The Soup Lady loves to get email. A lovely surprise came into the mailbag from Denmark and a reader named Birthe.
Dear Soup Lady,
I’m a foodie from Denmark and I have my own
foodblog on: www.newyorkerbyheart.blogspot.com You are welcome to stop by if you feel like it.
It’s in Danish, but has a LOT of pictures of the food I make – and the latest
recipes are translated to English.
My best, Birthe
ONION SOUP WITH SPICY MEATBALLS
Ingredients for broth:
- 4 onions, cut in half and sliced very thin
- 4 cloves garlic
- 50 g butter
- ½ big potato (baking potato)
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 4 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1,2 litre chicken stock
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage, chives or flatleaved parsley
Ingredients for spicy meatballs:
- 200 g minced beef
- 4 tbsp. flour
- 100 ml milk
- 1 egg
- 1 shredded onion
- 2 gloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1½ tsp. chili powder or cayenne pepper
- salt, pepper
Soup - Melt the butter in a big pot. Add the onions and the garlic at let them simmer at medium temperature for 4-5 minutes, until they’re soft and clear. Stir often.
Shred the potato and add it with paprika, soy sauce, chili powder/cayenne pepper and chicken stock. Put a lid on and let it simmer for about 18-20 minutes. Add salt, pepper and cayenne/chili to taste.
Serving - Chop the herbs right before serving and add with the meatballs. Serve with some bread.
The Soup Lady loves this soup and has spiced it up just a bit more by making a mixture of the milk and egg and adding about 7 drops of hot sauce to the meatballs and putting just a pinchof red pepper flakes into the broth. I was also a bit reluctant to shred the potatoes for fear they’d dissolve in the broth. I wanted to make a small dice, but I put my faith in Birthe and she was right – the shreds held up nicely and were still visible in the serving dish. Next time I make this, I’ll be using 2 potatoes because that’s what I like. I’d advise you all to go visit New Yorker By Heart to see what else Brithe has on the menu.
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Are you tired of looking at everybody else’s garden leftovers yet? Now that the days are getting shorter and a chill wind is starting to blow,you might think that you’ve seen the last of the zucchini, the eggplants and the tomatoes. Let me tell you soemthing -there’s never an end to the tomatoes. Fallen leaves are piling up on the lawn and the home gardeners are still trying to get you to take those hard little green tomatoes off their hands.
Fried green tomatoes – the scourge of the autumn kitchen everywhere. first of all, they’re not so easy to make without burning the coating. Second, any flavor comes from the grease, not the tomato itself. While I am a big fan of grease in all its yummy forms, there’s a limit to how many fried green tomatoes can a person eat even if you get it right.
So what to do? Make soup!
SPICY GREEN TOMATO SOUP
3 tablespoon oil
1 cup diced onions
2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons curry powder
3 cups chopped green tomatoes
1 diced green pepper
2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes, finely chopped
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
In the bottom of a soup pot, heat the ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin and curry powder over medium heat until the fragrance is released. Stir continuously. Then add the onions and the salt and stir to coat. Add the oil and cook until the onions are soft. Add the tomatoes, pepper, potatoes, broth, honey, and hot pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Puree the soup using a hand-held blender. Stir in the coconut milk, then heat just to a simmer. Ladle into serving bowls and top with 2 tablespppons of yogurt and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
How fortunate that this recipe comes along at just this time. The Soup Lady is having a love affair – a love affair with curry. Some like it hot but you already know that the Soup Lady likes it hot and sweaty. I would put a picture of Fabio here but he’s not sweaty. Just hot. Oh, what the heck:
Soup? What soup?
Oh, yeah – the green tomato soup. It was okay, but it was completely unappetizing to look at – a pale blend of iffy coloration that did not provide enough contrast with the whiteness of the yogurt on top. There was a nice spicy tang to it but it lack muscle, if you know what I mean. It was more of a liquid heat instead of the robusto performance you want from a soup when the chilly weather starts to come around and the sweetness of the coconut milk and honey only served to get in my way.
So when all is said and one, this soup was good for a laugh but it’s not something that you’d want to get involved with any too often. It’s a good thing that green tomato season is so short.
Faith and begorrah! It’s St. Patrick’s Day and the idea of boiling up a giant stock pot full of corned beef and cabbage makes you blanch! Maybe you don’t really like corned beef and cabbage but you feel the need to go with the flow. Your family insists on being festive but changes their minds when faced with the reality of a pot full of floating fat blobs. That leaves you – the under-appreciated cook – to consume the whole pot by yourself. What to do?
Here is the answer: Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup. The same traditional ingredients, the same great taste, but shortened cook and prep time, less greasy, more economical and has an easily adjustable yield.
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE SOUP
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan. Cut one large onion into a small dice and saute over medium heat until tender. Add 1/2 head a medium-sized green cabbage which has been shredded and turn in pan to coat. Add salt and pepper and let this heat for 2 minutes.
2. Transfer to stock pot and add 6-8 cups of chicken broth. Dice 3 large potatoes into 1/2" dice and slice 5 baby carrots into coins, then add both to the pot.
3. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
4. Cut 1/2 pound of lean corned beef from the deli counter into julienne strips and add to soup pot to heat through.
5. In a saucepan, make a roux by melting 2 tablespoons of butter, then stirring in 2 tablespoons of flour to make a paste. Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Add one cup of hot soup stock from the pot and blend. Cook to boiling while continuously stirring – mixture will thicken. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of brown mustard and one tablespoon of white horseradish.
6. Add 1/4 cup of the horseradish sauce to the stock pot and mix thoroughly. Taste and add more, up to 1/2 cup.
Ladle the soup into bowls for individual serving and place a tablespoon of the horseradish sauce in the center. Serve with rye bread.
The Soup Lady likes a lot of the horseradish sauce, but that’s just me. Taste this soup before you add the horseradish sauce – it might be enough flavor for you. Not for me, begorrah, but maybe for you. For those faint of heart, omit the mustard and horseradish and use salt and pepper to taste. Only use this version to add to the stock pot, it won’t add much to the experience by dolloping into the serving bowls.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
For those of you who go ahead and make the real deal and find that you have a lot of your own corned beef left over, along with soggy cabbage wedges and overcooked potatoes, please be my guest and transform it into an appealing soup:
- First get rid of all the pot liquor, save one cup. The broth the stuff was cooked in is just too greasy to contemplate. Replace all that liquid with chicken broth, plus the one cup of cooking liquid. Strain the cooking liquid if there are floaters in it. In fact, just strain it anyway.
- Drain the vegetables as well as you can. They will be sodden and hard to hold onto, but do your best to chop them into soup-spoon sized pieces.
- Remove as much of the fat from the meat as you can. This is essential. No fat globs are to be found in the soup bowl at all. While a little fat from the broth will add flavor and body to the stock, no visible fat globs can be tolerated in the bowl.
- Shred the meat and return it to the pot, along with the chopped vegetables.
- Heat through.
- If you’ve spent your St. Patrick’s Day without the horseradish sauce, make it now. You won’t be sorry.
The Soup Lady has just returned from a trip to Baltimore, a city which – according to the hotel room tv channels – seems to be composed of only the Inner Harbor and the carcasses of millions of dead crabs. One cannot escape the city without engaging a crab in some shape or form, be it food, a tshirt that says "Don’t Bother Me I’m Crabby" or some tasty claw chocolate in the form of a crab-shaped candy bar.
You can use fresh cooked, frozen or canned crab meat for this recipe. In a minimally processed recipe like this one, the quality of the ingredients – the scotch as well as the crab meat – will affect the quality of the finished product. Never use imiation crab meat, despite it’s jolly identification as "krab".
DRUNKEN CRAB SOUP
1/2 – 3/4 pound of crab meat
1/4 cup of butter
1 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of Scotch whiskey
1 quart of milk
Old Bay Seasoning
1. Prepare the crab meat by picking through it to remove any bits of shell or cartilage and then shredding the meat into small pieces.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat and then add the crab meat and the heavy cream, followed by whiskey.
3. Stir over medium low heat until the mixture is heated through.
4. Stir in the milk and pepper and then taste for seasoning. Depending in which form of crab meat you are using*, the additional salt needed may vary.
5. Stir frequently to avoid scorching and heat until very hot throughout – never bring to a boil.
6. Serve in individual pre-heated bowls and garnish with a pinch of Old Bay Seasoning in the center of the bowl.
WholeHeatlhMD.com lists the different types of crab – Alaskan King Crab is sold as fronzen meat and is readily availabe anywhere, but for that true Baltimore taste experience, its the Blue Claws that you need. Knowing the difference between the types and origin can help you choose the crab that is best suited for its final use:
*Crabs are sold live, and their meat–delicately sweet, firm yet flaky–is available fresh cooked, frozen, and canned. Fresh crabmeat is sold as lump, backfin, or flake. Lump crabmeat, which consists of large, choice chunks of body meat, is the finest and most expensive. Backfin is smaller pieces of body meat. Flake is white meat from the body and other parts and is in flakes and shreds. Some fresh-cooked crab is pasteurized after cooking, which helps it keep longer. Canned crab is often imported from Asia and may come from a variety of species." wholehealthMD.com
Other helpful information on this site lists how to select, "prepare" (kill) and cook live crabs.