Soup. It's what's for dinner. And lunch. And sometimes breakfast. I recently produced and filmed a soup video shoot for a client and had so much leftover that I was eating it for every meal. I had four different kinds! Complete with accouterments!
Here's a glamor shot from that shoot:
The amount of soup was impressive. And comforting. Because that's what soup does, it comforts. And let me tell you, I don't know what's going on in your life right now, but mine is slightly bananas. With no actual bananas involved.
Banana soup? No, thanks.
In addition to aforementioned video-induced soup-glut, I am transforming my dining room into a kitchen studio.
Yes, that's right.
Up to this point, I had been using my actual kitchen, which is surprisingly spacious and photo-worthy. However, it has become (I will say it again) BANANAS to shoot and cook in this space, especially when there are other people (like prep cooks and videographers) in the mix. Not to mention standing lights, tripods, cameras. After all is said and done, my kitchen looks like a gang of rabid raccoons have been terrorizing the joint.
So I thought, "Self, what we (the royal "we") really need is a prep kitchen and a studio kitchen." So I'm building one. In my dining room. Because as my prep cook said to me, "Entertaining is over-rated."
Amen! If I invite you over, expect to sit on the floor, dammit!
Anyway, the first step in creating a kitchen studio in your dining room is to remove dining-related furniture. So out went the dining room table. Out into the backyard:
This table has been the surface for some excellent table spread photography, like this one:
But it will also give you the worst splinter you've ever had and was beginning to split (probably because I keep standing on top of it to take photos...)
The second step is moving into the dining room the frame of a kitchen island. I'll post some photos of that bad boy soon enough.
But by this time, you've read all of this and are hungry. Hopefully for soup! I give you one of my old favorites, a Roasted Golden Beet Soup. Let's get to it;
Roasted Golden Beet Soup
- Prep: 15 mins
- Cook: 1 hr 10 mins
- Yields: 4-6 Servings
FOR THE SOUP:
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
4 medium sized golden beets
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp fresh tarragon
1/2 cup white wine
1 ½ cup Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar
salt & freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE CROUTONS:
1 loaf of stale crusty bread, cut into cubes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp fresh taragon, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 oz. goat cheese
FOR THE GARNISH:
2 small golden beets
FOR THE SOUP:
- Heat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the beets in half and wrap them loosely in tin foil. Place them on the baking sheet along with the florets of cauliflower. Drizzle the cauliflower with Olive Oil.
- Bake in the oven until the beets are soft when pierced with a fork (about 25 minutes) and the cauliflower is soft and turning golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- When the beets are cooled, peel their skins off. Place the 4 large beets and the cauliflower in a blender or food processor with a half cup of low sodium chicken or vegetable stock and puree until smooth. You can freeze this puree to save it for another time, or use it immediately.
- Heat 2 tablespoons Olive Oil in a medium stock pot over medium-low heat. Add the chopped shallots and garlic along with the thyme, fennel seeds and parsley. Simmer for about 3 minutes, or until the shallots are soft.
- Add the cauliflower and beet purée, stirring to incorporate all the spices. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the wine, paprika, salt, tarragon and freshly ground black pepper.
- Simmer about 5 minutes, until the wine starts to thicken and reduce.
- Add the rest of the stock and the white balsamic and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes. Taste for salt and add plenty of freshly ground pepper. Top with spiced croutons.
For the Croutons
- Heat an oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine all the spices.
- Drizzle the cubes of bread with Olive Oil, then place them in the spice mixture and roll to coat. Toast them in the oven until slightly golden, about 8 minutes.
- Remove them from the oven, and turn on the oven’s broiler. Spread a small amount of goat cheese on one side of the bread cubes.
- Place them under the broiler for about a minute. Watch them carefully, as you only want the cheese to start to bubble and melt - not burn.
- Pour the soup into a bowl. Slice the small roasted beets, and place a few slices on top of the soup. Drizzle with Olive Oil, and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, some fresh tarragon and a few more kernels of goat cheese.
- Serve immediately.