Almost Instant Tomato Soup


Almost Instant Tomato Soup

1 T butter

2 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves

2 T flour

3 c chicken broth

28 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1 t sugar

1/4 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1/2 t dried basil

In a stockpot, heat butter and oil. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft, about ten minutes. Sprinkle flour over onions and stir. Add chicken broth, tomatoes plus liquid, sugar, salt, pepper, and basil - bring to a boil and then lower heat and cover. Simmer thirty minutes and then puree using an immersion blender, blender or food processor.

For cheese toast garnish: slice baguette at angle, rub with garlic, sprinkle with grated parmesan and broil until cheese melts.       

Printable version here

Notes: After a week of the flu I wanted something hot, light, soupy and easy. I made this last night and it was so good I am making another batch right now. I think the original recipe was in Fine Cooking but I could not find the issue when I made it so let's call it an inspired version. 

Thirty Minute Chicken Noodle Soup


Thirty Minute Chicken Noodle Soup

1/2 small onion, diced
1 c sliced celery
1 c sliced carrots
2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1.5 T butter
1/2 t salt
1 t dried tarragon

4 c chicken broth
1.5 c cooked, chopped chicken

1 c wide egg noodles
1 c frozen peas

Melt butter in a small stockpot. Add celery, carrots, garlic, onion, salt and tarragon and saute until vegetables soften, about fifteen minutes. Add chicken broth and chicken and simmer, covered, another fifteen minutes. Stir in egg noodles and simmer another 8-9 minutes until noodles are cooked but not mushy. Off heat stir in peas. Pepper to taste and serve.

Notes: I had half of the chicken leftover from Zingerman's so I made this specifically in the hopes that the tiny pieces of chicken and the soft noodles and carrots would be easy on Patrick throat. They were. 

A few things about this recipe. First, using a chicken broth you like is crucial because the soup does not have a long time to develop a whole lot of additional flavors. I love Swanson's Natural Goodness but to each his own. Sauteing the vegetables in butter rather than my usual olive oil is key, too, because it adds a richness that you miss with the quick cooking time. I used to cut cooked chicken into small cubes but I have started really mincing it for certain recipes. I think it works especially well in soups. Finally, I usually make twice this much but I had to adjust for the small quantity of chicken we had leftover.

This served Caroline, Edward, and Patrick for dinner and me the next day for lunch.


A couple people asked about the butterflied chicken in that last recipe. Because you are using a 3lb fryer rather than a larger roasting bird it really does fit into a cast iron skillet even after the backbone is removed and the two halves are flattened. My skillet (I am almost positive - I will check when I get home from the library. I am here "picking up books for Patrick") is only ten inches and it fit comfortably.

To answer another question the advantage to butterflying is the much faster roasting time. The chicken is able to cook through in just about an hour.

Hope this helps. 


Chilled Corn Soup


 Chilled Corn Soup

6 ears fresh corn, cooked, kernels removed and set aside

6 c water

2 T butter

2 c diced celery

1 medium onion, diced

2 c diced carrot

2 T minced garlic

1 t salt

1 lb red potatoes, diced

2 c corn stock

2 c chicken broth

stalk of fresh basil (stem with a bunch of leaves attached)

Snap corn cobs in half and place them in a stock pot. Cover with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about two hours. Let cool and then refrigerate (cobs and all) overnight.

The next day remove corn cobs from stock. Scrape cobs with a spoon to remove any remaining pulp (I held them directly over the reserved corn kernels) and then discard cobs. Strain stock into medium bowl. Melt butter in stock pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, and salt and cook over medium heat until vegetables soften. Add garlic and cook another three minutes. Then add 2 cups of corn stock, 2 cups of chicken broth, potatoes, basil and 2/3 of the reserved corn. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are soft.  

Let cool. Remove basil. Then use an immersion blender (or a regular blender, working in batches) to carefully puree soup. Finally, push soup through a fine-mesh sieve held over a large bowl and refrigerate until cold.

To serve garnish with the reserved corn, fresh basil, black pepper and (if you have any on hand) coarsely chopped roasted tomatoes.

Notes: I took your advice and triaged the CSA box. Corn definitely had to be used first so we grilled all twelve ears. Ate half with dinner that night, used the rest in this soup. Technically there was enough corn stock to skip the addition of chicken broth but I am sort of a chicken broth junkie. Swanson's Natural Goodness reduced sodium being my aseptic package of choice. This was not quick - especially the final straining which I did with the back of a wooden spoon - but if you have some time and are feeling fussy it was really lovely. I saved the leftover solids and gave them to Caroline and Edward; nothing like a little potato carrot corn mush for lunch. They were skeptical but it tasted good so they overlooked the potential insult inherent in something that looked like baby food for babies.