A Warm Nights Meal

  • Wed
    Jan 01
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Jan 03
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

Enjoying the winter weather?  Need a little something that will satisfy and fortify while the winds blow?  There's nothing that hits the flavor spot better in the throes of a deep freeze than a hearty soup.  We've serving up two different soups in the studio this week and another over the phone.

Love SoupI have to digress because all this talk of soup reminds me of a funny soup story.  I was at an excellent Italian spot in New York, Pepolino, a number of years ago.  A friend at the table, Stan, was talking about how he only ate soup if it was steaming hot.  When the waiter took our orders Stan made certain to tell him that the soup had to be HOT.  I took a good look at that cup of soup when it was brought to the table.  The steam was pouring off of it.  Stan sent it back saying it wasn't hot enough.  I'm not certain what they did to it in the kitchen to get it any hotter, but the second try satisfied.  That might have been one of those "you had to have been there" stories, but, trust me, it was hilarious.

Anna Thomas returns to GREAT TASTE this week, as our special guest to discuss soup recipes from her book, Love Soup.  The book contains 160 vegetarian recipes.  Anna is the celebrated author of numerous cookbooks including the classic, The Vegetarian Epicure, published in 1972.

Kathy is making Anna's Vegetarian Onion Soup Gratin while I go for the Three-Bean and Vegetable Chili.  Anna plans on doing a simple chard and yam soup (look for the recipe further down the page).  I'm getting so hungry writing this I need to look for something to eat!

The stream starts at 7 PM CST on Wednesday, February 2 with the replay Friday morning at 7 AM CST.  If you're brave and have snow shoes come by the studio for a cup that is guaranteed to warm you up.

Chard and Yam Soup from Love Soup by Anna Thomas, W. W. Norton & Company, 2009

1 large yellow onion (300 g)

1 Tbs. (15 ml) olive oil

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large yam (12 oz; 350 g)

1 bunch chard (12 oz; 350 g)

6-7 green onions or scallions, white and green parts (120 g)

6 cups (1 1/2 liters) any basic vegetable broth or 5 cups canned vegetable broth diluted with 1 cup water

sea salt, if needed

freshly ground black pepper

fesh lemon juice

Optional garnishes:

fruity green olive oil

crumbled queso fresco, feta cheese , or other goat cheese

Simple Chipotle Sauce or other salsa

Chop the onions coarsely and sauté it in the olive oil, over medium heat, stirring often, until it is soft and beginning to color.  Add the chopped garlic and keep cooking over low heat, stirring often, until the onion is golden brown, about 15 more minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the yam and cut it into 1/2-inch dice.  Wash the chard, slice the greens off the stems, and cut the leaves into 1- or 2-inch pieces.  thinky slice the chard stems.  Wash and trim the green onions and cut them in 1/2-inch pieces.  Combine the yam, chard, green onions, and broth in a soup pot and simmer gently, covered, for about 20 minutes. 

Add the sautéed onions to the soup and simmer another 10 minutes, then taste.  Add salt if needed, then add pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Ladle the steaming hot soup into deep bowls, drizzle the top of each serving with some fruity green olive oil, drop a few crumbles of cheese on top, and pass a bowl of salsa.

Basic Light Vegetable Broth

5-6 large leeks, green part, sliced (6 cups; 350 g)

5 large carrots, sliced (3 cups; 450 g)

2 large yellow or white onions, cut up (500 g)

4 large stalks celery, sliced (2 cups; 225 g)

3-4 medium parsnips, sliced (1 1/2 cups; 225 g)

1 cup (60 g) fennel tops

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. fresh or dried thyme

2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste

A few peppercorns

5-6 fresh mint leaves, more if very small

6 cloves garlic, peeled

Stems from one bunch kale or chard, cut up (120 g)

1 cup (40 g) coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

3 1/2 quarts (3 1/2 liters) water

Combine all the ingredients in an 8-quart stockpot and bring the water to a boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer and allow the broth to cook for about 45 minutes.  All the vegetables should be very soft, and the broth should have a clear, pale golden color. 

Strain the broth through a colander, then through a sieve, and discard the boiled vegetables.  Taste, and correct the salt if needed, but be very cautious about this.  Vegetable broths almost always reduce further as they cook in a soup, and it is better to keep them somewhat under salted and adjust the taste of the finished soup.