Midday Fix: Fall soup swap party

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Carol Mackey


Hosting a Successful Party:

A good number to invite is 5 people (so there will be 6 including the hostess)-make 6 cups for each guest & one for sampling

RSVP so there are a variety of different soups (I have provided 6 of my favorite soup recipes)

Bring frozen and freeze flat on a sheet pan in the freezer

Make sure they are labeled

Bring a cooler

Bring one soup-hot (slow cooker works great)

Serve with fresh bread and crackers (and wine of course)

Have everyone bring their favorite cheese serve with bread and crackers for easy appetizer

Make it fun and cast a vote for your favorite soup and the winner walks away with a prize

Red Lentil and Sausage

4 cups chicken stock
4 cups beef stock
1 lb. cup dried red lentils
2 Tbs olive oil
1/3 cup each: celery, carrot and onion
1 1/2 tsp garlic
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp thyme
12 ounces diced tomatoes; drained
3/4 lb. hot Italian sausage (bulk), cooked

Add olive oil to large pot and sauté carrot, celery and onion until tender add rosemary and thyme. Add stocks to pot, add lentils and tomatoes, cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until lentil are tender Using a slotted spoon, puree one-third on the lentils in a food processor, return to pot. Add Italian sausage and check for salt and pepper, or if you need to add a bit more stock.
Serves 8.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 onion, cut into medium dice
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves of garlic; minced
pinch of nutmeg
about 3 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
1 quart chicken stock (4 cups)
1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
fresh ground pepper
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Melt butter over medium heat in a stockpot. Cook carrot and onion in butter until softened. Add garlic cook for about 30 seconds then stir in flour to make a roux, add chicken stock and milk, add nutmeg. Bring to a boil, add broccoli and then simmer until broccoli is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Then slowly stir in cheese a little at a time until melted, season with fresh ground pepper. Serves 6.

For added richness, add a touch of cream.

Pumpkin, Beef and Black Bean Chili

1 1/4 lbs ground beef
1/3 cup sweet onion; diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 clove garlic cloves, minced
3-4 Tbs flour
3-4 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
2 1/2 cups pie pumpkin or butternut squash; diced
3-4 cups beef stock
1 can black beans; rinsed and drained
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes; drained
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobe; seeds removed and chopped
1/3 cup cilantro
Chihuahua cheese

Cook beef and drain. Sauté onion and red pepper in olive oil, add garlic at the end. Add chili powder, oregano, cumin and pumpkin then add flour to make a roux; cook 1 more minute add stock. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until pumpkin is tender, then add cilantro. Serve with cheese and sour cream.
Serves 6-8.

French Onion Soup

5 cups of onions (about 5 onions), sliced thin (1/2 moon shape if very large) I use sweet onions
5 Tbs butter
3-4 Tbs flour
8 cups beef stock
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 tsp cognac
2-3 cups imported gruyere cheese, grated
1 small baguette, toasted and sliced crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces

Melt butter in large pot on medium–low heat. Add onions. Spread out in a thin layer. Sprinkle with sugar and cook stirring only as needed to keep onions from sticking too much. Cook onions until they have turned an even deep golden brown-about 30-40 minutes (caramelize). Sprinkle in the flour and stir for about 2 minutes, let brown slightly. Set aside. Add wine and let reduce a bit, add stock and let simmer about 30 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper, add splash of cognac. Place bread round on top of soup and top with grated cheese. Broil until bubbly and golden.
Serves 6-8.

Beef Barley

2 lbs. pot roast (beef shoulder) cut into 1/2 inch pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper
3-4 Tbs olive oil
1 cup carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms
2 tsp minced garlic
8 cups beef stock
3/4 cup pearl barley
1 14.5 ounce can diced drained tomatoes
2 Tbs chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Heat 3-4 Tbs olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Sear meat on all sides until browned about 5 minutes. Remove meat and set aside. Add carrots, green pepper and onions and sauté until soft, then add the mushrooms and garlic. Return meat to the pot and add stock. Simmer until meat is very tender; about 3 hours. If you have an oven-proof pot, it can be place in the oven at 275-300 degrees. Next, add barley and diced tomatoes and cook an additional hour, until barley is soft. Check for salt and pepper and finish with chopped parsley. If necessary, add more stock.
Serves 6-8.

Chicken Posole Verde

3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup white onion; diced
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
9 cups chicken stock
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves; poached and shredded
2-3 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 29 oz. can white hominy
2 roasted, peeled and seeded poblano peppers
1 jalapeno, seeded
3/4 pound tomatillos, husked and quartered
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 Tbs Mexican dried oregano
2 garlic cloves
diced avocado, for garnish
sliced radishes, for garnish
Queso fresco, for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Stir in the cumin and then add the chicken stock and chicken. Add the potatoes and hominy and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Combine the poblanos, jalapenos, tomatillos, cilantro, oregano, garlic, in a blender. Blend on high until all of the ingredients are well combined. Add the blended mixture to the pot and cook for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle the posole into bowls and garnish each serving with avocado, thinly sliced radish, queso fresco, and chopped cilantro.
Serves 6-8.
*I roast the pablanos over the stovetop flame until blackened then place in a paper bag to let steam, peel off skin once cooled (you can also blacken under the broiler).


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