Soup There It Is
Soup Doesn’t Have to Be Boring... These 5 Chefs Tell Us How
As the temperatures start to dip, the longing for something warm and comforting rises up. Nothing takes the edge off chilly weather like a steaming bowl of soup. To get the scoop on what makes a bowl really stand out to customers, we chatted with five different chefs who fancy themselves fans of the liquid goodness.
JEFF VUCKO | EXECUTIVE CHEF
TRAVELLE KITCHEN + BAR, CHICAGO
Thick and hearty with Tuscan origins, ribollita is a pork broth-based soup packed with hot Italian sausage, garlic, kale, crushed tomatoes, beans and mirepoix. “The secrets are your bread, preferably day old sourdough, and the smoked ham hocks that give it the gelatinous and smoky flavor you want on that chilly fall day,” describes Vucko. Since it’s a pureed soup, Vucko advises that you don’t skip the finishing touches. “I believe pureed soups need to be finished with a touch of butter for mouth feel,” he says.
CURRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
ADRIANNE CALVO | EXECUTIVE CHEF & OWNER
CHEF ADRIANNE’S, MIAMI
Sometimes a classic soup can get a flavor twist for an updated take. “I like making non-traditional soups because it really excites people when they hear about it,” Calvo says. “Soups have a tendency to get boring or not get the attention they deserve, but when you throw in a cool ingredient the guest never expected, all of a sudden it’s a ‘must have.’” Her go-to soup in the fall is a butternut squash soup with warm seasonings like sage and curry. To make it standout, she’ll add crispy Spanish chorizo.
CURRIED CAULIFLOWER SOUP
DERRICK GREEN | EXECUTIVE CHEF
Green likes to make a hearty soup with cauliflower. He says, “My inspiration typically comes from ingredients that reflect specific seasons, like spices, as well as balanced flavors and regional cuisines.” As much as he likes the cauliflower soup with an unconventional twist from curry, he also likes to mix it up and make tortilla soups and callaloo. “Variety is the spice of life, so trying new things is always on my agenda.”
RED PEPPER SOUP
CHRISTOPHER GROSS | EXECUTIVE CHEF
WRIGLEY MANSION, PHOENIX
The beauty of soup is that it doesn’t have to be complicated to shine. That’s especially true of Gross’ signature red pepper soup. A straightforward combination of red peppers, leeks, olive oil, potatoes, cream and creme fraiche, it is rustic yet decadent. He says, “It’s French-meets-Southwest and very popular with our guests in Phoenix. Thyme in the soup, and the dried portobello mushroom powder garnish, adds layers of earthiness, evoking flavors of fall.”
ROASTED CHESTNUT & PEAR SOUP
BRYANT WIGGER | EXECUTIVE CHEF
TAVERNONNA ITALIAN KITCHEN, KANSAS CITY, MO
Drawing inspiration from his travels through Alba in Northern Italy, where chestnuts are sold by street vendors and even used for pasta flour, Wigger makes a roasted chestnut soup. “I like to use a fennel and star anise because they add complexity to the natural sweetness of chestnuts,” says Wigger. He also likes to make a pumpkin soup come fall as it gives him memories of his grandmother’s farm in Missouri where she would also make pumpkin soup.