Aahhh...there is nothing better than a hot cup of soup on a cold winter's night. Sure, you can get those condensed soups in a can from your local supermarket, but why? Nothing...and we mean nothing beats the taste of homemade when it comes to soup. Making a fresh pot of soup may seem as intimidating as it is tempting, but we at The Daily Kool have found the perfect cookbook to ease your way into it.
The Daily Soup, a Manhattan chain with four locations (that we know of) came out with a fabulous cookbook called The Daily Soup Cookbook. Sure, it came out about ten years ago, but this book will become a staple in your home like it is in ours (we're on our second copy after over-using the first one). The recipes are straightforward and are organized by primary ingredient. This book will guide you through techniques, and make you smile with clever sidebars. The recipes include old favorites like Chicken Matzoh Ball and French Onion, as well as unique creations to please every palate. There are so many wonderful soups to choose from (200, to be exact), you'll be tempted to try a different one every week.
There is even a final section on stock preparation. We make a fresh batch of the vegetable stock every month. We simply double the recipe, freeze the stock in ice-cube trays, then place the cubes in a freezer bag for storage. This way, whether we are making soup for two or ten, we can simply take out just the amount of stock we need. Trust us...a rich, full-bodied stock yields a soup like no other, and is surprisingly easy and affordable to make. Don't jut take our word for it...here is a simple recipe for veggie stock for you to try at home, courtesy of The Daily Soup Cookbook:
- 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
- 2 whole tomatoes, chopped (we used a 14.5 oz. can, to reduce time and cost)
- 1 leek, chopped
- 1/2 head garlic (we actually use McCormick's jarred chopped garlic, 2-1/2 tablespoons, because we always have it in the fridge)
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 12 cups mineral or filtered water
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1 Bouquet Garni (3 fresh Italian parsley sprigs, 1 fresh thyme sprig, 1 bay leaf...put in a piece of cheesecloth, if desired and tie with a piece of string - we actually don't do this...too much work for us, so we just throw it all into the pot together)
- Put all the ingredients in a large stockpot. We like to use a steam basket to put all of the ingredients in...makes it easier to discard the solids later.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer (very small bubbles) for 1 hour.
- Strain the stock and discard the solids.
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