Tag Archives: Soup

Mischievous Squid Rice (arroz de lulas malandrinho

A Portuguese rice dish that's tasty and simple. I can't explain why it's considered mischievous though, it's just delicious!
4 servings
Shopping List

1½ pounds cleaned squid

2 TBL olive oil

1 medium onion

1 garlic clove

1 bay leaf

1½ cups canned tomatoes

1⅓ cups rice

a few stems of cilantro

Squid needs to be cooked quickly or else a long enough time to make it tender. I’m in the latter camp generally, so my technique for this recipe might differ from others you will find. The recipe is extremely foregiving, so don’t stress too much about exact quantities.

Chop finely,

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic

In a heavy pot (2-3 quarts), over a medium heat, add

  • 2 TBL olive oil

and when the oil is heated, add add the onion and garlic. Let the mixture cook until they are tender and fragrant, but do not let them brown! While the mixture is cooking, cut up

  • 1½ lbs cleaned squid

I like to use a mix of tentacles and bodies and I also prefer pieces that are bite-sized, but not rings. Cut it as you prefer but be sure to rinse it off to remove any sand. When the onions are tender, add the squid and let it saute for a few minutes. It will start to give off some liquid. Add

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ cups of canned tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper (or red pepper flakes if you prefer), to taste

lower the heat (but maintain a gentle simmer) and cover the pot. When the mixture has cooked for about 20 minutes, add

  • 1⅓ cups rice
  • 2½ cups of water

Note that you can check the salinity at this point and if you think it needs a bit more salt, add to taste. Cover the pot for about 18-20 minutes, checking that the rice is cooked.

While you’re waiting, pluck and save all the leaves from

  • a few stems of cilantro

When the rice is cooked, the mixture will still be a bit soupy. Check the salt and pepper, remove the bay leaf and dd the cilantro leaves, stirring them in. Serve in bowls. A bit of crusty bread and a glass of wine will be appreciated by your guests.

Adapted from a recipe at https://www.vaqueiro.pt/recipes/arroz-de-lulas-malandrinho-201481

Salmorejo (cold Spanish tomato soup)

An alternative to gazpacho, this traditional cold soup captures the intense flavor of ripe tomatoes perfectly.
6 servings
Shopping List

3 pounds ripe tomatoes, like beefsteaks

1 TBL sherry vinegar

½ cup oil

1 to 3 average-sized cloves of garlic

4-inch chunk of baguette or 2 slices of a rustic white bread

You can do this in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender. I get the best results using two of those, but if you’re not as fixated on getting a smooth, seed-free soup as I am, choose any one and you’ll be very happy.

Preheat the oven to 375º F. Clean and cut in half (on the “equator”)

  • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, like beefsteaks

Season to taste with

  • salt
  • finely ground black pepper

And place on an oiled baking tray ATTN that has closed sides, such as a sheet pan. Place in the 375º F oven and let bake for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a

  • 4-inch piece of baguette or 2 slices of a rustic white bread

in a large drinking glass or a soup bowl. Add tepid water and soak the bread for 5+ minutes to it is totally soft; if it has a hard crust, it might take longer. Squeeze out the bread gently if it’s really gotten soggy.

The original recipe calls for 2 cloves of raw garlic, which are to be chopped up a bit and then added to the blender. With the raw garlic, I found that one clove was enough. I have decided that I prefer the taste of cooked garlic, so what I do is as follows:

In a small saucepan, place

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

and over a medium-low heat, let the garlic cook until it starts to show some color and the oil is fragrant. Let cool.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow to cool enough that they are easily handled. Working over the tray or the food processor bowl (so you don’t lose the juice) ATTN remove the peels and cores, discarding them. If you leave on the peels you are going to probably end up with an unpleasant collection of rolled tomato skins throughout the soup. Ew!

Run the food processor to break up the pulp fully, run it through a strainer so you’re mostly left with the seeds. Working in batches, return the pulp to the blender (or food processor), and add the oil, garlic (raw or cooked, to taste), soaked bread and

  • 1 TBL sherry vinegar

Run for a minute to let the mixture emulsify completely. Check the seasoning, as it will probably need more vinegar, salt and/or pepper. As it is usually served chilled, I suggest you adjust the seasoning once it is fully chilled rather than while it is still at room temperature.

You can serve this at room temperature or chilled. I’ve even had it heated up (!) although that doesn’t work well with the raw garlic version. Serve garnished with sliced Serrano ham, grated hard-boiled eggs and/or bits of basil leaves.

Adapted from a recipe at https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jun/27/six-best-chilled-summer-soups-gazpacho-salmorejo

Potato Soup

Growing up in the Depression was bad enough (we hear), but feeding a household with 7 children, 3 or 4 adults on a meager income made it tougher. Nonetheless, my maternal grandmother kept her family fed. Potatoes were a recurring part of the menu.
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Shopping List

4 large or 6 medium potatoes

1 large onion

1 carrot

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 heaping tablespoon flour



Combine in a large saucepan or small stock pot

  • 4 large or 6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and pierced in several places with a knife
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Cover with water, a couple of inches above the level of the other ingredients. Bring it to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking until potatoes are soft but whole pieces remain. This will take about 40 minutes.

When potatoes reach this stage, turn off the heat and remove the onion from the soup. In a small frying pan, melt

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

over a medium heat. Continue to stir as it starts to darken. Add

  • 1 heaping tablespoon flour

stir to make a thin roux. Cook this until it is brown, ATTNbut do not let it burn, and then remove from heat. This mixture is called an “einbrenn” and it’s what gives the soup its flavor.

Carefully add a spoonful of soup liquid to the einbrenn because ATTNthere is going to be some spattering. Add another spoonful of liquid and then start to mix the contents of the pan into the soup. You can wash out the last bits of the einbrenn from the frying pan by taking a bit more of the liquid from the soup pot. Return the soup to the heat, and cook for 30 minutes more. Stir regularly and ATTN don’t let the heat get too high or soup may scorch.

Adjust the seasoning. I like to add black pepper although the original recipe had only salt. If you like the soup a bit less chunky, use a potato masher to break up some of the pieces of potato.

Make this soup the day before you plan to serve it because it will taste much better. When reheating the soup, you may find it has gotten so thick you need to add a little water. Reheat on a low flame otherwise the soup might scorch. Or, reheat in a microwave oven.

From my grandmother’s recipe, passed down by my mother, Rita. The recipe probably came from eastern Europe, where that side of my family originated.

Cullen Skink

Don't let the strange-sounding Scottish name for this delicious soup scare you away. It's smoked-fish chowder. Perfect for a cold winter's day.
4 servings

Shopping List

16 ounces smoked haddock fillets

3 cups milk

1 bay leaf

2 large potatoes

2 large leeks or 1 large onion (or a mixture)

3 TBL butter

¾ cup heavy cream

parsley for garnish



In a shallow broad (frying) pan, place

  • 16 ounces smoked haddock fillets
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups milk

and heat until it’s steaming but don’t let it boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the fish is fully cooked. Turn off the heat, remove the fish to a cutting board, and reserve the milk and bay leaf.

In a 2-quart sauce pan over medium heat add

  • 3 TBL butter

and when it is foamy add

  • 2 large leeks, finely sliced and cleaned (or 1 large onion, minced)

Add back in the bay leaf and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 cup water

cover and let steam until potatoes are just cooked through. Add the reserved milk. Simmer 5 minutes. Meanwhile flake the fish, removing any skin or bones.

Add the fish back to the pan and add

  • ¾ cup heavy cream

Remove the bay leaf. Season with black pepper to taste. (It probably won’t need any salt, but check.) When serving, you may want to garnish with some chopped parsley.

Curried Cauliflower & Potato Soup

Roasting the cauliflower first adds depth.  Some tomato and coconut milk give the broth a rich, silky texture.
Makes about 3 quarts
Shopping List

2 tsp coriander

2 tsp cumin

1½ tsp cinnamon

1¼ tsp turmeric

pinch cayenne pepper

1 small head cauliflower

2 TBL olive oil

1 large onion

1-2 carrots (for 1 cup diced)

3 large cloves garlic

1½ tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp red chile pepper flakes

1 (14-16 ounce) can whole tomatoes, or no-salt tomato sauce

4 cups vegetable broth

2-4 russet potatoes (3 cups diced)

2-4 sweet potatoes (3 cups diced)

1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk

1 large lime

1 bunch cilantro

Preheat oven to 450ºF.

In a small bowl, combine

  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1½ cinnamon
  • 1¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, toss

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 6 cups)
  • 1 TBL olive oil

Sprinkle with 1 TBL of the spice mixture and toss again. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the cauliflower until the edges are browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large pot heat the remaining

  • 1 TBL olive oil

over medium-high heat. Add

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup diced carrot

and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook a few minutes more, stirring often, until the onion is soft. Add

  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1½ tsp grated (or minced) fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp red chile pepper flakes
  • the remaining spice mixture

Cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.

Stir in

  • 1 (14-16 ounce) can whole tomatoes, or no-salt tomato sauce

scraping up any browned bits and breaking up the tomatoes, and simmer for 1 minute. Add

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups diced peeled russet potatoes (½-inch)
  • 3 cups diced peeled sweet potatoes (½-inch)
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 2 TBL lime juice

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, partially cover and stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 35 to 40 minutes.

Stir in

  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • the reserved roasted cauliflower

Return to a simmer to heat through. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Autumn Soup

Indian flavors and fall vegetables make a great combination
6 to 8 servings

Shopping List

olive oil

large bunch leeks

small pumpkin or butternut squash

2 turnips

½ pound potatoes

red pepper flakes

ground cumin

garam masala

fenugreek leaves (dried or fresh)




  • 4 cups (12 ounces) chopped leeks (white part), cleaned of any sand


  • a glug of olive oil

When tender, add

  • 4 cups (18 ounces)  peeled pumpkin (or butternut squash), cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1½ cups (8 ounces) turnip, peeled and cut into dize
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) potato, peeled and cut into dice

Add water to cover (4 cups) plus

  • 1 tsp salt
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 TBL dried fenugreek leaves (or more, if fresh)

Bring to a simmer and cover to cook for 45 minutes. Check to see if vegetables are tender. Puree when done. Adjust seasonings, adding lemon juice if desired.


Cold Borscht

The perfect thing for a hot summer night.
A little more than 2 quarts

Shopping List

2 bunches of beets (about 2¼ pounds including greens)

1 medium onion

1 TBL sugar

sour salt (citric acid), or a lemon

16 oz container of sour cream



Peel and cut into largish dice (⅜- to ½-inch on a side)

  • 2 bunches of beets

Measure the volume (about 6 cups in my case) and place in a soup pot. Note: the beets in this batch weighed about 800g after peeling. Add

  • 1 medium onion (150g), minced finely
  • 6 cups water (actually, it should match the volume of the beets)

Bring to a boil and then start a timer for 15 minutes. Check whether the beets are cooked; they should be soft enough to chew but not mushy. If they need a few more minutes, cook a little longer. Turn off the heat and remove any scum that collects at the top of the pot. Add

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TBL sugar
  • ¼ tsp sour salt (citric acid) or 3-4 TBL of lemon juice

Let stand to cool for 30 minutes. Place half the beets and some liquid in the jar of a blender. Run until fully pureed. Return to pot. In the jar of the blender combine

  • ¾ cup (roughly) sour cream

about a cup of liquid from the soup. Process until smooth and pour back into soup pot. Stir and adjust any seasonings as needed. Chill in refrigerator.

ATTN My mother would make borscht (with a slightly different recipe) and only add the sour cream just before serving. This allowed her to freeze the soup and serve it at a later time. I do it my way because the sour cream blends thoroughly in the blender and it’s already in use when I’m making the soup. I haven’t frozen this, but I can’t imagine any reason it would fail.

My mother would garnish this with diced boiled potatoes, diced cucumber, minced raw garlic or diced hard-boiled eggs. The only one of these I ever liked was the minced raw garlic.

Italian Clam Soup

So delicious and clammy!
Makes four servings

Shopping List

3 dozen littleneck clams

¼ cup olive oil

3-4 cloves garlic

canned anchovies

1 cup dry white wine

28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes

2 tsp dried oregano

dried basil

fresh parsley

Red pepper flakes

bread, for croutons




  • 3 dozen littleneck clams

At some point, make the croutons, at bottom of this recipe. Heat in 2-3 quart soup pot

  • ¼ cup olive oil

Add, keeping heat low enough it does not brown:

  • 2 TBL finely minced garlic

Cook briefly and  add

  • 6 anchovy fillets

Cook until the anchovies break down into a paste.  Add

  • 1 cup white wine

and simmer for a minute. Open

  • 28-ounce can of San Marzano or other plum tomatoes

Chop up tomatoes a bit (you can remove the seeds if you care  to), discard a gross-looking piece of basil that seems to be hidden in every can and add all the tomatoes and liquid to the pot, along with

2 tsp dried oregano

1½ tsp dried basil

½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

½ to 1 tsp hot red pepper flakes

freshly ground pepper, to taste


ATTN Do not add salt: the anchovies have enough. Bring the pot to a boil and stir briefly. You may work up until this point and pause the recipe until 5 minutes before you with to eat. If you do so, turn off the heat.

Resume the recipe by bringing the soup to a boil. Add the cleaned clams and cover the pot for 5 minutes (or until all the clams open). Serve the soup, leaving the clams in the shells. Garnish with Garlic Croutons (see next paragraph).

To make the croutons, toast 8 slices of a baguette. When toasted, rub one side with the cut surface of a garlic clove you have cut in half.

Adapted from  More 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey.


Cold Pea Soup

Delicious and refreshing on a hot summer day. And easy to make, too.
4 servings

1 pound frozen peas (3 cups)

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

¼ cup sour cream (or more to taste)

Parsley, for garnish

In a saucepan, combine

1 pound frozen peas (3 cups)

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until peas are bright green and tender, 10 minutes or so. Cool for a few minutes. Pour the cooked peas into a blender and carefully blend them until they are pureed. Do this in several batches. Add

Salt and pepper, to taste

Force through a fairly fine strainer, discarding solids. Stir or whisk in

¼ cup sour cream (or more to taste)

You may substitute heavy cream if you prefer a less tangy flavor. Refrigerate (for up to two days) before serving, cold. Garnish with some

Chopped parsley

Dollop of sour cream, if desired

Adapted from Mark Bittman in The New York Times

Roasted Chicken Stock

Place parts for soup (necks, backs or sometimes you can buy the bones left over from boneless chicken breasts) on an oven-proof tray with sides. Make sure the parts are in a single layer or use additional trays. My most recent batch was about 40 chicken necks – just to give you an idea of how much I used. Roast at 400 F for about 30 to 60 minutes; you want the parts to get browned, like you’re roasting a chicken, so the timing will vary depending on the size of the parts, whether they have skin on them or not, etc. Move the parts around on the tray from time to time so they all get cooked, on all sides. If a lot of liquid accumulates, remove it from the tray to the soup pot so you don’t get steamed chicken parts. While you’re roasting the chicken parts you can also roast a couple of unpeeled onions and carrots on the tray, too.

Place the chicken parts in pot with onions, carrots, celery leaves, herbs (I use bay leaves, thyme and parsley), salt and water just to barely cover. Use some of the water to remove the browned bits of meat and vegetables that have stuck to the roasting tray and add that to the stock: this will boost the flavor, make the stock a lovely brown color and make cleanup much simpler. You can speed this up by putting the tray with a little water on a warm burner and scraping the pan with a metal spatula.

Cook for about an hour at a simmer: check the seasonings. Strain the stock. If there’s a lot of meat on the bones, remove it and use it for chicken salad or to add to a soup.

Turkey Soup

I love gathering up turkey carcasses that family and friends want to throw out at Thanksgiving dinner. Sometimes they are loaded with meat, but even if well trimmed, they yield a delicious soup.

Soak overnight in separate bowls 1 cup barley and 2 cups dried lima beans. I soak them separately.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the carcass(es) on one or more oven-safe trays, along with 2 onions., a few carrots and celery stalks. Be sure the trays have sides as there tends to be some juice attached to the carcasses that will liquefy as it heats. From time to time, turn the bones and vegetables as they brown.

Transfer the bones and vegetables to a stock pot, breaking the rib cage if it doesn’t fit in your stock pot. Add just enough water to cover the bones and vegetables. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add salt and bay leaves. Let cook for at least an hour. When the stock tastes good, remove the bones and vegetables to a colander. Pour the stock through a fine strainer. Pick the meat from the bones and reserve. You can force the carrots through the sieve to impart their flavor to the stock. Discard the vegetables and bones.

Add the barley and beans to the stock, and bring to a boil. Cook until the beans and barley are nearly done. Add a mixture of diced carrots and parsnip. Cook for 15 minutes and add the reserved meat. Adjust seasoning and serve with egg noodles, dumplings or anything else you like.

Winter Squash Soup

Chop, clean and saute 1 large leek in some olive oil. While it softens, trim 4 cups of winter squash into 1- to 2-inch cubes. Add to pot and add a mixture of water and chicken stock to cover. Add 1 tsp salt, ¼ tsp cayenne and either ½ tsp cumin or ¼ tsp pimenton. Bring to simmer for 35-45 minutes (until squash is soft). If using a pressure cooker, it will need about 10 minutes. Puree in blender and strain. Add a bit of light cream and serve.

NOTE: If saving for later, reheat and then add the cream.

Root Soup

This started out as potato soup originally, and it’s morphed into a much more interesting dish.

Peel and cut up 2-4 potatoes, 4-5 parsley roots, 3 carrots and 2 leeks. place in pot and cover with water. Add 2 tsp salt and bring to a boil; reduce to a strong simmer. Skim any starchy foam that accumulates on the surface. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Turn off heat.

In a skillet, melt 3 TBL butter over medium heat. When it starts to foam, add 1½ to 2 TBL flour. Stir to make a smooth mixture and keep stirring until it’s a nut-brown color, but be sure you don’t let it burn. Add it to the soup, keeping it mind it will splatter. When the mixture is thoroughly combined, bring the soup back to a simmer for another 20-30 minutes.

If you want the soup less chunky, use a potato masher to break some if up. Let cool and reheat the next day; it will be much thicker. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fennel-Mussel Soup

Wash off and debeard 2 pounds of mussels, discarding any dead ones. While wet, put them in a covered pot and cook on medium-high heat until they have opened; discard any that remain closed. Remove meat from all but 12 of the mussels, reserving the meat and the 12 fully-intact mussels. Strain liquid through a coffee filter to remove any sand and reserve that, too. Do this in advance of making the soup, for up to 2 days.

In a soup pot, saute a chopped onion in a little olive oil. Season with ½ teaspoon salt, a few grinds of black pepper and some whole fennel seeds. While that’s cooking, trim off the stalks from 2 fennel bulbs, reserving a few of the wispy fronds for a garnish. Dice the fennel bulbs and mince a clove of garlic. Open a 28-ounce can of plum tomatoes; remove seeds, chop tomatoes and reserve liquid.

When the onions are soft (maybe 5-10 minutes), stir in the fennel bulbs, garlic, 2 bay leaves, 1 quart of chicken stock, the tomatoes and tomato juice, the mussels (both the one in and out of their shells) and the mussel liquid, ½ cup of clam juice and 3 tablespoons of Pernod. Simmer for 10 minutes and check seasoning.

Serve in bowls, placing 2 or 3 of the mussels (in their shells) on the top. Garnish with fennel fronds. This makes 4 to 6 servings.

Clam Soup

Heat some oil in a large pot. Add 2 TBL finely minced garlic. Cook briefly, add 6 anchovies, mashing them as they cook. Add 1 cup white wine, 4 cups canned tomatoes with paste/pulp, 2 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried basil, ½ cup chopped parsley (fresh), 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes. Taste it before you add any salt or pepper… you probably won’t need either.

Add 3 dozen scrubbed and dried little neck clams. Cook until the clams open, about 5 minutes. Serve with large garlic croutons (slice bread, brush with olive oil, toast until golden brown and rub with cut garlic clove).