21. Fish Chowder Make Potato Chowder (No. 16) with just 2 ounces bacon. Omit sage; swap the cream with half-and-half. Add 1 pound white fish chunks and 1/2 pound flaked smoked trout during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
22. Pistou Make Minestrone (No. 20); add 1 sliced zucchini and 1 cup diced butternut squash with the vegetables. Swirl in pesto.
23. Tortellini Make Minestrone (No. 20); substitute 1 cup tortellini for the ditalini.
24. Sweet Potato Sweat 2 chopped onions, 4 chopped garlic cloves, 3 peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, and 1 teaspoon coriander in olive oil. Simmer with 6 cups chicken broth until soft. Puree; top with salsa.
25. Curried Sweet Potato Make Sweet Potato Soup (No. 24); use butter instead of oil and add 1 tablespoon curry powder with the potatoes. Top with chutney.
26. Curried Red Lentil Cook 3 chopped garlic cloves, 1 each chopped onion and carrot, 1/2 tablespoon chopped ginger and a pinch of cayenne in oil. Add 6 cups water, 1 can coconut milk, 1 cup red lentils and 1/2 cup rice; simmer 20 minutes. Garnish with lime, cilantro and scallions.
27. Split Pea Simmer 1/2 pound split peas with 1 each chopped celery stalk, onion and carrot, a ham hock and a bundle of fresh herbs in 5 cups water until tender. Remove ham and bone; pull off the meat. Puree the soup; stir in ham.
28. Vegetarian Pea Make Split Pea Soup (No. 27); omit the ham hock. Puree just half of the soup and mix it back in; add 1 cup diced carrot. Top with croutons.
29. Cheddar-Horseradish Sweat 2 each diced carrots and leeks in butter. Add cayenne, salt, 3 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons dry mustard; cook 2 minutes. Add 1 bottle beer, 1/4 cup horseradish, 3 cups water and a dash of Worcestershire; simmer until thick. Whisk in 2 cups half-and-half and 1 1/2 cups cheddar.
30. French Onion Cook 4 sliced onions and 2 thyme sprigs in butter, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover; cook 1 hour, or until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add 6 cups beef broth; simmer 10 minutes. Add cognac, salt and pepper. Top with gruyère toasts.
Photographs by Con Poulos