Sep 14, 2011

Soupfest

There is an event held near our town every year around (Canadian) Thanksgiving called Soupfest.  Local farmers, restaurants, and cooking schools get together to show off their soup-making skills using locally grown produce.



For $5 ($10 if you buy a mug) you can sample all of the soup you want. All The Soup You Want.  Think about that for a minute. On a crisp fall day soup is exactly what you want. I figure there were about 40 different vendors last year.  And some have several different soups to try. 

Besides the soup tasting there is a farmers market (OMG the baked goods!), handicrafts, and live entertainment. Last year there were also wagon rides and barge rides on the river.  This coming year it's being held at a winery so I'm guessing that wine will factor in somehow. Wine & soup?  Dunno.

So, as I was wandering around their website on the weekend I found some terrific recipes from last year's "fest". I decided to try the hamburger soup, cream of carrot, and corn chowder.  I started out taking pictures of everything but after awhile I was making all three soups at the same time and only got pictures of the hamburger soup.

Ingredients?  Pretty typical. Hamburger. Vegetables. Beef stock.

First I browned the hamburger with some minced garlic.  You'll want to brown the meat before you add it to the stock because if you allow the meat to cook in the liquid only it will turn grey.  And grey meat is nobody's friend.


In a separate pan I sauteed the onions, celery, and peppers.  Don't you love my "mise en place"?  That's fancy cookin' talk for organized and set up.  Thank you Food Network.


I also added mushrooms and carrots but sorry...no pictures. You've seen a mushroom and a carrot before, right? I did a mixture of minced and coarsely chopped vegetables to provide different textures.

Once the hamburger is fully cooked, drain the excess grease and add the meat to the vegetables.  Actually I just chose whichever pan was the largest and dumped it all in together.  I drained a can of diced tomatoes - I don't like the excess tomato juice - and added that with enough beef stock to make it look like soup.  As opposed to looking like a stirfry.  Which might have been good too, but wasn't what I was going for.

Don't you love how exact my measurements are?  I hardly ever measure anything.  Just throw some in and hope for the best.  I'm the same way with seasonings.  I think I added sweet Thai sauce, salt, pepper, soya sauce, and sugar.  Sugar cuts the acidic tomato taste and that hint of sweetness is perfect.

Here is my masterpiece finished and waiting to be worshiped.


Just look at those big chunks of vegetables and beef.


And when Tom eventually made it home from mountain biking, he served it up with some sliced turkey and havarti on egg bread. Excuse the soup drips in the picture.  Sinful.



Doesn't that just make you want to snuggle up under a blanket in front of the fire?

I did manage to take pictures of the ingredients needed for the carrot soup


and the corn chowder


The carrots are roasted in the oven with maple syrup drizzled over them before they are added to the pot.  I cooked all of the vegetables together and then blended them thoroughly.  And it probably doesn't need to be mentioned but make sure the carrots are fully cooked before trying to blend them.  My first attempt ended with carrot chunks being flung around the pot like marbles.  I added milk to the mixture to thin it out and also some nutmeg at the end.

The corn chowder has a potato base.  I cooked the potatoes, drained the water, and added milk.  I then blended it until it was creamy and added the celery, onion and garlic (all minced).  I tried to add some corn at this point and blend it into the base, but those little suckers don't like to be smushed.  I kept adding milk until it was the consistency I wanted.  I blended one more time before adding the rest of the corn and spices and thoroughly heating it all. 

I can't believe I didn't take pictures of the finished product.  They are all packaged up now in two-serving containers and tucked away in the freezer.  It just takes a few minutes of reheating and we'll have a beautiful, hearty meal.

I'm linking to these great link parties!

2 comments:

BarbSteadman said...

Ha!

Pipaclan said...

this soup is delicious!   My dad called it 'bum soup"

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