On Monday, I showed you how to make creamy soup out of virtually any vegetable. In that article, I mentioned that my old chef, Jason Bond, showed me how to make a creamy chanterelle mushroom soup. Tasting that soup for the first time was one of the high points of my culinary education. Today, by popular request, I'm going to share with you Chef Bond's chanterelle soup technique; the recipe for Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup on crack.
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These days, there aren't too many vegetables in the world that I haven't made into a smooth, creamy soup, and there are even fewer that I've not loved, but my experience has taught me something: the first time I learned how to make a creamy chanterelle soup at my first real restaurant job wasn't really just a recipe for chanterelle soup. It was a blueprint for making any creamy vegetable soup. You just need to break it down into its individual steps and figure out how to universalize them. Here's how it's done.
Traditional stocks are made by slowly simmering bones, meat, and aromatics on the stovetop for many hours. I've heard that using a pressure cooker can help speed this process up. Is this true? Likewise, if I'm going to be out of the house all day, can I throw my bones and aromatics in a slow cooker and expect the end results to be as tasty?
A homemade version of the wildly popular (and wildly delicious) Shin Cup Ramyun Korean instant noodle, flavored with beef and spicy chilies.
A homemade version of Korean-style spicy beef instant noodles made with short ribs, Korean chili paste, and kimchi.
Even though my wife is a firecracker in many respects, when it comes to lentil soup, she likes to keep it vanilla. This time, I'm finally doing it right. This soup is very simple, with just a few aromatics that blend together beautifully in the background—it's a decidedly lentil-forward flavor—and a curry yogurt garnish that adds some flavor, but can be added at the table so that my wife can enjoy her bowl completely plain if she'd like.
Great hot and sour soup should be rich and thick, but never gloppy, the broth packed with flavor even before the vinegar and pepper get added. The vegetables—wood-ear mushroom and day lily stems—should be crunchy and bright; the slivers of tofu and pork, tender and comforting. Above all, the soup should taste fresh. I've spent many years working on my recipe for hot and sour soup, based largely on the original recipe my parents followed. Here's how to make it, step-by-step.
As any chef or grandmother will tell you, if you want a soup that's as tasty as it is hearty, a soup that's soulfully good, then a bit of technique is in order. Take, for example, this rich, savory, and spicy black bean soup flavored with smoky chorizo and chipotle peppers, with tender braised chicken. Now, I could just add all the ingredients to a pot, set it simmering on the stovetop, and come back a while later to a perfectly satisfying meal. But by taking a few extra steps, I end up with a bowl of soup that'll knock your socks off with flavor. I'm serious. Knock. Your. Socks. Off.
The trick to this recipe is to start with a crazy flavorful ingredient—Italian sausage—add to it a few other crazy flavorful aromatics—garlic, rosemary, and lemon zest—then cook it all down with a couple of ingredients that just love sopping up flavor—dried beans and kale.
This soup is the more true-to-the-original version of Marco Canora's escarole soup, which we talked about a bit a couple months back/. There, we relied on umami-enhancing tricks like tomato paste and soy sauce. This time around, we get plenty of flavor from just vegetables and chicken stock.
We're kicking off soup month with a simple chicken soup inspired in part by a bowl of samgyetang that my wife and I had in Seoul on a dreary December day back in 2012. That classic Korean soup—made by stuffing a whole young chicken with rice, simmering it in a broth flavored with garlic, ginseng, and jujubes, and finishing it with a boatload of scallions—seemed to have been custom-made for warming us up from the wet snow and wind outside. I thought my mom's chicken soup was good for a cold, but my mom ain't Korean.
The perfect soup for curing a winter cold. A rich chicken broth flavored with ginger, garlic, and scallions, served with tender rice cakes and pickled garlic with chilies.