31. Tomato Alphabet Boil 3 cups chicken broth, 2 cups tomato juice and a pinch of dried oregano. Add 1/2 cup alphabet pasta, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Stir in grated parmesan.
32. Tomato Orzo Make Tomato Alphabet Soup (No. 31) with orzo instead of alphabet pasta. Omit parmesan; top with feta and dill.
33. Carrot-Ginger Sweat 2 sliced shallots and 3 tablespoons minced ginger in butter; season with salt and pepper. Add 1 pound sliced carrots, 2 tablespoons rice, 2 cups chicken broth and 3 cups water. Simmer until the rice is tender, then puree.
34. Carrot-Dill Make Carrot-Ginger Soup (No. 33); omit the ginger and add chopped dill. Garnish with sour cream.
35. Pappa al Pomodoro Sauté 1 chopped onion in oil until tender; add 3 chopped garlic cloves, some red pepper flakes, 1 large can chopped tomatoes, 1 cup water and a basil sprig. Add 2 cups stale bread cubes; simmer 20 minutes.
36. Thai Coconut Sauté 3 sliced garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons grated ginger, 1/4 cup chopped lemongrass, 1 teaspoon each cumin and coriander, and a Thai chile in oil. Add 1 sliced raw chicken breast and 1 sliced onion; cook 5 minutes. Add shredded bok choy, 4 cups water, 1 can coconut milk, cilantro and 2 tablespoons fish sauce; simmer 8 minutes.
37. Black Bean Soak 1/2 pound dried black beans overnight; drain. Sauté 1 each chopped celery stalk, onion and carrot and 2 smashed garlic cloves in oil. Add beans, thyme, a bay leaf, a ham hock and 5 cups water; simmer 40 minutes. Remove ham and bone; pull off the meat. Puree the soup; stir in the ham.
38. Mexican Bean Make Black Bean Soup (No. 37); omit thyme and add 1 teaspoon each chipotle chili powder and cumin. Puree just half of the soup and mix it back in. Mix in the juice of 1 lime; top with sour cream, cilantro and salsa.
39. Curried Cauliflower Cook 4 sliced leeks with 1 tablespoon curry powder in butter. Add 1 head chopped cauliflower and 1 garlic clove; cook 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 5 cups chicken broth; boil until soft, then puree. Simmer with 1 cup cream.
40. Thai Shrimp Make Thai Coconut Soup (No. 36); omit the chicken and add 1/2 pound peeled small shrimp during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Photographs by Con Poulos