Back to the Kitchen: A Treasure of Autumn Soups

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BY GWEN KENNEALLY

I was hiking Fryman Canyon the other morning and the sky opened up and it started raining. Not just raining, but pouring! Coincidentally I also hiked the week before and it was 110 degrees! We’ve got to love Southern California and this morning with the fog peaking around the mountain it finally feels like fall! Here are some really great autumn soup recipes that are not only tasty, but also really quick and easy!

Take out a big stockpot and serve for dinner and the freeze the leftovers in individual serving containers for the time when the fall days get crazy. And what better thing for a San Francisco bay area girl to do on a lazy fall afternoon then make sourdough bread to go with my soup? This recipe is wonderful and pretty simple. Make the starter a few days ahead and keep it in your refrigerator. Take a moment to enjoy the bounty of the fall harvest before we get into the craziness of the holidays!

Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 small jalapeno, finely chopped

1 lemongrass stock, bruised

Juice of 3 limes

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups Coconut milk

1 pound boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced

Fresh cilantro for garnish

In a large soup pot sauté the onions, garlic, cumin and jalapeno for 10 minutes. Add the stock, limejuice, coconut milk, and lemon grass stalk and bring to a boil. Stir in the chicken and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes until the chicken is tender. Serve at once with a cilantro garnish.

Pumpkin Soup

4 tbsp unsalted butter

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2-teaspoon ground coriander

Pinch ground cayenne pepper

3 (15 oz) cans 100 percent pumpkin or

6 cups of chopped roasted pumpkin

6 cups of chicken sock

2 cups of milk

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2-cup heavy cream

Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add spices and stir for a minute more. Add pumpkin and 5 cups of chicken broth; blend well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer soup, in batches, to a blender or food processor. Cover tightly and blend until smooth. Return soup to saucepan. With the soup on low heat, add brown sugar and mix. Slowly add milk while stirring to incorporate. Add cream. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Soup)

4 eggs

1 cup orzo pasta

8 cups chicken stock

2 cups chicken breasts, cooked and chopped

1 c Fresh lemon juice

6 sprigs parsley, chopped

Zest of one lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the stock to boil in a 4 qt. soup pot and add the orzo. Cook, covered, until the orzo is tender, about 15 minutes. Whisk together the eggs and lemon juice. Remove the soup form heat and add the egg mixture. Continue to cook for a moment until all thickens. Remove from the heat again and add chopped parsley, lemon zest lemon juice and chicken. Serve when it is all heated through.

Curried Red Pepper Soup

4 large red bell peppers, chopped

2 medium onion, chopped

4 tablespoons butter

6 cups vegetable stock

2 cups sour cream

1 teaspoon curry powder

Pepper to taste

Sauté onion and pepper in butter over medium heat 
When peppers are soft, add the curry powder and stock and cover 
Once the peppers are soft, add cream, and puree 
Return to low heat and simmer uncovered until a rich soupy consistency is attained 
Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Spicy Red Lentil Soup

1 tbsp olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp curry powder

¼- cup tomato paste

2 (15 ounce can) crushed tomatoes

6 cups vegetable stock

½- cup red lentils

Heat oil in large pan, add onions, garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring, until onions are soft Add the rest of the ingredients and cook, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Fisherman’s Soup

1 (2-21/2 pound) fish (red snapper or sea bass)

2 onions, sliced

1/3-cup olive oil

2 bay leaves

2 parsley sprigs

1 thyme sprig

1-teaspoon peppercorns

4 tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped

16 jumbo shrimp, raw

16 mussels, cleaned

Juice of one lemon

Chopped parsley for garnish

Skin and fillet fish. In a soup pot put fish bones, onions olive oil, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, tomatoes, peppercorns and a pinch of salt. Add 8 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Press through a strainer into a clean pot. Cut fish into 1-inch pieces. Bring stock to a simmer and add fish and shrimp. Simmer 5 minutes until fish and shrimp are nearly cooked. Do not over cook. Add mussels and cook for 1 minute more until they open. Add lemon juice. Garnish with parsley and serve with crusty bread.

Lovely Lisa’s Minestrone

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 yellow onions, diced

6 stalks of celery including leaves, thinly sliced

3 carrots, chopped

1 tablespoon Italian herbs

Sweat above ingredients in covered large soup pot 5 minutes

Uncover and add

4 cloves garlic, minced

Sauté 5 minutes

Add:

12 cups of chicken or veggie stock

3 cups canned chop tomatoes

2 Yukon gold potatoes diced

2 cans 15 oz cannellini beans, drained

1 small head savoy cabbage, quartered and sliced

Bring to boil and simmer 30 minutes

Add:

8 oz pasta of your choice

6 more cups of stock

2 cups green beans cut into 1-inch pieces

Simmer 15 minutes

Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese

San Francisco Style Clam Chowder

6 slices bacon, chopped

4 scallions, thinly sliced

3 Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped in ½ inch pieces

1 green pepper, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2-cup water

1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

Splash Tabasco and Worchester Sauce, to taste

2 cups raw clams with juice

2 cups heavy cream

Sauté bacon until crisp in a large stockpot. Add onions, potatoes, green pepper, celery and garlic. Add 2 cups of water and season with salt and pepper, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. In a separate pan heat the clams and their juice for 3 minutes. Add the clams and juice to the pot, pour in the half and half. Heat, stirring until piping hot. Makes 6 servings.

Sourdough Bread

1 cup Starter

1 package dry yeast

2 cups warm water

2 teaspoons sugar

1-teaspoon salt

6-7 cups flour

Cornmeal

Let starter come to room temp. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup of warm water. Add sugar and let stand for about 5 minutes. Stir in the rest of the water and the starter. Add four cups of flour. Mix to blend then beat at medium speed until smooth and elastic about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in 2 cups more flour, then add up to 1 cup more to make a stiff dough. Turn dough out on to a board coated with remaining flour. Knead until dough is springy and small bubbles form just under the surface. (15-20 minutes) Or place in bowl of electric mixer fitted withy a dough hook and process for about 10 minutes.) Turn dough into a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk about one hour.

Punch dough down and let rest for a few minutes. Divide into 2 equal parts and shape each one into a ball and place on greased cookie sheets that have been lightly dusted with cornmeal. Cover lightly with a towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour. With a very sharp knife cut a Chris cross in each loaf about 1/4 inch deep. Preheat oven to 400. Bake until golden brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped about 1/2 hour.

Sourdough Starter

1 Package dry yeast

1-cup warm water

1 cup warn nonfat milk

2 cups flour

In a medium bowl mix yeast over water. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes. Mix in warm milk. Add flour; mix to blend then beat until smooth. Transfer to a large container. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then with a towel and let stand at room temperature 24-48 hours. Stir down upon occasion. It will be quite active for several hours after it is prepared. Use starter or refrigerate in a tightly covered container until ready to use.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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