Steamboat restaurants featured in ‘Ski Town Soups’ book
February 19, 2013
Steamboat Springs — In ski towns all across the globe, hungry, cold and smiling skiers and snowboarders are huddling in cozy base area restaurants with soup cravings on their lips.
Steaming hot yet refreshing, soup is more than a food format: It's a lifestyle.
In Vail, Jennie Iverson has been feeding her two young children myriad homemade soups since they could eat solid foods.
"I love the simmering time and the aroma that fills the house," Iverson said. "I love that it's a comfortable meal that you can prepare in advance, and you really can't mess it up. It's perfect after a day on the slopes."
A self-proclaimed soup fanatic, Iverson is the author of "Ski Town Soups," a coffee table recipe book featuring lush and robust recipes from top ski town chefs.
Iverson collected more than 100 recipes from 60 ski towns from California to New York, including two from Steamboat Springs.
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Truffle Pig chef George Morris contributed his roasted squash soup with whipped maple and Fresno chilies, and Lee and Suzy DeMusis, of The Paramount, shared a sweet and spicy artichoke with ham soup.
Iverson will be appearing in Steamboat Springs for a book event Thursday at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore. There will be seatings at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. for the book signing and soup tasting, which will feature soups from both featured local restaurants. The cost is $10.
Steamboat's representation is just a few pages of the thick, hardcover book, but recipes from resort chefs from Jackson Hole, Heavenly Mountain Resort, Whiteface and Beaver Creek fill the pages with unique, full-bodied soups.
There are no minestrone or split pea soups here: You're more likely to run across a Vermont curried apple soup or a Cajun corn chowder.
Iverson said she chose the towns and garnered recommendations for the restaurants, but in the true nature of soup-making, she let the chefs' personalities flourish in the freedom of soup artistry.
"I really think that soup is warm and welcoming and comforting, so when I was asking for recipes, I said, ‘chef's choice,’ as in … it should be unique and embrace it."
A theme began to emerge organically among the recipes: braised elk and huckleberry soup from Montana, a steelhead chowder from the Northwest and a tofu chili from California.
"We have a lot of regional recipes that highlight the locality of the town," she said. "It was farm-to-table mentality, and the freshness aspect was really going to shine."
The book is available in Steamboat at Off the Beaten Path and at Elevated Olive. More of a culture-inspired travelogue than a cookbook, Iverson said she hopes visitors and residents can become enveloped in a little bit of every ski town through the recipes.
"One of the things I really had in my mind was I wanted it to conjure up that nostalgic feeling, like you're almost reminiscing about your last ski trip," she said.
Roasted squash soup with whipped maple and Fresno chilies
Restaurant: Truffle Pig
Chef: George Morris
Serves: 6 to 8
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash
1 1/2 pounds blue Hubbard squash
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Fresno chili with seeds, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 ounce canola oil
4 ounces butter
1 cup white wine
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut squashes in half, remove the seeds and pulp and season with salt and pepper. Place face down on an oiled sheet tray and roast in a 375-degree oven until tender, about 45 minutes. When squash is soft and tender, remove from oven, scoop out flesh and reserve.
Heat a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter and oil. When butter is melted, add uncooked vegetables. Reduce heat to low and slowly sweat vegetables until soft and translucent. Increase heat to medium and add white wine. Reduce wine by half and add chicken stock and squash. Boil and remove from heat. Puree soup in a blender on high until smooth (this can be done in batches). Strain and whisk in the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Whipped maple garnish:
3 sprigs of thyme, picked
1 Fresno chili, sliced into rings
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) Versawhip 600K, available online
Put water into a blender and blend at high speed. Add Versawhip 600K to dissolve. In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, add maple syrup and Versawhip/water mixture. Mix on high for 10 minutes or until fluffy.
Serving suggestion: Garnish desired soup bowl with a few dollops of whipped maple, some thyme leaves and Fresno chili rings. Pour in the soup.
Sweet and spicy artichoke with ham soup
Restaurant: The Paramount
Chefs: Lee and Suzy DeMusis
Serves: 4 to 6
1 sweet potato
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to brush potatoes
1 habanero pepper, seeded and diced
1 shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
6 cups chicken or vegan-chicken broth
2 cups fresh or frozen artichoke hearts (not canned)
1 small head cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 cup brown sugar or maple-glazed ham, cooked and chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly brush sweet potato with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Pierce small holes in potato, then wrap with foil. Roast for 1 hour. Cool in foil for 30 minutes. Dice sweet potato.
Saute pepper and shallots in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat, stirring often. Add garlic and thyme, and saute 1 minute. Add chicken broth, cabbage, diced sweet potatoes, ham, cumin, coriander, pepper and paprika. Bring to a simmer and cook about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Soup will thicken as it cooks with the potatoes.
Serving suggestion: Top with a combination of creamy (cheese, avocado or sour cream), crunchy (nuts, tortilla strips or croutons) and fragrant (green onions, thyme or dill) toppings.
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com
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