Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

Now that I've shared what a marvel I am at soups, I thought I'd pass on three of my favorites.

Baked Potato Soup
5 # potatoes, scrubbed and baked
Bake at 350 for 1 - 1 1/2 hours
2 leeks
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 # carrots
12 - 16 oz. frozen corn
1 - 2 T. olive oil
2 cans broth (vegetable for vegetarians and chicken for non-vegetarians)
2 cans evaporated milk
1 pt. sour cream
1 T. parsley
1 T. chives
1 t. dill
2 t. salt
8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Scrub potatoes and prick them 2 - 3 times. Place them on center rack of the oven. Bake the potatoes at 350 for 1 - 2 hours.

While the potatoes are cooling, elevate the oven temperature to 400. Quarter and thinly slice leeks; mince the garlic; thinly slice the carrots. Toss with the olive oil, place in a shallow pan and place in the oven. Stir every 15 minutes for 1 hours.

Cut the slightly cooled potatoes into large pieces. Add potatoes, roasted leek mixture, broth, and canned milk to a large pot.

Mix herbs with the sour cream and add to the pot. (If the herbs are fresh, blend them with the sour cream in a food processor.) Slowly heat the soup to almost boiling. Allow it to cool. (As it sets, the seasonings develop with the potatoes.)

After the soup has cooled, add 1 - 2 cups broth to the softened cream cheese. Mix well. Add this mixture to the pot of soup and reheat.

Italian Tortellini Soup
3 # hamburger
2 small onions
3 cloves of garlic
1 can spaghetti sauce
1 large can tomato puree
2 cans beef broth
1 T. beef bouillon
2 cups dice carrots
2 cups cut up green beans
3 packages of frozen tortellini
2 t. Italian seasoning
(or a mixture of oregano, basil & parsley)

Brown the hamburger. Drain the fat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the meat and saute. In a very large pot, add the spaghetti sauce, broth, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and seasonings.
Add the meat mixture to the pot. Bring to a boil; add bouillon and vegetables. Cook until the vegetables are done.
In another pot, cook the tortellini according to directions. After drained, add to the soup pot.

Fresh Tomato / Basil Soup

(with fresh tomatoes)
about 2 dozen fresh tomatoes
1 T. oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/ 2 cup fresh basil
2 T. fresh oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 t. salt
1 1/2 t. sugar

A note about cooking the tomatoes:
Some people don't like the seeds in tomatoes. If this is the case, cook down the tomatoes and then put them through a sieve.
Your result will be a tomato puree.

If you want a chunky soup, peel and dice the tomatoes and cook them down for about 30 - 45 minutes at a medium to low temperature.
Don't put it through a sieve.

After the tomatoes are cooked to your preferences, set aside. In another pan, saute the onions and garlic in 1 T. olive oil.

Add all but 1 cup of cooked tomatoes to the sauteed vegetables. In a blender or food processor add the remaining tomatoes and the herbs. Blend well. Heat to almost boiling and add the salt and sugar.

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