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Soups

Chicken Soup
An ancient miracle drug containing equal parts of aureomycin, cocaine, interferon, and TLC. The only ailment chicken soup can't cure is neurotic dependence on one's mother.
- Arthur Naiman, "Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish"

Stracciatella

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This is a classic Italian soup of spinach and egg. Once the spinach is rinsed, this is a very quick soup to make. This recipe makes two portions, but it is very easy to scale up, you simply need more bowls.

4 ounces fresh spinach leaves, trimmed, rinsed, and dried
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  freshly grated black pepper to taste
1 egg
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups chicken stock
  salt to taste
  freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

  1. Cut the spinach into chiffonade (very thin strips). Divide it between two large soup bowls, and sprinkle with the cheese and a grating of pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg and lemon juice together.
  3. Heat the stock to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Stir in the egg mixture until the broth is ribbony and slightly thickened. Ladle over the spinach, and stir just until wilted.
  4. Add Salt, if needed, and serve immediately, with additional grated cheese on the side.

Albondigas

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One of our favorite soups, it is a flavourful tomato and beef broth with small meatballs floating in it amidst specs of cilantro and other spices. A traditional Mexican dish, the chipotle helps add a smoky spicy flavour to the soup. We like it with queso seco2.1 sprinkled into it.

2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups chopped onions
4 minced garlic cloves
2 small bay leaves
  ---
8 cups beef stock
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  ---
1 pound ground beef
5 tbsp cornmeal
3 tbsp milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground California chili
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  ---
1 cup corn
2 chipotle chilies
1 tbsp ground California chilies
4 green onions
1/2 cup rice
  ---
  cilantro for garnish
  queso seco

  1. Saute the first four ingredients for about 5 minutes. Basically until the onions are wilted.
  2. Put in the next four ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Form the next nine ingredients into small meatballs (I use a tbsp of mixture in each). Do this while you simmer in the previous step.
  4. Add the next five ingredients to the pot, and add the meatballs at the same time.
  5. Serve in bowls garnished with cilantro and crumbled bits of queso seco.

.

An alternative is to use cornmeal dumplings instead of meat dumplings in the Albondigas.

3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2-3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground California chili
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

  1. Form these ingredients into small meatballs (I use a tbsp of mixture in each). Do this while you simmer in the second step.

Winter Vegetable Soup

4 tbsp butter
1 leek, sliced
1 1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp thyme
  salt and pepper to taste
4 tsp ham bouillon
5 tsp chicken bouillon
5 cups water
2 1/2 cups diced potatoes
1 pound sliced spinach, stems removed
1/2 cup milk

  1. In stockpot sauté leek, onion, and celery in butter until wilted, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add tarragon, thyme, salt and pepper. Add bouillon water, and potatoes.
  3. Simmer until potatoes are tender but not mushy, 15 to 20 min.
  4. Add half of the spinach; simmer for 1 minute.
  5. Remove soup from heat.
  6. Puree half in blender or food processor (be careful !! it's hot!!). Return puree to pot.
  7. Add remaining spinach and milk, and heat through, but do not boil.

French Lentil Stew with Lamb Sausage

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A very simple stew with few ingredients, this is a great comfort food with a chunk of crusty bread and a hearty red wine. Uli's sausage at the market had some lamb sausage that caught my eye when I was buying Andouille for gumbo, so I got some of it and found a nice stew recipe to go with it. A little tinkering and this recipe was born.

2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups coarsely chopped onion
  ---
6 chopped large cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups French green lentils
3 cups water
1 cup red wine
4 large carrots cut into 2" pieces
1 tbsp fresh minced rosemary
1/2 tbsp fresh minced thyme
  ---
2 lamb sausage links (1/2 lb)
  ---
1 tsp salt
  Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Saute onions at high heat in olive oil eight minutes
  2. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add lentils, stir about, cook for one minute.
  4. Add water, wine, carrots, rosemary and thyme.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cook 20 minutes or until lentils are becoming tender.
  6. Add whole sausages, simmer till cooked through.
  7. Remove sausages, cut into coins, add back to soup.
  8. Add salt and pepper, simmer additional 5 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  9. Remove from heat, eat with a nice crusty bread.

Lentil Soup

3 cups dry lentils
8-9 cups water
3-4 tsp salt
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups chopped onion
2 ribs celery chopped
2 diced medium carrots
2 1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
4 bay leaves
  a pinch of celery salt
  freshly ground black pepper to taste
  red wine vinegar

  1. Bring lentils, salt, and water to boil; lower heat to slowest simmer and cook partly covered 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Add vegetables, herbs, and pepper; simmer 20 to 30 min partly covered, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve with dash of red wine vinegar on top.

Split Pea Soup

1 pound dry split peas
2 tsp chicken bouillon
4 tsp ham bouillon
8 cups water
1 cup diced ham
2 ribs diced celery including leaves
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp tarragon
3 tbsp butter
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced onion
1 sliced leek
  freshly ground black pepper
  pinch of celery seed
  pinch of marjoram

  1. Bring bouillon water, and beans to boil. Add celery, parsley, tarragon.
  2. Reduce heat to simmer and cook partially covered for 45 minutes , stirring occasionally.
  3. Separately sauté carrots, onion, and leek in butter until wilted, about 10 minutes. Add to soup, along with ham.
  4. Simmer, partly covered, for 30 minutes.

Chilled Cucumber Yogurt Soup

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Delicious simple and refreshing. An especially good accompaniment to Indian or Mediterranean meals.

4 small seedless cucumbers - peeled
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  few sprigs of fresh dill chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

  1. Combine the ingredients in a blender/cuisinart. Blend till mostly smooth.
  2. Garnish a bit of mint or a few raisins.

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup

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I finally got around to making this one. I'm not sure what ethnicity it falls under, but I've had the idea kicking about for a number of years. It's inspired by various curried squash/pumpkin soups I've seen or had. I never really quite enjoyed them as much as I thought I would, so this is what I came up with for myself. Quite good hot or cold.

  olive oil
5 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 onion diced
5-6 cups cooked sweet potato in 2" chunks
3 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut milk
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt
  fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 pound diced fresh pineapple
  Cilantro (optional)

  1. Heat olive oil in the bottom of a stockpot under medium heat and saute garlic and ginger for 30 seconds.
  2. Add onion and cook 4-5 minutes until translucent
  3. Add sweet potato, chicken stock, and the coconut milk. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes on medium.
  4. Remove from heat and add salt, pepper and garam masala.
  5. Puree soup in a blender and then add pineapple.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Indian Mixed Vegetable Soup

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A nice strong flavoured Indian Dal, this meatless legume soup is a family favorite. Good with naan or mixed with rice.

1 cup red lentil 2.2
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1-1/2 tbsp ground coriander
1-2 tbsp tikka masala 2.3
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
6 curry leaves (optional)
5 cups water
  ---
2 cups trimmed vegetables:
  waxy potatoes, one inch cubes
  cauliflower, one inch florets
  green beans, one inch lengths
  Gai Lan, one inch lengths 2.4
  spinach leaves
  mustard greens
  peas, frozen or fresh
  carrots, 1/2 inch chunks
  eggplant, 1 inch cubes
  squash, 1 inch cubes
  zucchini, 1 inch cubes
  mushrooms, whole or quartered
  ---
3 tbsp ghee (or unsalted butter)2.5
2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
  ---
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
  pepper to taste

  1. Combine first eleven ingredients in a stock pot. Bring to a slow simmer and cook 30 minutes to 2 hours until the legumes are soft.
  2. Add the vegetables in order of their cooking times, potatoes and carrots first, spinach and greens last.
  3. Once the vegetables are done cooking, heat the ghee in a small pan. Once the ghee is hot, add the spices and stir for one minute.
  4. Stir the spice mixture, salt, pepper, and cilantro into the pot. Adjust the salt if needed and enjoy.

Corn Chowder

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A nice corn chowder that has some really bright flavours.

4 ounces sliced bacon, one inch pieces
2 tbsp butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 tbsp flour
4 cups chicken stock
2 diced large potatoes
1 cup milk
4 cups cooked corn kernels
1/2 pound diced ham (optional)
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  salt to taste
1 diced large red bell pepper
3 sliced scallions
1/4 cup cilantro for garnish

  1. Wilt the bacon in a large soup pot over low heat until fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. 2.6 Add the butter and allow it to melt.
  2. Add the onions and wilt over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and potatoes. Continue cooking over medium-low heat until the potatoes are just tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Add the milk, corn, ham (if you are adding it), pepper, and salt. Cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the bell pepper and scallions, adjust the seasonings, and cook an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately, garnish with the cilantro (best to let each person add it to their own taste).

Portobello Mushroom Soup

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This is a very simple soup made with portobello mushrooms. Once my friend Julie dropped by while I was cooking this. I asked her if she would like to try some of the portobello soup I was cooking. She agreed, and I ladled out a small bowl for her. After a while of eating it, she said "I like the soup, but there is just something in it I don't like". I said "Well it's pretty much just portobello mushrooms, onions and some chicken stock." It turns out she didn't know portobellos were mushrooms, which she doesn't like...

  per serving:
  ---
1 diced portobello mushroom
1 small or 1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 cup water
1/2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp milk
  salt and pepper to taste

  1. Saute mushrooms and onion in butter until soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add water and bouillon. Cook 30 minutes longer.
  3. Puree half of the solids in food processor or blender along with the milk. Return puree to soup.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.

Buddhist Tofu Soup

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This is a very quick, very spicy soup that I stumbled upon the recipe for when I was in the mood for some soft tofu soup. Simply substitute vegetable stock for chicken stock to achieve a vegan dish.

1 cup water
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1 Tbsp Black Bean Garlic paste
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 block Tofu (I like extra soft)
  ---
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound nappa cabbage
1 pound asparagus - 1 inch slices
1/4 pound enoki mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp finely minced grated ginger
2 green onions, finely sliced

  1. Combine first five ingredients in a bowl. Cut the tofu into approximately one inch cubes.
  2. Bring chicken stock to a boil. Add the Nappa cabbage and cook five minutes at a simmer.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for three more minutes at a simmer.
  4. Add the contents of the bowl and bring back to a boil. Drop to a simmer for a minute or two.

Thai beetroot soup

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A lovely unconventional recipe that marries the mild sweetness of beets with the aromatics of Thai cooking. And it's a quite astonishing colour.

1 pound cooked beets, chopped
1 tin coconut milk
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 limes juice
1/2 tsp salt
  ---
-stock- 4 shallots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
4 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and chopped
2 inch long pieces galangal, finely sliced
2 thumb-size pieces of root ginger, grated
6 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups cold water
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 bird's-eye chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

  1. In a large pan, fry the shallots, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, ginger and lime leaves in the oil for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the water and the rest of the stock ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain out solids.
  3. Add beets to the strained liquid and simmer for five to ten minutes. Blend the solids, then add the coconut milk and bring back to a simmer.
  4. Add fish sauce, salt and lime to taste. Serve garnished with a sprinkle of cilatro leaves.

Cioppino

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The classic San Francisco fisherman's wharf stew. This dish is really the descendant of similar soups cooked all along the Mediterranean coast. Many of San Francisco's fisherman are of Italian and Portuguese descent, so it's not a surprise they would create something like this in their new home. Our family seems to view this as a traditional holiday dish. Some of you have no doubt shared this with us at a Christmas or New Years feast, usually prepared by grandpa John as it is his specialty. A wonderfully hearty soup that is great with a good crusty bread, a zesty salad and a bottle of wine.

.

Any firm white fish and shellfish combination will work well for this dish. Sometimes we use mussels or oysters instead of clams.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
  ---
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp dry oregano
  ---
1 can (28 oz) Italian plum tomatoes
1 can (14 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 cups dry white wine
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp course ground pepper
  ---
3/4 - 1 pound rock cod fillets (cut into 1" squares)
big can crab meat
1 pound shelled de-veined shrimp
12 clean clams in shell
1 bottle clam juice
small can clam meat and juice

  1. Heat oil in the bottom of an 8 quart stock pot. Add onions and bell peppers. Sauté until onions are soft.
  2. Add garlic, parsley, basil, oregano and sauté for two more minutes.
  3. Coarsely chop tomatoes and add them (and their liquid, the tomato sauce, paste, wine, salt and pepper to pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour covered.
  4. Add seafood and cook until the shrimp are cooked (approximately 3-5 minutes).
  5. Take off heat and let sit for 20 minutes. The clams should all open, discard any that do not.



Footnotes

... seco2.1
Queso Seco is a dry salty Mexican cheese that keeps very well. It has a strong flavour that is excellent in soups and as an ingredient in other dishes.
... lentil2.2
Alternately, substitute yellow split peas, yellow lentils or split mung beans
... masala2.3
This is our favorite curry to use for this dish, but certainly many others will be very tasty.
... lengths2.4
A favorite of ours. Also known as Chinese Broccoli, this is great in stir fries and all manner of vegetable dishes.
... butter)2.5
Substitute half olive oil / half butter. This leaves a similar flavour and mouth feel.
... minutes.2.6
A lower fat substitute for this is 4 teaspoons of ham bouillon.

next up previous contents index
Next: Salads Up: The Buson Family Recipe Previous: Appetizers   Contents   Index
Dane Buson 2016-09-11