FD: Dixie Burmeister Column January 07, 2009

Toast soup month with prize-winning concoctions

The decorations are down, returns have been made and the candy, baked goods and other holiday treats are but a memory or at least out of sight.

Now onto a celebration of one of my husband Fred’s favorites: Let’s hear it for National Soup Month.

What could be more comforting on a cold, dark January night than a warm bowl of soup that makes you feel cozy all over?

There’s a lot to be said for soup. Even the medical world says there’s something about chicken noodle soup that’s good for a cold, and we all know it’s good for the soul.

Today, there are ways to pull together a pot of soup that are easy. Of course, good old-fashioned soup stock is terrific, but you’ll find excellent commercial soup broths and stocks in the markets now. Even Food Network chefs say they’ll make a tasty soup.

I’m kicking off National Soup Month with two prize-winning recipes selected by those who attended the “Soup Challenge” at Palisade’s Olde Fashioned Christmas celebrations in 2008 and 2007.

Watch for more soup recipes and tips in my next column, including Chef Fred’s Chicken Noodle Soup, which may not be prize-winning, but it’s good.

Mediterranean Sausage

Soup with Pesto

First place 2008, Kannah Creek Brewing Co. By Chef Jeremy Alderman.
Kannah Creek is at 1960 N. 12th St. in Grand Junction.

Alderman, chef and kitchen manager since 2006, enjoys creating delicious soups and specials along with the classic Italian favorites featured on the menu. 

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion (rough chopped)

1 pound ground sausage

8 ounces lentils (cooked)

14 ounces tomato filets (canned, diced tomatoes)

4 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste

Place stock pot over medium heat and add oil and red onion. Sauté onions until transparent, then add half of sausage. Brown sausage until fully cooked. Add water, lentils and bring to a boil. Boil for about 15 minutes and place mixture in blender and puree. Take remaining sausage and brown in separate pot. Place mixture back on stove over medium heat and add tomatoes, remaining sausage, salt and pepper. Boil for an additional 15 minutes. Upon serving, top with fresh basil pesto.


Basil Pesto

1 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic

2 cups fresh basil (chopped)

Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in blender and puree.


Sweet Corn Chowder with Andouille Sausage and Collard Greens

First place 2007, Inari’s. By Chef Arron James.
Inari’s is at 336 Main St. in Palisade. It has become known for creative and delicious dishes. All
its soups are homemade and made from the freshest of ingredients. For reservations, call
464-4911.

Ingredients:

1 small yellow onion diced

1/2 bell pepper diced

1/2 red bell pepper diced

1 1/2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 bunch collard greens – coarse chop

3 cups sweet corn (Dixie: I use frozen at this time of year)

3/4 pound Andouille sausage, sliced

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup butter

3 quarts milk, whole

2 1/2 cups chicken stock

Cajun Seasoning to taste

In a large pot, melt butter and sauté onions, bell peppers and garlic over medium high heat until onions are translucent, not brown. With a whisk, slowly add flour and stir constantly until roux is light brown in color. Whisk in milk and chicken stock slowly. Add remaining ingredients; cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until chowder reaches desired thickness. Season with Cajun Seasoning to taste.

Cajun Seasoning (or your favorite brand)

1 tablespoon thyme

2 tablespoons paprika

1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon pepper


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