HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Cold Soups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cold Soups. Show all posts

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thomas Keller's Ratatouille

         Thomas Keller, arguably the most influential chef in the country, recently wrote about Ratatouille in the Los Angeles Times.  He wasn’t talking about the 2008 movie of the same name, a fanciful food fable that won the Oscar that year for best Animated Feature.  He was referring to that summer classic that incorporates so many fresh vegetables your kitchen looks like you’ve robbed a farm stand.  What Chef Keller pointed out was how adaptable the dish is.  It starts out as a vegetable stew that’s an incomparable side dish or a vegetarian meal all by itself.
It is quite labor intensive so there’s no point in making a tiny batch of the stuff. Instead Chef Keller encourages making a recipe that yields 16 1 cup portions.  This, he points out, gives you the basis for any number of pasta sauces, a perfect soup base-- even a sandwich spread.  The one thing the dish requires, besides a cornucopia of fresh produce, is time.  The start to finish on the dish is 4 hours.  I’d say that actually errs on the short side. But a lot of that time is spent while the ratatouille sits in the oven reducing the liquid away until you’re left with beautifully tender vegetables in a thick, silken sauce.  So you can sit back and stir occasionally.  All that time is a perfect opportunity to re-view “Ratatouille”, the movie.  If you’re uninitiated to its charms, it’s the story of an ambitious young chef and, yes, a Rat who cook away in a Parisian restaurant.  And what foodie doesn’t want to revisit Paris?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A summer starter and a side: My Chilled Cucumber Soup and Marinated Summer Vegetables adapted from Bon Appetit



         A bowl of chilled soup can really start a summer meal off right.
Make enough of it, and anytime you want, there’s a bowl of cool comfort waiting in the fridge.   As to today’s side, it’s a terrific way to have vegetables on hand and at the ready.  You do a simple roast of the farm stand’s best, then while warm douse them with a marinade with just enough garlic and fresh oregano to give them some lift.  I wish I could say the Cucumber soup was farm stand material. The recipe calls for something from fairly far away. All the way from a greenhouse in California.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Not My Mother's Vichyssoise


         Cold Soup is ideal to have on hand in summer heat.  You can make this soup up, store it in the fridge and then take it out and finish it off for any occasion.  When houseguests first arrive, they’re inevitably exhausted from their trip and a bit peck-ish.  It’s nice to greet them with a glass this rich, creamy soup and perhaps a tomato sandwich made with farm stand tomatoes on thin-sliced white bread.  This simple welcome will bide them over until dinner.  You can make up a glorious gazpacho, truly fresh tomato soup or you can put a little French accent on the proceedings with this recipe for Vichyssoise, a completely American invention.