Soup's On

Tomato Soup as Seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

Tomato Soup as Seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

When the weather dips like this weekend- going from the high 70s to mid 40s, it’s time for a homemade bowl of comfort, soup. Please forego the salt-lick canned version, because you can make a flavorful and nutritious potage in under an hour. And now is ideal for Autumn vegetables like cauliflower, squash and yams, which add a lot of extra flavor. 

But what to keep in mind with any soup recipe, or any recipe for that matter is, a recipe is just a guideline. Use a recipe as a guide and improvise with what you have at home. Making soup is an ideal way to convert leftovers into a hearty meal.

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Today I made a spicy black bean, chicken & rice soup made from leftover yesterday's dish. Simply sauté a carrot, 1/4 onion, 2 garlic cloves and added 2 pints of chicken broth with the 1 cup of leftover cooked rice and beans. After adding all ingredients to the pot, I added one chopped chicken breast. After simmering for thirty minutes I finished the soup with 1 cup of fresh baby spinach. 

Tip: Do you like a soup thick and hearty? Add a sliced potato or a yam. Don’t have time to wait for the potatoes to cook, then add stale toasted baguette bread as a thickener to the soup. Also, keep canned beans handy; they make a great base for a soup with the addition of small size pasta.

For My Five Onion Soup Recipe

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Pumpkin Crème Brulee

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Make a great easy fall dessert. This is a crowd pleaser. I must have made thousands of these and this time of year is ideal this season. Enjoy!

Chef George Hirsch’s Pumpkin Crème Brulee

Makes 8 4-inch tarts

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1 ½ cups milk

1 ½ cups heavy cream

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon orange zest

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

8 egg yolks

¼ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon light corn syrup

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch ground nutmeg

Pinch ground allspice

For the Brulee Sugar

3 Tablespoon granulated sugar

3 Tablespoon light brown sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, pumpkin puree, orange zest, and vanilla and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.

In the top of a double boiler, combine the egg yolks, brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, and cook until the mixture is lemon colored and coats a spoon abut 4-5 minutes.  Slowly add the pumpkin mixture and continue cooking until the mixture has the consistency of thick custard, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and pour into eight 4-ounce ramekins or tart shells.  Chill 5-6 hours.

In a small bowl, combine the brulee sugars and cinnamon for the topping.  Just before serving, top each custard with 1 Tablespoon of the sugar mixture.  Light a propane torch and move the flame back and forth over the sugar until it darkens.  Do not overheat or the custard will melt.  Or, pre heat the oven broiler, and watch carefully so the pumpkin custards don’t burn.

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GEORGE HIRSCH’S SLOPPY GIUSEPPE BURGER

Grilled slider served on a potato roll, with pickled bourbon peppers, an Italian style sweet sloppy Joe sauce, topped with crisp sriracha slaw from Sep’s Farm fresh veggies and a side of garlic kettle chips. 

George's SLOPPY GIUSEPPE a winning combination

Grilling a winning burger from the bun up takes time and the freshest farm picked ingredients. For my SLOPPY GIUSEPPE, the peppers were farm picked and pickled the same day, two months ahead of adding to my burger. I used a colorful mix of vine ripen sweet and hot peppers, and the vinegary brine was topped off with bourbon for added zip. The Sloppy Sauce is a homemade sweetened Italian tomato sauce, and the slaw—a mixture of crunch tossed at the last moment in a creamy sriracha dressing. With no compromise to the meat tossed on the grill, my signature special meat blend, and the only bun of distinction worthy for such honest “sloppy goodness’ is soft potato roll.   

GEORGE HIRSCH’S SLOPPY GIUSEPPE BURGER

Makes 8, *¼ pound burgers.

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*weight before cooking

1 3/4 pounds ground beef, short rib blend, 80/20 lean / fat ratio

3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Accompaniments: Potato Rolls, mix of sweet & hot vinegar peppers, sloppy sauce, sriracha slaw, 

In a 2-quart mixing bowl, combine beef and sausage meat and mix with a fork, taking care not to overwork the meat. Divide into 8 or 10 equal portions and form into 3/4 inch thick patties. Use raw meat from two of the above formed burgers for sloppy sauce. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

Sloppy Sauce

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Makes about 2 Quarts, or enough topping for 16 SLOPPY GIUSEPPE burgers.

2 Tablespoons Olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onions, sweet red peppers

8 cloves fresh garlic, chopped fine

1 15 ounce can each Tomato Sauce & Tomato Puree

1 1/2 cups ketchup

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

1 pint of IPA

1 teaspoon each dried basil and oregano

2 bay leaves

2 cups water

Pre heat a saucepot to medium temperature. Add olive oil and two burger patties browning lightly; add onions, peppers, and garlic. Cook for two additional minutes, do not brown vegetables. Add all remaining ingredients using water to rinse out any additional tomato sauce left in cans. Simmer for 45 minutes. Keep warm until topping burgers. 

For Slaw & Dressing as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

Vegetables: 1 small head shredded white cabbage, one 1/2 head shredded red cabbage, 2 grated carrots, 1/4 sweet thinly sliced onion, 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, and 3 chopped green onions. Mix 2 cups mayonnaise, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce, 1/4 cup sriracha, 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, pepper and sea salt to taste. Add dressing to slaw thirty minutes before serving. 

Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the burgers on a hot grill and cook about 3-4 minutes per side, turning once. 

Serve on lightly toasted Martin’s Potato Rolls, first peppers, burger, sloppy sauce, and slaw. Serve extra Sloppy Sauce on side with plenty of napkins. 

Note: If you don’t see ground short rib beef in your butcher shop, by all means ask for it. Whenever you’re mixing any ground meat product, it’s a good practice to have the meat and bowl well chilled. Not only will a chilled bowl cut down on bacterial growth, it will help bind the meat. If possible, use a metal bowl for mixing the ingredients and place it in the freezer beforehand. If your kitchen is warm, place the bowl over a bowl of ice when you’re incorporating the meat with the spices.

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Making A Caramel Apple

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There are many of us thinking caramel apples, dunking for apples, even better, U-Pick apples—what a fun weekend activity for the whole family. Continue the fun with candy apples. 

Instructions for how-to make caramel apples:

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Prepare a baking sheet, covered with parchment or waxed paper.

Wash and dry about 6-8 medium size apples, and skewer them at the stem end with a popsicle stick

Place 1 bag of unwrapped caramels pieces into a large, microwave safe bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons of water and microwave on high for 2 minutes; stirring after each minute. If needed, cook on high at an additional 20-30 seconds, stirring until smooth and of dipping consistency. 

Immediately dip the apples into melted caramel and twist to coat evenly. 

Place the coated apples on the waxed paper and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

For an extra special treat; sprinkle or roll apples with chopped nuts or granola before refrigerating.

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Apple Pumpkin Crumb Muffins

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Seems like yesterday I was driving home from the beach (OK, it was yesterday). But then I passed one of my local farm fields filled with pumpkins. So ready-or-not the season has changed. At home I can still enjoy the best of both seasons on the farm and all the goodness from the farm. 

George Hirsch Seps Farm Basket

Autumn is one of my favorite food seasons. So let's get fall started; here's my seasonal spin on the average apple muffin - add pumpkin and crumb. Great to take on-the-go too. Enjoy!

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Apple Pumpkin Crumb Muffins

Makes 18 muffins or 9 x 13 coffee cake 

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For the crumb topping:

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup flour 

3/4 cup oats, not quick cooking

1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/2 cup melted butter 

Mix all sugars, flour, oats and nuts. Pour in butter and mix until topping looks like wet sand. Do not over mix; topping should have a lumpy consistency. Reserve crumb topping and prepare muffin batter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 

Lightly grease 18 muffin cups or use paper liners.

For the muffins:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour; or 50/50 whole wheat flour

2 cups pure cane granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 

3/4 teaspoon ginger 

Pinch allspice & fresh grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup applesauce, or vegetable oil 

2 cups Green or baking apples, peeled, core and chopped into small pieces 

In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, pumpkin and oil. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stirring just to until flour is absorbed. Add chopped apples. 

Add batter into prepared muffin cups 3/4 filled. Top each muffin with crumb mixture and bake.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

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