Recipe: French Onion Soup

Something mesmerizes about soupe a l’oignon gratinée. If properly done, there's the cheese - thick, oozing, bubbling and likely a bit browned and toughened around the edges. Next, the slices of baguette, perhaps acting as a raft for the cheese or a lazy guard of the hot, fragrant stock. Then, the onions, soft, sweet and submissive. Many Frenchmen (and woman) hold that French onion soup restores not only one's soul, but … [Read more...]

How to Make Gumbo Out of (Almost) Anything

By Kathleen Flinn For most people, the word "gumbo" traditionally inspires the image of the classic New Orleans version studded with spicy sausage and shrimp. But Chuck Taggart of the GumboPages notes, "There are as many variations on gumbo as there are Louisianians." If you master the basic formula, you can customize gumbo to your liking or to the contents of your fridge. After Thanksgiving, I make stock out of the … [Read more...]

Soup 101: The Basics of Simple Soup

Simple soups are an inexpensive, low-fat meal solution. They can be a kid-friendly source of vegetables plus a great way to use leftovers. Soup has become a trendy diet alternative to juicing. To make a good soup, you just need adequate time and salt; try to avoid skimping on either. Consider vegetables and flavors that taste good together. Potential vegetables for soup include asparagus, broccoli, peas, beans, potatoes, … [Read more...]

“Minestrone” Soup like My Mother’s

In my first book, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, this recipe was known as "Potage 'Minestrone' a la Ma Mere," since all the recipes had French names. This is neither French, nor strictly speaking, even minestrone. Instead, it served as a catch-all flexible soup recipe into which my mother could leverage the various leftovers from our dinner table. With five kids on a Michigan farm, my mother couldn't afford to … [Read more...]

Recipe: Carrot and rosemary soup

Call this a recipe of serendipity. I developed this recipe last year when writing the new book. I was working hard to use every single item in my refrigerator to avoid wasting food when I found myself staring at a two-pound bag of organic carrots. At the same time, Mike had trimmed the ancient rosemary bush that sometimes invades our driveway. I don't think I would have thought to pair the two things together, but I'm a … [Read more...]

Potage Parmentier (Leek & Potato Soup)

When I was a little girl in Michigan, we had potato soup at least once a week. It was inexpensive, warming and ready in relatively little time. I can remember taking my mother's thick homemade bread, slathering it with warm sweet butter and dunking it into the hot soup. A subtle heat wave made its way down to my center. I was not one of those kids who liked playing in the snow. I didn't get it. Snow was cold, wet and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Chilled Spinach Asparagus Soup

Chilled soup carries a stamp of posh. "Oh James, prepare the vichyssoise and the champagne for dinner, will you?" The first time that I can recall having chilled soup was as a impressionable 20-year-old college student at the home of a wealthy older man that I was interviewing for a story in the Chicago Sun-Times. His private chef served a wide, shallow bowl of soup of cucumber and melon. The flavor was so delicate, … [Read more...]

Kitchen Shelf: Kathleen’s Favorite Soup Books

Campbell's was right: Soup is good food. But it's even better for you if you make it yourself. If you’re craving more creamy, hearty, vegetable-y happiness by the bowlful, here are some of my favorite soup cookbooks. Be sure to check out my post, How to Make Soup out of (Almost) Anything. Splendid Soups Talk about hearty. James Peterson’s robust 600-plus-pager is a soup lit classic. With almost 300 recipes– from simple … [Read more...]