Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Soup's On!

As soon as the temperatures dropped after the week of beautiful weather, I immediately craved soup.  How about a two-fer to make up for the scarcity of my online presence the past few weeks?

First up-- a garlic-infused soup reminiscent of a stuffed baked potato.  Hearty and creamy (w/o the cream), load up the toppings and dig in!!

Baked Potato Soup
adapted from Smitten Kitchen (& Cook's Illustrated Garlic Potato Soup)
Serves 4

1/2-1 head of garlic (whatever you have on hand)
1T butter
1T extra virgin olive oil
1/2-3/4c thin sliced leeks, just use the white and light green parts (or shallots, if you can't find leeks)
5-6c low-sodium broth (chicken or veggie)
2 bay leaves
3/4t sea salt
2-2.5lb potatoes (I used PEI potatoes, but Russets would be a good choice)
1/2c greek yogurt (2% recommended)
freshly ground black pepper

topping suggestions:
thinly sliced scallions or chives
crumbled bacon
grated cheddar or gruyere
sauteed mushrooms
anything goes ;)

Rinse a head of garlic (or the half you have left, in my case) to remove any dirt.  Cut the top third off the head of garlic as well as right along the base (with the roots).  Remove any loose papery skins.  Pop out the top thirds of the cloves and mince them.  Take the bottom two thirds and make a bouquet garni in a square of cheesecloth with the bay leaves.  Tie the ends of the cheesecloth together to form a sachet.

Melt the butter in a heavy pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the oil and leeks and cook until soft, ~5min.  If you walk away and come back to some browned butter, don't worry, the soup will still turn out ;)  Add the minced garlic and cook 1min.  Add broth, bouquet garni and salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 40min, until garlic in the bouquet is very tender.

While the broth is simmering, chop your potatoes to 1/2" dice.  Whether you peel them is up to you, I tend to leave them on, both for taste and nutrition.

Add potatoes and simmer, partially covered for 20min, until the potatoes are tender.  Remove the bouquet garni and remove from the heat.  Stir in greek yogurt and then using an immersion blender (or blender or food processor) puree to your desired consistency.  I went for a slightly chunky soup and only pureed about half.  Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.  Serve with your desired toppings.


Can you believe that I'd never had French Onion Soup until I made it myself?  Anything with caramelized onions has my name all over it, so when my roommate made some homemade beef stock, I decided it was finally time.

French Onion Soup
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Serves 4-6

~2lbs yellow onions, thinly sliced
2T unsalted butter
1T extra virgin olive oil
1t salt
1/4t evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)
3T white whole wheat flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
dash worcestershire sauce
dash reduced sodium soy sauce
~1t dijon mustard
1/2c dry white wine (or dry white vermouth)
4c homemade beef stock
4c homemade veggie stock
freshly ground black pepper

for garnish
thinly sliced baguette
finely grated gruyere

Melt butter and oil in a large dutch oven over medium low heat.  Add the onions and stir to coat.  Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low.  After 15min, turn the heat to medium low and uncover the pot, add salt and sugar and stir to combine.  Cook onions for 30-40min, stirring frequently, until the onions are a deep golden brown.

Once the onions have caramelized, sprinkle them with flour and cook for a few min, stirring.  Add the wine, garlic, soy and worcestershire sauces and dijon mustard.  Add both stocks, a little at a time, stirring between additions.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer, partially covered for 30-40min.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325deg.  Arrange ovenproof bowls or crocks on a baking sheet.  If you're going for appetizer-sized portions, 6 will do.  Ladle soup into each of the crocks and then top with a slice (or two) of baguette and the finely grated gruyere, how much is up to you ;)  To finish, bake the soup for 20min or so, and then broil a few more minutes so the cheese gets bubbly.  Serve immediately, with pot holders!

I should note that the soup is delicious in its own right (without the melty cheese on top), and my next version might use a hearty mushroom stock to make a vegetarian version!

Hopefully soup time is coming to an end, I'm ready for asparagus and peas and rhubarb and...  strawberries!!    What's been going on in your kitchen lately??


Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living said...

A trifecta of amazing-sounding soups!

Delicious Dishings said...

I agree that French onion soup is still delicious without the cheese, but I admit that I eat it for the cheese! :) Looks like you made three terrific soups!

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

Your soups all look delectable! French onion is one of my personal favorites.

Colleen @ Culinary Colleen said...

Love the healthy version of potato soup! It's one of my favorite comfort foods.

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

What a great trio of soups! I've been craving warm food like this too. When will it be warm?!

Ranjani said...

I love garlicky soup. My kitchen has been all about pizza lately, not sure what brought on the craving but I'll go with it!

Joanne said...

Well, I don't really plan on giving up soup even with warmer weather...I'll just make it WITH asapragus and rhubarb and strawberries! Just...not all together at the same time. :P

These do sound like some serious comfort soups. So delicious.

Sacha said...

No matter the weather, I ALWAYS crave soup, especially those with squash!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

I have sadly been missing from my kitchen lately as life has been keeping me way too busy. I am back to trying out old clipped recipes from my recipe binder!

Kelly said...

Clearly, great minds think alike. I have a soup on my blog today for exactly the same reason. After all the crazy warm temperatures we've had here when things dipped again, all I could think of was soup. I opted for a simple carrot and cheddar soup, though of course I used a goat's milk cheddar.

Katerina said...

Your soups look delicious. Onion soup is my favorite and although it tastes great even without the cheese, I do the sin all the way and add the cheese too!

Rosiecat24 said...

Ah, I love the trio of soups! How fun that you and your roommate "collaborated" on the French onion soup--that's awesome. Also, I'm bookmarking this post for your on-the-fly squash soup recipe. It sounds delicious.

Elizabeth said...

The garnishes on that first one are gorgeous!

We Are Not Martha said...

Love it! Caramelized onion soup is one of my all-time favorites and I order it every chance I get... I haven't made it yet because I'm waiting to get french onion soup bowls (hopefully for our wedding!). Yours looks awesome... and the baked potato soup looks incredible!


Natalie said...

whoa so impressed by that garlic infusion!

Elina (Healthy and Sane) said...

Wow, you really were craving soup ;) I made a sick shrimp and scallop seafood stew the other day - soooo good! :)

Kerstin said...

Yum, they all look great - especially that baked potato one!

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