Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Best Soup You Never Had

After a week of vacation, last week's soup seems so far away. I had to think hard to remember what it was. Maybe that's because there weren't any leftovers! Not only did 9 people manage to polish off 6 quarts of Seven Bean Soup and a loaf of Cheese & Onion bread, but I had to thaw 3 servings of the Spicy Split Pea from the week before so later arrivals, Roger & Steve O. got something to eat at all! That is the first time we've finished off the soup. We got awfully close with the Tomato Orange, but that's a very thin soup. The Seven Bean Soup was a hearty soup! I'm glad everyone enjoyed it though.

As for the Best Soup You Never Had, I'm referring to the soup I made for me and The Southerner while I was on my writing hiatus (I did a tonne of cooking and way too much knitting...I now have knitting-elbow and am hoping to avoid Tommy John Surgery). The soup is called Vermont Cheddar and Apple Soup. It is mostly apples (I used organic Jonagold), along with a bit of celery, potato, and onion. You saute all that in butter, then de-glaze with some white wine, add vegetable stock and simmer it for a while. Then you puree it and add 3 cups of sharp (Canadian, not Vermont) white cheddar, and half a cup of cream, salt, and pepper.

The first bite was just strange. The second bite was a bit better. And by the third bite we were both saying, "Hey, this is pretty good." However, what we discovered is it was almost a totally different soup the second day and it was SO MUCH BETTER! We can't exactly pinpoint why that is, but trust us.

The reason you all at Sunday Soup will never have this (unless you make it yourself) is because a 3 quart pan of it cost more than $10 to make. If I were to make enough for Sunday Soup, I'd have to shell out around $50. That, my friends, I cannot do. So sorry! One reason I came up with the idea of soup, as opposed to say...Sunday Sandwiches, is because soup can feed many people for a very reasonable amount and sad to say, I am on a budget. I mean, we all are, for the most part, right? Anyway, I think the least expensive soup I've ever made would be one where The Southerner and fellow gardeners supplied all the vegetables and the most expensive is probably the Tomato Orange, coming in around $30 for nearly 9 quarts. Ironically, I splurged on the Tomato Orange soup because it was Carol's birthday and it wasn't until months later that I found out that she can't eat tomatoes! There was cake though.

As for this week, I made a veggie rice soup with apple and butternut squash. It's pretty good, but I think that tomorrow I might have to adjust the seasonings a bit. We'll see how much it thickens up as it sits. It has abborio rice to make it creamy, but I have extra stock in case it gets too thick. I think it would be nice with crackers, but I'm not sure what everyone else would think if I cheated them out of bread. We'll see!

Have a great weekend and I'll fill you in again soon.

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