Pumpkin-Squash Bisque

11/23/07 | by alvaro [mail] | Categories: Soups+Stews

This year I grew round zucchini. These things are very common in Uruguay and Argentina. When picked small (baseball), they can be stuffed and are simply delicious.

Small Round Zucchini (Zapallitos)

I let one grow to the size of a soccer ball so I could save the seeds for next year. At this point it taste similar to a pumpkin, so I decided that this guy plus the decoration out front would make a nice autumn soup!

I loosely followed this recipe. Alton Brown’s Squash Soup

This is roughly what it had in it:

1/2 small pumpkin
1 Round Zucchini
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon minced ginger
3 ounces evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup of rescued pumpkin dip (This was saved in the freezer). This is the unknown, it had all sorts of stuff in it. It was mostly canned pumpkin, sugar, cream cheese and misc spices. Adding some honey and cream should reproduce this if you want a sweeter soup…

This turned out to be a delicious autumn bisque!

Autumn Bisque
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Broccoli-Ham Soup

11/23/07 | by alvaro [mail] | Categories: Appetizers

About a year ago, I started saving all my left over veggie parts. Alison does not like the broccoli stalks, so there was at least 1.5 gallons of those. About a quart of asparagus but ends, 1/2 a quart of long green onion green ends, 1/2 quart of anise. I also saved misc things, like 1/4 can of canned carrots, 1/4 can of beans and even a fair amount of blood from a cow tenderloin! I even found a nice chunk of ham from the last holiday season. Yum. Oh and while I was at it, I went to the front of the house and used a decoration (small pumpkin) in it too. There is only one thing you can do with such an varied array of junk - soup!

So here it is:

Broccoli Ham Soup

I added the junk to water. Let water boil. Threw out most of it, then took the good stuff and put it in the blender. I left 1/2 the pumpkin and the meat pieces whole. Towards the end I decided it didn’t have enough flavor, so I sautéed 1/2 an onion in olive oil, then when translucent added mashed up garlic. I put this into the soup then back into the bender to fully incorporate it. This is an easy fix for any bland soup!

Here is a list of stuff that is in the soup.

Freezer:
broccoli stalks
long green onion stalks
celery
anise
asparagus
1/4 can of carrots
1/4 can of navy beans
1/8 quart blood
Unidentified Cow Part
chunk of holiday ham

Fresh:
1/2 small pumpkin
1/2 onion
4 cloves of garlic
chicken stock

It’s pretty yummy. Tastes similar to a pea-ham soup!

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11/18/07 | by alvaro [mail] | Categories: Soups+Stews

I wanted a quick tomato soup without resorting to using Campbell’s soup. I find that it has an overwhelming chemical and corn syrup flavor plus an itchy throat after-tingle. I started by lightly cooking some onion until translucent in olive oil. I added garlic, then threw in the can of tomato, 1.25 cans of milk, .3 cans of red wine, and then some misc spices… It was pretty delicious. A little kick was added by using two shakes of Tabasco brand Habanero sauce.

Ingredient List:

15 oz can tomato sauce
20 oz milk
5 oz red wine
1/4 - 1/2 an onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp chicken stock powder
1/8 tsp all spice
black pepper
chili powder
paprika
parsley flakes
Tabasco Habanero Sauce

Notes:
If you don’t want a sweet soup, make sure it has no sugar, or use diced tomatoes

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Hot Cocoa

11/18/07 | by alvaro [mail] | Categories: Beverages

Today I experimented with Hot Cocoa. Not satisfied with any powders, I went right for the good stuff – Semi Sweet chocolate chips! I also bought a can of evaporated milk, in case it was not creamy enough.

I melted about 6 oz of chips in the bottom of a sauce pan, then slowly added about 24 oz (3 cups) pre-microwaved milk. When doing this remember NEVER to heat the mixture over 180 deg F, or the cocoa butter will separate and float to the top. Use a thermometer!

When tasting, it was apparent it need some more creaminess, so I added about 7 oz of evaporated milk. At this point the taste was excellent, but the consistency was a bit too runny for a proper hot cacao. ¾ of a tsp of corn starch thickened the mixture right up. Mmmm..

In short:

6 oz Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Chips
3 cups milk
7 oz (1/2 large can) evaporated milk
½ - ¾ teaspoon corn starch

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