Jennie Iverson is an avid skier and traveler as well as a self-proclaimed "soup fanatic." Recently, the Colorado resident merged her different passions into a single project, Ski Town Soups: Signatures Soups from World Class Ski Resorts.
Part cookbook, part travelogue, the hardback publication contains more than 100 recipes from U.S. ski areas. Utah is well represented, with 13 different recipes contributed from either ski resorts or restaurants near ski areas. (See two of the recipes at the end of this story.)
Book signing and soup tasting
Jennie Iverson, author of Ski Town Soups: Signature Soups from World Class Ski Resorts, will sign books and lead guests on a Park City soup crawl.
When » Tuesday, Feb. 19, 4 to 7 p.m.
Where » Meet at Dolly’s Bookstore, 510 Main St., Park City, to sample soups prepared by the chefs from Riverhorse on Main and Done To Your Taste Catering. Afterward, walk to La Niche, 401 Main, to sample soup from Uptown Fare.
Details » Tasting is free; cookbooks will be available at both store for $29.95. A percentage of the sales of each book goes to the Vail Valley Foundation, which integrates gardening into Colorado schools.
The Utah contributions include: Green Pea Soup from Collins Grill at Alta; a black-and-white bean soup from Zoom in Park City; toasted tomato bisque from Harley & Buck’s near Wolf Mountain in Ogden; and chanterelle mushroom soup from Kimi’s Mountainside Bistro at Solitude.
The book is available for $29.95 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and skitownsoups.com. Chapters include puréed soups, chowders and bisques, stews and chiles and hearty soups. Keeping with the theme, Iverson has given every recipe a "difficulty rating" similar to ski runs: a green dot is easy, a blue square signifies medium difficulty, while black diamond marks advanced techniques.
Iverson, who will be in Park City later this month for a book signing and soup tasting, said the project was inspired by a cooking class about soups. "I love the creativity of soup," she said during a recent telephone interview from her home in Vail. "And I love that you really can’t mess up soup."
Iverson makes all kinds of soup, from chunky and smooth to hot and cold. She’s even made a raspberry dessert soup with brownie croutons.
"When my kids were really young, I started them on soups," she said. "I pureed everything, even the ones that were supposed to be chunky, and had them drink it through a straw."
For Ski Town Soups, she wrote to ski resorts chefs and restaurants from Northern California’s Squaw Valley to Vermont’s Smuggler’s Notch, asking for recipes and stories about the signature soup. Iverson compiled the contributions and added professional photographs for each recipe and profiles of some of the chefs, including John Murcko, who at the time of his contribution was executive chef at Talisker’s in Park City. Unfortunately, by the time Ski Town Soups was published, Murcko had moved out of Utah to take a new job in Sun Valley.
One of Iverson’s Utah favorites is five-onion soup served at Solitude."It has such a good, complex flavor, and you finish it with brandy, so it’s really rich," she said. (The recipe mistakenly has a Brighton title in the book, but was contributed by former St. Bernard’s chef Chef Matt Barrigar.)
But her ultimate favorite is the Hungarian mushroom soup from Deno’s Mountain Bistro in Winter Park, Colo., which she describes as "earthy and velvety." "And I’m not a huge mushroom fan, so for this soup to be my favorite it must be really good," she said.
Kayleen Reilly, of Park City’s Uptown Fare, responded to Iverson’s query. She shared two recipes: a Southwestern black bean and sweet potato soup, and watermelon gazpacho. Locals will be sad to learn she didn’t share the tomato bisque recipe. "That’s our most popular," she said. "But I don’t give that recipe out."
Reilly didn’t know what to expect when she sent her recipes to Iverson. But after seeing the end result, she has decided to add Ski Town Soups to her collection of some 75 cookbooks.
"It’s really beautifully illustrated," she said. "I’ve already tried three of the recipes and they are excellent."
Wolf Mountain roasted tomato bisque
Craig Bonham, owner and chef of Eden’s Harley & Buck’s, contributed this recipe to Ski Town Soups. At the restaurant, he likes to serve the soup alongside his lobster Mac and cheese.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, 1/4-inch diced
5 to 6 large tomatoes (about 3 pounds)
2 cups tomato stock (2 cups of water mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons Caldo de Tomate or chicken base)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
11/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, for garnish
1/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped, for garnish
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Wash tomatoes and cut into 1-inch thick slices. Place tomatoes on an oiled sheet and cook for 20 minutes.
While tomatoes are cooking, heat olive oil in a large stock pot. Add onions and cook on medium heat 6 to 8 minutes until onions are translucent. Add cooked tomatoes, thyme and tomato stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
Add balsamic vinegar and heavy cream. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
Serve with a grilled cheese sandwich, garlic croutons, or Chef Craig Bonham’s Lobster Mac and Cheese. Recipe available at www.skitownsoups.com.
Servings » 4
Rating » Green (or easy)
Source: Ski Town Soups: Signature Soups from World Class Ski Resorts
2 quarts yellow onions, julienned
3 cups red onions, julienned
1 cup shallots, julienned
1 cup pearl onions, halved
1/4 pound (1 cube) unsalted butter
1/2 cup garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/3 cup flour
1 cup brandy
2 quarts beef stock
1/4 cup fresh thyme, chopped
4 bay leaves
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
4-6 toasted baguette slices, for garnish
Shredded Gruyere and Emmenthal cheese, for garnish
Sliced green onions, for garnish
Melt butter in heavy soup pot over low heat. Add all onions and shallots; cook over low heat, stirring often, until dark brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
Add garlic and flour. Cook until flour is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add brandy. Cook for approximately two minutes, then add stock, thyme, bay leaves, soy sauce, Worcestershire, sherry vinegar and seasoning.
Bring to a slow boil, and reduce heat. Simmer for at least an hour. Adjust seasoning.
To serve, ladle soup into heavy, oven-safe soup bowls. Top with toasted baguette slices and 50/50 mix of shredded Gruyere and Emmenthal cheese. Top with sliced green onions. Broil until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve hot.
Servings » 4-6
Rating » Blue (or more difficult)
Source: Ski Town Soups: Signature Soups from World Class Ski Resorts
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.