Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

Source:  Rochelle  ca. 1990’s.

Personal Notes:
There are two words to describe this soup; delicious and easy!  This soup is a perfect meal for a cold rainy day and can be made in a pinch.  It consists of 2 main ingredients with stock to follow and a hint of cream if desired.  I like this pureed in a blender, or you can leave it whole and chunky if this is your preference.  This can also be substituted by switching leeks with asparagus, or even spinach.  Enjoy!

potato leek soup
6-8 potatoes, cleaned 4 Tbs. butter
6-8 leeks-cleaned and chopped 1 onion
6-8 C. stock (vegetable or chicken) Salt/pepper to taste

Directions:
Get your soup stock pot out, put your butter in to melt, and sauté your chopped onion until translucent.

Take your washed potatoes and cut them in equal proportions for optimal cooking.  You can dice them, or quarter them, your choice.  If you puree in the end, it doesn’t matter what you do.  If you leave the soup chunky, then I’d say to dice them.

Have your leeks washed well, and then slice them.

Once onions are cooked, add potatoes, leeks and cook in the butter/onion mixture for about 5 min or so.

Add your stock, bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer until potatoes are soft, usually 15 min. or so.

At the end, add a dollop of cream, mix in.

(If you choose to puree the soup, pour in the mixer or insert the hand mixer and whip it up)

Serve and garnish w/ parsley and serve with home-made crostini.

Asian Style Vegetable Soup

Asian Style Vegetable Soup

Source:  Me in 2012

Personal Notes:
This is another simple soup which can be made including prep. time in about 20 min.  It’s super on a cold afternoon or evening, and does a great job filling you up and warming you from the inside.

Asian Style Vegetable Soup
8-10 C. water 2 Tbs. chicken bouillon or vegetable
2-carrots, finely sliced w/ slicer 8-10 mushrooms
2-celery diced 1 Package asian vermicelli noodles
1-onion finely sliced w/ slicer Pinch red pepper flakes

Directions:
Fill stock pot with water and add bouillon until you are satisfied with the flavor, which for me is about 2 Tbs.  Begin to clean and slice the vegetables.  I slice everything very fine except the mushrooms, which I tend to like chunky.  Add all vegetables to stock and cook until vegetables are soft and flavor is good- (maybe about 10-15 min)

Prepare your deep asian-soup style bowl with the desired amount of vermicelli noodles.  Once your soup is in a good rapid boil, spoon the soup directly into the bowl over the noodles.  The soup should be boiling and should be allowed to cool for 5 min. in the bowl.  The temperature will cook the noodles direct in the bowl, and after 5 min. noodles will be ready to eat.

Add desired chili sauce, or red pepper or cayenne to spice it up.

Green Pea Soup

Green Pea Soup

Source:  Me in 2012

Personal Notes:
Now living away from my mother, we were exchanging menus and I was purging her for some ideas.  She said she had been making some pea soup-she raved about it and made it sound so good (especially on those cold winter days!) that I shopped around looking for dried green peas.  The local grocery store did not stock peas in dry form, only can or frozen.  I continued my pursuit to the small organic food store about 10 min. away.  Voila!  I found them.  I came home today, soaked my peas and began the cooking of my first ever pot of Pea Soup!  It was very, very good-wholesome, flavorful, warm, and very satisfying.  We all even went for seconds!!!

p.s. This was a vegetarian style pea soup.  For those wanting meat, add pork or beef cubes.

Enjoy.

pea soup
1 package dried peas 4-6 stocks celery, fine chopped
2 onions finely chopped 4-6 C. chicken stock
3 carrots peeled and fine chopped Salt/pepper/herbs to taste

Directions:
Get the peas soaking the night before to ensure enough time. Take a nice stock/soup pot and add 3-4 Tbs. olive oil.  Add onions, celery and carrots and sauté until onions are translucent.  Add herbs and flavors. Drain peas, rinse and add to onions.  Stir around and warm up, then add the liquid stock.  Bring to a boil, add more flavors if desired, then bring pot to simmer, cover and let cook for several hours.  When peas near their final cooking point, they soften and the soup will thicken nicely. Note:  If you use a pressure cooker, feel free to pre-cook peas or cook the entire meal in the pot itself.  I should have done this and could have saved hours of stove cooking-but then again, the hours of cooking does ensure a very nice flavor!

Pea soup

Chicken Soup base

Chicken Soup base with self made-chicken stock

Source:  Me

Personal Notes:
So this recipe is not at all hard to crack.  I think it’s a cumulative recipe, meaning I’ve picked up tips on what to do from my mom, Martha Stewart, and from other various celeb. chef’s.  Simply take the whole hen, or even left over parts, such as the gizzards, or neck, or wings, and boil in a pot of water along with some vegetables of your choice, herbs and spices, and you have yourself  a pot of fine chicken stock-to which you begin your soup.

chicken soup base
1-whole chicken or chicken parts 1-onion, sliced thick
About 10-12 C. water 2-cloves ground garlic
2-celery stocks, whole or cut salt
1-carrot, whole or cut Pepper and other herbs of choice

Directions:
Fill stock pot with water so that the chicken parts or whole is covered.  Add vegetables, spices and herbs, and bring to a boil.  Reduce temperature to a simmer and cover with lid.  Let cook without disturbing for minimum of 30 minutes.  At this point, remove lid, and sample stock.  If you have reached the desired flavor, you may turn to low, and keep on a slow cook until chicken is cooked enough to where the parts begin to fall off.  If you are not yet satisfied with the taste of your stock, season by adding more salt, or herbs, and continue to cook.
Cook at least an hour.  At this point, chicken is well finished, and can be removed.  Find a net sieve and strain the stock into a metal bowl and set aside.
To further move on and make chicken soup with this stock, once you have reserved the stock and it has been strained and is clean, add to your clean stock pot and begin to dice up the vegetables you wish to add.  You might choose carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, and a bit of garlic.
Once the chicken has cooled, begin to tear the meat and keep it separate from the fat and bones.  Discard the bones, and take all the meat and dice in large chunks, or keep it in a “pulled” fashion.
Once the vegetables have been cooked in the stock and are ready and soft, add the meat, infuse the flavor for a few minutes, and serve.

Serve with roasted garlic bread.  Enjoy!

Barley soup

Barley soup “Gerstensuppe”

Source:  Grandma Beerli cir. 1970’s.

Personal Notes:
I knew absolutely nothing about this soup, other than my husband requested that I make it.  He was out of the house when I began, and before I knew it, I realized that probably, I should have pre-soaked the grain before I added it.  Lesson learned.  None the less, this soup was warm, health and very nice and tasty.  I also made mine vegetarian, but next time will cook with pork as suggested.

Gersten Suppe

Serves 5-8

60 gr. Rollgerste (grain) 100 gr. bouillon
3-4 stocks celery chopped 300 gr. smoked pork
2 carrots peeled and chopped 2 Tbs. Heavy cream
2 potatoes peeled and chopped Salt/Pepper to taste
1 leek sliced and washed nutmeg
2 Tbs. oil

Directions:
Begin by preparing the vegetables:  washing, peeling and cutting.  Add the oil to the pan, and begin to sauté the pork which has also been cut in small diced cubes.  Add the Rollegerste, then vegetables, stir around.  Add the liquid bouillon and cook for about 45 min.

Scoop soup in bowl, top with crème fraiche and dash of nutmeg.