Monday, December 7, 2009


We started making this soup -- well really two soups -- years ago.  It's pretty dramatic in its own right, though kids are especially impressed with the bright red and green soups sitting side by side in the same bowl.  Neither soup is especially difficult, what you want to keep in mind is making both soups the same thickness.  Thick soup works best and actually tastes best too.  Christmas is no time for watery soup!

Serving is easy.  Have both soup pots within easy reach, and use two equal sized measuring cups.  I've found graduated measuring cups with handles work well. I'm sure you'll easily find what works for you in your kitchen.

A festive crouton garnish is key. Plain white sandwich bread cut in small decorative shapes, sauted golden in butter are a snap. Not just pretty, the crips buttery croutons are a perfect topper.

2 T. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
salt and pepper
1/4 t. thyme
1 1 lb. bag frozen baby peas
pinch of cayenne
pinch of nutmeg
3 c. chicken broth
5 or so mint leaves
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup cream

In a medium size pot, saute the onions in the butter 'til translucent, taking care to let them brown.  Salt and pepper well, add the peas, thyme, cayenne and nutmeg, three cups of the chicken stock and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Let cool a bit then liquify the soup in a food processor with the mint leaves and the lemon juice. Return to the soup pot.  Bring the heat back up 'til nice and hot.  You're going to stir in the cream right before you're ready to serve.  You don't want to boil the cream.

2 T. butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
2 12 oz. jars roasted red peppers (the plain ones, not marinated)
3 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. cream

In a medium soup pot, sautes the onion, carrot and celery til the unions are tranluscent and the carrot and celery are softened.  Drain the roasted peppers, chop them up a bit, add to the pot with the chicken broth and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Let cool a bit, then liquify in a food processor. Return to the pot, bring the heat back up.  Again, don't add the cream until just before you're ready to serve.

Make the decorative croutons of bread sauted in butter.

To serve, mix in the cream and have both pots within easy reach.  Using two measuring cups, scoop up 1/2 cup of each soup, and gently pour into the serving bowls at the same time. Pouring the soup at the same speed from either side of the bowl results in the two colors meeting in the middle.  Garnish with the crouton and serve hot.

Merry Christmas!

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