Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Daring to do it: Stock and Soup

Peta, of the blog Peta Eats, was our lovely hostess for the Daring Cook’s September 2011 challenge, “Stock to Soup to Consommé”. We were taught the meaning between the three dishes, how to make a crystal clear Consommé if we so chose to do so, and encouraged to share our own delicious soup recipes!

I have long wondered about the difference between "stock," "broth," "consomme" and "soup." Thanks to Peta, I have a little bit more of an understanding!! For this challenge we were asked to make stock, then take it to another level. I was not brave enough (read: didn't think I could) to attempt a vegetarian consomme, but I did make one of my favorite soups, which, oddly enough, I had never made myself before! And I made a yummy side for the soup, which really made this challenge super yummy, even if I didn't stretch myself as much as maybe I could have...
My first Daring Cooks' challenge taught me to make stock. In the year and a half since, I have made stock quite a few times, and I tend to keep vegetable ends and cuttings in my freezer for that purpose. For this stock I used the ends of some leeks, onion skins, broccoli stems and asparagus stems, as well as some fresh carrots and celery and seasonings. It all went into the slow cooker overnight, and when I woke up what had started like this:
had turned into this:
Off to a good start! When we woke up, Hubby commented on how good the soup smelled... With a stock that smelled that good, I knew the soup would have a great flavor.

One of my favorite soups is one my mother makes. It is a quinoa vegetable soup, and it is really quite good. Hearty but not too thick, warming and a complete meal, thanks to the wonderful food that is quinoa. Somehow, though, I never get around to making it myself. Thanks to Peta, I finally did! I had to make a few changes to the recipe, based on what I had in the house, but it seemed to work out well.
The veggies:
There were also split peas and (of course) quinoa, Add it all into the pot, let it do its thing, and then you have this:


Peta asked us to make some sort of accompaniment to go with our soups. I really wasn't sure what to make, though, since this soup really can stand alone. I could make bread of some sort, or try again to make bread bowls... Nothing called to me. So I turned to Mark. No, not my husband Mark! Mark Bittman, of course. MY favorite cookbook is his How to Cook Everything
Vegetarian. In there I found his recipe for cheese shortbread. Kind of like Cheez-Its for grown ups. Perfect!

These were so good. Better warm, but perfect with the soup. We wound up breaking them into pieces and stirring them right in...

Thank you, Peta, for giving me the kick I needed to make this soup! You were a supportive host, and it has been so much fun to see how everyone has taken something seemingly simple and made it so creative!! If you want to see what my fellow Daring Cooks came up with, then take a look here!


  1. Wow that colour of the veggie stock is astounding so dark and the cheese shortbread is perfect great work on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  2. That looks so delicious! Would love some of that hearty quinoa soup and cheese shortbread...great job for this month's challenge!

  3. I love the cheese shortbread and the color of the stock is so inviting..great job on the challenge :)

  4. That sounds great! I've never had quinoa in soup before, having only just discovered quinoa recently, so I'm going to have to try it!

  5. Everything looks great, the cheese shortbread sounds like something I should definitely do!

  6. Ruth, I love the quinoa soup. I'll make it tonight, thank you for the great idea. My husband would love it!:)

  7. Cheese shortbread sounds great and your soup looks delicious!

  8. Your soup looks wonderful and healthy, and your choice of cheese shortbread... I'm sure it was a hit!
    I had to sit this one out due to an unexpected trip, and I didn't have a kitchen where I was.
    Now I'm looking forward to the challenge you are hosting with Shelley, can't wait to try it!