National Soup Month at midpoint.

National Soup Month started with a bang on New Year’s Day — lentil, enlivened with a couple hot Italian sausages from our boutique sausage outlet here. I used Mark Bittman’s recipe, doubling the lentils because I like a lentil soup you can stand a spoon in.

It was great. Really good, really flavorful and it had that wonderful lentil-soup benefit, which is to say, it was as pleasant leaving the body as it was entering it, and let’s speak no more of that, shall we?

But it’s hard to go wrong with lentils. I used the rest of the bag on a Madha Jaffrey lentil-and-Basmati-rice recipe, with lots of cardamom. Yum.

Pot No. 2 was tomato. Here’s the problem with tomato soup: You want it when the weather’s cold, but then you can’t get really good fresh tomatoes, and I’m sorry, but it’s taken me this long to admit that I’m not a canner and likely never will be. Fortunately, modern food processing has taken care of that, and I was able to make a very nice cream-of soup using the Cook’s Illustrated master recipe from one of my Christmas cookbooks. I believe I’ve mentioned before that my husband once worked at a northwestern Ohio factory run by the company that came up with the whole idea of National Soup Month. He saw too much there, and won’t touch anything made by them, and as their tomato is a mainstay, it means he doesn’t get too much tomato soup. He really liked this one. You can eat it with a grilled cheese sandwich, or just some cheesy croutons.

(I have to say at this point that other than the stockpot, the kitchen utensil that gets used more than anything else during National Soup Month is my immersion blender. It really is one of those things where once you get it, you wonder how you lived without it. Also, you drink way more smoothies.)

Pot No. 3 was a cream of cauliflower, only with no cream. Milk of cauliflower doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? I used this recipe, because it allowed me to throw a couple of potatoes in there, and I’m always looking for a way to use up the last couple of potatoes in a bag. It came out nice and thick and rich-tasting, but like many great soups, wasn’t particularly rich. It was, however, a bit farty. Not enough to not make it worth eating, but, y’know, be advised.

The final pot of the fortnight was spicy sweet potato, and the closest thing to a disappointment so far. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as good as I was hoping for. The Russell Street Deli here in Detroit makes a sweet potato bisque that makes you want to lick the bowl. I once asked the waiter what the secret was, and he said, “Oh, those North African spices,” but couldn’t really elaborate. I will continue my search for its equal.

Tonight, at the fulcrum of the month, it’s chili. And I’m open to suggestions for the second half.

I’ve been unaware of the so-called Sandy Hook Truthers in all but the vaguest sense of the term. I mean, of course there are people who believe that Evil President Muslim somehow ordered the execution of 28 people so HE COULD TAKE OUR GUNS!!!!!!, but you know, I’ve made my peace with that. Crazy is just part of the landscape, and while I’m sorry this is happening, I get it.

This, however, is another kettle of fish. Maybe J.C. or Basset will weigh in on this new wrinkle in local news — the local lunatic who feeds the Crazy under the nominal cloak of respectability. In many ways, l.l. Charlie LeDuff does the same thing here, only without the paranoia, only the egomania. Is this a new Fox consultant thing? I’m a little baffled. (This breed — the super-conservative TV reporter — is quite common otherwise, in my experience. So much for the liberal media.)

We need a palate-cleanser to close out Hump Day. The Martin Luther insult generator, hell yeah. I bet even Tim Goeglein would approve.

Happy Wednesday, all.

Posted at 12:30 am in Media, Same ol' same ol' |
 

100 responses to “National Soup Month at midpoint.”

  1. Dexter said on January 16, 2013 at 12:53 am

    Before you go out in public or face your husband, just clean up a little bit, won’t you ladies?–and maybe lay off the donuts, huh?
    You won’t believe this crap from Pat Robertson:
    http://blog.sfgate.com/hottopics/2013/01/15/pat-robertson-blames-marital-woes-on-%E2%80%98awful-looking%E2%80%99-women/

  2. Sherri said on January 16, 2013 at 3:41 am

    I’d be grateful for any interesting soup recipes that were of the no-chewing variety. I’m recovering from jaw surgery a week ago, and have progressed beyond a purely liquid diet to one that can include foods such as mashed potatoes that have a little texture but don’t really require chewing. I have both an immersion blender and a full blender, and have been using both liberally, because there are only so many bottles of Ensure a person can stand to drink! I’ve always been more a stew person than a soup person, and I’m not sure how well stews hold up to be blended into oblivion.

  3. Linda said on January 16, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Sherri, I’ve always liked this one:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/20/health/nutrition/20recipehealth.html?_r=0

    It’s butternut squash and sweet and white potatoes, with seasonings, which is pureed. No chewing required.

    As for the Fox Affiliate reporter: Another way to semi-legitimize craziness via “there are those who say…” camel’s-nose-in-the-tent tactic.

  4. coozledad said on January 16, 2013 at 4:06 am

    The North African spices may have been harissa. It’s also good with tomato bisques.

    I’ll see your Martin Luther insult generator and raise you a Geoffrey Chaucer Irish Spring ad generator:

    Wan that Aprille with his strypes greene
    And whyte as a fellowe with ruptyurred splynne
    Gatherres in his dysshe a slurry dewe
    It is manly like, but wynches lyke tooe.

  5. Deborah said on January 16, 2013 at 5:24 am

    Been making soups lately too. The first was a chicken vegetable, then a cauliflower/broccoli puree, then a white bean soup, next up is potato leek. There is something very comforting about both making and eating soup on cold days.

  6. Deborah said on January 16, 2013 at 5:26 am

    I fogot to add that I bought an emersion blender last week. How did I go so long with one?

  7. ROGirl said on January 16, 2013 at 5:44 am

    Immersion blender alert! Is it a coincidence that this article appeared in the NYT today, or WAS IT A CONSPIRACY???

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/16/dining/immersion-blenders-can-be-a-danger-in-disguise.html?ref=dining&_r=0&gwh=D35005DC1C1FFB7CD6BE4ED3DF18DCBC

    This is a delicious recipe for butternut squash soup. I have substituted fresh apples (cut up in chunks) for the cider. It tastes very rich, but there’s no butter or flour.

    http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/9672/Squash-And-Cider-Soup.html?pagewanted=print

  8. Dorothy said on January 16, 2013 at 6:58 am

    I am staying home today due to a bad cold, and about an hour ago I cooked two boneless chicken breasts so I can make noodle soup later today. Then I open up my favorite Internet page and you are discussing soup! I too love our immersion blender. Sherri, if you’d like I could email you a recipe or two, if you give Nancy the okay to share your address.

  9. nancy said on January 16, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Well, ROGirl, that immersion-blender story is unintentionally hilarious, sort of like an article in Farm & Ranch Monthly on the problem with hay balers — you can’t clear ‘em with your hands while they’re runnin’! What the hell?!

    They’re made to be inserted into liquid, not to cream butter for tart pastry. For that you need a mixer, but I guess these on-the-go, no-room-in-the-kitchen New Yorkers don’t understand that. The only time I’ve gotten things stuck in mine, it was stuff like frozen strawberries, and all I needed to do to fix it was either a) run it a little longer; or b) pick the stuff out with my fingers without my fingers on the trigger.

  10. Suzanne said on January 16, 2013 at 8:14 am

    These Sandy Hook truthers (nutters, I should say) are starting to scare me a bit. I read a story this morning about a guy who lived nearby the school and took several of the children to his house after they escaped and is now being inundated with nasty emails and phone calls from people who claim he’s lying.

    Soup! Wonderful soup! I could eat soup every darn day in the winter.

  11. beb said on January 16, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Lentils always reminded me of lima beans – tasteless, unpleasant mush. I’m not found of turnips either and don’t get me started about cooked spinach.

    Coolzedad had me laughing out loud (literally) with his Chaucer/Irish
    spring poem.

    I have to admit that I’m disturbed with a reporter like Ben Swann spends so much time editorializing, even if only on YouTube videos. I makes you distrust anything he says because of the possibility of bias.

    Ed Meese has crawled out from under a rock to suggest that if Pres. Obama uses an executive order to restrict guns he could/should be impeached. It’s fascinating how quick republicans are to talk impeachment. You’d think they never learned anything from the last time they tried to impeach a popular president. In any case the only executive order that been suggested would be to direct the justice department to prosecute more gun law violations. That’s hardly an impeachable offense.

  12. Deborah said on January 16, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Wow, I really misspelled immersion up there. Too early in the morning. I had problems the first time I used it, I kept lifting it out of the pot while it was running and splattering soup everywhere. I would unplug it before I tried cleaning the blade.

  13. Deborah said on January 16, 2013 at 8:25 am

    How did I go so long withOUT one, geez.

  14. Julie orit said on January 16, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Suzanne, me too! We love soup, especially when it’s one that can be frozen and can be pulled out a couple of weeks later. Here’s a favorite for bean and spinach soup. It’s a pantry soup–I can make it when I haven’t been to the store in a while. I double it, use brown rice, add more spices, and use a pound bag of shredded spinach. You throw everything in the crockpot and cook on low for 5-7 hours. Right before you serve it, stir in the frozen spinach, and garnish it with fresh parm or whatever cheese floats your boat. This is one that freezes well but needs to thaw slowly in the refrigerator or it turns mushy. So, so tasty.

    3 (14 ounce) cans vegetable broth or 3 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
    1 (15 ounce) can tomato puree
    1 (15 ounce) can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
    1/2 cup converted rice
    1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    8 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach
    finely shredded parmesan cheese

    Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/savory-bean-and-spinach-soup-crock-pot-127780?oc=linkback

  15. Julie Robinson said on January 16, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Hmm, somehow I posted under Julie orit, but there’s a great soup recipe as soon as Nance frees it from moderation.

    • nancy said on January 16, 2013 at 8:49 am

      Done. These things happen.

  16. brian stouder said on January 16, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Well, if it’s Julie orit, I choose Julie!

  17. Julie Robinson said on January 16, 2013 at 9:10 am

    The cursor must have gone wandering. My version of peeing italics.

  18. LAMary said on January 16, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I like Chinese garlic chili sauce on roasted sweet potatoes, and I bet a dollop of that would make sweet potato soup a lot more interesting. You could also use the Indonesian equivalent, sambal oelek.

  19. Randy said on January 16, 2013 at 10:00 am

    That immersion blender story – wow… I have an electric lawn mower, and somehow, every time, I remember to unplug it if I need to clear grass gunk off the blades. Is risk-reward now a factor in baking decisions?

  20. BigHank53 said on January 16, 2013 at 10:12 am

    For tomato soup out of season, just take your fresh tomatos right off the vine and throw them in the freezer. Pick the skins and stems out after you start cooking them down. It’s about 3,000 times faster than canning and works just as well.

    Lazy potato and leek soup:

    Chop up the leeks, wash out the dirt, and toss them in the bottom of the soup pot with some butter or oil. Soften them up on low heat while you clean the potatos. Feel free to use a bunch of the green tops, not just the white parts.

    Peel & cube the taters and toss them in on top of the leeks. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking.

    Cover with chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cook for at least an hour. Add salt, pepper, heavy cream, use immersion blender. Adjust thickness with water. Serve.

    I haven’t given proportions because they don’t really matter.

    Two additional soup recommendations: sriracha sauce and fish sauce. They can be added at the table, and even just a couple drops will add a lot of flavor to a bland soup.

  21. Scout said on January 16, 2013 at 10:16 am

    We recently acquired a Vitamix which not only blends the soup ingredients, but heats them in just 6 minutes. Our favorites are broccoli cheddar and tortilla, recipes out of the book that came with the Vitamix. Our winter staple is black bean chili. I add a can of white shoe peg corn and some salsa jalapeño, green chiles and lots of fresh cilantro, cumin and chili powder. It’s fabulous. I made a big pot the other day for my grand kids expecting there to be leftovers for the week. My 11 yr old grandson ate four bowls and left us with about 1 serving for leftovers! I don’t know where the little guy put it all, but he sure didn’t mind the lack of meat.

  22. Julie Robinson said on January 16, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Hank, I would be even lazier making that soup and use unpeeled potatoes, so yummy. And I make a lot of cream soups using evaporated skim milk to cut calories. Just don’t boil it or it will curdle; I add it close to the end.

    I can see this is gonna be a good thread and I’m sorry I have to go have meetings. Will catch up after.

  23. velvet goldmine said on January 16, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I saw a local interview with Gene Rosen the day after the shooting. While I couldn’t help noticing he had a wee bit of the ham in him (it crossed my mind to wonder if he was as immediately nurturing as he made himself out to be), never did it occur to me that he was a “crisis actor.” I guess that means I’m still on the sane side of the street.

    When I first heard about the “truthers,” I thought that somehow they were positing that the shooting didn’t happen. But that they think our President is capable of ordering a hit on tiny children is beyond despicable.

  24. velvet goldmine said on January 16, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I’d like to have two immersion blenders, one for culinary use and one for soap making. Obviously immersion blenders can be a danger if you don’t think about what you’re doing. There is a vivid confession of stupidity in one of my soap books, involving boiling-hot lye barely missing human flesh, that should keep me extra cautious when I eventually make the purchase.

    But since I apparently WILL insist on making large pots of pureed soup that dribble out the bottom of the conventional blender, as well splash from the ladle down my arm while I transfer back and forth from pot to blender, I think all in all I’d be safer and cleaner with the immersion version.

  25. Catherine said on January 16, 2013 at 10:54 am

    I hope I don’t have to use my Lutheran insult on anyone today: “This new thing you have devised is the vilest cesspool that the devil has on earth.”

    And please keep the soup recipes coming — If they’re anywhere near as good as the French pork stew we will be happy diners.

  26. Bitter Scribe said on January 16, 2013 at 10:57 am

    What I don’t get about the “Sandy Hook Truthers” is, if there was a second shooter, WHY on earth would anyone try to cover that up? Do they think there’s some secret government organization out there that advocates the mass murder of young children?

    Sherri: My commiserations. I had to go without solid food once for 72 hours, and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. (Yes, I am a big baby, thanks for asking.)

  27. BigHank53 said on January 16, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Julie, if I had Red Bliss or Yukon Golds I’d probably leave the skins on as well. Russets, not so much.

  28. alex said on January 16, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Big Hank’s suggestion is a good one, and as a gardener I can also recommend cooking down fresh tomatoes into a sauce or paste and freezing it. Typically, I peel and core them and get the seeds out, then put the pulp into a baking dish and heat it at a very low temp, about 200 degrees, for a few hours. It makes the perfect base for a flavorful tomato soup.

    Last summer I treated Nance to one of my favorite soups that is really best prepared at harvest time but also freezes well. It’s a Hungarian recipe that involves caramelizing onions, bell peppers and wax peppers in bacon grease, then stewing this with tomato pulp and adding Hungarian sausage at the end. Andouille sausage is very similar in texture and flavor and could probably be substituted. The veggies were all fresh from the garden, including the onions, which were extraordinarily sweet. It’s one of the most aromatic dishes in my repertoire. I have some of that batch yet in my deep freeze and I’m salivating just thinking about it.

    • nancy said on January 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

      And I will testify: It was great.

  29. Jenine said on January 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

    @velvet: Yes — I quail at the thought of getting out the blender, making sure the bottom is screwed on tight enough and transferring soup back and forth. Getting out the immersion stick blender is easy peasy. I just read a Mushroom Soup recipe from the NYT site that says your soup will be smoother zooped up in a blender, more chunky if done with the immersion thingy.

  30. Bob (not Greene) said on January 16, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Speaking of tomato soup, this has become one of may favorites.

    http://blogs.kqed.org/essentialpepin/2011/09/18/tomato-chowder-with-mollet-eggs/

  31. Prospero said on January 16, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Big Hank: That would be Cock-a-Leekie in GB. Hilarious name for anything but so Brit it’s likely a staple at Downton dinners. I first heard of it in a hilarious dining room scene in the excellent movie The Witches, with Anjelica Huston and Mai Zetterling, from a Roald Dahl story. Rowan “Blackadder” Atkinson plays the twittish sort that recommends the soup (probably his idea to make it cock-a-leekie). Sort of Mr. Bean goes to the Witch’s Convention. Very funny kid movie with much entertainment for adults. A bit scary for little kids

    We catch shrimp and crabs off our beach and back up in the estuarial folly (mind the gators), so I always have a couple of ice cube trays of shrimp-crab stock in the freezer to use for soup.

    The Newtown shooting truthers have just picked up Carjack Issa’s line from the sputtering-to-a-halt Fast and Furious investigation. Seems as if the only ATF agent that walked the guns was Issa’s prize whistleblower, a holdover from when the operation began under a different name under Shrubco misAdministration. W wasn’t coming for anybody’s guns. People promoting the coming for our guns paranoia should be held responsible for the murders of cops their histrionics have caused.

  32. Bob (not Greene) said on January 16, 2013 at 11:06 am

    *my

  33. alex said on January 16, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Another winter fave of mine is Flemish beef stew. It’s rather similar to boeuf burguignon only you use stout beer instead of red wine, and add a touch of either brown sugar or currant jelly and a splash of vinegar at the end.

  34. Prospero said on January 16, 2013 at 11:24 am

    The NRA thinks the President has no right to an opinion on well-regulating guns, because his family is protected by the Secret Service.

    Is it possible to be intellectualy dishonest without possessing a shred of intellect?

  35. adrianne said on January 16, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Love the soup recipes! I did a borchst with cranberries using the last of my CSA beets – delish.

    I now have immersion blender envy. I will scout one out this weekend (I did laugh at the article warning Danger! Danger!)

  36. Sherri said on January 16, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Nancy, please share my email address with Dorothy. I’d love to get some recipes from her.

    BigHank, Lazy Potato Leek soup sounds wonderful.

    I can’t imagine trying to use my immersion blender to cream butter; I don’t think it would work at all. But maybe newer ones are designed differently; mine is a Braun that’s probably twenty years old or close to it.

    About a year ago or so (when I knew the jaw surgery was coming, but not exactly when), I invested in a new Kitchenaid blender which I like much better than my old cheap blender. There’s no bottom part to screw on and off and leak. You can clean the thing either by throwing it in the dishwasher or by putting a little dishwashing soap and water in the blender and running the blender.

  37. alex said on January 16, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Pros, I saw the Think Progress item about the NRA’s new attack ad and to call those fuckers shameless would be the understatement of the century. Invoking the president’s children at all, let alone in this context, is so far beyond the pale that any media outlet that dares to run it ought to be crucified.

    I hope that the NRA’s antics will discredit it to the point that politicians will find their association with the organization a political liability.

  38. Charlotte said on January 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I eat a lot of “green soup” especially, how shall we say? to shed the accumulation of the holidays? (Sherri — this one is pureed, lots of flavor too if you’re bored.)

    In a very large pot, sautee an onion until soft, add a little garlic, and some hot chili flakes if you like a little heat. Meanwhile, wash and chop the greens — I like a mix of kale, chard, spinach, mustard (but that’s what I grow, and I tend to blanch and freeze them in baggies during the summer). Any greens will do. Toss the still-wet greens into the onions and let them wilt. Meanwhile, chop up a potato or two — you want russets, something mealy — skin or no skin is up to you. Throw the potato in on top of the wilted greens, add stock or water to cover, and cook until the potatoes are falling apart. Puree with the immersion blender. You can add some cream if you want, or not. Also, you can use arborio rice instead of the potato if you’d rather.

    I eat this pretty steadily from now until the heat hits in the summer — there’s just enough variation that I don’t get bored (although I do also have a couple of jars of leftover turkey soup, and black bean posole in the freezer).

  39. Bob (not Greene) said on January 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Also, this one: Cook’s Illustrated’s Tuscan Bean Stew, which to me is more of a soup.

    http://fallenmonk.blogspot.com/2008/02/tuscan-bean-stew.html

  40. brian stouder said on January 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Alex, Lawrence O’Donnell smacked the NRA around pretty well last night, for that stupid commercial.

    Regarding American presidents in general, our track record ain’t very good. We’ve had 44 of them, with 4 murdered outright.

    A fifth president (RWR) took a bullet in the chest while in office, and a sixth (TR) who took a bullet after having served (while making a Bull Moose comeback)

    Aside from that, we saw several attempts on Gerald Ford’s life (including actual gunfire), and a fairly serious attempt on Harry Truman’s life; and Andy Jackson beat the crap out his would-be assassin when his guns (two of them!) misfired.

    The NRA oughta set talk like this entirely aside

  41. Cookie said on January 16, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Easy Cauliflower Soup:
    cook cauliflower in boxed chicken broth
    use immersion blender
    add some goat cheese and blend some more.

    Almost any veg will work.
    Soup month?! who knew!

  42. Jolene said on January 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I love soup too. Unfortunately, in my last move and in the recent death of a computer, I lost a few of my favorite recipes–one for chili, one for corn chowder, and one for a chicken soup flavored w/ lemon (not the Greek kind). Of course, there are dozens of possibilities online, but they were such perfect recipes that I hate having to try others.

  43. MichaelG said on January 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I’m on my second immersion blender. The first one just quit after many years. It sounds to me if most of those people who hurt themselves with them were misapplying the tool. Chopping greens? Creaming butter? Frothing drinks? Jee-Zus. It’s called an ‘immersion blender’ for a reason. I’ve never had a problem other than the one Deborah experienced and I think everyone’s seen that one. Unplug before getting your hand anywhere near the blades. I also use a mandolin and am a sissy so I use a holder thingy when I get close to the blade. Haven’t cut myself yet and don’t intend to.

    Oh, and frothing drinks? I bought a little battery powered mini-whisk at IKEA. It’s great for mixing salad dressings in a Pyrex pitcher or any other small mixing job. Wonderful little tool and IKEA charges all of $2.98.

    Now I gotta copy a bunch of soup recipes.

  44. Jeff Borden said on January 16, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I wonder what the charlatans of Faux Nooz are doing right now. . .or are their heads exploding? Could this be the presidential action that finally loosens that enormous amount of plaque in Rush Limpdick’s veins and sends it straight to his heart? Are the teabaggers massing at the pitchfork factory for a march on D.C.? Is the NRA salivating already over the fund-raising it will be able to do?

    I still don’t hold out much hope for meaningful change regarding weapons of mass murder, but even a few small steps are better than none. And anything that kicks the NRA in the nuts is always welcome.

  45. Bitter Scribe said on January 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    This “the President’s children are protected so he’s a hypocrite” stuff is just another verse of a tiresomely familiar song. It’s a mutation of “the President sends his children to private school, so he’s a hypocrite for” not going along with the latest hare-brained scheme to stuff tax money into the pockets of people who teach that Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs.

  46. Prospero said on January 16, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Alex@37: It’s like an invitation, or instigation.

    It’s more work, but I like to roast vegetables before making soup out of them. Seems more humane, and it’s an effective way to really imbue the eventual products with herbal snd spice pungency. And roast garlic is perfect for any soup recipe, for mildness and aroma.

    People that injure themselves with immersion blenders should stay away from the In-Sink-Erator at all costs. It’s like the guy that lost all his fingers when he tried to pick up the rotary lawn mower to trim his privet hedges.

  47. nancy said on January 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    The president’s children are unique — no other kids in the country need the sort of protection they do. But I will admit that I do tune out politicians who don’t have any skin in the education-reform game, and that has included people I like very much. I don’t tune them all the way out, but several filters click into place when someone who pays top dollar to send their own children to a particular private school, usually a very good one, tells me that my kid’s school needs to do more with less. Does tuition ever fall at a private school? No? How very interesting.

  48. nancy said on January 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Betty Rosbottom’s roasted garlic and white cheddar soup, which I make when it gets really cold — which it hasn’t, much, in the last couple of years.

  49. Little Bird said on January 16, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Last year or so I did a beet soup (not borscht) that you could stand a spoon upright in. Boil beets (chopped) in chicken broth, and add a mixture of red and black rice. When rice is done and beets are tender, use that immersion blender! You may want to add more chicken broth to adjust the thickness, and maybe a touch of cream.

  50. MarkH said on January 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Nancy @49, well put. It’s a shame this whole private aschool security thing is not well articulated. The Sidwell Friends school roster does indicate there are 11 “security personnel” on staff, although it is not disclosed how many are armed. This is aside from any secret service protection afforded the Obama children, which is icing on the cake for everyone else. When David Gregory challenged LaPierre on the NRA school security notions, he did not reveal his children are afforded this protection, because, indeed, his children attend Sidwell, along with other politicians’ and DC celebrities’ children.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/gregory-mocks-lapierre-proposing-armed-guards-sends-kids-high-security-school_691057.html

  51. coozledad said on January 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    One of the commenters at Roy’s had it right: The Republicans are down with baying for the blood of Obama’s children. They’re incapable of seeing what a sorry-ass state they’ve worked themselves into.

  52. Prospero said on January 16, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Excellent soup accompaniment that isn’t gorilla cheese. We also like thick fried baloney sandwiches with vegetable soups.

    On the subject of Sidwell School security. There are many children of foreign diplomats that also attend the school which parents, I’m sure demand security. I’d imagine the security staff at Sidwell Friends is somewhat different in skill, training and judgement than Sherriff Joe’s wahoo posse, or any random trigger-happy buncha NRA volunteers.

  53. Prospero said on January 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    And winter always reminds me hot is as tasty as cold for good gazpacho, especially with the room temp Finlandia garnish.

  54. Bitter Scribe said on January 16, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Nancy: I can see charging a politician whose kids are privately schooled with hypocrisy when they want to cut funding for public education. When they resist such cuts, in the form of “vouchers,” then the “hypocrisy” stuff is an especially noxious smokescreen.

  55. Little Bird said on January 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Prospero, isn’t that just a thick bloody mary in a bowl?

  56. Kirk said on January 16, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Though I have a somewhat limited repertoire, I love making soups and stews. I whipped up a big pot of beef stew last night.

    I have avoided some recipes because screwing around with a blender seemed like too much of a hassle. But this thread might be the thing to boot me in the ass and get me out to buy an immersion blender.

  57. Little Bird said on January 16, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Immersion blenders are MUCH easier than transferring everything to regular blender. Plus the blade end comes off so it’s easy to clean. Mine is a Cuisenart, and I’m pretty happy with other products of theirs as well.

  58. Kirk said on January 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Little Bird, that clinches it.

  59. paddyo' said on January 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Daily news story lead sentence of the year, so far — brought to my attention by my younger sister, also a recovering/former newspaper reporter.

  60. Little Bird said on January 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks to all the comments today, I just made a creamy potato and onion soup with cheddar. Now I just need bacon to garnish it.

  61. coozledad said on January 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Paddyo: Didn’t Petula Clark have a song about that?

  62. Connie said on January 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I have just finished a bowl of Panera French Onion soup to go, picked up for a late lunch after my dentist appointment.

    Sherry when my daughter had jaw surgery at 14 we discovered that homemade mac and cheese and small pasta in marinara sauce were also easy to eat without chewing.

    Nancy my dentist just told me that his nephew has flown in from the east coast to choreograph a flash mob performance at the Auto Show’s Friday night black tie event. I will hope for a report from you.

  63. coozledad said on January 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Why, yes. Yes she did:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QUVJFJe8Ds

  64. Deborah said on January 16, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I got my immersion blender on sale at Bloomingdales Home last week, it came with attachments I will probably never use, a whisk and a housing that hooks up to it that turns it into a chopper, Cuisenart brand that comes apart easily so the blade part can be put in the dishwasher. I couldn’t find one without attachments there and I was in no mood to shop around. I’m relentless when I shop, I want to find what I want, and I want it NOW.

    I never measure when I make soup, it’s all intuitive. I don’t use recipes, I just improvise. The lazy potato leek soup that Big Hank described is my kinda deal, only I won’t peel and I’m using russets too. I like the flavor the peel adds, plus it’s healthier that way.

  65. paddyo' said on January 16, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Very moving, Cooz . . .

  66. Prospero said on January 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    MarkH@50: Do you contend that the well-being of the families of Presidents isn’t a matter of National Security? Or whatever the perks of pricy private schools, they should be borne for the hoi polloi out of tax revenue? I mean what’s your point? Calling the President a hypocrite because he sends his kids to a school that employs security experts and opposes Arpaio-style yayhoo posses in public schools? How the fuck is that hypocritical? And where do bona fide whited sepulchres get off calling somebody else a hypocrite on this subject when they spend massive Koch Konspiracy bucks to make things mmore dangerous for the President’s kids? Hitch in yer giddyup on thinking that one through. Fuck you man. This ad is like targeting an ad aiming Pat Tillman’s family at the shitheels that made everything up, only, they deserved to die miserably. Meanwhile, for every Tim McVeigh or Eric Rudolf that sees that vile NRA incitement, there is another asshole that puts two innocent adolescent girls in danger, and the assholes that made that ad meant that to be the case as much as they meant it as a threat. Thinly veiled. It would be horrific, but I’d find joy in waking up to some Teabanger (or whatever the aholes call themselves these days) crew being wiped out at the gates of Sidwell Friends by a bunch of ex-Seals and ex-Rangers.

    A great thickener for soup, that gives the added benefit of texture if you do it right and it doesn’t disintegrate, is Orzo. Particularly the multi-grain kind, if you can find it.

    Sherri, when I was a HS junior, my dad the flaming social liberal and locked-in financial conservative (he passed on ground-floor Polaroid stock) cashed in a buncha Investors and took us all for three weeks in Freeport, the Bahamas. A taste for Harvey’s Bristol Creme Sherry developed and a few cases made their way to Bloomfield Hills. Shortly thereafter in the Autumn after the Detroit uprising of ’68, my little bro Dave had his jaw broken in a football game. Milkshake time. His siblings, moi included fed David an endlessly nutritious diet of milkshakes laced with Harvey’s . And Sherri, no argument, but from yesterday, are you claiming there is anything about Julian Assange that is remotely responsible, and do you object to any of the WaPo or BG people I suggested as responsible. I mean, Jackie McMullen?

  67. Scout said on January 16, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Soup is a great January blog comment thread. Thanks to all for some great recipe ideas.

    And now, from the inimitable Charlie Pierce, Les Insufferables. May it go viral. Amen.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/wall-street-journal-fiscal-cliff-graphic-011613

  68. Jolene said on January 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    A story re efforts to see Detroit presented in the press in ways that go beyond “ruin porn.”

  69. JWfromNJ said on January 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    You’re killing me with the soup recipes. I have been wanting to make this for a while:

    http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/12/chicken-chowder-with-potato-bacon-and-corn-recipe.html

    I’ve toyed with a hardcore kosher chicken soup, based on this recipe:

    http://cookeatshare.com/recipes/my-auntie-rivka-s-chicken-soup-360010

    The secret is an older tough hen, and buying some extra chicken feet. That thick, gelatinous texture comes from the collagen that cooks out in the broth.

    I got bashed on FB yesterday for deriding the timing and logic in the NRA releasing a “target shooting,” game app, but the NRA mouthbreathers proved me right with the ad about Obama’s kids. I realize that when he USED to write his own novels Tom Clancy wrote fiction – he did nail a 9-11 style attack – but he depcited a kidnapping attempt on one of President Ryan’s kids at an upscale D.C. daycare center. He’s pretty accurate and portrayed a layered security detail with secret service, U.S. Marshalls, ATf, and state and local police all guarding a toddler. Every parent was checked, irate ones especially, a local apartment was a watching post, and each of Ryan’s kids had their own detail, even when their roles overlapped. You can bet that Radience and Rosebud are very well protected, and that the dozen or so security forces at Sidwell Friends have other duties.

  70. Prospero said on January 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    I’m hopeing Rayland is always ther for Malia and her sister. There are assholes that would rather see them damaged by people that consider nutcases mainstream. Hating Blappable isn’t mainstream.

  71. Charlotte said on January 16, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Also — the immersion blender makes homemade mayo a snap. I use a wide-mouth pint jar — in the bottom, one egg + 1 yolk, some Grey Poupon, a little salt, and a couple of tablespoons lemon juice. Put the immersion blender in the jar (but don’t turn on yet). Pour 1 cup of oil in on top of the immersion blender. Hit the trigger, and slowly raise the wand up and down until all the mayo is blended. (Sometimes I add a clove of garlic too, but that’s me). Yum.

  72. Prospero said on January 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Charlotte: Figure a way to drizzle the oil And infuse with Basil and garlic, Food is sexier than sex, almost.

  73. brian stouder said on January 16, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    You know, I’ve been a little distracted lately, so even despite enjoying the discussion hereabouts regarding urban rura-fication, this ditty on Nancy’s sidebar stopped me cold:

    Filmmaker grows ‘antidote’ to ‘ruin porn’ craze

    And I thought – porn craze? How’s I miss that? And indeed, other than cold showers and/or a full social calendar – what’s the antidote?

    And then I clicked the link and read Nancy’s interesting and informative Bridge article, and ‘got it’!

  74. Deborah said on January 16, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Charlotte, the mayo description is fantastic, will definitely try that. Think of the great potato salad that will make in the summer.

    And Scout that Charles Pierce piece about the WSJ graphic is priceless. I also read the comments, too funny.

  75. Prospero said on January 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    O what an asshole I am?

    Whatever. And I was right.

  76. MarkH said on January 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Prospero, you never disappoint.

  77. Jeff Borden said on January 16, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    The real hypocrisy is that NRA convention attendees don’t take guns into their meetings. These assholes want to carry their penis replacements into schools, churches, bars, stadiums, etc., but god forbid they walk into a convention with an AR-15 Bushmaster over their shoulder and a 9-mm automatic with a 30-shot clip on their hip.

    I hate myself for thinking it, but sometimes, I really do wonder what would happen if some douche walked into the NRA offices and started shooting up the place with automatic weapons.

  78. Sherri said on January 16, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Pros, I think Julian Assange is responsible for a lot of things, some I agree with, some I don’t. The WaPo is responsible for things I agree with and things I don’t, but lately, more and more of them are things I don’t, or things I don’t trust. The Globe is owned by the NYTimes, and both of them are papers that I sometimes trust and sometimes don’t. None of the domestic press were very discerning during the run-up to the Iraq War, and the NYTimes was among the worst.

    I believe it’s entirely possible that Julian Assange may have committed sexual assault; that is no more relevant to what I think about Wikileaks than does MLK’s cheating on his wife does to the civil rights campaign. Wikileaks is more important than Julian Assange.

  79. Prospero said on January 16, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    People like DannyH dn’t have a race situation at hand?

  80. Dorothy said on January 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Wow last time I checked this page there were 39 comments. I’m amazed that they’ve doubled since lunch time!

    I’ve searched for my fave Cream of Asparagus soup recipe but I cannot find it. However I remember where i found it so I’ll post the link now. Substitute butter for the margarine, of course.

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cream-of-asparagus-soup-ii/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=cream%20of%20asparagus%20soup&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page

    Have any of you ever heard of Penzey’s Spices company? There is a storefront in Pittsburgh’s wholesale district, and happily for us, one in Columbus OH too. Even if you don’t intend to shop there (and you should!) you can subscribe to the catalog and they are jam packed with recipes. Here’s one I saved but don’t think we’ve made it yet.

    Velvety Carrot Soup

    2 lbs. carrots
    1 yellow onion diced
    2 TB butter or olive oil
    1/4 tsp. Penzey’s cinnamon (I love the Chinese and Vietnamese styles!)
    1/4 tsp. Penzey’s freshly ground pepper
    1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
    4-6 cups hot water
    1 tb. chicken or vegetable soup base (Penzey’s products of course)
    1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half, optional

    Peel the carrots and cut them into1-inch long pieces; cut the wide end of he carrot in half lengthwise if ncessary to keep the pieces roughly the same size. Heat the butter or olive oil in a stock pot over low heat. Add carrots, onions cinnamon, pepper and cayenne. Turn up the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. While the carrots and onions are cooking, dissolve the soup base in 4 cups of hot water. When the carrots and onion have slightly softened, pour the broth into the pot, adding 1-2 more cups of water as necessary to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, boil for 20 minutes, until soft. Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables from the broth and put the vegetables into a food processor or blender. Add broth as necessary and puree the vegetables to your desired consistency. Add the cream or half and half, if desired.

    Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 40 minutes Serves: 6

    Of course with our conversation about immersion blenders, I’d just use that instead of moving the vegetables to a food processor or blender. Who wants to do that extra step?! Not I!

    I have a yummy lemon chicken soup recipe, Jolene, that I picked up to type here, too. And I did that without seeing your comment above about having misplaced yours. I’ll post that one shortly.
    sorry for the type-os. I was hurrying.

  81. Dorothy said on January 16, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Lemon Chicken Soup

    4 lbs. whole chicken 8 Cups water 1/2 package (16 oz) of uncooked orzo pasta 2 eggs 2 lemons salt and ground black pepper to taste

    In a large soup pot, cook chicken in water until the meat begins to fall off the bone. Skim fat off stock. Remove the chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Add pasta to stock and cook for about 10 minutes. Shut off the heat. In a medium bowl beat two eggs with the juice of 2 lemons until foamy. Whisk 1 cup of stock slowly into the egg/lemon mixture. Repeat with another cup of stock, and pour this mixture into soup. Debone the chicken, and add meat to soup. Stir well/salt and pepper to taste.

    You could cut the chicken up TEENY tiny or shred it and I think it would be okay to eat after jaw surgery.

    I thought I’d type these recipes here instead of emailing them to one reader. Thanks to all who have shared such fabulous ones today! What a treat I’m in for! The chicken noodle soup I made turned out yummy too, I’m glad to say. My sinuses are stuffy again but I”m about to take a Mucinex and collapse on the couch again.

  82. Little Bird said on January 16, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Penzey’s is fantastic! They have a “sister store” in Chicago, The Spice House. It’s also on the internet. It’s where I get the majority of my spices. I would recommend it to everyone!

  83. Sherri said on January 16, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I’ve gotten wonderful ideas from everybody! Cookie’s easy cauliflower soup with goat cheese spoke to me for tonight, because my energy level is still a little low. I’m always surprised how long it takes for my energy to return after general anesthesia, but I’m definitely on the rebound now.

    Dorothy, I should be able to move up to small pieces of chicken in another couple of weeks. You’re making me miss the Strip District in Pittsburgh!

  84. Sherri said on January 16, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Prospero, you’ll like this story, combining football and the responsible media. Remember Manti Te’o, the Notre Dame linebacker, and his dead girlfriend? It was a hoax: http://deadspin.com/5976517/manti-teos-dead-girlfriend-the-most-heartbreaking-and-inspirational-story-of-the-college-football-season-is-a-hoax

  85. Prospero said on January 16, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Sherri, if you continue to act as if there is some sort of responsible media on the interwebs, Good luck. I’ll take the BGlobe over Drudge. You probably will too.

    MarkH, by which you mean, what? Pointing out your horseshit?

  86. Andrea said on January 16, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Sherri, I came here late in the day to see if anyone had mentioned the Deadspin breaking news, which I just saw. I would have thought the whole story unbelievable if not for the story and discussion here a few weeks ago about the medical Internet frauds.

  87. Connie said on January 16, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Dorothy, I’ve been to a Penzey spices store in the Detroit metro area. In fact it has been added to the list of places out of town visitors want to go: Trader Joe’s, Ikea, Penzey. All within a half hour drive.

    Also, do you remember our long ago discussion about synvisc knee injections? I’m going to do it again, with a newer and more up to date version with a different name. I am kind of looking forward to going up stairs again.

  88. alex said on January 16, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Here’s my wholehearted endorsement of Penzey’s. Great product. I still have some that I got in Chicago, which means it’s at least eight years old, but still does the job just fine.

  89. Dorothy said on January 16, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I had the new SynVisc injection about a year ago, but this time it had no effect. You probably know this, Connie, that they don’t do the injections spread out over three weeks anymore. Or was it three months? Anyway, I wish you well with your upcoming one. I wager that if I didn’t take Celebrex everyday for my arthritis, I’d be unable to do stairs very well, either. As it is, I walked on the indoor track at lunch time yesterday and only made it around 7 or 8 times and had to stop. Wonky left knee, and also sharp pains in my right ankle. Much of it attributed to the fall I had in October 2011. I’m going to walk once a week at any rate. I’m hoping to drop some lbs. before my knee replacement this summer.

  90. Suzanne said on January 16, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    One of my favorite soups, especially with smoked sausage added.

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Lentil-and-Brown-Rice-Soup-11048

    and this one, so simple but surprisingly good. I made it tonight!

    http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/turnip-soup-rosemary-and-black-pepper

  91. Prospero said on January 16, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Sherri, I trust the Globe, and I sure as shit wouldn’t trust some shit like Drudge, because that is your alternative. Fuck that shit bigtime.

  92. MarkH said on January 16, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    No, Prospero, it’s your tiresome act.

    If you’re labeling my earlier post as horseshit, then you’re saying Nancy’s prior post is as well, as that is what I was endorsing. It had nothing to do with Obama sending his children to Sidwell, or whether or not they deserve ultimate protection; they do. Or whether it’s appropriate for foreign ambassadors to choose a Sidwell school for their children for security reasons, if they can afford it. It is, as the risks are obvious. If you read it (and Nancy’s post) you’ll see that it had everything to do with politicians, or people like Gregory, lobbing grenades about stepped up security in public schools not being solution to curbing violence, when they reject public school for their children and pick Sidwell, a fine school well known to have armed security. Nancy, I was a little more specific here, but feel free to step in and correct me if I was wrong about your post.

    I realize the above is of no consequence to you, Prospero, as your act will continue here at nn.c and will continue to be tiresome.

    As for me, I’m off for a long weekend in the warmer climes of Phoenix to observe the rich man’s game of high-end collector car purchasing. Looking forward to Nancy’s Detroit Auto Show review and photos. Have a pleasant weekend, everyone.

  93. basset said on January 16, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    All of these soups sound pretty good up to the point where you blend all the texture out and make it some variation of a hot vegetable milkshake.

    The Faux guy… I have to wonder when I see someone like that how much he actually believes and how much is just the schtick, he would probably do a soft-shoe naked if he thought it’d sell.

    Pros, you were doing so well there for awhile.

    Up early tomorrow, Mrs. B. goes to the heart surgeon for a pacemaker. Anyone have experiences along that line to share?

  94. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 16, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Blessings with you both, Basset, and my recent pastoral experience (including my father-in-law) is that it has become an amazingly simple outpatient procedure 95% of the time; home that night or maybe next morning, with a 5 lb. weight bearing limit on the right arm for maybe 2-3 weeks.

  95. Brandon said on January 16, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    On soup: There’s oatmeal soup, a recipe for which I found in The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, Thirteenth Edition (New York: Bantam, 1994).

    http://www.amazon.com/Fannie-Farmer-Cookbook-Marion-Cunningham/dp/0553568817

  96. Deborah said on January 16, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Basset, good luck to Mrs. B tomorrow.

    A good friend of ours got a pacemaker a couple of years ago. He still plays basketball on a regular basis. Everything went fine and he feels great, he had no idea he even needed it until out of the blue it was necessary. He’s 65, same as my husband.

  97. Prospero said on January 16, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Bassett, just from what Deborah said, my best wishes, as they may be worth. You know I mean the best to you and to yours. Bassett, You know my best is with the Mrs. I have always pictured you as behind the Crowley door. Whatever.

  98. velvet goldmine said on January 16, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I have to dig up this crazy but mesmerizing soup I haven’t made for years. It’s in my Betty Crocker cookbook, and has cheddar, and beets, and spinach dumplings…there’s a lot going on.

    Here’s a soup thing I do that absolutely no one here will rush to do, but I’ve made some great soups this way. This was from the Tightwad Gazette: Set a large container in your freezer, and keep scraping your leftover pasta, rice, vegetables, cubed chicken, tomato juice, etc etc, into the container. At the end of the week defrost it, add stock or water, adjust seasonings, add extra stuff like cream or wine if that works, and serve.

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