Soup has been featured prominently throughout the Seinfeld series. From Kenny Bania’s choice of soup when Jerry took him out for a “meal” to Elaine’s description of Lobster Bisque being the “best part” when she Yada Yada’d sex. To be honest, Bania only had a consomme which really isn’t a meal, unless you crumble some crackers into it, of course. Conversely, Elaine seems to have gotten the most out of her Lobster Bisque.
“The Soup Nazi” is probably the most memorable episode where soup has been featured in the Seinfeld series. In this episode we also discover the preferred soups of many of our favorite Seinfeld characters.
When George and Jerry go into the soup restaurant, Jerry chooses Seafood Bisque, while George requests Turkey Chili. (Recipes below!)
Al Yeganeh’s Turkey-Chili Soup
In October 2006, in their annual food issue, New York magazine published the recipe for the Al Yeganeh’s (the real Soup Nazi) Turkey Chili.
Serves 6 to 8
6 Cups turkey stock:
1 Small fresh turkey
1 large onion, cut in half
2 Carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 sticks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh oregano
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
Place all ingredients in stock pot and fill with cold water until turkey is just covered. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1.5 hours until turkey is cooked. Remove turkey. When cool enough to handle, debone, and return bones to stock pot, reserving meat. Discard skin. Cover and continue cooking for another 2.5 to 3 hours. Strain.
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 large red onions, finely diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 Stalk celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 medium-sized cooked potatoes,
peeled and mashed slightly
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons chipotle puree (available at the Kitchen-Market, 218 Eighth Ave. near 22nd Street.) *Note – You’ll have to source yours locally
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups cooked kidney beans
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/4 cup red wine
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh mustard greens
1 cup corn
1 teaspoon wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Tabasco sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
Garnishes: fresh guacamole, low-fat sour cream mixed with yogurt, chopped scallion and cilantro, grated cheddar cheese, thinly sliced red onion, chopped hard-boiled egg
Heat oil in a soup pot. Add onions and garlic, sautéing until onions are translucent. Add celery, carrot, and potatoes. Sweat over medium heat for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.
Add chili powder, chipotle, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon, cooking over low heat for 10 minutes and stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, 6 cups stock, beans, peppers, wine, and cilantro, simmering for 35 to 40 minutes. Add turkey, mustard greens, corn, and vinegar. Cook for 15 minutes.
Season to taste with salt, pepper, Tabasco, and lemon. Serve with 1 or 2 garnishes.
Al Yeganeh’s Seafood Bisque
Finally, here is the recipe for Al Yeganeh’s Seafood Bisque, the soup that Jerry enjoyed so much in front of George in the “Soup Nazi” episode. Enjoy!
2 cups dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
2 ribs celery
1 lobster, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
12 medium-size shrimps, in shell
24 mussels, well scrubbed
12 sea scallops
4 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 cup fresh spinach, well rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup grated carrot
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Combine the white wine, bay leaf, onion, garlic and celery in a large stock pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add lobster,cover the pot and steam for 10 minutes. Remove lobster, set aside and cool.
Add the shrimps to the boiling broth, cover the pot and steam for 5 minutes. Remove the shrimps with tongs, set aside and cool.
Add the mussels, cover the pot and steam until they open, about 5 minutes. Remove the mussels with tongs, extract the meat and discard the shells.
Add 2 cups of water to the liquid in the pot, bring to a boil and add the scallops. Cover the pot, and steam for 3 minutes. Remove the scallops with the tongs.
Extract the lobster meat, reserving the shells. Peel and devein shrimp, reserving the shells. Chop the meat into bite-size pieces, cover and set aside.
Return the lobster and shrimp shells to the broth and add 2 more cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the broth and return it to the pot; discard shells.
Bring the broth to a simmer over low heat. Add the cream, milk and herbs and simmer until mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the seafood and simmer for 2 minutes.
Stir in the spinach and carrots and simmer another 2 minutes to just wilt the spinach. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Serve hot.
Yield: 6 Servings