Monday, October 8, 2012

Hot Wing Soup

This is my practice for an online cooking class I took at Rouxbe for making thick, starch based soups. They had many recipes to use for practice, such as split pea & ham, vichyssoise, and Italian white bean soup.  But I thought I would learn more by using what I had just learned to create my own starch based soup.

Starch based soups are just what the name implies:  Instead of using a roux as a thickener, the soup gets its body from the natural starches in starchy vegetables, legumes, and grains.  The lesson mentioned you can use bread, which reminded me of one of my favorite soups, Mexican Garlic Soup.

While I was taking this lesson, I was in the middle of smoking a rack of beef ribs and I had tossed a few extra chicken wings on the Big Green Egg.

I thought about the wings and BAM!  It hit me.  I was going to make a hot wing soup!  I used the techniques taught to plan out my soup.

Fat -  Had to be butter, since that goes into hot wing sauce, right?
Mirepoix - Celery & carrot.  Celery because it is a standard accompaniment and carrot to help get the orange color I wanted.
Starch - I thought about using potatoes but went with buttery croutons instead.
Liquid - Chicken broth, beer and hot sauce - a no brainer

Hot Wing Soup

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 5 cups Italian bread cubes, no crust*
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery 
  • salt (see instructions)
  • 1/2 Tbsp paprika
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 12 oz dark beer*
  • 2 Tbsp hot sauce*
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • garnish:  meat from chicken wings, more blue cheese, chopped celery leaves*
  1. Preheat a heavy bottom stock pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add 3 Tbsp butter.  Once bubbling hot, add the bread cubes and quickly toss to coat evenly.  Season with a pinch or two of salt.  Cook until golden brown on all sides - about 5-7 minutes.  Remove.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, add 4 tbsp butter to the now empty pot.  Saute the celery and carrot until tender - about 8 minutes.  Season with a pinch or two of salt while sauteing.  
  4. Add the chicken broth, beer, paprika, blue cheese, and the croutons that you made earlier.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the bread begins to break apart - about 5-6 minutes.
  5. Use an immersion blender to blend to a smooth consistency.
  6. Bring back to a simmer and stir in the last tablespoon of cold butter.  I know that technique at the end of sauces adds a little luster so I thought it couldn't hurt with soup.  Taste for seasoning.  I added about 1/2 teaspoon more of salt at this point but let your taste buds be the judge.
  7. Garnish with chicken wing meat, more blue cheese crumbles, and finely chopped celery leaves.
  • Bread - I know, this sounds like a lot.  It will cook down.
  • Beer - I used Sweetwater Brewing Georgia Brown but any good dark beer will do.  You could also skip beer altogether and use more chicken broth but beer and wings go together, right?
  • Hot sauce - The family thought it was a little spicy at this level so if you want mild, just use one Tbsp.  Franks Hot Sauce would be the traditional hot sauce to use but I used Fire Ant Juice.
  • Celery leaves - Weird?  I like chopping them finely for a garnish.  Use parsley instead if you like.
  • Makes 4 servings

These were meant to be a snack but they served a greater purpose!  Smoked with Draper's AP Rub.

Chopping celery brings the "how to cut with a chef's knife" lesson memories back.  I sliced an entire bunch of celery one stalk at a time for that lesson. 

Great tasting "homework"!

This is definitely going into rotation at our house this winter.  Perfect for those cold, damp nights whether you're watching a football game or just curled up reading a book.  Its warmth and spiciness will heat you up from inside.

As of today I am 50% way through the current curriculum.  Of course, they add new classes so that's a moving target:)

[Standard Disclaimer]  I don't receive compensation from Rouxbe Online Cooking School.  I am signed up for their affiliate program but that was just so I would have access to share some of their videos here.  I don't even use the html links that would generate a sale for my account if you were to sign up.  The link I gave at the top is no different than if you googled it yourself.