Thursday, October 20, 2011

A hit and a miss

We have had some really unpredictable weather in Georgia this month. It seems like it goes from 85 degrees one day to 50's the next.  On the day that I planned soup, it was a cool, rainy Sunday afternoon and soup just sounded like a perfect Fall meal for a dreary day.  Two days later when I was scheduled to make the soup, it was a sunny day in the mid 80's - not really soup weather.  I decided to go ahead with my plan for soup since I had already bought all of the ingredients, knowing it was less than ideal soup weather. 

This recipe came from Cook's Illustrated magazine.
Farmhouse Vegetable and Barley Soup

1/8 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

8 sprigs fresh parsley + 3 Tablespoons chopped

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

2 Tablespoons butter

1 1/2 pounds leeks, white and light green parts sliced

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 celery ribs, sliced

1/3 cup dry white wine

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup pearled barley

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut

1 turnip, peeled and cut

1 1/2 cups chopped green cabbage

1 cup frozen peas

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons soy sauce

6 cups water

Grind porcini mushrooms in a spice grinder until they resemble a fine meal.  Measure out 2 teaspoons.  Tie together parsley sprigs, bay and thyme. 

Melt butter in large saucepan.  Add leeks, carrots, celery, wine, soy sauce and 2 teaspoons salt.  Cook until liquid evaporates and celery is softened. 

Add water, broth, barley, porcini powder, herb bundle and garlic.  Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes.   Add potatoes, turnip and cabbage.  Cook until tender.  (18-20 minutes)

Remove pot from heat and remove herb bundle.  Stir in peas, lemon juice and chopped parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.

The reviews on this soup went from "failure" to "liked it a lot".  All I will say about it that I considered it a "miss" in my book.  Just because I cant seem to let a mediocre soup linger on my record, I felt compelled to redeem myself with a better vegetable soup.  

This recipe came from Saveur magazine.
Soupe au Pistou
For the Pistou
4 cups fresh basil
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cloves garlic 
1 plum tomato

Process all ingredients in a food processor.  

For the soupe
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce pancetta, minced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 medium zucchini, chopped
1/4 head savoy cabbage, thinly shredded
8 cups chicken stock
7 whole tomatoes canned, chopped
1/3 cup broken spaghetti
15ounce can cannelini beans

Heat oil in saucepan.  Add pancetta and cook 2 minutes.  Add garlic, carrots, celery and onions.  Cook covered 12-15  minutes.

Add zucchini and cabbage.  Cook 3-5 minutes, covered.  

 Add stock and tomatoes.

 Bring to a boil.  Add pasta and cook 8 minutes. 

Mash 1/2 of the beans with a fork.  Add to soup along with whole beans.

 Serve soup with a dollop of pistou. 

This soup was a hit.  I can sleep better tonight knowing that I have redeemed my vegetable soup.  It's not that I thought the other soup was terrible, I just think this one is WAY better.  The pistou really gives it nice depth and flavor.  When the weather turn cold, curl up with a warm bowl of Soupe au Pistou.  It's delicious.

Bon Appetit!

No comments:

Post a Comment