Tag Archive | "soup recipe"

French Leafy Greens Soup (Velouté aux herbes du jardin)

Start this soup with a healthy mix of leafy greens and some celery.

Recipes are a guideline, not something written in stone. That’s the secret of this recipe from “La Cuisine: Everyday French Home Cooking: 1,000 Simple Recipes” (Rizzoli, $45) by Françoise Bernard, who writes, “Use whatever you have growing in the garden or any leftover herbs and leafy greens in the refrigerator. With a handful of this and a bit of that, you have a very good soup.”

The greens will cook down.

I had the sorrel and parsley in the garden, the spinach and lettuce in the fridge, but no watercress. No watercress at the grocery, and no arugula, either. So, I grabbed some kale and tossed that into the mix, and it worked well. I found that a little extra lemon juice added great flavor, too. (The recipe recommends saving some of the watercress for a side salad; when you take a look at your mix of greens before cooking them, you may just want to remove some of that.)

French Leafy Greens Soup (Velouté aux herbes du jardin)

2 tablespoons butter
1 small head Boston lettuce, chopped
2 small bunches of sorrel, large stems removed, chopped
2 small bunches of spinach, large stems removed, chopped
1 small bunch of chervil or parsley, stems removed, chopped
1 small bunch of watercress, chopped with stems, the nicer half of the leaves reserved
1 celery rib, chopped
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
2 cups milk
1/4 cup rice
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon crème fraîche or sour cream with lemon juice mix in

Puree the greens.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the lettuce, sorrel, spinach, chervil or parsley, watercress and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery is soft, about 10 minutes. Add 4 cups of water and season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

French Leafy Greens Soup

Purée the soup using a food mill or blender. return the soup to the pan and add the milk. Bring to a boil, add the rice and cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

In a soup tureen, whisk the egg yolk with the crème fraîche. Gradually blend in the soup and serve immediately.

Use the remaining watercress to make a side salad.

Makes 4-6 servings.

From “La Cuisine: Everyday French Home Cooking” by Françoise Bernard

Posted in RecipesComments Off on French Leafy Greens Soup (Velouté aux herbes du jardin)

Cabbage-Beer Soup

Cabbage-Beer Soup

When I was in Prague more than 15 years ago, I had a soup made of cabbage and beer that has haunted me ever since. Of course, it helped that there was plenty of country-style sausage in it to add to the flavor.

Several times I’ve attempted to recreate its rustic beauty. Most of the time I used pilsner, which originated in the Czech Republic, with cabbage in various forms, including sauerkraut.

I thought of that soup recently when a friend gave me a ham bone with plenty of meat on it. So, I used what I had on hand in a pantry to whip up the simplest version I’ve made yet. It wasn’t  quite what I had all those years ago, but it was perhaps the closest version I’ve made yet.

I really was limited with what I had on hand, which did not include the onion I thought I had picked up at the market. Don’t you hate it when you think you have something like an onion in your pantry and can’t find it? Still, here is a simple yet flavorful soup that filled the house with the sweet smell of cooked cabbage and the wheat in the beer. Serve this with a thick slab of sourdough rye covered with a bit of butter.

Cabbage-Beer Soup

1 medium onion, minced (optional)
Olive oil (optional)
1 ham bone
3-4 bottles Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale or other pale ale, pilsner or IPA (see note)
1 head green cabbage, shredded
Cooked ham, diced, to taste
Salt, to taste
Crushed red pepper or smoked paprika (optional)

Cabbage-Beer Soup

If using onion, soften it in a splash of olive oil in the bottom of a 1-gallon stockpan. When the onion is translucent,  add ham bone and beer and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Add cabbage and ham. Fill the pot to the desired level with water. Bring just to a boil and lower immediately to a simmer. In 30 minutes, taste to see if the soup needs any salt. (I also added a dash of crushed red pepper to give it a slight kick of heat.) Let cook for another hour. Remove bone and remove any meat still stuck to it. Separate the meat from the fat, and return the meat to the soup. Serve.

Note: Boiling the beer will cook out the alcohol, but the flavor will still be strong. The addition of water tempers the beer flavor somewhat, so use as much or as little as you like.

Makes up to 1 gallon soup.

From John Griffin


Posted in RecipesComments Off on Cabbage-Beer Soup

Keep It Green with This Rich Parsley Soup

Flat-leaf parsley

Our second green recipe for St. Patrick’s Day is a soup that derives its color from parsley, a wonderful vegetable that has an unfortunate reputation. Too many people just use the curly variety as a garnish on a plate.

Parsley Soup

But it is actually quite versatile, adding a punch to salads, a note of freshness to vegetable dishes and lively addition to stuffings for fish or chicken.

Many prefer the flat-leaf for flavor, but don’t disregard the curly variety.

“I’ve even used parsley as a vegetable,” says Simon Hopkinson in the ever-helpful “Roast Chicken and Other Stories” (Hyperion, $24.95). “Gently stewed in a little butter for a few moments with a sliver or two of garlic, it is very good with grilled chicken. For this, however, you do have to use the curly variety, as, irritatingly, the flat type sticks to the sides of the pan and doesn’t absorb the butter well. You need the curly type of parsley if you want to deep-fry it, too. I adore deep-fried parsley. It is simplicity itself to prepare. Just drop some well-dried sprigs into hot fat for a few seconds. (One of those electric deep-dryers with a basket is ideal.) Lift the parsley out, drain it on paper towels,and sprinkle with salt.”


This soup recipe, like a great many, original called for a potato, which is strictly verboten to anyone trying to count carbohydrates. But there are substitutes. I tried the following with celeriac, or celery root, which has one-third the carbs (7 grams for the celery root, but 22 grams for the potato per cup), but about the same amount of fiber (about 3 grams). The flavor will change — and in my opinion, for the better. But it still brought a thickness to the soup that gave it a silky texture. It cooked in about the same time as the recipe said the potato would take.

Parsley Soup

6 tablespoons butter
2 large leeks, white parts only, sliced
2 big bunches of flat-leaf parsley, stalks and leaves separated, stalks chopped, divided use
1 celeriac or 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or more as needed
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream

Use celeriac instead of potato to cut down on carbohydrates.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and sweat the leeks and all the parsley stalks, gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add the celeriac or potato, stock and salt and peppers and simmer for a further 20 minutes.

Coarsely chop the leaves of one bunch of parsley and add to the soup. Simmer for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, blanch the leaves of the other bunch of parsley in fiercely boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and refresh immediately under cold running water, then gently squeeze dry in a tea towel.

Blend the soup with the blanched parsley to make a vivid green puree. Pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan, if needed or desired. (When testing this recipe, a Vitamix made straining unnecessary. If you want a rustic look and texture, don’t strain.) Add the cream, reheat, and adjust the seasoning. If the soup is too thick, you may want to thin it with more starch.

Use a blender to puree the soup.

Garnish ideas include a fresh parsley leaf, fried garlic chips or a Parmesan-crusted crouton.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Adapted from “Roast Chicken and Other Stories” by Simon Hopkinson with Lindsey Bareham


Posted in Featured, RecipesComments Off on Keep It Green with This Rich Parsley Soup

Griffin to Go: In Praise of Cauliflower

Cauliflower is versatile.

Cauliflower is in season, and it’s cheap. So, I’ve been eating a lot of it.

I’m almost always surprised, though, at how versatile it is.

When I was growing up, cauliflower was only served two ways: raw with other vegetables or steamed with a little butter or cheese on it. Both are great, but why stop there?

For those of us watching our carbohydrate intake, mashed cauliflower is a great alternative to mashed potatoes, with only 5 grams per serving and 3 grams of dietary fiber. Steam the cauliflower until it’s soft, then add it to a mixer with butter, salt, milk or whatever you like in your mashed potatoes — outside of the potatoes, that is. Don’t forget some roasted garlic or Parmesan cheese for added flavor.

Then there are Cauliflower Steaks that you can flavor how you choose, including your favorite steak seasoning. It’s an excellent vegan main course, if you’re looking to give up meat during a meal or two. All you have to do is cut the head in half, then cut your steaks from the center of each half. Use the rest of the head in a soup or roast it in the oven.

One option for the latter comes from Michael Schwartz’s new cookbook, “Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat” (Clarkson Potter, $35), written with Joann Cianciulli: Roasted Cauliflower with Parsley Sauce.

Cauliflower Popcorn

“Cauliflower can be a little bland on its own,” Schwartz writes, “but blasting the florets in a hot oven concentrates their natural sweetness and transforms the lily-white vegetable to a crisp caramel-brown. Tossing the roasted cauliflower with emerald green parsley sauce brightens the charred flavor. This is a universal side that goes with everything.”

Cauliflower belongs the vegetable family that includes cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli and greens, such as kale and collards. In addition to its lively flavor, cauliflower is also good for you. According to, a single serving has only 25 calories and is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. “It is also a good source of protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium and phosphorus, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium and manganese.”

By the way, don’t throw away those leaves that enfold themselves about the cauliflower head, like some sort of natural Caesar’s wreath. They can be used in soup stocks.

SavorSA has run several cauliflower recipes in the past, from soup to snacks. Here are two worth cooking up, depending on how you want to use this wonderful vegetable:


Posted in Griffin to Go, In SeasonComments (2)

Roasted Red Pepper-Tomato Soup Goes Together Quickly

Roasted Red Pepper-Tomato Soup

Sometimes you need a recipe that goes together so quickly, you don’t even have to think about it. That’s the appeal of this soup recipe, which calls for jarred roasted red peppers and canned tomatoes. Just dump both in your saucepan, juice and all.

I used onions instead of green onions or shallots and I left out the sugar, neither of which made the least bit of difference.

The recipe comes from “Jan Karon’s Mitford Cookbook & Kitchen Reader” ($20), edited by Martha McIntosh, and the Cynthia of the name should be no stranger to anyone who loves Karon’s Mitford series of novels.

Cynthia’s Roasted Red Pepper-Tomato Soup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped green onions or shallots
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups chopped jarred roasted red peppers
2 (14 1/2-ounce cans whole stewed tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Sour cream, for garnish

Warm the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the green onions and sauté until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, red peppers, tomatoes, sugar, if using, and basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

remove the tomatoes and peppers with a slotted spoon and transfer to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and then return to the liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From “Jan Karon’s Mitford Cookbook & Kitchen Reader” edited by Martha McIntosh

Posted in RecipesComments (2)

Cream of Sorrel Soup Can Be Served Hot or Cold


Sorrel, for those who have never had it, is a leafy vegetable that grows great in pots and is perfect for this climate.

Mine endured the heat of this past summer and the cold of the snow last winter.

The refreshing flavor — cool, clean and green, akin to watercress and lovage — makes it a great addition to salads or sandwiches along with, or even instead of, lettuce.

The following soup capitalizes on that great flavor, it goes together quickly, and it can be served hot or cold. Plus, the pale celadon color is comforting as well as appetizing.

If you can’t find sorrel, you can substitute spinach with a pinch of lemon zest.

Cream of Sorrel Soup

1 cup packed coarsely chopped sorrel leaves and some tender stems
3 cups water, divided use
3 chicken-flavor bouillon cubes or 1 tablespoon chicken base
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dry sherry
Salt, to taste (optional)

Cream of Sorrel Soup

In blender, blend sorrel leaves and stems and 1/2 cup water until finely chopped, about 15 seconds.

In 2-quart saucepan over high heat, heat sorrel mixture, bouillon, and remaining 2 1/2 cups water to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes.

In small bowl, with white whisk or fork, beat egg yolks, cream and sherry; stir in small amount of hot soup. Slowly pour egg mixture back into soup, stirring rapidly to prevent lumping; cook, stirring constantly, until sorrel soup is slightly thickened (do not boil or soup will curdle). Taste and season with salt, if needed.

Serve sorrel soup  hot or refrigerate to serve cold later.

Makes 3 1/2 cups or 4 first-source servings.

From “The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook” (1986 edition)

Posted in RecipesComments Off on Cream of Sorrel Soup Can Be Served Hot or Cold

Warm Up Your Winter with Pumpkin Pear Soup

Pumpkin Pear Soup

I love the flavor of pumpkin or butternut squash roasted with melted butter brushed on top. It’s also versatile, because you can use it in everything from ravioli to pies to empanadas. And the dishes can savory or sweet.

The following soup came about from some leftover ingredients in the refrigerator that needed to be used. The end result is a combination of sweet, from the onion and the pear, and savory with a healthy dose of pure comfort stirred in. Apple or persimmons would work in this as well.

Pumpkin Pear Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
2 pears, peeled, cored and shredded
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup water
3 to 3 1/2 cups roasted pumpkin or butternut squash (can use canned pumpkin, but not pumpkin pie filling)
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste (optional)
1 cup heavy cream

In a stockpan over medium heat, add onion and butter, cooking until the onion turns translucent. (Do not let the onion turn brown.) Add pear and cook for 5 more minutes. Add chicken stock and water. Increase heat and bring to a boil.

Immediately reduce heat to a simmer and stir in pumpkin. Add salt to taste (amount will vary on whether you are using sodium-free chicken stock and our taste) and white pepper, if using. Let simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in heavy cream. Taste and adjust seasoning. Raise the heat slightly and cook for about 5 minutes or until soup reaches desired serving temperature. Process in a food processor to ensure a greater smoothness. Top with sour cream, crème fraîche or toasted pepitas.

Makes 8 servings.

From John Griffin

Posted in RecipesComments Off on Warm Up Your Winter with Pumpkin Pear Soup