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Soup is a hassle-free plan for any Super Bowl party.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Just before the Super Bowl every year, I like to develop a party menu that incorporates the culinary specialties of the competing cities.
This year, I fervently hoped to research the dishes of Denver, because that would mean my favorite team was going to its seventh Super Bowl, the first one since 1998. We all know how that turned out. Boo.
Instead, it's Harbaugh against Harbaugh, Baltimore against San Francisco, blue crabs against Rice-a-Roni. But when I started thinking about these cities, I realized how well some of the soups featured in the Jan. 20 Souper Bowl fundraiser at the Taubman Museum of Art represented them.
The sold-out event was a huge success for the fourth year running, and several readers have expressed an interest in scoring the recipes for such favorites as the Hotel Roanoke's she-crab soup, Friendship Retirement Community's "three from the sea-food" bisque and The River and Rail's knock-your-socks-off caramel-apple dessert soup. Those soups placed third, second and first, respectively, in the people's choice vote.
Baltimore is home to great seafood (so is San Francisco, for that matter), and before the word "locavore" ever gained traction, Alice Waters was championing fresh, locally sourced ingredients at her restaurant, Chez Panisse, which is located just next door to San Francisco.
Therefore, a steaming bowl of seafood soup is a great way to pay homage to Baltimore, while a recipe from The River and Rail, a local food establishment in Roanoke, is a nice nod to San Francisco.
I also tracked down instructions for Blue Apron's Peruvian potato soup with warm smoked bacon and whole-grain mustard potato salad, as well as Martin's Downtown Bar & Grill's rustic sausage and bean soup.
Best of all, soup is a hassle-free plan for any Super Bowl party because it can be prepared in advance and kept warm in a Crock Pot or on the stove. And a soup bar can be so much fun at a get-together.
Have guests bring their favorite soup or prepare several pots yourself. Set up a garnish buffet with grated cheese, crumbled bacon, sliced scallions, sour cream, crackers, tortilla strips and any other topping that would complement your soups. Then, kick back with a warm bowl in hand and watch the Harbaugh brothers battle it out for the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday.
To soothe my aching heart, I may make a batch of green chili for the Broncos. It would also make me feel a little better if you'll join me in washing down your soups with the greatest product to ever come out of Colorado.
That's right: beer.
The River and Rail's Caramel-Apple Soup with Spiced Pecans
This soup won The Souper Bowl vote by a landslide. Serve it as a treat after all the salty fare. Recipe courtesy of executive chef Aaron Deal.
2 each Red Delicious, Honeycrisp or Fuji Apples, peeled and cored, diced large
2 cups granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups apple cider
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
1 cup pecan pieces
2 tsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. wildflower honey
1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄2 tsp. fennel seeds, toasted and finely ground
1. To prepare the garnish: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toss all garnish ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until well-combined. Line a sheet pan with silpat or parchment paper. Spread nuts evenly on tray and cook approximately 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and chop nuts to desired consistency to garnish soup.
2. For the soup: Toss together apple pieces and sugar. Place in a medium sauce pot, with water, over medium heat. Cook until the sugar syrup caramelizes, or turns golden brown in color. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in heavy cream.
3. Add apple cider, vinegar and salt. While mixture is still hot, carefully transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Serve hot garnished with pecans. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Friendship Retirement Community's Three from the Sea-food Bisque
This recipe comes from executive chef Michele Carder, who won first place in the 2012 Souper Bowl and second place this year. Seafood stock is best made from scratch by boiling lobster, crab, and/or shrimp shells in water for several hours. But Carder said a good shortcut would be a mixture of equal parts chicken stock and clam juice. Clam juice can be purchased at almost any grocery store. If you use this substitute, do not add salt until you have tasted the finished soup.
2 sticks butter
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced yellow onion
½ cup diced carrot
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup flour
2 cups heavy cream
6 cups of seafood stock
¼ cup cream sherry
1 Tbsp. lobster base (a concentrated paste)
1 dash each white pepper, black pepper, Old Bay seasoning and garlic powder
1 cup cooked lobster meat
1 cup cooked crab meat
Garnish: 8-10 jumbo tail-on shrimp, peeled, deveined, butterflied and sauteed in butter with garlic
1. Melt butter in a large stock pot. Add celery, onion, carrots and garlic. Saute for five minutes, stirring often.
2. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Whisk in cream, stock and sherry.
3. When the soup comes to a simmer, add the lobster base and all seasonings. Allow soup to simmer over low heat. Gently stir in lobster and crab. Taste and salt if necessary.
4. Garnish each bowl of bisque with a sauteed shrimp
Hotel Roanoke She-Crab Soup
Serves 5 to 6
Recipe courtesy of the Regency Room at Hotel Roanoke. You may substitute equal parts clam juice and chicken stock for the seafood stock. If you do, taste finished soup before salting. You may use special, backfin, lump or jumbo lump crab meat. If using special or backfin meat, pick through it carefully and discard any shells.
3 oz. butter, olive oil or canola oil
4 oz. diced white onions
2 oz. diced celery
2 oz. diced carrot
1 garlic clove, minced
3 oz. flour
1 qt. crab or seafood stock, cold or room temperature
1 ½ Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning, or to taste
1⁄8 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
1⁄3 cup sherry
1 cup heavy cream
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 lb. crab meat
1. Heat butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Saute onions, celery, carrots and garlic until they are translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes.
2. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Slowly add stock, stirring briskly while pouring. Add spices and mix well. Stir in sherry.
3. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or use an immersion blender. Add cream and simmer until soup reaches desired thickness (it should coat the back of a spoon).
4. Stir in crab meat or serve with crab meat on top as a garnish. Alternatively, you can stir in some of the crab and save the rest for a small garnish.
Blue Apron Restaurant's Peruvian Potato Soup
This silky potato soup is garnished with a warm smoked bacon and whole-grain mustard potato salad. An immersion blender would work in a pinch, but to get the desired consistency it is better to puree this soup in a blender on high speed for a short period of time. Recipe courtesy of Blue Apron chef/owner Scott Switzer. You'll need six bulbs of roasted garlic (see editor's note) - three for the soup and three for the garnish.
1⁄2 lb. butter
2 white onions, peeled, diced large
2 stalks celery, diced large
2 parsnips, peeled, diced large
3 bulbs roasted garlic
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
1 bulb fennel, diced large
2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, diced large
2 lbs. Idaho potatoes, peeled, diced large
3 qts. chicken stock
1 qt. heavy cream
1 tsp. each cumin and white pepper
1⁄4 tsp. each ground cloves and nutmeg
1 bay leaf
Sea salt, to taste
For potato salad garnish:
1 white onion, diced small
1 lb. smoked bacon, diced
1 lb. purple potatoes, peeled, diced small, blanched
2 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
1 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
1 cup chopped chives
3 bulbs roasted garlic
Sea salt, pepper and smoked paprika to taste
1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, melt butter. Lightly saute onions, celery, parsnips, roasted garlic, rosemary and thyme. When herbs begin to release a strong aroma, add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
2. Transfer soup in batches to a blender and puree until smooth and silky. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
3. For garnish, sweat onions and bacon in the bacon fat in a large skillet. Add potatoes and saute until tender, but not falling apart. You want the potato chunks to hold their shape.
4. Quickly add all other salad ingredients and fold together. When you season, do not be alarmed if it requires up to two tablespoons of salt.
5. Serve each bowl of soup with a generous spoonful of potato salad on top. Garnish with tender celery leaves or pieces.
Editor's note: To roast garlic, peel away outer layer of skin. Slice about 1⁄4-inch off the top of the bulb, exposing the individual cloves. Place each bulb in the cup of a muffin pan, drizzle with olive oil and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until bulbs feel soft when gently squeezed. Allow to cool, then squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skin.
Martin's Rustic Sausage and White Bean Soup
Serves 4 to 6
If using dried beans, they should be picked through and soaked overnight before making this soup, then drained and rinsed well. If using canned beans, rinse well. Recipe courtesy of Jason Martin, owner.
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into 1⁄2 -inch pieces
2 yellow onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. dried white navy beans or 4 cans white navy beans
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
2 qts. chicken broth
1⁄2 tsp. cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large stockpot, saute sausage, onions and garlic until onions are softened and sausage is browned (the fat from the sausage should provide enough grease).
2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer for 2 hours if using dried beans, 30 to 45 minutes if using canned beans.
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