I LOVE SOUP.   I love it in the Fall, Winter, Spring and even in the Summer. It can be a hearty meal, or a delicate first course. Hot soups or cold soups hit the spot. Soups are nutritious and can be incredibly diverse in it's combinations of vegetables, beans, pastas, and spices. Super smooth or super chunky. Ethnic in ingredients or plain ol' home cooked comfort food. Nothing soothes one more than a hot bowl of soup when you're down-in-the-dumps, have a bad cold, or just want to feel cozy and pampered. Soup is a simply "Soup-er"....

**Enjoy your soup with***

*Soup with croutons
*Soup & Sandwich
*Soup and Salad
*Soup with a slice of hearty bread
*Soup with a main course
*Soup as dessert

Post your favorite soup recipes here. Those you've made and those you have on your list... Give and take to this ongoing soup recipe exchange.

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Pureed Red Pepper and Potato Soup

This is a beautiful soup with a deep, rich flavor to match the color. Make sure to strain the soup after you puree it, a quick step that also saves you the trouble of peeling the peppers.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle for serving

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

Salt, preferably kosher

4 plump garlic cloves, green shoots removed, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 pounds (4 large) red bell peppers, seeded, membranes removed, cut in large dice

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 pound russet potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and diced

2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock

A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf and a couple of sprigs each thyme and parsley, tied together in a bundle

Freshly ground pepper

For garnish (optional):

Garlic croutons (toast thin slices of baguette and rub with a cut clove of garlic)

Slivered basil leaves or chopped fresh thyme leaves

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot, and add the onion and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften, and then add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Continue to cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes, and stir in the garlic and tomato paste. Stir for a minute or two, until the garlic is fragrant and the tomato paste has darkened, and then add the peppers, paprika, and another 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the peppers begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the potatoes, stock, and bouquet garni, and bring to a simmer. Add salt to taste, one to two teaspoons, cover and simmer over low heat for one hour. Remove the bouquet garni.

3. Blend the soup until smooth in an immersion blender, or in a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade. Work in batches, and cover the blender lid or food processor with a kitchen towel to prevent the hot soup from splashing. Strain the soup through a medium strainer, pushing it through the strainer with a spatula or the bowl of a ladle, and return to the heat. Heat through, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Garnish with garlic croutons and slivered fresh basil or chopped thyme, and drizzle a few drops of olive oil over each serving if desired.

Yield: Serves six to eight


Leek and Potato Soup

I love leeks. I love everyone in the onion family, but I have a special affection for leeks. I tried to describe why, but it sounded like really bad middle school creative writing, so I deleted it. So we'll just skip that and move on to the cooking part.

I bought a couple bunches of leeks at the store earlier in the week, and potatoes, so that at some point this week I could throw together the soup. It's one of the simplest things to make, and it's warm and comforting on a cold wintery evening.

The recipe I followed is from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I., by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck. It's the first entry in Chapter One - Soup.

Potage Parmentier (Leek or Onion and Potato Soup)

"Leek and potato soup smells good, tastes good, and is simplicity itself to make. It is also versatile as a soup base; add water cress and you have a water-cress souop, or stir in cream and chill it for a vichyssoise. To change the formula a bit, add carrots, string beans, cauliflower, broccoli, or anything else you think would go with it, and vary the proportions as you wish."

Here it the recipe and step-by-step picture tutorial - LINK

A Mess of Pottage (Lentil Soup)

I used to make this a LOT years ago. I probably started making it when I was a vegetarian - the book it comes from is all vegetarian - and after making it once, apparently I started making it in larger and larger batches, because right next to the list of ingredients/measurements - there are columns with my increased amounts - for double, triple, and quadruple the recipe.

It's really good, and even better, it's incredibly easy.

The recipe comes from an old (okay, 1975 - but the book is falling apart, so it seems older) small press cookbook entitled "Cooking with Conscience," by Alice Benjamin and Harriet Corrigan. It was published by Vineyard Books in CT, and at the time this was published, it cost $2.00. On the cover, it reads "A book for people concerned about world hunger."

There are 52 recipes in this slim volume. The one I'm featuring is number Twenty-Two. To be honest, I don't know if I ever bothered trying anything else besides this wonderful lentil dish.

Anyway, here's what the authors wrote about this dish:

"We couldn't resist having one dish called "A Mess of Pottage." According to some Biblical translations, Esau sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for "a mess of pottage." Other translations say "bread and lentiles" and still others say "bread and lentil soup." In any case, it was lentils and probably cooked with onions, butter, and a few herbs. Who knows? -- this might even be somewhere close to the original. (Except those were red lentils, and brown ones are easier for us to find. And he certainly didn't add powdered milk.) Serve with any whole grain bread to help complete the protein and a plate of raw vegetables such as carrot sticks and celerey. Serves 3 or 4."

I served this for dinner with a salad of mixed greens, sliced fennel, fresh basil, and a warm baguette, some olive oil, and a couple of cheeses. Alex, predictably, didn't like it on sight. Julia tried it, liked it, but didn't eat much. My husband liked it enormously. And I took my first spoonful and wondered why it's taken me so long to make this again.


Here's all you need:

Here is the recipe and photo tutorial: LINK

Soup is healthy...but we must avoid fat added into it...it adds taste too...


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