7 Savoury Soup Recipes to Celebrate Canada

Tianna Robinson | February 24th, 2017

Winter is a trying time for many of us. It’s cold, dark and messy. But as chef Ricardo Larrivée optimistically puts it, “It’s not all year long that we can celebrate potatoes and scalloped potatoes covered in cheese. We can afford to eat heavier food, more cheese, more cream.”

Perhaps our waistlines can’t afford these indulgences, but our moods certainly can! What is better on a cold winter day than coming home to a big bowl of hot soup? And that’s exactly what Larrivée was thinking during the production of  his self-named magazine. That and how incredible Canada is. A multiple-page story celebrates our nation featuring soup recipes from every province with photographs taken at approximately the same time.

“We were like, ‘Take a picture of a house that represents the place that you live. I don’t want to tell you more than that.’ Because otherwise it is not going to represent exactly wherever you are in the country. When I saw the pictures, I had shivers. I was looking at them thinking, ‘Oh my god, it’s so beautiful’ and thinking that all of this was taken on the same day almost at the same time from coast to coast. It was like instant picture,” gushes Larrivée.

Larrivée and his team did not just choose any soup. They thoughtfully considered each region and a soup that would represent that locale’s agriculture, landscape and people.

Click through for a few of the recipes featured in the issue as well as reasons why Larrivée chose them.


Nova Scotia

NovaScotia_CreamCelery“I love this picture. To see Nova Scotia in winter. We always see it as summer vacations. Especially from Quebec, it’s not too far. Lots of people are going to some of the Maritimes provinces for summer vacations with the kids. But to see it in the middle of winter with the lobster cages and all of that, it’s almost exotic, you know. There’s something very different about it. I love scallops. I took some elements of the province and I just switched it to create something very modern.”

Cream of Celery Soup with Seared Scallops

preparation 40 minutes

cooking 30 minutes

servings 4

2                                  onions, chopped

4                                  cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp (30 ml)                        olive oil

5 cups (675 g)                        chopped celery

2                                  potatoes, peeled and cubed

5 cups (1.25 litres)   chicken broth

¼ cup (60 ml)                         15% or 35% heavy cream (optional)

Salt and pepper

Spinach Cream

5 cups (115 g)                        fresh spinach (or 4 oz frozen spinach,thawed and drained)

½ cup (125 ml)           15% or 35% heavy cream

Scallops

12                                fresh or frozen and thawed medium-sized scallops, patted dry

2 tbsp (30 ml)                        olive oil

Zest of 1 lemon

Fresh chervil leaves

Cream of Celery Soup

1) In a pot over medium heat, soften the onions and garlic in the oil. Add the celery and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil.

2) Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

3) In a blender, purée the soup until smooth. Strain. Return to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and add the cream, if using. Keep warm.

Spinach Cream

4) In a small saucepan, bring the spinach and cream to a boil.

5) Transfer into a blender and purée until smooth. Return to the small saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Scallops

6) In a non-stick skillet over high heat, sear the scallops in the oil until golden brown on one side. If desired, turn the scallops and continue cooking until the desired doneness. Season with salt and pepper.

7) Pour the cream of celery soup into bowls. Garnish with a drizzle of the spinach cream. Top each soup with 3 scallops. Sprinkle with lemon zest. Garnish with chervil leaves.

 

Nunavut

NT-Nunavut_Creams
“Nunavut – it’s parsnip– of course vegetables don’t grow there so we said let’s be inspired by the landscapes. So we have this white soup that represents all the snow and the shaved broccoli representing the spring moss that you have growing here and there and the cranberries. So it’s kind of an imagery of what we were thinking of. So each province is represented that way.”

Cream of Parsnip Soup with Venison, Broccoli and Cranberries

preparation 30 minutes

cooking 30 minutes

servings 4

The soup freezes well

 

Cream of Parsnip Soup

1                                  onion, chopped

2 tbsp (28 g)              butter

2.2 lb (1 kg)                parsnips, peeled and sliced

4 cups (1 litre)                      chicken broth

2 cups (500 ml)         milk

Salt and pepper

Topping

1                                  small broccoli

½ lb (225 g)                ground venison, caribou or bison

1 clove                        garlic, chopped

¼ cup (60 ml)                         olive oil

2 tbsp                                     dried cranberries, finely chopped

2 tbsp                                     grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

 

Cream of Parsnip Soup

1) In a pot over medium heat, soften the onion in the butter until translucent. Add the parsnips, broth and milk. Bring to a boil.

2) Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. The milk will curdle while cooking. This is normal. After being puréed in the blender, the milk will give a velvety texture to the soup without the need for cream or added fat.

3) In a blender, purée the soup until smooth. Return to the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Topping

4) With a vegetable peeler, finely shave the broccoli florets. Use the remaining broccoli in a sauté or another soup. You will need ½ cup (125 ml) of broccoli “pearls.”

5) In a small skillet over low heat, sauté the broccoli pearls for 1 minute in 1 tbsp of the oil. Set aside.

6) In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the meat and garlic in the remaining oil. Set aside.

7) Pour the parsnip soup into bowls. Top with the broccoli, meat, cranberries and Parmesan.

 

Ontario

Ontario_CurriedSquash
“Toronto to me was another thing, I said, ‘Okay, we know that most of the fruit and vegetables for the country [grow in Ontario]. We know the culture is diverse. So we actually did a great vegetable soup, a squash soup. But we twist it with a bit of curry to represent this multicultural land that Toronto and Ontario represent. We wanted to make something modern with something classic.”

Curried Squash Soup

preparation 20 minutes

cooking 30 minutes

servings 4 to 6

freezes well

2                                  onions, chopped

2                                  cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp                                     fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

2 tbsp (30 ml)                        olive oil

5 cups (700 g)            peeled, seeded and diced butternut or buttercup squash (about 1 small squash)

2 tbsp                                     mild curry powder

1 tsp                           dry mustard

5 cups (1.25 litres)   chicken broth

1 tbsp (15 ml)                        15% or 35% heavy cream

Cilantro or fresh chervil leaves, to taste

Hot peppers or red bell peppers, thinly sliced (optional)

Salt and pepper

1) In a pot over medium heat, soften the onion, garlic and ginger in the oil. Add the squash, curry powder and mustard. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil.

2) Cover and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes or until the squash is tender.

3) In a blender, purée the soup until smooth. Return to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.

4) Pour the soup into bowls. Garnish with a drizzle of cream, some herbs and a few slices of pepper.

Saskatchewan

Untitled-1

” I lived in Saskatchewan  for almost two years. To me, the nicest province and the most beautiful place on earth is Saskatchewan. The sunsets and the sunrises – nothing can compare to them. Nothing anywhere. It’s just magnificent and I took things that I really enjoyed and that I discovered. Legumes in the plains are harvested to feed the world. I mean, we sell this to the Middle East, to India, to China; nobody knows that this is where it’s all from. … So I took the barley and created a nice barley soup that we could be proud of. I was hoping and I still hope that when someone looks at the recipe they will have this sense of pride to say we come from our past but we return to our future.”

Barley, Squash and Broccoli Soup

preparation 20 minutes

cooking 1 hour

servings 4 to 6

freezes well

½ lb (225 g)                skinless and boneless chicken thighs, cubed

1                                  onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp (30 ml)                        olive oil

1                                  carrot, chopped

1                                  clove garlic, finely chopped

½ tsp                           mustard seeds, crushed

½ cup (105 g)                         pearl barley

6 cups (1.5 litres)     chicken broth

2 tbsp                                     flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 tsp                           fresh thyme leaves

1 small                       acorn squash, peeled, seeded and diced (about 1 ½ lb/675 g)

1 ½ cups (105 g)        broccoli florets

Salt and pepper

1) In a saucepan over medium heat, brown the chicken and onion in the oil. Add the carrot, garlic and mustard seeds. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the barley, broth and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and stir thoroughly. Bring to a boil.

2) Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the squash and cook for about 20 minutes or until the barley and squash are tender. Add the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning.

NOTE

When reheating the soup, add broth. The barley will have absorbed much of the liquid while cooling.


Manitoba

Manitoba-Sask_WildRide_BarleySquash

“I never realized that Canada was the best place to harvest wild rice in the world. So I took wild rice and paired it with duck as we know that ducks are prominent in the many lakes of Manitoba. People in Canada don’t actually confit their duck as they do in Europe so I said, let’s give it a twist. So we will do a wild rice soup with confit duck. So it takes something local but with a different perspective.”

Wild Rice and Duck Confit Soup

preparation 25 minutes

cooking 50 minutes

servings 4

freezes well

2 cups (500 ml)                     water

½ cup (100 g)                                     wild rice

¼ tsp                                       salt

1                                              onion, chopped

2                                              cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp (30 ml)                                    olive oil or duck fat

3                                              carrots, peeled and diced

2                                              stalks celery, diced

½ cup (125 ml)                       red wine

8 cups (2 litres)                    beef broth

2 tbsp                                                 chopped flat-leaf parsley

2                                              legs duck confit

Salt and pepper

1) In a pot over high heat, bring the water, rice and salt to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium heat for about 50 minutes or until the rice is soft and breaks open. Drain

and set aside.

2) Meanwhile, in a pot over medium heat, soften the onion and garlic in the oil. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil.

3) Simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender and the broth has reduced by a quarter. Add the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

4) Meanwhile, warm the duck legs in the microwave oven for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the bones and shred the meat. Discard the skin.

5) Spoon the rice and duck into bowls. Add the hot broth.

NOTES

You can put the duck and wild rice directly into the pot with the soup, but the rice absorbs the broth and the duck becomes soft. This is why we prefer to keep them separate from the broth until ready to serve. Cooking the wild rice separately allows for a clearer broth and a less bitter taste.

Alberta

Alberta_SteakNEgg

“When you look at the steak and eggs from Alberta. I mean, yes there’s steak in Alberta but there’s much more. I wanted a nice, hearty, rustic soup where I could put meat and beef in another way than just big steak on a plate or a stew. And I thought of this very hearty breakfast in a sense, or lunch. The egg yolk is just running into the soup, thickening it. It’s great. I gave it to my friend in Calgary and he says, ‘Oh wow! This is great. Is this a recipe from Alberta?’ and I said, ‘Well, it can be. I created it thinking of Alberta. Maybe in 10 years it will be. But for the moment – to me – it’s my impression of what it could be.”

Steak ‘n Egg Soup

preparation 30 minutes

cooking 40 minutes

servings 4

the soup freezes well

Soup

4                                  large onions, thinly sliced

¼ cup (57 g)               butter

1 bottle (341 ml)       light beer

5 cups (1.25 litres)   beef broth

Salt and pepper

Topping

1 lb (454 g)                 tenderloin steaks or flank steak

2 tbsp (28 g)              butter

4                                  eggs

8                                  slices baguette, toasted

1                                  tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Soup

1) In a pot over medium heat, soften the onions in the butter for about 10 minutes. Increase the heat and caramelize the onions, stirring constantly, until golden brown. Deglaze with the beer, bring to a boil and reduce by half. Add the broth and bring to a boil.

2) Simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the soup has reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper.

Topping

3) Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, brown the steak on both sides in half the butter until the desired doneness. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate. Wipe the skillet clean.

4) In the same skillet, melt the remaining butter and add the eggs. Cook, one side only, over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the egg white is cooked but the yolk is still runny. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, cut the eggs with a 2 ¾-inch (7 cm) round cutter for a neat presentation.

5) Thinly slice the meat. Pour the soup into bowls. Garnish each bowl with the meat and two toasted bread slices. Top with an egg. Sprinkle with the parsley.

NOTE

This soup is hearty—you’ll probably need a knife, fork and spoon to eat it.

Newfoundland

Newfoundland_PeaSoup

“This weekend my kids asked if I could make the Newfoundland soup and what they like about the Newfoundland soup is it’s a pea soup, basically. And we love pea soup in Quebec. Except what they have that we don’t is the dumpling. There’s a dumpling in that soup that we never have here and there floating in the soup and it’s very hearty and it makes you feel great. And it’s almost a meal. I mean, this with a piece of bread and you’ll have your lunch on a Sunday afternoon. Soup to me is fantastic because it’s unexpensive, you can twist it to whatever you want – from exotic to very homey. You can add a slice of foie gras on it if you want but it can be made only with barley and carrots and it’s still going to be good.”

Pea Soup with Cheese Dumplings

preparation 45 minutes

soaking 4 to 12 hours

cooking 2 hours 15 minutes

servings 4 to 6

the soup freezes well

Soup

1 cup (220 g)              yellow split peas

2                                  carrots, peeled and diced

1                                  leek, chopped

1                                  onion, finely chopped

½                                 rutabaga, peeled and diced

2 tbsp (30 ml)                        olive oil

5 oz (150 g)                salt pork, rind removed and cut into large pieces

5 cups (1.25 litres)   chicken broth

2 cups (500 ml)         water

1                                  sprig fresh thyme

Salt and pepper

Dumplings

½ cup (70 g)               unbleached all-purpose flour

½ tsp                           baking powder

1                                  pinch salt

2 tbsp (28 g)              cold butter, diced

1 oz (30 g)                  grated sharp cheddar cheese (about ¼ cup)

¼ cup (60 ml)                         milk

Soup

  • Place the peas in a bowl. Cover with cold water and let soak for 4 hours or overnight at room temperature. Add water if needed so the peas are always completely submerged. Rinse and drain. Set aside.
  • In a large pot over medium heat, soften the carrots, leek, onion and rutabaga in the oil for 5 minutes. Add the salt pork, peas, broth, water and thyme. Bring to a boil.
  • Cover and simmer for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, stirring frequently, until the peas have burst and thicken the soup. Season with salt and pepper.

Dumplings

  • In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the butter and cut into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives until the butter pieces are the size of small peas.
  • With a wooden spoon, stir in the cheese and milk.
  • With a spoon, drop four balls of dough into the boiling soup. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the dumplings comes out with lumps and not completely clean. Serve immediately.