Maryland Morning
8:50 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Hot, Sweet and Smoky Soups

Chef Sascha Wolhandler on the best sultry soups for you and your sweetheart.

Chef Sascha Wolhandler gives us her picks for the best recipes to warm you and your partners' bellies and hearts-whether you are celebrating Valentine's Day a few days late--or it's just a normal night of the week!

Wolhandler and her husband Steve Susser own Sascha’s 527 Restaurant & Catering on Charles Street in Baltimore. In this conversation with Tom Hall, Wolhandler shares some sultry soup recipes.

Chef Sascha's Cioppino
Credit Jamyla Kay

Cioppino
Ingredients

3 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion diced
1 medium carrot diced and peeled
1 large stalk celery diced
1 bulb of fennel cored sliced and chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
4 cans of chopped canned tomatoes
1 tbs dried thyme
1 tbs dried oregano
½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes or more if desired heat
½ cup white wine
2 cups of fish stock
1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
1lb firm white fish ( cod , halibut, red snapper, tilapia) cut into large 2 in chunks
36 mussels scrubbed with beards removed
¼ cup of chopped fresh basil

Directions
In a dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery , carrot, and fennel.  Let sauté until softened then add the garlic. Cook until veggies soft and beginning to brown.
Add the undrained tomatoes, thyme, oregano and red pepper flakes. Pour in wine and bring to a simmer. Add the seafood stock and cook for around 45 minutes. Add the fish and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, add the shrimp continue to cook for 5 minutes more add the mussels, cover and cook for another 8 minutes or until mussel are open.  Serve with crusty bread.
Serves 4 to 6

Chef Sascha's asparagus bisque.
Credit Jamyla Kay

Asparagus Bisque
Ingredients
1 ½ lb of asparagus
1 medium carrot chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 stalk of celery chopped
Butter
3 cups of chicken stock
1 bay leaf
½ cup of cream
Salt and pepper
3 cups of fish stock
 

Roux
4 tbs of butter
4 tbs of flour

Directions
Chop off tough ends of asparagus
Place in pot with chicken stock bay leaf and bring to a boil and simmer until asparagus are soft
Saute veggies in the butter  until soft.  Liberally salt and pepper
Add softened veggies to the asparagus chicken stock mixture
Heat two tablespoons butter and add the flour.  Allow paste to thicken and incorporate.  Add roux to the soup mix
Cook for 45 minutes covered
Puree carefully mixture
Place back in the pot, add cream and allow to heat, but not boil.
Adjust seasonings

Leave room for savory chocolate soup!
Credit Jamyla Kay

Savory Chocolate Soup
Ingredients
2 cups of milk
½ can of evaporated milk
4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate
4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate
2 large smoked chipotle peppers
1 tablespoons of cumin
Pinch of dried oregano
4 tablespoons of white wine
4 tablespoons of chicken stock
Marscapone cheese
Bacon bits

Directions
Heat both milks with chipotles ,and all seasonings.  When milk is almost scalded, turn off heat and allow spices to steep Heat milk to almost scalded again and add all of the chocolate. Place small dollop of marscapone in a bowl. Pour the soup around and top with bacon bits.