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Soup Recipe: Liquid Gold in a Bowl

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I’ve never been the biggest fan of the cold, but being from the Windy City you QUICKLY learn that “The Hawk” simply doesn’t care about your feelings.  Your only refuge is layering up and dealing with it.  Period.  It happens in all the more frigid regions of the country, with disdain leading some of us to go through the annual “I’m moving down South” speech.  Save yourself the relocation fees.  We can all make this blustery journey a bit easier with some warm soup.

Soup is believed to have been around since the beginning of cooking. It was first known as “sop,” which was a medieval dish of a thick stew poured on slices of bread to soak up the liquid.  Soup was enjoyed by every class of people, as it was very cheap to make and it was also used medicinally, prescribed to sick patients in Ancient times.  Over time it evolved, and regional availability of ingredients led to classic creations such as African peanut soup, Creole gumbo, clam chowder, lobster bisque, Italian minestrone, Mexican Pozole and many more “liquid gold” concoctions.  The restaurant industry is said to be built upon soups in 18th century Paris, serving broth, consommé and bouillon.  Today, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a restaurant that doesn’t serve some type of soup, from gazpacho (a cold tomato & vegetable soup) to a Thai-style salmon soup (I make it with the head & bones……….deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious).

I’m about to hook you up with a bowl of absolute greatness.  Make an extra pot and pass it on; the teen shelters and homeless people living on OUR streets could surely use it.  You’ll warm their hearts and yours.  As a matter of fact, if you and a group of folks want to get together to make soups and pass out, contact me at digitalpitches@ebony.com and let’s start the “Soup Crew” movement!

But I digress.  Follow these two delectable recipes  below, and remember, soup ALWAYS taste better the second day. 

Black bean and pear soup

c = cup

t= teaspoon

T = tablespoon

*2 (14-16 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed, low sodium

*4 pears, cored and diced

*1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

*1 bell pepper, diced

*2 medium/large Vidalia onions, chopped

*2 garlic cloves, minced

*1 (14-16 oz) can diced tomatoes (“fire roasted” preferred), low sodium

*¼ c cilantro, chopped

*1 T olive oil, or as needed

*Kosher salt, to taste

*Black pepper, to taste

 

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion and cook until translucent about 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Then add the sweet potatoes, bell pepper, tomatoes with its liquid, and 2 cups of water; bring this mixture to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer until potatoes are “al dente” (“to the tooth”, having a slight bite), about 12-15 minutes.

Uncover, stir in the beans and pears, and simmer until the beans are hot, about 2-3 minutes.  Take off the heat, add the cilantro; adjust the seasoning with the salt and pepper. Serve hot or cold.  LET SOUP COOL TO ROOM TEMPERATURE BEFORE PUTTING IN THE REFRIGERATOR (STIR OFTEN TO SPEED UP THIS PROCESS).

 

Butternut squash and pear soup

*1 medium butternut squash, roughly chopped

*4 large pears, cored and diced

*1 c almond milk, unflavored

*1 T butter

*1 T kosher salt

*2 T raw organic honey

*2 t nutmeg

Place squash in a medium sized pot, and fill with water (about 1 inch over the squash); bring to a boil.  When it reaches a boil, add the mango, stir, and reduce to medium.   When the contents are tender, remove the pot from the stove.  Remove the squash and mangoes with a slotted spoon and put into the blender; puree, adding ½ cup of water to help make it smooth (add a little more water if necessary).  Add the almond milk, butter, nutmeg, honey, salt, and continue to blend.  Adjust the seasoning as necessary; serve hot.  LET SOUP COOL TO ROOM TEMPERATURE BEFORE PUTTING IN THE REFRIGERATOR (STIR OFTEN TO SPEED UP THIS PROCESS).

More About the Chef:

Chef Cordell passionately pursues educating others how to build healthy cooking and eating habits for life via cooking classes, grocery store tours, kitchen makeovers, public speaking, corporate wellness training, restaurant consulting, etc. Through his nonprofit work, he looks to offer community based solutions for education of,  and access to, healthier food solutions. 

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