We are entering soup season, one of Tony’s and my favorite “food seasons,” and we’re practically giddy with excitement about it. And even though we may express our enthusiasm in different ways (Tony prefers to wear a shirt emblazoned with “Soup is Sexy” on the back, while my more northern European response tends to go something like, “Soup season? Oh, for fun!”), our passion for the wonders that soup can bring is equal.
We’re so excited for soup season this year that we’re hosting a contest and asking you to share your favorite soup recipes with us.
Here’s how The Great Sarello’s Soup-Off will work: We ask you to submit the recipe for your favorite homemade soup by email or on our blog. You have until Wednesday, October 15, 2014 to submit your soup recipes to us, and we encourage you to include a story and/or picture with your recipe.
Tony and I will then choose our favorite soups for further consideration, and will announce the finalists and their recipes on our blog on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
And here’s where things really get fun: We will host a “Soup-Off” featuring the finalists’ soups in the Sarello’s Wine Lounge on Tuesday, October 28 and Wednesday, October 29 for the public to taste and vote for the winner. Your recipe must be exact, as our chefs will want to make it just the way you do at home.
The winner and her/his recipe will be announced on November 5, in both our column and on the blog.
We hope you will participate and share your recipes with us. Contest rules, eligibility requirements, and more information is detailed in the Contest Guidelines below.
All submissions must be received by Oct. 15, 2014 to be eligible, and you may submit your recipes electronically only via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in the Comments section of our blog.
THE GREAT SARELLO’S SOUP-OFF:
1. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO WIN?
We ask you to submit the recipe for your favorite homemade soup, and we encourage you to include a little story and/or picture with your recipe. Let us know why you love this soup, and share any special memories or traditions if you have them. Did your mother or grandmother make this soup? Did you try to emulate a favorite soup from a restaurant? What do you use as a garnish for your soup?
You have until Wednesday, October 15, 2014 to submit your soup recipes to us electronically via email or in the Comments section here on our blog. Please be sure to include your name, address, email address and telephone number with your entry information, and again – if you have a photo, please include it.
*Please write “The Lost Italian Soup Contest” in the Subject field*
2. HOW DOES THIS WORK?
Tony and I will review all of the soup recipe submissions, and the finalists and their recipes will be announced on Wednesday, October 22 both here on our blog.
2. WHO PICKS THE WINNER?
We will be hosting a “SOUP-OFF” in the Wine Lounge at Sarello’s on Tuesday, October 28 & Wednesday, October 29, and will serve the finalists’ soups for YOU, the public, to taste and judge. The soup with the most votes will be declared the winner.
3. DO I NEED TO MAKE MY SOUP RECIPE?
No, our chefs will be preparing your soups for the public tasting finals, so make sure your recipe is exact, as our chefs will want to make it just the way you do at home.
4. WHEN IS THE WINNING RECIPE ANNOUNCED? The winner and her/his recipe will be announced on November 5, in both our column and on the blog.
7. WHAT DO I GET IF I WIN?
We are still compiling prizes from various local businesses and will announce more as they come in, but we are pleased to announce that Tama Smith, the amazing North Dakota potter from Prairie Fire Pottery in Beach, ND has already agreed to come on board once again as a prize contributor! The top finalist will receive a set of four soup bowls from Prairie Fire Pottery, valued at $152 *AND* a Four-Course Dinner for Two at Sarello’s!!
Other prizes may include:
Sarello’s Gift Cards
Grocery Store Gift Cards
Handheld Immersion Blender
8. WHO CAN ENTER? There is no age limit to enter this contest, and we encourage cooks of all ages and places to submit their favorite soup recipes.
9. WHO CAN’T ENTER? If you are a relative of Sarah or Tony Nasello, or are employed by Sarello’s, Inc. or Forum Communications, then you are not eligible to enter this contest.
10. WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A RECIPE? CAN I STILL ENTER? No, you can’t, because this is a RECIPE CONTEST. But don’t worry – we will be hosting a Giveaway later this month for our blog readers only, so keep checking back for more details! If you’re not already a subscriber, we encourage you to enter your email address in the box on the right-hand side of the page to receive all the latest and greatest news from Home with The Lost Italian.
We hope you will participate and share your recipes with us. Only submissions received by Oct. 15, 2014 will be eligible to advance in the competition. We may choose to feature your recipe submission here on the blog throughout the contest period and/or beyond,in The Forum newspaper, as well as in any future publications, and submitting your recipe for entry will be considered permission to use your recipe.Full credit will be given to the person who submitted the recipe and any photos that accompany it.
In the meantime, please enjoy this week’s recipe for Sarello’s Red Pepper Soup, which has become such a favorite of our guests that they’ll call ahead to request it. This recipe is really simple and you can omit the roux for a gluten-free option. You can also roast the red peppers in advance for a more robust flavor, but we like to use them in their natural state.
Tony’s favorite kitchen tool, a handheld immersion blender, is ideal for soup-making, but you can also use a food processor or liquid blender. Make sure to pass the soup through a fine-mesh strainer before serving, to remove any seeds or peel from the pepper.
We use chicken stock as the base for this soup, which enhances the overall depth of flavor, but you could use vegetable stock instead. The soup has a very pretty red-orange color which we like to accent with homemade croutons and a sprinkling of fresh parsley, but diced yellow peppers would also work well.
We hope that you’re ready to get your soup on this season, and look forward to reading your recipes!
Red Pepper Soup
Makes: 6 servings
6 red bell peppers, seeds and veins removed from inside, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Sambal sauce or other hot sauce (Sriracha or Tabasco also fine)
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
½ celery stalk, diced
½ carrot, diced
¼ cup butter
1 qt. chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons roux
Seasoning to taste
In a stock pot, sauté the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and sambal in butter over medium heat for 5 minutes until soft. Add the red bell pepper and chicken stock and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Add the roux and then puree with an immersion blender (you may also use a blender or food processor).
Strain the soup through a fine-mesh strainer into another pot. Return to the stove and add the cream. Cook over low heat for 5 more minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.
- Garnish this soup with something of a contrasting color – you may use chopped yellow peppers, minced parsley, croutons, etc. Be creative.
- You may also choose to roast your red peppers beforehand for a more robust flavor.
To store: Soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for one week or in the freezer for at least 2 months.
½ cup butter, shortening, lard or vegetable oil (the more flavorful the fat, the better the roux)
½ cup flour
Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan and stir in the flour. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly until a light straw color is achieved. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.