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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

“Soup Seminar, Pt. XXX: Cheese Soup—an Old-Time Favorite revived for Modern Times” by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall



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STINKBUG 2012





Chef James “Jimmy” Hall

END Commentary 06-21-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,661.



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Thursday, June 21, 2012 by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall

SOUP SEMINAR, PT XXX—CHEESE SOUP

 Soup Seminar, Pt. XXX: Cheese Soup—an Old-Time Favorite revived for Modern Times” by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall

Auguste Escoffier: Master Chef, 1846-1935, the “King of Chefs and Chef of Kings.”
HUMP DAY!

Bakersfield, CA, 06-21-2012 Th: We are going to make an old-time soup today, Cheese Soup, I mean, what more can be said?  It’s not something you see anymore unless you go to the Midwest or to some place that has breweries or microbreweries.  The modern way of doing it is to make it with beer hence the towns with breweries.  I’ve never cared much for this soup because my knowledge is that it’s always made with OLD leftover products that need to be dumped or fed to pigs but the chef has opted to transform them into something deemed toothsome and the customer’s order the damned stuff.  I’ve seen chefs literally scrape an inch of mold off of a piece of cheese and then grate it into the soup and I’m thinking, “Oh, my gosh!”

If made with beer and fresh cheese, it can be a delicious soup and that is why I am publishing it today as I would love for all of you to give it a sort of rebirth and to try it out on either your customers or your family.  Foods tend to go around in a long continuous cycle and what once was popular and then became lost returns to the forefront again when a modern chef picks up an old cookbook and says, “Aha! I’ve found a way to use up my OLD cheese!”  You be the judge of the matter and I’m sure if you care for additional information, it can be found on the Internet where everything else is, my friends.  Always be sure to bookmark the Elemental News of the Day so that you can share us with your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.  We want to be the one and only authority on modern and old-time cooking and culinary information.  That is why we are the fastest growing culinary blog day in and day out in the United States!  Let’s make this soup!

(#592) CHEESE SOUP

Leftover Cheeses from Cheese Boards: use this for your soup.

I remember the first time I ever saw this soup and was somewhat amazed and dumbfounded as I had no idea anyone made soup like this.  It can be extremely tasty when made with beer and generally, if it makes an appearance on a modern menu, it’s a salable form like “Cheesy-Budweiser Soup” or some such catchy and tasty phrase.  In the old days, the chefs had need of ways to make the most of the leftover bits and pieces of different cheeses that tended to accumulate in the walk-in and after enough them piled up, they’d scrape off the mold that had grown on the sides and then grated them up.  Eventually, they made their way into Mexican foods and Cheese Soup.  We can’t do that anymore, health codes being what they are, which is a good thing in my view.  Nevertheless, if you want to make a different soup, try making this one; I mean, everything goes around in a circle!

Yield:  about 3-quarts  / Mis-en-place: 1.25 hours:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2
Quarts
Chicken broth

2
Cups
Heavy cream

1
Cup
Melted butter

2.5
Cups
Minced celery

2.5
Cups
Minced yellow onions

.5
Cup
Minced carrots

.5
Cup
Minced pimientos
Pressed dry
2.25
Teaspoons
Kosher salt

.0125
Teaspoon
White pepper

.0125
Teaspoon
Cayenne pepper

.75
Teaspoon
Nutmeg

1
Cup
All-purpose flour

.125
Cup
Flambéed sherry

.5
Teaspoon
Worcestershire sauce

.75
Teaspoon
Cheezetone

3
Cups
Grated assorted cheeses

2
Teaspoons
Tabasco sauce

1
Tablespoon
Freshly minced parsley
Rinsed
Spanish paprika




Method:
Use either Milk or Cream
1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! Note: this is a soup that allows you to utilize a variety of leftover cheeses that need to be used up so each time you make it; it can be different from the time before.  See what you can come up with but my preference is usually cheddar cheese, Havarti, Monterey jack, or any other somewhat sweet white or yellow cheese.

2.      Combine the first TWO ingredients in a heavy-duty saucepot over a medium flame.

3.      In a large soup pot sprayed with PAM or with some such other food release spray, add the butter and heat it over a medium flame.  Add the vegetables, seasonings, and sauté over said heat.  Cook until the vegetables are tender and somewhat translucent and then incorporate the flour to form a roux. 

4.      Cook the roux over medium heat, stirring briskly with a wooden spoon, for at least 2-3 minutes; it is important to develop one’s roux and to cook the floury-taste out of it.  Don’t cook it past the blond stage, as this will alter both the color and the finished flavor.  Turn the heat up under the broth and heavy cream mixture and bring it to a boil—keep a close eye upon it, as the cream will boil over!

5.      As soon as the liquid begins to rise, coming to a boil, raise the heat underneath the roux pot and quickly and briskly whisk the liquid into the roux.  Continue whisking furiously as it rises towards the top and slowly becomes homogenous, the two mixtures becoming one creamy soup base.
Use any Kind of Cheese
6.      After a couple of minutes, lower the flame to “low” and then slowly, add the cheese.  As it’s grated, it will be incorporated much more easily than if it were solid so gently whisk it in.

7.      Heat the sherry in a warm skillet and as soon as it’s hot, tilt it towards the flame, ignite it with a cigarette lighter, and then whisk it into the soup along with the Worcestershire, Cheezetone, Tabasco, and parsley.  Stir to blend and then transfer the soup to the top of a double boiler or Bain Marie and allow it to perk along at low heat for 30-40 minutes so that flavor develops.

8.      Should it thicken too much, be sure to add additional stock or heavy cream to it and then when it’s time to serve, either serve it in individual soup bowls or cups or in a large decorative tureen for the guests to help themselves.  Always garnish with a few shakes of paprika to give it an attractive garnish and then serve.

9.      Always cool leftovers to below 45°F as quickly as possible by transferring them into a shallow pan or baking dish atop a cooling rack.  Be sure to place a sheet of wax paper sprayed with PAM atop it to prevent the formation of an unattractive skin.  When cooled to the proper temperature, transfer it into a sanitized airtight container and cover with a tight-fitting lid.  The soup will remain fresh for 4-5 days at most but should be used well before the due date.  Reheat it with additional liquid, as it will thicken considerably.  

This is an old-time soup to be sure and nowadays is seldom seen.  Still, it’s a great way to use up old cheese in a foodservice operation and that is generally why you see it on a menu.  It can be strained and used for cheese sauce if one is in a pinch.
You can spice it up as hot as you like.
--------------------------------------------
John Sinclair Russell: enjoying a bowl of cream soup at the dinner table.
As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this, as it’s a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will become dedicated followers of the END.  Currently of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession are heard—join us. We urge our readership to write to us, leave comments, and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I’m told.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

ALRIGHT—TODAY IS “HUMP DAY” AND I’VE DONE MY DUTY! Like I mentioned earlier in the week, I heard the new policy that came about because first-time Itzi Nakamura failed to follow the credo of mentioning that Thursday is “Hump Day” around here.  The penalty for not doing so is to do an additional week and that, my friends, is simply not something I’m enamored of doing so I made sure I have mentioned it.  I’m glad it’s the middle of the week because from here on till Sunday, it’s all downhill and then next week, Vladimir Gdansk will come in, pick up the reigns, and continue on.  At least I don’t have to do a second week so hooray for me!                                       

Anyhow, let us close with this impassioned plea—please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by SPIRIT and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!  

Thank you!

Jimmy Hall

James Hall

Cook III, CWC, ACF, CA273 Santa Barbara ACF chapter and HI033 Maui Chef’s and Cook’s Association

______________________________________________________________________

This is me as a chef during the 1980's when we took a group photograph for a Chefs de Cuisine yearbook. At the time, I was working at a hotel in Bakersfield, CA, down on Union Avenue. It was still somewhat nice and the area was still the original "restaurant row" of the city. I am now in my sixties and am working over in Santa Barbara, CA, as a food and beverage director for a country club.

Chef James “Jimmy” Hall writes from Santa Barbara, CA.

---30---

The END Commentary for Thursday, June 21, 2012 by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall

Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.

REFERENCES:

The one-and-only Chef James “Jimmy” Hall writes this original essay.



Recipe created by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall on September 04, 1973 in Bakersfield, CA.

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