Soup on these chilly, rainy days/evenings can be such a comforting thing. If the soup is nice and hearty, even better. Our friends’ 10 year old daughter Clementine, who is like a niece to us, came up with a hearty soup I was dying to try. Sunday supper was this crazy good soup using 5 ingredients cooked up in one pot.
Cook 1 lb. sweet Italian ground sausage. Remove from the pot. Sauté 2 leeks that you have cut up into small pieces in the pot. Add back in sausage. Add chicken stock (2 boxes) plus 1 lb. of bite sized white sweet potatoes. Bring all to a boil, then simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Then add a bundle of chopped kale at the end. Done. Serve with crusty baguette. This will be now known in our house as Clementine soup.
This really was one of those soups where cleaning out the fridge is also an objective. We fly out this evening to Seattle, so we have been doing our darndest to eat what we stocked the fridge with these past 2 weeks. Soup really can be a one pot wonder. This one is hearty & satisfying and used up the pancetta, kale and Parm we had bits and pieces of. We had also made chicken stock after I roasted a chicken, so soup it was all meant to be.
Cut up into small pieces and brown in a bit of olive oil the pancetta. Use a good sized pot, as this is what you will end up making the soup in. Easy for clean up too. Once it starts to brown add chopped up onions. We also had a shallot, so I used that as well. When all are browned, spoon out any extra fat that has rendered from the pancetta. Fine to leave a little for flavor. Then add as much chicken stock as you would like. Box stock is absolutely fine here. We just happened to have fresh stock. If you have it, use it. Bring up to a heavy simmer and then turn down heat. Add a can of white beans after you have drained them. Canned beans are our go-to for soups. If you want to soak and use dried beans, and go thru that hassle, did I really just type that?, then cool too. Canned beans rock in my book. Then add handfuls of kale. I tear it into little pieces making sure to not use the tough rib. Add a handful of grated Parmesan. Season with pepper and check and see if you need salt. Probably not, as the pancetta and Parmesan have salt in them and naturally season the soup, but it might, so I always try a taste or two at the end for seasoning. Let all simmer away for a bit. Serve with a sprinkle of Parm on top. Enjoy!
From snowy Ghent,
This chilly time of year, a big pot of homemade soup can be so comforting. TPS is away on business to DC & Philadelphia, so having soup in the fridge makes for easy solo dinners too. This is just the easiest thing to make, and it is so hearty and satisfying.
Cut up 2 whole heads of cauliflower and put on a baking sheet. Do the same with 6 good sized Yukon Gold potatoes. Sprinkle both with a heavy dose of extra virgin olive oil and salt & pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven, moving things around every 15 minutes so things don’t stick or burn. The cauliflower will take about a half hour, the potatoes close to an hour. Much depends on the size you cut the pieces into, so check the oven often. You want both to get nice and golden. This adds tremendously to the flavor of the soup. Set both aside when done to cool.
While the above is in the oven, cut up one large onion into small pieces and cook in extra virgin olive oil on the stovetop in a big soup pot. Cook until they just start to golden. Set aside off heat to cool.
Cut up a baguette into pieces, put in a baking dish and sprinkle with EVOO and S&P. Bake in oven until brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stay with these guys–they can get too dark fast. When done take out of oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and set aside.
Back to the soup. Now that everything has cooled a bit to the touch, add 90% of both the cauliflower and the potatoes to the pot of waiting onions. Add vegetable or chicken stock, from a box is completely fine, with homemade lovely if you have it. Put in enough stock to just barely cover the mixture. Now with an immersion blender (we got ours at Bartell’s for twenty bucks–I can’t say enough about this amazing device for soup making) carefully pulse the wand in the mixture, turning all of it into a thick soup. It is so cool seeing it all mix together. Culinary magic of sorts. Once the consistency you like, now add the remaining 10% you held back. It will be nice to have some large pieces of cauliflower and potato strewn throughout. Now turn on the stovetop, heat on medium, until it is the warmth you like your soup. Spoon out into a bowl and add the baguette pieces to the top. Done. So hearty. So tasty.
My post the other day for brioche croutons mentioned pea soup, and I have had requests for it since. This is a quick pea soup that I have seem versions of done by different chefs on the Food Network, but most recently saw Ina make her spin on it. I thought this fit in nicely with the post from yesterday. This really is quite easy, but it turns out yummy enough to serve as the soup course for a rather formal dinner. Or just soup while you watch your favorite show. I love the versatility–the high/low of it all. Here is my version.
In a large pot add a big knob of butter and sauté a large chopped up sweet onion. The bigger the onion the better. Once done, add 2 boxes of the best chicken stock you can find. If you have homemade, by all means, use it. Bring to a boil, then add a 2 pound bag of frozen peas and cook for 5 minutes until the peas are tender. Take off the heat, add a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Let cool. Once cooled, take an immersion blender and pulse until smooth, but still slightly thick. If you don’t have an immersion blender stick, a counter blender will certainly do the trick. Once the consistency you like, reheat, adding a 10 ounce box of frozen petit peas and cook until tender. I like having the blended soup, but also like getting the small peas running throughout. Add a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche when done. Top with croutons if you have made them. Not necessary, but you will be extra happy if you did.
Truly, the easiest. For your shopping list–a large bag of peas and a small box of petit peas from the freezer section. 2 boxes of chicken stock, one large sweet onion. A bit of salt, a bit of pepper and a few spoonfuls of sour cream or creme fraiche. That is it. Enjoy!