Three Soups! Bonus Recipes

Three SoupsOctober is soup season, and we are posting three soups! These are some of our staff’s favorite recipes to add to your repertoire. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Here are the recipes for Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup, a delicious Minestrone, and Spicy Chicken and Rice Flu Chaser Soup.

Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup
Adapted from The Daily Soup Cookbook by Leslie Kaul and Bob Spiegel
3 dried Chinese woodear mushrooms, or any dried, dark wild mushroom
2 cups warm filtered water
4 tablespoons peanut oil
1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), cut into pieces

10 cups filtered water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 (4-inch) piece lemongrass
2 Thai chilies
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1  teaspoon Thai curry paste
3 shallots, thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons finely minced Kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
I tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped scallions

Pour the warm water over the dried mushrooms, and let stand for 20 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces to the pot, and brown on all sides. Next add the water, bring it to a rolling boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken. Reserve the poaching liquid. When the meat is cool enough to handle remove it from the bones and set aside. Strain the poaching liquid to remove solids. Reserve 8 cups, of the liquid and set aside. If you wish to de-fat the stock, refrigerate it for I hour so a fat layer forms on the surface. Skim the layer off the top and discard.

Puree the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chilies, sugar, salt, and curry paste in a blender or food processor.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the pot and add the garlic puree, shallots, and red peppers. Cook on medium heat, sweating for 4 minutes, until tender and golden brown.

Return the chicken to the pan and add the reserved stock.

Drain the mushrooms, slice them into thin strips, and add to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat, and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes.

Stir in zucchini and lime leaves and simmer for 2 additional minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the lemon and lime juices.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with chopped scallions.


Adapted from Dean & Deluca Cookbook
This is a marvelous, densely flavored version of the classic recipe.

The Ligurians claim minestrone as their own, but most regions of Italy make a thick, hearty vegetable soup called minestrone. Usually, it contains some kind of bean (borlotti are popular in Liguria, cannellini in other regions), some kind of dried pasta, and greens of some kind or multiple kinds. This minestrone trio is also the basic structure of Italian-American minestrone, which almost always includes cabbage as part of the greens. The following recipe is a marvelous, densely flavored version, with no particular regional affiliation. It’s even better if you cook it one day, refrigerate it overnight, then serve it the next day. The Ligurians, of course, would top it with pesto.

By the way, it’s not uncommon in Italy, particularly in summer, to serve minestrone at room temperature.

Serves 8

1/4 cup olive oil
2 large yellow onions, cut into slivers (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 3/4 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (about 3/4 cup)
2 large red-skinned potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1/3 pound green beans, trimmed and diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 small zucchini, diced (about 1 3/4 cups)
2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
2 cups canned, crushed tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
2 cups water
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup dried beans, such as cannellini, soaked and cooked according to package directions (about 2 cups cooked)
1/2 cup short, dried pasta, such as ditalini or elbow macaroni
1/2 cup very thinly sliced Parmigiano-Reggiano for garnish*
3 tablespoons finely shredded basil leaves for garnish

You can use a carrot peeler or a box grater to get the thinnest possible slices.

Heat olive oil over moderate heat in large saucepan. Add onions and sugar, stir well, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until onions are wilted and light golden. Uncover and cook for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until onions are brown and well caramelized. (Watch carefully, so the onions don’t burn.)

Add carrots, celery, potatoes, and green beans, and cook for 10 minutes, or until vegetables soften slightly. Add zucchini and cabbage, and cook for 10 more minutes. Then add the crushed tomatoes, beef broth, water, herbs, salt, and pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to low, cover, and simmer gently.

After the soup has simmered for about two hours, add the cannellini beans, and cook mixture for another 30 minutes.

About ten minutes before serving time, cook the pasta in at least 2 quarts of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain. Add pasta to pan and adjust the seasoning. Ladle into warmed soup bowls, and garnish each serving with about 1 tablespoon of Parmigiano-Reggiano and some shredded basil leaves.

Spicy Chicken and Rice Flu Chaser Soup
Recipe adapted from The New England Soup Factory Cookbook.

This soup can’t substitute for a visit to a doctor, but it should help settle your stomach, clear your sinuses, and improve your mood. We go through gallons of it every winter, when people are desperate to alleviate the sniffles, coughs, and other symptoms of the viruses that make their annual rounds.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

20 whole cloves garlic, peeled
11/2 cups olive oil
1 whole chicken, about 5 pounds
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 ribs celery, diced
12 cups chicken stock, plus additional if needed
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons dried mint leaves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 cups cooked white or jasmine rice
Kosher salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the garlic cloves in a small, ovenproof casserole.

Pour the olive oil over the garlic. Bake for 45to 50 minutes, until the garlic is soft, brown, and caramelized. Strain the oil to use in other recipes. Mash the cloves and set aside.

In a stockpot place the chicken, onion, carrots, and celery. Pour the chicken stock over the chicken and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the roasted garlic cloves, lemon juice, lemon zest, mint, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves.

Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is very tender. Remove the chicken carefully and place on a plate to cool.

Remove the soup from the heat. If it looks too thick, add 1 to 2 cups of stock or water. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones, and add the meat back to the soup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Taste, adding more lemon juice if you like. Add the basil, rice, and salt.

Remove the bay leaves. Stir and serve.

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