Is there anything as good as a hearty bowl of soup when the weather turns chilly? I’m guessing, based on my unofficial grocery cart survey taken this past week at Nino’s….nothing.
Nary a shopping buggy was to be seen without a container of Nino’s own homemade soup, a canned soup, a packaged soup or the ingredients to make a soup. Admittedly, however, I still have to find out what kind of soup uses chocolate pie and olives…still working on THAT one.
The point is the weather’s getting brisk and soup is IN right now! And while I can definitely recommend one of Nino’s beloved homemade soups, you might also be thinking of making a batch of your very own–very soon.
As for me, I love soup. And it’s about this time of the year, every year, that I make my chili and a couple of other soups to store in my freezer.
Yep, with few exceptions, soups freeze pretty darn well. As a matter of fact, many commercially prepared soups are packaged frozen, many in plastic boil-in-bag style “re-thermalization” pouches. So don’t sweat it! With very minimal loss in texture and generally zero loss in flavor, you can freeze most soups, and of course, all of these recipes below.
Having said that, here are three soup recipes I’ll be making this fall:
My first soup is one I used to make at Opus One in Detroit when I was their executive chef. We had a wonderful lunch crowd, and people always enjoyed our homemade soups, whatever I made. I particularly loved this soup, and on the occasion we made it, I would make it my own lunch, with a slice of French bread…or two.
Creamy Chicken with Tarragon, Mushrooms & Wild Rice
½ Stick Butter, Salted ½ Cup Onions, Small Diced ½ Cup Celery, Small Diced 2 tsp Garlic, Minced 1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour 1 Cup Mushrooms, Chopped 3 Cups Chicken Stock ½ Cup Heavy Cream 1 Cup Diced, Cooked Chicken Meat ¼ Cup Wild Rice 2 Cups Water (or as needed) 1 TBSP Tarragon, Fresh, Chopped 1 TBSP Sweet Sherry Wine To Taste Salt & Black Pepper
Simmer wild rice in water until just tender. Drain and reserve.
Sauté onions and celery in butter until just tender, and then add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer.
Add flour and stir in. Cook 3 minutes on medium heat to cook flour into a roux.
Add chicken stock, heavy cream and mushrooms. Bring to a simmer while whisking and simmer 15 minutes.
Adjust thickness with additional chicken broth if necessary.
Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
This next soup is a new one. It’s similar to a New England Clam Chowder and also similar to the Creamy Chicken recipe above but uses seafood broth instead of clam juice and crab instead of clams. You can garnish it with Oyster Crackers just like any chowder.
Spicy Maryland Crab & Corn Chowder
2 Strips Bacon, Raw, Finely Chopped ½ Stick Butter, Salted ½ Cup Onions, Diced ½ Cup Celery, Diced ¼ Cup Red Bell Pepper, Diced 2 tsp Garlic, Minced 1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour 3 Cup Seafood Broth/Stock (Kitchen Basics brand or equiv.) ½ Cup Heavy Cream ½ Cup Sweet Corn Kernels 1 Lb Tin Crab Meat, Pasteurized (Lump) (with juices) 1 tsp Parsley Flakes 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper Pinch Thyme, Dry 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce 1 Cup Idaho Potatoes, Diced 3/8”
In a medium-sized saucepan, sauté bacon until just crisp.
Add butter, onions, celery and red bell pepper, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes longer.
Add flour and cook while stirring for 3 to 5 minutes or until flour had cooked into ingredients to make a roux.
Add seafood stock and cream, and bring to a simmer. Gently simmer for 15 minutes.
Add crab meat (with any juices) and all remaining ingredients except potatoes. Bring to a simmer.
Add potatoes and simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are JUST tender.
Adjust seasonings and thickness with additional seafood stock or water.
I really love this soup. The combination of chicken and Italian sausage really gives the broth a wonderful, robust heartiness. Another thing I love about this soup is all of the different garnishments that add interest to the look and taste.
Farmhouse Chicken Soup with Italian Sausage
2 TBSP Olive Oil 1 Cup Onions, Diced ½ Cup Carrots, Diced ½ Cup Celery, Diced ¼ Cup Bell Peppers, Diced 2 tsp Garlic, Minced 1 Cup Crushed Canned Tomatoes 3 Cups Chicken Stock ½ Cup Green Beans, Cut in 2” lengths ½ Cup Black-Eyed Peas, Canned, Drained 1 Cup Cooked Chicken Meat, Diced 2 Links Nino’s Sweet Italian Sausage, Cooked, Cut into ¼” Disks, which are then cut in half again 2 Cups Baby Spinach Leaves, Fresh ¼ tsp Oregano, Dry ¼ tsp Sage, Rubbed, Dry Pinch Thyme, Dry To Taste Salt & Pepper
Heat olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan, and then sweat onions, carrots, celery and bell peppers until just tender (about 2 to 3 minutes).
Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes longer.
Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.
Adjust with additional chicken stock as desired.
Simmer 15 to 20 minutes to marry flavors.
Adjust seasonings as desired.
What are your favorite soups to eat in the Fall? Let us know in the comments below!