Top Soup

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The University of Illinois published a study based on matching personalities with soup preferences a few years back in the Journal of Database Marketing Lifestyle and Personality Clusters. The four most popular soups were chicken noodle, tomato, minestrone and vegetable. These four top soups were cross-tabulated with personality and lifestyle traits. What's your soup say about you?

   click    to enjoy Potato Leek Soup recipe

click to enjoy Potato Leek Soup recipe

The Findings:

Chicken noodle soup; you score high on the church-going scale, are fond of pets, are more likely to be stubborn and less likely to be outdoorsy.

Minestrone; you were more likely to be physically fit, nutritionally conscious, family spirited, unlikely to own a pet and also on a restricted diet.

Vegetable soup; was a homebody at heart, less likely to be a world traveler, less likely to be spontaneous and more likely to read family and home magazines.  

Tomato soup; by contrast, seeks more adventure, were more likely to be social and also tended to enjoy books and pets.

Soup, especially this chilly time of year, is comforting to the body and soul. Delighted that my Tomato Soup falls into the top four! 

reference; Journal of Database Marketing Lifestyle and Personality Clusters

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Craft Brewed Onion Soup

The Addition of a good craft beer to this classic recipe adds another dimension of flavor which compliments the caramelized onion. An IPA or dark beer is better but you can use your favorite brew.

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Beer Onion Soup

Makes 4 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

6 cups Vidalia or sweet onions, sliced  

1 Tablespoon olive oil  

1 head caramelized garlic  

2 pints craft brewed IPA beer  

6 cups beef or vegetable broth  

1 teaspoon fresh thyme  

1 teaspoon fresh parsley  

pinch nutmeg  

4 large sour dough bread croutons  

4 slices of Gruyere cheese  

1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese 

Preheat a soup pot. 

Add olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook onions until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add beer and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add broth, thyme, parsley and nutmeg. Simmer for 45 minutes. 

Place sourdough croutons in 4 bowls. Add soup to each bowl. Top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a slice of Gruyere. Broil for 2 minutes or until cheese melts and is slightly browned. 

chefgeorgehirsch.com

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Gazpacho as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

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This time of year is perfect to dream about those farm fresh veggies. But don’t just dream, enjoy one of my favorite refreshing soups anytime!  

 on location Seps Farm East Marion, NY from  George Hirsch Lifestyle

on location Seps Farm East Marion, NY from George Hirsch Lifestyle

I also call Gazpacho "liquid salad" — for obvious reasons. Its origin and roots go back to ancient times in Andalusia Spain; with a version of the recipe believed to be concocted as a re-energizing dish for Roman workers building roads in early 2nd century Spain. Traditionally, gazpacho recipes include stale bread, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, and a touch of vinegar. 

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Gazpacho aka Liquid Salad

Makes four servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV  

1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped very fine

4 cups low sodium tomato juice + Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup each sweet red + yellow pepper, chopped very fine

1/4 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped fine

4 cloves garlic, fine chop

1/4 cup scallion, fine chop

1/2 cup cucumber; peeled and seeded, chopped very fine

1 Tablespoon cilantro + 1/4 each teaspoon hot sauce, cumin, sea salt + fresh ground black pepper 

1/2 cup stale bread, toasted and chopped fine

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar 

Optional: 1 fresh gherkin cut into four wedges and a spring on dill to garnish. Or, marinate very fresh scallops or shrimp in tequila & hot sauce--top mugs ceviche style. 

*In a large bowl mix all the ingredients and chill for two hours before serving. 

My recipe will give your knife skills a work out. Feel free to use a blender. Keep in mind the manual chopping of the vegetables will preserve the flavor. 

*Tip: Be aware, using a food processor or blender actually cooks the veggies with the friction, in turn, changing the natural uncooked flavor, which is the true essence of this dish. There are many versions of gazpacho, but I prefer this one without any meat broth, keeping it true to its veggie roots, and finishing it off with a drizzle of a good olive oil.  

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Divided BY Chowder

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If there is one thing I have learned as a chef there as many versions of chowder recipes as there are people who enjoy this soup, err..I mean stew..no I think soup?  

George Hirsch Chowder

Each of my cookbooks and TV series has a version of some sort of a chowder recipe. I have judged chowder contests, participated in chef chowder tastings, and been a referee at a few chowder-boxing matches. Well, not really, but people do get heated up over red or white chowder. 

What really is chowder? The word "chowder" comes from the French word chaudiere, or caldron, the vessel in which the dish was cooked. And, derives from the word "jowter," meaning fishmonger, a term that was used in 16th century coastal regions of England.

George Hirsch Seafood

Is it a soup or stew? Early versions of chowder simmered from the New England area and was basically a frugal recipe of pork fat, onions, potatoes, fish, herbs, dry biscuits or flour for thickening, layered in a pot and cooked in water, with a little milk added at the end. In the 1800’s the Manhattan clam chowder was notable because it contains tomatoes. James Beard described Manhattan clam chowder "that rather horrendous soup called Manhattan clam chowder resembles a vegetable soup that accidentally had some clams dumped into it." All respect Mr. Beard, but those are fighting words. As a New Yorker and from coastal Long Island, an East Ender we take our chowder VERY serious. See, how a discussion on chowder can turn into a sparring match.

Tomato-based clam chowders came about with the newfound popularity of the tomato in the mid-1800s with the large population of Italians and Portuguese in New York and Rhode Island region. Still, there is no chowder harmony. In 1939, Maine legislators introduced a bill outlawing the use of tomatoes in chowder because it is far more of a vegetable soup. What? 

I can end this entire soup divide right now. Aside from any vegetables, corn, chicken or other non-seafarer ingredient for the stew--here are three versions you can enjoy from my TV series and cookbooks. They have satisfied many and with hope can prevent a nation from future chowder conflict. 

Manhattan vs. New England Chowder N.E. not my fav..

Seafood Chowder Yes, now this is a stew!

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