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CHEF'S CORNER

 
Hearty Fall Soups
Chef's Corner October 2010
By: Aham Amachi

 

 

Comfort foods are varied and differ from region to region, but one of the more universal is soup. With cool autumn nights fast approaching we are at that time of year again where a hot bowl of soup or chili would really hit the spot. Now this may be my own opinion but a hearty homemade soup really can't be beat.
 
This month I'm going to give you my version of two delicious fall soups. Vegetable Soup is relatively simple to prepare and as with just about any soup you can twist it to fit your mood. I have also included my take on Ham & Bean Soup with Mustard Greens. So enjoy that cool fall weather and go wild with these hearty soup recipes!
 
Vegetable stock-optional
 

  • 2 tablespoons blended oil

  •  
  • 3 medium carrots peeled & large dice

  •  
  • 2 medium parsnips peeled & large dice

  •  
  • 2 large onions large dice

  •  
  • 4 stalks of celery large dice

  •  
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme

  •  
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

  •  
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley

  •  
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  •  
  • 1 1/2 gallons cold water

  •  
    Vegetable Soup
     
  • 2 tablespoons blended oil

  •  
  • 2 medium onions medium dice

  •  
  • 3cloves garlic minced

  •  
  • 5 zucchini medium dice

  •  
  • 4 yellow squash medium dice

  •  
  • 4 medium sized carrots medium dice

  •  
  • 1 pound button mushroom 1/4'd

  •  
  • 1 bunch collard greens cut in strips and washed

  •  
  • 1 bunch mustard greens cut in strips and washed

  •  
  • 2 teaspoons dried jalapeno peppers or cayenne

  •  
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

  •  
  • 1 8oz. can black beans

  •  
  • 1 8oz. can kidney beans

  •  
  • 1 8oz. can cannelli beans

  •  
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  •  
    Preparation Stock:
     
  • Place medium sized stock pot on stove over medium-high heat and add the 2 tablespoons of oil.

  •  
  • Once the oil starts to shimmer add the onions, celery, carrots & parsnips.

  •  
  • Saute the vegetables until they start to become soft then add the herbs and the whole peppercorns and saute for an additional five minutes.

  •  
  • Add the 1 1/2 gallons of water and increase the heat to high and let come to a rolling boil then reduce the heat down to medium low and let simmer for an 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  •  
  • Remove the stock from the heat and let cool.

  •  
  • Once the stock has cooled to about room temperature strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a non reactive container and reserve until you are ready to use.

  •  
    Preparation Soup:
     
  • Place medium sized stock pot on stove over medium-high heat and add the 2 tablespoons of oil.

  •  
  • Once the oil starts to shimmer add the onions, celery, garlic & carrots.

  •  
  • Saute the vegetables until they start to become soft then add the mushrooms & the dried jalapeno peppers (or cayenne).

  •  
  • Add the greens (collard & mustard) and saute until the greens begin to wilt.

  •  
  • Add a half gallon of the vegetable stock. Bring it up to a rolling boil then reduce to a simmer.

  •  
  • Once the soup comes to a simmer add the zucchini, yellow squash & the beans. Let soup simmer a little longer until the squash and zucchini become tender.

  •  
  • Add salt & pepper to taste. Serve

  •  
    Note: If you do not want to make the vegetable stock you can substitute cold and add the thyme, rosemary & parsley in a sterile gauze satchel to help add flavor.
     
    Ham & Bean Soup with Mustard Greens
     
    Ingredients
     
  • 4-lbs smoked football ham

  •  
  • 6-8 oz cans navy beans

  •  
  • 4 bunches mustard greens cut in strips and washed

  •  
  • 1/2 cup roasted garlic

  •  
  • 2-large Spanish onions

  •  
  • 2qt chicken stock

  •  
  • 8 oz parmesan cheese rind

  •  
  • 1-tablespoons blended oil

  •  
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  •  
    Preparation:
     
  • Cut the smoked ham into medium cubes.

  •  
  • Cut onions in half and thinly slice.

  •  
  • In a medium stock pot add 1-tablespoon blended oil and bring the heat to medium high.

  •  
  • Add the thinly onions and a pinch of salt and let the onions sweet.

  •  
  • Once the onions become translucent add the roasted garlic and the mustard greens. Reduce heat to med low.

  •  
  • Open and drain navy beans.

  •  
  • When the greens have wilted add the chicken stock and cubed ham.

  •  
  • After the soup comes to a simmer add the navy beans and the parmesan rinds.

  •  
  • Let the soup simmer for approximately 1-1/2 hour.

  •  
  • Taste. Add salt and pepper to your liking.

  •  
  • Remove soup from the heat and remove the parmesan rinds from the soup.

  •  

    Aham is a graduate of The Restaurant School in Philadelphia. He has worked as cook at Cuvee Notre Dame in Philadelphia and Sous Chef at the former 'Stazi Milano' in Jenkintown. Currently, he is the Manager of Operations for The Philadelphia Catering Company.
     
     
     
     

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