For National Homemade Soup Week celebrity chef and cookbook author Alex Hitz shares his recipe for The Best Tomato Soup in the World. In this own words…”There are so many good tomato soups in the world, that I wouldn’t include a recipe for one unless it was a true standout. It requires no technique whatsoever, and you must use the best quality canned tomatoes. Fresh ones would take you days for the same result. This recipe is amazing, and if you can turn on your stove, you can do it. It does require a small bit of patience, however, as the ingredients must simmer until a full 25% reduction takes place to concentrate the flavors, but just go do something else in the mean time…”
Mark your calendar. February 4th is National Homemade Soup Day. Who knew? Certainly not me, and I feel as if this is something I should have been well aware of before now. To celebrate the occasion, I thought it would be fun to host virtual Soup Swap. Similar to the swaps we once did by mail. Anyone else do that other than me? I can still remember recipe exchanges by mail (not email). Letters and recipes were sent to both friends and strangers. The letter went something like, “Send a recipe to the person at the top of the list, add your name to the bottom, send a self-addressed stamped envelope…” and so on. I loved trying new recipes (this was way before blogs or Pinterest) so I was always on board.
“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
– Harriet Van Horne I was recently reunited with some of my old cookbooks and magazine binders that I created over 20 years ago (long before Pinterest, blogs or the Internet). I remembered eagerly awaiting the arrival of Bon Appétit, Gourmet and Food & Wine each month. I would stash the copies next to my bed like they were romance novels (right on top of a collection of cookbooks), then contemplate which recipe I would recreate first. My love of cooking never waned, it just got pushed aside as life became more demanding. Over the past few weeks I have once again had an insatiable appetite for cooking (blame it on Pinterest and AMAZING food blogs). I just discovered With Food + Love, a beautiful, seasonally inspired vegetarian and gluten-free food blog. All week I have been obsessed with this soup recipe I found on this blog. And while my version of this soup is not vegetarian, it very easily could be (just used filtered water instead of stock).
Bon Appétit. Ronda xx
It’s a cold rainy day in Houston. So cold in fact we have a roaring fire heating the room without the air conditioner running…a rare occasion. Unsure of what to do with the large ham in the refrigerator, we decided to make split pea ham (one of my favorite cold-weather soups). Hot off the stove, I am curled up on the sofa with a bowl. This is the first time in the past few weeks I’ve had a moment to sit down and spend some time with a growing pile of magazines…I have no intention of moving anytime soon. I might just stay here the rest of the day. Enjoy your Sunday.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
6 cups Kitchen Basics Unsalted Chicken Stock (my new favorite)
1/2 pound baked ham, chopped (2 cups)
1/2 pound dried split peas (1 cup)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
½ chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
kosher salt and black pepper
croutons for serving (optional)
Inspired by a bushel of crabs on our outing yesterday, I was reminded of Partan Bree (Scottish Crab Bisque). Roasted crab shells and sherry lend sweet depth to this luscious version from chef Michael Smith of The Three Chimneys restaurant on Scotland’s Isle of Skye.One of the most acclaimed restaurants in Scotland, there is nowhere in the Highlands and Islands quite like The Three Chimneys. Set in the north west Isle of Skye, and housed in an old stone home by the sea, the original island croft house dates back over 100 years. Well-known on the island for serving the best fish, locally reared lamb, beef and game, Head Chef Michael Smith is a passionate ambassador for Scottish food and cooking. (more…)
The hot Houston weather, Food & Wine and winemaker Jeremy Seysses inspired my soup selection today. Jeremy Seysses has developed a wide repertoire of dishes to use up the zucchini from his half-acre garden: ratatouille, sautéed zucchini, zucchini fritters, stuffed zucchini, zucchini cake. But this ultra-simple soup is the family favorite. “We have nothing from the garden for an eternity, then all of a sudden, we have to eat zucchini every day for two months just to keep up,” he says. His soup can be served warm, or chilled for a sunny evening. “Yes, we actually do get occasional sunny evenings in Burgundy,” he reports.
Yesterday was a cold and rainy Sunday in Houston. I would venture to say it’s a rare occasion, but with the strange weather patterns as of late (and polar vortices), it seems to be more commonplace these days. Originally I was going to make Salmon Chowder (my favorite standby) until I was inspired by the clam, mussel and sausage Étouffée at brunch. So, after leisurely lunch, we made our way to Central Market to pick up clams for our chowder…which lead to the addition of scallops as well. The result was delicious! Enjoy.
Despite the fact that I am drinking a hot Starbucks coffee, I can’t bring myself to think about soup (even if it is Sunday and happens to be my favorite food). Yesterday the temperature in Houston was 104 and felt like 113. And as crazy as it may sound, I am loving the hot weather. Either I am suffering from having lived in a cold damp climate for too long or I am delusional from the heatwave. Either way, a bowl of steaming soup is still out of the question.
I adore homemade chicken noodle soup, especially with grilled chicken and lemon juice! It elevates this classic recipe in a way that is subtle, yet undeniable. However, if I make chicken noodle soup for you, it most likely means that you are either feeling under the weather or things are not going well in your world.
Fall is upon us, and this seems like the perfect easy, autumnal Sunday soup. My husband, who happens to be a great cook, found the basis of this recipe online while sitting in Starbucks. Like most recipes, he tweaks and adds his own touches (always improving the original). In this case it’s substituting sweet potatoes (rather than squash) and adding garlic, shallot and ginger (which were missing in the original). It now sounds perfect to me, enjoy.
Now that autumn has arrived I am eger to start making soup again. Don’t get me wrong, I always love a hot pot of soup…I just find it depressing to make soup in August, even though we had a nonexistent summer in Scotland. This past week I was in London for Decorex and ran into my friend and designer Hugh St Clair. I was reminded of the lovely roasted vegetable soup that he made for me when I was his guest in London. It’s such a simple, yet complex tasting concoction.
As with the traditional gazpacho, Rick Stein’s white gazpacho is all about stale country bread, garlic and olive oil with the judicious addition of a good quality sherry vinegar and, in this case, almonds and seedless white grapes.