Published by Workman Publishing Company, New York, NY
Talk about daunting…in the book, this recipe is about 10 pages long with all its lists and variations, and is really more a formula than a recipe. I had to read it a few times to really get the hang of it, but it forever changed my soup-making process. After using this recipe a few times I began to see the genius of Crescent Dragonwagon (I love that name). Her style of soup-making has you layering in the flavors. I have since gone on to use her tricks in all my cooking and baking.
This recipe uses lists; lists of liquids, lists of aromatics, lists of vegetables, lists of proteins, and lists of carbohydrates. There are many variations on the basic recipe, too. Although the soup making process is similar for all the variations, you can make hundreds of different soups by changing up the items you select from the different lists. Because of the flexibility of this formula, I suggest that you keep a pen and paper in the kitchen to write down which items you picked, so that you can duplicate your masterpiece later. I’ve included all the lists here and The Soup recipe is at the bottom. Just read through and choose from the lists. The Soup is a nice basic variation, but it is one variation out of ten. Get your hands on this book and try some of the other variations; Quick and Wonderful Garlicky, Simple with Browned Onions, French Style, Russian Style, Italian Style, etc., you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!
10-12 cups liquid of choice, broken down as follows:
8-10 cups brothy liquid ( defatted chicken stock, vegetable stock, leftover cooking liquid from beans, water and bouillon cubes )
2 cups tomatoey liquid or puree ( v-8, Picante v-8, tomato juice, spicy tomato juice, fresh or canned diced tomatoes, canned whole tomatoes in juice that have been buzzed to a chunky puree in the food processor)
1-2 cups red or white wine (optional)
Seasonings and Aromatics:
2 to 10 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 3 large onions, diced (or substitute 1-2 cups diced shallots or scallions, or 1-2 leeks that have been trimmed, split open lengthwise and well washed)
1 Tablespoon savory seasoning (Worcestshire Sauce, Pickapeppa, Tamari/Shoya sauce)
1/2 to 2 teaspoons favorite hot sauce (Tabasco, Frank’s, Louisiana, Crystal, Cajun Sunshine)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 to 6 cups fresh and/or frozen vegetables chosen from a combination of any of the following:
green beans, stems and tails removed, sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
zucchini or yellow squash, split lengthwise into quarters, then into 1/4 inch thick slices
celery ribs, diced
green or savoy cabbage, cored and shredded
greens, well washed, tough ribs removed ( tender spinach leaves should be cut into ribbons and put in the pot during the last three minutes)
carrots, split lengthwise into quarters, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 to 2 bags, 16 oz. each of frozen mixed vegetables (free of sauce, butter, and starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes)
white rice, cooked
brown rice, cooked
grains, (barley, couscous, kasha) cooked
potato, cooked and diced
corn, fresh or frozen, cooked
eggs, hard-cooked and diced
chicken, cooked and diced
fish, cooked and flaked
pork or beef, fat removed, cooked and cut into chunks
hard or semi-soft cheese, grated
tofu, firm, cubed
yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese
1. In a large soup pot, bring to a boil your brothy liquid of choice plus a choice of tomatoes and/or juice.
2. Add your choices from the seasonings and aromatics list.
3. Assemble whatever fresh and/or frozen vegetables you wish. If using fresh, sliced green beans, give them a 5 to 10 minute head start on the rest of the vegetables. Add any frozen vegetables to the pot and bring the soup back to a boil. Then add the fresh vegetables, unless they are very tender(such as spinach leaves), and bring the soup back to a boil again.
4. Turn down the heat and simmer, partially covered until the vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes, adding in spinach in the last 3 minutes.
5. To serve, place Carbohydrate and Protein of choice in soup bowl and ladle soup in on top of it. The addition of carbs and protein are completely optional, but nice.