I know some of you are probably thinking, “soup?! really?!” considering it is late May. But here in my fine hometown of Detroit, MI it is currently 46F and pouring. What better time to warm up with this hearty soup that pleases vegetarians and meat-eaters alike?
Time: 15 min prep, 1hr 15min cook Serves: 8-10
- 1 1/4 cups pearl barley
- 3 bay leaves
- sea salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, diced
- 5 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 large)
- 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 pound cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
- 3 large portabella mushrooms, cut into chunks
- 1 tbsp brown rice Miso paste, dissolved in a bit of warm water
- black pepper
- chopped parsley, chopped – for garnish
- Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids and Sriracha, to serve
How to make it
- Put barley in a 5 quart pot with bay leaves and a generous amount of sea salt. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pot, lower heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until grains are soft and open.
- Heat half the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and the garlic, and continue cooking for a couple more minutes. Stir in the thyme and rosemary. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for a few minutes then add to the pot of barley and cooking liquid.
- Next, heat the remaining olive oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. (If you don’t have a large enough skillet, you can cook them in a couple of batches). Sauté, stirring constantly for a few minutes. Lower heat to medium and cook until softened and starting to brown.
- Transfer to pot. Add 2-3 cups of water, and miso paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Add kale and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve with Bragg’s and Sriracha.
I look forward to the spring for so many reasons, and Michigan asparagus is one of them! It’s fresh, subtly sweet, and oh so delicious. The simplicity of this luscious soup lets it shine through and really be the star. May be served hot or chilled.
Time: 45 minutes Serves: 6
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds asparagus, tough ends removed – cut into 2-inch pieces, tips reserved
- 2 cups peeled & cubed potatoes
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground – to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
How to make it
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 5 qt stock pot. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Then, add asparagus (not the tips!). Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F. Place asparagus tips on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast 5-7 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and set aside
- Once potatoes are tender, use an immersion blender to puree or standing blender in batches. Return to pot and add cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with roasted asparagus tips.
I decided this time last year that making my own from-scratch chicken soup was long over-due. Boy am I glad I finally tackled this! It was much easier to make than I imagined and the results were beyond my expectations. I consulted a recipe by Susie Fishbein from her gorgeous book “Kosher by Design,” but put my own spin on it as I like to do 🙂
Time: 30 min prep, 90+min cook Serves: 8
- 1 chicken, cut into 1/8ths (with skin on and bones in)
- 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 large carrots (or equivalent in baby carrots), peeled and cut into chunks
- 4 celery stalks, cut into chunks
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 turnip, peeled and cut into chunks
- 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 5 stalks of fresh dill
- 5-7 stalks of fresh parsley (I used flat Italian)
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- kosher salt, to taste – I used 1 tbsp
- ground black pepper, to taste – I used 2 tsp
How to make it
- Rinse chicken and place in an 8 quart stock pot, or larger. Cover with cold water, then add an additional 4-5 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil. Skim the fat and impurities off the top as it rises, using a small strainer.
- Add parsnips, carrots, celery, onion, turnip, and garlic to pot.
- At this point you can either tie the herbs & peppercorn into a bouquet garni (in muslin or cheesecloth), or just toss them in there freely which is what I did.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Start with less, as you can always add more but you can’t take away once it’s in there 🙂
- Lower the heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Strain the foam & impurities off the top as needed. Taste and add seasoning if needed. Remove from heat.
- Once the soup is at room temperature, remove veggies with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl – careful to discard any small bones or skin that might stick.
- Place chicken into another bowl. Break up with your fingers and discard bones & skin. (I set aside 2 cups of this cooked chicken for later use.)
- Pour broth through a strainer. THis will sift out any remaining small bones or stray skin, as well as the stalks from the herbs. Be sure to discard the bay leaves as well.
- At this point, you may either combine the broth, veggies, and chicken in a large storage container, or split it up if you plan to freeze some. Or, you may combine the three components in a 4 quart stock pot and refrigerate or reheat to eat right away.
I purchased a package of Vietnamese chicken sausage from the local Corridor Sausage Co. here in Detroit and was inspired to make this dish. You can purchase the sausages through their website and they are well worth it!
Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4
- 1 quart Vegetarian Pho soup base (Pacific brand Organic soup starters)
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1/2 red onion, halved and sliced thinly – divided
- 3 large cloves garlic, sliced
- about 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 8 oz. thick rice noodles (pad thai noodles)
- 1 pound Vietnamese chicken sausage
- 2 cups mung bean sprouts
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- fish sauce/soy sauce
- 2 fresh serrano or jalapenos, thinly sliced
How to make it
- Pour soup base and stock into a medium stock pot. Bring to a boil. Add half of sliced red onion, garlic, ginger and lemon juice. Reduce to simmer.
- Prepare noodles according to package instructions. Once cooked, drop in an ice bath to stop cooking process. Set aside.
- While noodles cook, heat broiling pan under broiler at 425F.
- Place sausages on broiler pan about 4 inches from heating element. Cook for 4 minutes. Pierce each in several places with a sharp knife. Cook an additional 2 minutes, then turn, pierce other side and cook for an additional 6 minutes.
- Transfer sausage to cutting board and slice in diagonal pieces once cool enough to handle.
- To serve, divide noodles between 4 large bowls. Divide broth between bowls. Top each with sausage slices.
- Put remaining sliced red onion in a small bowl (ramekins are perfect). Place mung beans in a small bowl. Place each herb in its own small bowl, as well as green onions, and peppers. Place garnish bowls/ ramekins on a large plate or serving tray and encourage diners to customize their Pho as desired.
- Serve with chopsticks, fork, and large soup spoon.
My dad and I were talking a few months back and he got to reminiscing about the experience he had at friends’ grandfather’s funeral in Israel. They are Sefardic Jews, mostly of Yemenite descent and their traditions, rituals, and foods are unique. My father told me about a delicious chicken soup they served that was different from any he’d ever had before. I was determined to recreate the soup for him and did my best. I referenced a website called Tender is the Steak, but I came across a couple with the same basic ingredients. My dad was pleased, as were my brother and sister-in-law, and in turn so was I!
Time: 15 min prep, 45 min cook Serves: 6
- 3 pounds chicken parts with bones and skin (drumsticks, thighs)
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 medium tomatoes, cubed
- 10 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 spring onions, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tsp ground cardamon
- 1 tbsp hawaij spice blend*
- 1 tsp turmeric
- salt to taste
- roughly chopped fresh cilantro for serving (optional)
- *Hawaij (a.k.a. Hawayej or Hawayij) is a Yemenite spice blend primarily used in soups. Ingredients may include: cumin, black pepper, turmeric,cardamom, ground cloves, caraway, nutmeg, saffron, coriander and ground dried onions. Another blend of the same name is used in coffee and tea.
How to make it
- Combine all ingredients in pressure cooker. Top with water. Secure lid.
- Bring to pressure and cook on high for 45 minutes.
- Let the pressure cooker sit for 5 minutes. Carefully carry the cooker to the sink and run very cold water onto the top to bring the pressure down. You’ll hear the valve make a big sigh. When it’s safe to remove the lid, lift it off.
- Be careful b/c the bones are tender from the pressure cooking. Try to pick them out as serving.
I think I’m in love with butternut squash. This soup is lick your bowl good! Adapted from a Fine Cooking recipe.
Time: 1 hour Serves: 4-7
- 1 medium butternut squash (2-3 pounds) peeled and cut into about 1-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (more if needed)
- 6 pieces of thick sliced Applewood smoked bacon
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored & diced into about 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp fresh rubbed sage leaves, chopped
- 5 cups vegetable stock (chicken would be OK too)
- salt and pepper, to taste
How to make it
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Toss squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread out onto 2 baking sheets, not overcrowding the pieces. Place in oven and roast for about 40 minutes, or until edges are browned. Stir squash up about half way through for more even cooking.
- Heat a 5 quart stock pot over medium heat. Cook bacon until crispy and place on paper towel lined plate.
- Add onions to pot and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add apples and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add sage and season with salt and pepper. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove squash from oven and transfer to stock pot. Add stock and turn heat up. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, check squash and apple for tenderness. If needed, cook longer. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- At this point you can either use an immersion blender to puree the soup or use a stand blender and go in batches as I did. (I did 3 batches.) Add half of the cooked bacon to the soup before blending. Puree until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
- Reheat as needed, crumbling remaining cooked bacon on top to serve.
- Serves 4 entree portions of 1 3/4 cups or 7 starter portions of 1 cup.
A hearty, satisfying soup perfect to chase away the cold this season.
Time: 15 min prep, 4+ hours cook Serves: 6
- 1 pound Northern beans, picked over, soaked over night, drained & rinsed
- enough water to cover beans + 2 inches
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves torn or roughly chopped
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup smoked ham (I used Bavarian), cubed small
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- several drops liquid smoke (I used hickory flavor)
How to make it
- Place beans and water in crock pot with 2 bay leaves, half of rosemary, and half of salt. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4-5 hours – until tender.
- Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or low 4-5 hours.
- Remove top and cook an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until thickened.