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Soup's On!

Fall is here! For me, like the salad is to summer, soup is to fall and winter.

I love making soups – all kinds of soups. I came across this blog from The Culinary Cook which identifies seven types of soups, putting them into three categories. There are the clear soups like broths and consommes. Then there are the thick soups, including in that cream and pureed soups. Specialty soups are bisques and chowders, as well as the cold variety. Let’s just say I never met a soup I didn’t like – sort of the way I feel about cheese too. 😊

But how do you decide what soup to make? For me, I choose the soup and then get the ingredients. Although some may choose to craft the soup with the ingredients they have on hand.That works too.

My soup selections are typically tied to the particular season – like a cold gazpacho in the summer – or to my mood. Like sometimes I like a really good minestrone.

At other times, a creamy, hearty soup is what’s needed.A recent creation, especially welcome on a cold, rainy day: loaded potato leek soup with cheddar, bacon, crispy onions, and sour cream. Another comfort in the cold and fitting for the fall: harvest vegetable soup with chickpeas and tomatoes. A suggestion of a patron of the restaurant at the Harlem Yacht Club was to serve a half sandwich with a cup of soup for lunch.I created three options of pressed sandwiches for just that: turkey and provolone, steak and caramelized onion, or the ever-welcome grilled cheese.

Year round, there’s room on the table for a good chowder. I prepare both New England and Manhattan clam chowders. Our Manhattan clam chowder has taken first place in the City Island Chamber of Commerce fall clam chowder contest for the past several years – and this year was no exception. After the win, I set up a crock pot filled with the chowder in the yacht club’s bar area for all to try. Recently, I prepared a variation on those chowders – serving up a clam corn chowder, with clams, still in the shell floating on a sea of delicious.

Returning to soup-pairings for a minute, I like grilled cheese with a roasted tomato soup.(That covers two of my favorite things: cheese and soup!) French onion soup also makes my top soup list – to make and to eat – caramelizing those onions, and then topping with gruyere and parmesan.

A big fan of Mexican seasonings and foods, I like creating a chicken posole soup – chicken, hominy, poblano peppers, and toppings like cabbage, cilantro, and lime. Chicken and wild rice soup and chicken wonton soup are other treasured tastes, along with a hearty beef barley.Chicken meatball orzo soup is popular too.

Well I need to let this soup savoring simmer for a bit so I can prepare the chalkboard with the list of possibilities right now. Thinking about it, I just might need a bigger board now that it’s officially “soup's on” season!

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