Thursday, December 05, 2002


Monday, November 25, 2002

AND SO WE BID A FOND GOODBYE... ... to Blogger as The Soup moves to a new web address:
Thanks for the start, Blogger. It's been fun. Come over to the new place and say hello. There's a comment function over there.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

:: Business Lunch Soup ::

charge it! Navy Bean Soup at the Gateway Cafe Today the Soup Lady broke away from the terrible drudgery of the office to indulge in a little fresh air and a good lunch. The destination was an unassuming little place in a strip mall. It's a family-owned restaurant done up in a red leatherette/pseudo-50's/Betty Boop theme - an almost unbearable decor that is saved by the white lace cafe curtains - but the sandwiches are great and they have specials to make your mouth water. Today's special was Pulled Pork on a kaiser roll with Navy Bean Soup. How could you go wrong? While the pork was tender and moist and heavily seasoned with sage, the soup had no flavor at all. Oh, it looked good - all thick and colorful with shredded carrots in it, and it smelled good - little wisps of steam carrying the aroma right up to you - but the beans tasted as if they had been cooked seperately and then dumped into the broth. A great disappointment. We won't be falling for that one again.

Sunday, November 03, 2002

A: HOT AND SOUR Q: NAME A SOUP AND A SOUP LADY OK, here's my plan to maintain good health throughourt the coming winter: Frequent ingestion of Hot and Sour soup. Why not? It's filled with good things - vinegar and hot pepper to purge the germs from your system, soybean curd to infuse a little estrogen, plus everybody's favorite health food: pork. How could you go wrong? After an extensive search through all of the surrounding suburban stripmalls, I found that the best version comes from Wing Hing in the Strathmore Town Center mall, but even they sometimes use those vile canned mushroom slices. Which I preteniously prefer to call tinned mushroom slices. And so I have set off on a quest to see if this is something I could produce in my test kitchen. I googled "hot and Sour Soup" and got this. So I took a look, and the first three recipes that I opened had plenty of sour, but nothing hot. Maybe they weren't paying attention to the name. The next recipe had hot ingredients (I think), but seemed to be just a tad too exotic for a first go-round, what with it's bruised lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, prik ki nu and coconut shoots. The next listing calls for rehydrated woodears and how about the one that requires tiger lily buds, which I just happen to have. Woodears seem to be a common ingredient in many of the recipes, but here is one where the plagarist must have been copying in a hurry and scribbled down "cloudears". Really, all I want is hot and sour soup that contains fresh mushrooms. Is that so much to ask? It looks like a fairly big job to work one's way through all of these recipes. Maybe a whole winter's occupation. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 31, 2002


: : Food Impostor : :

isThatATomatoOrWhat Happy Halloween, dears! What a delightful holiday this is - an abundance of recipes for the "Food Impostors" section. You may remember that "Food Impostors" started out as a showcase for "food that is trying to look like other food", but too many gems were overlooked by that strict definition, so now it has broadened to "food that tries to look like something else." Now while the Soup Lady does not approve of the vulgarities known as "Cat Litter Casserole" or the equally disgusting "Boogers on a Stick", there's no harm in having a little holiday fun with some festive seasonal concotions such as Cheese Eyeballs or Witch's Finger Cookies.

wfcookies (11k image)
The link for the cookies came from that closet Domestic Goddess known as Michele at a small victory. Who would have guessed? These fingers are the Disney version of Halloween witch fingers. Here is someone who forces the issue of "is it a trick or a treat?" when she offers up one of these:
The Soup Lady shamefully confesses that she has a horrible fascination with these and cannot stop admiring them. You have my permission to go here for other Halloween Food Impostors, but please, be don't let me down. Try to make your menu tasteful as well as tasty.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

:: From The Mailbag ::
mail (4k image) It must be getting cold in Chicago, because they are thinking about hot soup there. The inimitable Dargie ( whose motto is: "If life gives you lemons, squeeze those suckers hard enough to squirt life in the eye!") sends us a recipe anyone can follow. DARGIE'S ONION SOUP Dear Soup Lady, This is the way I cook. Measurements are for baking where they matter. Slice up a lot of white and/or yellow onions or a combination thereof (I don't like red ones in this soup because of the color, and I don't like very strong ones in my soup either. BTW, for anyone who doesn't know, the rounder an onion is, the stronger it will be. Flatter onions are sweeter. ) I don't know how many. What's a lot for you? Good, that's how many you slice up. Throw a nice-size lump of butter into your soup pot, and add some olive oil. When the butter is melted and swirling around, making nice with the oil, throw your onions in and caramelize them. Sprinkle them with a bit of sugar (not much, this isn't dessert you know. Just a teaspoon or so to help with the caramelization. Don't hurry this part because it takes time - as much as half an hour - to make the onions beautiful and golden, and to get them to release their sugars. Once they've achieved this pinnacle of onion perfection, fill the pot with stock. How much you use depends on the balance of onion to broth you like. I like a bowl loaded with onions, but you may prefer a bowl of broth with onions as a kind of condiment. Either way, add stock accordingly. I like to use a combination of stocks because I think it adds depth to the soup. Try a combo of beef and chicken. If you're really daring, a touch of fish stock really is wonderful. Just a touch. This isn't bouillibaise. Be careful not to make the stock too salty. Bring to a boil and add a tot of wine. I kind of like port because it's got some body to it, but any good red or white will do. Again, not a lot, but just enough to add to the complexity. This would be a good time to add a bouquet garni, or a few herbs. Whatever you like. I'm partial to a bit of thyme in this, or a Provencale mix. Reduce heat. Simmer for an hour or so, until the onions are lovely and tender, and all the flavors have had a chance to blend. While it's cooking, you want to toast some slices of French or Italian bread, and grate some cheese. A mix is best. I like parmesan and swiss, but I've used romano, cheddar or anything that's been at hand (No, not cottage cheese or Velveeta! Behave yourself.) and it's all been great. put a slice or two of bread at the bottom of your bowl. Sprinkle generously with cheese, and ladle the hot soup over it. You could do the whole bowl-under-the-broiler thing if you want a toasted effect, but I like my cheese gooey, so I never bother. If you do broil it, be sure you've got your soup in ovenproof bowls, and put the bread and cheese on top of the soup, not under it. Eat it. Stop when you've had enough or the soup runs out.

Best regards, Dargie Oh, that Dargie! I do belive this is the first recipe posted here that calls for a tot of wine.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

FOR THIS, YOU DON'T EVEN NEED A BRIDE The very best version of this classic soup that I have ever had was made by my friend Joellen, a redhead of the I Love Lucy variety, who claims to be Italian. If this soup could be used as evidence, it must be true. She says the secret is in the broth and often spends 2 or 3 days getting it just right. When she is satisfied, she moves on to the rest.

:: Recipe :: SoupKettle (3k image) ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP 1. The chicken stock: 2 pounds chicken parts 2 large onion s 3 stalks celery, including leaves 3 large carrots 3 cloves of garlic 2 teaspoons salt 4 - 5 peppercorns 3 whole cloves 12 cups water Quarter the onions. Chop scrubbed celery and carrots into 1 inch chunks. Place chicken pieces, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, salt, and cloves in large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1- 2 hours. Remove chicken and vegetables. Strain stock through cheesecloth to remove solids. Skim fat off the surface. 2. The meatballs: Combine 1/2 pound lean ground beef, 1 egg (slightly beaten), 4 tablespoons bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons parmesean cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil. Shape into 3/4 inch balls. Drop into boiling water and cook until they float to the top. Drain and set aside. 3. The escarole: In a large pot of boiling water, add 2 heads of escarole which has been cleaned and chopped. Blanch for 3 minutes to remove the bitterness from the greens. Drain. When cooled, squeeze out all extra liquid. 4. Put it all together: Bring stock to a boil; add chopped escarole, 1 1/2 cups acini de pepe, and 3 eggs (slightly beaten) combined with 1 cup of parmesean cheese. Stirring continuously until the egg is fully cooked and the pasta is al dente. Add the meatballs, adjust seasoning and heat through. For those less dedicated to authenticity, canned chicken broth and frozen chopped spinach can be substituted. The acini de pepe floating around gives it the look of the real thing. And looks, as you all know, are half the battle.

Friday, October 18, 2002

AN OPEN LETTER TO HELEN WATERS (reprinted from January 2002) Dear Helen Waters, Your website is a model for us all - a cross-stitched dung beetle! - an entire section devoted to the sharp crease of a well-made trouser! - And, of course, a food section that makes me realize that my own weird jello department is only a pretender to the throne on which you are already seated. I bow before you. Jello forever! Best regards, The Soup Lady Behold! From the "I Can't Believe It's Food!" section of the Family Indigestion department: THE BOSTON BEANIE RING
try this with grilled hot dogs or burgers
1 pkg. lemon flavoured gelatin 1/3 cup ketchup 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon prepared mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 can baked beans in tomato sauce 1/2 cup diced celery 1/4 cup drained sweet-pickle relish small, inner romain leaves Heat tomato juice to boiling in a small saucepan; pour over gelatin in a medium-sized bowl; stir until gelatin dissolves. Stir in ketchup, lemon juice, mustard and salt. Chill 30 minutes, or until as thick as unbeaten egg white. Fold in baked beans, celery and pickle relish; spoon into a 5-cup ring mold. Chill several hours, or until firm (overnight is best). When ready to serve, run a sharp-tip thin-blade knife around top of salad, then dip mold very quickly in and out of pan of hot water. Cover mold with a serving plate; turn upside down; carefully lift off mold. Stand romaine leaves in center of ring. Who would actually dare to make this, let alone serve it? At least the Molded Pork Loaf has a horrible kind of beauty about it, which the Boston Beanie Ring cannot claim.
HELP ME, SOUP LADY! Oh, you poor dears! So chilly now that autumn is here and dampness is in the air! Chilly? Chili? Hey, that's a good idea ... Here is a recipe for White Chicken Chili from Suzi Q, who lives in the north country and knows about cold. She says: " I based this on the white chicken chili that they serve at Ruby Tuesday's, and I use inexact measurements, and lots more veggies, as you can see! I like a lot of peppers - you can use less.You can used dried navy beans if you soak overnight, discard water and then simmer for 1 hour per package directions. Serve with a dollop of FF sour cream and thinly sliced green onions. Tortilla strips are good for garnish, too -- but I can hardly find them in MN. Experiment with the seasonings you like the best........... and a variety of white beans. ENJOY!!"

:: Recipe ::

SoupKettle (3k image) LOW FAT WHITE CHICKEN CHILI 4 or 5 cans of white beans with their liquid (navy, white, butter,etc) 1 can stewed or chopped tomatoes 1 each red, yellow, and green pepper, diced 1 large onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 2 large cans of chicken broth (fat free) 1/2 cup chopped carrots 1/2 cup chopped celery lots of celery leaves add chopped jalapenos to taste Seasoning to taste: coarsely ground pepper salt bay leaf celery salt or beau monde Tabasco rosemary parsley Garnish: a dollop of fat free sour cream thinly sliced green onions In large soup pot, Simmer chicken breasts 15 mins. or until done, in 1 cup of chicken broth and the seasonings you prefer. Remove from liquid, cut into bite sized cubes, and set aside. If you are using frozen chicken breasts, it is easier to cube them prior to cooking. To the liquid in the pan, add the garlic, peppers, and onions. Simmer about 10 - 15 minutes, adding more liquid (chicken broth) if needed. Don't let them get all mushy -- just translucent and juicy. Add the canned or pre-cooked beans, carrots, celery, tomatoes, cubed chicken and remainder of seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 mins. stirring if needed. Remove about 2 cups of mostly beans from the pot and mash them with a fork, then return to the pot and simmer for about 15 more minutes -- this thickens the chili. Adjust seasoning to taste. ONGOING RESEARCH The Soup Lady can't help but notice that there is no actual chili in this chili recipe. By great good fortune, I had the opportunity to have the White Chicken Chil at another mall-linked chain restaurant called Dick Clark's American Bandstand Grille. The White Chicken Chili very, very spicy (maybe it has chili in it!) and quite tasty, too.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

HELLO DEARS! My, my, my - the Soup Lady has certainly been busy with other things besides soup. So busy that my little Joy Of Soup has quite fallen apart, hasn't it? Oh, the places I've been and the soup I've had! -White Chili Queso in Jillian's sports Bar in Minneapolis -popcorn afloat on top of it - abomination! -Tom Ka Guy in north Berkeley - whole button mushrooms bobbing about in coconut milk broth, served just the way I like it from a large tureen at the table. -Cheesy Cream of Spinach Soup in a dark basement cafe in Bucks County. Divinity itself. - Vicchyssoise - served chilled over a sterling silver icer in a former brothel in Florida. The.Very. Best. Ever. -Italian wedding Soup at an actual Italian wedding in Philadelphia - trucked in by the bride's relatives. It doesn't get any better than that. - Pasta e Fagioli made with pancetta right here in my own kitchen! An all around success except with those who rebuke pig in any shape or form (50% of the Panel of Judges. I should have known better!) So many opportuinities to promote soup gone by. Well, not to worry, dears. The weather has turned chilly and everyone will be looking for soup. The Soup Lady will be here for you once again.

Sunday, April 07, 2002

MERCY ME! WHAT A NAUGHTY NAME! The Soup Lady spent her first 10 visits to the Lotus Inn ordering the miso soup, and then fell under the spell of the wonder that is Hot and Sour. A more devoted miso fan writes at the site with the naughty name and provides us with a clever method to get the lunchtime miso fix.
NETCOMMENTS SAVED MY BACON or Confessions of a Soup Lady Gone Bad Well, I don't know how it happened, but things got all mixed up here. I had to reset the template to straighten things out, and when I did, the YACCS comments went away. Just my luck that YACCS had closed up. Thank goodness for NetComments. There they are right after each post. Leave a comment and try them out. Now, if I can only figure out where the images went off to.

Saturday, April 06, 2002

:: From The Mailbag :: While the Soup Lady was away, the mailbag has been filling up. Here is a letter fromAva South, for a soup that is her particular favorite: Dear SL, Here is a recipe that was originally in my Mama's church group cookbook, but I modified for my own use. I love it, but I don't make it too often because I tend to overindulge, if you know what I mean.

:: Recipe :: SoupKettle (3k image) CREAM GARDEN SOUP 3 cups of peeled, diced potatoes, preferably red or Yukon gold 1 cup water 1/2 cup celery, chopped 1/2 cup carrots, sliced 1/4 cup chopped onions 1 tsp. parsley flakes 1 chicken boullion cube 1/2 tsp. salt Dash of pepper 1 1/2 cups skim milk 2 tsp. flour 1/2 cup lof-fat Velveeta, cubed Combine first 9 ingredients. Mix well. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or till tender. Gradually add milk to flour, stirring till smooth. Add milk mixture to vegetables. Cook till thickened. Add cheese. Stir till melted. Serves 6 to 8. Note: I also add frozen green beans and green peas. When I made the most recent batch I made the recipe about half again. It made a BIG pot of soup. Ava South Nice touch with the low-fat bit at the end there, Ava. As if.

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

Well, what a lot of action has been going on without me! New recipe sites aplenty, soup recipes in the mailbag, requests for soup recipes, soup for lunch, new old cookbooks waiting to be discussed. Recipe sites: The Mixing Bowl - Lee, Shelagh and the gang have worked together to produce a friendly, easy-on-the-eyes group recipe site. Stop by and say hello. What's cookin'? - a new group blog that seems to have already found it's voice. Too bad I happened by there after Easter, it looks like they had an entire celebration going on over there. the Bitchin' Kitchen, self-proclaimed recipe globe trotters. Saute Wednesday. for the record, a little bit of cork in the wine glass has never stopped the Soup Lady. Or even slowed her down. Jaz's Quick Cooking . That Jaz is a girl after my own heart. An entire April Fool's Day dinner made of Food Impostors. Coming soon, from the mailbag, a recipe from Ava for Cream Garden Soup and a request from a reader for Cream of Cabbage Soup. Also, our next book review will be of that most delightful and practical relic of the sixties, the "I Hate To Cookbook" by Peg Bracken. I seem to remember her appearance on the Mike Douglas show touting this book. Did she just say the Mike Douglas show? Hey, if it was good enough for John and Yoko, then it should be good enough for you, too. [4/3/2002 1:07:12 PM | the soup lady] LOOK AT ALL THIS DUST! Hello, dears! The Soup Lady has been away for a while and just look what has happened around here. The images are gone (how did that happen?), the link list is out of date for Friends of The Soup, even the prestigious and coveted awards have gone missing. It looks like there is a lot of cleaning up to be done here. Not to worry. The Soup Babe is in the house.

Sunday, February 10, 2002

AND THEN WE ALL HAD SOUP Hang onto your hats, dears! - the Soup Lady is a modern woman and works outside the home! It is quite true and it is a good thing. This increases the opportunity for exposure to soup at varied restaurants durning business-related lunches. An emerging trend seems to be that if one party orders soup, the rest of the table does as well. Last week, our party of four did just this thing, and the soup ordered was: Seven Onion Soup - This appeared to be the garden-variety cheese-topped French Onion, but once the topping was pushed aside, there was evidence that shallots and scallions were part of the recipe. It was over-whelmingly scented by bay leaves. Chosen by two members of the party. Cream of Portabello Mushroom with Lemon Thyme - What a color this was! Kind of greenish/taupe. But the mushrom bits were of a good size and the cream base was rich in flavor, not pasty. Spicy New England Clam Chowder with Chorizo Sausage and Chiopotle Peppers - this was the selection of the Soup Lady. Although it was promising in description and appearance, it was most bland and a major disapointment. Not to worry, dears. The Soup Lady plans to cover the entire length and breadth of Buck's County in search of blog-worthy soups. Report to follow.

Saturday, February 02, 2002

:: From The Mailbag :: TOTO, I DON'T THINK WE'RE IN KANSAS ANYMORE Soup Fever sweeps through Europe as the ultra-talented web-design genius, D. writes from the U.K.about a soup he frequently mentions: Souplady, O Souplady, Here is my recipe for lime steak soup. I no longer remember where it came from or what it is really called. Best regards, D.

:: Recipe :: LIME STEAK SOUP Ingredients : 6 cups water 1 pound of .steak sliced or diced into thin strips or cubes 1 chopped onion 4 pounded cloves garlic 8 sliced dried red chilies 1 stalk of sliced lemongrass 1-inch of galangal 1/2 cup lime juice 4 tbsp fish sauce 3 tsp brown sugar 4 tbsp vegetable oil 4 tbsp coriander, chopped 4 tbsp spring onion, chopped Directions : 1. Heat oil in pot and fry garlic and onion till golden. 2. Add beef and fry for 1 more min. 3. Add water, lime juice, fish sauce, chilies, galangal, lemongrass and sugar, and simmer for 20 mins or until beef is tender. 4. Garnish with coriander and spring onion.

Serves 4-6
. . .
It sounds like a major flavor experience, doesn't it? The Soup Lady likes the looks of this and will produce it for the panel of judges as soon as they can all be rounded up into the test kitchens. (I wonder if he really meant 8 chilies? )

Thursday, January 31, 2002

:: From The Mailbag :: Mary Beth - maker of quilts, herder of cats, guardian of fruitcake, owner of the OXO peeler - writes about soup: Dear Soup Lady, I've been enjoying some recipes from other websites, and thought I'd share the soup I made today. Use whatever sort of meat you'd like for the ham. Sure to be OK.

:: Recipe :: HEARTY VEGGIE LENTIL SOUP In a big soup pot, saute: vegetable oil two onions, diced 4-5 cloves garlic, mashed 1.5" thick slice of ham diced (I used turkey ham) When onions start to turn golden, add: 2-3 quarts of water 1 one pound bag of lentils 5 carrots, diced (about 1/4"") 5 stalks celery (ditto) 1 bay leaf salt and pepper to taste fines herbes dried parsley Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until the lentils are cooked. Add: one 28 oz can of pureed tomatoes one small can ,b>beef stock if desired more water if needed 4-5 large leaves of kale, large stems removed. Stack the leaves and slice into 1/4" ribbons, simmer until the kale is cooked. Leave uncovered to reduce stock slightly. Just before serving, add a good bit of grated fresh parmasean cheese to each bowl and ladle soup into the bowl.

. . .
I like that image: "... slice into 1/4" ribbons ..."

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

ANNOUCING A NEW FEATURE - FOOD IMPOSTERS! I have long had a fascination with foods that are meant to look like other foods. As I was mulling this over today, someone offered me a candy called an Irish Potato. This is a no-bake coconut and cream cheese confection that is rolled in cinnamon and shaped by hand. Faith and begora if it doesn't look like a wee spud!

:: FOOD IMPOSTERS :: IRISH POTATO CANDY 1/4 cup butter, softened 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 cups confectioners' sugar 2 1/2 cups flaked coconut 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon Directions: 1. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. 2. Add the vanilla and confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth. 3. Using your hands if necessary, mix in the coconut. 4. Roll into balls or potato shapes, and roll in the cinnamon. 5. Place onto a cookie sheet and chill to set. 6. If desired, roll potatoes in cinnamon again for darker color.

Enjoy the complexity of this experience. Once you adjust your brain to the idea that this is candy, then you begin to expect marzipan. What a surprise to find the coconutty goodness inside. And it's not overly sweet, either. The Soup Lady regrets to announce that the panel of judges is becoming very uncooperative. Maybe I can lure them back into the test kitchens with this one. (Note: While doing research for this entry, I came across some recipes that included real mashed potatos in the ingredients, but who the hell wants to eat that? That is not the point, anyway.)

Saturday, January 26, 2002

AN OPEN LETTER TO HELEN WATERS Dear Helen Waters, Your website is a model for us all - a cross-stitched dung beetle! - an entire section devoted to the sharp crease of a well-made trouser! - And, of course, a food section that makes me realize that my own weird jello department is only a pretender to the throne on which you are already seated. I bow before you. Jello forever! Best regards, The Soup Lady Behold! From the "I Can't Believe It's Food!" section of the Family Indigestiondepartment:

:: Recipe :: 1 pkg. lemon flavoured gelatin 1/3 cup ketchup 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon prepared mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 can baked beans in tomato sauce 1/2 cup diced celery 1/4 cup drained sweet-pickle relish small, inner romain leaves Heat tomato juice to boiling in a small saucepan; pour over gelatin in a medium-sized bowl; stir until gelatin dissolves. Stir in ketchup, lemon juice, mustard and salt. Chill 30 minutes, or until as thick as unbeaten egg white. Fold in baked beans, celery and pickle relish; spoon into a 5-cup ring mold. Chill several hours, or until firm (overnight is best). When ready to serve, run a sharp-tip thin-blade knife around top of salad, then dip mold very quickly in and out of pan of hot water. Cover mold with a serving plate; turn upside down; carefully lift off mold. Stand romaine leaves in center of ring. Who would actually dare to make this, let alone serve it? At least the Molded Pork Loaf has a horrible kind of beauty about it, which the Boston Beanie Ring cannot claim.

Sunday, January 13, 2002

:: From The Mailbag :: Ok, I confess. It's really it's From The Comment Bag: Jessamyn sends along The! Science! Of! Vegetable! Soup! Good advice.Take a look.

:: From The Mailbag :: Inspired by the Congress Cooks! entry, Steve from Hawaii writes: Dear Soup Lady, I was surprised to find that none of the Hawaii Congresspeople mentioned this staple of Island parties in the Congress Cooks recipe listings, so I thought I'd submit it for your kitchen tests. Please note it contains cabbage. This one is pretty standard; as you might guess, there are lots of variations. It's quite ono (good, in the local language). Enjoy! Steve ( aka Linkmeister ) There's a reason they call him The Linkmeister.

:: Recipe :: PORTUGUESE BEAN SOUP Ingredients: 2 cups (1 lb) red or pink beans 2 quarts boiling water 2 lb Portuguese sausage 1 onion, sliced 2 carrots, diced 3 potatoes, diced 1 small cabbage, chopped 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce 2 tablespoons salt 1 quart water Procedure: Wash beans and put in a large saucepot. Cover with boiling water and let stand one hour. Cut sausage into 1/4-inch slice; add with onion to the undrained beans. Cook on low heat for 1 hour or until beans are tender. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 1 1/2 more hours, adding more water if necessary. Makes 12 servings. Source: Submitted by: Residential Services Division Organization: Hawaiian Electric Company

Saturday, January 12, 2002

:: Cookbooks ::
CONGRESS COOKS! - An Internet Cookbook From Our Elected Officials found via blog and toad are friends Heaven only knows the motivation behind it, but this is an uneven collection of folksy recipes from US senators, congressmen and governors. The recipes seem to be chosen to highlight state speciality foods or ethinic background of the contributors and but some are downright unexplainable. I find it interesting that the majority of the recipes are from the lowly congressman, who might have actually had some contact with the business end of a kitchen stove. Adds believability to the entire venture. I still can't figure the motive, though. Nevertheless, there are some soup recipies: Avoglemono Soup Clam Chowder Burgoo Potato Dill Soup and, of course: Famous Senate Navy Bean Soup Please do not venture anywhere near this site unless you are willing at look at cheesey publicity photos of politicians. Consider yourself warned.

Thursday, December 27, 2001

:: From The Mailbag :: Charles from sixdifferentways writes about his Spanish Stew: The Soup Lady said I could send a stew recipe and it would still count as soup. I lost the recipe for this stew long ago, but make it often enough that I basically have it memorized by now. I call it “Spanish stew.” I think the original recipe was in some magazine or something, as being typical of a dish made in Spain. The Southern region near the French border. This was discovered in college. It’s the best kind of meal: delicious, easy, one-dish, freezes well for those times when you are short on time, and relatively cheap. Some of the ingredients are a bit pricey, but you have to figure this recipe makes two dinners for two and a couple of lunches. I still bring leftovers of this for lunch. It is better than anything you can buy out.

:: Recipe :: SPANISH STEW - footnotes included* 1 – 1 ½ pounds of beef or lamb stew meat, cut into cubes [1] ¼ cup of flour olive oil 1 – 1 ½ heads of garlic (not cloves and NOT chopped) 4-5 whole shallots (NOT chopped) 1 – ½ cups good dry red wine [2] 2-3 carrots, sliced 2-3 stalks of celery, sliced (I like including some of the leafy parts) ½ cup mushrooms, sliced (optional) 5 or 6 WHOLE new or small white or red potatoes 7 or 8 whole cloves 1-tablespoon oregano 2 tablespoons other dried herbs [3] ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce (optional, but I am from Texas) ½ cup fresh-grated Parmesan-Reggiano (pricey but so worth it) 1/2 cup good quality fresh black olives (i.e., not in a jar or tin) (optional) 2 pinches of saffron (optional) 1 baguette or other fresh bread – this is really part of the stew, a necessity and not “on the side”, even though it’s on the side. Salt [4] and fresh-ground pepper. a few tablespoons of European butter To make this, you need a slow cooker, sometimes called a “crock pot.” (I suppose you could use a pan over low heat, but a crock-pot is one of the best inventions of the 20th Century. Everyone should own one. You can make stuff and forget about it. It won’t overcook. It won’t heat up the kitchen in the summer. It is idiot-proof.) You will also need a food processor of some sort or maybe a blender. Toss the cubes of meat in the flour. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and brown the meat until slightly browned all over. Spoon all this into your crock-pot. Stick the whole cloves into the potatoes. Add all of the vegetables and herbs except the saffron, and wine to cover. Turn the crock-pot on for several hours (6 hours or less turn on “high”, 8-12 hours on “low.”) After this time, you need to take a slotted spoon and carefully remove the potatoes, garlic cloves, and shallots. Remove the cloves from the potatoes best you can. Chop the potatoes a bit and add them back in. Here is the essential trick: This stew is not thickened by flour or anything like that. The mashed garlic and shallots thicken it. So take the whole garlic cloves and shallots, and add them to the food processor with a bit of the juice and the saffron. Process until you have a thick paste. Use a spatula and scoop every bit back into the pot. Continue to cook on “high” for another 2 hours or more. Taste for seasoning. You may want to add a tablespoon or so of extra virgin Olive oil to finish if you use no olives.Serve in bowls with a sprinkling of the parmesan and the sliced bread. If you want to be really decadent, finish each bowl with about 1/2 a teaspoon of the butter, in the French manner. The butter is good on the bread, too - but the stew is rich enough you don't really need it if you want to cut back on the fat a bit. I think that’s it. I may have forgotten something, I’m just writing off-the-cuff. However, it should be very good. It's stew, you can add other vegetables or seasonigs or whatever you like or have around. Play around. You’ll like it. Note: This is really good if you keep it in the refrigerator overnight after you cook it. It also freezes wonderfully. In fact, if you have a big enough crock-pot, make double the recipe and freeze some for a quick meal later. * Footnotes: [1] Being Spanish, you could probably also use some seafood instead – shrimp, crabs, etc. Just don’t add it until about the last 15 minutes of cooking – and maybe use white wine instead of red. [2] You should always cook with wine that is, at least, drinkable. “Cooking wine” is an abomination and should be banned. This is cheap, leftover wine that is salted so much it can be sold as cooking wine and not a beverage. You see no cooking wine on grocery shelves in France. There is a reason for this. You don't have to use great wine for cooking, but it should be decent. [3] I like to use a quality fines herbes or “Herbs from Provence” mix, from Morton and Bassett in San Francisco. They sell it at a lot of markets here or - which has chervil, rosemary, tarragon, lavender, marjoram, savory, tyme, and parsley. Use whatever you like, but some rosemary and tarragon in the mix are recommended. [4] Like a lot of slow-cooked dishes, one trick is to season this throughout the cooking stages if possible. I like to add a bit of kosher salt in the beginning. After processing the garlic and shallots, I’ll add a pinch of pink Alaea Hawaiian sea salt, Tinged pinkish from contact with iron oxide inherent in that region’s waters, large crystals of this unique Hawaiian sea salt add complexity to the dish (it’s great on any grilled meat or vegetables, too.). Right before serving, a sprinkling of snow-white a French fleur de sel, in particular that gathered only in the Summer from the ile de Re. Yes, I have eight different salts in my cupboard and none is a cardboard cylinder of iodized stuff with the slogan “when it rains it pours.” Though that will work, too. I am just a saltophile. Cheers, Charles of sixdifferentways

Sunday, December 16, 2001

:: Cookbooks ::
IN THE KITCHEN WITH MISS PIGGY - Fabulous Recipes from My Celebrity Friends - 1996 This cookbook is a compilation of the prized personal recipes of the friends of Miss Piggy. I am suspicious. I find it entirely believeable that Liz Taylor knows about Spicy Chicken or that Willard Scott has spent years perfecting the recipe for Brown Sugar Pound Cake. But one must suspend reality to fall for Ivana Trump cooking Goulash or Robin Leach making Chicken and Pasta Salad. Or is that just me? Yo-Yo Ma's Barbequed Spareribs with Beer and Honey or Barbara Bush's Bologna for a Cocktail Buffet - the jury's still out. In a failed attempt to broaden the Teen Queen's list of acceptable foods, this book was a gift to her. The first recipe she chose to make was Frank Oz's Glop, a concoction of zucchini, spinach and broccoli steamed together, run through a food processor and baked after adding butter and mozzarella cheese. Did she eat it? She declined. What we have here is a book containing 50 recipes that are clearly written and easy to follow using common ingredients. Each offering includes a beautiful color photo of the finished dish, and Miss Piggy appears in a fabulous outfit on each page with tips and enhancements of her own. Originally produced as part of a fund-raising effort for Citymeals-On-Wheels, a private program that feeds homebound elderly people, it can hold it's own against many other cookbooks on the shelf and definately outshines the pretentious Williams-Sonoma series. It includes four recipes for soup, only one of which is worth mentioning:

:: Recipe :: KATIE COURIC'S ZESTY TOMATO-THYME SOUP The Description This is a chunky soup with a light, fresh taste. The Recipe 1. Coarsely chop one medium onion and two cloves of garlic in a food processor. Remove the mixture; set aside. Chop two stalks of celery and 1/4 cup (packed) of fresh parsley. Remove and set aside. 2. In a large saucepan, warm one tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and garlic and stir-fry until the mixture begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 16-oz. cans of crushed tomatoes and their juice, 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth, two tablespoons of tomato paste, two tablespoons of grated orange zest, one teaspoon of dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and the celery and parsley. 3. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for at least 10 minutes. 4. Serve hot, at room temperature or slightly chilled, but not cold. Offer with a dollop of sour cream on top. Microwave Version: To save time, you could make this in the microwave. Here's how: Combine the oil, chopped onion, garlic, celery, and parsley in a 3-Qt. microwave-safe casserole. Cover loosley and cook at 100% for 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, the chicken broth, tomato paste, orange zest, thyme and pepper. Cover and cook at 100% for 6 minutes, then at 50% for another 7 minutes. The Review Our panel of judges went to the test-kitchen and came back with this report: The College Man "This is great." He had two servings and used light rye bread to mop the bowl. That is the sign of a tasy broth. The Teen Queen Declined to partcipate. The Girlfriend She doesn't usually care for canned tomatoes, but in this case, she admitted she was pleasantly surprised. She said she wouldn't make it in her own home, but retracted her statement within a week. The Cook I liked the microwave version better on this one. It didn't seem so dark and heavy as the stove-top version and the orange zest was a little brighter this way. Easy to make for a quick lunch of soup and sandwich. Whenever a recipe calls for canned crushed tomatoes, I use canned whole tomatoes and squeeze them through my fingers. They have a much better texture.

Saturday, December 08, 2001

:: Recipe :: PERSIAN ONION SOUP The Description A very different onion soup from the restaurant fare you are used to. Tart and spicy. The Recipe Saute 4 medium onions, sliced in 5 tablespoons of oil for about 10 minutes. Mix 3 tablespoons of flour with one cup of water and add it to the sauteed onions. Add 5 more cups of water, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric. Simmer over low heat for 35 to 40 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup each of lemon juice and lime juice to the soup and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes more. Stir in the soup spice mixture: one tablespoon of dried mint, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and remove from heat. In a seperate bowl, beat 2 eggs. Add a ladle of soup to the eggs, beat again and add to the soup. The Review Our panel of judges went to the test kitchens ( and boy, I had to drag them in there this time ) and came back with this report: The Mister He liked it. I served this soup with tabouleh, plain yougurt, and pita bread and it was a wild festival of extraordinary taste sensations. It also gave him the added opportunity of claiming that no mid-eastern country except Egypt knows how to cook, which always veers off into how the Syrians ruin everything they touch in the kitchen. He feels he is entitled to do this becaue he is half Egyptian and half Syrian. The College Man This soup got a rave review from him - he likes tart things and the flood of citus in this soup provides a burst of flavor. The tartness is countered by the sugar in such a way that neither taste type takes over. The Teen Queen Declined to participate. The Cook A very nice soup. The temptation at the start is to veer away from the recipe towards the usual French onion, but stick with is a unique offering. Something sweet and creamy for dessert, such as coffee ice cream or creme caramel, would be a good finish for this meal.

THE ART OF LAZE COOKBOOK The Soup Lady does not endorse this cook book, she only presents it here for your consideration.
The Art of Laze Cookbook
It does have two soup recipes:
Ma's Hand Me Down Bratwurst Soup and Chicken Pot Pie with Death Stars Soup
You know, this guy does a lot of thinking about his recipes, you have to hand him that. Altered thinking, but thinking none the less. Do be sure to check the cookbook for a special segment called Recipes For Things That Spread Out of Control. link via booboolina.

Monday, December 03, 2001

I TOLD YOU SO Near the top of The Soup Lady's wish list this year is the 40th Anniversary edition of Mastering The Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Simone Beck and Lousie Bertholle. On the very first page of the newly written introduction, no less a personage that Julia Child herself reminisces about her dinnerparties of her early years and says this: " ... jellied madrilene was a favorite fancy soup of the period." I told you it was something good. Apparently Julia agrees with me.

Saturday, December 01, 2001

:: Recipe :: JULIENNE SOUP WITH POLPETTI The Description This is has an elegant look to it.The vegetables are cut in slender match-stick pieces, julienne fashion, and the tiny meatballs add substance and flavor. The Recipe Combine one egg (slightly beaten), one tablespoon of milk, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1/2 cup of soft bread crumbs. Let stand 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese and 1/2 pound of ground beef and mix well. Shape into tiny meatballs (polpetti) the size of radishes. In a stock pot, heat 4 cups of beef broth. Cut one turnip, 3 carrots, 6 spring onions, 2 stalks of celery, and 3 medium red beets into julienne pieces (the size of matchsticks) . Add these to the broth along with one bunch of finely chopped parsely. Cook for 15 minutes. Add the meatballs and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve with 4 - 5 meatballs in each bowl. The Review The modified panel of judges went into the test kitchen and came back with this report: The Granny - enjoyed the soup and requested a second serving, but without the meatballs. The Teen Queen - did not want to participate, but did it to please her grandmother. She tried a little bit of everything, rejected the meat ball, and seemed to prefer the thin vegetables to the broth. The Cook - It was fun to make the julienne pieces. It required a bigger effort to keep the meatballs down to a small size, but when they went into the soup, it was worth the effort. There was something not quite right about the combination used in this soup - it was either too much or not enough. It would have been much more elegant without the meatballs. If you do make it with the meatballs, I would also add 1/2 cup of cooked pasta of a small size (ditellini, small shells, tubetini). Would I make it again? Yes, but probably without the meatballs.

Friday, November 16, 2001

:: From The Mailbag :: THE JOY OF COOKBOOKS - The Betty Crocker New Picture Cookbook - 1961 Lee of Simply Lee writes: Dear Soup Lady, Recently while browsing through one of my favorite recipe books I ran across a little tidbit of soup history I thought you might find interesting. The following excerpt was taken from page 395 of the Betty Crocker New Picture Cook Book published in 1961:

" 'Soup of the evening, beautiful soup!' wrote Louis Carroll. In fact, 'la soupe' has been the name of the evening meal in parts of rural France for hundreds of years - and the name of our evening meal, supper, is derived from it. Even today these French folk are dipping their spoons into steaming bowls of 'pot au feu.' This soup, in which the French housewife uses meat bones, vegetable tag ends and herbs, is always cooking slowly at the back of the stove and flavors blend while the soup smiles and chuckles but never laughs in a full rollicking boil. Another present-day word which is a part of the fascinating history of soup is 'restaurant.' A popular soup of the 16th century was called 'restaurant' because it was believed to have 'restorative' powers. A chef printed the name over his door to announce that he was serving it, and in time, restaurant came to mean a place where all foods are served. Nations have become known for distinctive soups: Italy for Minestrone, Russia for Borsch, France for Onion Soup and Bouillabaisse, China for Bird's Nest Soup and the East Indies for Mulligatawny. Here in the United States regional soups are proudly acclaimed: chowders from the East, gumbos from the South, hearty vegetable soups from the Midwest and fish stews from the West coast. " As one can easily tell from the above passages, soup has long played an important role during meal times across the world, and it may well be one of the most common traditions shared among nations. Another common tradition, at least in my neck of woods, is chicken soup. During the cold winter months there is nothing better or more "restorative" to be found on the table, and I thought it only fitting that I should include a recipe for this old favorite from the above mentioned book. Also please note that turkey can easily be substituted for the chicken and one might find it to be an appealing way to recycle those upcoming holiday leftovers. Hope you have an opportunity to enjoy it over the coming weeks! Sincerely, Lee of SimplyLee

:: Recipe :: Chicken (or Turkey) Soup 2 cups cubed cooked turkey or chicken (1" cubes) turkey or chicken carcass 1 cup chopped celery (several stalks) 1 carrot, sliced 1 onion, sliced 6 peppercorns 1 bay leaf 4 cloves salt Remove meat from carcass of turkey and set aside. Crack bones and place in kettle. Add skin, bouquet garni (peppercorns, bay leaf and cloves in cheesecloth bag) Cover with water. Simmer 2 hr. Cool slightly. Remove bones and bouquet garni by straining. Add meat and vegetables to stock. Chill. Skim off fat. Add salt to taste. Simmer until hot.

Thursday, November 15, 2001

:: Recipe :: PUMPKIN AND POTATO SOUP The Description This is Cream of Potato soup with pumpkin pieces thrown in, but they change the whole character of the soup. Another contribution from Dave Roberts, the host with the most. Be sure to check out his Squash Geese. Be impressed. The Recipe Prepare pumpkin by cutting one butternut squash in half and removing seeds from the center. Roast in the oven until it is tender, the scoop contents out of the shell. Peel and cut 4 medium size potatoes into chunks. Put the potato into a stockpot with one sliced onion, one celery stalk, cut into 1/4" slices, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 4 cups of water or stock. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add roasted pumpkin and 2 cups of thin white sauce. Use a hand-held wand mixer to puree soup or a potato masher for a chunkier soup. Prepare an unblemished pumpkin shell by washing the outside and carefully removing seeds and strings from the inside. Use this shell as a soup tureen.

Dave's Holiday Table
Look at that presentation! Who would expect such elegance from the same man who gave us Squash Geese?

Sunday, November 11, 2001

:: From The Mailbag :: THE JOY OF COOKBOOKS: The Crisco Family Cookbook-1973 Tina from The Other Cheek writes about an old cookbook from the collection she inherited: Dearest Souplady, Among my Aunt Betty's legacy was her collection of cookbooks. One of the most interesting cookbooks in the pile was the 1973 CRISCO Family Foods Cookbook------------112 pages

excerpts from the forward: " created with you, your family, and your busy schedule in mind........" "even simple dishes for junior cooks" "...chosen with hearty family appetites in mind." (heart--y? Betcha no pun was intended.) Mock Lasagna featuring 1/4 c. Crisco Hungarian goulash 1/4 c. crisco Sunshine Cake------- cool lemon filling ........snowy shreds of coconut all around it! (2/3 c. crisco) Sections on better baking/frying "you'll bake and fry like the experts.." ... frying techniques... perfect crust every time (followed by top crust variations)... crisco pastry (single crust) 1/2 c. crisco. no mention of loretta lynn.........pre-loretta yeast and bread quick tips. cake and frosting cues. Nutrition and meal planning
Jr. cookery section features: party ginger bread boys Party Drum Cake= choclolate marble inside and red rope licorice and gumdrops on the frosted outside. Seems Aunt Betty (God rest her soul) had a love for both cookbooks and cooking. Page 58 is lovingly stained with a big ole' Crisco ring--------- She was a bit much to handle but we do so miss the old girl. Tina

Saturday, November 10, 2001

:: Recipe :: SPICY LENTIL AND PUMPKIN SOUP The description This soup is described as spicy, but is actually quite sweet. I served it with a plain salad of bitter greens dressed with oil and vinegar, slices of salty feta cheese, some crusty bread and pickled lemons. The recipe for this soup was found at The Recipe Rinse once cup of lentils in a sieve under cold running water. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook 2 cloves of crushed garlic and one large onion, chopped, over medium heat until it softens. Add 3 teaspoons of cumin, 2 teaspoons of coriander, 1 teaspoon of chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric. Cook (stirring) for 30 seconds until it smells good. Add the lentils and mix until they're coated in the onion/spice/garlic mixture. Peel and chop one butternut pumpkin into small pieces and add it along with 7 cups of vegetable stock. (If you are not using vegetable stock, use water and add one carrot and one stalk of celery, both finely diced.) Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer (covered) for 20-30 minutes or until lentils and pumpkin are soft. Use a potato masher to blend the soup. The lovely burnt orange color of this soup is the exact color of the flowers in Stangl's Bittersweet pattern. Can't you just picture it?

Bittersweet by Stangl Kidney Shaped 14" Platter
The Review Our panel of judges went to the test kitchens and came back with this report: The Mister He said it was too sweet and that he didn't like it. When I pointed out to him that he had three full bowls, he said he would have had four if it wasn't so sweet. The College Man He loved it. Not only did he have two big bowls full, but he asked for the recipe so he could make it in the frat house kitchen. He thinks it would benefit from the addition of curry powder. The Teen Queen She declined to participate. The Cook I consider this a major success on all fronts. Easy and cheap and quick to make and nothing left-over! It's a keeper.

Thursday, November 08, 2001

The Joy of Cookbooks: COOKING WITH SOUP AND RICE - 1973 This unassuming little paperbound cookbook was produced In Young America, MN (does it not sound wholesome?) in association with Campbell's Soup and Uncle Ben's Rice. It appears to be the type of thing that was earned by sending in a specified number of labels and $.50 to cover shipping and handling. The book introduces itself this way: Here's good news ... a cookbook designed just for you and your busy schedule. The home economists at both CAMPBELL'S SOUP and UNCLE BEN'S RICE have been busy testing, tasting and perfecting these recipes for you. Creative cooking with soup starts with imaginative recipes like the ones in this book. Creative is right. Look what the Home Economists came up with this time. And they appear to be serious, too.

:: Recipe :: SOUPER CHEESECAKE 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 1/4 cup butter, melted 12 oz. cream cheese, softened 2/3 cup sugar 3 eggs 1 can CAMPBELL'S Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1. In a small bowl, combine crumbs and butter; mix well. Press crumb mixture evenly into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Set aside. 2. In large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in soup, lemon peel and lemon juice until blended. Pour over crust. 3. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until puffed around edges and set in center. Cool completely in pan in wire rack. Refrigerate until serving time, at least 4 hours. Garnish with sliced fresh fruit or canned fruit. Makes 12 servings. If you can get anybody to eat it. Now what is the back story here? Did they lock the hapless Home Economists in the test kitchens and refuse to let them out until they produced a dessert using Campbell's Soup? Imagine the anguished suffering that went into making Cheese Soup into Cheese cake. The Soup Lady is looking for volunteers to make this facinating concoction. I have trouble enough just slipping the cabbage past them around here. Any takers?

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

COFFEE JELLO Now don't get excited, dears. The Soup Lady knows that she promised only soup recipes, but this place does seem to be turning into the Home of Weird Jello Recipes. Here is an intriguing little number that was discovered in the New American Cookbook and I only ask that you think about it for a moment.

:: Recipe :: The Recipe Soak 2 tablespoons of gelatin in 2/3 cup cold water for 5 minutes. Add one cup of boiling water and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Add 1 1/2 cups of strong coffee and 1/3 cup of sugar. Pour into individual molds and chill. Serve with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and a sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg. Now, for coffee lovers, this might be a good way to end a meal. I haven't actually made it yet. What do you think?

Friday, November 02, 2001

:: Recipe :: CRANBERRY SOUP The Description Just in time for Thanksgiving, this soup makes good use of some fall harvest vegetables. It has a sweet taste that develops into a surprisingly pleasant tartness. This soup may be served hot or chilled and is evocative of that Lithuanian favorite: Boiled Eggs Pickled in Beet Brine. The Recipe Mix 1/2 cup of cranberry sauce, one sliced onion, one cup of chopped cabbage, and 6 cups of cold water in a saucepan and boil for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of bouillion, one cup of chopped cooked beets, one teaspoon of salt, and one tablespoon of sugar. Heat through.

Stangl Garland Large Bowl
Put two tablespoons of sour cream in each soup plate. Pour in soup, but not directly over the sour cream. Garnish each plate with 3 or 4 wedges of hard-boiled egg. The Review Our panel of judges went to the test kitchens and came back with this report: The Mister He stared at it for a while, and then carefully sampled some. He only ate it because he did not realize it had cabbage in it until it was too late. He finished the serving and ran out of the room before he could be offered a refill. The College Man "Mom, did you know an egg fell into my soup?" The Teen Queen Although she was attracted to the lovely shade of pink that the white of the egg took on, she declined to participate. The Cook This is a very nice soup. When I served it, I put the sour cream towards the side of the plate, and then fanned out the boiled egg wedges from it. I also served one bowl with the egg diced and sprinkled around - that was easier to eat, but not as attractive. Imagine this cranberry soup served up in Stangl's Garland pattern. Garland was one of the Christmas patterns produced and you can see the poinsiettea influence in the hand-painted flowers. It makes a beautiful background for this soup.
Garland Sugar Bowl
I recommend this soup and give it A for taste, A+ for appearance and B+ for ease of preparation. Pencils down.

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

SOUP IN THE NEWS Soup sales increase by 5%! In a happy convergence of events, Americans are discovering the joy of soup just as Campbell's has decided to add more chicken to its chicken soup. The Soup Lady finds it just a bit worrisome that this newspaper article makes reference to the fact that major corporate dollars are being spent to " develop new ingredients for soup." Lordy, lordy.

Sunday, October 28, 2001

ON THE NEXT JERRY SPRINGER: YOUNG WOMEN IN LOVE WITH OLD COOKBOOKS It turns out that The Soup Lady is not the only one enamored of vintage cookbooks. The newest additon to the recipe link list, Simply Lee, has a long list of older cookbooks, including one with the intriguing name of The Betty Furness Westinghouse Cookbook, 1954. And Tina inherited her Aunt Betty's entire collection, where the outstanding 1955 Crisco Cookbook was found. The thing that makes these old books so facinating is that they are a window into a life-style that doesn't exist anymore. Start reading a recipe that begins: render 2 cups of lard and you know that you are in another world. Maybe in the very near future, these cooks will share excerpts from their collections with us. And now, because all of the Stangl pictures have scrolled off the page, and I don't want you to lose the mood, here is a special treat:
Stangl Bittersweet Mug

Friday, October 26, 2001

:: From The Mailbag :: The Soup lady often hears from people who like to share their soup experiences. So many, in fact, that a new section has been added to The Joy of Soup: From The Mail Bag. Letters, recollections and ramblings about soup will be featured here. The first Soup Guest is Dave Roberts, who shares his grandmother's recipe for Sauerkraut Soup. Hi, Soup Lady! All recipes from Lee Park are By-Guess and By-Golly. When I tried making the comfort foods of my childhood, they came out surprisingly well just from memories of playing in the kitchen while Mom and Gramma cooked. (Pie dough or bread dough was my Play-doe.) I didn't have the ingredients fresh out of the back yard garden or chicken yard, but I was pleased with my results. Here is my best recollection. Sauerkraut Soup: Without benefit of getting Sauerkraut from the crock in the cellar where cabbage in brine and vinegar was being pressed and turned into Sauerkraut, here goes... 2 jars of Klaussen Sauerkraut (is that a pound each?) A package of Pork Spareribs (2-3 pounds?) Medium to large onion Some Allspice (10?) Some Cloves (5?) Bay Leave (1 or 2) Caraway Seeds (at least a half tsp. to 1 tsp.) Cracked Black pepper Salt Some new potatoes Brown the spareribs in your stockpot in a bit of bacon grease that you save in a 3-lb. coffee can in the fridge. You can substitute oil, but why bother. Slice the onion into rings and the rings into halves. When the spareribs are halfway browned toss in the onions surprising them. Let them get opaque.Add about 8 cups of water, the allspice, cloves, bay leaves (be sure to break the bay leaves in half) and caraway seed. Bring to a boil then cover with a tilted lid to simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until the meat falls off the bones. (Skim away the froth if you like. The alternative method is to transfer the soup to a different pot after it reduces and the froth is stuck to the side of this pot or just wipe away the stuck froth with a damp rag.) Remove the bones from your stockpot. You can also take the meat out at this point and slice it up to a manageable soup size. Toss the meat back in and add the sauerkraut including the sauerkraut juice**. Let it simmer another half hour. Peel and quarter your new potatoes. Boil them, but not till they are too soft. Remember these will go into a soup that will be heated and re-heated. Drain the potatoes saving the water for your plants that love starchy water. Add the potatoes to the soup. Correct the seasoning at this point adding more water if desired. Let it stand while the potatoes absorb the sauerkraut flavor. Serve it with thick slices of Jewish Rye or Pumpernickel. This is a great "second day soup". When you remove the pot-o-soup from the fridge on the second day, simply scrape the layer of coagulated grease from the top. Gramma used to love to spread this grease on a piece of warm rye bread. How she lived to 93 is a medical mystery.If you really want to really do this right, make a stock using a ham bone and the herbs and spices listed above. Using this method, when you remove the soup from the fridge on the second day it will be totally congealed and look like Sauerkraut Jello. Actually a variation on that soup uses stewed tomatoes and smoked kielbasa, but I prefer that as a sandwich. You can try this one too. Cut a ring of smoked keilbasa into hotdog sized pieces. Add a jar of Claussen sauerkraut drained. Season with caraway seeds. Dump in a jar of stewed tomatoes and heat thoroughly. Serve on your favorite hoagie bun. (Mom usually cut the kielbasa in half lengthwise for each sandwich.) When I was a kid, I called these "Yoagies" for YUM and HOAGIE.) Dave Roberts, onewhoknows **The Soup lady recommends rinsing the brine from the sauerkraut before it is added to the pot.