Restaurant chefs commonly work long, frequently frenetic hours. Understanding that their livelihood depends not only on the quality of the meal, but also on the uniqueness of their offerings, it is easy to understand why most are reluctant to share the recipe for a particular dish.
Locally, the recipe for a seasonal soup favorite that has been drawing customers for years was finally disclosed as part of a fund-raising cookbook. The chef remained crafty, however, supplying the ingredients, but not the precise amounts. In addition, the quantities are sized for restaurant usage, but, since it freezes easily and well, that obstacle can also be overcome.
Paraphrasing the adage that “the proof is in the pudding,” I am here to attest that the “truth is in the taste buds.” Experimenting has resulted in a hard-won set of guidelines that comes as close as I can get to this delicious winter soup:
Make 1/2 gallon homemade tomato soup https://coco724.wordpress.com/2008/03/02/tuscan-tomato-soup/ and 1/2 gallon green pea soup. The dried green-pea soup mix can be found in the soup aisle of the grocery store. Mix the two batches in a very large soup pot. Separately, saute 6 chopped celery stalks, 3 chopped medium onions, and 3 chopped large carrots in 1/2 stick- butter and 1/4-cup olive oil. Saute all until soft and translucent, but not brown. Put sauteed vegetables through a food mill or blend until smooth in a food processor. Add to prepared mixed soups in large pot, along with 4 bay leaves, 2 teaspoons curry powder (more or less to your taste preference) and a smoked ham hock or hambone. Stir thoroughly, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add 1-quart heavy cream. Remove bay leaves and ham hock/bone. Dollop each serving with a tablespoon of sour cream, if desired.
When serving, the most important part of the presentation is to stand formally beside each guest. Keeping your back straight, bend from the waist, slowly placing a filled bowl at each plate. As you are gently withdrawing your hands from the sides of the bowl, do your best imitation of an English Butler saying “Chippewa Soup.”