Soups

ARTICHOKE SOUP

This is an old fashioned recipe from a friend of my Mother’s. She was the personal cook for a wealthy family for many years, and was eager to make a contribution to this collection. It is delicious and easy to make. But it does call for table cream (not whipping cream). If this is just too much for you, you may consider substituting half milk, half cream, or even soymilk, which will alter the flavor somewhat, but will still give you a tasty start to any meal.

INGREDIENTS (serves four to six)

  • 1 15 oz. can of artichokes (drained)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 cups table cream
  • salt and pepper to taste.

 

PROCEDURE

1. Puree artichokes, chicken broth, garlic and parsley in a blender until smooth.

2. Melt butter in a large saucepan, blend in flour and cook until bubbly.

3. Gradually add cream and stir until thickened. Season to taste.

4. Stir in Pureed artichokes and heat until soup simmers.

5. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with additional parsley.

COLD CUCUMBER SOUP

I never serve soup myself, but I love it when someone else does. My friend Gary does, He is to soup, what Lucrezia Borgia was to poison. An Expert! This soup is perfect on a warm summer night, and it gives you a starter if you are serving salad as the main course.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small or medium sweet onion (Like Vidalia)
  • 2 cups plain yoghurt
  • 2 tsps white vinegar
  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 12 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic (or two)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed or 1 tbsp fresh dill
  • 1 Cucumber, peeled and seeded and quartered lengthwise.

 

PROCEDURE

In a food processor, with shredding disk in place, shred the onion.  Replace disk with metal blade and add yoghurt, vinegar, oil, mint, garlic, salt and dill.  Process until smooth, about 15 to 20 seconds. Pour into a bowl.
Remove metal blade and re-insert shredding disk. Cover and push cucumber through feed tube. Shred using moderate pressure.  Fold into the contents of the bowl, cover and chill. Serve cool with fresh dill on top.

BERKSHIRE STARTER

When it comes to entertaining, I’m not a big fan of soups. It feels like yet another recipe to prepare and serve, more dishes to clean, another chance for disaster, and all in all, not worth the risk. But my Aunt Mary disagrees and came up with what she called “a cold soup for a hot day.” It serves four and can be made ahead.  I feel I should mention that I presented it to several Hollywood types who dismissed it as “Beef Pudding,” and refused to eat it. Nonetheless….

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 4 ounce package cream cheese
  • 2 cans undiluted beef bullion (she used Campbell’s)
  • 1 clove of garlic or 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder

 

PREPARATION

1. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the bullion to use as a topping.

2. Whip the rest of bullion, cream cheese, garlic and curry in the blender until smooth.

3. Pour into individual bowls and chill untill set.

4. Pour 1 tablespoon of warmed bullion onto chilled soup and return to refrigerator until set. (It keeps well for at least a day.)

5. Serve with a sprig of parsley.