A blog about food
Soups for the Soul
Sun Valley Chefs Share their Favorite Recipes
To many of us, Seinfeld’s “Soup Nazi” episode represents the pinnacle of just how beloved homemade soup can truly be—men and women of all ages waiting in a line snaking around a busy city corner, enduring ridiculous “soup ordering” etiquette—all for a mouthwatering bowl of soup. Sun Valley is filled with restaurants that take their soups very seriously, but without the brutality or attitude of New York City’s bustling streets. Here are a few local standouts that we feel perfectly capture that “heartwarming feeling” of a cup of soup waiting for you after a long, full day.
CK’s Real Food
“I’m into soup,” said Chris Kastner (CK himself) at CK’s Real Food in Hailey. CK takes his soups to heart and keeps several on the menu year-round. He takes inspiration from magazines and cookbooks, but relies primarily on what the local farmers are producing that time of year for his supplies. It’s garden driven-soup and it’s mmm-mmm good! “In the late fall, we may have Grilled Tomato soup, Roasted Vegetable soup and a Gazpacho soup, whereas in the summer we serve a Cherry soup,” CK explained. “Clam Chowder is my favorite soup, using fresh clams and fresh stock. Most of our soups are vegan, with no dairy, butter or meat of any kind. We use Idaho potatoes (instead of cream) to thicken them.” Soup doesn’t have to take a long time to cook. In fact, CK said most take about 20 to 40 minutes. “I love soup for breakfast, or as a meal,” noted Chris. Check out the recipe online for CK’s Savory Breakfast soup as a great alternative to Fruit Loops. Breakfast never tasted so good.
SAVORY MORNING SOUP
¼ cup Quinoa cooked or not, or leftover rice of any kind
3 cup Stock or broth, Chicken will work for any variation
4 oz Cut up or shredded leftover chicken, beef, pork, shrimp or tofu
½ cup kale, swiss chard or spinach coarsely Chiffonade
Pinches of aromatics, a little ginger, chilis, garlic, scallions, maybe some basil
1 lemon ready to squeeze as needed
2 eggs cracked ready to add to the pot
Put everything in the pot except the eggs and simmer for five minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper a squeeze of lemon. Vietnamese fish sauce is a good kicker if it needs more punch. Drop the eggs in the pot and cover keep at a low simmer until the egg finished cooking. It takes about 3 minutes. Place it in a bowl and top with salsa or hot sauce.
The Austrian roots of The Konditorei, which sits in the midst of the European-flavored Sun Valley Village, conjure up soups like “Rindsuppe,” a hearty soup that includes sausage, chunks of beef and potatoes all in a rich veal stock that’s been left on the stove to simmer for hours. Even though executive chef Derek Gallegos doesn’t have Eastern European roots, he remembers his dad and grandma cooking soups like Posole and Menudo at a young age. When his dad changed careers and moved from working in the mines to working in the kitchen, Derek started paying attention. “My dad started cooking in diners when I was about 12 years old. He would make the basic soups—Chicken Noodle, Cream of Broccoli and Clam Chowder—and then he started making soups with Asian and Italian influences, which I enjoy making to this day,” said Chef Derek. The Konditorei serves up to four soups, including the beloved Butternut Squash Bisque and the Chicken Gnocchi soup, available year-round. Wander up to the Sun Valley Village and indulge yourself in a bowl of happiness.
INGREDIENTS2 oz finely chopped Pancetta
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP olive oil
4 large leeks, white part only
6 cloves roughly-chopped garlic
2 large peeled Idaho russet potatoes (about 1.5 pounds,) cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups Chicken or Vegetable stock
2 cups Half & Half
Cook Pancetta in 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat with oil and butter until nicely browned. Add leeks and garlic, stirring frequently, until garlic and leeks are soft but not browned—about 15 minutes—then add the potatoes, chicken stock and Half & Half. Bring to simmer and cook until potatoes are tender. Puree in batches in food processor or use immersion hand blender, thin out with more cream or stock if too thick.
2 dash Tabasco
1/8 tsp white pepper1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme kosher salt to taste
Using a French-style mandoline, prepare potato gaufrettes: Set the wavy edge cutter to 1/16th-inch thickness, push the potato through at a 45-degree angle, turn it 90 degrees and repeat process until you are left with a pile of waffle-cut potatoes. Fry in 350° vegetable oil until golden brown and crispy, drain on paper towels.
Fry 2 oz very thinly-sliced Pancetta in 4 TBSP olive oil until crispy, drain on paper towels.
Garnish with finely sliced chives, Pancetta chips and gaufrette potatoes.
Twins Maeme and Callie Rasberry know soup. Like so many local restaurateurs, the team behind Rasberrys in Hailey and Ketchum try to tailor their soups to what’s seasonal and fresh. They also get ideas from family members. “My grandma always made a fresh Chowder from New England, and we love to use that as a base for our chowders,” said Callie. “One of our favorites growing up (and to this day) is Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings.” Rasberrys have at least two or three soups on the menu every day and always try to offer a vegetarian or vegan soup. “One of our favorite soups in the winter and fall is the Italian Sausage and Potato with fresh Kale,” said Maeme. “It’s a yummy soup that makes you feel warm and cozy.” Rasberry’s Hailey location keeps Chile and Posole soup (to die for) on the menu year-round. Pair your soup at Rasberry’s with a big salad and a crusty piece of warm bread and you’ll find yourself afloat in foodie heaven.
Glow Live Food Café
For amazingly nutritious, organic soups make a beeline for Glow Live Food Cafe in Ketchum. Glow also emphasizes local ingredients, and in the fall, serves hearty Butternut Squash soup, French Lentil, and White Bean Minestrone. Soups in the cold winter and fall months are cooked to be hearty and nutritionally balanced. Chefs Brooke Hovey and Bryan Winkler create original soups with flavor and flair, often from foods that are seasonally available. “Our soups are original recipes, creative, colorful and always vegan and organic,” said Molly Brown, owner of Glow. Glow’s goal is to emphasize balance in flavor, nutrition and taste. Pop into Glow and warm your insides with some of the healthiest (and yummiest) soup-er fare in the Valley.
Moose Girls Café
If you are a soup fan, be sure to put Moose Girls Café in Ketchum on your lunch radar. Last year, Moose Girls (owned by twins Marlene Rinerson and Maxine Veloso) installed a “Soup Kitchen” in the back of their restaurant. On any given day, you can choose from up to eight different kinds of soups. “We saw a need for locals and tourists to have a place to come get a bowl of soup to go, for a quick and easy lunch,” Marlene said. Chef Maxine creates soups like Tuscan White Bean with Chicken, Tomato Basil, Thai Chicken with Jasmine Rice and Carrot Ginger Curry. “I love to make soup,” Maxine said, adding that, “soup doesn’t have to be complicated with lots of ingredients. I like to make soups where the flavor isn’t masked by several different elements.” Head to Moose Girls seven days a week for some homemade soup and fresh, locally-made Bigwood Bread.