It’s getting nippy and that means one solid thing to me: soup season!
Man alive, but I love soups. I’m picky about them, of course – I only really like thick, hearty soups with a creamy texture and not much in the way of big lumps. I’m not a fan of minestrone or any excessively chunky soup with thin broths.
My go-to used to be potage parmentier, the simple potato and leek soup that kicked off Julie Powell’s “Julie & Julia Project” (and where did my copy of that book go? blast it all…). It’s easy to make and very delicious…but over time I understood that it isn’t long-term filling. It doesn’t have a lot of protein, so it doesn’t sustain one well over a workday if it’s lunch. So I started poking around to find more soups that I could make that would be good meals.
(and I started adding ham to the potato soup, I mean, that was an easy fix)
I discovered Chocolate, Chilli, and Black Bean Soup by A Girl Called Jack. Normally I don’t much do beans, but pureed, this soup is wonderful. I omit the chili pepper because it makes it too hot. For flavor, I use a fire-roasted onion and pepper mix I get from Trader Joe’s, which is totally one of my kitchen staples. I do use half a block of unsweetened chocolate, and she’s right, it makes all the difference. When I serve this soup, I throw in chunks of marinated, steamed tilapia and serve with white corn tortillas on the side. Fantastic stuff.
Then I went in for The Best Corn Chowder at Serious Eats, and yep, another winner. Again, I don’t just use the onion it says to use, I use a generous helping of the fire-roasted pepper and onion mix. Seriously, I fill my freezer with bags of that stuff.
Elly Says Opa has me covered for Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, a recipe that comes out tasting surprisingly like the yummy stuff I used to eat at church socials. I double the sausage and use gluten-free flour for my roux.
And today I made a quick broccoli-cheddar soup with three cups of chicken stock (Better than Bouillon is my jam!!) in which I cooked a cup of wild rice with fresh minced garlic, tossing in a half bag of frozen broccoli once the water boiled. I cooked that until the rice was done, whisked in a little cornstarch, added salt and pepper and cheddar cheese…and a little Parmesan too for extra kick! It’s some good stuff, this one, nice and hearty.
Soup season is truly my time to shiiiiiiiiiine, y’all. It helps that they are generally quick to make, which I need right now with time being at such a premium. Sigh.
Speaking of, gotta jet.