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Soups

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Is this bisque or soup? It’s creamy and slightly thick but refined and elegant at the same time so it’s soup, I say. Squash soups are a dime a dozen but this one is flavor-tweaked to perfection. It’s so creamy and there’s not a drop of cream in it. What’s the secret? Try it – you’ll see. This is chef-quality soup but it will be yours to crow over the minute you ladle it out. I use both chicken bouillion and vegetarian chicken bouillon (I found some in the bulk food store and it's helpful when you want the soup to be vegetarian). It comes in a powder and you add water.


 

How often is something elegant but hearty at the same time? This soup has it all. Offer some shavings of Asiago and French Hearth Rolls to make this the lunch special chez vous. A great way to use up harvest leeks. This is what leeks were born for. In March, this is a wearing of the green soup. After that, it is just classic elegance in a soup tureen.

A packet of two of Asian dried mushrooms, a packet of dry mushroom soup and some other pantry fixings and you have a smooth and warming broth in an hour or less. If you don't soak the beans overnight, this will beed 6-7 hours simmer time on the stove. Otherwise, cover the beans in spring water and let stand overnight. Then drain and use.

Grandma styled soup with retro dumplings.  The extra secret is a packet of wings along with the whole chicken. The Soda Cracker dumplings are tender as anything - add in some herbs to the batter if you like.

A quaint little Hungarian restaurant in town, called the Paprika, used to serve a soup such as this as their specialty. I think they had one other soup, possibly – but I don’t recall, because this is the only soup I, and everyone else seemed to order. On a busy night, they must have gone through troughs of this simple, satisfying, best-way-I-know-to-use-up-fresh-cauliflower starter.If you have some sweet, imported (it comes in those pretty red and white tins) Szeged Hungarian paprika on hand, that would be the perfect touch.

I read a ton of cookbooks on Vietnamese cuisine (The Pho Cookbook, Andrea Nguyen is a great one) as well as scoured recipes for Pho, the iconic comfort soup of the Vietnamese kitchen, online. I got the gist but frankly, the recipes ranged from deceptively simple (i.e. not authentic or too quick and easy and flavorless) or far too complicated, with meandering instructions. I spent a good hour reading and re-reading to figure out what many of the recipes were instructing! So I broke it down into the way I write recipes - with an overview. And the thing is, in the end, pho is amazing at home. I also think this is pretty authentic Pho and I think I’ve made it easy for you (and me). Pho is essentially a bit of a method issue and ingredient regime. Honour those things and you will have it made, i.e. great pho at home. I use one whole chicken for this recipe and make up the remainder (requisite 4 pounds of chicken) in chicken parts. If you have Pho restaurants in your city (here in Montreal, we have tons of great places) it might seem silly to make this soup at home. On the other hand who doesn’t a) like to DIY when it comes to trending foods and b) who doesn’t want pho on hand next time you get a cold. This is my go-to soup with whatever ails me. By the way my best advice to you is to go on an urban adventure and find the prettiest bowls to serve this in as well as freezer containers to freeze leftovers. The recipe makes a big batch and you will bless yourself (and me) on a chilly day when you find yourself cold and tired and don’t know what to eat. This will be perfect.I've even created your grocery list so you don't have to decipher a recipe online (except here) and you can start by collecting your ingredients a day before. This soup is awesome. 

Leave the can opener in the drawer - this is a rock star mushroom soup and just the thing for early fall. It's warming and hearty but is also elegant - making it family or company soup.

Hot soup. Quick. Fast. Light. It is just the thing for post holiday recovery.You know what ramen is - those cello packet, sometimes cardboard containers, of instant, "oriental" style noodle soup. What can you do with something instant to give it a bit a flair and a heap more nutrition? A lot!

Packed with fiber, protein and flavour, this lentil soup is a curative for whatever ails you – plus it’s fast and easy yet results in a blue-ribbon winning soup.  Red lentils, golden dried peas, North African spices (including anti-inflammatory cumin) and quinoa among other good things makes a gourmet experience in every spoonful.

You know those soups you get at cafeteria or family style restaurants? It's homemade but somehow not ? Between canned and fresh-at-home- but good in its own right soup? This is one such recipe. Hugely comforting and homey and perfect with a loaf of fresh white bread and a pot of butter.

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