This smells all kinds of fantastic as it’s cooking, especially once you add in the smoked salmon.  I was able to get a big filet of smoked salmon at one of the last outdoor farmer’s markets of the year, and if you have anywhere that does it locally, I highly recommend going for that with this.  Towards the last few stages of cooking this, you will need to watch it closely, as if it boils (instead of simmers), the milk will separate from the stock base, and you don’t want that.  The original recipe also calls for chives and celery, but honestly, I’ve never found that either adds a lot to a soup, so I skipped them.

Smoked Salmon Chowder
Lasts 4-5 lunches

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 leeks, medium sized, the white and light green bits sliced thin (don’t use the dark green parts)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed (original recommended russet, I used a large red)
  • .5 t salt
  • .5 t black pepper
  • 2 c chicken stock (original recommends vegetable broth)
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 c milk (I used 2%)
  • 8 oz smoked salmon, flaked (I got a 10 oz filet and just flaked it off the skin with a fork)
  • .5 c heavy whipping cream

Heat your olive oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot, and then add your leeks and garlic, sauteeing for two minutes.  Then add your potato, salt, and pepper, and sautee for an additional minute.  Add your stock and bring to a simmer, and let simmer for fifteen minutes, until your potato is fork tender.

Then, add your tomato paste and milk, stirring to combine, followed quickly by your smoked salmon, flaking it directly into the soup.  Bring back to a simmer, but don’t let it boil, as then the milk will separate, and you don’t want that.  Simmer for a few minutes more, stirring in the heavy cream, and then remove from heat, and enjoy!

In true Wisconsin fashion, the rest of fall appears to have decided to just fuck off and winter has just decided to show up early. Earlier in the week, we had our first hard frost and some of the leaves on the trees were still green when it happened.  I woke up to a carpet of green leaves covering my entire backyard.

The abrupt drop into cold, plus the rising levels of stress at my current job, mean that it’s time to break out the heavy duty soups, and this is one of them.  I had to table this soup for about a year, cause I associated it with being really sick (like, flu sick), but there’s been enough time to break the association, hopefully. EDIT: NOPE.  Fuck you brain.  Prepping the carrots takes a lot of legwork, but it’s worth it.

I also added a small dash of cinnamon and cardamom at the tail end of this recipe; as far as I can tell, it turned out pretty good, and doesn’t clash/overwhelm the other flavors.

Carrot Soup with Miso and Sesame

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 large onion (I used half), chopped
  • 7 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 c vegetable stock (get a 32 oz box of it and you’ll be good)
  • 1 T ginger, peeled and grated
  • .25 c white miso paste
  • drizzle of sesame oil

Peel and slice your carrots (this will take a while, I got probably closer to 2.5 lbs from the farmer’s market, and this took the better part of 45 minutes), and follow it up by chopping your onion and smashing your garlic. By the time you start your garlic, heat your olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add your carrots, garlic, and onion, and cook for ten minutes, until your onion is translucent.  Add your vegetable stock and grate the peeled ginger directly into the soup.  Cover, and then bring to a simmer, and simmer for a half hour, until your carrots are fork tender.

Pour your soup into your blender in batches (I did about an equal amount of carrots and stock each time, in two batches), and puree, from low to high. Again, be sure to only fill up your blender about 60% of the way, otherwise, soup will come flying out, and there will be pain and suffering.  Add the pureed soup back to your pot.

Now, the original recipe recommends whisking together the miso paste and a half cup of the soup in a separate bowl. I probably should’ve done this.  Instead, I just added it straight to the soup and stirred vigorously.  The soup still turned out great.  Then add your salt and pepper to season, and stir in your sesame oil!

It was tasting a little on the bland side still at this point, so I added the cinnamon and cardamom to experiment, in very small dashes, and it seemed to warm things up a bit and not clash horribly with the other flavors. Will fully report back on this.

So, over the last week or so, we appear to have jumped from early fall straight into winter – we had our first snow (didn’t stick) earlier in the week, and it’s regularly below freezing now.  

As such, we are now full into food that will keep me warm/prevent me from getting sick season.  And baby, this soup fits that bill perfectly.  The main ingredient of this soup? Garlic.  Garlic garlic and more garlic.  

This is normally a recipe for a 44 clove soup.  Last night I roasted three heads’ worth of garlic, and threw in 3 heads’ worth of unpeeled garlic.  I don’t have an exact count on how many cloves that was, but I’m willing to bet it was significantly more than 44. 😛  As such, this is now being called Garlic Punch Soup.

Garlic Punch Soup
Lasts 3.5 lunches as main (.5 was as a side)

Ingredients

  • 3 heads of garlic, split into cloves, but unpeeled
  • appx 2 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 heads of garlic, split into cloves and peeled
  • 2 T butter
  • half a large onion, diced
  • 1.5 t fresh thyme (I used half of this bc I had ground thyme on hand)
  • 3.5 c chicken stock
  • .5 c heavy whipping cream
  • .5 c grated Parmesan

Take a baking dish and your 3 heads worth of unpeeled garlic cloves, and spread them across the bottom of the dish, drizzling with the olive oil and salt and pepper.  Be sure you have pretty decent sized cloves for this; too small, and they can burn.  Heat your oven to 350 (mine was at 325, you know why), cover your dish, and roast your garlic for about 45 minutes, until golden brown. While your garlic roasts, peel the other three heads’ worth of garlic, and dice your onions.  Once they’re cooled, squeeze the cloves between your fingertips to release the tender cloves.

Melt your butter in the pot over medium high heat, and as soon as it’s melted, add your onions and thyme. Cook until your onions are soft and translucent in the butter, about six minutes.  Then add both your roasted and raw garlic, and cook another three minutes.

Pour in your chicken stock, cover the pot, and bring to a simmer and let simmer for 20 minutes, until the garlic is fork tender.  In two batches, pour your soup into a blender, and puree (I went from low to high) until smooth.  And seriously, do it in batches, otherwise you’re going to have hot soup all over the kitchen, and that’s just not fun.

Once your soup has been pureed, add it back to the pot, and add your heavy whipping cream, bringing back to a simmer.  Once back at a simmer, add your parmesan in, and remove from the heat, stirring it in.

And then, enjoy the garlicgasm.  😛

So, it’s supposed to be summer out here.  It’s been hovering pretty consistently in the 50s and 60s the last few days and been rainy.  And, while I like this fallish weather, it IS supposed to be summer, already.  I want my sun.  And so does my fire escape garden.  

As such, it’s time to combat the cold and damp with a good warm soup.  And that’s where this recipe comes in tonight.  It’s one I’ve been meaning to try for a while, and smelled pretty damn good cooking, besides.

Spicy Tomato and Blue Cheese Soup 
Lasts 3 meals + feeding at least four people with multiple servings at weekly gaming night

Ingredients 

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes (do not drain; original recipe recommends San Marzanos, but honestly, go with whatever you can get)
  • 1.5 c chicken stock
  • ¾ c heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T sriracha
  • 1 T oregano 
  • 4 oz (½ c) blue cheese (the original recipe recommends crumbled Roth Kase buttermilk blue, and it was the cheapest for the amount, though whole instead of crumbled – the blender will chop it up if it’s a major concern)

Heat your olive oil, and while you do that, chop up your onions and slice your garlic.  Add your onion and a pinch of salt to the pot, stir to coat the onion with salt and oil, and then cover and cook for two minutes.  Then, add your sliced garlic, and cover and cook for two more minutes.

Add your can of undrained tomatoes to the pot, along with the chicken stock, and bring to a simmer (gentle bubbling boil).  Once simmering, add the cream, sriracha, and oregano, and bring back to a simmer.  Once simmering gently again, cover and cook for 45 minutes.

Let the soup cool for appx 10 minutes, and then add your blue cheese and blend in batches (trust me, you do not want to deal with hot soup bursting out of your blender, it’s painful) until smooth.