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
thyme
curry 

  • 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.

Bourride

From Mireille Johnston.  For 8 people.

Three different types of fish are needed for this creamy garlic fish soup. The chunks of fish can be removed from the soup and served separately but in Nice most people prefer having everything arrive at the table at the same time.

4-1/2 lbs of 3 different fish in any proportion*
1 leek, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 Tbsp of olive oil
1-1/2 cups of dry white wine
3 cups of water
2 pieces of orange rind
1 tsp of anise seed
1 tsp of thyme and 2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
5 egg yolks
2 cups of aïoli
Croutons

Soup 

  • Stew the leek, onion, and carrots in the olive oil for about 15 minutes.
  • Add the fish heads and bones or the clam juice then the wine and water, orange rind, anise seeds, thyme and bay leaves.
  • Bring to a boil and skim off froth.
  • Simmer uncovered for 1/2 hour, strain into a pot.
  • Cut the fish fillet into 2 inch square pieces.
  • Bring the stock to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • Put in the heavier pieces of fish first, adding the lighter next.
  • The whole cooking time should be about 6 minutes for the entire batch.
  • Warm a platter in the oven set at 200°F.
  • Put the fish on the platter and keep warm in the oven.
  • Reserve the soup.

Aïoli sauce

  • Put 8 Tbsp of it in a bowl and slowly add the egg yolks, stirring gently.
  • Refrigerate the rest of the aïoli.
  • Prepare the croutons.
  • Reheat the stock over a low flame.
  • Beat half of it very slowly into the aïoli-egg mixture with a wooden spoon, then pour it back into the rest of the soup.

Keep stirring and cook gently until the soup coats the spoon.
Ladle the soup onto the croutons and serve as a first course.

* For example, striped bass, whiting, ocean perch, haddock, halibut, or pollack.  Ask for heads and bones for a fish stock or use clam juice.

Baked winter squash soup

Ingredients to serve 12.

2 acorn squash (about 2 pounds each)
2 butternut squash (about 2 pounds each)
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
8 teaspoons dark brown sugar
4 carrots, peeled and halved
2 large onions, thinly sliced
10 cups chicken stock or 2 large cans of chicken broth (low sodium)
1-2 tsp of ground ginger
1 Tbsp of curry
salt to taste

Crème fraîche prepared a day ahead:

1 1/2 cups of cream
1/2 cup of sour cream

  • Prepare the crème fraîche a day ahead by mixing the ingredients together.
  • Let it stand at room temperature for 6 hours.
  • Refrigerate.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Cut the four squash in half lengthwise.
  • Scoop out and discard the seeds.
  • Place the squash halves, skin side down, in a shallow roasting pan.
  • Place ½ tablespoon of the butter and 1 teaspoon of the brown sugar in the cavity of each squash half.
  • Arrange the carrots and onion slices around the squash.
  • Pour 4 cups of the stock in the pan, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 2 hours.
  • Remove pan from the oven and allow the vegetables to cool slightly.
  • Scoop squash pulp out of the skins and puree in the food processor, along with the carrots, onions, and the cooking liquid until smooth.
  • Add the remaining cups of chicken stock and the ginger, curry, and salt.
  • Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of crème fraîche, stir well.
  • Serve each portion garnished with a dollop of crème fraîche.