Friday, March 2, 2012

Soup's On!

Since I'm on this huge recipe kick, and since I watched the Soup Nazi Seinfeld episode not too long ago, and since I'm also seriously excited about our upcoming trip to Disney World (even though it's not until December), and since it's Friday, I thought I'd give y'all a series of some of my favorite soup recipes from Walt Disney World.

Lightened up a bit, because, dear LORD, they like to use some heavy stuff.  I'll note what they use out beside my ingredient substitutions.  And, yes, my family enjoys these every bit as much as the Disney versions.  Also, I have absolutely no idea what the calorie count is on these, but I can guarantee you it's less than the originals...

Butternut Squash Soup (from Boma, the restaurant in Animal Kingdom Lodge)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (3 oz unsalted butter)
11 ounces Butternut Squash, cut into chunks (you can find this already cubed at your local grocery)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup water
2 cups skim milk (1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup whole milk)
1/2 tsp Splenda (1oz sugar, adjust if needed)
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coriander
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 ounces fat-free/skim shredded cheddar cheese (3 oz American Cheese)

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.  In a small baking dish, mix the squash and the extra virgin olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper, then roast for 45 minutes.
  2. In a blender (or a food processor, if your processor is leak-proof), blend up the squash with the 1 cup water.  Pour into a large soup pot, and add the milk, Splenda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and coriander.
  3. Make a slurry with the cornstarch by taking a tablespoon of COLD water in a measuring cup, adding the cornstarch, and mixing it well.  Add to the soup to thicken (which it will do when it heats up).
  4. Add the cheese to the soup, and continue mixing until smooth.
  5. Adjust seasoning to your tastes.

Ginger Pumpkin Soup (from Chef Mickey's in the Contemporary Resort)
1 tsp minced shallot
1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cans plain pumpkin (2- to 3-pound pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and diced into 3/4-inch pieces as well as 1 1/4 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree)
(1/2 cup brandy - I skip this entirely)
4 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp white wine (I skip this)
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp fat free cream cheese (mascarpone cheese)

  1. Sweat shallots in oil until translucent in the bottom of a large soup pot.  Add the pumpkin and the broth, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Finely mince ginger and set it aside.
  3. Thirty minutes before serving, add the ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg to reach the desired flavor.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with a dollop of cheese on top.
Note:  If you add the ginger too early OR you add powdered ginger, it can make this soup pretty spicy if you're not careful.  With the powdered ginger, the soup gets a more peppery flavor the longer it cooks.  So BE CAREFUL.

Big Bowl Chicken Soup (from Pop Century Resort--this makes 12-14 servings, so please adjust for smaller batches!  This is an Asian take on chicken soup)
2 lbs cooked, deboned, shredded chicken
3 lbs cooked yolk-free egg noodles (udon noodles)
1lb bok choy (Bias Cut)
8 oz canned sliced mushrooms, rinsed and drained (slicked mushrooms--I have no idea what those are, so I'm leaving it as is.  I'm hoping they're SLICED mushrooms...)
6 oz bamboo shoots
10 oz chicken broth, hot
1 oz minced fresh ginger
1 oz minced fresh garlic
1 cup water (10 oz)
1 oz extra virgin olive oil (canola oil)
(2 oz rice wine)
1 oz soy sauce
1/2 oz sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste (3 tbsp house seasoning)

  1. Heat wok to 175 degrees and add oil.
  2. Saute garlic and ginger.
  3. Add chicken, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots.
  4. Add veggies, soy sauce, wine (if you're using it), chicken broth, and water.
  5. When water is at a boil, add noodles and bok choy.
  6. When the noodles are tender, turn off wok.
  7. Finish by adding some sliced green onions, if you'd like.
  8. Enjoy!

Tomato Bisque (from Sunshine Seasons in The Land in EPCOT)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (butter)
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 cans diced tomatoes (I use fire-roasted, but the recipe doesn't call for anything specific)
1 tbsp Splenda (sugar)
1 tsp dried basil OR 1 tbsp fresh basil
1/4 cup chicken broth
8 cups water
corn starch (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup skim milk (heavy cream)

  1. In a large soup pot, drizzle oil and saute onions.
  2. Add the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, and basil and onions into a blender, and blend until smooth.  Pour everything back into the soup pot.  (This is not exactly how they tell you to do it, as they expect you to have a hand-held blender that you can use in your soup pot.  I don't have one, so....)
  3. Add chicken broth and water.
  4. If it's too thin, make a slurry of the corn starch with a little water, then add to the soup to thicken it up.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the milk, then serve when it's at the perfect temperature for you.

Strawberry Soup (from 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian)
2 lbs, 8 ounces frozen strawberries in their own juice, thawed
16 oz skim milk (heavy cream)
2 oz sour cream (I use fat-free)
3 oz strawberry yogurt (plain yogurt)
8 oz fresh strawberries

  1. Mix first four ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  2. Chill; shake well before serving.
  3. Add the fresh strawberries as a garnish.
Note:  If I'm just making this into a quick snack for me, the Editor, or the Cubs, I cut way back on this and make it in our Bullet.  If I'm making this for everyone, I'll do it all in the blender, though.

Well, that's it for today, folks!  I hope you enjoy making these soups as much as I do.  They are wonderful, as everything from Disney is.

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