitchen.
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Recipes from 300 SENSATIONAL SOUPS
Beef Stroganoff and Noodle Soup
For this spin on a classic dish, creamy, beefy soup, loaded with mushrooms and gilded with a touch of Cognac, is ladled onto tender bites of steak and silky egg noodles. Make sure you don’t skimp on the cut of meat — tough steak will ruin the luxurious effect. If you really want to make a splash, try using beef tenderloin.
Serves 4 to 6
1-1/2 pounds (750 g) boneless beef top sirloin or other grilling steak, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons (25 mL) vegetable oil (approx.)
1/4 cup (50 mL) unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup (50 mL) finely chopped shallots
1-1/2 pounds (750 g) mushrooms, thickly sliced
3 tablespoons (45 mL) all-purpose flour
4 cups (1 L) beef stock
2 tablespoons (25 mL) Cognac
1/2 cup (125 mL) whipping (35%) cream
1 tablespoon (15 mL) Dijon mustard
4 ounces (125 g) wide egg noodles
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
1 tablespoon (15 mL) chopped fresh dill
Season steak with salt and pepper to taste. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the oil over high heat. Add steak, in two or three batches, and sauté until just browned but still rare inside, about 1 minute per side, adding oil as needed between batches. Remove with a slotted spoon to a warm plate. Set aside and keep warm.
Reduce heat to medium, add 3 tablespoon (45 mL) of the butter to the pot and heat until melted. Add shallots and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté until they have released their liquid and are browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and sauté for 2 minutes.
Gradually whisk in stock, then Cognac; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until soup is slightly thickened and flavors have blended, about 15 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream and mustard; simmer for 5 minutes. Do not let boil.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until tender to the bite, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, transfer to a bowl, add the remaining butter and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.
In a bowl, whisk together sour cream and dill.
Divide beef and noodles among heated bowls and top with soup. Top each with a dollop of dilled sour cream.
To clean mushrooms, you can either rinse them quickly in water or wipe them with a damp paper towel. Mushrooms will be much happier in your refrigerator if you store them in a paper bag.
Saffron Paella Soup
One whiff of this soup and you will be transported to the sunny shores of Spain. Carla remembers eating a version of this soup in Andalusia many moons ago and can still taste the fresh seafood and subtle spice of saffron. The chicken, sausage, shrimp and mussels make this hearty soup perfect for dinner any night of the week.
1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped, divided
1 pound (500 g) chicken thighs
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups (2 L) chicken stock, divided
1 can (14 ounces/398 mL) diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) long-grain white rice
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) saffron threads
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 pound (500 g) smoked Spanish chorizo or andouille sausage, diced
12 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas, thawed
1 pound (500 g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup (50 mL) minced fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
Garlic Croutons (see recipe below)
In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of the oil over medium-high heat. Add half the onion and sauté until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. (Be careful not to let the onion burn.) Turn chicken over and brown the other side. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add 5 cups (1.25 L) of the stock and tomatoes with juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
Using tongs, transfer chicken to a large plate and let cool slightly. Remove skin and bones and discard. Shred the meat into bite-size pieces and set aside. Set cooking liquid aside.
In a saucepan, bring the remaining stock to a simmer over medium heat. Add rice, salt and saffron; cover, reduce heat and simmer until rice is almost tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, until ready to use.
In another large pot, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the remaining onion, red pepper and sausage; sauté until vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes. Add reserved cooking liquid and bring to a simmer. Add reserved chicken and rice, mussels and peas; return to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add shrimp, cover and simmer gently until mussels have opened and shrimp is pink and opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open.
Ladle into heated bowls, making sure each bowl contains a few shrimp and 2 mussels. Garnish with parsley and croutons.
When we’re trying to eat healthy and reduce the amount of fat in a soup, we take the skin off chicken thighs before cooking them. Other times, we leave it on and enjoy the extra richness and flavor the fat imparts.
Makes about 3 cups cup (750 mL)
Enough to garnish 6 to 8 servings
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C)
Large rimmed baking sheet
3 cups (750 mL) cubed rustic white bread (1/2-inch/1 cm cubes)
1/4 cup (50 mL) unsalted butter, melted
n (2 mL) salt
On baking sheet, combine bread, butter and salt; toss to coat evenly and spread in a single layer. Bake, stirring once, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Let cool on sheet on a wire rack and use within 3 hours.
Garlic Croutons: In a small skillet, melt 1/4 cup (50 mL) butter over medium heat. Add 3 cloves garlic, minced, and sauté until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Use garlic butter in place of the melted butter.
Orange Muscat Soup with Mascarpone Cream
Muscat is a sweet wine with subtle honey and floral notes. Here, we pour it over cold citrus sections to make an easy but delectable soup. The sweetened mascarpone gives it a creaminess that reminds us of the best orange ice pop we ever tasted.
6 navel oranges
2 ruby red grapefruit
2/3 cup (150 mL) granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
8 ounces (250 g) mascarpone cheese, softened
2 tablespoons (25 mL) Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) Muscat wine
Using a knife, remove peels from oranges and grapefruit, including the white pith, reserving peels. Working with one piece of fruit at a time and holding it over a large bowl, cut into sections, letting juice run into the bowl. Squeeze reserved peels and membranes over bowl to extract any remaining juice, then discard. Using a slotted spoon, transfer orange and grapefruit sections to another large bowl.
Stir 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the sugar, vanilla and salt into the juice. Pour over fruit, cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or for up to 4 hours.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar, mascarpone, Grand Marnier and lemon juice.
Divide orange mixture among 6 chilled bowls, pour 1/4 cup (50 mL) Muscat over each and top each with a dollop of sweetened mascarpone.
To properly section an orange or grapefruit, hold the fruit in the palm of one hand and the knife in the other. Run the knife on the right side of a section next to the right membrane, and then on the left side of the section next to the left membrane. This should free the section. Repeat with the remaining fruit.
Recipes from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds (Robert Rose, October 2008, $24.95/softcover)