Super Soups with Chef Jeanne Raffetto-Tentis


ROASTED RED PEPPER SOUP                                                                                 

Makes 2c

Recipe from Bon Appetite, October 2012

 This uncooked soup is quick to prepare but delivers deep, bright flavor.  It can be made the day before and served cold.  It makes a wonderful hors d’oeuvre served in a shot glass or small tea cup.  Offer a range of toppings and let your guests create their own version.


One 16-oz. jar fire roasted red peppers with their juices

1 T Sherry vinegar, more as needed to taste

½ t kosher salt, or to taste

¼ t black pepper, or to taste

¼ c extra-virgin olive oil


Puree fire roasted peppers with their juices, vinegar, salt and pepper in a blender on high until very smooth, about 1 minute.  With the motor running, gradually add the olive oil.

Taste, season with extra vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

Cover; chill.

To serve, divide soup among small cups or shot glasses.

Garnish with parsley, olive oil, minced bell pepper, toasted coriander seeds, capers, feta cheese, minced hard-boiled egg or you decide what sounds good to you.

Note:  this soup is really good served with “Frico”.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a large sheet pan with a silicone mat (such as a Silpat).

Working in 2 batches, scoop 8 mounds of finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese (1 T per mound) onto the mat, spreading each mound about 3-inches wide and spacing 1-inch apart.

Bake cheese until lightly brown and melted, 5-6 minutes (check occasionally while baking so it won’t turn too brown).  Remove from oven and let frico cool completely


VEGETABLE MINESTRONE                                                                          

Serves 6

 Minestrone (big soup) refers to a thick soup that generally contains pasta and sometimes peas or beans.  It is usually topped liberally with grated Parmesan cheese and is hearty enough to be considered a complete meal.

 ¼ c extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 rosemary sprig

2 carrots, medium dice

2 parsnips, medium dice

3 broccoli stems or 1 kohrabi, peeled, medium dice

1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cubed into ¾-inch dice (3c), or substitute 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

6 c chicken broth

1-2 Parmesan rinds (optional, but adds extra flavor)**

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 oz. angel hair pasta, broken into 1-inch lengths

1 c frozen lima beans

½ c freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving

**This is a traditional Italian method of coaxing more flavor into soups or sauces.  Some Italian deli’s sell the rinds for this purpose or you can accumulate them in your freezer and use them as needed.

In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat 2 T of the olive oil.  Add the onion, garlic and rosemary and cook over moderate heat until the onions are softened.   Add the carrots, parsnips, broccoli stems and squash and cook for 1 minute.  Add the broth and Parm rinds, if using, season with salt and pepper and simmer until the vegetables are nearly tender, about 15-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2T of the olive oil.  Add the pasta and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until it is deeply golden, about 4 minutes.

Add the toasted pasta and the lima beans to the soup; cook until the pasta and vegetable are tender, 5-6 minutes.  Discard the rosemary.  Stir the cheese into the soup and serve, passing the extra cheese at the table.

Tip:  For a quick weeknight meal, prepare the vegetables the night before.  The finished dish can be ready in 30-40 minutes or less.



CHICKEN SOUP w/ ALMOND & WILD RICE                                                        

Makes 6-8 servings

Wild rice, known for its luxurious nutty flavor and chewy texture, isn’t really a rice at all.  It is a long-grain marsh grass native to Northern Great Lakes area.  It is the ceremonial legacy of the Sioux and Ojibwe peoples and has been celebrated in the area for millennia.


Here is a simple preparation for no fail wild rice.   Presented on channel 3 by Donna Weinhofen.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place raw wild rice in a bowl.  Add boiling water (3x the amount of the rice used), cover and place in the oven.  Turn the oven off and leave overnight.  Perfect every time.

 6 c chicken stock

1 c cooked chicken thighs or breasts, chopped (great for leftover chicken or turkey)

2 c cooked wild rice

1 T fresh lemon juice

¼ t almond extract or ¼ c Amaretto liqueur

1 c slivered almonds, toasted

1 c heavy cream

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 c Emmentaler cheese or Swiss cheese of choice, grated

2 T sliced almonds, toasted

Bring stock to a boil in a large pot.

Reduce heat to simmer and add the chicken, wild rice, lemon juice, and almond extract or liqueur.  Simmer gently for 5-10 minutes.

Just before serving, add slivered almonds and cream.  Heat through.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with grated cheese and sliced almonds.




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