Porcini Consommé

6 cups vegetable stock
1 pound porcini, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into ½-inch slices *
5 black peppercorns
2 to 3 bay leaves
½ cinnamon stick
Fine sea salt
¼ cup heavy (whipping) cream, whipped to soft peaks (optional)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a medium pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the mushrooms, peppercorns, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface.

Line a colander or large metal sieve with cheesecloth and strain the consommé into another pot, pressing gently on the mushrooms with a spoon to release as much liquid as possible. Discard the mushrooms and spices.

Reheat the consommé and season with salt. Pour into bowls. Add a couple tablespoons of cream if desired to each portion, sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve

* Fresh porcini, also called cèpes, are sometimes available in gourmet markets. If you cannot get them, you can make the soup with 1 pound button mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned, and sliced, plus 2 ounces dried porcini.

Ukrainian Chicken & Dumplings Soup – Ukrainian

1 chicken, preferably a boiling chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2½ quarts cold water
1 bay leaf
1 onion, peeled but kept whole
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

1 large egg
¼ cup cold water
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ cup flour
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

To serve
1 green onion thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
crusty sourdough bread

To make the stock, place the chicken pieces in a large saucepan and cover with the water. Add the bay leaf, whole onion, and seasoning, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, skim off the scum, and leave to simmer until cooked through, 1 hour, or 1½ hours.

To make the dumpling mixture, beat the egg lightly in a bowl, then add the water and salt and gradually add flour. Work into a paste.

Add the carrot to the stock, then drop in separate teaspoonfuls of the dumpling paste and boil for 5 minutes.

Serve with the green onion, dill, and a big hunk of crusty sourdough bread for dipping.

Traditional Gazpacho Andaluz – Spanish

2 ¼ Pounds Ripe Tomatoes, Peeled, Seeded, And Quartered, All Juices Reserved
1 Cup Roughly Chopped Green Bell Pepper
1 Medium Cucumber, Peeled And Roughly Chopped
¼ Medium Sweet Onion
½ or more to taste Garlic Clove, Minced
3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
4 Teaspoons Sherry Vinegar
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Optional Garnishes

½ Cup Finely Chopped Red Bell Pepper
½ Cup Finely Chopped Green Bell Pepper
½ Cup Finely Chopped Sweet Onion
½ Cup Finely Chopped Cucumber
½ Cup Small Croutons

Working in small batches, in a food processor or blender, purée the tomatoes, green bell pepper, cucumber, onion, and garlic until silky smooth. Add the olive oil and purée again until smooth. Add the vinegar, season with salt, stir in cold water until you find the desired consistency. Usually 1 cup of water should be enough.

Refrigerate for several hours, until thoroughly chilled.

Before serving, whisk the gazpacho. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

Old Time Kentucky Burgoo For A Crowd

“Burgoo is literally a soup composed of many vegetables and meats delectably fused together in an enormous cauldron, over which, at the exact moment, a rabbit’s foot at the end of a yarn string is properly waved by a colored preacher, whose salary has been paid to date. These are the good omens by which the burgoo is fortified.”
~ William Carey 1761-1834, “Carey’s Dictionary of Double Derivations”

(Makes 1200 Gallons)

  • 600 pounds lean soup meat (no fat, no bones)
  • 200 pounds fat hens
  • 2000 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 200 pounds onions
  • 5 bushels of cabbage, chopped
  • 60 10-pound cans of tomatoes
  • 24 10-pound cans puree of tomatoes
  • 24 10-pound cans of carrots
  • 18 10-pound cans of corn
  • Red pepper and salt to taste
  • Season with Worcestershire, Tabasco, or A-1 Sauce

Mix the ingredients, a little at a time, and cook outdoors in huge iron kettles over wood fires for 15 to 20 hours.

* Use squirrels in season. 1 dozen squirrels to each 100 gallons

Elevated Cold Cucumber-Buttermilk Soup

4 large cucumbers
4 green onions
2½ cups buttermilk
¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill

Optional: cherry tomatoes cut in half, edible flowers or even lump crab meat.

Equipment: Food Processor preferred or Blender

Peel the cucumbers, remove and discard the seeds, and cut them into chunks. Cut the green onions into chunks, using the green and white portions. Put the cucumbers and green onions into a food processor and process the vegetables to a coarse purée.

Add the buttermilk, salt, and dill. Process until the soup is smooth. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

Chill the soup for 3–4 hours. Serve cold in chilled bowls with optional ingredients if desired.

“Chowning’s Tavern” Inspired Brunswick Stew

There is quite an argument still raging about the origin of this stew in the South, and it doesn’t appear to be resolved anytime soon.  Either way we know one thing, it’s delicious. Brunswick County, Virginia, and the city of Brunswick, Georgia, both claim to be the origin of the stew. A plaque on an old iron pot in Brunswick, Georgia, says the first Brunswick stew was made in it on July 2, 1898, on nearby St. Simons Island.

  • One stewing hen (6 pounds)
  • Two large onions, sliced
  • Two cups okra, cut
  • Four cups fresh tomatoes or two 16-ounce cans of tomatoeS.
  • Two cups lima beans
  • Three medium potatoes, diced
  • Four cups corn, cut from the cob
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

Cut the chicken in pieces and simmer it in 3 quarts of water for a thin stew, or 2 quarts for a thick stew, until meat can easily be removed from the bones, about 2 1/4 hours.

Add the raw vegetables to the broth and simmer, uncovered, until the beans and potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.

Add the chicken, boned and diced if desired, and the seasonings.

Note: Brunswick Stew is one of those things that benefit from long, slow cooking. It is a rule in some tidewater (Virginia) homes never to eat Brunswick Stew the same day it is made, because its flavor improves if it is left to stand overnight and is reheated the next day.

“Colonial Williamsburg” Inspired Cream Of Peanut Soup

¼ cup unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
8 cups Chicken Stock
2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 ¾ cups half-and-half
Finely chopped salted peanuts, for garnish

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook, until softened, about five minutes.

Stir in flour and cook two or three minutes longer.

Pour in the chicken stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until slightly reduced and thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Pour into a sieve and strain.  Return the liquid to the sauce pan.

Whisk the peanut butter and the half-and-half into the liquid. Cream can be used for a richer soup.  Warm over low heat, stirring often, for about five minutes. Do not boil.

Serve warm, garnished with the chopped peanuts.