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There’s more to soup than the basics

In our kitchen, soup is always on the list of items to make. For some reason, all week I have been thinking about smoked items to play with: smoked turkey, sausage or ham provides another layer of depth and flavour to soup and pot pies. We are currently enjoying the company of a butcher who provides his local ingredients for us to make signature items for his shop.

Soup seems so basic, but to make a good one takes time, skill and love. Nurturing a good pot of soup starts with the basics: onions, flavour agents such as herbs and garlic, and a tasty stock. Soups can be thickened in many ways; some include flour but my favourite are thickened with vegetables, potato, sweet potato or tomato. The flavour is clean and fresh, and the ingredients shine through. This method of cooking allow vegans, and those with wheat allergies to enjoy our soups as well.

So whether you enjoy a stick-to-your-ribs soup or something light and tasty, these recipes will inspire you to get out the soup pot and wooden spoon. Don’t forget some crusty bread and crackers. Happy cooking!

 

Smoked Ham Hock Soup

 

Sautee

 

1 onion

1 leek, sliced into rings

1 carrot, diced

2 stalks celery, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 bay leaves

8 sprigs of thyme

 

Add-ons

 

9 cups of pork hock stock

1 can tomato paste

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can of mixed beans

Salt and pepper

Chopped parsley

In large pot, sauté onions, leek, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaves and thyme. Sweat vegetables until translucent;

Add tomato paste, stir until bright orange (turn the heat down);

Add broth, and diced tomato; simmer until vegetables are tender;

Add canned beans, shredded pork hock;

Season with salt and pepper.

 

Smokey Tomato Soup

 

2 tbsp olive oil

2 roasted red peppers

1 onion, julienned

3 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp smoked sweet paprika

2 tbsp Italian seasoning

2 bay leaves

1/2 can of tomato paste

2 cans of plum tomatoes

1 can of tomato juice

1/4 tomato juice can of water

Season with salt and pepper

In preheated pot, put in olive oil, onion garlic, spices and bay leaves. Sauté until onions are translucent;

Add tomato paste, stir to combine;

Add tomatoes, tomato juice and roasted red pepper. Simmer for approximately 25 minutes, remove bay leaves and puree;

Season with salt and pepper.

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