It’s June – let’s make some soup!

It's 10:06 PM, perfect time to sit down to dinner!

Right as it seems like prime time for some grilling recipes, the next book in line for the project is 1 Stock, 100 Soups.  The book is by Linda Doeser and if you can guess from the title it contains 100 soup recipes you can make using the same stock recipe she provides at the beginning of the book.

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[/span4][span8] The stock can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated for a few days or frozen for 3 months. I made my stock a few days before. Pre-blog project recipes had required me to create a chicken and fish stock but the stock for this book is a vegetable stock so it was something new for me. Normally when a recipe calls for a veggie stock/broth I sub chicken broth – I tend to find the veggie stock/broth kind of boring. So I was curious to see if making my own would change my attitude of veggie stock.
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[/span4][span8] For the stock I needed 2 onions, 4 leeks, 4 celery stalks, 2 large potatoes, 4 carrots, 4 parsnips and 2 turnips. All is chopped up and thrown in a pot with 4 bay leaves, 12 parsley springs, 1 1/3 cups of white wine and 8 cups of water. I was kind of shocked at the amount of veggies I needed – it was A LOT!
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[/span4][span8] It is then brought to boil and then reduced to simmer and covered to be cooked for 1 hour.
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Stock strained and cooling...if only you could scratch and sniff how good my kitchen smelled at this point!
Stock strained and cooling…if only you could scratch and sniff how good my kitchen smelled at this point!
[/span4][span8] After the hour is up it’s strained and cooled before being refrigerated/frozen. I do have to say my kitchen smelled GREAT! I was not really expecting so much aroma so I had high hopes this stock would yield a tasty soup and maybe even change my attitude about veggie stock!
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That's me on the way home from Home Depot after picking up 20 2x4's and loading them into the car all by myself!
That’s me on the way home from Home Depot after picking up 20 2×4’s and loading them into the car all by myself!
[/span4][span8] I made the stock a week ago and froze it until I was ready to make the next recipe – Bacon and Potato Soup, which happens to be soup recipe 7 out those 100 recipes. It was quite a hectic day…Matt and I got home from work around 5:45 and immediately went to working on the fence (if you remember from my last post we had started building a new fence over the weekend). I even made a trip to Home Depot by myself to pick up more wood so Matt could continue to work on the fence.
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I recently read the book Julie & Julia by Julie Powell. The book is a memoir of sorts about a year in which Julie Powell decided to make all 524 recipes from Julia Child’s legendary cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Julie made some weird stuff in that year but quite often due to working a full time job, hunting for ingredients that may have been more readily available in 1961 when Julia Child wrote the book but not so much now, and then actually cooking some complicated dishes, her and her husband didn’t actually eat dinner typically until after 10:00 PM. Well – last night Matt and I didn’t sit down to dinner until 10:06 PM!

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[/span4][span8] So back to the soup! To start off with I heated some oil in a large pot then added chopped bacon, chopped onion and 2 minced cloves of garlic. I cooked that over medium heat for about 10 minutes when the bacon began to crisp up. Then I added 7 1/2 cups of the vegetable stock I made last week, diced potatoes, shredded savoy cabbage, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard. I seasoned with pepper and gave it a stir and brought it to a boil. Then I reduced the heat and simmered for 30 minutes.
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It's 10:06 PM, perfect time to sit down to dinner!
It’s 10:06 PM, perfect time to sit down to dinner!
[/span4][span8] Now, this is where it got kind of weird – well maybe because I have never done this before so it seemed weird to me. I removed the soup from heat and let it cool slightly. Then I put 2 1/2 cups of the soup in a blender and gave it a quick blend. That was added back to the pot and reheated. Once heated through I stirred in parsley and seasoned with salt. Then we ate the soup with a crusty roll.
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The verdict:  My fears of the stock not being flavorful were luckily not true.  The vegetable stock was very rich and flavorful.  I would definitely make this soup again (tho maybe wait until fall or winter) but next time I think I would try to strain more solids from the soup when it comes time to blending part to make sure I get more of a puree that I can add back to the soup.  If you want to download the recipe you can so here.

Happy Birthday Jamie!!

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