Soups Galore

A friend of mine hosts a Soup Swap twice a year. The rules are pretty simple.  You bring 6 quarts of soup, preferably frozen.   One at a time you tell the group what soup you brought and what’s in it. This is when you “sell” your soup: why did you made it, where you got the recipes, what add-ons you brought along (croutons, bacon bits, etc.)  Then you choose a number (there were 27 of us this time). When it’s your turn, you get to choose one of the soups.  We go from #1 to the end, then from the end back to #1 until all the soups are parceled out. To help with the process, there is the “Wall of Soup” where everyone’s soup is listed. Once all of a soup has been taken, that soup gets crossed out.

Of course there is also wine, appetizers and my friend always serves tomato soup over rice. If it’s your first time at a soup swap, you are a “soup virgin”.  One woman often has her mother make her soup.  Occasionally someone buys their soup and that’s part of their soup story. Everything is OK.

The first time I went to a soup swap, I was the only one who brought a vegetarian soup. I came home with 6 meat soups that I promptly gave away to neighbors and co-workers.  Most of the time there are a fair number of vegetarian options, but it’s the experience that draws me back.

This time I brought “Any Squash Shooters” and my add-on was a little cello bag with two shot glasses and a small packet of popcorn. I came home with Tomato Pesto, Creamy Butternut, Coconut Curry Squash, Tomato Red Lentil and 2 quarts of Vegetable Salsa Soup.  I’m already planning what to bring to the spring Soup Swap.

What soup would YOU like to bring to a swap?

42 thoughts on “Soups Galore”

  1. I used to make many soups, many truly pleasing soups. One of my favorites was a chicken/fennel soup. I guess it arose in northern Italy. That soup combines ingredients I haven’t found used together in any other recipe, but maybe I just don’t know enough about Italian food. Any good cook looking at this recipe will know in advance whether it would appeal. I don’t think I’ve shared this before.

    2 lbs chicken breast meat
    6 c chicken broth
    2½ c cubed, peeled butternut squash
    2 c thinly sliced fennel bulb
    1 large onion, chopped (1 c)
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
    ¼ tsp salt
    ¼ tsp crushed red pepper

    Cut chicken in pieces and set aside. Combine all other ingredients in a Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Stir in chicken. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes more or until chicken is done and squash is tender.

    If desired, garnish with fennel sprigs and fresh chili peppers.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I found myself with an abundance of peanuts recently and decided I would try a peanut/sweet potato stew. All of the recipes I found for something like it online included ingredients that Darling Husband cannot have, so I mostly made it up as I went, until it tasted good. If I could figure out what I did, I would make that again. (I will likely try it again – and maybe pay closer attention to proportions this time…)

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Linda will surely want to stick to her black bean soup recipe, but for anyone who is interested, here is another good one.

    1 lb thick smoked bacon, plus (optionally) ½ lb Canadian bacon
    2 medium finely chopped onion
    2 finely chopped celery stalks
    2 large carrots, diced
    1 bay leaf
    3 large garlic cloves, minced
    1¼ tsp thyme
    2 tbsp cumin, divided
    1 tsp fresh black pepper
    2 tsp oregano
    3 tsp tomato paste
    4 qts chicken broth
    1 lb dried black beans
    6 tbsp lime juice (4 limes)
    ¼ tsp Tabasco
    ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
    ½ c finely chopped coriander leaves

    Soak beans overnight and discard water. Cut bacon into small pieces. In large soup pot, cook bacon cubes over medium-high heat 10-12 minutes, stirring, until brown and crisp. Add onions, celery, carrots, bay leaf, garlic, thyme, 1 tbsp of cumin, pepper and oregano. Stir to blend and cover the pot. Cook 5 minutes, being careful not to burn. Add paste and stir briefly. Add 2 qts broth and refrigerate. When cold, skim off bacon fat. Add rest of the broth and bring the soup to a boil. Add beans to soup, reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 2 hours. Stir in lime juice, Tabasco, cayenne, coriander and remaining cumin. Remove bay leaf.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The recipe I use is vegetarian. I have two versions of it, depending on how much time and energy I have for cooking. Guess which one I usually use….

      Mexican Black Bean Soup
      2 cups black beans
      1/4 cup olive oil
      2 medium or 1 large white onion chopped
      4-6 cloves garlic, minced
      3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
      1 1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves
      2 teaspoons salt
      dash of parsley
      2 cups vegetable bouillon
      1 cup frozen corn
      2 cups salsa

      Cook black beans in a crock pot with about 6 cups of water on high
      for about 5 hours, or low for 10. Include onion, garlic and parsley,
      along with olive oil and cumin to taste. When done, add salt. Put this in a stock pot with boullion. Then add corn and salsa. Bring it to a boil, then simmer very gently for about half an hour. May be served with about a tablespoon shredded sharp cheddar and a teaspoon light sour cream in each bowl. Makes about 6 good sized bowls.

      faster version (also vegetarian)

      ¼ cup olive oil
      1 pkg frozen seasoning blend (onion, pepper, celery, parsley)
      4-6 cloves minced garlic
      3/4 tsp cumin
      1 1/2 tsp oregano
      2 tsp salt
      1 vegetable boullion cube
      2 cups salsa
      3 15-ounce cans black beans (undrained)
      half a 12 oz. pkg frozen corn

      Heat olive oil and add seasoning blend and garlic. Cook till vegetables are tender. Add remaining ingredients. Add water if it seems to need some. Cook for awhile.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I make a Spanish seafood stew with haddock, scallops, halibut, salmon, white wine, and garlic, along with our homegrown shellout beans and home canned tomatoes. The beans make it really special.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ooh, that sounds yummy, Renee. How can you go wrong with a list of ingredients like that? Not exactly cheap, though.

      Last Friday I had bouillabaisse at W.A. Frost for lunch, and man, was that good. Have never made it myself as Hans doesn’t like most seafood, so it was a special treat.

      I did once make a Moroccan fish stew for a Danish book club meeting I hosted, and it was wonderful. It was so good, in fact, that Hans had two bowls of it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My dad was not a cook by any means but when I was in college he suddenly decided that he needed to make bouillabaisse. So twice a year he’d go down to the Soulard market in St Louis and purchase a ton of various sea foods and come home and as my mother said “stink up the house”
        He ate this bouillabaisse all by himself as my mother never liked any kind of seafood. This phase lasted for four or five years and then he never made bouillanaise again. But during that 4 or 5 years he really enjoyed his hobby.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Vegetarian French onion were you caramelize the onions down to chocolate brown and then add water up Bayleaf in sometime a little wine and pop with a piece of bread and provolone cheese in the oven and it’s a meal

    I also like a squash soup thats got some curry spice in it That needs to be topped with a gallop of sour cream
    and my favorite today would be a minestrone with some vegan tortellini in it

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love the idea of a soup swap, VS, and it sounds like you made a good haul. Do you freeze the soup in quart containers?

    The problem I’d have, planning at this time of year for a spring soup swap, would be that at the moment I crave warming and robust soups. By the time spring is in the air, I want lighter fare. On the other hand, I’d be more apt to put considerable time and energy into cooking a large batch of soup now. Once spring rolls around, all bets are off on how much time I want to spend in the kitchen. Of course, some soups are not all that time consuming. Perhaps a watercress soup with pickled cucumbers would be good, but I don’t know how well it would freeze.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. People freeze their soups in all different kinds of ways. I normally use the Ziploc bags with the pleat at the bottom. A lot of people use gallon bags so that they have a really flat skinny frozen bag. Some people splurge and buy plastic containers.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Son and DIl are introducing their 6 month old to new tastes and flavors. They make their own baby food. This week he got pureed green beans with basil, pears with nutmeg, peaches with vanilla, and bananas with cinnamon. He loves them all, and even liked a spoon of curry soup son slipped him. I don’t think he will be a picky eater.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Chicken Wild rice. That’s all I want.

    The cafeteria here at the college makes a delicious creamy wild rice soup. Except the last few months they haven’t had it. Chili they have EVERY DAY. I’ve tried it; it doesn’t work for me that much. And then these weird combinations of soups… Who wants Santa Fe chicken soup?? (I looked; there was too many beans in it).
    Just bring back the chicken wild rice.
    I’m about to start a petition.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That does sound good, Ben. I do think if you freeze it, though, do it before you add the milk or half-and-half or whatever it is that you use to make it creamy.

      Like

    2. I believe we chatted here once before about wild rice soup. My favorite was always the “Dayton’s Wild Rice Soup” (as served at that upscale restaurant on the 12th floor of Dayton’s Minneapolis store). That recipe includes half-and-half and a nice slug of sweet sherry. We also liked a wild rice soup that had shredded carrots and chunks of chicken. I have recipes for both and would happily share.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Here is the original Boundary Waters Chicken and Wild Rice recipe

          1/2 cup chopped onion
          1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
          8 to 10 Tablespoons all purpose flour
          8 cups chicken stock/broth
          2 to 3 cups cooked wild rice (cooked according to package directions)
          1 teaspoon white pepper
          2 cups heavy whipping cream
          1 cup cream sherry
          3 cooked, cubed chicken breasts
          bread bowls (optional)
          fresh thyme for garnish (optional)

          In a large soup pot, saute onion in butter until tender. Make a roux by adding the flour. Whisk it in for 2 to 3 minutes, or until deep amber and fragrant. Add stock, whisking it into the flour mixture until smooth. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add the cooked wild rice, pepper and cream. Bring to simmer once again. Add sherry and chicken. Heat thoroughly. Serve in small, hollowed out loaves of fresh bread and garnish with fresh thyme, if you wish. Salt and pepper to taste.

          Like

  9. I make a mean Dutch split-pea with ham hocks (or smoked ham shank). Also contains kielbasa, leeks, carrots, and a few savory spices. NOTHING better on a cold winter day with some crusty bread to dip into it.

    For the vegetarians, it probably would be tasty without the meat, but thankfully my conscience and my constitution allows me to eat meat. Although, the soup doesn’t have a large amount of meat in total.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Spit pea soup is one of my favorites. I usually make it with yellow split peas, because that’s how my dad made it. After a day on the cross country ski trails, nothing better to come home to.

      Liked by 4 people

  10. I keep getting interrupted today… Here are two of my favorites:

    Gypsy Soup, page 5 (if memory serves) of the original Moosewood Cookbook – sweet potatoes, several other vegetables, cooked garbanzo beans, tomatoes, several spices including a whole lot of paprika.

    And a Creamy Dungeness Carrot and Coconut Milk Soup (with Thai Red Curry) found in an Edible Seattle magazine when we were traveling there years ago.

    Like

  11. Somewhere, maybe on public radio, I heard not too long ago that if you have a choice between buying canned precooked beans or rice, you should go for that instead of dried beans or rice. The reason being that the commercial kitchens where they cook the beans and rice are more efficient than having hundreds of home kitchens cooking the food individually. Energy is saved when you scale up.

    Like

    1. I’m a huge fan of saving energy, but not at the expense of taste. From personal observation I’d say that precooked rice is pretty much tasteless. I use my pressure cooker for beans, and it really performs miracles. Also, dried beans are a lot cheaper than canned ones and doesn’t add the can to the waste.

      But, I get it. We should certainly consider how we use our resources. I use canned beans when I haven’t planned ahead, but I wouldn’t think of using par-boiled or precooked rice.

      Liked by 1 person

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