This simple oyster soup recipe calls for canned oysters, which are always in season, and can be put together in a flash. For canned oysters, I recommend Crown Prince Whole Boiled Oysters. Here in northern Wisconsin, fresh raw oysters can be difficult to find, but if you have access to fresh oysters use them. If you want to turn this soup into chowder; first, dice a large potato and cook it in the water mixture before adding the oysters, cream and crackers.
Potatoes and corn are a classic pairing in chowder, featured in hundreds of home-style chowder concoctions. This simple chowder recipe features those two traditional ingredients and then ups the ante with the addition of sausage, celery and jalapeño pepper. Toss in a bit of seasoning, and you’ve got a hearty chowder that appeals to anyone craving a comforting a bowl of warmth on a cold afternoon or evening.
I made this rib-sticking chowder during the coldest weekend of the northern Wisconsin winter thus far in 2015. With evening temperatures falling to 18 below zero and daytime highs struggling to achieve positive numbers, the time was just right for hot and tasty soup. This easy chowder recipe is thick with vegetables and sausage and made rich and velvety by cream-style corn and evaporated milk. I use a standard breakfast-type sausage in this recipe, but you could easily use Italian sausage or bratwurst in its place.
For this Vegetarian Taco Soup Recipe, Ranch Dressing helps give the mixture a fresh and bright flavor. This taco soup recipe is also easy to make, and can be assembled very quickly using a handful of ingredients most of us keep in our cupboards: Ranch Dressing Mix Packet, Taco Seasoning, beans and tomatoes. The only wild card here is Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), which can be found in most grocery stores either in the aisle where baking goods are kept, in the organic foods section and online. The Rotel tomatoes with chilies give it some extra bite, and I use Penzeys Bold Taco Seasoning instead of a packet mix. If you don’t like spicy taco soup, use a can of regular crushed tomatoes and a packet of mild taco seasoning. Bottom line: this meatless taco soup is very flavorful and adaptable.
What is Textured Vegetable Protein?
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) is a dried soy product that looks like bulgur wheat, except the individual protein “grains” of TVP have a more ragged and crunchy appearance (see the photo below for comparison). TVP is convenient because you can keep it in the cupboard and bring it out when needed. You don’t have to refrigerate it or defrost it before using. TVP can be rehydrated easily with water or your favorite broth, generally in a 1:1 ratio: 1 cup of TVP to 1 cup of liquid.
TVP (left) and Bulgur Wheat (right) look similar, but TVP has a crunchier texture and more jagged appearance.
What does TVP taste like?
TVP doesn’t really taste like much when it is reconstituted using water. The flavor is that of a neutral grain, something like bulgur wheat. However, TVP is like a flavor sponge and quickly takes on the essence of its surrounding ingredients, making it perfect to use in well-seasoned soups. It also has a crumbly texture that is similar to ground meat, so it is a natural veggie substitute for recipes calling for ground beef or ground turkey.
How much TVP is equal to a pound of ground beef?
For recipes that call for 1 pound of ground beef, the equivalent amount of dried Textured Vegetable Protein would be 1 cup. Once the TVP is rehydrated with an equal amount of liquid (1 cup dry TVP to 1 cup liquid), the grains swell and increase in volume.
This Italian Chickpea Soup Recipe is based on one found in Luigi Carnacina‘s Great Italian Cookbook: La Grande Cucina Inernazionale. It is one of the most amazing cookbooks I’ve ever seen and an education in the classic ways of cooking Italian food. Carnacina’s recipe for Chickpea Soup Romana calls for 2 cups dried chickpeas, first soaked in cold water overnight before cooking.
Cooking with Canned Chickpeas
I use canned chickpeas here, as they are already cooked and ready to eat out of the can – almost. The problem with canned chickpeas is textural. You can’t achieve the creamy texture that you get when cooking dried chickpeas, but you can get closer by actually “cooking” the canned version for a while. And that’s what I do here. The key to using canned chickpeas is to first thoroughly rinse them with cold water to get rid of any canning solution and possible tinny flavors. Put the chickpeas in a colander and run cold water over them until no more “foamy” water bubbles are present on the beans. You will see these bubbles gradually disappear as the water removes any residue from the peas.
Chickpeas vs Garbanzo Beans – Are they different?
If you didn’t know, chickpeas and garbanzo beans are one in the same legume, but are just called a different name depending on where you are. In Italy, chickpeas are called “ceci” (pronounced chetch-ee).
Anchovy Fillets add Flavor not “Fishiness”
This humble soup is a lot of fun to make and relies on olive oil, rosemary, garlic and some anchovies to flavor a large amount of chickpeas and pasta. The broth ends up tasting rich and meaty – almost like chicken broth – but not overwhelming with any one flavor. Whatever you do, don’t skip the anchovy fillets. This isn’t an anchovy pizza – the salty fish serve to enrich this soup and give it extra backbone without tasting fishy. My wife hates anchovies, but liked this soup very much. If you don’t have anchovy fillets, you can substitute anchovy paste. This recipes calls for 3 anchovy fillets, and 1/2 teaspoon of anchovy paste is equal to 1 anchovy fillet, so just add 1 & 1/2 teaspoons paste instead.
This Romanian Bean with Bacon Soup and Dill brings together components from several different Romanian Bean Soup Recipes into a hearty and creamy dish that tastes familiar yet slightly exotic. Many Romanian dishes feature a sour component, and this soup is no exception with sour cream and vinegar used to sharpen the flavors and a bit of fresh dill to finish it off. However, this is not an overly sour soup. If you like basic ham and bean soup and want to branch out and try something a little different, here’s your chance. Just give yourself enough time to enjoy the process. This is best made on a weekend or when you have a day off to cook with leisure – the best way!
This Lentil Chorizo Soup Recipe was born like many of my soups – by opening the refrigerator door and seeing what’s available to throw in the soup pot. From there, it’s a matter of matching up ingredients that work well together. This should not be a complicated affair. You should choose things that you like and go with it. Do not look back! Part of the fun of making soup is cooking without a written recipe, just winging it. This Lentil Chorizo Soup is one of those recipes from the wing. And you know what? It turned out great. This is what I did.
This pumpkin soup recipe brings together the homey and familiar taste of pumpkin with the heady flavors of curry powder into an easy-to-make dish that can be easily tweaked to your liking. Don’t be put off by the jalapeno pepper – it provides a very subtle heat but more of a clean taste than anything. The toasted pumpkin seeds add a rich and meaty flavor. Don’t skip this step as these seeds are utterly delicious. Any leftovers will quickly be munched up!
This Louisiana-inspired soup brings together the tastes and textures of two classic Cajun dishes – Dirty Rice and Red Beans and Rice – and combines them into a delicious and hearty soup. Using a pre-packaged dirty rice mix makes this a fairly easy dish to prepare, as you can let the rice cook directly in the soup. Most packaged dirty rice mixes call for ground beef, but traditional dirty rice generally involves cooking sausage along with chicken livers or chicken gizzards, which are used here. You could easily substitute a pound of diced boneless chicken breast, chicken thighs or chicken livers for the gizzards or use a Cajun-style link sausage such as Andouille or ground beef in place of the ground sausage. But it won’t be quite as “dirty!”