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Food Network Canada has tapped the expertise of the local soup-erstars at The Burnt Tongue to revisit what they consider to be five quintessential classic soups - including two recipes being ladled up at the restaurant this week! - plus tips on storing soups and delicious ideas to spice up old favourites.
When it comes to soup, the possibilities are endless! At our restaurant we have cooked hundreds of soups and are trying new ones on a daily basis. But there are classic soups that we can't seem to stray from, that magically bridge the gap between the present and our past, and are sure to stir up nostalgic memories. When done right, bowls of these recipes can have comforting and even healing qualities.
1. Chicken Noodle Soup Arguably one of the most classic soups. We've had this soup hundreds of times- to warm up on a Canadian winter day or to cure our malaise after catching a cold. This soup will freeze well if you add the noodles upon defrosting. Don't forget to splurge on your stock- this is a must. Some ideas to update this soup include: switching up the herbs (try rosemary or mint), vegetables, add cream and different spices. One of our favourite swaps is using cheese tortellini in place of noodles.
2. French Onion Soup This soup is so popular it's on almost every menu in North America. A rich, winter-friendly soup that has the added comfort of cheese and bread, and it freezes incredibly well. To take your French Onion to the next level, splurge on high quality onions which will produce a much better flavour when paired with a high quality spirit or wine like Calvados or Brandy.
3. Beef & Barley Soup This full flavored beef soup is a hearty meal in a bowl. With earthy undertones from the barley and vegetables, this soup is guaranteed to please even the pickiest of eaters. When making this recipe, don't forget to invest in quality beef and pair it with your favourite red wine. Whether you make it yourself or purchase it from the market, a good stock is also a must. If you feel like changing things up, try swapping the beef for chicken and adding any of your favourite root vegetables.
4. Cream of Mushroom with Tarragon Soup This beautiful soup, made from mushrooms, cream and butter, has a rich and satisfying flavour that is the base for many sauces as well. The nostalgic flavours of this soup can be paired with anything from chicken and beef to fish and pork. It doesn't freeze very well, but will last up to ten days in the fridge if the cream is added upon defrosting. Spend a little more for a quality assortment of fresh mushrooms. And don't forget, 35% cream is a must! Ingredients to save on would be wine, tarragon, flour and stock. If you don't like tarragon, you can swap it out for fresh thyme. Feeling like switching things up? Add some chicken, wild rice and smoked paprika!
5. Old Fashioned Cream of Tomato Soup with Arborio Rice Perhaps Chicken Noodle's greatest contender; this soup is simmered with memories of eating with childhood friends and dipping buttery grilled cheese right into the bowl, creating one of the best pairings on earth. Seek out fresh tomatoes that are skinned and seeded for optimal texture and flavour. Feel like experimenting? Play around with herbs and spices or try using orzo pasta or wild rice in place of the arborio rice.
by The experts at The Burnt Tongue