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e_moon60

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Soups of the Days [Aug. 15th, 2010|07:36 pm]
e_moon60
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In the past two weeks, I've made some really good soups (yes, patting own back...tough) and took pictures of them in situ without showing just what a mess I make while making soup.    Soup #1, also known as "the bone soup" because it started with some cow vertebrae (it was "the vertebrae soup but a friend thought that was too gruesome) had two incarnations, having been eaten down on the first two meals; it had sausage added on the next day, and some mushrooms and stuff.   This is what it looked like midway through the second version, when a couple of quarts of it had been pulled out to take to a friend whose mother had died.



Although there are still some shreds of beef that finally (!) cooked off the bones, our son ate most of the beef on Saturday night, so I added the sausages on Sunday.   The original started with the bones and a quart of homemade beef stock, onion/garlic/celery/carrot/garlic/bay leaf/rosemary/peppercorns (just like making stock) to which I added a big can of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes & green chilis and  then potatoes.   For the next day, in addition to the sausages, I added a jar of spaghetti sauce I happened to have, a small can of Ro-Tel tomatoes & green chilis, fresh mushrooms,  and a can each of black beans and red beans, well rinsed of can juice.   

This weekend's soup was different.  Last April I'd made a humongous batch of meatballs--ground venison, ground beef, and pork sausage for the meats.   Froze over half of them.  I took the last package of the frozen meatballs, two jars of brown gravy (commercial, two different brands--cleaning out the shelves), a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, 2 small cans of Ro-Tel with lime juice & cilantro, then sauteed a diced onion, two ribs of celery, chopped, and about a quarter pound of fresh mushrooms, added that to the meatballs...and three Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into chunks. 
 


None of the meatballs were left today (our son had several bowls of this Saturday night)  but the remainder made a hearty supper for the two adults tonight.   It was thick, but not as thick as last week's (especially with the beans in it...they thicken a soup something fierce.)

I really need to make chicken stock again, but will wait until it cools off a little.  Though I plan to make stock in the huge pots again, I'm liking this 8 quart one for the intermediate-to-large soups. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: melissajm
2010-08-16 12:58 am (UTC)
Looks delicious!
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-08-16 03:32 am (UTC)
Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: cdozo
2010-08-16 01:27 am (UTC)
You've got me thinking about buying a bigger pot for soup, beans and pasta. G can eat quite a bit and my current pot just barely hods enough most of the time. Normally I would not worry and make do, but your cooking posts keep nudging me. If I could only figure out where to store a big pot (both here and in the trailer) I would probably buy one. But for the moment, I'll have to live my big cooking pot dream vicariously through your posts.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-08-16 03:32 am (UTC)
You certainly don't want a 20 quart pot like my BIG one...what size is your largest? With a teenage boy to feed, it really helps to have a 4 quart minimum, and 6 is better (even though G isn't as tall as M was.)
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[User Picture]From: cdozo
2010-08-16 05:10 am (UTC)
My current pot is 3 quarts. I'd like a 6 quart pot, but I have no where to store it. I bought G a pizza pan earlier this summer and we keep it in the dish drainer because the cabinets here are short and shallow so it won't fit in any of them. The same thing would happen with a stock pot except it would take up the entire dish drainer. So I'll just have to wait.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-08-16 05:27 pm (UTC)
Try hanging it from the ceiling Or the wall. That's how we handled small kitchen spaces.

Sari
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[User Picture]From: cdozo
2010-08-16 06:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks Sari, that's a good suggestion. But there's no wall space in the kitchen here and I can't reach the ceiling. It's truly the kitchen from hell.

I will keep wall and ceiling storage in mind for my next kitchen.
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[User Picture]From: cissa
2010-08-20 08:01 pm (UTC)
Actually, not being able to reach the ceiling is good. That means you can hang a potrack from it, and hang pots on that.

My potrack is a simple finished oak beam with iron hooks that fit over the top so that I can hang a pot on both sides of it. It's hung from the ceiling by a chain on each end. When I ran out of hooks, my husband made me some more; now I'm running out of linear space, so we may have to get a longer beam. :) But- at this point pretty much ALL my pots are hung on it, freeing the cabinets for things like mismatched tupperware and pot lids; I also hang my Kitchenaid mixing bowls, my rolling pin, etc.

I don't really have a problem with the pots getting dusty hanging up, since I use them all pretty often. And it's a GREAT use of otherwise-useless space!

Of course, I don't know that such a thing would work for you, but they do come in all sorts of configurations, and you might even be able to hang that pizza pan. :)
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[User Picture]From: cdozo
2010-08-20 08:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the idea, but the ceiling is texturized with asbestos, so I don't want to drill or otherwise disturb it.
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[User Picture]From: lillian13
2010-08-16 01:40 am (UTC)
Try as I might, I can't eat soup when it's hot. These look awfully good, though.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-08-16 03:29 am (UTC)
If by "hot" you mean all that Ro-Tel...substitute plain diced tomatoes and it won't bite. I've used non-fiery peppers for flavor, too.

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[User Picture]From: lillian13
2010-08-16 04:18 am (UTC)
Oh no, I loooove spicy. I just can't drink or eat hot (temperature) soups when it's above 60. Overheats me something fierce.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-08-16 05:49 pm (UTC)
Ah...I let mine cool off to "just warm". You're right--what makes a soup so comforting in cold weather makes it WOWHOT in Texas summers.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-08-16 03:31 am (UTC)

Soups of the days

I have not tried the spagettti sauce but tortellini of all varieties is delicious. Usually it is cheese filled but sausage adds a bit of spice. Most of the time we make a chicken soup with the leftovers of a rotisserie chicken from the local store. Simmer, remove the bones and freeze for that day when a home cooked meal is a forgotten idea or I have just been too lazy to shop.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-08-16 03:51 am (UTC)

Re: Soups of the days

We also use up the leftover rotisserie chicken in a soup--sometimes eaten immediately, sometimes added to the next big stock project. My dream--if I had the space--and maybe the time--would be to ALWAYS have at least 6 quarts of beef stock and 6 quarts of chicken stock in the freezer. Plus a lot of packages of "2 cups cubed" chicken/beef/ham/lamb. That way, an infinite variety of quick meals are available with the addition of just a few other things. OK, a LOT of other things, she says, eyeing the various jars in the refrigerator and the usual suspects in the pantry.

And I need to hit the grocery store as I am completely OUT of 28 oz cans of Ro-Tel. And have only one more 28 oz can of petite diced tomatoes and no cans of tomato paste. Impossible! And used the last onion yesterday--oh no!
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[User Picture]From: gotica
2010-08-16 05:22 pm (UTC)
Mmm they look so delicious. I made a Pumpkin (Squash I believe it gets called in the states) soup the other night as the other half requested it with the addage "I don't mind what you put in it as long as I can taste pumpkin." Due to my diet I cannot have any and I'm very frustrated.

The spices:
3 cloves garlic diced.
Enough fresh chilli to match the garlic, whole with seeds.
Enough fresh ginger to match the garlic, peeled and diced.
1 Chinese sausage, sliced julienne.
4 litres of vegetable stock.
Oil
Wine

The pumpkin:
I don't really know how much pumpkin went in. There was a whole Kent/JAP and half a Butternut.

Oiled and roasted in the oven until the skins could be peeled off and the flesh almost turned to mush, deglazed the roasting pans with the wine and spices and then added everything to the pot of hot stock.

Simmered this for about an hour and then spent the rest of the evening drooling. It turned out a beautiful dark orange from the caramelised bits of the roasting pans that were added in addition to not adding milk products.
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[User Picture]From: gotica
2010-08-16 05:33 pm (UTC)
And the thought as the move towards bed is procrastinated... I need to put this on my own lj.
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[User Picture]From: delicious_irony
2010-08-16 05:36 pm (UTC)
You never fail to make me hungry with posts like this.

How would one go about substituting for Ro-Tel, if it were unavailable in the neck of one's woods?
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-08-16 05:47 pm (UTC)
There are now other brands that put diced tomatoes & green chilis together--using various names. I'd explore the "canned tomato" shelf at a big grocery and see what you find (I know I've seen a can of Hunt's diced tomatoes with some chilis in it, though the proportion is different. If you have a large supermarket with ethnic foods sections, look at the Mexican section for canned chilis...or if there's a Mexican market around, look there. Or see if a market carries the actual chilis (you can use jalapenos instead of the longer green chilis if that's all your store has--different flavor but still good)...you can take out the ribs and seeds (where more of the heat is) cut the flesh into little strips and put them in with ordinary diced tomatoes.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-08-18 05:41 am (UTC)

Those wonderful soups!

Thanks to your earlier patient explanations, my soups and stocks have turned out better and better. Now that I'm cooking almost exclusively from scratch, I have been working at it.

For a clear-broth, light soup, I use chicken breast meat and bones, and toss in a few lamb bones (about 1/5 of total bones), and the lighter vegetables, but no tomatoes. After cooking them down, it is chilled and strained through a filter (that takes a while - I set it up in the fridge). The resultant liquid is flavorful and clear, and the hint of lamb is heavenly. Then I can add light vegetables, chicken OR lamb meat, and leeks. Thinly sliced (think translucent) vegetables such as zucchini and carrot) cook in no time, so one can heat the broth, dump in the very thin veggies, and serve within 10 minutes.

Hm. Wasn't going to write a book.

Oh well. To continue: the chicken bones and more standard veggies finally makes a proper gel that supports flavor throughout. Even the children rave and say my soups are better than anything store-bought. This... for someone who has never been more than an "average" cook, is pure joy. :)

Thank you!
Gretchen S.
Minneapolis
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-08-18 11:43 am (UTC)

Re: Those wonderful soups!

Oh, my! I never thought of using lamb bones with chicken--what a GREAT idea, Gretchen! Thanks for telling me.

Obviously you're a natural at soup, and just needed a few hints. SO glad I could help.
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[User Picture]From: cissa
2010-08-20 07:53 pm (UTC)
YUM! My mouth is watering!
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