Soup and Stew

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7 Easy Ways to Make Any Soup Better

7 Ways to Make a Better Soup

Soup is soul food, satisfying and warming on a cold day or night. Sometimes, though, you make a pot of soup that’s good and fine, but maybe you wish it were a little bit… better. Maybe you want to take this soup to the next level, and give it something extra to improve the taste, texture, or complexity of flavor.

Here are a few tips to take you beyond the recipe and make all your soups sing.

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Not Your Grandma’s Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup

Barley is one of those grains that your grandmother probably always had in her pantry. And like many other treasures tucked away on those shelves, barley is chic now and a star ingredient on many trendy restaurant menus.

With this modernized recipe, we’re adding barley to a pot of vegetarian soup along with both dried and fresh mushrooms, and seasoning it with a surprising combination of soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.

The bowls of soup have a satisfying saltiness and an alluring sweetness—it’s an entirely new take on traditional mushroom barley soup.

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Creamy Asparagus Soup

Creamy Asparagus Soup

When spring arrives and asparagus are in season, they are hard to resist, right? Those green soldiers salute us as we enter the produce section of the market, challenging us to make good use of them while we can!

Here is a fresh and easy asparagus soup that makes delicious use of our seasonal asparagus. The base is just onions, a little garlic, lots of chopped asparagus, broth (either chicken or veg), and chopped fresh parsley.

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Spring Minestrone Soup

Spring Minestrone

Welcome spring with this savory soup from Hank. ~Elise

Minestrone is one of my favorite soups, and it is infinitely malleable with the seasons. This version celebrates springtime, when fresh, new vegetables begin to show up at the market.

I know to make this soup whenever I can get asparagus, artichokes and peas all at the same time. These vegetables form the backbone to the soup.

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Fish Chowder

Fish Chowder

My first job out of college was in Boston, in the financial district downtown. My local friends did their best to initiate this wide-eyed Californian into New England traditions of every sort, especially food.

We feasted on as many menu items as we could afford at the Union Oyster House and the No Name Restaurant, and $5/lb lobsters I would buy from the Italian fish monger across the street from where I lived in the North End.

One dish I could never get enough of was “chowdah”. Clam chowder, fish chowder, seafood chowder, whatever, I loved it.

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Brazilian Salmon Stew (Moqueca)

Salmon Moqueca

One of the dishes Northern Brazil is known for is their “Moqueca“, a delicious savory fish stew made with a local white fish, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and coconut milk.

Several years ago a Brazilian friend of mine introduced to me a salmon version of this stew she had improvised, given that the typical Brazilian fish used for moqueca isn’t found around here.

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