No soup for you

One winter I went on a quest for the perfect bowl of soup. I lived on a little tiny boat with no heat. Just my sub-zero sleeping bag and my down-filled slippers to keep me warm. Now I live in a big huge house and long for those cozy, simple days. It’s starting to rain again. I come home, turn on my fireplace and pour myself a glass of wine. But I still don’t feel as warm inside as I did on that cold, little boat. Statistics and writing have been keeping me from my kitchen and what I really need is that perfect bowl of soup to get me through the next two weeks of math. Apparently there is an old Yiddish saying, “troubles are easier to take with soup than without.” Statistics is certainly causing me trouble.

A fine bromance

Soup is comforting, soup is homey, soup is high art. Soup is prominently featured in the 1970’s TV Bromance, Starsky & Hutch. Soulfully sung by the boy’s with Hutch’s acoustic guitar accompaniment. What could be more cozy?


All I want is black bean soup and you to make it with me
Honey won’t you be my love while love will stay
And wear your ribbons for me

Boil those black beans, honey, mash them up real well
One big soft tomato, just a handful of sorrel, well
Cut up your chilly pepper, squeeze that garlic smell
One mouthful of drippings. A granddaddy onion and well, well, well

All I want is black bean soup and you to make it with me
Honey won’t you be my love while love will stay
And wear your ribbons for me

Well I’ve been kicked in the head a few times, but that just made me high
I believe in the good things now. You know black bean soup don’t lie, lie, lie….

All I want is black bean soup and you to make it with me
Honey won’t you be my love while love will stay
And wear your ribbons for me

The quest for the perfect restaurant soup after all these years, is beginning to seem a bit futile to me. So, I decided to take Anton’s cooking advise and make it at home, with love. With these recipes you can too.

Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped, unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
 Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Mix in the garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrot, and continue to cook and stir about 5 minutes. Pour water into the saucepan, and season the mixture with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove the soup mixture from heat and add jalapenos. In a food processor or blender, blend the soup and peanuts until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Return to the saucepan. Whisk in the peanut butter, and cook until heated through. Serve warm topped with fresh cilantro and a lime on the side.

Courtesy of XINH DWELLEY: Xinh’s Clam & Oyster House   221 W. Railroad Ave., Shelton, WA 98584   360-427-8709

Oyster Stew 

  • 2 pints shucked oysters
  • ½ C butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 4 C milk
  • 2 TSP salt
  • 1 TSP pepper
  • 5 fresh Basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ C bacon bits (optional)

Blanch oysters for 2 – 3 minutes.  Drain and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Melt butter in a pot and brown garlic.  Add onion and sauté until done.  Add oysters, milk, salt, pepper, basil and (if desired) bacon bits.  Stir until warm (DO NOT BOIL).  Garnish with chopped parsley and green onions

French Onion Soup

  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/4 butter
  • 1 table spoon flour
  • 1 table spoon sugar
  • 3-4 Chantrelle Mushrooms
  • 1 cube vegetable bullion
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • Pepper
  • Bourbon
  • Hearty Bread
  • Gruyere Cheese and Mozzarella Cheese
Melt the butter in a soup pan and add chopped onions and sugar. Saute the onions until they are brown. Mix in the flour and mushrooms. Stir it all together before adding the water, bullion and pepper. Bring the soup to a nice boil before putting a lid on it and letting it simmer for about 45 min. About 5 minutes before it’s done, turn your oven on to about 350 degrees. Put your soup into Ramekins or something that will hold up in the oven, add in a splash or two of Bourbon, place a thick slice or two of bread on top and sprinkle with Gruyere and Mozzarella cheese. Pop them in the oven until the cheese is nice and melted. Yum.

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