Friday, December 31, 2010

Black Bean with Pesto

Adapted from Vegetraian Times March, 2003

Black Bean Soup 

• 1 1/2 cups dried black beans, picked over and rinsed 
• 12 cups water
• 1 large onion, diced
• 6 cloves garlic, minced
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 8 large basil leaves, julienned for garnish

Basil Purée 

• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 4 large cloves garlic 
• 1 1/2 cups (about 11/2 oz.) fresh basil leaves
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

How to make the soup 

• To prepare beans, place them in large stockpot, and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Cover pot, and set aside at room temperature to soak overnight. 
• Drain beans, and return to pot. Cover with 12 cups water. Add onion and garlic, and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam. Reduce heat to low, and cook until beans are very tender, for about 21/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add water, if needed, or boil soup down until thickened but not dried out. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

• To make purée, place oil, garlic and basil in blender. Process until smooth, pulsing on and off and stopping to scrape down sides of container. Season with salt and pepper. 
• To serve, bring soup to a boil. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Stir the basil purée into soup.  Ladle into four soup plates. 
garnish with julienned basil.

Potato Cheese

The House Soup SERVES 6

•  4 potatoes quartered
•  1 cup celery
•  1 cup onions
•  1 cup carrots
•  4 cups vegetable stock (the stock really matters, find a good bullion that you like we use Knorr Vegetarian Bullion)
•  1/4 teaspoon marjoram
•  1/2 teaspoon season salt

•  pepper to taste
•  lots of shredded cheddar cheese

How to Make the Soup:
1. Put all ingredients (except for the cheese) into a stock pot and simmer until potatoes and carrots are soft. (We mean really soft)
2. Puree until smooth in a blender or immersion blender until creamy.
3. Add cheese and pepper to taste.

Vegetarian Pho

Originally uploaded by neelyhouse
Vegetarian Pho
2 T. olive oil
1 yellow onion
3 shallots
5 cloves of garlic
1 small piece of fresh ginger
3 cinnamon sticks
4 pods of star anise
8 cloves
Vegetable stock, preferably Knorr bouillon
Soy sauce

cooked rice noodles
Fresh herbs, such as mint, basil and cilantro
Sriracha chili paste
Hoisin sauce
Slices of lime
Fried Tofu

Set a large, deep pot on low heat on the stove. Cut the onion and shallots in slivers and
sauté in olive oil with the chopped garlic cloves and sliced ginger until translucent.

Add the water and one cube of vegetable bouillon and allow to dissolve. Place the cloves and anise in a cheesecloth pouch and add to the pot.  Add several tablespoons of soy sauce and the cinnamon sticks. Cover the pot and let the broth simmer for twenty-five minutes.

While waiting for the broth, cook the rice noodles. The best noodles for pho are a thin, flat variety from Thailand, most often used in Pad Thai. Boil a small pot of water. Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with the boiling water. Allow the noodles to soak for five to seven minutes, then drain and run under cold water. Do not allow the noodles to over-cook. Set the cooked noodles aside.

After the broth has simmered, remove the clove/anise pouch. Fill several deep bowls with a handful of noodles each. Add the broth to cover the noodles. Top with sliced scallions, fresh basil, mint and cilantro, as well as hoisin sauce and sriracha chili paste. Squeeze several slices of lime juice over the soup and enjoy.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Chocolate Soup

• 4 1/2 cups whole milk

• 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
• 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
• 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
• 5 tablespoons cornstarch 
• 5 tablespoons cold water
• Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

How to make the soup:
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla bean. Bring the mixture almost to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and let it steep for 20 minutes. Strain and return to the pan. (Rinse and dry the vanilla bean and save it for another use.)

Put the pan on low heat, add the chocolate, and whisk until the chocolate melts. Combine the cornstarch and water to form a slurry. Add the slurry a little at a time, whisking constantly, until the soup is thick and smooth. You will know it is ready when the bubbles are gone and the chocolate has thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with mint leaves.

Year 18 - 2010

The bigsoup party was featured in the GPCFB Newsletter:

Year 18 - 2010
Chocolate Coffee Soup (2008)
Potato Cheese Soup (our “house” soup)
Vegetarian Pho
Black Bean with Pesto
Spicy Tomato with Cheddar Tortilla Strips

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the GPCFB. You raised $2,230!

193 friends (132 adults and 61 kids) made the trip to eat Black Bean with Pesto, Vegetarian Pho, Potato Cheese, Spicy Tomato, and Chocolate Soup. There were kids everywhere (and I kind of like it that way!) A lot of these kids are now teenagers... wow how they have grown up. The biggest surprise of the evening was discovering the Pho soup was kicked at 8:30 and the others at 9:30! This year I could not capture photos of everyone who came to the party.

The furthest distance traveled was Josy from Hong Kong. Awards for most unique bowls went to Clayton (soupometer), Vince (fishbowl) and Craig (wax splash bowl). Largest spoon used was awarded to Toby. Thanks to everyone for a wonderful night!