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Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Few Questions For You

Hello, Readers!

I've just gotten done with a long day of buffet service, which went very well and included some absolutely delightful dishes (smoked pork butt, braised pork belly, roasted potato salad, smoked turkey breasts and pork loins, all sorts of good stuff.) I've been quite busy with that and some other things this week, and haven't been able to get out all the things I wanted to. However! Tomorrow sees a soup of some type being made, I have several on the docket to choose from and I like to keep things a little spontaneous. I'm aiming to make some beef stock this weekend for a future project, and that might merit being recorded here as a fun little project. If I have time I'll also do another soup or two over the weekend. I'm sure I can find someone to eat all of it.

As promised by the title, however, some questions for you, dear readers.

First: I see by the statistics for this blog that a good portion of you are from Not The United States, a wonderful panoply of Places That I Would One Day Like To Visit. I am, by habit, using the US system of measurement, (cups, teaspoons, etc.) but am familiar enough with Metric that I could offer conversions of my recipes if they were so desired. Would you all be amenable to that?

Second, and more interactively: What are your favorite soups? Do you like them creamy or chunky? Thick or brothy? I eagerly await your input.

A soup for you tomorrow. I promise. Something more interesting this time, I think.




  1. Since I'm in the US, I pass on the first question.

    French onion soup is pretty high up on my list. It's different everywhere.

    I tend to like thick, creamy soups. Broccoli and other vegetables, mostly. But there are some nice alternatives. There's a Hungarian recipe I've made on Halloween with purple potatoes that has eggs broken into it just before finishing.

  2. I'm in the US, but I will opine that if you do make conversions, you might want to include the gas marks for any oven temps you use.

    I am a big fan of French Onion Soup, too, lol!

    I suppose I'm more of a thick soup person, than plain broth, but I don't mind a thin-broth soup if it's got plenty of goodies in it. And to warm up on a cold day, the thinner soups seem to go down easier. It's really mood-dependent for me.
    However, if there is soup, there simply must be a good bread to go with it! :-)

  3. I like all kinds of soup, but I'm pescatarian (mostly vegetarian, but eat seafood) so that's the main request I would have ^.^;

  4. I'm particularly fond of a pumpkin/squash and broth soup my mother's been making, topped with lemon juice and cilantro. We also do an albondigas soup with turkey meatballs that is great winter fare.

  5. I'm Australian, and I would appreciate the addition of metric measurements.

    In terms of soups, the thick and creamy ones such as onion (thanks for that recipe), pumpkin and the like spring immediately to "favourite" lists. I'm also partial to the Asian varieties such as wonton soup, but the thicker, creamier ones stick in my mind as a happy memory.

  6. Colinmo - You're going to love one of the recipes I've got coming up, then. Something asian with a definite twist.

  7. Hi mac,
    I've found your blog thanks to the steampunk page on fb. I'm from Italy so I would like to have the metric measurements, too.
    I like creamy and thick soups, especially pumpkin, carrot,eggplant or courgette.
    (but I'm a veggie so maybe not the best person for a survey)

  8. Hi
    I also found your blog on the steampunk page on Facebook, and I'm almost near byronofrochdale (I'm from Barcelona, Spain). So, the metric measurements are well received for my part (as I see you have already included them).

    For soups, I'm mostly used to thinner ones, so thicker soups are welcome (for the benefit of variety).

    I like your blog very much and I'm looking forward to try some of your recipes (I'm not allowed in the kitchen many times).

    Looking forward to your next recipe!

  9. I will definitely make an effort to include metric from here on out—if you find that I'm not doing it, feel free to comment and let me know that you want some measurements, and if I happen to do something stupid like list something in grams that deserves to be in liters, let me know!

    Welcome to all of you, once again!

  10. I'm from Scotland a land filled with great soup. Thick tasty soups are the order of the day.

    Cullen skink
    For the fish stock
    2 tbsp olive oil
    100g/4oz chopped white vegetables, such as white of leeks, fennel and onion
    100ml/3½fl oz dry white wine
    2 Arbroath smokies, roughly chopped
    For the soup
    20g/¾oz unsalted butter
    2 banana shallots, finely chopped
    100g/4oz leek, white only, finely chopped
    2 medium garlic cloves, crushed then finely chopped
    200g/7oz Ratte potatoes (or similar waxy potatoes), boiled until tender then peeled
    2 Arbroath smokies, skin and bones removed
    100ml/3½fl oz whole milk
    100ml/3½fl oz double cream
    freshly ground black pepper
    For the garnish
    1 Arbroath smokie, skin and bones removed
    chopped chives
    Preparation method
    For the fish stock, put the oil into a heavy saucepan and heat; then add the vegetables and stir well to coat with the oil. Cover and sweat over a low heat for about ten minutes; do not allow them to colour. Take the lid off the pan and pour in the white wine. Boil for one minute. Now add 1.2 litres/2 pints of water and the smokies. Bring up almost to the boil; then skim well. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Once cold, strain the stock through a very fine sieve, preferably lined with a double layer of muslin. (The stock can be made two days ahead and kept chilled until needed.)
    To make the soup, put a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the butter and, when melted, add the shallots, leek and garlic. Cover and sweat for 5-10 minutes, but don't allow the vegetables to colour.
    Add the cooked potatoes. Flake the smokies and add to the pan. Cover and sweat for a further two minutes, then add 1 litre/1¾ pints of the reserved stock and season with freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
    Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Carefully pour the mixture into a blender and put on the lid. Take the stopper out of the hole in the lid and cover the hole with a tea towel to stop the hot mix splattering. Blend for a few seconds; then gradually add the milk and cream through the hole. When the milk and cream is all added and the mixture is smooth, pass through a fine sieve to give a fine, velvety texture.
    To serve, pour the soup into a clean pan and heat gently. Flake the remaining smokie and divide among four warmed shallow bowls. Ladle in the soup and garnish with chopped chives.

    I don't know where you will get Arbroath smokies in the states, but if you can get something similar from an artisan smokehouse give this a shot.

  11. Arobrath Smokies are a type of smoked haddock—I'm sure some fish-eater could find something similar.

    Sounds delightful; Simple but hearty.

  12. Indeed they are Smoked Haddock but Arbroath Smokies really are something very special. They do mail order. http://www.arbroathsmokiesdirect.co.uk/ ps I dont work for themmet


Your opinions and comments always are welcomed, but do be civil... this isn't a kitchen, after all.