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Posts tagged ‘soup’

Piano Soup

Sometimes the evening meal hour takes me by surprise. You would think that after all these years the pattern of daily recurrence would be imprinted on my brain, but too often I find myself at 5:00 staring into the pantry wondering how I failed to remember that hungry boys would need to eat AGAIN!

One of my favorite standbys for this sort of predicament is Piano Soup. I learned the basic concept from my friend Christa in Germany when she served it for lunch one day. She used white beans, but when I needed a bigger batch one time and didn’t have enough white beans, I added black ones and re-named the soup to cover my lack of planning. Now I hum “Ebony and Ivory” and dance like Stevie Wonder while throwing it all together. It makes a delicious soup that college students and kids both love, and only takes about 10 minutes.

You’ll need some chopped cooked chicken, which I usually have on hand from periodically roasting rowing chickens….remember these guys? They get de-boned, chopped up and placed in quart-sized freezer bags to be used when I need “some chicken.”

Here are the ingredients you’ll need from the pantry.

Rinse the black and white beans – however many you need for the amount of soup you want. It takes four cans for my family.

Pour in some green chili enchilada sauce. The amount is a matter of taste. I only use half of a can this size and put the remainder in a freezer bag for next time.

And some chicken broth – however much it takes to cover the beans.

Drop in the thawed chicken.

Add a dash of sugar if you need to cut the heat. I throw in about ¼ cup for a batch this size.




Meal time crisis averted!

Next I’ll post a slow cooker recipe…because after forgetting about an evening meal, the pendulum often swings the other direction and I start cooking in the morning.

J.P.’s Potato and Leek Soup

Some people aren’t sure what a leek looks like, so I thought I’d draw one. Then I got carried away with a gardening memory from last summer. What you see below is my rendition of the day I found the supposedly dignified Rouge Vif d’ Etemps Pumpkin plant dragging a poor innocent leek down the row by its throat. It was funny for everyone but the Leek. Silly pumpkin! Leeks are for kids!

Pumpkin kidnaps a Leek!

Maybe not all kids like leeks, but mine sure do. J.P. spotted the last bag in the freezer a few days ago and launched a campaign for soup until I let him loose in the kitchen. He did a marvelous job! (Original posted 3-18-2011 on the old blog.)

Potato and Leek Soup

¼ – ½ cup butter
¼- ½ cup flour (equal to the butter)
2 cups milk
1 quart of chicken or vegetable broth
1 large or 2 medium leeks chopped 
1 can of corn
6-10 small Yukon gold or red potatoes peeled and chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

The Last Veterans of the Great Pumpkin Raid after winter in the Freezer

First, peel and chop the potatoes.

You don’t need these pictures, but I’m proud of my kiddo!

Heat the butter to bubbling, toss in the leeks and sauté until they are soft and the house smells absolutely FABULOUS.

Leeks in the Butter

Dump in the flour and stir to make a paste. (We missed pictures of this step because the neighbors stopped in with their adorable baby and JP and I were both so happily distracted that it was all we could do to remember to stir!)

J.P. with baby Will.

Start adding the milk, little by little, stirring until you have a smooth paste before adding more. Once you’ve added it all you should have a liquid base without lumps. (If you’d like a richer soup you can use whole milk or even substitute a little bit of half-n-half for some of the milk.)

After the Milk has all been Added

Add the rest. Pour in the broth and dump in the diced potatoes and corn. The smaller the chunks of potato, the faster they cook.

Ready to Simmer for a While

Let it simmer until the potato chunks are tender enough to break with the edge of a wooden spoon. Taste, and add salt and pepper until it’s just right.

Just about Ready

If you like a creamy soup, then stick the immersion blender into the pot and run it for a few seconds until you get the consistency that suits your fancy.

Making Creamy Soup

Last, but not least, share with the neighbors that let you hold their baby.

Cups for the Neighbors