As I write this, I have checked the weather forecast and it’s definitely not wintry yet; but there is a slight chill in the air and a rainy gloomy aspect outside my window. Seems like soup season to me.
I chose the following recipes based on what I have seen in the last couple of weeks at the Market and what I expect to see at the Winter Market this weekend. In case you were wondering what to do with that gorgeous ginger you bought, I’ve included a recipe that makes use of it.
Roasted Garlic and Sweet Potato Soup
- 1 whole garlic bulb
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 2-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 large onions, cut into wedges
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Remove papery outer skin from garlic bulb (do not peel or separate cloves). Cut top off bulb; brush with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Wrap in heavy-duty foil.
- Place sweet potatoes and onions in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with remaining oil; toss to coat.
- Bake garlic and vegetables at 425° for 30-35 minutes or until tender. Cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Place 1-1/2 cups broth, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper in a blender. Squeeze softened garlic into mixture; cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan.
- In batches, process the sweet potatoes, onions, and remaining broth until smooth; add to garlic mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Makes 10 servings (2 ½ quarts.).
Cook’s Note: You might want to do an additional whole garlic bulb so that you will have some roasted garlic to spread on crusty bread with your soup. Yum!
Creamy Cauliflower with Ginger Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small head cauliflower, cut into large florets
- 1 large onion, cut into large dice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pinch sugar
- 3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ⅛ teaspoon saffron threads
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth, homemade or from a carton or can
- 1 ½ cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep saute pan until shimmering.
- Add cauliflower, then onion; saute, stirring very little at first, then more frequently, until vegetables start to turn golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and add butter, sugar, and garlic; continue cooking until all vegetables are a rich spotty caramel color, about 10 minutes longer.
- Add ginger, turmeric, saffron and cayenne pepper; continue to saute until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute longer.
- Add broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, puree until very smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (If using a traditional blender, vent it either by removing the lid’s pop-out center or by lifting one edge of the lid. Drape the blender canister with a kitchen towel. To ‘clean’ the canister, pour in a little half-and-half, blend briefly, then add to the soup.)
- Return to pan (or a soup pot); add enough half-and-half so the mixture is soup-like, yet thick enough to float garnish. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed. Heat through, ladle into bowls, garnish and serve. Makes 8 servings (6-7 cups).
Cook’s Note: Adding a seared sea scallop or cooked shrimp as a garnish makes a lovely, and tasty, presentation.
Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
- 4 cups half-and-half
- 3 cups cubed potatoes
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 onion, chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
- Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Crumble sausage into the pot; cook and stir until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain and discard grease.
- Stir half-and-half, potatoes, chicken broth, milk, onion, oregano, and pepper flakes into sausage, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
- Season with black pepper. Stir in kale; simmer until kale is tender, 10 to 15 more minutes. Makes 12 servings.
Cook”s Note: You don’t have to use Italian sausage in this recipe. You can use any sausage you like the flavor of. And if you can’t find bulk sausage in your preferred flavor, just get links and remove the casing. I particularly love some of Old Major Market‘s sausage flavor profiles.