Friday, October 16, 2009

Yummm! Hot & Hearty Soups You WON'T FIND in any can!

So the weather here in NYC is GOD AWFUL.. it's dreary, rainy, cold and windy. Add that to the fact that 75% of the people you encounter everyday is either sick, getting sick or getting OVER being sick (I consider myself in that category)... it's DEFINITELY a good time to post some hot and delicious soup recipes!

Charred Chayote Soup with Spicy Shrimp and Black Bean Relish

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2005 (From


* 4 chayote squash, about 2 1/2 pounds
* 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup diced yellow onions
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 quart chicken stock
* 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 3/4 to 1 teaspoon Emeril's Southwest seanoning, recipe follows
* 1 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotles in adobo sauce
* 3 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* Black Bean Relish, recipe follows
* Sour cream, for garnish


Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.

Place chayote squash into a medium saucepan, with enough water to cover. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and cool slightly. Using a vegetable peeler or pairing knife, remove the peel from the chayote, slice each chayote in half, and pat dry. In a medium bowl, toss the chayote with the vegetable oil.

Arrange chayote on the preheated grill, 5 to 6 inches from the top of the coals. Cook, turning occasionally, until blistered and slightly charred, about 15 minutes. Alternately heat a grill pan over high heat and cook chayote, in batches, 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally, or until slightly charred. Remove from the heat, roughly chop, and set aside.

Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a medium stockpot or soup pot. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the reserved chayotes, cumin, remaining salt, and the pepper to the stockpot. Stir in the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and, in small batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Toss the shrimp with the Southwest seasoning and the adobo sauce and let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, return the soup to the stockpot and bring mixture to a boil.

Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes, or until the shrimp are cooked through. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the cilantro.

Serve immediately, garnishing hot soup with Black Bean Relish and sour cream.

Emeril's Southwest Seasoning:

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon dried oregano

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 1/2 cup

Black Bean Relish:

1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper

1 teaspoon minced garlic

6 tablespoons chopped green onions

3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss well. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Refrigerate relish for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, before serving.

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

Spicy Coconut Soup

Recipe courtesy Aida Mollenkamp (from


* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, sliced lengthwise, cut into 6-inch lengths, and smashed
* 1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, sliced 1/2-inch thick
* 1 medium Thai bird chile, Serrano, or jalapeno pepper, end trimmed, halved lengthwise, and seeded
* 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
* 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
* 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
* 7 ounces firm tofu, small dice
* 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh baby peas
* 6 ounces snow peas
* 1/4 cup thinly sliced Thai basil leaves
* 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
* 3 tablespoons fish sauce


Heat oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add lemongrass, ginger, and chile and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Carefully add stock, coconut milk, and sugar and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and add tofu, peas, and snow peas and cook until snow peas are cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in basil, lime juice, and fish sauce. Serve.

Bajan Black Bean Soup

Courtesy Of: FOOD MAGIC by Jocasta Innes (From

# 2 1/2 c Dried black beans, soaked overnight
# 1 lg Or 2 small ham hocks
# 3 quarts water -- (3 to 3.5)
# 3 tb Olive oil
# 2 large onions -- (2 to 3)
# 4 Cloves garlic
# 3 sm Fresh green peppers (jalapenos if preferred)
# 8 Berries allspice coarsely crushed
# 2 ts Brown sugar (or 1 t of molasses)
# 3 tb Tomato paste
# 3/4 c Creme fraiche or sour cream
# Salt
# Grated rind and juice from one lemon

Put the drained beans and hock in a very large pan, cover with the cold water and bring gradually to a boil. Leave to simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a frying pan heat the olive oil, then gently fry the onion, garlic and chili with the allspice and lemon rind, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add this mixture to the beans and go on simmering for 2 hours, by which time the beans should be tender. At this point add the sugar, lemon juice, and tomato puree. Cook for another 30 minutes. Add salt if necessary.

Remove the hock, and pick off any meat. If you would like a smooth soup, as mine (the author) was, process the mixture in batches and return with the meat to the pan. Otherwise, for a rougher texture crush with a potato masher. If the mixture seems too thick at this stage, add more water and bring back to the boil for a minute or two.

Ladle the soup into bowls, with a spoonful or two of cream stirred in, and serve with a crusty bread.

If you are feeling lavish, a couple of spoons of dark rum added towards the end give a Bajan fillip.

INFO TEXT: Arriving stiff and crumpled inside and out after an eleven hour flight, this was my first taste of Bajan Cooking, and I ate it late at night trying to imagine the sea beyond a dark frieze of langourous palms. Dense but smooth, with a snap of chili, the soup was both homely and exotic, and very restoring.

Barbados produces splendid ham and bacon, and a ham stock is what makes this different from other Carribean variants. Or, as here, use a hock, soaked first to remove some salt.

Thai Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup-Tom Yam Kung

Recipe Courtesy of: uthai (

* 1 cup Shrimp, pld and deveined, or chicken or squid
* 3 1/2 cup Water
* 4 Kaffir lime leaves
* 2 Stalks lemongrass, cut 1" Pces & smashed. Use 2" frm Base only. Discard leaves
* 1/2 cup Canned straw mushrooms,or fresh
* 2 tb Lime juice
* 3 tb Fish sauce (Nam Pla) *
* 1 t Thai red curry paste
* 2 ts Or tst, slcd rd & grn chilis
* 1 tb Chopped cilantro leaves

* (3 crab brand is good)

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the curry paste, lime leaves and lemongrass. Bring to a boil again and add shrimps and mushrooms. Cook just until the shrimps are done but not overcooked. Stir in fish sauce and remove from heat. Spoon the soup into a serving bowl and add lime juice, stir to mix well. Sprinkle chilies and cilantro leaves before serving. Serve hot with cooked rice.

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