Episode 33: Soup and Salad
Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Chowder, Pressure Cooker Pho Bo, and Maple Roasted Carrot Salad
Sometimes all you need is a warm bowl of soup. Or maybe you’re looking for a light but filling dinner salad. We have you covered with two soups and a salad that hit all the right notes. The Chicken and Corn Chowder was creamy tasting without weighing us down, which was a welcome change from other cream soups. We can’t lie, the Pressure Cooker Pho was a project. But the taste! Totally worth it. Our salad course was a seasonal mix of maple roasted carrots, dried cranberries and chevre, tossed with arugula and crunchy almonds. We couldn’t get enough.
Fall is here and creamy soups are a delicious way to warm up. We appreciated this soup’s flavor wasn’t due to an overdose of butter, heavy cream or even cream cheese. Instead, just a little bit of cream gave it a delicious flavor without being too heavy.
The recipe is written for a slow cooker but we both made it in the Instant Pot. Just put all the ingredients except for the bacon and heavy cream in the cooker. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes and naturally release. Add the heavy cream and potato starch, if using.
The broth of this soup...we could sip it all by itself. We were blown away by the deliciousness coming out of our own kitchen. The soup was rich broth, scented with aromatics like clove, cinnamon, and star anise with spoon-tender beef. Rice noodles are fun to slurp up and each diner can customize their bowl with bean sprouts, sriracha, lime and basil. Rated five stars by every eater.
The flavor was out of this world but prepare yourself- this takes time. Give yourself at least the afternoon to make this. The stock takes at least 2-3 hours to make, start to finish. Keep in mind, this wasn’t anything complicated. Merely a long cooking time to brown the bones, brown the onions, and cook the beef for at least an hour on high pressure.
You can stop the project halfway and chill the broth overnight. Lift off the fat and reheat the next day.
This recipe makes a lot of soup. If that’s too much for your household at once, it freezes beautifully. (Make the noodles fresh! Just freeze the broth and meat.)
Don’t skip the spices- the star anise, cinnamon, and cloves make the broth so delicious.
Shop around. We found very different prices for oxtails and didn’t find beef shins. A better meat market or ethnic grocery store may have better prices.
Carrots are roasted simply with salt, pepper, and maple syrup for a gorgeous addition to this colorful salad. The dish is rounded out with dried cranberries soaked in orange juice, soft goat cheese, almonds and arugula, all tossed in a sherry wine vinaigrette.
Remember- if you plan to bring this salad to work tomorrow, only dress the portion you plan to eat that evening. Then bring the salad and dressing separately to work the next day. Dress when you’re ready to eat for crisp (not wilty) greens.
The recipe recommends Montrachet-style goat cheese. Since Montrachet wasn’t available at our supermarkets, we used chevre. A close approximation and just as tasty. (At least we think so!)
From the Smorgasbord…
A few suggestions for an accompaniment. Because who doesn’t want a little something with their soup or salad?
Trader Joe’s Seedy Almond Salad Topper Kate likes this as a quick and fun way to add a little crunch and pop to a work lunch. Throw a little bag of these seeds, sliced almonds, and crushed red pepper in your lunch box and you’re already ahead of the salad game.
Grilled Cheese Croutons: Make your favorite grilled cheese and chop it up into crouton sized pieces for a fun way to eat your next bowl of tomato soup. Betsy is going to make this for the kids but there’s no age limit. Just saying. Try this Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons from Damn Delicious.
Drop biscuits! Easy to make and so good with soup or salad. Or even for a special homemade breakfast. Unlike other biscuits, there’s no rolling involved. Quick and delicious. Right up our alley. We liked this drop biscuit recipe from Serious Eats. Try The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for a higher yield and more butter. (Naturally.) Bonus: the Pioneer Recipe also includes a recipe for sausage gravy. You have been warned.