The Culinary Institute of America's The New Book of Soups hits the spot
Copyright Times News 2009
If you are a fan of soup and fine cuisine, The New Book of Soups from The Culinary Institute of America, is for you.
Packed with over 160 recipes created by chefs at The CIA, from light broths to hearty chowders, The New Book of Soups includes dozens of beautiful photographs detailing the finished product or step-by-step instructions to guide even the novice cook to a delicious outcome.
The New Book of Soups starts with a chapter on "Soup Basics," that includes a variety of tips from picking the freshest ingredients to the right kind of pots.
A handy guide to ingredient equivalents makes it easy to shop for a special dish. If the recipe calls for 2-3 cups of chopped clams, you will know to buy 1 quart of shucked clams. Need a cup and a half of chopped parsley? Then you better buy 2 ounces, or one bunch.
The final chapter focuses on accompaniments for your soup, such as homemade croutons, popovers, or sage dumplings. There are even recipes for focaccia, olive bread, infused oils, pestos and purées.
But the best part of the book is the middle. You may find yourself drooling over such recipes as Roast Turkey Broth; Callaloo; or Chilled Cream of Avocado Soup. Chapters include Broths, Hearty Soups, Stews, Creamed Soups, Puréed Soups, Bisques and Chowders, and Cold Soups.
Each chapter features recipes from the well-loved and familiar, to those with exotic and international flair. No matter how unusual or unfamiliar a dish may be, the home cook can approach the recipe with confidence that no detail has been overlooked, and she will be able to successfully recreate a wonderful, homemade soup.
The New Book of Soups (Lebhar-Friedman; December 2009; Hardcover/$35) is available where most books are sold.
Roasted Red Pepper, Leek, and Potato Cream Soup
Makes 8 servings
2 red bell peppers
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups diced leeks (white and light green parts
from 2 to 3 leeks)
6 cups diced russet potatoes (peeled)
6 cups Chicken Broth (page 15)
1 sprig fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried enclosed in a large tea ball or tied in a cheesecloth pouch
1 cup heavy cream or half and half, heated
Salt to taste
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely sliced scallion greens or chives
1. Preheat the broiler. Place the red peppers under the broiler and turn as they roast so that they blacken evenly on all sides. Put the peppers in a small bowl and cover the bowl. Let the peppers steam for 10 minutes, then remove them from the bowl and pull off the skin. Use the back of a knife to scrape away any bits that don't come away easily. Remove the seeds, ribs, and stems from the peppers. Chop the flesh coarsely.
2. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the roasted peppers and leeks. Stir them in the butter to coat well. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook until the leeks are tender and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Add potatoes, broth, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are soft enough to mash, 25-30 minutes. During cooking, skim away and discard any foam that rises to the surface. Keep liquid level constant by adding additional broth as necessary.
4. Remove and discard thyme. Strain solids, reserving liquid. Purée solids with a small amount of liquid. Return purée to remaining liquid and strain through a fine sieve.
5. Bring soup back to a simmer. Remove from heat and add heated cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in heated bowls, garnished with scallions or chives.