Sunday, October 30, 2005

Savory Soups to Sip

The following soups are my family's favorites:

Garlicky Garbanzo Soup

Time: 30 minutes Yield: 4 servings (but I double this)

Here is a quick and easy, but rich tasting soup...

29 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 c. (packed) packaged, prewashed baby spinach; or thinly sliced regular spinach leaves
3 cups chicken broth or chicken bouillon
8 large cloves garlic (Yes! 8! Don't skimp!)
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary

1. Place all of the ingredients, except for the spinach, in a 4 qt. pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Transfer the ingredients to a blender, and puree until smooth.
3. Return the puree to the pot and stir in the spinach. Cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 5-7 mins., or until the spinach is tender. Serve immediately.

Butternut and Ham Bisque

Yield: 6 servings Source: Family Fun magazine

This recipe is more work, but very rewarding!

2 T. butter
1 very large sweet onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
1 c. peeled, diced all-purpose potatoes (sometimes I omit this w/o much consequence)
5 c. chicken stock or chicken bouillon
1 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 c. light cream (I've been known to use milk)
1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham

Melt butter in medium soup pot or a large saucepan. Stir in the onion and rosemary. Partially cover the pan and cook the onion over moderate heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute.

Add the squash, potatoes, chicken stock, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover the pot. Cook the soup at a low boil for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft. Remove the pan from the heat.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the soup solids and a ladleful of broth to a food processor or blender and puree in batches. Stir the puree back into the broth. Stir in the pepper, cream, and ham, heating for several minutes before serving.

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