I’ve turned to the comforts of soup of late–little prep, little active cooking time, lots of leftovers. First there was a smoked fish chowder from Food & Wine. This soup got exponentially better each day, as many soups do. Boil cubed potatoes covered in milk and cream while sauteing onion, celery, leeks, and thyme for several minutes. Add a cup of white wine to the saute and cook it down, and then add 4 cups of chicken stock and simmer until the potatoes are finished cooking. Give the potatoes a once over with a hand masher and then add it to the vegetables and stock. Stir in your frozen corn and the flaked smoked whitefish (I get mine at Rodman’s). Add chopped dill and serve with hot sauce.
Then I went for a traditional Korean soup served to postpartum women for the first month. It was certainly tasty, but I’m sure I couldn’t eat it for an entire month! Soak some dried seaweed in water while you stir-fry brisket cut in bite-sized pieces, garlic, and ginger in sesame oil for several minutes. I recommend marinating the beef in Maggi or else the soup lacks a certain tastiness. Add chicken stock and water (1:1), along with the seaweed and some soy sauce. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes. I added udon noodles as well to make it heartier. Pump up the flavors with more soy sauce or Maggi as needed.
I was craving something hearty and simple, so I next made a potato leek soup. In butter and truffle oil, saute 10-12 chopped leeks for several minutes. Add as much fresh dill as you’d like and a little water or chicken stock and cook it down. Add a bag of chopped new potatoes and about 5 cups of chicken stock. Once the potatoes are cooked through, about 25 minutes, use a hand blender to smooth the soup. Stir in creme fraiche and salt and pepper to taste. This soup is wonderful with cheddar melted on toast.
And if this bounty wasn’t already enough, a fellow home cook brought over a batch of split pea soup. This version from Freemans Restaurant ran in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago and it stands out for its pound of bacon and head of garlic, and boy, do they come through! I’m a huge split pea soup fan and have written about my veggie-packed version in the past. The Freemans recipe is like another species!