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Old 01-18-2006, 06:22 PM   #1
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Question Soup contest, need help

We're having a soup cook-off at work, and I'm thinking about entering. Last year I entered Hot & Sour soup, and it was really good, but didn't win. The crowd I'm cooking for is kinda conservative...sort of a chili, potato or veggie soup crowd. I don't think I'd make any particularly ethnic soups like Thai (although I love these) for this group, or anything with fish. I'm thinking about making my favorite homemade cream of tomato soup which I've made lots of times, although I can only make it if I can get fresh basil at the store. Everyone I've made this for is amazed. Or, I might make the recipe I have for "Hard Rock Cafe" baked potato soup, which is awesome also. Do you have an opinion, on which might be more popular? I will post the recipes if anyone is interested. Or, do you have a recipe which you think would be a contest winner? I love to make soup!!! Thank-you so much!


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Old 01-18-2006, 06:28 PM   #2
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i think you should make french onion soup ..mmmm. i'd vote for that!
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Old 01-18-2006, 06:39 PM   #3
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a good potatoe soup may do the trick
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Old 01-18-2006, 06:47 PM   #4
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I wish I could make French onion soup, but there would be no way to bake the soup with bread and cheese at the contest (darn it!). That's an excellent suggestion though! The potato soup recipe I have is awesome...thanks for your replies!!
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Old 01-18-2006, 07:01 PM   #5
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Mmmm, I love potato soup. I make a really good, rather unique one.


6 thick slices of bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 leeks, white part only, sliced thin
1 grated carrot (opt)
6 cloves garlic, minced
approx. 1/4 cup flour
2 cans chicken broth
2 cups milk
2 cups water if needed
6-8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped in bite-size pieces
2 tbl salt
white pepper to taste
2 tbl chopped Italian parsley
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, cubed

Sweat chopped bacon slowly in a soup pot over medium heat. When it's beginning to crisp, add onions and cook a few minutes. Then add leeks, grated carrots and garlic, and continue to cook until vegies are tender. Add flour and turn heat up to med/high. Cook and stir a few minutes , then stir in the chicken broth. Continue stirring until sauce begins to thicken, then add milk, potatoes, Italian parsley, salt and pepper. Add water, if needed, to cover potatoes. Simmer on med/low heat until potatoes are tender, reseason, then add cream cheese and stir till melted.

A good split pea with potatoes, carrots, onions and ham is another of my faves.
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Old 01-18-2006, 07:13 PM   #6
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They all sound really good!
My contribution is more of a chili dish, than a soup. It is a recipe from The Mansion on Turtle Creek, one of the Best restaurants in Dallas Texas.

Texas Red on Baking Soda Biscuits
1 tbsp. olive oil or bacon drippings
2 lbs. chuck roast, trimmed of all fat & silver skin, diced in 1/2" cube
salt & coarse black pepper to taste
1 large onion, cut into medium dice
2 bottles bock-style beer
Ancho Chili Paste (recipe below)
lime juice to taste
Baking Soda Biscuits (recipe below)
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium high heat. Add chuck roast and season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to high. Do not stir immediately as to allow the meat to brown properly, about 2 minutes. Gently turn meat in pan and cook for another 4 minutes until all pieces have browned. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add beer and chili paste. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes or until meat is tender and thick like a stew. Season with salt and lime juice. Remove biscuits from oven. Split each biscuit in half, placing the bottom half into the middle of each hot bowl. Ladle chili over biscuit and place top half of biscuits over chili to serve.

Ancho Chili Paste
6-8 ancho chilies, whole
1 tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, cut into medium dice
1 jalapeño, cut into fine dice
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
1 chipotle chile, whole
2 corn tortillas
3 c. rich chicken stock
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro, with stems
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350°. Clean ancho chilies of all seeds and stems and wipe chilies with a dry towel to remove any debris. Place chilies on sheet tray and into oven for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes or until garlic is golden brown. Do not burn. Add onions and jalapeño and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add cumin, oregano, chipotle chile, and corn tortillas. Sauté for 1 minute, continuing to stir constantly. Add ancho chilies with cilantro and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, seasoning with salt. Pour mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth, being careful not to overload the machine. Set mixture aside.

Baking Soda Biscuits
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. vegetable shortening
3/4 c. buttermilk
Preheat oven to 475°. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Cut shortening into dry ingredients until mixture is the texture of cornmeal. Add buttermilk to make a soft dough. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly 2 to 3 times. Roll 1/2" thick and cut with a floured 2" biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and bake in preheated 475° oven for 7 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.

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Old 01-18-2006, 09:54 PM   #7
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No question, Shelly - go with the baked potato soup! I have a recipe that's similar to the Hard Rock's and it is fantastic! Like baked potatoes with all the fixin's.

Good luck!

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Old 01-18-2006, 10:14 PM   #8
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I think the baked potato soup will be a hit. It really depends on the crowd and what their preferences might be. If you are more comfortable with the tomato soup, you may be better off making that.

I make a sour cream mushroom soup that's always a big hit. I think it's because cream of mushroom soup is so common and as a result, people are comfortable with it. Cream of tomato is in the same category thanks to Campbell's.
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:52 PM   #9
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Here's a couple links to my two best soups.

This is my Clam Chowder Recipe

This is my Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

The clam chowder is great, full of bacon, potatoes, clams, and clam flavor. The Tortilla Soup is a little strange, from the curry, cilantro, and white wine, but it comes together in such a way that it's addicting. The club I used to work at would make 4 gallons of this soup every Friday, and be sold out by Saturday afternoon.
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Old 01-19-2006, 12:18 AM   #10
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here's a link to my most recent successes with stews:

shiitake, beef, and bean stew - http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...tew-17225.html

and another, a recipe for irish/portugese two potato soup -

5 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
2 1/2 cups diced onions
3 cups sliced carrots
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound russet (baking) potatoes (about 2 large)
8 cups chicken broth
2 pounds chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 pound kale, stems discarded and the leaves washed well, spun dry, and shredded thin (about 10 cups packed)
1 pound red potatoes

In a kettle cook the garlic, the onions, and the carrot in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened. Add the russet potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces), broth, and/or enough water to cover, bring the liquid to a boil, and simmer the mixture covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, in a skillet cook the chorizo over moderate heat, stirring, until it is lightly browned. Set aside.
With a slotted spoon transfer the cooked potatoes from the first kettle to a blender, add about 2 cups of the cooking liquid and puree the mixture until it is smooth. Stir the pureed potatoes back into the broth mixture, add the chorizo, the chopped kale, the red potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces, and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer the soup, covered, for 20-30 minutes, or until the red potatoes and kale are tender.
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Old 01-19-2006, 08:08 AM   #11
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ANY ONE WILLING TO SHARE this baked potatoe soup recipe?
I have never had it and would love to try it...
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Old 01-19-2006, 08:22 AM   #12
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Go with the potato soup. We just had potato soup and O so good. Homemade potato soup is so good. Never have we got a good bowl of potato soup at a eating establishment. All it ever looks and taste like is warmed up milk with chopped potatoes. (yuk)
8 slices of bacon sliced across and seperated and fried until crisp. Drain on P towel.
8 med potatoes peeled and cubed in bit size chunks.
1 med onion, rough chopped. Add onion to potatos, in a 3 qt sauce pan, cover with water, add salt. Boil until potatoes are tender.
In another sauce pan add 2 1/2 cups of milk and heat just to boiling on med heat. Add 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 1/2 cups cubed velveeta cheese.
Add potatoes and potato water and stir to blend.
add bacon bits and pepper.
When boiling the potatos don't cover the pan. Some of the water needs to evaperate away. This potato soup is creamy and a little thick without the use of flour.
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