STYLE

Easy-to-make soup recipes incorporate seasonal flavours

10/14/2013 08:00 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
Here are some delicious soups to try.

Thai Turkey Soup

This perfect post-Thanksgiving recipe can be made with an uncooked turkey breast or gives new life to turkey leftovers.

30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

1 boneless, skinless uncooked turkey breast, chopped (see note)

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

15 ml (1 tbsp) ground coriander

15 ml (1 tbsp) grated fresh ginger

1.25 l (5 cups) boiling water

1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, bruised using the back of a knife

Juice of 2 limes

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 carrots, thinly sliced

1 parsnip, thinly sliced

30 ml (2 tbsp) tamari

5 ml (1 tsp) toasted sesame oil

1/2 bird's-eye chili (sometimes called Thai chili), finely chopped

45 ml (3 tbsp) chopped cilantro or parsley

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. If using raw turkey, add pieces with onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes or until browned. Add coriander and ginger. Saute for 2 minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until turkey and vegetables are cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove lemongrass before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Note: This recipe can be made with about 500 ml (2 cups) of cooked turkey. In that case, saute onion and garlic on their own, add coriander and ginger as instructed, then add cooked turkey with remaining ingredients. If there is leftover gelatin from the cooked turkey, substitute up to 250 ml (1 cup) of it for an equal amount of the water.

Source: "SoupeSoup" by Caroline Dumas (published in English by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., by arrangement with Flammarion Quebec, 2012).

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Parsnip and Apple Soup

These two flavours go really well together and offer a perky taste of autumn. You can easily decrease or increase the amount of curry powder to suit your taste.

45 ml (3 tbsp) butter

1 large cooking onion, peeled and diced

5 ml (1 tsp) curry powder (see notes)

4 parsnips, trimmed and cut into 1-cm (1/2-inch) pieces

1 carrot, peeled and diced

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced

1 l (4 cups) vegetable stock

250 ml (1 cup) cider (approx)

250 ml (1 cup) 35 per cent cream

Sea salt and white pepper, to taste

In a stock pot, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft. Add curry powder, parsnips, carrot and apples and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.

Add stock. Bring to a simmer and cook at a low simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until vegetables and apples are tender.

Puree soup with an immersion blender until smooth.

Add cider and cream. If soup is too thick, add more cider, 125 ml (1/2 cup) at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Season with white pepper and sea salt.

Ladle into warm soup bowls, garnish with apple slices and a small sprig of thyme or a sliver of apple and a dollop of mild goat cheese.

Makes 8 servings.

Notes: If you cut back on the curry, grated fontina or white cheddar can be sprinkled over top just before serving. If you like a stronger curry flavour, use 10 to 15 ml (2 to 3 tsp) of curry powder. You can reduce the saturated fat by substituting vegetable oil for the butter and using homogenized milk instead of cream.

Source: "Jill's Soups" by Jill Wilcox (2007).

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Miso Soup

Miso is a traditional Japanese soup and one of the many Asian soups trending in North America. It is also very easy to make. Miso itself is fermented soybean paste that comes in a variety of colours. Barley and rice miso are also available at Asian grocery stores.

1.25 l (5 cups) dashi soup stock (see note)

4 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced

1 block (125 g/4 oz) firm tofu

50 ml (1/4 cup) miso paste

2 green onions, cut on an angle into 5-mm (1/4-inch) pieces

In a medium saucepan, place dashi soup stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add mushrooms.

Cut tofu into 1-cm (1/2-inch) cubes and add to soup.

Remove a ladleful of the broth and mix it in a bowl with miso paste until smooth.

Stir miso mixture into soup, making sure not to bring to a boil. Add green onions and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: The easiest way to make dashi stock is to buy dashi powder at an Asian grocery store and simply add it to water.

Source: "Jill's Soups" by Jill Wilcox (2007).

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Garlic and Brie Soup

This decadent soup is a real guest-pleaser, as long as you like garlic, and it is very rich, so a little goes a long way.

10 heads garlic

5 ml (1 tsp) olive oil

250 ml (1 cup) water (approx)

15 ml (1 tbsp) butter

1 large cooking onion, diced

500 ml (2 cups) peeled and chopped Yukon Gold potatoes

250 ml (1 cup) white wine

1 l (4 cups) chicken stock

150 ml (2/3 cup) 35 per cent cream

Salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

175 g (1/3 lb) chopped brie, divided

Finely chopped chives or parsley, for garnish

Heat oven to 200 C (400 F).

Separate garlic cloves from heads. Remove skin.

In a large ovenproof, non-stick skillet, saute garlic cloves in olive oil until light golden. Add enough water to make a depth of about 5 mm (1/4 inch).

Place skillet in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until water has evaporated and garlic is soft and golden. If water evaporates before garlic is roasted, add a few more tablespoons. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a stock pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until soft.

Add potatoes, wine and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender. Add roasted garlic and cream.

Using an immersion blender, puree soup until very smooth. If soup is too thick, add more stock. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Reduce heat to low and add half of brie. Stir until melted.

Divide remaining brie among warmed soup bowls. Spoon hot soup into bowls over the brie. Garnish with chives and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: "Jill's Soups" by Jill Wilcox (2007).

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

What distinguishes this soup, besides the taste, is that it takes only a few minutes to make.

1 l (4 cups) water

3 l (12 cups) broccoli florets

125 ml (1/2 cup) grated sharp cheddar cheese

Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan, boil water. Add broccoli and cook, covered, for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving cooking water.

Puree broccoli in a blender, adding most of the cheddar (reserve some for garnish) and just enough of the cooking water to reach desired consistency. (Too much water will make it difficult to puree the broccoli.)

Season with salt and pepper and garnish with remaining cheddar just before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: "SoupeSoup" by Caroline Dumas (published in English by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., by arrangement with Flammarion Quebec, 2012).

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