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Soup Recipes To Help Ward Off The Cold

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If our February 5, 2015 show on soup set your tummy a-rumbling and your empty soup pots a clanging, never fear: the recipes from that show are right here!

From Bridget Lancaster / America's Test Kitchen


Farmhouse Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves: 8

Pressure Level: High

Total Time: About 1 Hour

Release: Quick

Why This Recipe Works

With its velvety broth and deep flavor, old- fashioned chicken noodle soup is an ideal pressure-cooker candidate since the pressure cooker can extract flavor from the meat, skin, and bones of a whole chicken in just 20 minutes. We started by putting the chicken into the pot with some aromatics, carrots, celery, and water. Placing the chicken in the pot breast side up allowed the thighs and more delicate breast meat to cook though at the same time since the thighs were in contact with the pot’s bottom. After 20 minutes, the meat practically fell off the bones, making it easy to shred and stir back in. Soy sauce gave the broth even deeper, richer meaty flavor. To keep things simple, we cooked the noodles in the broth while we shredded the chicken.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped fine

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

or 1/4 teaspoon dried

8 cups water

4 carrots, peeled and sliced

1/2 inch thick

2 celery ribs, sliced 1/2 inch thick

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 (4‑pound)

whole chicken,

giblets discarded

Salt and pepper

4 ounces (2 2/3 cups) wide egg

noodles

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

  1. BUILD FLAVOR:

Heat oil in pressure- cooker pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in water, carrots, celery, and soy sauce, scraping up any browned bits. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place, breast side up, in pot.

  1. HIGH PRESSURE FOR 20 MINUTES:

Lock pressure- cooker lid in place and bring to high pressure over medium- high heat. As soon as pot reaches high pressure, reduce heat to medium- low and cook for 20 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.

  1. Quick release PRESSURE:

Remove pot from heat. Quick release pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.

  1. BEFORE SERVING:

Transfer chicken to cutting board, let cool slightly, then shred meat into bite- size pieces, discarding skin and bones. Meanwhile, using large spoon, skim excess fat from surface of soup. Bring soup to boil, stir in noodles, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken and parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Variation

Farmhouse Chicken and Rice Soup

Substitute 1 cup long- grain white rice for egg noodles and cook until tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

Making Chicken Noodle Soup in a Pressure Cooker

When cooking a whole chicken in the pressure cooker, we found it best to keep the delicate breast meat facing up to give it some protection from the direct heat and to promote even cooking. Once cooked, the chicken will be very tender and nearly falling part. To remove the chicken from the pot for the shredding step, lift it out in one piece using tongs along with a large spoon for support.

The meat is easy to remove from the bones because it’s so tender. Let the chicken cool slightly, then discard the skin and pull the meat off the bones. Shred the meat using two forks, gently pulling the meat apart and into bite- size strands.
The last step is adding the noodles. Simmering them in the soup ensures they absorb flavor. Be sure to do this just before serving or else the noodles can become bloated and mushy.

Troubleshooting

Can I use a larger chicken?

It’s not OK if you have a 6‑quart pressure cooker; it just won’t fit. However, if you have an 8‑quart pressure cooker, you can use up to a 5-pound chicken and extend the pressurized cooking time to 30 minutes.

Can I substitute chicken parts for the whole chicken?

You can substitute an equal amount of bone- in thighs, and the cooking time will remain the same. You can also substitute bone-in chicken breasts. Because they’re meatier, use 3 pounds rather than 4, and reduce the pressurized cooking time to 15 minutes.

What if I am not going to serve the soup right away?

Because the noodles will become mushy over time, it’s best to add them to the soup and cook them just before serving.

Do I need to alter the recipe for a 6-quart electric pressure cooker?

Yes, quick release the pressure immediately after the pressurized cooking time; do not let the cooker switch to the warm setting. Use the browning (not the simmer) setting to cook the noodles in step 4.


Red Lentil Soup

Serves 6

Cooking Time 7 to 9 hours on Low or 4 to 6 hours on High

Slow Cooker Size: 4 to 7 Quarts 

Why This Recipe Works:

For this lentil soup, we were after a vegetable-packed version that was exotically spiced and deeply satisfying. Mild, slightly nutty-tasting red lentils were the best starting point, as they broke down when cooked and thickened the soup to a rich consistency without the need for cream. To achieve deep, intense flavor, we added vibrant spices—curry powder, cinnamon, and spicy cayenne—to enhance the lentils and add complexity. Diced canned tomatoes and carrots added sweetness to the soup, and orange zest contributed bright citrus notes. Stirring in steamed green beans, although unconventional, added a nutritional boost and bright flavor. A small amount of mint was all the soup needed for a crisp finish. Do not substitute other types of lentils for the red lentils here; red lentils produce a very different texture.

2 onions, chopped fine

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon canola oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 cups vegetable broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced

tomatoes, drained

1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed

3 carrots, peeled and cut into

1/2-inch pieces

1 cup red lentils, picked over and

rinsed

3 (2-inch) strips orange zest plus

2 tablespoons juice

Salt and pepper

8 ounces green beans, trimmed

and cut on bias into 1-inch

lengths

2 tablespoons minced fresh mint

  1. Microwave onions, garlic, curry powder, oil, cinnamon, and cayenne in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Stir in broth, tomatoes, chickpeas, carrots, lentils, orange zest, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook until lentils are tender, 7 to 9 hours on low or 4 to 6 hours on high.
  1. Discard orange zest. Microwave green beans and 1 tablespoon water in covered bowl, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain green beans, then stir into soup along with mint and orange juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Per 2-cup serving: Cal 240; Fat 2.5g; Sat Fat 0g; Chol 0mg; Carb 43g; Protein 13g; Fiber 11g; Sodium 1110mg *To reduce sodium level to 280mg, use low-sodium broth and chickpeas and no-salt-added tomatoes.

Smart Shopping: Canned Chickpeas — Think all brands of canned chickpeas taste the same? So did we—until we tried six brands in a side-by-side taste test. Once we drained and rinsed the beans, we found that many of them were incredibly bland or, worse yet, had bitter and metallic flavors. Tasters preferred those thatwere well seasoned and had a creamy yet “al dente” texture. Pastene Chickpeas came out on top for their clean flavor and firm yet tender texture.


Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Serves 4 to 6

White wine vinegar may be substituted for the sherry vinegar. Be sure to thoroughly trim the cauliflower’s core of green leaves and leaf stems, which can be fibrous and contribute to a grainy texture in the soup.

1 head cauliflower (2 pounds)

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into

8 pieces

1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved

lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly

1 small onion, halved and sliced thin

Salt and pepper

4 1/2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar

3 tablespoons minced fresh chives

  1. Pull off outer leaves of cauliflower and trim stem. Using paring knife, cut around core to remove; thinly slice core and reserve. Cut heaping 1 cup of 1/2-inch florets from head of cauliflower; set aside. Cut remaining cauliflower crosswise into 1/2-inchthick slices.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek, onion, and 11/2 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring frequently, until leek and onion are softened but not browned, about 7 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high; add 4 1/2 cups water, sliced core, and half of sliced cauliflower; and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add remaining sliced cauliflower, return to simmer, and continue to cook until cauliflower is tender and crumbles easily, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
  4. While soup simmers, melt remaining 5 tablespoons butter in 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add reserved florets and cook, stirring frequently, until florets are golden brown and butter is browned and imparts nutty aroma, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and use slotted spoon to transfer florets to small bowl. Toss florets with vinegar andseason with salt to taste. Pour browned butter in skillet into small bowl and reserve for garnishing.
  5. Process soup in blender until smooth, about 45 seconds. Rinse out pan. Return pureed soup to pan and return to simmer over medium heat, adjusting consistency with remaining water as needed (soup should have thick, velvety texture but should be thin enough to settle with flat surface after being stirred) and seasoning with salt to taste. Serve, garnishing individual bowls with browned florets, drizzle of browned butter, and chives and seasoningwith pepper to taste.

Simple Chicken Broth

Makes about 8 Cups

Any chicken meat left over after straining the broth will be very dry and flavorless; it should not be eaten. Chicken thighs can be substituted for the legs, backs, and wings in a pinch. If you’d like to make a chicken broth that also produces edible shredded meat, see the recipe for Simple Chicken Broth with Shredded Breast Meat (page 13).

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 pounds whole chicken legs, backs,

and/or wings (see note), hacked with

a meat cleaver into 2-inch pieces

(see the illustration on page 12)

1 medium onion, chopped medium

8 cups water

2 teaspoons salt

2 bay leaves

  1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the chicken pieces and brown lightly, about 5 minutes; transfer the chicken pieces to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces; transfer to the bowl.
  2. Add the onion to the fat left in the pot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Return the chicken pieces to the pot, along with any accumulated juice, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken has released its juice, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the water, salt, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a gentle simmer, and cook, skimming as needed, until the broth tastes rich and flavorful, about 20 minutes longer.
  4. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer, then defat the broth (see page 18). (The broth can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month)

Variation

Simple Chicken Broth with Shredded Breast Meat

Makes about 8 cups broth with 2 cups shredded meat

Choose this broth when you want to have some breast meat in your soup

1 (3 1/2 - to 4-pound) whole chicken

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped medium

8 cups water

2 teaspoons salt

2 bay leaves

  1. Following the illustrations on page 14, cut the chicken into 7 pieces (2 split breasts, 2 legs, 2 wings, and a backbone). Set the split breasts aside, then hack the remaining chicken into 2-inch pieces with a meat leaver following the illustration on page 12.
  2. Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken breasts and brown lightly, about 5 minutes, then transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add half of the chicken pieces and brown lightly, about 5 minutes; transfer the chicken pieces to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces; transfer to the bowl.
  4. Add the onion to the fat left in the pot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Return the chicken pieces (not the breasts) to the pot, along with any accumulated juice, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken has released its juice, about 20 minutes.
  5. Add the reserved chicken breasts, water, salt, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a gentle simmer, and cook, skimming as needed, until the chicken breasts register 160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken breasts from the pot, let cool slightly, then remove and discard the skin and bones and shred the meat into bite-size pieces (see the illustration on page 43). Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer, then defat the broth (see page 18). (The broth and the chicken can be refrigerated separately in airtight containers; the broth can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month and the chicken can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

From Ming Tsai

Duck Pho

Serves 4

2 duck breasts, skinless

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

1 teaspoon togorashi powder

2 gallons chicken stock

2 onions, halved, charred on grill

1 hand fresh ginger, unpeeled, charred on grill

4 star anise

2 cloves

4 stalks lemongrass, pale parts only, crushed with the flat side of a knife

4 lime leaves

2 Thai bird chiles, dried

1.5 ounces nam pla (fish sauce), separated

2 cups mung bean sprouts

1 cup Thai basil

1 cup cilantro leaves

Juice of 2 limes

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 8-ounce package rice stick noodles, soaked in warm water to cover until soft, about 20 minutes

4 store bought duck confit legs, picked, bones and cartilage removed

1 bunch scallions, sliced thin for garnish

Hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce served on side

  1. Mix together salt, five spice and togorashi. Season duck breasts with mixture both sides. Place on sheet tray and store in freezer until solid, about 2 hours.
  1. Remove duck from freezer, rest for about 10, then slice thin against the grain. Divide slices into four portions and lay on parchment paper without touching. Place back in freezer until ready to serve.
  1. In a large stock pot, add, stock, onions, ginger, star anise, cloves, lemongrass, lime leaves, Thai birds, and 1 ounce of fish sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid has reduced by 1/2, about 1.5 - 2 hours. Strain all solids.
  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the bean sprouts, Thai basil, cilantro, lime juice and 1/2 ounce of fish sauce. Toss to combine.
  1. Mix the noodles with the duck confit and place a mound in the middle of four bowls. Top with salad. Place the frozen breast pieces on top. Ladle the hot soup over. Garnish with scallions. Hoisin and sriracha on side.

Ming's Pork Ramen

Serves 4

Ramen Broth

2 ea onions, rough chop, roasted

2 ea celery stalks, rough chop, roasted

2 ea carrots, rough chop, roasted

2 ea pork neck bones, roasted

1 ea pork hocks, smoked

1 cup dried shiitakes

1 ea kombu, small sheet

1.5 gal cold water

  1. Add all ingredients in a large pot & cover.
  2. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 5 hour

Miso base:

1/2 pound red miso

1/2 pound onions, caramelized slowly over low heat

1/4 pound butter, softened

1/2 cup mirin

3 tablespoons tamari

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pulse until mixture is fully mixed.

Pickled daikon:

2 cups rice vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 cup daikon, peeled and julienned

  1. In a large non-reactive pot, bring the vinegar, sugar, salt and turmeric to a boil.
  2. Pour over daikon and cool.

Pork belly:

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup salt

2 tablespoons togarashi

20 ounces pork belly

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, salt and togarashi.
  3. Generously coat pork belly with mixture. Place on a roasting rack inside a pan.
  4. Transfer pan to oven and cook for 5 hours.
  5. Remove from oven and cool  on rack.

Final preparation of bowls:

4 5-ounce packages ramen noodles, cooked and strained per directions

5 cups broth

4 tablespoons miso base

4 poached eggs

1 bunch fresh watercress, for garnish

Togorashi salt mixture for garnish (equal parts salt and togorashi)

Toasted bonito flakes, for garnish

  1. In a large wok or sauce pan, bring broth to a simmer over medium heat. Add miso and whisk to blend.Slice pork belly into 1/2 "by 3" pieces.
  2. In a sauté pan over medium high heat, sear the pork belly on both sides until crisp, about 1-2 minutes. Flip and repeat on side 2. Transfer to platter.
  3. Divide hot broth into four bowls. Add noodles. Place strips of pork belly on top.
  4. Garnish each with fresh watercress, poached egg, togarashi salt, pickled daikon and toasted bonito flakes

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