Tomato Soup

From Cook’s Illustrated

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil , plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion , chopped medium (about 1 cup)
3 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
Pinch hot red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 large slices good-quality sandwich bread , crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes (if using), and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Using potato masher, mash until no pieces bigger than 2 inches remain. Stir in sugar and bread; bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.

2. Transfer half of soup to blender. Add 1 tablespoon oil and process until soup is smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and repeat with remaining soup and oil. Rinse out Dutch oven and return soup to pot. Stir in chicken broth and brandy (if using). Return soup to boil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve soup in individual bowls. Sprinkle each portion with pepper and chives and drizzle with olive oil.

Sausage-Cheese Soup

My sister made this for a soup exchange and said while she doesn’t like Velveeta, this was really good. I’m dubious, but logging it anyway. It also doubles well to take advantage of the full pound blocks of Velveeta.

2 cups water
1 cup corn
1 cup potatoes
1 cup celery
1 cup carrots
1/2 cup onion
2 beef bullion cubes
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/2 lb Velveeta cheese
1/2 lb smoked sausage
Add all ingredients except cheese in large pan. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat until veggies are tender, about 30 minutes. Just before serving, bring soup back to a boil and add cheese. Stir until cheese melted. Do not boil after adding cheese.

Split Pea Soup

3 qt water
1lb split peas, rinsed
1 large onion, chopped
1 cube bullion (I did some stock instead of water and bullion)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (I used a few whole cloves)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
bay leaf
1.5-2c diced carrot
1-1.5c diced celery
1-2lb ham steak/shank/whatever you’ve got, diced
I usually put the water and peas in, then start dicing everything and adding it
Bring the cooker up to pressure under high heat, reduce heat to medium
It takes about 20 minutes, when it starts to foam from the vent, it’s done – don’t let it explode

Corn and Cheddar Chowder

From an old usenet post.

4 bacon slices, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tbs unsalted butter
2 tsp ground cumin
3 tbs all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 lg boiling potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup heavy cream
10-oz package frozen corn kernals
1/2 lb sharp Cheddar, grated

Cook bacon in 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until
crisp and transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Add onion and butter to fat in pan and cook, stirring, until onion is
softened. Add cumin and cook, stirring, one minute. Add flour and cook,
stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in broth and bring to a boil, whisking
occaisionally. Add potato and simmer, covered, stirring occaisionally,
until just tender, 8 minutes. Stir in cream and corn and return to a
simmer. Add Cheddar, stirring just until cheese is melted (do not let
boil), and season generously with pepper.

Serve topped with bacon.

(Soup keeps 2 days, covered and chilled).

This is especially good in bread bowls. I make a batch of daily bread and form two round loaves.