Archive for the ‘Soup’

Cream of Celery Soup with Roasted Fennel Bulb

October 01, 2016
By Holly Jennings

Cream of Celery Soup with Roasted Fennel


This soup has been patiently waiting in posting queue, and now its time has come.


I developed it early last winter to make use of a powerful fermented flavoring accent called Salted Herbs. But it never got airtime because my attention was soon drawn to other ingredients and their stories: first to black walnuts, which kept me busy for several weeks, musing about their strange beguiling flavor, and then to the mustard greens and cabbage that, after laying quietly, like dead things, in my garden plot over the winter, had, by (more…)

Okra—Now and Then, Again

September 22, 2016
By Holly Jennings

Hill Country Heirloom Red Okra

Hill Country Red Okra in my garden, mid-September

It was inevitable that I would to learn to how to prepare okra right about now. But that’s exactly how I knew it would be back when I planted okra seeds in my garden plot earlier this summer. That’s one of the great things about having a garden: it forces you to deal. If there is a vegetable you want to become familiar with in the kitchen, plant it in your garden. A pot in a courtyard or on a balcony will do just as well. Then, weeks, maybe months, later, the vegetable will have migrated from the soil to your kitchen counter, and finally into one of your cooking pots.


You may or may not have had ideas for the preparation of the vegetable when you planted it, and even if you did, a lot can happen along the way from seed to produce. I had pickles in mind when I planted my seeds, and, for that reason, of the two heirloom varieties I planted, Cajun Jewel and Hill Country Red, I was especially excited about the latter, described as (more…)

Polar Vortex Food

January 07, 2014
By Holly Jennings

Taekyung Chung, co-author of THE KOREAN TABLE, stirring Tofu and Clam Hot Pot. (Photo by Mark Goodwin.)

Taekyung Chung, co-author of THE KOREAN TABLE, stirring Tofu and Clam Hot Pot. (Photo by Mark Goodwin.)


Right about now, whether you live in the north or the south, this is what you want to eat: a hot pot of steaming, spicy, and nourishing broth. This hot pot takes its name from pillowy soft tofu, but there’s much more going on in this soup besides sundubu (tofu): there’s pork, clams, egg, and beef via the broth. It’s both rich tasting and enriching to the body. Again, perfect vortex food.


This same dish was one of several served (more…)

A Soup for Peanut Lovers

December 15, 2011
By Holly Jennings

Does two of anything make a trend? If so, peanut soup is trending in Vermont, where I live. I’ve enjoyed peanut butter–pumpkin soup at the nearby South Royalton Market, and peanut curry soup at Cockadoodle Pizza Café in the neighboring town of Bethel, where it was recently the soup of the day. Both were delicious and spicy.

Peanut soup is not a trend, however, in the Southern United States, and, (more…)

Crescent Dragonwagon’s Gumbo Zeb

July 16, 2011
By Holly Jennings


Filé powder. Dark chocolate-brown roux. Cayenne pepper. These are the some of the ingredients that help give gumbo its signature and soul-satisfying flavor. When I discovered that Crescent Dragonwagon devoted an entire chapter in her cookbook Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread to this distinctively, and to Northerners, exotic, American soup, I knew I would want to try my hand at making a pot of gumbo before the club moved on to the next book. Having followed Crescent’s very detailed and clear instructions, I’m convinced that anyone can make a good gumbo. The making of an authentic gumbo is not to be taken lightly; it is very involved, but I assure you it is worth the work.


In the gumbo chapter, called “Gumbo Zeb,” after the version she finally settled on after trying twenty-one different gumbo recipes, Crescent gives a fascinating history of (more…)

Chilled Strawberry Soup with Crème Fraîche

June 28, 2011
By Holly Jennings

It’s strawberry season, and flyers for strawberry dinners, held at local churches, can be seen around town. The only thing strawberry at these dinners, however, is the dessert—usually homemade strawberry shortcake. This recipe, from Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread by Crescent Dragonwagon, is meant to be served at the start of the meal, the perfect bookend to all of those sweet strawberry desserts. Crescent Dragonwagon, a great writer (who also teaches food writing, by the way) describes the soup as “. . . a little sweet, a little on the tea-roomish, prissy side—but no less delicious for that.” It’s hard to top that. I would add that how sweet or tart to make it is up to you, and that serving it with the same rosé you used to make it an excellent idea. They go wonderfully well together. For the best tasting soup, and drinking enjoyment, try to find a good quality rosé with a balance of dry and sweeter fruit flavors.


Peter’s Red Pozole

April 04, 2011
By Holly Jennings

Pozole, a traditional, broth-based Mexican soup, is healthy, nourishing and full of flavors and textures that vary with each spoonful. If you like the contrast of cold or raw toppings—some crunchy, like radish and shredded iceberg lettuce, and some soft, like diced avocado and crumbled cheese—with piping hot broth and tender pork—a veritable salad atop piping hot soup—you will love pozole. Think of the Vietnamese pho or Chinese wonton soup, and you get the idea. Except for the queso fresco, which may be difficult to find, depending on where you live, the garnishes are not optional—they make the soup. (Note: Queso fresco is not hard to make at home. See this recipe to find out how it’s done.)

This recipe is from my friend Peter McGann, who has traveled (and eaten) in Mexico, spent some time cooking in Mexican restaurants, and taken a workshop on Mexican cooking with Diana Kennedy, the author of DCCC’s current pick. (more…)