Nothing beats a good soup that can step up to the plate and make a meal – and the recipes in SAVEUR’s new Soups and Stews cookbook dish up exactly that in a range of far flung flavors that encompass the world, but are also perfectly comfortable at your own table
SAVEUR – “the magazine of choice for people who experience the world food-first” – plays to its strengths in Soups and Stews. The recipes are rich with a sense of place, in seasonings, ingredients, and technique.
Here’s what we’re talking about: a Gascon-Style Beef Stew with red wine, brandy and a square of dark, unsweetened chocolate at its heart, and a Tunisian Short Rib & Meatball Stew (two kinds of meat!) with beans and a Middle-Eastern palate of spices. Vegetarian or vegan: the Quinoa and Sweet Potato Soup seasoned with cinnamon and coriander is terrific, and among many others, there’s a Pear, Delicata Squash Soup, and a Hyderbadi-Style Dal with tamarind paste, curry leaves and turmeric and whole garlic cloves. There are fish soups and stews from Africa and Norway, Maine and the Caribbean, Scotland and Japan. Vegetable soups. Curries. Rich, creamy bean soups. Noodle Soups.
And the book backs you up with brisk sidebars that bring you up to speed on Asian noodles, breakfast soups, a glossary of dried beans, the mysteries of “umami” and much more.
You biggest problem with SAVEUR Soups and Stews is deciding where to start – it’s one of those cookbooks where you just have to keep coming back to try another recipe.
GASCON-STYLE BEEF STEW
This stew delivers layers of deep, rich flavor – underscored by a square of unsweetened chocolate – and loaded with meat, root vegetables and mushrooms.
Reprinted with permission from SAVEUR Soups and Stews, Weldon Owen, 2015
- 3-oz. slab bacon, cut into ½-inch matchsticks
- 3-½-lb. beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 10 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 3 medium carrots, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 large yellow onion cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1/3-cup armagnac or other brandy
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 750-ml. bottle madiran wine, or light-bodied red wine, such as pinot noir
- 3 sprigs fresh, flat-leaf parsley
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 –oz. unsweetened dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 3-tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4-oz. porcini or white button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
Country bread for serving (optional)
- Heat bacon in and 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 5-7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain and set aside. Season beef with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook, turning as needed, until browned, 12-14 minutes. Transfer beef to bowl and set aside. Add garlic, carrots, parsnips, and onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly caramelized, 10-12 minutes. Add armagnac; deglaze, stirring and scraping browned bits from bottom of pan, and cook until reduced by half, 1-2 minutes. Add stock, wine, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Place parsley, thyme, bay leaves and rosemary on a piece of cheesecloth; tie into a tight bundle and add to pan. Return beef to pan and reduce heat to medium-low; cook, partially covered, under beef is very tender, 2 to 2-1/2-hours. Uncover and stir in reserved bacon, the chocolate, salt and pepper and cook until chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes more. Keep stew warm.
- Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium high. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 4-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer to stew. Discard herb bundle and ladle stew into bowls. Serve with bread on the side.