03 February 2012

Top Five Friday: "No Soup For You!!"

First-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.
~ Abraham Maslow

Looking through past posts from 2011, I realize I haven’t posted any menus or recipes since March or April of 2011.  Time to rectify that sad state of affairs!  As it is February (although these past few days have felt more like April), what better place to begin a new month of Top Five Fridays then with food?  So today I highlight my top five soups.  And given the roller coaster weather we have been having, some of these recipes are on the lighter side ~ in texture, if not in calories!
Epicurious is the best recipe archive hands down.  And even my friends who do not like squash ~ or any type of vegetable ~ love this soup.  I made this for my cousins when they visited the United States for the first time in October and they were blown away.  I guess they don’t puree vegetables in Poland?
Since I don’t “do” dairy, I substituted coconut milk for the cream and a soy-based product for the sour cream.  I do not normally eat or recommend soy products (perhaps a topic for another post) but I have yet to find a good non-soy substitute for sour cream.  Love to hear your suggestions in the comm box!
Again, I substituted coconut milk for the heavy cream and didn’t notice the difference.  And yes, I do still use real butter (margarine is just evil ~ it’s chemicals, people! Blah!)  And even with a dairy intolerance, organic butter does not seem bother my system.  (Thank God! My reputation as a good Southern cook is intact!)
This is wonderfully hearty soup for when winter nights are actually cold!  Don’t turn your nose up at the secret ingredient ~ peanut butter. It adds a rich and creamy texture to the soup and you hardly notice it.  Serve this with corn bread dripping with butter and honey ~ yum!
Pumpkin pie, pumpkin custard, pumpkin bread ~ you name it, I’ve put pumpkin in it.  I love this sweet squash!  Having said that, you may not think pumpkin and chili could get along in the same pot.  But just like the peanut butter in the Sweet Potato Stew, pumpkin adds more texture than noticeable flavor in this chili.  I even served this to my manly men friends for Super Bowl Sunday in the past and they went back for thirds!
Ok, so corn is really a summer starch.  And I really try to do the seasonal eating thang.  But this chowder is too good to wait until summer to make.  And I love crab, although not as much as I love pumpkin (Crab pie? Crab custard? Ewww!)
Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

What are some of your favorite soup recipes? Share your links or lists with us!

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