Fall is tiptoeing in behind Ernesto. Days are bright but lightly tinged with that hint of chill in the air. No kidding folks, the first of the Soups have been sighted. Soups are shy creatures , who venture out to provide warmth when the Big chill threatens to start. Notoriously difficult to photograph, they have been known to hide their bright flavors and warmth in photographs which look like muddied waters.
Ive begun with a few classics, but I donot have photographs of the finals. I gave up - they come out as indistinct muddy juices.
The first is
Mirepoix, A classic French Stock:
Equal parts of celery, onion and carrots to be boiled with aromatics - mint, basil , oregano. Pick your choice.
Mushroom and Onion Soup:
Take three large onions, slice finely. Take a soup pot with a thick bottom , saute the onions in plenty of butter on very low heat until the onions brown to a nice golden color. Donont burn / blacken the onions. Add sliced mushrooms ( white button / portabella ). Saute for another 2 minutes. Add stock, bring to a boil. At this stage salt and season with black pepper to taste. This is a "thin" soup.
Vegetarian Minestrone Soup:
Take the same combination of carrots, celery and onions as in the stock . Take a generous helping of olive oil in the soup pot, add these vegetables. In addition add sliced mushrooms. Saute until vegetables are nicely roasted and soft. Add stock , bring to a boil. Add aromatics, I used mint this time. Add a tbsp or so of tomato paste. At this point you could add either boiled pasta of your choice or boiled barley. Season with salt and black pepper to taste -Voila, soup is ready!! It is really amazing how flavorful this soup is. Roasting and adding the same vegetables really highlights the basic flavors of this soup.
Chinese sweet corn soup:
Saute sweet corn, chopped green chillies to taste and fresh green onion in sesame oil. In another pot bring about two cloves of garlic and an inch of ginger, both finely chopped or grated to boil in a pot of stock. Once the water has boiled, filter the stock out into the pot with the corn and green onion. Thicken with about a tbsp of corn flour. Season with salt.