Archive for the ‘Soup’ Category

Oktoberfest Soup

What do all of these things have in common? Clare’s Oktoberfest Soup!

This is another recipe from our local newspaper, credit goes to Clare Schapiro.

Clare’s Oktoberfest Soup

A rich and hearty celebration of the season.

Makes 6 main-course servings

2 tablespoons butter

4 small apples, peeled cored and sliced (I used Gala)

3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, carefully washed and chopped

4 cups chicken stock

2 12-ounce bottles of Oktoberfest ale (I used local Legend brand)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

4 ounces Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 14- or 16-ounce packages of fully cooked “Beer Brats” or bratwurst sausages, sliced in ½-inch rounds

Melt butter in large soup pot. Add apples, celery and leeks and sauté over medium heat until they are soft but not browned. Add chicken stock and beer. Cover and simmer until the vegetables and apples are fully cooked, about 15 minutes.

Using an immersion blender (or regular blender if that’s all you have, but be careful when blending hot liquids as they expand in the blender and can burn you!), blend until soup is relatively smooth or the texture is to your liking. Return soup to gentle heat and whisk in Dijon mustard. Combine cheddar and Gruyere cheeses in a mixing bowl and toss with the cornstarch. Add cheeses to the soup about a handful at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to melt before adding the next one. When the soup is smooth, add the chopped sausages and continue to stir, keeping the soup on low heat until the sausage is just heated through. Do not boil. Serve immediately.

(The only change I made to the recipe is to add some salt and fresh ground pepper.)

This is an excellent soup. This is the first time I’ve cooked with leeks. And probably Gruyere. Not every store carries the Johnsonville Beer Brats, but luckily I found them at my third attempt (in Richmond that would be Martin’s. Neither Kroger nor Short Pump Walmart carried them). The beer is local and I’m sorry, I’m not a beer person so I can’t tell you what to substitute. Is there such a thing as a medium ale?

Here’s a video showing how this is made:
Clare’s Kitchen. Notice how she pronounces “brats.” She’s obviously not from Wisconsin 🙂

I hope you’ll try this.


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This morning I made a fall soup that was published in our local newspaper this week. It’s not a new recipe, just Google the name and you’ll see all kinds of sites with this recipe.

Chunky Butternut Squash, White Bean and Tomato Soup

Makes 4 main-course servings

1 large garlic clove, minced
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces (2 cups)
2 cups water
2 cups chicken stock or store-bought reduced-sodium broth
1 16- to 19-ounce can white beans, preferably cannellini, rinsed and drained
4 canned San Marzano tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
½ cup green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (pepitas), optional
½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus additional for serving
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook garlic in 1 tablespoon oil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 1 minute. Add squash, water, stock, beans, tomatoes and sage. Bring to a simmer [is this a typo? shouldn’t it say boil? that’s what I did], cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pumpkin seeds, if using, in remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet over moderately low heat, stirring, until seeds are puffed and lightly toasted, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and lightly season with salt.

Mash some of the squash against sides of saucepan to thicken soup. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with pumpkin seeds, if using, and additional cheese.

Note: The soup can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool, uncovered, then refrigerate, covered.

— Adapted from “Gourmet Today” edited by Ruth Reichl (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

On the advice of a friend, I substituted these for the San Marzano tomatoes. I wasn’t familiar with the San Marzanos but found them on Amazon with a boatload of negative comments about that particular brand, as it is not imported from Italy as the can would lead you to believe. Apparently the appeal of these tomatoes is their low acidity. My friend recommended the Tuttorosso brand as they also have low-acidity and are cheaper and easier to find.

I don’t have any pumpkin seeds so I’m not using them this time.

Here’s a blog that has better pictures than mine:

Garlic Shoots

Try it!

[Edited to add]: This soup is excellent. The only thing I’d change is to add more beans. Back when this recipe was written you could probably buy a can of beans in that size, but I could only find 15.5 oz cans. So that’s what I used. Another tip regarding the stock/broth: I bought two 14.5 oz cans of Swanson reduced-sodium broth but only used one. It was so close to 2 cups that instead of opening/wasting most of the 2nd can, I just added enough water to reach that mark. No harm/no foul.

[Edited again to add]: Yesterday we stumbled upon pumpkin seeds in the salad bar at Whole Foods. I had no idea.


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