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Archive for November, 2001

Lee of Simply Lee writes:

Dear Soup Lady, Recently while browsing through one of my favorite recipe books I ran across a little tidbit of soup history I thought you might find interesting. The following excerpt was taken from page 395 of the Betty Crocker New Picture Cook Book published in 1961:

” ‘Soup of the evening, beautiful soup!’ wrote Louis Carroll. In fact, ‘la soupe’ has been the name of the evening meal in parts of rural France for hundreds of years – and the name of our evening meal, supper, is derived from it. Even today these French folk are dipping their spoons into steaming bowls of ‘pot au feu.’ This soup, in which the French housewife uses meat bones, vegetable tag ends and herbs, is always cooking slowly at the back of the stove and flavors blend while the soup smiles and chuckles but never laughs in a full rollicking boil.

Another present-day word which is a part of the fascinating history of soup is ‘restaurant.’ A popular soup of the 16th century was called ‘restaurant’ because it was believed to have ‘restorative’ powers. A chef printed the name over his door to announce that he was serving it, and in time, restaurant came to mean a place where all foods are served.

Nations have become known for distinctive soups: Italy for Minestrone, Russia for Borsch, France for Onion Soup and Bouillabaisse, China for Bird’s Nest Soup and the East Indies for Mulligatawny. Here in the United States regional soups are proudly acclaimed: chowders from the East, gumbos from the South, hearty vegetable soups from the Midwest and fish stews from the West coast. “

As one can easily tell from the above passages, soup has long played an important role during meal times across the world, and it may well be one of the most common traditions shared among nations. Another common tradition, at least in my neck of woods, is chicken soup. During the cold winter months there is nothing better or more “restorative” to be found on the table, and I thought it only fitting that I should include a recipe for this old favorite from the above mentioned book. Also please note that turkey can easily be substituted for the chicken and one might find it to be an appealing way to recycle those upcoming holiday leftovers. Hope you have an opportunity to enjoy it over the coming weeks!

Sincerely, Lee of SimplyLee

Chicken (or Turkey) Soup

2 cups cubed cooked turkey or chicken (1″ cubes)
turkey or chicken carcass
1 cup chopped celery (several stalks)
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
6 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
4 cloves
salt

Remove meat from carcass of turkey and set aside. Crack bones and place in kettle. Add skin, bouquet garni (peppercorns, bay leaf and cloves in cheesecloth bag) Cover with water. Simmer 2 hr. Cool slightly. Remove bones and bouquet garni by straining. Add meat and vegetables to stock. Chill. Skim off fat. Add salt to taste. Simmer until hot.

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Pumpkin & Potato Soup

The Description :
This is Cream of Potato soup with pumpkin pieces thrown in, but they change the whole character of the soup. Another contribution from Dave Roberts, the host with the most. Be sure to check out his Squash Geese. Be impressed.

The Recipe:
Prepare pumpkin by cutting one butternut squash in half and removing seeds from the center. Roast in the oven until it is tender, the scoop contents out of the shell. Peel and cut 4 medium size potatoes into chunks. Put the potato into a stockpot with one sliced onion, one celery stalk, cut into 1/4″ slices, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 4 cups of water or stock. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add roasted pumpkin and 2 cups of thin white sauce. Use a hand-held wand mixer to puree soup or a potato masher for a chunkier soup. Prepare an unblemished pumpkin shell by washing the outside and carefully removing seeds and strings from the inside. Use this shell as a soup tureen.

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Dave’s Holiday Table
Look at that presentation! Who would expect such elegance from the same man who gave us Squash Geese?

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The Crisco Family Cookbook

Tina from The Other Cheek writes about an old cookbook from the collection she inherited: Dearest Souplady, Among my Aunt Betty’s legacy was her collection of cookbooks. One of the most
interesting cookbooks in the pile was the 1973 CRISCO Family Foods
Cookbook

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Spicy Lentil & Pumpkin Soup

The description:
This soup is described as spicy, but is actually quite sweet. I served it with a plain salad of bitter greens dressed with oil and vinegar, slices of salty feta cheese, some crusty bread and pickled lemons. The recipe for this soup was found at podular.net.

The Recipe:
Rinse once cup of lentils in a sieve under cold running water. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook 2 cloves of crushed garlic and one large onion, chopped, over medium heat until it softens. Add 3 teaspoons of cumin, 2 teaspoons of coriander, 1 teaspoon of chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric. Cook (stirring) for 30 seconds until it smells good. Add the lentils and mix until they’re coated in the onion/spice/garlic mixture. Peel and chop one butternut pumpkin into small pieces and add it along with 7 cups of vegetable stock. (If you are not using vegetable stock, use water and add one carrot and one stalk of celery, both finely diced.) Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer (covered) for 20-30 minutes or until lentils and pumpkin are soft. Use a potato masher to blend the soup. The lovely burnt orange color of this soup is the exact color of the flowers in Stangl’s Bittersweet pattern. Can’t you just picture it?

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Bittersweet by Stangl Kidney Shaped 14″ Platter

The Review :
Our panel of judges went to the test kitchens and came back with this report:
The Mister He said it was too sweet and that he didn’t like it. When I pointed out to him that he had three full bowls, he said he would have had four if it wasn’t so sweet.
The College Man He loved it. Not only did he have two big bowls full, but he asked for the recipe so he could
make it in the frat house kitchen. He thinks it would benefit from the addition of curry powder.
The Teen Queen She declined to participate.
The Cook I consider this a major success on all fronts. Easy and cheap and quick to make and nothing left-over! It’s a keeper.

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Souper Cheesecake

The Joy of Cookbooks: COOKING WITH SOUP AND RICE – 1973

This unassuming little paperbound cookbook was produced In Young America, MN (does it not sound wholesome?) in association with Campbell’s Soup and Uncle Ben’s Rice. It appears to be the type of thing that was earned by sending in a specified number of labels and $.50 to cover shipping and handling.

The book introduces itself this way:
Here’s good news … a cookbook designed just for you and your busy schedule. The home economists at both CAMPBELL’S SOUP and UNCLE BEN’S RICE have been busy testing, tasting and perfecting these recipes for you. Creative cooking with soup starts with imaginative recipes like the ones in this book.
Creative is right. Look what the Home Economists came up with this time. And they appear to be serious, too.

Souper Cheesecake
1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup butter, melted

12 oz. cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 can CAMPBELL’S Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. In a small bowl, combine crumbs and butter; mix well. Press crumb mixture evenly into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

2. In large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth.Alternately add eggs and sugar, beating well after each addition.  Beat in soup, lemon peel and lemon juice until blended. Pour over crust.

3. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until puffed around edges and set in center. Cool completely in pan in wire rack. Refrigerate until serving time, at least 4 hours. Garnish with sliced fresh fruit or canned fruit. Makes 12 servings.
If you can get anybody to eat it.

Now what is the backstory here? Did they lock the hapless Home Economists in the test kitchens and refuse to let them out until they produced a dessert using Campbell’s Soup? Imagine the anguished suffering that went into making Cheese Soup into Cheese Cake.

The Soup Lady is looking for volunteers to make this facinating concoction. I have trouble enough just slipping the cabbage past them around here. Any takers?

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Coffee Jello

Now don’t get excited, dears. The Soup Lady knows that she promised only soup recipes, but this place does seem to be turning into the Home of Weird Jello Recipes. Here is an intriguing little number that was discovered in the New American Cookbook and I only ask that you think about it for a moment.

The Recipe

Soak 2 tablespoons of gelatin in 2/3 cup cold water for 5 minutes. Add one cup of boiling water and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Add 1 1/2 cups of strong coffee and 1/3 cup of sugar. Pour into individual molds and chill. Serve with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and a sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Now, for coffee lovers, this might be a good way to end a meal. I haven’t actually made it yet. What do you think?

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Cranberry Soup

The Description:
Just in time for Thanksgiving, this soup makes good use of some fall harvest vegetables. It has a sweet taste that develops into a surprisingly pleasant tartness. This soup may be served hot or chilled and is evocative of that Lithuanian favorite: Boiled Eggs Pickled in Beet Brine.

The Recipe:
Mix 1/2 cup of cranberry sauce, one sliced onion, one cup of chopped cabbage, and 6
cups of cold water in a saucepan and boil for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of bouillion, one cup of chopped cooked beets, one teaspoon of salt, and one tablespoon of sugar. Heat through.

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Stangl Garland Large Bowl

Put two tablespoons of sour cream in each soup plate. Pour in soup, but not directly over the sour cream. Garnish each plate with 3 or 4 wedges of hard-boiled egg.

The Review :
Our panel of judges went to the test kitchens and came back with this report:
The Mister He stared at it for a while, and then carefully sampled some. He only ate it because he did not realize it had cabbage in it until it was too late. He finished the serving and ran out of the room before he could be offered a refill.
The College Man “Mom, did you know an egg fell into my soup?”
The Teen Queen Although she was attracted to the lovely shade of pink that the white of the egg took on, she declined to participate.
The Cook This is a very nice soup. When I served it, I put the sour cream towards the side of the plate, and then fanned out the boiled egg wedges from it. I also served one bowl with the egg diced and sprinkled around – that was easier to eat, but not as attractive. Imagine this cranberry soup served up in Stangl’s Garland pattern. Garland was one of the Christmas patterns produced and you can see the poinsiettea influence in the hand-painted flowers.
It makes a beautiful background for this soup.

I recommend this soup and give it A for taste, A+ for appearance and B+ for ease of preparation. Pencils down.

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