Posts tagged Soup

Clean out yer pantry Soup

Along the lines of our last recipe, this is a hearty, warm soup that is easy to pull together and doesn’t require measurements or any special instructions. Plus, it uses up stuff that you’ve got lying around in your pantry which is always a good thing as we don’t believe in waste around here (renew, reuse, recycle).

The inspiration for this post comes from our friend Deb at Smitten Kitchen who posted her Beef, Leek and Barley soup back in the beginning of October. Since that post, we’ve made this soup two or three times, so we’re pretty sure we can vouch for its awesomeness. You’ll need a package of short ribs (you know how much we love them, so don’t be shocked that we’ve got a package of them lying around), a couple of leeks, some onions, garlic, barley, mushrooms (we’ve used dried, fresh and a combination of the two).

Beef, Leek and Barley Soup
Adapted from Deb Perelman’s Beef, Leek and Barley Soup

1. Trim the fat off of a couple of meaty short ribs and put them on the bottom of your soup pot.

2. Sear the short ribs so that they have some nice color on both sides.

2. Add 1/2 cup of barley, four cloves of garlic chopped up, two chopped onions, and three leeks cut lengthwise and then into segments–use both the white and the green parts. Add some fresh mushrooms now, or if you have any other vegetables that you’d like in this soup, add them as well. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Cover the ingredients with beef stock and let it simmer on the back burner for at least three hours. Now is when we like to add dried porcini mushrooms (because we usually have them in the pantry at all times). Deb says that we can also add lima beans, cube potatoes, peas, corn, string beans and chopped tomatoes now or even on the second day, should you have any leftover.

4. Before serving, skim off the fat–there will be a bit, as short ribs are quite fatty–take the meat off the bones, chop it and put it back in the soup.

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Gotta love soup

For today’s lesson, boys and girls, we’re going to be making soup. The perfect, home cooked dish that will keep you warm all winter long. A great thing about soup is that they usually freeze well, which means you can break it out later on and serve it up when you’re not looking to do too much cooking.

On an aside, you’ll notice less and less photos on this website, especially of food. This is because we have finally learned our lesson in that in order to take great food shots, one needs a real camera, not one of these point and click doo-hickies. So, until Hannuakah Harry brings me a new digital SLR, don’t be upset if I can’t show you photos of the fabulous stuff we’re making in the Foodie kitchen these days.

Ok, on to soup. The first recipe we’re making comes from the City Mama blog which we came across when searching for a split pea soup recipe. The fact that this recipe calls for smoked ham hocks (readily available at Forest Pork Store) didn’t hurt in making it to the top of the pile.


The most flavorful split pea soup you will ever eat. Start it well ahead of dinner time. I didn’t add any salt to this soup. I found the hocks and sausage made it plenty salty enough.

  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots cut into 1/2 in thick coins or large chunks (I like lots of carrots)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 (yes 3!) smoked ham hocks
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1 quart of low sodium chicken broth (or just 3 quarts of water)
  • 1 bag of green split peas, rinsed
  • 2 sausages such as Aidell’s chicken or even a polska kielbasa will do (or you can omit entirely)
  • pepper to taste
  • plain yogurt, creme fraiche, or sour cream to garnish (optional)

In a large soup pot over medium heat, cook the garlic, onion, celery, carrot and bay leaves in about 3 glugs (tbsps) of olive oil until onions start to turn golden brown (about 7-10 minutes). Add hocks, water and broth. Bring to a boil, skim any foam, then reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered for no less than 2.5 hours. At this point the ham hocks should be falling-apart tender so remove them and set them aside to cool, then shred the meat. Add peas, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cooking uncovered for about 45 minutes to an hour or until peas are melty and soup is thickened. During last 15 minutes of cooking time, add sliced sausages and the shredded ham meat (not the skin, cartillage etc.) from the ham hocks. Remove bay leaves before serving and pass the pepper. Makes 8 servings. (And is even more delicious for breakfast!)

Couple of points -

1. This is a stand-your-spoon-in-the-soup kind of recipe. Think spackle or mortar and not consumme.

2. We added the kielbasa to the soup, but it got a little bit “meaty” when we added the ham. I would forgoe the kielbasa and stick with the ham only, as it was delicious.

3. If for some reason you have extra ham left over, it is delicious on a salad with ranch dressing. I’m just saying.

We have a large container of this in the freezer, perfect for that night when we don’t feel like cooking. Next up will be a beef, leek, mushroom and barley soup that is to die for.

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