Soup and Art

My friend Jason sent me a recipe for tomato soup this morning.  I have not tried it, but it sounds pretty good:

“Start with olive oil, a couple of leeks sliced fine- sweat those,  add a bay leaf, couple of whole cloves in a bouquet garni, diced tomatoes- I leave the skin on. Simmer until tomatoes break down.

Then pull the bay leaf and cloves, puree with a stick, add heavy cream and heat through.  Add fresh basil, immerse head in bowl.”

I have a yellow notebook for ideas, generally of the screenwriting kind.  Two summers ago I read a short story called “The Wardrobe” in Danielle Wood’s collection Rosie Little’s Cautionary Tales for Girls, and on the train, right then and there, I took out that notebook and wrote down everything I’d have to do to turn it into a movie.  So I trust the notebook.

If you live in Chicago, and you’re my friend, you’ve probably heard me say the words “Why don’t you just come over?  I made soup!”  Another thing I wrote down in the magic notebook is what I would need to do to open a cafe like Paris’s Le Bar à Soupes in Chicago.  Scribbled down are things like “learn better knife skills” and “definitely a business plan” and “Summer = gelato?” and a list of soups I know how to make already.

Soup List:

  • Black bean
  • Chicken with mushrooms, leeks, lemon, and cream
  • White chicken chili
  • Winter vegetable chowder
  • Tomato with ginger, citrus, and coconut
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Roasted red or yellow pepper
  • Beef stew
  • White bean with bacon
  • Avgolemon
  • Turkey with rice
  • Potato leek
  • Thanksgiving-in-a-pot
  • Gazpacho
  • Sausage with potato & kale
  • Italian wedding
  • Carrot ginger
  • French onion
  • Clam chowder
  • Halibut chowder
  • Chicken tomatillo
  • Minestrone
  • Spinach tortellini
  • Corn chowder
  • Cabbage soup
  • Split pea with mint
  • Cream of cauliflower
  • Cream of squash or pumpkin with bacon
  • Beef-vegetable (with a tomato base)

Sadly, my stick blender is broken. Otherwise, as fall weather moves in, I would drown the world in soup.

Note: Photos are my own from Le Bar à Soupes in Paris.  Top:  Gazpacho.  Bottom:  Vichysoisse.  You want to go to there.

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3 responses to “Soup and Art

  1. Tomato with ginger, citrus, and coconut sounds really yummy. I’ll bring my blend stick next time I come to Chicago.

  2. I would very much like the recipe for Thanksgiving in a pot.

    Also to eat soup with you (again).

    • I vote for eating soup with you again as well!

      Thanksgiving in a Pot is technically more than a stew than a soup.

      It involves cooking 2 pieces of bacon in a heavy pot and browning turkey thighs and some onions in the grease. Then adding a quartered acorn squash and some dried herbs like sage and thyme and salt and pepper, covering everything with with some water, putting a lid on it and cooking everything until it gets tender. Turkey falls off bone. Squash gets incredibly mellow (the secret is bacon). Broth gets funky and dark and rich.

      Spoon an acorn squash quarter and a hunk of turkey into a bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon some broth over it and eat with a knife and fork and spoon. Or, if you’re feeling crazy and want some green, wilt some swiss chard or kale into the broth at the last minute before you serve.

      This meal will make you sleepy.

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