Summer weather in Michoacán is cool, not hot. This probably explains why hot soups, caldos, consomés, pozoles, birrias, menudos, atapakuas, etc are so popular. (Try finding an atapakua in a restaurant. I dare you.)
Last night our supper consisted of this quick, easy, Spanish-style Sopa de Ajo, y Migas con Huevo:
Sliced garlic, garlic, garlic (6-8 cloves) and a bit of onion, about 1/3rd medium, cooked in a little olive oil. Cook garlic and onion, add one and a half to 2 cups coarse sourdough or hearty "peasant" bread crumbs. Fry slowly until lightly browned.
Add 6 cups of beef stock (made from cubes and a superior beef base.); Pimentón de La Vera and FGBP to taste. Dash of Pepper Sherry, or just dry sherry.
Place a lightly poached egg in each bowl, ladle on the soup.
Bixa, here is how I made my very simple chicken stock.
1 whole chicken 6 quarts of water 2 or 3 chopped onions 3 or 4 chopped celery stalks 3 or 4 chopped carrots salt and pepper to taste
Everything into the pot - heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium simmer.
Remove the chicken when cooked, about half an hour or so.
Simmer for another hour or so - longer if you want to reduce it more.
Strain to remove vegetables. Put in fridge overnight to skim the fat off.
This was quite bland - next time I plan to add some garlic and parsley.
As for the soup I made with the stock, I chopped 4 leeks, 6 carrots and three stalks of celery, added them to 8 cups of stock and simmered till the veg were thoroughly cooked. Then I adjusted the seasoning and blended the whole thing. It made a rather thin purée, perfect for drinking from a cup.
I've realized I much prefer puréed soups as opposed to a broth with stuff in it. The avgolemono was okay because the rice thickened it up. I just don't like thin soups - I need a little more body to soup.
Don Cuevas, that is easily one of my all-time favorite soups. It's even delicious made with plain water instead of stock. I don't use onion in mine, and I mince the garlic. I've never had the smoked paprika (although I wouldn't be adverse to a shot of chipotle hot sauce in the soup). The method I learned for making this was to put the paprika in the garlic & bread crumbs once they've browned, stir it through quickly, then add the boiling liquid. Let it simmer for 20 - 30 minutes, then beat the mixture with a wooden spoon to break up the bread and thicken the soup. Adjust seasonings and serve with some minced parsley, with or without the egg.
Joanne, that sounds perfect -- straightforward and chickeny.
I profoundly agree with you about soup with body versus "broth with stuff in it". Slurp, slurp, chase overcooked object with spoon, slurp, slurp.
Vegetables cooked in soup have leached some of their flavor into the soup. Blenderizing it all together not only gives the soup body, it amps up the overall flavor. Your leek/carrot/celery/stock soup must have been a lovely color, as well.
That said, sometimes a rich, slightly greasy beef soup with hunks of potatoes and carrots can also hit the spot quite nicely.
1/2 cup crème fraîche Finely grated zest + juice of 1 lime 1 tbsp unsalted butter 1 yellow onion, chopped 2 large cloves garlic, chopped 2 tbsp chopped, peeled ginger 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes 4 cups vegetable stock + more if needed for thinning 1-1/2 to 2 lb (700 to 900 g) sweet potatoes (about 2 large), peeled, chopped 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter 2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
In small bowl, stir together crème fraîche and lime zest. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.
In large saucepan, melt butter over medium. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes to soften. Stir in cumin and chili. Cook 1 minute. Add stock and potatoes. Raise heat to high; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.
In batches in blender or food processor, purée.
Return soup to medium heat. Whisk in peanut butter. Stir in lime juice and cilantro. If desired, thin soup with extra stock or water to desired consistency.
Serve soup topped with generous dollop lime-spiked crème fraîche.
Makes about 6 cups.
a) I have never bothered with the crème fraîche & lime zest garnish. I'm too lazy.
b) I use a lot more crushed red chili peppers. Ginger and garlic are also adjustable.
c) Using salted butter is fine. So is using chicken stock.
This is probably my favourite soup at this time. I am a huge peanut fan so it all works out nicely for me.
Oh gosh, that sounds fantastic. I never thought of it before, but after reading this recipe, sweet potatoes and peanut butter appear to be a marriage made in heaven.
I don't know if I'd get it together to make the crème fraîche/lime juice thing either, although it does sound tasty -- even more so if a little ginger juice were to be squeezed into it.
Joanne -- you might like to try one of my favorite salsas with it one day. Crush small fresh hot green chiles and salt into pulp in a mortar. Scrape that out & mix into some crème fraîche or yogurt. That's it!
Joanne, your soup sounds fantastic. Eventually I will have some cool weather and will definitely want to try it. Although I confess that I would want to certainly include the lime-spiked creme fraîche (or at least some sour cream).
Only thing I change about the chicken soup recipe is to bone the poached chicken and return all bones, skin and cartilege to the pot. I don't bother with the vegetables - by the time the stock is cooked, they have leached all their vitamins into the broth. If I buy a celery, I have too much to use up any way, so I'd just add fresh celery, onion and carrot to the soup, and perhaps other veg.
I do skim this broth once I've put it in heatproof glass jars - leaving the skin in adds flavour, but too much fat. Chicken fat easily floats to the top as the soup cools.
Good idea about the skin & bones, Lagatta. I'm sure it would add more ooomph to the stock also.
I have just started making stock, so I appreciate any and all tips. I'm embarrassed to say that I have used canned or jarred stock till now. Next up will be beef stock, as I want to make my dad's onion soup au gratin.
Four hours was plenty for the meat to fall off the bone. It might take longer with Cambodian oxen, because they must build up so much muscle in their tails, whipping them around to try to get the flies and mosquitos off.
I made a leek and potato soup last night, delicious and completely unauthentic, because I threw in everything that was lying around.
This means: potatoes, leeks, carrots, an orphan courgette, some wilting grated cabbage, Chinese celery, garlic, some wilting parsley and various spices. After boiling for a bit, it went into the food processor to be pulped.
Now that it's cold here, I have been making soups again. I made some pumpkin/carrot soup the other day and blended it, but generally I prefer to leave the bits of vegetables whole. Traditionally, I have the impression the French like their soups blended but I prefer to see what I am getting.
I really like the texture in Kerouac's picture -- it's blenderized enough to mix and meld everything, but it's not baby-food smooth. The little pieces in it make it look rich and interesting.
Every once in a while I'll make a soup that's meant to be brothy with stuff in it, but which is sort of boring. Giving it the blender treatment & a boost of spice can turn it into something much better.
There are non-boring, unblended soups - the ones that are practically meals (or are meals) such as fish and seafood soup (there are also blended fish soups) or Asian noodle soups that also have lots of interesting "stuff".
Got a crockpot's worth of pork bones from the butcher round the corner. Not so used to making pork stock - I think that like mutton stock, it is very "specific" in use. See it can go in some soups from Latin American countries, also some East and Southeast Asian soups - though that is very, very general. Any ideas?
Sure! But my hot soup tends to explode out of the top when I turn blender on. And then there's the multiple batches, because a potful will never fit at once. I just got spoiled with the immersion kind, but my girls wore it out making smoothies.