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Two New Soups for "Full Liquids" phase!


Bragman
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Hey folks,

Well, after sampling soup after soup out there from various retail outlets, both fresh and canned/boxed, I've come to the conclusion that nobody does it better than I do. Before my band & the diet that's come with it, I was known among friends & family as being a fantastic cook and a serious foodie (that's a big reason I got to 333 lbs!). Well, I've been trying to focus energies elsewhere so that focusing on food is no longer a primary pastime, and having good success at it. But I drew upon my mad skillz this weekend as I've still got another week or so on "full liquids" until I hit "purees", and that means creamy (but not necessarily cream) soups!

So I developed two soups that I made this weekend that fit the guidelines of the full liquids phase diet. Yes, they use a blender (which we've all been warned about), but they can be theoretically drunk through a straw (even tho that's a no-no, as we all know). They're about the consistency of a good milkshake, and definitely NOT a baby food-type puree. They shouldn't stretch your pouch if consumed, and there are absolutely no pieces of anything in these soups after blending. But they both contain good quantities of meat, so that may help with protein intake too. Hope you like 'em!

Split Pea & Ham Soup

Unlike other creamy pea soups, this recipe uses a meaty stock and an actual ham steak in the soup to boost the meat (and therefore, protein) content. Chicken stock can be used instead of ham base, or even just water, but the flavor will less smoky, less hammy! Better than Bouillon tends to be rather salty however, and combined with the ham in the soup, the result is a fairly salty soup. Alternatives that have less sodium may be more to your taste.

ingredients:

3 quarts water

4 ½ tbsp. “Better than Bouillon Ham Base”

1 lb. precooked ham steak

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium white onion, peeled & diced

2 carrots, peeled & diced

3 garlic cloves, peeled & minced fine

1 lb. dried split green peas, rinsed & picked through for stones

2 bay leaves

2 small russet potatoes, peeled, cubed small, and soaking covered in cold water

salt & pepper

equipment:

two big Dutch ovens or stock pots

food processor and blender

NOTE: do not use a “boat-motor” style immersion blender for this recipe; it does not blend smooth enough to remove the finest pieces or lumps.

1. Add 4 ½ tbsp of the ham base to 3 quarts boiling water in one of the pots. Stir to dissolve completely, and turn off heat.

2. Trim the ham steak of any excess fat or rind, and chop into ½-inch dice. Place in food processor with a few tablespoons of water, and process until it looks like a paste, at least 30-60 seconds continuously. Scrape down the sides if need be, but make sure there are no pieces left, just hammy paste.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large (4-5 quart) Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add onion, carrot, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt to sweat and soften for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, sauté 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the ham stock from the other pot, the rinsed split peas, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered at about medium to medium-low for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Drain potatoes and add to the pot, also add the ham paste from the food processor. Continue to simmer another 20 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure soup does not stick to the bottom. Cook until the potatoes are tender.

5. Remove the pot from the heat, and remove bay leaves. Transfer soup to the blender using a ladle until the blender is no more than half-full. Put the top on, but allow for some venting (hot soup + blender = explosion, if not vented). Starting on low, puree for about 10 seconds, then move up to medium speed for 10 seconds, then high for 30. Once completely smooth, pour into the empty stock pot, and continue with the rest of the soup in batches.

Black Bean and Chorizo Bisque

This is not a typical black bean soup, as it is not chunky in the least. It's completely smooth, which makes it more of a bisque. It uses chorizo, a Mexican sausage, but it's the uncooked, loose ground variety, not the hard salami-type sausage. As for chicken stock, the best kind out there is Imagine Free Range Organic, available at Whole Foods or other specialty markets. Good stock leads to good soup, and this stuff is truly delicious, even on its own!

ingredients:

1 lb. package Mexican chorizo sausage

1 medium white onion, peeled & diced

1 tbsp ground cumin

3 cloves garlic, peeled & minced

1 quart chicken stock

2 bay leaves

3 28 oz cans black beans, rinsed & drained

1 lime, squeezed of juice

handful of cilantro, chopped extremely fine

equipment:

two large stock pots or Dutch ovens

blender

NOTE: do not use a “boat-motor” style immersion blender for this recipe; it does not blend smooth enough to remove the finest pieces or lumps.

1. Brown the chorizo sausage in a deep Dutch oven over medium-high heat until cooked. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon, and set to drain on a thick bed of paper towels.

2. Return the pot to medium heat with the sausage drippings still in it, and sauté the onion until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and ground cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken stock, bay leaves, and drained beans, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes.

3. Add the browned sausage back to the pot, stir to combine, and simmer another 10-15 minutes to meld flavors.

4. Remove the pot from the heat, and remove bay leaves. Transfer soup to the blender using a ladle until the blender is no more than half-full. Put the top on, but allow for some venting (hot soup + blender = explosion, if not vented). Starting on low, puree for about 10 seconds, then move up to medium speed for 10 seconds, then high for 30. Once completely smooth, pour into another empty pot, and continue with the rest of the soup in batches.

5. Stir in cilantro and lime juice, serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Enjoy!

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Sounds yummie - I'll have to try the soups but skip the blender since I'm not on liquids anymore!

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Sounds yummie - I'll have to try the soups but skip the blender since I'm not on liquids anymore!

By all means, do! For the black bean soup, I'd recommend using a "boat motor" immersion stick blender for a few swipes around the pot, to blend some but not all of the beans. It will help with texture.

But for the pea soup, I'd recommend a couple changes if you want to have it non-blended:

1. Don't process the ham steak into a paste. Just chunk it into 1/2-inch dice instead.

2. Switch from russet potatoes to white potatoes or new potatoes. Those are "waxy" varieties that will hold up a lot better to soups, holding their cubed shape instead of dissolving. The russets break down when boiled, which is why they're good for creamy soups & mashed potatoes!

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