I’m back from the long weekend … in which I did a lot of things. It wasn’t nearly as quiet as I’d thought; we were pretty social and saw a lot of people. But also I spent QUITE a bit of time lazing around reading a book. So I can’t really complain. The semester started today, and my brain already kind of hurts ….. but I’ll get back into it. It’s always a little painful to start school up again. Every semester I just remember I’ve been in school kind of a LONG time.
Anyway, I promised you soup recipes. So I’m going to give you 2 recipes, our top 2 favorites from the last 2 weeks in which we had mostly soup for dinner. Here’s a list of all the soups I made, and if you want a specific recipe which isn’t in this post, just comment and I can share it with you.
- Vegetable Beef Soup
- Roasted Sweet Potato Soup (pureed)
- Tortilla Soup
- Coconut Shrimp Soup
- Creamy Broccoli Soup (pureed)
So our top 2 favorites were the Tortilla Soup and the Roasted Sweet Potato Soup. Now, because I usually change things when I make a recipe, I found the original versions of the recipes online. I’ll give you a pic and a link, then share any modifications & notes I have.
Up first is Tortilla Soup from THE MOST FABULOUS COOKBOOK ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, Martha Stewart’s Great Food Fast. (I reserve the right to pick a new favorite cookbook someday, but for now this book is the best. I want to make EVERY recipe in it.)
(Photo from Martha Stewart Food)
But guess what! You don’t have to buy the cookbook to make this recipe. Just follow this handy-dandy link to access the recipe on the Martha Stewart website.
I loved this recipe because it was very, very simple but also wonderfully unique. Usually when I make chicken soup it’s really good but also really predictable — you know, veggies, dried thyme, noodles, bla bla bla. This was an entirely new take on chicken soup that was really refreshing. It’s basically just a simple chicken soup (broth, chicken, and jalepeno), which you jazz up with lots of tasty toppings that add really good Mexican flavor.
For the soup, it calls for chicken thighs; I made it once with chicken thighs and once with chicken breasts and I definitely prefer it with chicken breasts. The toppings are really where it’s at in this recipe. By following this recipe I learned how to make homemade tortilla chips using my oven. I brushed corn tortillas with vegetable oil, cut them into thin strips, and sprinkled them with salt and chili powder, then baked them until they were crisp. Well, that’s what I did with the first batch at least; the second time I made the them, I forgot them in the oven and burned them black as tar! Ooops. Oh well. At least I learned that the soup really isn’t as good without the homemade chips. :-) The other toppings include lime juice, shredded cheese, sliced green onions, avocado, etc — in any combination. It all blends well together and is unbelievably delicious.
Next we have Roasted Sweet Potato Soup which, I am told, is from a book called Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry by Janet and Greta Podleski. I don’t know anything about this cookbook; the recipe was printed in a magazine and it looked really good so I tried it. It was the first pureed soup I tried, and it worked out so well I was pretty dang proud of myself.
(Photo from Janet & Greta Podleski)
And here is the link to this recipe.
This recipe is not as quick and easy as the tortilla soup, but the result is well worth it, I think. It’s not hard, it just takes a while. For me, the hardest part is cutting up the sweet potatoes – they are not easy to cut!! Once that’s done, the rest is simple. You roast sweet potatoes and onions in the oven, then transfer them to a pot with liquid and seasonings, cook everything til it’s soft, then puree it all in a blender.
I was shocked by how simple it is to puree soup. It’s like magic! You pour the soup – half liquid, half solid, chunky, normal soup – into your blender, puree for just a few seconds, and BOOM, you have velvety smoooooooth pureed soup. You’re like, wait, how did that happen? That was so quick! It’s so fun …. or maybe I’m just easily entertained. But, it’s pretty cool. And it doesn’t make too much of a mess, either, since I follow the instructions in Great Food Fast (do I need to remind you how AWESOME that book is?!) about how to puree hot liquids: When you put the lid on the blender, take the clear plastic vent thingy out of the middle, and cover the hole loosely with a towel while you puree the soup. This allows for airflow, and prevents some kind of weird suction-explosion thing happening which would definitely spell DISASTER. OK, if you want a technical discussion of that I’m sure you can find one. Somewhere.
And also, besides how fun it is to puree it, I should mention that this soup has great flavor. It has fresh ginger and garlic, and it’s very aromatic and fall-ish, a bit sweet (from the potatoes) but not too sweet. Just really good.
And that is the end.