The etymological confluence of the word soup and the word restaurant offers a satisfying story for chilly November days of waning light—and our Still Hungry? column. Apparently, in 16th century France, what we know of as soups were called “restaurants” (from the French verb restaurer, meaning to restore). “Restaurants” were advertised and the soups sold cheaply by street vendors as wellness remedies. A couple centuries later, a French businessman opened a shop that specialized in “restaurants” (essentially, consommés or soups!). His enticing call to action? Some Latin words inspired by and riffing on the well-known Gospel of Matthew narrative, “Venite ad me vos qui stomacho laboratis et ego restaurabo vos,” or, “Come to me you who are weary and I will restore you in the stomach.”
Fast-forward to today’s “shops that sell soup” in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and it’s not only the dine-in customer, but scores of hungry families, who benefit from the modern confluence of restaurant and soup. We’re talking about Souper Bowl, of course, that delicious January fundraising event presented by Albuquerque’s Roadrunner Food Bank and Santa Fe’s The Food Depot. For the last 20-plus years, participating restaurants have concocted soups in promising categories to be tasted by discerning soup-lovers, who pay to vote for their faves. Proceeds help both food banks to distribute food and manage food programs that assist hungry people and communities across New Mexico, which has been ranked among the hungriest states in the nation.
This Thanksgiving season—just in time for soup and gratitude, that delightful duo—we asked four of the recent Souper Bowl winners for a home-cook soup recipe, so that our readers could try their hand at restoring tummies. Thank you very much to Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen, Terra Restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado and Dinner for Two in Santa Fe, and to Bocadillo’s Slow Roasted in Albuquerque—congratulations on your fine food and philanthropic spirit, arguably one of the greatest approaches to restoration there is.
Green Chile and Corn Chowder
by Executive Sous Chef Kevin Walsh of Terra Restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado
Chef Kevin says, “Being from Iowa, corn has always been a go-to staple for my dishes. Now that I live in New Mexico, I pair my favorite corn dishes with the regional spices and chile, the flare of New Mexico, making the ultimate flavor profile.”
4 bacon strips sliced and cooked until crisp
2 shallots rough chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks diced
1/2 cup medium-heat green chiles roasted, peeled and chopped
1 poblano pepper diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 medium Idaho potato, diced
1 quart heavy cream
4 ears of corn grilled in the husk, kernels removed (save the cobs!)
1/2 quart corn stock (recipe below)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ cup polenta
For the corn stock:
2 garlic cloves
2 rosemary sprigs
1 quart water
Place all ingredients for the corn stock in a stockpot and simmer for one hour and strain.
For the soup:
Start by cooking the bacon in a large pot until the bacon is crispy. Add the shallots, garlic and celery and sauté until tender. Add your chiles, peppers and potatoes with the cream, corn, corn stock and turmeric. Simmer the soup for 45 minutes. Then, add the dry polenta. This will thicken the soup and add more corn flavor. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish the soup with candied bacon and cilantro pesto (recipes below) and enjoy!
Place 5 strips of bacon onto a cookie sheet. Mix ½ cup of brown sugar and ¼ cup chile powder.
Sprinkle sugar-chile mix over bacon evenly and press lightly to make sure mix sticks to the bacon.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the bacon is cooked but sugar mix is not burned.
Cool and chop.
1 bunch of cilantro, stems and leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 small shallot
1 Tbsp. lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Terra Restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado is located at 198 N.M. 592 in Santa Fe, 505.946.5700, fourseasons.com/santafe.
Turkey Tortilla Soup
from Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen Co-owners Soma Franks and Fiona Wong
“We make it from scratch by first roasting a whole turkey for the stock and meat,” Soma and Fiona say. “It’s one of our best sellers and great for this coming colder season.”
4 Tablespoons of sunflower oil
12/ cup diced white onion
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup of sweet corn (fresh or frozen)
2 cups of cooked turkey meat
6 cups of homemade turkey stock
1 cup of prepared green chile
2 cups of heavy cream (we use Organic Valley)
1 cup of prepared red chile
4 julienned corn tortillas
1 cup of cooked black beans
1 cup of raw basmati rice
2 cups of cooked brown rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Avocado and corn tortilla chips for garnish if desired
In a stockpot, heat the sunflower oil. When hot, add onions and cook for 2 minutes. Once softened, add garlic, red bell pepper and sweet corn and cook for another minute or two. Add turkey meat and sauté for another 2 minutes. Pour the turkey stock and mix well. Add green chile, then heavy cream. Slowly add red chile and gauge desired color and bring to a boil. Add rest of ingredients and bring to boil again. Once at a boil, lower heat to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring several times. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with slices of avocado and corn tortilla chips.
Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen is located at 1512 Pacheco St., Building B, in Santa Fe, 505.795.7383, sweetwatersf.com.
Roasted Corn, Crab and Green Chile Soup
By Chef Andy Barnes of Dinner for Two
Chef Andy says, “This is a great soup for this time of year. Fresh roasted corn is necessary—so late August, September, October when local corn is available is the best time. And always, roasted fresh green chile is an important part of a Santa Fe soup. Over the years, I have changed the recipe a bit, and adding crab meat just rounds out the flavor.”
1 onion sweated until sweet
1\2 pound chopped bacon
2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
2 pounds roasted sweet corn, kernels removed
1 cup Dry Sherry
1 pound mild peeled green chile
1/2 gallon chicken stock
roux (6 oz melted butter and 6oz flour warmed in a pot til the consistency of wet sand)
1/2 gallon milk
4 ounces crab
Sauté onions until translucent and sweet. Add chopped bacon to onions and cook until rendered. Add garlic, sauté until you can smell it. Add roasted corn and Sherry, cook 4-5 minutes. Add green chile to pot, followed by chicken stock and milk. Bring to a boil. Add roux, stirring to keep out lumps.
Dinner for Two is located at 106 N. Guadalupe St. in Santa Fe, 505.820.2075. dinnerfortwonm.com.
Tom Ka Gai Soup
by Chef Marie Yniguez of Bocadillo’s Slow Roasted
Chef Marie says, “This Tom Ka Gai Soup won First Place People’s Choice Winner at Roadrunner Foodbank’s SouperBowl 2017! And it’s an in-house favorite!”
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 ounce shitake mushrooms
1 ounce beech mushrooms
1 ounce oyster mushrooms
1 ounce trumpet mushrooms
3 green onions, white part cut off; whole and greens chopped and set aside
1 stalk lemon grass
Fresh galangal, grated
4 red chile pods
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups coconut milk
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Tablespoons fish sauce
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Fresh Thai basil, chopped
In a large stockpot, heat coconut oil on high heat. Salt chicken and add to hot pot, cooking until chicken is browned. Add mushrooms and lower heat to medium. Cook until mushrooms are soft. Add white of onion, lemongrass stalk, grated galangal, and red chile pods to pot. Stir in pot until warmed. Add chicken stock, coconut milk, lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce and the chopped green onion. Garnish with the chopped cilantro and basil.
Story by Cullen Curtiss