Potage Beatrice

From the Ann Howard Cookery.

2 tsp olive oil
Tsp tomato paste
1 onion coarsely chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 stalk celery chopped
1 clove garlic minced
4 cups fish stock
bouquet garni
1/4 tsp saffron
1/4 tsp anise seeds
Salt and pepper

  • Heat oil in stockpot and sweat vegetables on low heat for 5 minutes or until a bit brown.
  • Add the water and wine, bring to boil in the covered pan, then uncovered and reduce the heat.
  • Add tomato paste, fish stock, saffron, anise seed and salt, pepper and bouquet garni.
  • Bring to boil and simmer slowly for 20 minutes, skimming the surface.
  • Mash vegetables & fish to extract the flavors.
  • Strain the broth though a cheesecloth.
  • Reduce to concentrate the flavors.
  • Cut 6 slices of French bread and rub with garlic.
  • Sauté slices in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Serve atop garlic bread in hot soup bowls.

Onion soup

As in most traditional dishes, the onion soup recipe varies from place to place. Most of the time it is gratiné – with a crust of cheese on top.  The onions can be cooked lightly or browned to a dark stage, singed with flour then pushed through a food mill (Lyonnaise style). Water or stock can be used. Egg yolk and cognac may also be added.  Here is my own version.

10 medium size yellow onions minced finely
1/4 cup of olive oil
4 Tbsp of flour
1 cup of white wine
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
8 cups of stock (mixture of beef stock and chicken stock)
2 cups or more of gruyère or Emmenthal
salt and pepper to taste
2 dozen slices of French bread toasted under the broiler

  • Warm the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onions.
  • Cover tightly and cook very slowly for about 2 hours or until dark brown.
  • Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir well. Add the wine.
  • Slowly add the boiling stock and simmer for half an hour after adding the garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Place slices of French bread in each bowl or in a large terrine.
  • Fill with the onion soup to the top so the cheese crust is not going to sink.
  • Sprinkle the cheese on top of the soup pressing around the edge as an anchor.
  • Place the bowls on a cookie sheet, put in the oven and cook until brown.

Mussel soup

4 cups of dry white wine
1 Tbsp of fresh rosemary and 1 Tbsp of thyme
2 Tbsp of shallots
1 Tbsp of garlic
3 lbs of mussels
Fish stock (about 2 cups)
1 cup of whipping cream
pinch of saffron
salt and pepper

  • Reduce 4 cups of dry white wine with the herbs, shallots and garlic by about 1/3.
  • Wash 3 lbs of mussels.
  • Discard all the ones that are open and look brownish.
  • Steam them in the reduced wine broth for 5 minutes.
  • Strain the liquid and let it rest.
  • Reserve the mussels after discarding the shells.
  • Slowly pour the wine‑mussel liquid in a saucepan.
  • Discard the bottom part that may contain sand.
  • Add some fish stock (about half the quantity of the remaining wine‑mussel liquid).
  • Add whipping cream and the saffron.
  • Season to taste.
  • Cook gently to warm it up.
  • Add some whole mussels and serve.

Mirepoix and tomato soup

Mirepoix is the name given to the combination of diced carrots, celery and onions.

1 quart 14 oz can of chicken stock (or  homemade stock)
3 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 large onions
A handful of spinach leaves
1 leek
3 tomatoes (in winter use Italian canned tomatoes)
2 Tbsp of sun dried tomato paste
Thyme, bay leaf, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper
Olive oil
Provolone cheese (grated)

  • Dice the carrots and celery. Slice and coarsely chop the onion and the leek. Slice the spinach leaves. Peel the tomatoes and discard the seeds. Chop in small pieces.
  • In a soup kettle, brown the onion in 2 Tbsp of olive oil, add the carrots, celery,  leek and sweat the vegetables together for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock and throw in the spinach leaves. Mix the tomato paste with a little bit of the stock to dilute it and add to the pot as well.
  • Add the herbs and the garlic and cook gently for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Serve with French bread and provolone cheese.

Note:   You can thicken this soup by adding some couscous to it.

Mama’s lentil soup

2 large or 4 small onions
3-4 carrots
3-4 celery stacks
1 bag of lentils
bay leaf

  • Simmer onions until brown.
  • Sauté carrots and celery.
  • Add lentils and three times as much water.
  • Add bay leaf and thyme.
  • Cook slowly on low heat until lentils are soft (about 1 hour).
  • Add curry near end of cooking process.
  • Remove bay leaf before serving.

Italian sausage soup

1 pound hot Italian sausage
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup sliced carrots
1 tsp basil
2 small zucchini
1 can (28 oz) whole Italian tomatoes, chopped, undrained
2 cans (14.5 oz each) organic beef broth
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 can (15.5 oz) of Great Northern beans
salt & pepper

  • Slice sausage into half inch pieces and remove skin
  • Brown in oil
  • Add next four ingredients (onion, garlic, carrots, basil)
  • Cook 5 minutes
  • Add next five ingredients (zucchini, tomatoes, broth, cabbage)
  • Heat and simmer covered for 1 hour
  • Add beans and liquid
  • Cook another 20 minutes
  • Serve and top with shredded parmesan, if desired

Fish stock

2-1/2 pounds fish bones*
2 Tbsp sweet butter
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
2 to 3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup parsley stems
1 leek, cleaned and sliced
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed (mignonnette)
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
3 quarts water

  • Place the butter in a large skillet or kettle and add the fish bones.
  • Steam on medium to high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring with a wooden spatula.
  • When the bones begin to fall apart, add the onion, celery, parsley stems and leeks, and mix well.
  • Steam for another 35 to 40 minutes, stirring.
  • Add all the other ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Boil on high heat for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Strain through a fine sieve.
  • You can freeze the fish stock and use it for soups, or thicken it with a roux so it becomes a velouté, as well as reducing it to a glaze and finishing it with cream and butter.

* Preferably the bones of flat fish such as sole, flounder, fluke, etc.  If fish heads are used, be sure to remove the gills and wash the bones carefully under cold water or the fish stock will be bitter.

Curried cream of celery soup

From the Ann Howard Cookery.

6 large celery ribs
2 medium yellow onions peeled and halved lengthwise
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp curry, salt and pepper
1 quart of beef stock
2 cups of light cream

  • With metal disc, slice the celery and the onions.
  • Sauté in melted butter until slightly brown
  • Stir in curry powder and let mellow.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Put in the beef stock and simmer 40 minutes.
  • Strain the vegetables and purée with the steel blade (add a bit of the liquid).
  • Put in a soup pot and allow to come to a boil.
  • Add the cream.
  • Bring to serving temperature without boiling.

Chicken stock

To make this chicken stock (fond blanc de volaille), you can buy whole birds if you can use the chicken breasts and legs for another meal. It is also convenient (and sometimes more economical) to buy wings and backs from a market that sells chicken parts. Unfortunately, it is getting more and more difficult to find these as most supermarkets don’t do their own cutting anymore.

5 to 6 lb of chicken carcass or any chicken pieces
3 large carrots, scraped and cut
1/2 lb of fresh mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
1 large leek, green parts cut off and well rinsed
1 stalk of celery
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of dry white wine  (optional)
2 onions, sliced
1 small onion stuck with 2 cloves
about 4 quart of water or enough to cover the meat and vegetables
bouquet garnis (bay leaf, thyme and parsley)

  • Put the cut up chicken, or parts, in a large pot with the carrots, mushrooms, leek, celery stalk, and onions.
  • Add the white wine, if you are using it, and boil down for 15 minutes to evaporate the alcohol.
  • Add the cold water, the clove studded onion, and the bouquet garnis.
  • Simmer the stock gently, partially covered, over low heat, for about 3 hours.
  • Skim off the scum that rises to the surface.
  • Strain the stock through a large, fine-mesh strainer into the container in which it will be stored.
  • Let cool, then store, covered, in the refrigerator.
  • When the stock is cold, the fat hardens on the surface.
  • Discard the fat.
  • At this point, you can either reduce your stock to use for various sauces, or use it as is for different soups.

Broccoli soup with tarragon

2 heads of broccoli (about 2 lb) cleaned, stems peeled and cut in small pieces
4 cups of beef broth (or milk)
2 Tbsp of tarragon
1 cup of white wine
3 Tbsp of butter
3 Tbsp of flour
1/4 cup of cream & 1 egg yolk beat together for the liaison.

  • In a medium size pan put the wine and the tarragon.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to ½ cup.
  • Steam the broccoli in beef broth until tender.
  • Reduce the liquid by half.
  • Meanwhile prepare a velouté sauce: melt the butter, put in the flour and mix together.
  • Purée the broccoli and add the reduced wine‑tarragon mixture to it.
  • Add the broccoli to the velouté sauce and mix well.
  • Just before serving, reheat gently and add the liason.