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SouperBowl

I swear I don’t only make soup. But here I am with another soup post. It is my turn to do this week’s roundup and make the selection for this next #SouperBowl challenge.

First for the challenge. As always we will be following the rules set forth by Nickel Moon. This week the soup type will be Japanese and the three ingredients to be used are beef, leeks, and fresh chilies. Join us and have fun.

Now for the roundup. Last week’s German soup posts all looked great. I find it cool that so far with the same types of soup and the same three ingredients we have all come up with something pretty different.

Amanda at Dabblings and Whimsey did an incredible looking Gouda Cheese and Beer Soup. I definitely and going to make this one. I absolutely love the sounds of everything about this.

Gouda Cheese and Beer Soup In a Bread Bowl

Lynn at Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat made an awesome looking Obatzda Beer Soup with Black Bread Croutons. Just looking at this makes me warm on a cold day, you can just see the flavor.

I was pretty happy with how my Sauerkraut Soup it turned out  as well. A very satisfying and a little twist on a family recipe.

This is the third addition to the #SouperBowl lineup. We were challenged to make a German soup with the ingredients of beer, cheese, and bread. This was significantly less of a stretch than Moroccan for me. I took a family recipe and tweaked it a bit and this is what I came up with. The rules we are running under were originally posted at Nickel Moon. If you have been following along you know that there is a nationality picked and three ingredients that must be used, everything else is fair game.

This soup turned out great. My wife who does not like beer or sauerkraut  enjoyed it as well and made her coworkers jealous when reheating the leftovers the next day in the office microwave. I only simmered it for 45 minutes, but I think that a longer simmering time really would have brought the cheese flavor out more. Next time I make this I plan on making it in a crock pot, simmering throughout the day with better beer than I happened to have on hand. This received a partial seal of approval from the little guy. He enjoyed the broth but wasn’t as much into the rest of it.

Hofbräuhaus Sauerkraut Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 strips of bacon diced
  • 4 knockwurst sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 cored, peeled, grated apple
  • 2 beers (preferably a dark German beer but I used an American lager and it was good)
  • 1 can pureed tomato
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2-3 cheese ends * (Parmesan if you have it)
  • 1 lb sauerkraut drained
  • 1 Russet potato grated
  • Salt to taste
  • Bread cut into rounds toasted
  • 5 TBS or more grated Swiss cheese

Instructions

  1. In a dutch oven or pot with cover, saute bacon until crispy and set aside.
  2. In the bacon grease sauté the knockwurst until just browned and set aside as well.
  3. Sauté onion until it start to get soft; add the grated potatoes and apple and saute for an additional 5 minutes then add the sauerkraut and toss together.
  4. Add the cheese ends, caraway seeds (in a tea ball or wrapped in cheese cloth), tomato puree, beer and beef stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover then set to a simmer for 45 minutes to 8 hours. Remove the cheese ends and spice packet.
  6. Add the bacon and knockwurst to a pot and continue to simmer for at least another 5 minutes or unto ready to serve.
  7. Serve out the soup into your bowls, top with the toasted crouton and cover each with a bit of grated cheese and melt under it a broiler..

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 00:10

Cook time: 01:00

* Save your cheese ends in a bag in a freezer whenever you finish a hard cheese. Cut off any of the wax or other inedible coating and use it to deeper the flavor of soups. It’s free flavor, do it.

When Janis announced that the second #SouperBowl  challenge was to be a Moroccan soup that  included garbanzo beans, ginger, and pasta, I was a little taken aback. I have not really worked with Moroccan food much at all. So I read up and grabbed some ingredients from here and there and hopefully embraced some of the flavors and feel of Moroccan soup. I saw several soups with carrots and sweet potatoes but seeing as I needed to incorporate a pasta I thought – why not a sweet potato spaetzle.

Boiling Spaetzle

Cooked spaetzle

Frankly this ended up tasting far better than I expected. I may bump the spices up a notch next time, but my wife thought it was spot on. The texture was great, the carrots were smooth, there was a little texture from the garbanzo beans, and the spaetzle burst with salty sweetness that really added to the dish. This did not get the toddler seal of approval, but what can I say toddlers are fickle, some other day he may have been licking his bowl.


Moroccan Ginger Carrot Soup with Sweet Potato Spaetzle

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Onions diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 finger sized piece of Ginger peeled and minced
  • 8 medium Carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups of Garbanzo Beans soaked overnight
  • 2 quarts of Chicken broth
  • Dash of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 large Sweet Potato
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • small bunch of cilantro chopped with stems

Instructions

  1. Saute onions, garlic and ginger in olive oil until onions are soft
  2. Add garbanzo beans, carrots, broth and spices. Bring to a boil and then simmer until carrots are tender. While soup is simmering, start the spätzle.
  3. Cook the sweet potato until tender. To do this quickly, wrap in plastic wrap and microwave on high for 10 minutes.* Scoop out potato from skin and cool.
  4. Once cooled, stir the flour and eggs into the sweet potato until completely combined. It should resemble the texture of a thick pancake batter.
  5. Boil a pot of heavily salted water and have a bowl of ice water on hand.
  6. To make the spätzle, push a small batch of the batter through the holes of a colander (or as I had to do the holes in a spoon) into the boiling water – the spätzle should resemble small short strands. After 1 minute, the noodles will have slightly changed color. Remove them with a strainer and place in the ice water to stop the cooking. Repeat the procedure until done with the batter.
  7. Strain the noodles from the ice water and divide them among the bowls.
  8. When the carrots are tender and the garbanzo beans have a bit of bite blend soup with a stick blender until smooth **
  9. Pour soup over the noodles and garnish with a heavy handed batch of cilantro

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 00:10

Cook time: 01:20

* You can bake or boil and drain the sweet potatoes until tender if you prefer not to microwave.

** If you do not have a stick blender, I strongly recommend getting one. Every time that I read a recipe for soup where it calls for cooling down the soup then transferring it in small batches to a blender I maniacally laugh while blending away in the pot that I am cooking in (careful not to splash, it is usually hot). Besides, it means one less thing to wash and my wife always appreciates not having to wash those tiny blender parts. The stick blender you get ought to be all plastic or all stainless steel – any that combine the two just tend to snap as they’re not really well bonded together. The part that gets all dirty goes into the dishwasher. All in all, it makes soup making (and a variety of other things) nice and easy.

Edit: that was 8 cups or 2 quarts… not 8 quarts.

 

One of my favorite soups growing up was my mom’s garbage soup. We also called it escarole soup if we wanted it to sound more appetizing. I have been eating this for as long as I can remember and it is a family favorite. I have found that just about everyone else in the world already knows about it or something similar under the name Italian wedding soup.

When the SouperBowl challenge was first proposed on twitter I dont think it mattered what the mystery three ingredients were, I was making this soup as soon as I saw that the chosen type was Italian. In this case the three ingredients to use were orange peel, eggplant, and beans.

Replacing the potatoes in the soup with beans seemed easy enough (probably more traditional) as was adding orange zest to the meatballs, but where to put the eggplant. In the end I decided that I loved the smokey flavor of roasted eggplant and it might add a nice smokiness to the meatball. So I added roasted eggplant to the meat and an extra egg and bread crumbs to hold things together.

All in all I thought it was great. I would skip the eggplant next time but I might keep the orange and beans.

Everyone, even the most important critic at the table, liked it. Myself I thought the flavors were very good, however I had been eating my mom’s original version of this my entire life so I had a hard time getting past the fact that this was almost right, just slightly off.

This may go without saying, but I would recommend not dropping your soup on the floor. It looks remarkably less appetizing afterwards… though I still ate the meatballs.

Eggplant Escarole Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 Large Eggplant
  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (approximate just enough to hold things together)
  • 1 lb escarole sliced
  • 2 medium carrots sliced
  • 2 celery sticks sliced
  • 1 orange
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 30 oz cooked or canned cannellini beans
  • salt to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven to 500 F
  2. While preheating chop and slice all your veggies and set aside
  3. Zest the orange and set aside
  4. Combine stock, tomato paste, and juice from half of the orange and bring to a simmer over a medium low heat
  5. Poke lots of holes with a fork in the eggplant and place on a baking pan in the preheated oven, baking eggplant for one hour until charred
  6. Scoop out the eggplant and cool by stirring in a metal bowl over a bowl of ice water
  7. Mix eggplant, orange zest, salt, garlic, eggs, meat, and bread crumbs (enough to hold together loosely)
  8. Form 3/4 inch meat balls and place in simmering stock cover for 10 minutes
  9. Add the carrots, celery and escarole and continue cooking covered, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until the carrots are just tender
  10. Add the beans, stir and serve with Parmesan cheese grated over if you like

Yield: 6 servings

 

Prep Time: 00:30

Cook time: 01:40