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Super Soups from Harmony Valley

December 31, 2012

Andrea Yoder, co-owner of Harmony Valley farms in Viroqua and subject of our “Play With Your Food” column in the January issue of Brava, shared a few more thoughts – and recipes – about her soups to help you start 2013 on the right gustatory foot. The words and recipes are Andrea’s own.  We hope you enjoy the following:

 

Cream of Tomato Soup

Cream of tomato soup is one of those comfort foods from my childhood.  I remember my mother making cream of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches on snowy winter days.  While the canned soup version tasted good as a child, I prefer to make homemade tomato soup using the tasty vegetables from our farm.  I use frozen or canned tomatoes that we preserved in August paired with vegetables from our winter stores.  This is a simple soup that proves to be very satisfying.

Serves 4-5

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 cup onion, medium dice

4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

1 cup carrot, medium dice

1 cup celeriac, medium dice

4 cups tomato puree or canned tomatoes

1 cup cream

Salt, to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

  1.  In a medium sized pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic, carrots and celeriac.  Sweat the vegetables for 5-6 minutes or until the onions are soft and the vegetables are fragrant.  Add tomato puree or canned tomatoes, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the carrots and celeriac are tender.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat.  Working in two batches, carefully puree the soup mixture in a blender until it is very smooth.  If the soup is very thick, you may need to add some water to the mixture so it will blend and to adjust the consistency to your liking.
  3. Return the soup puree to the pot and put it back on the stove over low heat.  Stir in 1 cup of cream and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.  Heat the soup just until it is warm for serving.  Do not boil the soup after the cream is added or it will separate.

 

Dried Chile and Potato Soup

Simplicity is often the key to a good bowl of soup, and I guarantee this is a very simple soup to prepare.  If you prefer a soup with a mild to medium heat, I’d recommend using the guajillo pepper.  If you prefer more spice and heat in your soup, use a combination of the guajillo and a small hot pepper.  Served with a good piece of crusty bread or cornbread and butter, this soup will make a hearty meal.

1 tbspbutter or oil

1 small onion, small dice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

2-3 medium potatoes (mixed colors if available), small dice

1 small sweet potato, small dice

1 medium gold turnip, small dice

1 dried guajillo pepper and/or 1-2 dried Thai chiles, crushed

½ cup quinoa

3-4 cups chicken broth

Salt, to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

In a small saucepot, melt butter over medium heat.  Saute onion and garlic until tender.  Add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until vegetables and quinoa are tender, about 15-20 minutes.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

 

Green Top Carrot Soup

This is a recipe I often make in late spring when we harvest the first crop of carrots with beautiful green tops still attached.  It is a light, flavorful soup that really accentuates the innate qualities of the fresh vegetables.

4 carrots with green tops

2 bulbs fennel with fronds

2 scallions, sliced thin

2 tbsp butter

1 bay leaf

½ cup vegetable stock or water

1 can (14 oz) coconut milk

¼ tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade

–Remove green tops from carrots and chop coarsely, set aside.  Cut carrots into small dice.  Remove stalks and fronds from fennel bulbs.  Coarsely chop the fronds and discard the stalks.  Add chopped fronds to the carrot tops.  Cut fennel bulbs into small dice and add to carrots.

–In a medium saucepan, melt butter.  Add scallions and sauté until softened.  Add carrot tops and fennel fronds, vegetable stock, coconut milk, salt, pepper, and bay leaf.  Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and puree in a blender.  Return the soup to the saucepan and bring back to a simmer.  Add diced carrots and fennel and simmer until vegetables are tender.  Immediately prior to serving, add basil and adjust seasoning.

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