|
|
|
The Times
  • A soup rut no more

  • Frigid cold, howling winds, a landscape blanketed in snow and ice. Perfect conditions for hot and hearty soups.

    • email print
  • Frigid cold, howling winds, a landscape blanketed in snow and ice. Perfect conditions for hot and hearty soups.
    But by now, smack dab in the dead of winter, you may find yourself in a soup rut. Not to worry. Carla Snyder, arguably the Queen of Soup, can help you put some sass in your stockpot.
    Snyder is co-author of “300 Sensational Soups,” named by “Good Morning America” as one of the 10 best cookbooks of the year when it debuted in 2008.
    The 57-year-old author and culinary instructor from Hudson was in town last week teaching a sold-out soup class at The Cucina cooking school at Gervasi Bistro & Vineyard in Canton. January being National Soup Month, we though it a fitting time to chat with Snyder about her recipes and tips for making terrific soups for every mood and occasion.
    Q. How did you and co-author Meredith Deeds come up with the staggering 300 recipes for your cookbook?
    A. “We knew that after 200 it was going to be hard. But then we started thinking of dinners that we really like and that we could make a soup out of. We love lasagna, so we thought, ‘Hey, we can make a soup out of lasagna.’ It was the same inspiration for our burgundy beef soup, nacho cheese and chicken soup, and pigs in the blanket soup.”
    Q. One of your class recipes last week was a Thai Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup. Why does this one push your buttons?
    A. “When I’m doing a soup class I like to do a variety of heavy and hearty along with light and cleaner tastes. This soup is a really clean soup with light Asian flavors such as lemongrass in a really nice broth. Sometimes it’s all about the broth.”
    Q. The book isn’t just about soup making. You’ve added plenty of clever serving ideas.
    A. “Each recipe also includes tips and techniques along with garnishing ideas. As well, there are many creative variations and serving suggestions. That’s why we added a chapter called “Gilding the Lily.” Sure you can just throw out a bowl of soup for lunch or dinner, but you can also throw in something that really gets their attention such as a crust or crouton or a meatball, or just some risotto added to the soup. Or a swirl of maple cream on top of butternut squash soup. Crispy shallots on any soup is great. Or cornbread croutons on tomato soup.”
    Q . What’s a standout garnish?
    A. “Creamy tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons. You simply make a grilled cheese sandwich and cut it into strips and put it on top.”
    Page 2 of 3 - Q. On a bitter cold Northeast Ohio day, what is a go-to recipe to serve your family?
    A. “I’m showing my West Virginia roots. It’s kielbasa soup. It’s so easy. It’s a matter of cutting onion, carrots and celery and sautéing in olive oil, throw in some kielbasa and cabbage and it’s just so good. You could put some white beans in it. There’s really no end to it.”
    Q. So don’t be uptight about soup, correct?
    A. “You can clean out your pantry making soup. Just open those cans and throw them together.”
    Q. What seems to be the recipe readers rave about most?
    A. “Broccoli, bacon and cheddar chowder. People love it. I think it has to do with the bacon and two cups of cheddar cheese.” (See recipe, ).
    Q. When we think of soup, we think of savory, not sweet. Your chapter on dessert soups is intriguing.
    A. “Our dessert soups go from some quite sophisticated, like ginger crème anglaise with chocolate pavé — it’s really good — or it can be something super simple like minted melon soup. It’s really just a melon you process in a food processor with mint and olive oil.”
    Q. What’s new on the horizon?
    A. “I’ve got a new book coming out in spring, “One Pan Two Plates: 70 Complete Weeknight Meals for Two.” The recipes are for a two-person meal made in a 12-inch skillet. Everything is made in one pan, which means one pan to clean. It’s kind of how I cook now. It resonates for me and lot of other people too.”
    Note: Snyder is teaching a class based on the book. “Couples Class: One Pan Two Plates” will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. April 2 at Gervasi Cucina. For details and to register, visit www.gervasivineyard.com. Also, check out Snyder’s website at www.meredithandcarla.com.
    Broccoli, Bacon and Cheddar Chowder
    8 slices bacon,
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 onion, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    3 cups milk   
    2 cups chicken or vegetable stock   
    1⁄2 teaspoon salt
    Pinch cayenne pepper
    12 ounces red-skinned potatoes (about 3 medium), cut into 1/2-inch dice
    2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, tossed with 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
    2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained, or  5 cups chopped cooked fresh broccoli (about 3 large stalks)
    Page 3 of 3 - In a large pot, sauté bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pot. Add butter and heat until melted. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and sauté for 2 minutes.
    Gradually whisk in milk, stock, salt and cayenne; bring to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer, stirring often, until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Do not let boil. Add potatoes, reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until tender, about 20 minutes.
    Add cheese, 1⁄2 cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon after each addition until cheese is melted. Do not let boil. Add hot pepper sauce (if using). Add broccoli and simmer, stirring, until heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and cayenne, if necessary. Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with reserved bacon. Serves 6.
    "300 Sensational Soups” by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deed, 2012 Robert Rose Inc.; www.robertrose.ca/book/300-sensational-soups.
     

        calendar