Monday: Green Pea Soup with Mint
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks, chopped, white and light green parts
1 cup chopped yellow onion
4 cups chicken stock
5 cups freshly shelled peas
2/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
optional garnishes: freshly chopped chives, toasted croutons, small dollop of sour cream, crispy fried onion straws
1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and onion, and cook over medium-low heat for 5 – 10 minutes, until the onion is tender. Add the chicken stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 3 – 5 minutes, until the peas are tender.
2. Remove pot from the heat and add the mint, salt and pepper.
3. Puree the soup in batches in a blender on low speed. Whisk in the sour cream and add additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm with optional garnishes. Serves 6.
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa
Tuesday: Creamy Carrot Soup with Yogurt-Cardamom Drizzle
1 stick butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
5 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup orzo
1 1/2 gallons vegetable stock, room temperature
5 sprigs fresh parsley (tied in a bundle)
2 cups heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste
cardamom, to taste (Blohme uses approximately 1 tablespoon of freshly roasted and ground cardamom.)
Yogurt-Cardamom Drizzle (optional garnish, see below)
croutons (optional garnish)
1. Melt butter in a stockpot over high heat. Sauté onion until translucent. Add carrots and sauté until soft and the liquid becomes orange (about 15 minutes or so).
2. Add orzo and stir to coat. Add stock and parsley. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer and stir until orzo is done and carrots are very tender, about 40 minutes.
3. Remove parsley bundle and purée soup until smooth. (You may adjust the consistency with up to a half gallon of additional stock.) Add heavy cream, salt, pepper and cardamom. If making soup ahead of time, place pot into an ice bath until cool. Refrigerate until ready to reheat. Yields 2 gallons.
Recipe by Pete Blohme
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup sour cream
1 – 2 tablespoons cardamom
salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
Wednesday: Santa Fe Soup
2 pounds ground beef, turkey or chicken
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
2 packages of taco seasoning mix
1 (15-ounce) can black beans
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans
1 (10-ounce) can original Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies, undrained
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
2 (11-ounce) cans shoepeg corn, drained
1 – 2 cups water
1. Brown ground beef, turkey or chicken in a big stockpot, drain off fat.
2. Add onions and sauté until translucent and beginning to brown. Stir in ranch dressing mix and taco seasoning mix. Then add remaining ingredients.
3. Best if simmered for about 2 hours, but can be served as soon as it is all heated through. Serves 6 – 8.
Thursday: Classic French Onion Soup
2 tsp Olive Oil
4 cups onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sugar or Splenda
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
1/4 tsp dried thyme
4 (1/2 inch) slices French bread
4 Tbsp grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese
In a medium sauce-pan over medium heat, add olive oil, onion, sugar, and pepper. Sauté 15 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Add wine, cook 2 minutes, or until liquid almost evaporates. Add broth, water, and thyme. Bring to a boil, and cook another 15 minutes.
Serve soup into 4 oven-proof bowls. Top each bowl with 1 slice bread and sprinkle with cheese. Broil about 3 minutes, until cheese melts. Serve immediately.
Friday: Thai Peanut and Shrimp Soup
1 (2 1/4 – 2 1/2 pound) butternut squash, halved and seeded
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeño (seeds removed)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons mild green curry paste
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans no-salt-added petite diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups julienned carrots
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil and then grease with butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place squash, cut sides down, in pan. Roast for 35 – 45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Cool slightly.
2. Scoop squash pulp from shells and puree.
3. In a small bowl, combine cumin, salt, pepper, coriander, cinnamon and turmeric.
4. Place shrimp in a medium bowl and sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture over the shrimp, then stir. Refrigerate the shrimp while you prepare the soup.
5. In a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add onion, red bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic and ginger; cook about 5 minutes or until tender. Add curry paste, soy sauce and the remaining spice mixture.
6. Stir in the pureed squash, tomatoes and peanut butter. Stir in the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, lightly coat a 12-inch nonstick, cast-iron skillet or grill pan with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Add shrimp in a single layer and cook for 5 minutes or until the shrimp are opaque, turning once.
8. In a saucepan, cook carrots in a small amount of boiling water for about 4 – 5 minutes or until just tender, then drain.
9. Divide soup into 8 serving bowls. Top with shrimp and carrots. Serves 8.
Saturday: Mung Bean Soup
1 tablespoon virgin, unrefined coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (2-3 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and minced
3 serrano peppers, seeded and minced (reserve seeds if you want to make the soup extra spicy or discard)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 cup dried mung beans, washed and rinsed
5 cups of water or vegetable stock
1/2 can lite coconut milk
1 cup minced fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
1. In a large pot, over medium heat, add oil and saute the onions, garlic, and ginger. Then add the serrano peppers, turmeric, cumin, curry powder and garam masala.
2. Stir until fragrant, about one minute. Then add the dried mung beans, water or vegetable stock and coconut milk.
3. Bring to a boil and simmer 30-45 minutes, until the beans are very tender. They will seem to fall apart. (Partway through the cooking time, you will want to check the spiciness of the soup. If you’d like more spice, add some or all of the reserved seeds from the serrano peppers.)
4. Right before serving, stir in cilantro and lemon juice. Taste the soup again and season with salt to bring out the flavors. Serves 6-8.
Photos by Elise Poché
Sunday: Chicken Noodle Soup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into small rounds or rounds cut in half
2 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 quarts chicken stock
1 bay leaf
8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Pour oil into a large soup pot and heat over medium heat.
2. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery and thyme.
3. Cook stirring for about 5 – 6 minutes until the vegetables are soft but not brown.
4. Pour in the chicken stock, add bay leaf and bring to a boil.
5. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until tender.
6. Add in chicken and simmer until completely heated, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 quarts.