Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Souper!"



Guess what dawned on me recently?

It's soup season.

And that simple thought is wonderfully comforting with the ailing cold coming upon us!

My penchant for soups started in the adolescence years when friends and I would scurry off during our curtailed lunch hour to the Soup Kitchen which was located a hop and a skip away from our school. The golden part of the entire soup-getting episode was the complimentary 2-4 bread sticks that accompanied each serving of soup. If you were at all a seasoned customer, you knew the art of grabbing maybe one additional bread stick and ordering the cream-based soups to dunk them in. The tomato, at the time, was my personal favorite and the only way to eat it up was not via the spoon. No no. You only used the bread sticks to wipe up every last lick. And it was delicious. I remember our AP English teacher once requested that we bring the extra breadsticks to her. That never happened, for "extra" never existed in that soup kitchen.

Hence, since then, I am a sucker for soup season. I like all kinds. And I like them all the much better when there is some warm bread, garnishes in the form of sour cream, and fresh herbs on top.
I made these two today: pumpkin curry and a quick black bean. Both meatless, both healthy, both inexpensive, and both very, very fast.

I recommend a slice of sourdough bread toasted for dunking. Oh heck it was crazy good.


Pumpkin Curry

1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups chicken broth
1 15-oz can of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup heavy cream OR 1 can evaporated milk
Roasted pumpkin seeds (garnish)
Sour cream (garnish)

In a large pan, melt the butter and add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes or until the onion begins to get tender. Add the spices. Slowly stir in the chicken broth and pumpkin puree. Combine with a whisk and bring to a boil for 15 minutes. In small batches, and very carefully, place the soup in a blender and puree until smooth (I only pureed about half of the soup, as I enjoy a little texture and roughage). Pour back into pan, bring to a gentle simmer, and stir in cream. Heat until combined and serve with sour cream and roasted pumpkin seeds.



Quick Black Bean Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 tsp coriander
1 1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 small can of green chilies (diced)
1 15-ounce can black beans, pureed in liquid, until smooth
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
Fresh cilantro, chopped- garnish
Sour Cream- garnish
Lime juice-garnish

Drizzle olive oil in a large pot. Turn heat up to medium high and add onions, carrots, garlic, and celery. Continue stirring for 5 minutes and add spices. Add the tomatoes, broth, and chilies and allow this to boil for 15-20 minutes. For the last 5 minutes, add the pureed beans, as well as the drained can. Serve warm with garnishes.


2 comments:

The Speres said...

I'm definitely a soup fan, too...Katie (Carter) Tingey and I would take our Soup Kitchen delights to Brother Chabrias' seminary class and get reprimanded by our classmates (Curtis Cannon, Jeff Bleak, and Jason Croft) for not bringing them the extra breadsticks. Good memories! thanks again for some great recipes!

katie m said...

Ha haa! Thanks for sharing YOUR memories of those darn good breadsticks, Heidi!! Brother Chabrias- oh haven't thought of that name for a while.... did we ever go to high school??

Thanks for your comment, dear!!