Tag Archives: soup recipes

Extra Thick Garlic & Mushroom Soup

24 Aug

Advice and observations from my children:

Don’t let other people make you feel bad because most of the time they’re only saying that because they feel bad about it.

If you get kicked in the ballsack, it will hurt.  Especially if it’s your older brother who does it.

Save your candy until the movie starts.  Previews don’t count.

If Mummy says you can’t have something, you can argue with her and she might change her mind.  If Daddy says you can’t, you can’t.

Grandparents say yes a lot.

Salad is just another way of saying vegetables.

Your siblings are so annoying but the are also your best friends.

It’s not nice to say I don’t care. It’s also not nice to call someone fire engine poopy head.

It’s okay to say Bloody Hell in America because it’s not really a big swear.

Everyone was once a kid.

Mushrooms are one of those things that look like you shouldn’t be able to eat them but you can.

Extra Thick Garlic & Mushroom Soup

Is this complicated? It most certainly is not.  However, this soup is tasty, freezes well, preps in about ten minutes, and if you make it on the thicker side, can even serve as a spread on your toasted bread.

1 lb mixed mushrooms

1 onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tbsp olive oil

big pinch sea salt

3/4 cup vegetable stock

1/2 cup half & half or cream


Wash and cut mushrooms (don’t be picky about it).  Place mushrooms, onion, and garlic in pot with olive oil.  Heat on high-med until onions are sweating.  Add salt.  Add stock and bring to the boil, then reduce to simmer until mushrooms are just soft.  Remove from heat.  Add half & Half bit by bit until a liquidy as you like.  Served topped with watercress.



Farmer’s Market Gazpacho (Raw-Vegan) & Perspective

17 Aug



“Are you making sauce?” Julia asks.

“It’s actually soup,” I say.

“Actually, it’s ketchup,” Will says.  He’s 4 and everything is better with ketchup.

“It’s soup.”

“The cold one?” Julia raises her eyebrows while I nod.  “It still looks like sauce. You could use it as sauce.”

And thus, the gazpacho sauce was borne.  We had it on raw summer squash ribbons.  We dumped it on noodles.  And we drank it as soup. Sometimes, kids give you the perspective you need in order to reframe your life or your day or your work issue.  Other times, like this morning, they wake you up before the alarm, scream at each other and demand you break up the arguments about who flicked who, and test out every inappropriate word they know and have to miss the sleepover because of it.  Oh well.

Try some soup-sauce and chill, Mom.

Farmer’s Market Gazpacho

This chunky, hearty gazpacho can be eaten right away or savored over a week.  The combination of tomatoes really makes a difference.  I like to keep the gazpacho hearty and the vegetables identifiable, but if you prefer a smoother soup as above, puree half of it or all of it.  All of the measurements are flexible – add more tomatoes, fewer onions, green peppers, or more dill – up to you.  My version is more like a liquid salad with sunbursts of colors rather than a traditional soup.

2 large cucumbers, halved lengthwise and seeded

Bunch of fresh dill

2 onions, chopped

3 peppers (one red, orange, and yellow), cut and seeded

1 28 oz. good quality whole peeled tomatoes

1 can diced tomatoes (not the kind with basil in)

2 fresh larger tomatoes in season (plum/heirloom, or any local)

1 pint cherry or globe tomatoes

1 small can tomato juice

2 tbsp. cold water

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

3 tbsp. lemon juice

½ cup good olive oil

splash red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, crushed

sea salt and pepper to taste

Peel the cucumber, slice it lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  If you use an English cucumber, the skin is thin enough to keep on.  Chop up the larger fresh tomatoes and halve the cherry or globe, seeding casually (meaning, using your thumb, get some of the seeds out but don’t be fanatical about it).  Put tomatoes into a large bowl.  Cut the peppers, cucumbers, and onions into bite-sized pieces and add to bowl.  Mince the garlic and add it to the vegetables, stirring gently by hand.  Chop a handful of dill and add it (you may use leftover whole sprigs for garnish).  Add cans of tomatoes, reserving the liquid from the cans.  Cut up the whole canned tomatoes, and add.  Stir in lemon juice, tomato juice, vinegar, water, olive oil, into the mix and salt and pepper to salt.

If you want a more liquidy soup, add some of the reserved can juice.  Otherwise, keep it thick, add the Worcestershire sauce, mix with a spoon, and cover in the fridge for a few hours.  The soup will pick up flavor as it sits (the next day it will be great).  Add drizzle of olive oil to each portion if you like and serve cold with homemade croutons if desired.




Cold Cucumber Soup with Peas & Imagination

8 Aug

4-year-old Will and 12-year-old Jamie and I rode the T into downtown Boston this weekend.  The journey, as they say, was the destination.  Will loves trains, the slurring scenery, the tickets, the immovable seats, the automatic doors.  We exited at the park and went for a ride on the Swan Boats.  “There’s a guy on a horse!” Will said.  “Yeah, Paul Revere,” Jamie told him.  “He rode on a horse to tell people about the British invading.” Will looked at his brother.  “Did he have a car, too?”  Jamie shook his head.  “Was this in the olden days?” Will asked.  He’s just learned this expression.  I nodded.  “People didn’t have cars, only horses or feet.”  Will thought about it.  “So they rode on horses or carriages.  Did they ever ride on ants?”

Jamie exploded with laughter and proceeded to imagine saddles for ants, ant ranches, and so on.

Meanwhile, last night Daniel created a whole world in which all the dinosaurs lived at the same time (“Even though they were, like, a million years apart.”).  And Julia’s go-to game right now is being a talking doctor puppy.

And my old friend, Tania, and her husband are imagining moving to a farm in Maine.  And I’m pretending to visit my grandma’s garden.  She closed it up right after September 11th 2001.  Each summer, we would pick cucumbers by the armful and slice them for sandwiches or soup that we’d ladle into gallon glass jars.  We tell ourselves stories as fun, as means of safe exploration, as a way to test out ideas without having to commit fully to them.  And we imagine the future or the past so clearly, we can almost taste it.

Cold Cucumber Soup with Peas
All amounts are approximate – Grandma Bev’s cooking has never been exact.  
Play with the flavors as suits you, adding a small amount of olive 
oil to the top before serving if you like. 
Handful Dill, chopped
3 big bulbs Garlic
3 large Cucumbers, peeled and seeded (reserve some thin slices for garnish)
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1 cup vegetable stock
½ cup milk (try coconut if you want a sweet and different flavor)
1 Onion
salt and pepper to taste
big handful raw peas
Chop all vegetables except peas, add liquid, puree in batches.  Adjust for flavor.  
Chill well. Drop whole peas in a stir once.
Serve with a few thin slices of cucumber and a sprig of dill on 
top of each portion.  
Note: If you like more texture, reserve some small chopped pieces of cucumber to 
add in at the end and a few scallions.

Creamy Fennel, Garlic, Onion & Potato Soup & Spinning My Wheels & Free Diapers

20 Jul

When was spinning a craze?  I remember my older brother converting to the religion of spin class somewhere in the late 90s…but like many things from that time period, I missed them.  My first child was born in 1999.  Roughly translated, this means my husband and I ARE STILL WATCHING THE WEST WING.  Missed it the first time around.  You have to remember, this was before even The Gap had maternity clothes, before texting, IM-ing, back before the internet boom.  And to come clean about that – we did not pay for diapers the entire first year of Jamie’s life.  Drugstore.com had launched and had a special wherein one purchased anything – tampons, shoelaces, toothpaste, and received something silly like 25 or 50 dollars free.  We contacted everyone we knew and asked that they buy themselves something small and send us diapers with some of their free dough.

Cue daily diaper delivery. Some friends even sent diaper or baby accessories.

Then the internet companies came to the realization that Oz doesn’t exist, money isn’t made by throwing money around, and slowly closed those wide-open early doors.

But back to spinning.  Yesterday – as in 20111 – was my first spinning class.  I have a friend, Marni, who is a newer friend (our husbands grew up together) but one of friends who feels as though I’ve known her forever.  I’d road trip with her across country tomorrow without pause.  She asked my spin and even though the class did not sound appealing at all, I went.  Sure enough, I spun, rocked out to a bizarre mix of James Bond themes and Phil Collins and blues.

Now if only I had ever seen Charmed, the ER finale, Alias, knew if Y2K mattered, or if Al Gore won.

Guess I’ll go finish The West Wing and eat great soup.

Creamy Fennel, Garlic, Onion & Potato Soup

Fennel is like spinning – it seems unfamiliar or distasteful and then, once you try it, you realize how fun and delicious it can be.

2 heads fennel, washed and sliced (save greens for garnish)

1 large sweet onion, sliced

1 head of garlic, fresh if possible, peeled and trimmed of tough ends

2 tbsp olive oil

big pinch sea salt

4 small(ish) thin-skinned potatoes (red or brown), washed but not peeled, and sliced 1/4″ thick

1 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup half & half

Put fennel, onion, and garlic in pot and coat with olive oil.  Cook on high until just starting to sear.  Turn heat to medium and add salt, and saute for a few minutes.  Add potatoes and broth.  Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and let cook for 30-40 minutes.  Uncover and blend with hand-held blender.  And half & half, blend again, and season to taste.

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