It’s cold out, everyone’s planning ski trips, and every other person you know is getting sick – best time of the year for a soup challenge. This week’s submissions feature Black Garlic Shrimp and Vegetable and Cheddar Bacon Stout Soups – which do you want to see show up in your bowl during your apres-ski dinner?
Black Garlic Infused Shrimp and Vegetable Soup
With winter comes cold weather, but don’t let that prevent you from being active! This soup is packed with flavor and will warm you up with out bogging you down. The baby bok choy really gives a heartiness to the soup accentuated with just a touch of garlic. The shrimp adds a nice delicate flavor, while the mushrooms add wonderful earthy notes to the dish. The ingredient that really ties the dish together and sets it off adding a wonderful sweetness… Black Garlic!
Black Garlic? what is black garlic you ask? Black garlic is sweet meets savory. It is the perfect mix of molasses-like richness and tangy garlic undertones. Black Garlic is utterly delicious!
- 1-2 large cloves regular garlic, minced
- 1 clove black garlic thinly sliced
- 1 head baby bok choy
- 1 box of shiitake mushrooms
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 carton vegetable broth
- 1/2 lb large shrimp
- salt and pepper to taste
- Slice whites and greens of bok choy into 1″ lengths and saute briefly with 1 tablespoon butter and half of minced garlic
- saute whites for 2-3 mins on med heat
- add 2/3 carton to greens and bring to a simmer
- meanwhile, saute sliced shiitake mushrooms with 1 tablespoon butter and garlic to help bring out earthy notes, roughly 3-4 mins
- add remaining broth to mushrooms
- season shrimp with salt and pepper to taste
- add bok choy greens to simmering whites and allow them to wilt
- add mushrooms and broth to rest of soup mixture
- add shrimp into soup at the last moment to cook, approx 2 mins
- ladle soup into bowl, make sure you get all of the ingredients into each serving garnish with thinly sliced black garlic and serve!
Cheddar Bacon Stout Soup
I almost wish this challenge came in March because this dish is a Saint Patrick’s Day favorite but, trust me, it’s good any day of the year. The combination of beer, cheese and bacon mades for a quick and filling meal when served with a salad and some crusty french bread – especially on a cold winter night. The importance of homemade chicken stock in soup recipies cannot be understated – my favorite chicken stock recipe comes from John Besh’s “My New Orleans” Cookbook. I know it seems daunting, but start by saving chicken bones in the freezer every time you make chicken and sooner or later you’ll have enough to throw together a quick stock that will bring soups to a new level.
Cheddar Bacon Stout Soup (serves 4)
- 4 slices of thick sliced bacon, chopped
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 tablespoons of flour
- 3 cups of Guinness (or your favorite stout – which should be Guinness anyway – about a pint and a half, guess you’ll have to drink the other half pint – you’re welcome)
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Fresh chives, chopped
- Cook bacon in dutch oven over medium heat until bacon is crispy and fat has rendered out. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and reserve.
- Add onion, carrots and celery and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook for 5-6 minutes until soft. Add garlic and bay leaves and cook for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant
- Add flour to vegetables and allow to cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
- Add beer and chicken stock, turn heat to high and boil for 2-3 minutes to allow liquids to thicken.
- Turn heat back down to medium. Add heavy cream. Add shredded cheese in small increments, stirring, and allowing each portion to melt before adding the next.
- Add worcestershire sauce, salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
- At this point the soup is technically done and a little “rustic” – if you want to, you can smooth it out with an immersion blender or by putting it through a regular blender in small batches.
- Serve topped with crumbled bacon and chives. And a pint – you deserve it.