Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Season for Soup

More and more I see that the markets are starting to carry Black Tuscan Kale. If you don't see it with the regular kale, check in the organic produce section which is where they have it at Andy's in Sebastopol, CA.
If you happen to have a vegetable garden, try growing some of this. It does quite well here in Northern California where we've planted it in the Fall with very good results.
The first recipe on the last show uses this in a classic Northern Italian soup called Ribollita. But if you can't get your hands on black tuscan kale, you can certainly use the regular kale instead. I might add that this freezes beautifully.


8 ounces dried cannellini beans
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1 dried Calabrian hot chili pepper or dried chili flakes to taste
1-28-Ounce can tomatoes and their liquid, chopped
1 small head savoy or regular white cabbage, chopped
2 bunches of kale (preferably Tuscan black), chopped
6 cups chicken stock
4 cups stale bread, crusts removed

Use one of two methods to cook the beans. Either soak them in water overnight, drain, cook in fresh water adding salt to taste only after tender or
Bring to boil in a large pot. Let boil for two minutes, turn off heat, cover, let sit for 1 hour, drain and proceed as in above with fresh water.
In a large pot, saute onions and pancetta in the oil until onions are translucent. Add carrots, celery, garlic, chili and a little sprinkling of salt and saute until vegetables are tender.
Add tomatoes, cabbage and kale and simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes.
Drain the beans, reserving their cooking liquid. Puree half the beans with some of their liquid and add to soup with the remaining whole beans.
Add stock and enough of the liquid from the beans to equal 8 cups.
Bring to boil and reduce to simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste
Add bread and simmer 10 more minutes mashing the bread against the side of the pot with the back of a wooden spoon to break it up some.
Serve with grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil in each bowl.

I looked at several different Brazilian soups before settling on this one. I think it was the combination of beans, sausage and collards that really crave something like this as a heart and tummy warming soup. Such a combination also seems to just sing Brazil as they are classic staples in the Brazilian diet.

Brazilian Bean Soup

1 pound cooked red beans
1/2 pound linguiça or 1/4 pound dried chorizo
1 bunch collards, chopped
1/4 cup oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 carrots, diced
1 cup small shells, macaroni or other soup pasta

In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to boil and add beans and sausage.
Cook for 30 minutes removing sausage and beans and reserving the liquid.
In a clean pot, saute onion and garlic in the oil until onion is translucent.
Add potatoes and reserved cooking water from the beans and simmer until potatoes are tender.
Puree adding water if too thick.
Add collards and carrots cooking until carrots are tender.
About 10 minutes before the carrots are done, add pasta and diced sausage.
Correct for seasoning and serve.

I owe my recipe for Corn Chowder to my mom's old neighbor Jillian, a woman originally from Wales who still makes this for friends and family to great cries of praise. I have changed a few things such as the addition of bacon and increase of cheese. (You can never have enough of either!) This does make a lot and if you're watching the calories, make it once and send the rest home with company.

Corn Chowder

1/2 pound good quality smoked bacon, chopped
3 stalks of celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 potatoes, cubed
2 cups corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups whole milk
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Saute bacon in a large pot. Add celery, carrots and onion and saute until tender. Add stock and heat to simmering. Add potatoes and cook until tender. Add corn.
Make a béchamel of the butter, flour and milk. Add cheese and stir until it melts and blends with the sauce.
Add to vegetable mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper.

I also wanted to include a Bay Area classic which was born in San Francisco but which has certainly traveled the world over in popularity and interpretation.
Although there are several theories as to how Cioppino got its name (ranging from the ridiculous to the more sensible) everyone agrees that it was the invention of Italian immigrant fisherman in San Francisco. This particular version is based on one from our own local-boy-who-made-it-big, Guy Fieri.


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups diced onion
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fennel
1 red bell pepper, diced
8 large cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
6 cups passata, or equivalent of canned tomatoes passed through a food mill
1/2 cup clam juice
Juice of 2 lemons
4 cups water
3 bay leaves
3 dried Calabrian chilies (chopped)or 3 tablespoons dried chili flakes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce Sambuca liqueur
4 pounds Dungeness crab, cooked, cleaned, cracked and broken into pieces
2 pounds little neck clams, cleaned and scrubbed
2 pounds firm white fish such as cod or halibut cut into 2-inch pieces
2 pounds shrimp, shell on, deveined
1 cup chopped parsley
Fresh bread

In a large stock pot over medium heat, add oil and saute onions, fennel, bell pepper and garlic until soft. Add tomato paste and cook until caramelized. Add wine, tomato sauce, clam and lemon juices, water, bay leaves, chili, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and liqueur to sauteed vegetables and simmer for 1 hour. Add crab and simmer for 20 minutes. Add clams and simmer 5 minutes longer. Add cod and continue to cook for another 4 or 5 minutes without stirring.
Finally, add shrimp and cook until it turns pink. Stir in parsley and serve with bread.

The last recipe on the show I didn't give any measurements for as it's a totally thrown together recipe that I literally chop-and-throw into the soup pot! But it's good, hearty and healthy!

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Pasta

1 quart purchased chicken stock
1/2 onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1/2 cup soup pasta such as pastinne, stelline or orzo
1 egg
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Large pinch of dried thyme

Bring stock to a boil, add vegetables and thyme, lower heat and simmer until they are tender.
Add pasta of choice and simmer until tender.
Beat egg and cheese together and drizzle into simmer soup stirring.

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