SOUP! I have been obsessed with it since the weather turned bleak a couple of weeks ago!! I make pots and pots of it and still can't get enough. I am seeking professional help (Klayton gave me an ultimatum- Find other recipes [you know, for those lame, SOLID foods] or he was going to take away my ladle! *GASP* I know- harsh.) Anyway, I have tried the good, bad and ugly, so I thought I'd share my favorite recipes so far.
Ina Garten's Cheddar Corn Chowder. Oh. My. Goodness. Rich and creamy and hearty and delicious- this soup hits the spot on wintery days for sure. I rendered a couple of pounds of bacon when I made this and keep it in a tupperware in the fridge- Klayton loves to sprinkle his with lots of crispy bacon pieces. Who wouldn't?
Ina's Lentil Sausage Soup. If you think that this doesn't sound like your family's cup of tea (Or soup, rather.), then, I'm sorry, but you don't know yourselves very well. This is the best soup I've ever made/had by far!! Yummy, fall apart in your mouth lentils with carrots, celery and scrumptious sausage (I guess we're red-meat lovers. No offense, Chicken.). SO good I'm going to make it again really soon (This one didn't count in the whole "Stop making soup or else" thing.).
And just in case you've never made your own chicken stock before, DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!! It's easy to do- just throw a few things into a big pot and let her simmer on down. But the flavor is unparalleled and you don't have to worry about sodium levels and junk from canned stock. I roast whole chickens for Klayton pretty often, and when I'm done carving them up I freezer-bag up the bones and save them for stock! Here's my stock recipe:
2 or 3 (depending on how big your pot is) raw or cooked chicken carcasses, coarse chopped with wings and neck
4 carrots, peeled and coarse chopped
2-3 ribs celery, coarse chopped
2 med. yellow onions, quartered
1 large bay leaf
3-5 sprigs thyme
Cold water to cover chicken bones by 2 inches
Put it all together in an uncovered pot, bring to boil, reduce to low and simmer 1 and a half to 2 hours. Cool slightly, strain stock and chill. Remove chilled fat from top of stock. Refrigerate, freeze or use at will.
A few more soup tips: If you are making soup for a crowd/party, go ahead and make it the day before. The longer most soups sit, the better they taste! Also... ummm... be sure to blow on your soup if it's hot, therefore minimizing tongue burns. Err... yeah.
Okay, so I'm not an expert, I'm just hoping that by sharing this someone will catch soup-making fever and tell me that I'm not alone in this world. Then I won't be embarrased to admit that I have many more soups to make- including a whole line of squash soups like this one and this one. And you can tell me about your soup conquests. Then we can all join hands and stand up together. And we will be not ashamed.
I went too far, didn't I? Oh well. Happy Soup Season!!