Soup January Is Almost Here!

Photo: Apartment Therapy (The Kitchn)

In November, during the craziness that was preparing for a group of 20 at Thanksgiving, David suggested Soup January. A month of soups! Initially, I thought it was a fantastic idea. I love soup, and cold, wintery January is an ideal month for soup making. But the more I thought about it, the more uncomfortable I became. I hate being nailed down and cooking is no exception. What if I craved falafel on January 18th? What if I just didn’t feel like involved soup-making?

I decided to get over it, and lay down some ground-rules to allow for a bit of flexibility. I also talked David into planning ahead for the month, so we wouldn’t be caught off-guard without ingredients.

Of course, I haven’t planned anything yet. I will do it during the long weekend. But I am open to suggestions! What are your favorite soup recipes?

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14 Responses to “Soup January Is Almost Here!”

  1. Anna Says:

    Oooh, I have been making all the soups I can find on epicurious dot com, my recent favorites are: carrot & ginger with a bunch of Indian spices; sweet potato & butternut squash; rutabaga & turnip with turkey sausage (done over, I would omit the sausage); and a really simple tomato soup that I served with goat cheese grilled cheese.

    I love love love soups, especially in cold Connecticut winters :) I can’t wait to hear what you end up making!

  2. Annie Says:

    I love soup!

    My mom used to have a recipe for what she called “cock-a-leek-y” soup. There’s a Scottish soup with the same name but this is different.

    I think she gave it that name so that my sister and I would agree to eat it since it was green. She was an American with two little German girls, so the possible other meaning of the name was wholly lost on us.

    The soup is a cream of spinach, broccoli, rutabaga or cauliflower soup that is served with tortellinis in it. It is still one of my favorites.

    If you are interested, I’ll get back to you with the recipe. But if you know your way around the kitchen, it is basically this:

    1. In your soup pot, saute onions, garlic, and if you want, leeks, in olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    2. Add vegetable/chicken broth, carrots, potatoes, celery and spinach/broccoli/cauliflower/rutabaga and cook until soft enough to blend in cuisinart/blender. For the last 5 minutes or so, add heavy cream or whole milk (but you don’t want to overcook the dairy).

    3. Make/boil some tortellinis, being sure to under-cook ever so slightly.

    4. Blend soup in cuisinart/blender.

    5. Add tortellinis as you serve the soup (if you are storing the soup to eat throughout the week, be sure to store the tortellinis separately).

    You can garnish with parsley, parmesan…whatever you want.

  3. Sukie Says:

    I have yet to follow a soup recipe. It’s just too easy to throw whatever you have into a pot.

    But the basics are key.

    I start by sauteing finely diced onions in butter (oil just doesn’t seem to taste good), with garlic and most of the herbs I plan to use, salt, pepper, thyme, sage, dill etc. They simmer until almost clear.

    At the same time, I start a pot of liquid. I use either broth or cream of mushroom soup (or both! go crazy). In the pot I add the root vegetables (such as waxy potatoes) since they have to cook the longest (don’t use russet potatoes, learn from my mistake!).

    When the onions are done, the entire thing, butter and all, goes in the pot. At this point, I add the meat (or clams) and if necessary, noodles. Then, a bit later, the beans and softer vegetables.

    I let the thing boil for a bit and taste it to see if more salt is needed and any other spices (this would be a great time to add a bay leaf). Then, it simmers until all the vegetables and beans are soft.

    There are many ways to adapt the technique to whatever you have in the cupboard but no matter what way you go about it, I always think that the onions are key. They just add something. I can’t say what.

    I hope that helps. Someday, maybe, I’ll use a real recipe, and follow all of it.

  4. pennyplastic Says:

    I follow the same basic method when making soup, although we sometimes keep the rice or pasta separate so the leftovers are a pile of mush (I don’t mind this, David does). I’d like to use the opportunity to try some new soups, as I usually stick with some variation of minestrone/vegetable w/chicken broth. I’d also like to stay in season, which sucks because my favorite soup has asparagus!

  5. elizabeth Says:

    I recently tried a classic Greek soup with lemon, egg and orzo pasta that was super easy, but I am a huge, huge fan of lentil soups–satisfying and very good for you.

  6. pennyplastic Says:

    Avgolemono is one of my favorite soups. I worked at a Greek restaurant in college :-) I haven’t had much success making it at home, though.

  7. G.E&B Says:

    Lentil soup! A Middle Eastern winter favorite! And it’s cheap. Add whatever veggies you like, red lentils, cook, puree, enjoy.

  8. Britni Says:

    Mmmm soup. I am a total soup whore and will eat it as much as possible. In the summer, I love eating cold cucumber soup. My favorite soup remains to be New England clam chowder, but seeing as I no longer live in New England, it’s impossible to find good chowder. I tend to like creamy soups over brothy ones.

  9. elizabeth Says:

    That’s it! The key is tempering the eggs gently to get the creaminess right, at least from what I’ve read. I ended up with a few scrambles the first time I made it, but overall it resembled what it should have looked like, and it was crazy delicious.

  10. funnyface Says:

    I stumbled over here from Jezebel. Here’s a couple of my favorites:

    curried chicken soup:
    http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/soup-stew-choup-recipes/curried-chicken-soup/article.html

    corn chowder:
    http://food.realsimple.com/realsimple/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1699491

    blt(p) soup:
    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/blt-and-p-bacon-leek-tomato-and-potato-soup-recipe/index.html

  11. TheWeeJenny Says:

    I don’t have any set recipes, but I do have one tip. If you’re making something a bit thicker like a stew (or just like a nice substantial broth) try throwing in sliced zucchini instead of (or maybe as well as) cornstarch. The middles of the slices just melt into the broth and thicken it up, while the skin circles stay intact. Very tasty. ^_^

  12. Tara Incognita Says:

    Ok, will David allow chili? Don’t you dare laugh at me.

  13. pennyplastic Says:

    Of course he will! I am the picky eater. I HATE ground meat of any kind and am not a huge fan of onions….unless they are very well cooked.

    Hit me with your recipe!

  14. Soup January Kicks Off, With a Boat Load of Split-Pea Soup « Says:

    […] afternoon and I just finished my fifth split-pea soup meal in 4 days. David and I kicked off Soup January on Sunday night. He cooked, deciding on split-pea soup because someone had given us a ham hock left […]

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