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Lucretia B's International Cookbook Lucretia B's Amazing International Cookbook

Soups, stock and broth

Celestina: soupe de crepes

Lucretia B

(serves 6)
3 eggs
6 tb plain flour
3 tb fresh parsley, minced
1/2 cup milk
1 tb butter, melted
butter or oil for the pan
6 cups stock
1 tb Marsala or Port
grated parmesan cheese
This is the recipe of my grand-grandfather's traditional Boxing Day soup. The crepes (thin French pancakes) were prepared the day before Christmas, and just before lunch, on Boxing Day, cut and served with the stock from the boiled meat used for ravioli (which still are one of the entrees for our Christmas lunches). If you don't have any "leftover" stock, you can prepare some on purpose (see recipe), or resort to water and a couple of bouillon cubes.
The first step is preparing the crepes. Sift the flour in a bowl; break the eggs on top and stir with a fork. Add the parsley, milk, melted butter and a pinch of salt. Gently beat with a whisk until smooth and let stand for half an hour.
Brush a small non-stick frying pan with oil or butter and place over medium heat. When thoroughly heated (the fat should just start smoking), stir the batter and pour a small ladle in the frying pan, moving it round and round to spread the batter. The amount of batter you pour in the pan should be just enough to cover the bottom with a thin, even layer. After one or two minutes, when the crepe starts getting crisp around the borders, turn the crepe over and cook it on the other side for another minute. Slid this first crepe into a plate; grease the frying pan and repeat the process until all the batter is used, placing the cooked crepes one on top of the other in the plate.
These crepes can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days. They can also be frozen, and then thawed for at least 3 hours, out of the fridge, before preparing the soup.
To arrange the soup, bring the stock to a boil. In the meantime, roll up the crepes, one or two at a time, and cut them into thin strips, in the fashion of tagliatelle or tagliolini. Divide these strips into 6 soup bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper. Remove the stock from the heat, add the wine and a small piece of butter (butter is optional). Stir well and pour in the bowls. Serve immediately.

Vichyssoise: potato and leek soup

Lucretia B

(serves 6)
6 leeks
6 large potatoes (1 kg approx)
rosemary, preferably fresh
1 tb butter
1 stock cube (optional)
sour cream
Clean the leeks: peel away the outer layer, remove and discard the bases and the upper inch from the green tops. Cut each leek in two "logs". Quickly wash the white parts; cut in half, lengthwise, the green parts and wash them under running water, making sure there's no dirt left between leaves. Peel and wash the potatoes. If using fresh rosemary, wash a twig and remove the leaves.
Finely slice the leeks. In a large stockpot, saute the leeks with the butter and the rosemary leaves, finely chopped, for 5 to 10 minutes.
Cut each potato in four pieces. When the leeks are tender, add the potato pieces. Cover with cold water (approx. 2 lt), add the stock cube or a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 40 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve hot, passing sour cream separately.

Italian style stock

Lucretia B

beef brisket or silverside
fresh rosemary
bay leaves
juniper berries
fresh sage
rock salt
Optional ingredients
beef bones (from the knee)
According to The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, stock is "the liquor made by boiling bones or meat (with our without vegetables) and used as a foundation for soup". Yet, when talking of stock in Italy, the general idea about its ingredients is rather precise and not exactly "optional".
In our Italian grandmother's opinion, there were three types of stock: the jelly (no recipe is given here), the one expressly made for soups, and the one resulting as a derived product from boiled meats (lesso or bollito - see recipe).
What this three different methods have in common are a handful of basic ingredients and the preliminaries: for 4 to 8 servings, allow 2 to 6 celery stalks with leaves, 1 large onion, 1 medium carrot, plus a bouquet garni made with fresh sage, rosemary and thyme, a couple of bay leaves, 6 juniper berries, 3 peppercorns and a small piece of nutmeg (or a pinch of ground nutmeg). When fresh herbs are not available, dried herbs can be substituted; garlic and cloves (no more than 2 for the above quantities) can be added to taste. All herbs and spices should be loosely wrapped in a piece of muslim, which is sewn to prevent the herbs from dispersing.
Now, for the preparation:
Stock meant for soups should be made by placing the meat, the vegetables (cleaned and washed), the bouquet garni and a couple of teaspoons rock salt in a large stockpot, holding at least twice their volume. The ingredients are completely covered with cold water and simmered over very low heat for three to four hours, adding more hot water if needed. In the end, the water will have absorbed all the flavours and "substance", making a wonderful base for pastina (see recipe) and risotto (see recipe).
When the stock is ready, excess grease should be removed. The simplest way to do this is to drain the solid parts and pour the liquor into a bowl; when cool, place it into the refrigerator and let it stand overnight. The following day, the fat will be congealed on top and can be removed very easily.
The meat simmered in this fashion will be too dry to be served as lesso (see recipe), yet good enough for meatballs, fritters or the typical frittata di carne (see recipe).

Note: Especially in the country, this type of stock is often made only from the less noble parts of a chicken - including head, neck, feet, gizzard. In this case, beef is omitted, or just beef bones are used.

Pastina: Italian noodle soup

Lucretia B

(serves 4)
1 lt stock (see recipe)
1 cup very small pasta shapes or broken angelhair
1 tb butter
grated Parmesan cheese
Bring the stock to a full boil. Pour in the pasta and stir until the stock starts boiling again. Reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked. Remove from heat and stir in the butter.
Serve hot, passing the cheese separately.

Potato and pumpkin soup

Lucretia B

(serves 6)
6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 lb pumpkin, peeled and sliced
3 garlic cloves
pinch of rosemary
pinch of sage
1 ts salt
2 tb butter
grated cheese
sour cream
Place potatoes, pumpkin, garlic, rosemary, sage and salt in a large pot. Cover with cold water and cook over low heat for a couple of hours, adding hot water if necessary. Turn off the heat, taste for salt, add butter and mix well.
Serve hot with grated cheese and/or sour cream.

Baked potato soup

Thanks: Jamie "CuisineArt", AZ

(serves 8 - 12)
1 oz bacon grease
1/2 pound yellow onion -- medium diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded -- medium diced
1/2 red bell pepper -- medium diced
1 bunches green onion -- small diced
2 1/2 pounds leftover baked potato -- large diced
3 oz chicken base
2 tablespoons lemon pepper
1/2 tablespoon tabasco sauce
1 gallons water or chicken stock
1/2 pound butter
1 1/2 cups flour
8 oz country gravy mix
1 pt half and half
milk as needed
In a large stock pot, place bacon grease and let heat. Add onion &bell peppers and saute for 5 minutes. Add green onion &baked potato, saute additional 5 minutes. Add water or stock, all seasoning, including chicken base, and bring to a simmer.
In a separate pan cook butter &flour, to make a "roux". When it starts to turn a light blonde color let cool and then add to simmering pot. Let this cook for 20 minutes.
In a separate bowl mix half and half with gravy mix and then stir into the soup. Let the soup simmer an additional 15 minutes adding milk as needed to thin out soup.

Soupe d'oignons: onion soup

Les recettes de GC, France

(serves 4)
4 large onions, finely sliced
2 + 2 oz butter
1 tb plain flour
4 cups water (or broth)
1 bouillon cube (if you're using water)
4 slices of bread, toasted
4 tb gruyere or cheddar, shredded
Place onions, a pinch of thyme and 2 oz of butter in a saucepan. Cover with lid and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, adding some cold water if necessary. When the onions are very tender, turn up the heat to medium. Add the flour and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring all the time. Take the pan off the heat and pour in the water (or broth). Mix well, then place the pan back on the heat. Add salt, pepper (and bouillon cube, if you're using water) and simmer on very low heat for another 20 to 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the remaining 2 oz of butter.
Place 1 slice of bread in each individual bowl. Pour the soup over the bread, sprinkling with cheese.
Freezing instructions: Cook onions and flour as before directed, without adding any liquid, and freeze. When you want to get your Soupe d'Oignons ready, just add the onions to water or broth, without thawing. Cook for 15 minutes after the soup starts boiling.

Pasta Fazool

Thanks: Sue's Mom, US

(serves 4)
1 can stewed tomatoes (14 1/2 oz size)
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz size)
1 can chicken Broth (optional)
2 tb oil
1/2 tb basil, chopped
1/4 ts oregano
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup dried navy beans
2 cups pasta (shell or elbow macaroni)
2 links Italian sausage, cooked and diced
Combine stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth (or equiv. water), oil, basil, oregano, onion, garlic, and wine. Cook slowly for approx. 20 minutes. Set aside.
Bring beans and 4 cups water to a boil and boil slowly for 2 min. Turn off heat and soak for one hour. Continue cooking beans with a little salt, until tender. Set aside.
Bring to a boil enough water to cook 2 cups of small shell or elbow macaroni until al dente. Drain the macaroni, reserving about 1 cup of the water. Use this water to add to sauce mix. Add beans, sausage, and pasta to the tomato sauce mix, and heat thoroughly.

Erwtensoep o snert (Dutch split green pea Soup)

Thanks: Martin John Baars, The Netherlands

(serves 4 - 6)
5 oz (dried) split green peas
3 1/2 pints water
1 lb pork ribs
1/2 lb bacon
1 small celeriac
2 potatoes
2 leeks
2 stalks of celery
1 carrot (optional)
parsley (optional)
2 bay leaves (optional)
1 smoked sausage (optional)
Rinse and drain the green peas. Chop thyme, celeriac, potatoes, leeks, celery stalks and leaves. If desired, you can add chopped parsley and carrot, and bay leaves.
Place the vegetables in a large pan, with peas, meat and bacon, water, salt, pepper and (if desired) the smoked sausage.
Cook for 2 hours approx.

Easy minestrone (vegetable soup)

Lucretia B

(serves 6 - 8)
1 cup dried borlotti (pinto) beans
1/2 cup barley (uncooked)
1/2 cup dried brown lentils
1 large carrot
4 celery stalks, some leaves included (say, from 2 of the stalks)
4 to 6 garlic cloves
1 large onion
1 large zucchini
some cabbage (less than 1/4)
1 handful spinach or English spinach, raw
1 small handful fresh basil leaves
4 fresh sage leaves
soup seasoning to taste
small pinch of dried mixed or Italian herbs
Thoroughly wash barley, beans, and lentils, by placing them in a colander under running water. Place barley, beans and lentils in a large saucepan (holding approx 4 litres - or 8 pints) and cover with cold water (more or less to fill half the pan).
Clean, wash and drain the other veggies. Chop up carrots, garlic and celery in the food processor (not too long, in that you shouldn't end up with "juice"). Place them in the pan. Finely slice the onion and zucchini, previously cut in half; also slice, cut in pieces or chop in the food processor cabbage, basil, sage and "green" leaves (spinach or English spinach). Place all the vegetables in the pan, adding cold water to cover, if needed. Add seasoning and dried herbs and cook on low heat for 2 to 3 hours, or until borlotti are tender, stirring occasionally.
In a way, you can "forget" minestrone, while it's cooking - so I find it a great resource when I have no time (or when it's too hot) to spend in the kitchen "minding" meals... In addition, as it's even better the day after, you can cook it in advance, while preparing another meal.
Serve minestrone (hot, lukewarm or cold) adding directly in the individual bowls a little of extra-virgin olive oil and some grated Parmesan cheese (pepper to taste) to get the best out of it.

Pasta and beans

Lucretia B

(serves 4 - 6)
1 cup dried borlotti (pinto) beans (measured before soaking)
1 tb olive oil
1 carrot
2 celery stalks, leaves included
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
Fresh or dried herbs (sage, rosmary, and bay leaves or mixed or Italian herbs)
2 cups pasta (elbows or other "short" shape)
Pepper, extra virgin olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese to taste
Soak beans overnight, then rinse under cold running water, drain and cook with 1 stalk of celery and a couple of bay leaves, with enough water to cover them completely. If you're using a pressure cooker, allow 1 1/2 cups of water for every cup of soaked beans.
While beans are cooking, clean, wash and drain the other veggies. Chop up (or mince in the food processor) carrot, garlic, celery and onion. Place the vegetables in a pan with the oil and the herbs of your choice. Cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring regularly.
When beans are cooked, discard celery and bay leaves. Place the beans in the pan with the other vegetables, adding 5 cups of their liquid and a pinch or two of salt. Bring to boil and cook for another 10 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring and "mashing" the beans in order to have a thicker soup. Add pasta, reduce the heat and simmer until pasta is cooked.
Serve the soup adding directly in the individual bowls a little of extra-virgin olive oil and some grated Parmesan cheese (pepper to taste). Like minestrone, pasta and beans soup tastes even better if served the day after.

Last updated 28 jun 2011 | | aquasapone | mayfield | soap naturally | soap list

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