This NY Times soup was one of the first recipes I bookmarked when I started keeping a folder of online recipes. I loved the idea of this soup and although I probably thought about it every time someone said “soup,” it took me more than a year to get around to making it.
Once I started cooking it, I realized it was almost too simple. Bland even. No onion or garlic? No chilies? Midway through the simmering process, I threw in some garlic cloves, chili powder, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. It turned out just right.
The soup is not too heavy, but plenty satisfying in winter. The lime and cilantro give it freshness, while the cinnamon, cloves and chili offer warmth.
We highly recommend serving this with the incredible cornmeal crunch from 101 Cookbooks. Our friend Kat made it and it rocked our world.
This is the meal inspired by a sausage and a song. When the campus meat market started offering andouille sausage, I knew we had to make gumbo. Then our friend Kat discovered a song listed under the genre “gumbo funk,” and we had a soundtrack.
We cooked up a big ol’ pot of gumbo for Michael’s parents when we went to visit, and maybe Michael’s mom just loves us, but she couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. I can’t say I’ve had a ton of gumbo in my day, but this was the best one I’ve tasted. The vegetables maintained their form and taste, instead of becoming a pot of mush. The chicken, sausage and shrimp each brought their own flavors too.
This Food Network recipe just called for chicken and andouille, but I felt like there should be some seafood. You can do scallops too. The only other change we made to the recipe was adding a combination of Cajun spices to the flour in which we dredged the chicken. In addition to salt and pepper, I added paprika, chili powder, celery salt and oregano. If you have a packaged blend, that works too.
Change whatever you want in the recipe, but make sure you have some gumbo funk on the playlist.
I know I?m late to the game, but soup is my new make-it-up-as-you-go-along meal. My mom didn’t make many soups when I was growing up, so maybe that?s why I never realized how easy they can be. But to think, without a recipe you can turn a pot of tap water into something this delicious…
I made my own shortcut version of stock based on my memories of watching Ina Garten. I didn?t have three whole chickens as she requires, but filled the soup pot with water, added four frozen chicken tenderloins (something on the bone would surely be better), a carrot, some celery, a few unpeeled shallots, cabbage leaves, dried rosemary and lots of salt and pepper. Knowing this would be tortilla soup, I tossed in the stems of a bunch of cilantro, which would have gone in the trash otherwise. The shallots worked well since I was out of garlic (kitchen blasphemy, I know).
After an hour, I strained the broth, saving and chopping the chicken, carrots and celery stalks after throwing out the rest of the mush. From there I added stewed tomatoes, corn and anything else that seemed right in tortilla soup: oregano, cumin, chili powder, lime juice…
It would be good with black beans, zucchini, bell pepper, chilies and anything else you can think of. I know I’ll be improvising more soups in the future, and you should too.