Happy National Soup Month from Taste and Savor's Chef Nancy Waldeck on Atlanta & Company:
The FIVE building blocks of soup:
THE AROMATICS AND OIL – Onions, Peppers, Carrots, Parsnips, Celery, Fennel, Garlic that are slowly sautéed in oil to create a base for the soup. You can use any kind of oil you choose. Canola, Grapeseed, Olive or Avocado oils are all healthy choices.
THE HERBS AND SPICES – Added when the aromatics are cooking down. Think about your favorite foods to choose which herbs and spices you want to add. For instance you may be a Pizza lover. Pizza has herbs like Basil, Thyme and Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes. You can use that for a guide to adding those herbs and spices to your soup. (Just remember to use the dried version for soups cooking for over 30 minutes, and then you can use the fresh herbs to garnish.) This is also the stage that you will add salt and pepper.
THE LIQUID – This can be any kind of liquid you want. Chicken, Veggie, Beef, Seafood, even water or coconut milk, dairy or alternative milks, even juices.
THE VEGETABLES/PROTEIN/BEANS/STARCH – These building blocks are not part of the aromatics, these are added later to create the soup. It can be just beautiful vegetables that are cut into bite-sized pieces, beans or lentils, hearty meats, poultry or fish chopped or shredded, or pasta, grains and/or rice. What you add here makes it a chicken soup, a veggie soup or a bean soup!
THE GARNISH – Here’s where you can add the final touches to make it your own. You can add layers of flavor by duplicating some or all of the dried herbs that you added along with the aromatics. You’ll also want to taste the soup to see if it needs more salt, remember that a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice can add a pop of flavor like salt, with no sodium. But you don’t have to stop with herbs. Think of texture, too! A crunchy or crispy garnish like a sprinkle of pita or tortilla chips can be just what a pureed soup needs - a cooling plop of Greek yogurt or the creamy dairy of shredded cheese may add lots of flavor and interest to your soup.
Smoky Tomato Soup
Step ONE - THE AROMATICS AND OIL
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
- 5 Cloves Garlic, Grated
Step TWO - THE HERBS AND SPICES
- ½ Tsp Sea Salt
- ½ Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 1 TB Smoked Paprika
Step Three - THE LIQUID
- 1 Cup Dry Red Wine, (or additional cup broth)
- 2 Cups Veggie Broth
Step Four - THE VEGETABLES/PROTEIN/BEANS/STARCH
- 4 (15 OZ) Cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 3 TB Chopped Sage roughly chopped sage
- 3 TB Chopped Tarragon
- 2 TB Sherry Vinegar
- Roasted Parsnip and Carrot Croutons
Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, sea salt, pepper and smoked paprika and cook until soft, then add the garlic. Add the wine, tomatoes, stock, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cook until tomatoes break down and soup is slightly thick, 45-60 minutes. Stir in the sage, tarragon, and vinegar. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, Serve topped with croutons.
*Roasted Parsnip and Carrot Croutons
- 2 Large Parsnips
- 2 Large Carrots
- Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste
- 1 TB Chopped Fresh Herbs
Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut your parsnips and carrots into ½” cubes. Toss with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on a sheet tray. Slide into the oven and roast for 20 minutes or until croutons are crispy brown. Remove and toss with the herbs.
Nutty Nut Crackers
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 Large Egg Whites
- 3 Cups Almond Flour (or another nut flour)
- 2 Tsp Sea Salt
- 1 Cup Chopped Toasted Walnuts (Pecans or Almonds)
- 2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Coarse Sea Salt, Your Favorite Seasoning Blend, or Toasted Sesame Seeds, or Toasted Pumpkin Seeds for Topping the Crackers
Step One Preheat the oven to 350F. Whisk the eggs and whites together in a large bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients to the same large bowl and mix until dough is formed.
Step Two. Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment over the dough and roll out the crackers between the parchment paper until is about 1/4 ” thick. Lightly sprinkle with coarse sea salt, sesame seeds, or other seasoning. Bake the crackers for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and break into pieces.
(The crackers keep well in an airtight container, but if they get a little soft, just put them back in the 350F oven for a few minutes and they will crisp right up!)
Souper Wine Match
A red blend from the South of France to pair with our Smoky Tomato Soup and Crackers. Made with Grenache and Syrah, and aged in oak, it’s a smoky-good ruby red choice to enjoy with the savory soup and crackers!