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Friday, October 2, 2009

Soup Kitchen

After the storm that is “Ondoy” and the devastation it left for many of our “kababayans”, here comes another one called “Pepeng/Parma”. Thankfully, it isn’t as strong in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, but there is still the winds and rainfall that encourage one to just spend the whole day indoors and cozy up in a couch with a book to read.

What better way to comfort one than a bowl of steaming hot soup. Here is a basic recipe that I use and have become popular with family and friends. It’s not the usual Pinoy soup though – like Pancit Molo and Chicken Sopas, but it has chicken stock as the all-familiar base and serves vegetables and herbs in a whole new light.

Cream of Parsley and Basil Soup

1 white onion, chopped
2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and halved
2 T butter
1 c. chopped fresh parsley
½ c chopped fresh basil
4 c. chicken stock
½ c cream
salt & pepper to taste

Sauté chopped onion in butter until fragrant in a stockpot or casserole. Add chopped parsley and basil. Pour chicken stock and add potatoes, and boil until potatoes are cooked through and can be mashed. Turn off heat and add cream. Stir, and let it cool.

Take out the potatoes and mash them with a fork then stir back into soup. In batches, blend the soup in blender until ingredients are incorporated well. Heat up the creamed soup until it starts to boil and season with salt and pepper. Serve in individual bowls. Croutons are optional.

If you are serving this soup to someone who is lactose intolerant, replace cream with the same amount of evaporated filled milk.

Cream of Broccoli or Cauliflower Soup

It’s the same procedure actually, just replace the parsley and basil with 1 to 1 ½ cup/s chopped broccoli or cauliflower florets. Before pouring soup in individual bowls, melt cheese in the bowls first in the microwave before pouring soup in. You can also add whole broccoli or cauliflower florets as garnish. For the cauliflower soup, no need to add cheese in.

Cream of Carrot and Squash Soup

Again, the same ingredients but replace the parsley and basil with 1 cup squash and ½ cup chopped carrots. When serving, pour soup in individual bowls and add a dollop of sour cream. If you’re counting calories, a dollop of creamy or plain yogurt works equally well.

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