Soupsperiment 14

Chile Relleno Soup, from House of Yumm (recipe here)

Go check out the pictures of this NOW.  I’ll wait.  Also, it opens in another window, so you won’t have a problem finding your way back here…

Are you back?  Good.  If you like chile rellenos, you will love this soup.  I made a few changes – added 1 c zucchini to the soup to make it thicker/chunkier, used 1/2 c half & half instead of the heavy cream, used 3/4 c milk instead of 1 c, skipped the chile relleno topping entirely, used 1/4 c flour, and 1/2 c cilantro (chopped).

I did top this sometimes with cheese.  Sometimes I left it off.  (As I ate it through the week).  It’s got a nice spiciness to it that’s very warming (and would make you feel better if you had a cold).

I’ll definitely make this one again – probably without the milk & half & half.  Thicken with cauliflower, maybe, and continue to top with cheese.  Guacamole, too!  Yumm, indeed.

Soupsperiment 13

It all gets wonky now.  I was keeping track of my soupsperiments on Facebook, but figured I was boring people to tears with my soup achievements and sloppy food photography.  Really, good food photography can be very involved and I just don’t have the patience for it when all I really want to do is TASTE my creations and ENJOY them.  This is also a better way for me to keep track of them, since FB doesn’t provide the organizational structure to do that.  I did end up throwing all of the photos into an album, but when I moved them, I lost all the notes that went along with the original posts.  Hassle.

The point is that I’ve continued to make soups, but I haven’t been real good about which ones were made when, so that’s the part that gets wonky.  I *can* tell you what I thought of them, and I can reference the actual sites they came from (since I printed these puppies out, instead of jotting them down in the soupsperiments notebook <– also my beekeeping notebook/journal, also, also running out of space DANGER!).  And I haven’t been taking pictures of anything.  I’ve just been falling on finished soups like a starving animal.  I mean, that’s probably worth documenting as well (maybe even more so than the soups), so if anyone would like to volunteer to be in the same room with me when the soups come to completion, you’re welcome to do so.

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Cauliflower Chowder (after much ado), from Damn Delicious (recipe here)

This was delicious the day I made it, but taking it for lunches wasn’t great.  The bacon got a little water-logged in the soup.  Because of my problems with spatter, I made the bacon in the oven.  Where, I presume it spattered to its heart’s content.  I also used foil on my pan, so the cleanup wasn’t too awful.  Look at how smart I’m getting with my cooking!

I skipped adding flour for thickening.  What I *would* do in the future is puree some of the cauliflour and use that to thicken the soup.  Probably you don’t even need milk either.  I’d leave that out as well in future versions.  Yes, bacon, all the way.

Soupsperiment 12

Sausage Lentil Soup, from Kathy’s Kitchen Table (recipe here)

No pictures of this one, so you’ll have to look at the ones on Kathy’s Kitchen Table for reference.  This is another (rare) recipe that I followed exactly.  The stars aligned or something.  And coincidentally I just whacked something on the keyboard and accidentally right-aligned this whole entry.  Stoppit!  (Fixed now.)

I don’t have any notes for this one either.  WHY EVEN BOTHER POSTING THIS??  It was an ok soup.  I think a more exciting sausage might have given it some more flavor.  Pro-tip, you can pick up Italian “sausage” pre-sausageified at some grocery stores (i.e. without the skin), which makes it easier on you when you have to remove the casings.  There are none!  The place I stopped – not my usual sausage supplier – didn’t have any.  Ask at the meat counter if you don’t see it out.  They may have it there.

Soupsperiment 11

MushroomSoup11 (2)Mushroom Soup, from Life Currents (recipe here)

My mom heated up some canned mushroom soup as a snack while we were waiting on Turkey day dinner, and after looking at it all I could think about was all of the delectable recipes for mushroom soup I’d seen on Pinterest.  The canned version was just not what I was hoping for.  All my notes for this recipe say are “Very Good.”  And I told my mom about it and offered to make it for her in the future (because we should all have a mushroom soup that is Very Good and not canned – unless you’re canning  your own?).

I wasn’t able to find all of the varieties of mushrooms it called for, so I ended up with baby bellas primarily.  I did find the dried Shitake mushrooms, but almost didn’t get them because they were pretty expensive.  Fungus should not cost $6 for a little bag.  I guess when compared to truffles…I have no leg to stand on.  Still!!!

The recipe suggests running the dried mushrooms through your food processor.  I tried chopping them on the cutting board instead.  This was ok, except for the part where mushroom pieces shot across the room (I need to work on my knife skills, obvs).  You probably get a thicker soup if you use the food processor method, though.

I will definitely make this one again.

Soupsperiment 10

Soup10_CreamyTomatoTortillaCreamy Tomato Tortellini Soup, from Key Ingredient (recipe here)

I love it when I look at a recipe’s ingredients list and just write “nope” next to the things that I was never in a million years going to use.  This happened a couple times with this one.

They weren’t kidding when they said this one was creamy.  It was too creamy.  I tasted it before I added the creamy ingredients (I did a 1/2 c of half & half and a 1/2 c of sour cream instead of 2 cups of half & half – once again substituting for not having enough of something and too much of something else) and it was amazing.  And then after the creamy stuff…and almost cried.  It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t as good anymore.

Some other substitutions – I didn’t like the ingredients in the condensed tomato soup, so I left that out.  Instead I used a lb of tomatoes, 1 14 oz can of tomato paste, and 1 can of Trader Joe’s Tuscano Marinara to get in my tomatoes.  And I had a bigger package of tortellini than the recipe called for, so I just used the whole thing rather than have a few left over.

My ideal version would be Tomato Tortellini Soup – nix the cream.

Hah.  I’m not sure what that little green leaf is in the middle of the soup.  I didn’t intend to garnish it…

Soupsperiment 9

Soup9_TurkeyLentil (1)Turkey Vegetable Healing Soup, from the Bewitchin’ Kitchen (recipe here)

I went looking for turkey/lentil soup recipes shortly after Thanksgiving when I got to bring home all the turkey leftovers.  Thanks, family!  Since you’re making the soup/broth from the turkey carcass, it’s kind of up to you how much liquid you want to have/end up with.  And then you adjust your other ingredients accordingly.  So, I went with the spice combination, but used yellow squash instead of corn and green beans (since that’s what I had on hand).  I also added some tomatoes, wild rice, and the leftover stuffing as well as the leftover turkey meat.  I didn’t have any sage (not sure why that’s not part of my spice collection), so I used Italian seasoning instead (same amount).  It turned out quite nicely – I think I only got about 4 servings out of this one, so I was still in the mood for it when it ran out.  Will definitely make again next time I have turkey around (so…next year!).

Not a Soup, but a Meatball!

Swedish Meatballs, from Damn Delicious <– which is not a lie! (recipe here)

Somewhere in the midst of all the soups, I decided to try out a recipe for Swedish meatballs, which is amazing.  I would eat those all the time if they were available.  It’s a bit time consuming because you have to brown the meatballs in batches (and messy, if you aren’t working with something to control the splatter – I did have a splatter shield that fits over my pan, but had to keep removing it to turn them, so I don’t think it made a lot of difference in keeping the stove surface clean).  These meatballs have a little allspice and nutmeg in them, which is what gives them (I guess) that *Swedish* flavor.  This is a recipe I’m going to try on my dad someday.  I have no pictures of the finished product (cuz I ate them), but you should go over to Damn Delicious and drool over them there.  I have made this recipe a couple times now in the past 5 months.