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Old 11-27-2004, 03:30 PM   #11
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I make lots of "never the same way twice" soups with leftovers ... keep a bag in the freezer, and odds and ends of anything go into it. Periodically I buy sacks of leg/thigh chicken portions for next to nothing (recently I found them for 23 cents/lb!) and make stock. There are always canned beans on the shelf. I avoid pasta or rice because they don't hold up to abuse (there are only 2 of us, so much soup gets frozen for a later day).

But my favorite is split pea soup. I usually use ham hocks, but a ham bone is great too. If you cannot get ahold of either (rare, but has happened to me in my travels), then buy a pound of the smokiest bacon you can find, then sautee the veggies in it. You can use the meat or toss it once the bacon fat has infused the veggies. A great vegetarian version is to brush veggies with olive oil, then cook on your barbecue pit and use.

Cook a bag of split peas using about 3/4 of the water that is indicated on the bag, and the above veggies. If you are using ham hocks, I recommend boiling them in the water for an hour before you add the peas.

You got it. All you need is saltines or a good crustly loaf of bread. Or, of course

Pea soup and johnny cake,
Makes a Frenchman's belly ache.

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Old 11-27-2004, 09:57 PM   #12
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Here are two of my favorites:


*Note: I increased the amounts of ground ginger and fresh ginger, plus I added some ground cardamom and curry powder.

4 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth (I used 4 cups)
1 pound carrots, peeled, sliced
1 8-ounce russet potato, peeled, cut into cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger (I used about 1 1/2 tsp)

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger (I used about 1 1/2 tsp)
2 cups packed thinly sliced spinach leaves (I used flat leaf spinach, whole leaves)
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt (I used more)

Combine 4 cups broth, carrots, potato, onion and ground ginger in large saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. (I simmered vegetables about 15 minutes).

Using slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to processor. Puree until smooth. With machine running, gradually add soup broth to processor. Return soup to same saucepan, thinning with more broth if necessary. Add lemon juice and fresh ginger; simmer 3 minutes. Add spinach and simmer until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls. Swirl 1 heaping spoonful of yogurt into each bowl. (I used about 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons per bowl).

Serves 4.

Per serving: calories, 158; fat, 2 g; cholesterol, 1 mg; sodium, 127 mg

Bon Appétit
June 1995


4 servings

1 onion, chopped (I used 1 large)
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped (I used 9 large cloves, crushed)
2 teaspoons olive oil (I used 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil)
1 1/2 lbs yellow peppers (I used 1 large yellow pepper and 1 large red pepper)
3/4 lb potatoes, cut into chunks (I used 1 medium potato, about 10 oz)
3 cups unsalted chicken stock (I used 3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth)
1 tablespoon salt (less if using salted chicken broth) (I used less, of course)
1 chipotle pepper (canned) (I used a 4 oz can of mild green chilies and several shakes of some Cajun hot pepper sauce)
parmesan cheese (for garnish) (I used Parmigiano Reggiano)
extra virgin olive oil (for garnish)

1. Cook (sweat) onion, celery, carrot and garlic in olive oil until soft (about 10 minutes).
2. Bring stock to a boil.
3. Add peppers, potatoes, salt, chipotle and boiling stock.
4. Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
5. Puree in food processor or use an emersion blender.
6. Serve in bowls with a sprinkle of parmesan and EV olive oil.

Posted by Mean Chef on Fine Cooking Forum - "Stolen and altered from Red, White and Greens Cookbook."

Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces.
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Old 11-27-2004, 10:08 PM   #13
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This is a good soup to make on work nights. I usually cook the chicken the night before to save time.

Calico Minestrone Soup

1-49½ oz can chicken broth
½ cup uncooked small pasta (stars, shells, or alphabets, etc.)
2-14½ oz. cans Italian diced or stewed tomatoes, undrained
2-15¼ oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
1 carrot, diced
4-5 Yukon gold or red potatoes, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 onion, wedged
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley
2 garlic cloves, chopped

In a large pot, bring broth to boil. Stir in pasta and boil five minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for twenty minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serves: 4
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

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Old 11-27-2004, 10:30 PM   #14
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This is one of those recipes that my family and I just die for. When it gets colder, I usually make this at least once a month.
You’ll notice that I caramelize the bacon, then add the vegetables and seasonings, and caramelize those as well. The reason for this is added flavor. When the vegetables hit the pan, and they start exuding their liquid, they will deglaze the pan a bit. However, once that liquid is cooked off, they will start to caramelize slightly. I look for this point. I’m always scraping the pan bottom trying to work all the good flavor into the vegetables, and once it’s gone, I start keeping an eye on the pan bottom to see when the onions start to caramelize a bit. When I start to see color again, I add the clams and juice to deglaze the pan again.
A couple other tips: Before you do any other prep for this recipe, place the bacon on a sheet pan and place it in the freezer. Prep the other ingredients, then cut the bacon last. This lessens the chance of any cross-contamination from the bacon to other things, as well as gives you an easier time cutting the bacon. And lastly, don’t add any salt until the very end, and taste it first! Then, if the chowder needs salt, add a little. Remember that you are using salt-cured bacon, and saltwater shellfish, so there will be plenty of salt in the chowder without needing any more.

Big Al’s Wicked Good Clam Chowder
Yields: 1 ½ gal

8 slices thick sliced bacon, diced fine
1 ½ large onion, diced
1 ½ c celery, diced
1 ½ t Old Bay Seasoning, optional
½ t ground black pepper
1 ½ t tarragon
1 ½ t thyme
1 ½ t garlic, minced
2 # sized potatoes, peeled, and cubed into half inch cubes
33 oz (total) canned chopped sea clams with the juice (around here, that’s about 6 cans)
2 8 oz bottles of Clam Juice
1 pt heavy cream
1 pt half and half
½ c corn starch mixed with ½ c water
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Fry the bacon in a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-high until the bacon starts to crisp, and you see lots of color and “brown bits” in the pan. At this time, add the onions, celery, garlic, pepper, thyme, tarragon, and Old Bay seasoning, if desired. When the onions are translucent and slightly caramelized, add the clams, juice, and potatoes; adding a little water if needed to cover the potatoes. Simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the cream, half-and-half, and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch/water slurry and bring back to a boil to tighten the chowder. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!
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Old 11-27-2004, 11:31 PM   #15
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Hey AllenMI...great recipe...almost the same recipe as I use. My only difference is I cook the bacon beforehand, and use a mirpoix.(Carrots,celery,and onion)

Tarragon and Thyme makes Clam Chowder better!!!

I'll post my Chicken Noodle recipe tomorrow!!!
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Old 11-28-2004, 05:39 AM   #16
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The chicken soup:

and the Matzoh Balls:

Abe Lebewohl’s Matzoh Balls(2nd Ave Deli NYC)

1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1/3 cup schmaltz (rendered chicken fat)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/3 cups matzoh meal

Fill a large, wide stockpot three quarters full of water, add 1 tabelspoon of the the salt and bring to a boil.

While the water is boiling, crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat thoroughly. Beat in the schmaltz 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and baking powder. Slowly stir in matzoh meal, mixing vigorously until completely blended.

Wet hands and, holding the mixture in your palms, shape perfect balls about 1 1/4 inches in diameter (they will double in size when cooked).

Gently place matzoh balls in the boiling water, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 25 minutes.

Remove with a slotted spoon. Serve immediately in hot chicken soup.

Here is the Black Bean Soup recipe I use:
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Old 11-28-2004, 08:56 AM   #17
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I'm with masteraznchefjr.... French Onion Soup!! I could (and practically do) eat it every day!

AllenMI... I assumed you were from Michigan.... but the name of your clam chowder implies you're from Boston (like me) =)
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Old 11-28-2004, 02:08 PM   #18
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I love soup!
French onion
Split Pea
and Clam chowder are my favorites to make!
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. Robert Frost
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Old 11-29-2004, 05:23 AM   #19
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Clam Chowder ( mine is similar to AllenM's)
Beef vegetable

I really like 'em all, but these are a few of my favorites. :)
I can resist anything, but temptation. Oscar Wilde
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Old 11-29-2004, 08:33 AM   #20
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Pasta E Fagioli

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 strips bacon, finely diced (or 1/4 c. diced salt pork)
1 clove garlic, minced
16 oz chicken stock or broth
16 oz canned Italian tomatoes in juice, crushed
15 1/2 oz can Great Northern beans
1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup ditalini (tiny, tube-shaped pasta)

In 2 qt stockpot over low-medium heat, combine oil, onion, bacon, and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent and bacon browns. Add chicken stock and crushed tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add beans, cheese, parsley, salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper. Simmer 3 - 4 minutes. In a large saucepan, boil pasta to al dente stage. Drain and add to soup.

Variations: Can add kidney beans, sliced celery and leaves, fresh basil, carrots, and miniature meatballs (1/4 lb ground sirloin, 1 small egg, and 2 Tbsp seasoned bread crumbs).

Note: You can make the base of this soup and then freeze. Cook the pasta when you take out to reheat.

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