Soup-Er Bowl: White Bean, Sausage and Cauliflower Soup

superbowl football soup cauliflower

Soup-Er Superbowl Soup

Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner. If I read the Roman Numerals correctly, it’s Super Bowl 48..Not 49-er. And while, we, as New Yorkers, lament that our (or Jersey’s depending upon how you look at it) hometown team won’t be playing, we rejoice in the fact that at least one Manning will be there….Hopefully leading the Broncos to victory.

And, let’s be honest, we’re just happy it’s not the Patriots.

superbowl soup dinner recipe budweiser horses

Boozy Budweiser Clydesdales – not Colts

I know it’s almost Super Bowl Sunday because I saw the Budweiser Clydesdale horses outside of my apartment the other day. That’s right, a team of boozy Broncos led by some Cowboy towing a ton of beer. Right here on 67th St. Only in New York, Kids.

And, then there are all of the cooking tips on TV. Seem that no one eats like a Saint on SBS. Most chow down more like Cardinals – twice their weight in one day – and view Super Bowl Sunday as an excellent opportunity to consume 8million tons of guacamole – always seemed odd to me. Maybe those Texans started this tradition of guac. Americans pride themselves on creating 7-layer dips in the shapes of football stadiums, wrapping billions of cocktail weenies in crescent dough and consuming copious amounts of …beer.

I, on the other hand, prefer to provide my guests with Giant Soup-er Super Bowl soups. Last year, I made the Soup-Er simple Taco Soup…..this year, I’ll be mesmerizing Manning fans with a not as simple, but equally delicious, White Bean, Cauliflower, Chicken Sausage Soup. A soup that may even entice my Seahawk friends Jet-ing in from the west.

Tiny Apartment Tips:

  1. If you don’t have a hand held blender – get one. They don’t take up a lot of space, aren’t that expensive, come in pretty colors (mine is pink) are dishwasher safe and make an easy job of pureeing your soup.
  2. Timing is everything – since you’re having people over, clean as you go – you don’t have counter space for all of those dirty pots & pans anyway and your kitchen probably doubles as your bar, coat rack, convening space for friends and Titans of Industry.
  3. If you don’t have a Viking range, no worries, yours will be just fine.

Soup-Er Super Bowl Soup (serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • rachael ray sausage oscars smoke house super bowl soup

    Super Sausage from Somewhere Upstate – Well East of Buffalo, home of the Bills

    4 Chicken-Cheddar-Spinach Sausage links Sliced –  mine were from Oscar’s Smoke House upstate –  because Rachael Ray says so…PS, they ship to NYC

  • 2 Cans White Northern or Cannolini beans – the big white ones not the Redskin-ed ones – rinsed
  • 2 Cups Cut Cauliflower – don’t be an over Packer – just 2 loose cups will do
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion Diced
  • ½ Small Shallot diced
  • 2 Cups of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh Thyme – ok, mine are frozen – not in the refrig-e-Raider, but in the freezer
  • 4 Cups of Good Chicken Stock – like you’d ever use ‘bad’ chicken stock?
  • 1 Cup of Water
  • EVOO
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Spread the cauliflower on a lined baking sheet (Reynolds Wrap pan-lining paper is my fave), sprinkle with EVOO and salt and gently mix

vegetable roasting cauliflower

Cauliflower Ready to Roast

3. Put Cauliflower in to oven and roast for :30mins

cauliflower roasted vegetarian

Brown(s) Food Is Good Food

4. Meanwhile…..In a large stock pot – Le Creuset, s’il vous plait – over medium heat, sauté the diced onion and shallot in about 2 tbsp of EVOO until well softened and sorta translucent – about :10 mins

soup onion shallot super bowl sunday dinner

The onion makes it onion-y the shallot makes it sweet…and it’s pretty

5. Toss in a Bay Leaf for flavoring….

soup recipe super bowl

Bay Leaf for seasoning

6. Add 4 Cups of Chicken Stock and 1 Cup of water

7. Add in the roasted cauliflower and the Thyme leaves

cauliflower soup dinner recipe

Stirring in roasted cauliflower goodness

8. BTB / RTS – bring to boil, return to simmer….but, you knew what I meant

9. Simmer for :25 minutes until the cauliflower is well softened. Keep an Eagle’s eye on your simmer – it’s an art, simmering.

While that’s simmering….

9. In a frying pan over medium/high heat, add 1 tbsp of EVOO and sauté the sausage slices until browned.

dinner sausage soup with white beans

Chicken Sausage with Cheddar and Spinach – Oscar’s Smoke House NY

10. Remove the sausage and set aside

oscars smoke house chicken sausage

Browned and Beautiful

——————————WAIT—————————————

ABOUT :10mins – read a book, call your mom, watch an episode of ‘That’s So Raven(s)’, whatever….

11. In the sausage-y pan, add the spinach and wilt – :04 mins ish

fresh spinach soup cauliflower recipe

Wonderfully Wilted Spinach

12. Remove the sautéed spinach and set aside

13. Back to the large stock pot….After :25 minutes Turn off heat on Stock Pot…….Remove the bay leaf

14. Stir in 1 15oz can of White Beans and simmer another :05 minutes

soup dinner recipe

Simmering Simmering Simmering

15. Add pepper to taste – about 4-5 turns of a mill

16. Puree mixture with pretty pink hand held blender until smooth – you may have to chase the chunks of cauliflower…Like a Lion, Panther or a Bengal Tiger might chase down its prey.

soup puree cauliflower

Pretty Pink Pureeing – chasing chunks of Cauliflower

dinner soup recipe cauliflower spinach sausag

Smooth, Sleek and Silky…Like a Jaguar

17. Stir in 1 Cup of Cannolini / Northern White beans and the cooked sausage and the spinach. I like a soup that eats like a meal…so, I add no more stock… you do what you want, you know what I’m doing…If your guests are hungry as Bears, Ram in another can of beans to make it more stew-ish. You can also stir in some cream, don’t need to, but can – whatever you want. You’re the Chief Chef here.

soup super bowl recipe find the teams

Do you have to add spinach? No, but it’s pretty and delish

Gindo's Spice of Life fresh and spicy pepper sauce

That’s Hot!

18. Have some spice-loving Buccaneers coming over? You can, at this point, stir in a few dashes of Gindo’s Fresh and Spicy Spice of Life…for an extra point or an onside kick!

19. Heat Through

20. Serve warm (just in a simple soup bowl, no need for the formality of fine china on gilded Chargers).

Add some yummy, crusty bread  – I paid just $1.19 for a baguette at Fairway today! At that price, I felt like a Steeler of breads!

dinner soup recipe super bowl

The Spinach Swims in the Soup like a Graceful Pod of Dolphins

So….the Giants didn’t make it to the big game. It’s fine. Truth be told, I’m more in to the commercials anyway…And the cooking. And, with this chicken sausage, white bean and cauliflower soup – it’s sure to be a Soup-er Super Bowl Sunday!

Go Peyton!

PS – Maybe you’d rather watch reruns of Falcon(s) Crest instead of the Big Game. Listen, if you need to be entertained, find the 32 NFL teams mentioned in this post.

Lifting the Curse of ‘Annie’: Sweet Potato Soup

Annie the musical Andrea McArdle

Annie The Musical

In 1978 for my something-something birthday (I was pretty young, so it was really more like my something birthday), my parents gave me tickets to see Annie. Are you serious!!! Amazing! I loved and still love a good broadway show. And, this particular one had my name. Brilliant.

andrea mcardle as annie daddy warbucks sweet potato soup

The Amazing Andrea McArdle

Kristy Mcnichol little darlings sweet potato soup

After ‘Family’ KM was in this teen flick

The show had debuted earlier that year and it’s tiny red-headed lead, Andrea McArdle, had rapidly become the toast of the great white way. I idolized her. She was really incredible. Eight shows a week, talk and morning show appearances. She was on Johnny Carson a bunch of times (too late for me to see) and sang a duet with my other hero, Kristy McNichol (who doesn’t love ‘Little Darlings’?), on The Mike Douglas Show.

So, you can imagine that when my parents told me we were going to see Annie on Broadway in the big city with Andrea McArdle, I was so so so excited….

The day of the show, I put on my best going to broadway frock and sat on the stairs waiting to get in the car and go. My mother drove into the city as my friend and I belted out the words to every song (except Easy Street, which I never really liked) in the back seat.

We enter the theatre and are ushered to our seats. I’m so excited at this point, I can barely contain myself. I open the program in hopes of learning everything I can about my broadway icon, Andrea McArdle…Then, it happened… An evil slip of white paper fell from the program….what? I read slowly as my dreams and hopes were shattered to pieces.

shelley bruce as annie sweet potato soup

NOT Andrea McArdle

In today’s performance‘ it read…

the role of Annie usually played by Andrea McArdle‘….

NO…

will be played by Shelley Bruce‘.

WHAT?!?!?!? Who the …is Shelley Bruce????

Shattered. And, I’ve been shattered ever since. Sure, I enjoyed the show (I mean, they sing a whole song about how great Annie is, duh) – but, certainly not as much.

You know I’m a little (read a lot) superstitious. So when a friend offered to give me tickets to Annie (now back on Broadway 35 years later), I wanted to do everything I could to send good ju-ju to the show. I mean, I couldn’t bear to experience the same disappointment again. So to honor Annie, Andrea McArdle, Lilla Crawford (current Annie) and red-headed orphans everywhere, I decided to eat only red, orange and orphan-affordable foods the entire day of the show.

Sweet Potato Soup (Serves 6)

Tiny Apartment Tip: Get a hand held immersion blender. It’s changed my life.

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 2 Celery Stalks, peeled and diced small
  • 1 large Sweet Potato, peeled and diced small
  • 1 Sweet Onion, diced smallish
  • 3/4 or so Cup Diced Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley chopped
  • 1 TSP freshly grated ginger – remember, you have some in the freezer
  • 1/4 TSP Ground Nutmeg
  • 4 Cups of Chicken Stock – I actually for the first time used 2 Knorr Chicken Bouillon cubes and it was AOK
  • 1/4 Cup of heavy cream (optional….)
  • Salt and Pepper

1. Bring 4 Cups of water to a boil and dissolve 2 Knorr’s Chicken Bouillon Cubes

sweet potato soup chicken bouillon cubes for stock

Just as good as stock in a box

2. In a separate pot, heat 2 TBSP of butter over med/low

3. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute until very soft – about :15mins depending upon how small you diced

saute vegetables sweet potato soup

Saute Veggies

4. Add the tomatoes stir for about a minute

vegetarian soup dinner sweet potatoes annie musical

Add tomatoes, red like Annie’s Hair

5. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook :02 mins

sweet potato soup flour as thickener

Adding flour to help thicken soup

6. Sprinkle the Nutmeg and Ginger over the vegetables and stir

7. Add the diced sweet potatoes and stir just to combine

super food sweet potato soup

Super Sweet Potatoes – same color as Annie’s hair

8. Pour in the chicken stock and the parsley and BTB, RTS (bring to boil, reduce to simmer)

vegetarian sweet potato soup simmer

Soup A-Simmer

9. Simmer covered for :35 minutes – until the sweet potatoes are super soft

10. Remove from heat and using your brand new Cuisinart hand held immersion blender, blend the soup until very smooth….this takes a while because the tomatoes are pesky and escape the blades. Can’t blame ’em.

sweet potato soup puree hand held immersion blender

Pretty Pink Immersion Blender. Thank you Cuisinart!

11. Optional: Stir in the cream

sweet potato soup dinner recipe

Pureed and creamed and ready to serve

12. Serve with a garnish of parsley and a lovely dollop of sour cream

sweet potato soup vegetarian dinner recipe

Love a little dollop of sour cream…

Annie the musical sweet potato soup

The Exceptional Lilla Crawford

It may have been a silly and superstitious exercise, but I do think making the auburn colored soup helped.

Last night. 6:45pm.

I arrive at the theatre, wind my way through 45,000 or so 8-10 year old girls seeing their first show. I’m greeted by the first usher, she is holding the program, but doesn’t give us one. Instead, she directs us to a second usher….I’m anxious fearing the worst. I finally receive the program and in an attempt to delay the potential despair, hold onto it, clutched in my hand, closed until I reach my seat.

Then….I don’t open the program. Instead, I just flip it over and shake it, hoping no evil paper falls…..AND NONE DID!

The role of Annie would, indeed, be played by the exceptional Lilla Crawford!

OK, I can’t be sure that the soup had anything to do with it…but, 35 Years later….The sun DID come out and the curse of an understudy Annie is lifted!

Oh! Goody Goody! Mulligatawny Soup

mulligatawny indian soups curry

Mulligatawny Soup – The Happiest of all Soups

Almost exactly a year ago, Reuters published a study that found Indians – from India – to be among the happiest people in the world. This in spite of countless natural disasters, over crowding, extreme poverty etc.

indian people happiness factor

Happy Even When Protesting

But…The happiness of Indians doesn’t surprise me. I’ve encountered this phenomenon before.

London has an enormous population of Indian, from India, people – though they are called Asians over there. I know this because for a time I worked for a cosmetics collection sold only in England and we had a line specifically formulated for Asian (Indian-Asian) skin tones that did very well.

One of my BFFs, Alex, lived in London for a couple of years in the mid ’90s. As Alex was moving into her flat (apartment), one of her neighbors came out to greet her. No surprise that the neighbors would be curious. Alex is a majestically tall, beautiful, blond woman who gets attention wherever she goes. Her neighbor was similarly tall – but the similarities ended there. He was an Indian gentleman dressed in traditional Indian garb.

In New York, the sight of a new neighbor’s belonging clogging the hallways and tying up the elevators can send residents into a rampage. We might bombard concierges and doormen with calls demanding to know when the eyesore and inconvenience will be over. We’re not really a ‘welcome, here’s a bundt cake‘ kind of people.

So, having moved from New York, Alex was getting ready to apologize for moving in, crowding the hallway, using the elevator, making any unnecessary noise…really, for anything at all.

But, no need. The Indian neighbor came out, took a look at Alex and her belongings that cluttered the hallway, smiled broadly, clapped his hands together as he announced joyously: ‘Oh! Goody Goody, my new neighbor!’. He was so happy to welcome her.

Since the goody goody greeting, we have tried to follow his lead, soak in some of his glee. And we have used his words whenever we greet new neighbors, new adventures or new anything.

To try to infuse his joy into my cooking, every time I make Indian food, I whisper his words over and over in my head.

Goody Goody Mulligatawny Soup (Serves 8)

Tiny Apartment Tips:

  1. cuisinart kitchen utensils

    Kitchen Utensil Cleaning Station

    Creating this soup uses a lot of kitchen tools…so clean as you go. 

  2. The fragrance of the soup will be strong depending upon how much curry you decide to include…So, close the doors to your bathroom, bedroom to keep the aroma from permeating your linens
  3. Make an effort to welcome new neighbors who move into your building

Ingredients:

  • 3 TBSP Butter
  • mise en place vegetables

    Goody Goody Mise En Place

    1 medium onion, diced small PLUS 1 whole onion cut in half

  • 2 Carrots, diced small PLUS 1 whole carrot
  • 2 – 3 Stalks of Celery, diced small PLUS 1 whole stalk of celery
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced small
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 TBSP Curry – I use a little less – but maybe that’s why I’m not as happy as people from India
  • 1/4 TBSP ground nutmeg
  • 3 Whole Cloves – whole cloves are really expensive…but, if they mis-charge you at the Food Emporium, and you find the mistake, they will refund you the entire amount! There’s a reason to be happy!
  • 3 Sprigs of Parsley – flat leaf
  • 1 12-14oz can of chopped tomatoes
  • 32oz of Chicken Stock or Broth
  • 2 Bone In Chicken Breasts with rib meat
  • 2 Cups cooked rice – I used long grain American Basmati…but, would probably recommend plain white rice instead
  • 1/4 Cup of heavy cream
  • Salt and Pepper

1. Poach the chicken breasts:

  • how to poach chicken

    Poaching Chicken

    Remove the skin from both breasts

  • In a pot large enough to hold both breasts, cover the breasts completely with water
  • Throw in 1 onion cut in half, a bay leaf, a whole carrot chopped in half, a celery stalk chopped in half, 1 TBSP salt, 1 TSP freshly ground pepper
  • Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil
  • Reduce to a simmer
  • Simmer :15 mins or until the chicken is cooked through
  • Remove from the poaching water and set breasts aside to cool
  • Strain the poaching liquid and reserve liquid to cook the rice

2. Melt the butter in a large stock pot over medium heat

melting butter le creuset stock pot

Goody Goody I love butter!

3. Add the diced onion, carrots, celery and red pepper

sauteeing vegetables

Goody Goody Vegetables

4. Saute the vegetables until very soft – about :15 mins depending upon how small you dice

5. Add the flour, curry and nutmeg and stir to combine. Cook about 2 mins

mulligatawny curry soup

Goody Good Stir In Curry

6. Add the whole cloves, salt and pepper, chicken broth, parsley and tomatoes

7. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer (BTB/RTS) and simmer covered for 1 hour

bring to boil, reduce to simmer mulligatawny soup

Goody Good BTB/RTS

8. While the soup is simmering and IF the chicken breasts are cool enough to touch, shred the chicken with your hands

mulligatawny soup with chicken

Goody Goody Shredded Chicken

9. Cook the rice in the poaching liquid according to the ingredients on the rice packaging

10. After the soup has simmered for one hour, remove from the heat.

11. Puree using an immersion blender – I have a new pink one from Cuisinart!

cuisinart immersion blender mulligatawny soup

Goody Goody Easy Puree – Thank you Cuisinart!

NOTE: if you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a blender…Allow the soup to cool! Then, transfer a couple of ladles at a time to the blender and puree. Transfer the pureed portion to a second pot. Repeat until all of the soup is smooth and creamy

12. Stir in the heavy cream – you can skip this…the soup is tasty and creamy without…

mulligatawny soup add cream

But, it’s really Goody Goody with the cream

13. Add in the shredded chicken and rice and heat through

mulligatawny soup with chicken and rice

Goody Goody Rice and Chicken

14. Serve with a garnish of chopped parsley, sour cream and…if you want to spice it up – a little dash of Gindo’s Spice of Life

mulligatawny soup recipe shredded chicken

So So Goody Goody

Welcoming committees may be going the way of the dinosaur. And, the ‘no bundt cake’ approach isn’t exclusive to New York City. I lived for a bit in CT and never received a bundt cake out there either.

I’m not saying we should all be baking every time an apartment on our floor changes hands…But, would it be so bad to welcome a new neighbor?

Those simple happy words from Alex’s Indian neighbor still make me smile fifteen years later

I’m not really sure why the people of India are so happy. Maybe it’s the food? After making and eating this soup, I could see that. It really is another reason to smile and announce joyously: Goody Goody!

If Something Seems Simple, It Is Simple: Taco Soup

Taco Soup recipe el paso seasoning

Easiest Best Soup Ever

Before Super Storm Sandy hit, Chris Christie, New Jersey’s more than portly governor, held several press conferences. During one of the last ones preceding the storm, Chris said simply: If something seems stupid, it is stupid. His statement urged residents to stay off the beaches, move to higher ground, avoid downed power lines etc.

Tonight, we are hunkering down for what might be a significant winter snow event. In the suburbs such weather warnings result in a mad rush at the Stop ‘n Shop, Whole Foods, ShopRite, Price Chopper etc. In New York, we wonder which bars will be open and which restaurants might still deliver if the weather gets really bad.

In the event that (gasp!) restaurants, bars, etc. are closed at some point during the storm, you may want to prepare – You know, rent some movies, learn to knit, dust off the scrabble board…and, please have something ready to reheat and eat. So, you don’t really cook, like ever.

evansweather bill evans nyc abc 7 taco soup

ABC 7 Accuweather’s         Bill Evans

Don’t stress too much. Make something hearty that can sustain you and your crew through the storm…But, something that has ingredients easily accessible and something that’s more than simple to make. And, since Bill Evans, Lee Goldberg and the entire ABC7 Weather Team say that the storm will begin before we are up tomorrow…Please, make it today.

Paula Mac’s Taco Soup (Serves 8 – I know, a lot, but your doormen, neighbors etc. might be hungry too)

Ingredients:

  • rotel tomatoes for taco soup

    Ro*Tel

    2 lbs Ground Beef – 90/10

  • 1 Chopped Yellow Onion
  • 1 Can Kidney Beans
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • 1 Can Pinto Beans
  • 2 Cans Shoepeg Corn – Ho Ho Ho Green Giant makes one, but if you can’t find it, whole corn kernels are AOK as well
  • 2 Cans Rotel Tomatoes – in the Mexican Food Section
  • shoepeg corn green giant taco soup

    HoHoHo

    2 Packages of Taco Seasoning – El Paso makes this …I use less than the two packages to reduce spice

  • 1 Package Dry Ranch Dressing Mix – In the salad dressing area
  • 1 Heaping TBSP of Brown Sugar
  • 3 Cups of Water

1. In a large stock pot brown the beef and chopped onion over medium heat

easy taco soup cold weather cooking

Simply brown meat and onion

2. Once browned, drain off the excess fat

3. And…This is the hardest part…. Drain and rinse the beans and add those to the meat/onion mix

mise en place for taco soup

Simple Mise En Place: Can you open a can? You can make this soup

4. Drain the corn and add to the pot

5. Open the packages of taco seasoning and Ranch dressing mix and sprinkle over the meat, beans and corn

taco soup taco seasoning recipe

Simply Sprinkle in the dry stuff

6. Open up the cans of Rotel Tomatoes and pour ’em in

7. Add the brown sugar

8. Pour in the water

9. Stir to combine

taco soup recipe easy cooking

Simply BTB/RTS

10. BTB/RTS (Bring to boil, reduce to simmer) and Simmer covered for 1 hour

11. Let the soup cool…then put it in the fridge overnight. This allows the flavors to all meld together and for the soup to thicken a bit

12. Rent some movies, get all other hunkering activities done…..When ready to serve, reheat the soup over med/low and serve

13. Serve with shredded cheddar or Jack / Cheddar cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips

taco soup recipe easy hearty

Simply Garnish with cheese and sour cream

In all probability, NYC won’t be hit that hard with this storm. In any event, it’s a good idea to follow CC’s advice and if something looks stupid, it is stupid. You know what’s stupid? Having nothing to eat if you are stuck inside is stupid. Luckily, you don’t need to panic about starving in the event that you don’t cook and the weather is worse than expected. Paula Mac’s taco soup is not only hearty, impressive and delicious, it seems simple because it is simple.

NOPCME And Other Vanity Plates: Peas and More Pea Soup

pea soup with bacon and creme fraiche

Pretty Pea Soup – With Homemade Creme Fraiche and Bacon Bits

I sorta love vanity plates. I was driving a ton for a job – with a colleague/friend – up and down the west coast training people to sell fragrance. The countless hours in the car led to some in depth conversations….But, by about week 2, we already knew pretty much everything about each other, each other’s families, lives, histories, first loves, last loves, secret loves etc.

So we needed another way to pass the time. And, we were in California – land of the vanity plate. Coming from NYC and without a car of my own at the time, I hadn’t had a lot of experience with deciphering vanity plates. So, this became one of our favorite driving games. It’s like figuring out what text abbreviations mean now.

On our journey, we ran into some great plates including:

LXN1RLND:  Owned by my friend, Alex, who lived on Wonderland Drive

NA HE DNT: no explanation needed

8MPG: A Hummer owner making no excuses

L8ASUSL: For the terminally tardy

4RCEBWU: For the Star Wars junkie

One of my favorites, though, read simply ‘NOPCME’. Nopcahmah? Nopchemey? We spotted this one in the parking lot of a hotel and struggled to determine what it meant. And, then we found out that the owner was a urologist….And, his license plate advertised his business: No Pee? See Me!

So I thought about making Pea Soup…and realized that I had a ton of other vegetables that needed using. And I made…

Peas and More Pea Soup (Serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

  • leeks

    Fresh and Dirty Leeks

    2 slices of Bacon cut into small pieces

  • 2 Cups Chopped Leeks – 2 leeks, whites and light green parts – they’re usually pretty gritty, so wash them well
  • 1 Cup Chopped Onion
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped small
  • 1 Sweet Potato – peeled, chopped and roasted until soft (see below)
  • 2 10oz packages of Birdseye or 365 Brand Frozen Peas – I used a combo of both
  • 5 Cups of Chicken Stock- I use Whole Foods 365 brand, it’s very well priced, rich and delicious
  • 1 TSP fresh Thyme leaves
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • leeks soup pea recipe

    Submerge Leeks to Clean

    1 TSP Pepper

  • Olive Oil
  • A tad of Gindo’s Spice of Life Fresh and Spicy Pepper Sauce – to taste
  • Creme Fraiche for garnish

Sweet Potato Prep:

  • sweet potatoes super food

    Super Sweet Potatoes

    Preheat Oven to 425 degrees

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with Reynold’s Wrap Pan Lining paper – parchment side up
  • Spread the Sweet potato dices in a single layer on the parchment and gently sprinkle with Olive Oil – do not salt!
  • Bake for :08 mins, then toss and bake an additional :07-:08 mins until softened but not browned
  • Remove from the baking sheet and set aside

1. In the bottom of a large heavy bottomed pot (my 6qt Le Creuset, for example), heat 1 TBSP of Olive Oil over medium heat

2. Add the bacon pieces and render until crispy

smithfield farms bacon

BCN: Bacon Render Render Render….Crispy

3. Remove the bacon and set aside

4. To the bacon fat add a TBSP of olive oil and then add the carrots and stir – about :04 mins.

whole foods vegetable soup

KROTS: Carrots First

NOTE: You want to add the carrots first because they take longer to soften

5. Add the leeks and onion to the carrots and cook until softened – about :10-:12 mins stirring occasionally

pea soup recipe with sweet potatoes

OLC: Onions, Leeks and Carrots

6. Add the chicken stock, sweet potatoes, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil

pea soup chicken stock whole foods

CHXSTK: Chicken Stock

7. Reduce to a simmer and add the frozen peas

365 frozen peas birdseye

+PS: Stir in the Peas

8. Simmer until the peas are softened – about :04 mins

9. Turn the heat off and allow the soup to cool – while it’s cooling, you can wash all of the prep bowls, knives and cutting boards you may have used

10. Set up a Puree Station: In my case…A KitchenAid blender and a second empty heavy bottomed pot on low

all clad puree kitchen aid station

PUR A STN: Puree Station

11. Transfer a few ladles of the soup to the blender and puree

pea soup vegetables

<PUR A: Pre-Puree – Needs to Cool

12. Pour the pureed soup into the second pot and repeat until all of the soup is pureed

365 chicken stock whole foods

> PUR A: Post Puree

pea soup recipe

PP N ACP: Post Puree in Pretty AllClad Pot

13. Serve with a garnish of Creme Fraiche and Crispy Bacon Bits

NOTE: Making your own Creme Fraiche is super easy – mix equal parts heavy cream and sour cream in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave out on a counter over night. In the morning, put it in the fridge and chill for about 4 hours. Done and done.

Years later, I do now have a car…But, no vanity plates. Instead, I allow the DMV to assign me a plate and then I make up a meaning for the letters I get. My first license plates read:

911 URE = Emergency! You Are Excellent.

My next was:

411 XPC = For Your Information. You’re Extra Pretty-Cute.

You can really interpret them anyway you want. Maybe, on my car NOPCME would mean: Numerous Organic Produce Creates More Elegance…in a Peas and More Pea Soup.