Soup's On!

Happy National Soup Month! As we settle into a post-holiday routine—and many of us strive to fulfill the popular “eat healthy” New Year’s resolutions—soups are an ideal winter dish. Whether curling up with a hot mug of classic tomato soup after a brisk winter walk, or getting creative with traditional winter ingredients, you can satisfy both basic hunger and sophisticated palates with the right soup recipe.

Travelers on Grand Circle’s river ships, however, know that a well-crafted soup recipe needn’t be saved for January. We frequently receive rave reviews about the soups served onboard during our River Cruise vacations—and we’ve previously shared the secrets behind some of our savory soup recipes and our popular fruit “flips”.

To help you properly celebrate a month of soups, we’re adding to your collection of Grand Circle recipes—the two dishes below come straight from the kitchen staff of our M/S River Concerto. Vasile Dumitrascu, hotel manager on the Concerto, provided us with these recipes as they’re prepared on-ship, but we’ve cut down the portion sizes to make them fit your needs—as you’re probably not preparing soup for a restaurant full of hungry river ship passengers! Please note that we've made some slight adjustments to make measuring easier for cooks in the States.


Carrot Cream Soup

This soup not only features the flavor of carrots, a hearty winter root vegetable, but also showcases their vibrant orange hue. And with the use of orange juice and orange segments, carrot cream soup can help provide a dose of Vitamin C to promote wintertime health and wellness as well. While preparing this soup, if you desire a thicker consistency, you can use mondamin, a German soup binder available in German grocery stores—but Wondra Flour will also suffice for its thickening purposes.

Ingredients:

1 cup carrots, chopped
¼ cup onion, chopped
¼ cup celeriac or celery root, chopped
2 tsp. oil
¼ cup cream
1 ¾ Tbs. butter, melted
2 cups vegetable stock
4 tsp orange juice
¼ cup orange segments
Chopped parsley, to taste
Momdamin (Wondra), if desired


Preparation:

  1. Heat oil in a medium soup pot and sauté onions until lightly browned.
  2. Add carrots and celery, then lightly sauté.
  3. Fill pot with vegetable stock and continue cooking until vegetables are soft.
  4. Let soup cool until warm, then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Transfer soup back to pot and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add orange juice, cream, and melted butter. If necessary, thicken with Mondamin or Wondra.
  7. Transfer to serving dishes, and garnish with orange segments and chopped parsley.

Servings: Serves 5


Spinach Soup Florentine

This soup earns points for presentation—its green color evokes thoughts of springtime—and inventiveness in ingredients. Chopped boiled eggs and croutons are sprinkled on top of this creamy soup to compliment the spinach and onion flavors, a savory treat that has earned rave reviews from our European River Cruise travelers.

Ingredients:

2 tsp. oil
¼ cup onion, chopped
1 cup spinach, chopped
1 clove garlic, diced
6 ¾ Tbs. milk
Salt and nutmeg, to taste
1 boiled egg, chopped
3 Tbs. cream
1 ¾ cups vegetable stock
1 ¾ Tbs butter, melted
Croutons, as desired


Preparation:

  1. Heat oil in a medium soup pot and sauté onions until lightly browned.
  2. Add chopped spinach and garlic, and lightly sauté.
  3. Add vegetable stock, and cook until onions are soft.
  4. Add milk, spices, and half of the boiled egg pieces.
  5. Let soup cool until warm, then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Transfer soup back to pot, and add cream and butter. Stir until well blended.
  7. Transfer to serving dishes, and garnish with remaining egg and croutons.

Servings: Serves 4