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James Peterson's Splendid Soups




“A home is a place where a pot of fresh soup simmers gently on the
hob, filling the kitchen with soft aromas… and filling your heart,
and later your tummy, with joy.”
~ Keith Floyd

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Palm Trees and Beach, Pigeon Point, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies
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Recipe Source:

Splendid Soups:
Recipes and Master Techniques
for Making the World's Best Soups

by James Peterson, 2000 (Revised), John Wiley & Sons
(Recipes from our 1993 1st edition)


Thai Hot and Spicy Broth
(Gaeng Prik)

"This soup is a great beginning to a Thai meal. It’s also the perfect foil
for a bowl of jasmine or basmati rice as a light but very satisfying dinner.
It’s very hot, so if you want something a little tamer, use half the number
of chilies called for here and then adjust the hotness upward by adding
cayenne a little at a time. You can make this soup 20 minutes in advance
or up to 3 days in advance if you keep it refrigerated."

Makes 6 servings

6 cups chicken or pork broth
3 small red Thai chilies or 4 jalapeño chilies,
seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
A 1/4-inch slice of galangal or ginger
4 kaffir lime leaves, cut into very thin shreds
A 6-inch length of lemongrass, finely sliced
3 tablespoons tamarind paste dissolved in
1/2 cup hot water, strained, or
juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce or more to taste
10 grinds of white pepper
Cayenne pepper if needed
1 scallion, finely chopped, both green
and white parts
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup coconut milk (optional)

In a 4-quart pot, simmer the broth with the chilies, garlic, shallots,
galangal, lime leaves, and lemongrass for 10 minutes. Stir in the rest
of the ingredients and simmer for 2 minutes more.


Smoke-Scented Broth with Ravioli

"I once had a soup similar to this one at Bradley Ogden’s restaurant,
The Lark Creek Inn in Larkspur, California. It made a perfect main
course for an outdoor lunch because the broth was full of flavor but
had virtually no fat. My brother and I left the table so energized that
we took a hike in the surrounding mountains in spite of the bottle of
red wine we had downed with lunch.
The smoky broth is the perfect backdrop for vegetables and ravioli.
This version contains chopped fresh tomatoes and a whopping 24
whole  garlic cloves, but once you have the basic broth – which takes
about an hour and a half to cook – you can add almost any vegetable.
Some of my favorites are blanched spinach or chard leaves (cut into
thin shreds – chiffonade), pearl onions, carrots cut into cubes,
and wild mushrooms."

Makes 8 servings

2 small ham hocks, about 1 pound
1 medium-size onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium-size carrot, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 quarts chicken or beef broth
1 bouquet garni:
2 fresh sage leaves or
1 teaspoon dried,
3 fresh thyme sprigs
or 1 teaspoon dried,
1 small bunch of parsley or
2 tablespoons leaves
24 garlic cloves, peeled
24 or more ravioli or other stuffed pasta,
3 to 5 per person
3 medium-size tomatoes, peeled, seeded,
and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Italian parsley leaves or
a small handful of basil leaves,
torn into small pieces
Salt and pepper

In Advance: Up to 3 days ahead, put the ham hocks in a 4-quart pot
with enough cold water to cover. Bring the water to a simmer. Simmer
the ham hocks for 5 minutes, pour off the water, and rinse the ham
hocks with cold water.
Cook the onion and carrot in the butter in a 4-quart pot over medium
heat until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the ham hocks,
pour the broth over, and add the bouquet garni. Simmer slowly, partially covered, for 1 1/2 hours. Add extra broth or water from time to time to replenish the liquid. Make sure the ham hocks are covered at all times.
Remove the ham hocks and strain the soup into a clean pot. Discard the cooked vegetables and bouquet garni. Bring the broth to a simmer, skim
off any fat that floats to the surface, and add the garlic cloves. Keep the
broth at a slow simmer until the garlic cloves are completely soft, about
20 minutes.
Let the ham hocks cool slightly, then remove and discard the rind and
bone. Pull away the cooked meat and shred it with a fork or your fingers.

At the Last Minute
: Add the ravioli to the simmering broth and simmer
for 8 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer them to hot soup
bowls. Add the shredded ham, the tomato, and the parsley or basil
leaves to the broth and simmer for 1 minute more.
Adjust the salt – the broth usually won’t need any because of the ham
hock – and ladle the broth into the bowls. Grind fresh pepper on top
of each serving.



"I’ve never tasted an authentic version of this Caribbean soup because
I’ve never been able to find the taro leaves that provide the traditional
greenery. But the flavors of bacon and crab or shrimp are so delicious
with Swiss chard or spinach that I couldn’t resist including it. It’s also
a snap to prepare. Callaloo can be prepared completely in advance and
stored for up to 3 days in the refrigerator."

Makes about 12 first-course servings

3/4 pound bacon, preferably slab, rind
removed, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 pound fresh okra or
one 10-ounce package
frozen, stems removed,
sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 jalapeño chilies, seeded and finely chopped
7 cups chicken broth or water
1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard or spinach,
about 1 large bunch, stems removed,
leaves rolled and cut into
1/8-inch-wide strips
3/4 pound crab meat or
1 pound medium-size shrimp,
peeled and deveined
1 3/4 cups coconut milk
Salt and pepper
Tabasco sauce

Cut the bacon across the grain into 1/4-inch-wide strips. In a 4-quart
pot, cook the bacon strips over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until
they just begin to turn crisp, about 10 minutes. Take them out with a
slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add the onion, garlic,
okra, and jalapeños and cook over low to medium heat for 25 minutes,
stirring every few minutes. Add the broth and simmer for 10 minutes
more. Skim off any fat that floats to the surface.
Add the Swiss chard, crab and coconut milk and simmer for 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Put a bottle of Tabasco sauce on the table.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Favorite Soup Recipes
Soups from Edna Lewis's "In Pursuit of Flavor"
Soups from "Patricia Wells at Home in Provence"
Soups from "The Union Square Cafe Cookbook"

More Lagniappe Recipes!
Index - Soup Recipe Archives
Basic Stock Recipes
Daily Recipe Index
Recipe Archives Index

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