French onion soup by Meridith Ford. (LOUIE FAVORITE/AJC staff)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Ready to hunker down this winter and eat some soup? These five recipes should get you through even the roughest of storms.
Cantaberry’s Chicken and Wild Rice Soup Jessica Bruner of Cantaberry’s restaurant in Ellijay, Georgia, supplied this recipe, which required a little tweaking to go from restaurant version to home cook-friendly. Read more here.
4 cups hot water 1 (5-ounce) package Uncle Ben’s Country Inn Chicken and Wild Rice, with seasoning packet 1 3/4 cups heavy cream 6 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
In a large saucepan, combine hot water and wild rice mix and its seasoning packet. Add heavy cream and bouillon powder. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened. Stir in chicken and serve hot.
Petite Auberge’s Lentil Soup Anthony Gropp, head chef and co-owner of Petite Auberge in Atlanta, shared this recipe, which has been used since the restaurant opened.
Gropp says it’s fine to use bacon ends and pieces, available at some butchers, in place of more expensive whole bacon strips.
1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4pound applewood-smoked bacon 1/2cup chopped celery 1/2cup chopped onion 1/2cup chopped carrot 1 small clove garlic, minced 1 pound dried lentils 8 cups chicken stock 1 tablespoon vinegar, more if desired Salt and pepper 1 cup heavy cream Watercress and sour cream, for garnish
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil about 2 minutes on high heat. Add bacon and cook until partially done, about 2 minutes. Add celery, onion, carrot and garlic and lower heat. Cook just until vegetables begin to soften, stirring frequently so they do not burn. Add the lentils and stir until all the lentils are coated. Add chicken stock and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat so soup simmers vigorously and cook until lentils are tender, from 30 to 45 minutes depending on your lentils. Be sure to stir the soup regularly.
When lentils are tender, remove soup from heat and cool for several minutes. In the jar of a blender, puree the soup in batches. Or use an immersion blender. Puree to the texture you like. At the restaurant, they prefer a chunky consistency for its rustic appeal. Return the soup to the saucepan and put it over low heat. Add vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Finally, add cream and stir soup again. Garnish with a drizzle of sour cream and a sprig of watercress, if desired.
Chicken Tortilla Soup This recipe from now-shuttered Atlanta restaurant Nava uses toasted spices and guajillo pepper paste to bring out the flavor of the toasted corn tortillas.
Hands on: 1 hour, 30 minutes Total time: 2 hours Serves: 10
At Nava, each portion of soup is served with garnishes of fried tortilla strips, pulled chicken pieces, chopped cilantro, chopped onions, chopped poblano peppers and a mixture of Chihuahua, Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheeses.
3 (6-inch) yellow corn tortillas 2 ounces dried guajillo chiles 1 tablespoon ground coriander 11/2 teaspoons ground cumin 11/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano 1/4 teaspoon ground Mexican cinnamon 5 roma tomatoes 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 medium onion, diced 1 large carrot, diced 1 celery rib, diced 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 tablespoon salt 16 cups (128 ounces) chicken stock, divided 1/4 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped Salt and pepper, to taste Zest of 1 lime
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place corn tortillas on cookie sheet and bake about 10 minutes, turning once, until dry and crisp. Cool; crush into bite-size pieces and set aside. Save cookie sheet for roasting peppers. Remove stems and seeds from peppers, then rinse. On cookie sheet, toast guajillo peppers for 4 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven, place in small bowl, and cover with hot water. When softened, about 15 minutes, remove chiles and puree in blender, adding just enough soaking liquid to make a paste the consistency of ketchup. Strain and discard solids; set paste aside.
In a small, dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast coriander, cumin, oregano and cinnamon, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until spices are fragrant. Put spices in a small bowl and set aside.
Prepare tomatoes by roasting on grill or gas flame until all sides are slightly blackened, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. When cool, remove stem end. Set aside.
In large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat and add onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until carrot is done, about 15 minutes. Add roasted tomatoes, corn tortilla pieces and 4 cups chicken stock. Use an immersion blender or transfer to blender to puree. Return to pot and stir in 1/2 cup guajillo paste, salt and toasted spices. When mixture is smooth, add remaining chicken stock and cilantro, and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Taste for seasoning and strain before serving. Sprinkle lime zest over each bowl.
Per serving (without garnishes): 110 calories (percent of calories from fat, 34), 17 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 7 grams fat (trace saturated), no cholesterol, 722 milligrams sodium.
Whole Foods Market Clam Chowder
“There’s food that makes for a healthy body, and food that makes for a healthy soul. Between the cream, bacon and butter, this recipe decidedly falls into the latter category, ” said Michael Mormino, regional development chef for Whole Foods Market. It was relatively easy for Mormino to provide a recipe for home use because the store kitchens use the same ingredients they sell in the market, such as unbleached and unbromated flour and naturally cured bacon. The clam chowder is available in pints and quarts in Whole Foods’ refrigerated soups section. When the weather turns cold, it’s often served on the hot soup bar. If you’d like a stronger clam flavor, double the amount of clams.
Hands on: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hour Serves: 6 (makes about 2 quarts) 1/2 pound peeled potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 medium to large potato) 1 tablespoon salt 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 to 4 strips raw, naturally cured bacon, chopped finely 1 small or medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 2 cups clam juice 1 (6.5-ounce) can chopped clams, drained (reserve liquid) 2 cups milk 11/4 cups heavy cream 1 bay leaf Tabasco, to taste Worcestershire sauce, to taste Lemon juice, to taste Kosher salt and finely ground black pepper, to taste
In a small saucepan, place potatoes and salt and add water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fully cooked but still firm, about 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and set aside.
While potatoes are cooking, heat oil on medium heat in a large saucepan. Add bacon and saute until crisp. Remove bacon pieces, drain and set aside. Add onions and cook over low heat until translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add butter, allow to melt, and then add flour. Stir constantly for 2 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.
Stir in clam juice, reserved clam liquid, milk, cream, cooked bacon and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes. Add clams and potatoes and simmer 5 minutes to heat everything through. Season to taste with Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice starting with about 1/2 teaspoon of each. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf before serving.
French Onion Soup 6 servings Hands on: 45 minutes Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes This classic soup is easier to make than you think and perfect for a winter’s day lunch. 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter 6 onions, sliced thin 3 shallots, minced 8 cups beef or vegetable broth 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced 1/2 cup sherry Salt and pepper to taste One baquette, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large saucepan, heat the butter. Add the onions and shallots and cook gently, sweating them uncovered over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to high and brown the onions, uncovered, for about 5 minutes. Add the broth, thyme and sherry and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Toast the bread slices in the oven until slightly brown, but not too hard. Set aside.
Heat the oven for broiling. Place the onion mixture into a terrine or oven-proof soup dish (or individual crocks). Float the toasted bread slices over the soup and cover with the grated cheese. Place in the oven and broil until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.