Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
The Designated Soup Carrier
by SuSu, MaceVindaloo

Menu: Dark, Mysterious Scallion Soup | Butterless Cheesy "Croutons" | Booster's Ministrations Minestrone | Leek & Potato Soup, Hot or Cold | Cauliflower Crème du Booster | Rough & Tumble Broccoli Chowder | Hyperspace Chicken Noodle Soup | Ultrafresh Clam and Noodle Soup | Chocolate Chip & Walnut Cookies for After-Vapors

In every culture, there is such a thing as a "designated soup carrier." This person is usually a woman who delivers food and comfort to those who are sick, or sick at heart. She's not necessarily a warm or understanding person, but derives a special pleasure from making something and delivering to those who truly need it and who are grateful for the sustenance and attention.

Booster Terrik fits the profile of the "DSC" except he's male, and he doesn't necessarily like to be identified as such. He does have a gruff reputation that he finds useful when doing business, and he doesn't want anyone thinking he's a softie. But he does care about those in his orbit, and so he has food delivered whenever he feels someone needs perking up, and he derives immense satisfaction in helping others, albeit mysteriously and anonymously. He's a sort of blended mother and Santa Clause figure ...

Over the years, he's developed many recipes and preparation methods that can withstand transportation without going overly soggy or go rancid. Presented here are some of his most successful potions to cure "what ails you" — some are even served cold or hot. It all started with a rich onion soup that uses peppers, scallions, garlic and a dark, strong soupstock. He delivers what is essentially a grilled cheese sandwich along with it, instead of putting the crouton and cheese topping directly in the brew. That way, the bread doesn't go all weird and soggy, unless the patient wants it to.

What else does he have up his "Mama Booster" sleeve? A pasta-rich, slightly spicy soup/casserole of tomatoes and sausages; a really really simple soup consisting of leeks (or other onion), potatoes, salt, water, and THAT'S ALL; a cauliflower and soup with rice as its thickener; a soup made with broccoli and potatoes that's good chunky or puréed. He even has one that's more a mood-altering clam and noodle soup, or for those well on their way to recovery, but in need of a bit more TLC (tender loving care, of course). If Booster hadn't been so attracted to the smuggling racket, he would've been a pretty successful soup lord!

Finally, to make sure the cure "took," he'd include a homemade chocolate and walnut cookie for dessert, "to dispel the after-vapors." What a nice guy!

Dark, Mysterious Scallion Soup
This soup actually started as a "clean the fridge" exercise — too much stuff threatening to go bad. When that happens, a soup is a good way to get a few good, healthy meals from what would otherwise go to waste. Booster has a tendency to cook to the size of his pot — meaning that no matter how much or how little stuff he has to cook with, he fills whatever pot he's using to the brim. So he can afford to be generous when he delivers soup to the people and beings around him who need some tender loving care, or TLC.
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 6 bunches scallions, trimmed, cleaned, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 6 cups strong soupstock, hot
  • cracked black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
Heat oil over high heat in a large pot and cook the peppers till they start to brown. Add the scallions and do the same. Add the garlic and cook till the garlic has softened (but not browned). Add the hot stock, stirring well to scrape up the browned bits at the bottom of the pot. Heat to boiling, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 6.

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Butterless Cheesy "Croutons"
This started in Booster's kitchen as a leftover — his daughter Mirax liked grilled cheese sandwiches, but Booster had a tendency to make too many of them at once. The leftovers would sit on the plate till they dried out, or in the chiller and got damp. By cutting them up into "fingers," he could serve them as soup croutons and salvage another meal from his miscalculation. And the sick people who got these to accompany a thin-textured soup really liked them. Plus their lack of butter made the meal a bit more digestible.
  • 2 large slices of thinly sliced bread, per serving
  • medium-thinly sliced cheddar or any other type of melting cheese you like
If you have one, you'll want to do this with a 2-sided contact grill with a non-stick surface. Heat up the grill till very hot. Place one slice of bread on the grill, place slices of cheese over in a single layer, then top with the other slice. Close the grill, pressing tightly. The "crouton" is done when the bread is toasted and brown, the sandwich is hot, and the cheese that bubbles out from between the bread slices browns, too. Remove quickly from the grill and allow to cool a bit before serving.

If you don't have such a grill, heat up a non-stick skillet and do as above, but place another skillet on top of the sandwich to press, and turn the sandwich half through cooking, so both sides can crisp up.

To eat, the diner can dip the crouton into the soup or break it up and drop into the soup to soften. An interactive meal experience!

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Booster's Ministrations Minestrone
This is another "clean out the cupboards" soup from Booster, but it's so rich and luscious that he will make it whether someone he knows is sick or not. Actually, that's true of all of his soup recipes — there is something reassuring about soup, whether it's your body, heart, soul, or mind which need healing. The effect is often temporary, but that's often part of the cure — get a bit better every day. This high-calorie soup is perfect in cold environments and when the patient needs something tasty and easy to swallow to help "build them back up" after a long illness. Or if one is simply really, really hungry. If there is any soup that captures the character of how Booster seeks to heal his friends, this is probably it — generous, warm, filling, spicy, comforting. To those who know him, of course!
  • 1 lb / 450 g spicy pork sausage, skins removed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped into rounds
  • 2 lb / 900 g crushed tomatoes, undrained + 1 can of water
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil or oregano
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb / 450 g elbow macaroni, uncooked
Divide up the sausage into 1-inch / 2.5 cm sized meatballs. In a thick-bottomed large pot, heat the oil and sauté the sausage balls until they render some fat and become browned. Remove the meat from the pot and reserve. If there seems to be too much fat in the pot, drain some out, but leave the browned bits and pieces stuck to the pot. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots and cook till the onions are translucent and the carrots are not quite tender. Add the canned tomatoes, the water, and the basil, then add the browned sausage to the pot and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper and heat till boiling. The soup will be rather thin, and you can eat it like this if you please. But to make it really satisfying and filling, add the elbow macaroni and let it simmer till the macaroni is tender. It will have absorbed a lot of water and the soup will be much thicker. Serve hot.

Note: Refrigerate leftover, and add some water and seasoning when reheating — you'll find the soup continues to thicken and the macaroni gets more cooked, with time. It can also be eaten as a casserole.

Serves 8.

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Leek & Potato Soup, Hot or Cold
This soup has nothing in it but leaks, potatoes, water and salt. Do not give in the the temptation to add stock or to brown or cook the vegetables. Do not add oil. It's an excellent soup for those who are convalescing because it contains so few ingredients. And yet its delicious. When the conditions are hot, Booster will chill the soup after it's puréed and serve it cold, perhaps with a slurp of rich cream or a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche. It's a restorative, either way, and you'd best not mess with the formula, if you know what's good for you, says the DSC!
  • 6 leeks, cleaned and chopped
  • 6 small to medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • water, to cover
In a large pot, place the potatoes and leeks and cover with water, with a couple of inches extra. Add the salt. Cover the pot and place over high heat till it boils, then lower the heat till the liquid is at a simmer. Cook till the potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Using a blender, food processor, or immersion blender, purée the soup — be careful as hot soup will expand violently when blended! Taste for seasoning and add salt, if desired. Serves 6.

Variation: for cold soup, chill the puréed soup and add milk to thin it to the consistency you want. Season with salt and pepper (cold blunts flavors, so you will need more seasoning). Serve in mugs or bowls, add a dollop of cream, sour cream or crème fraîche, if desired.

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Cauliflower Crème du Booster
Those who know Booster well know that he is a recreational vegetarian, meaning that he prefers vegetables to meat, though does not eschew flesh. He just considers vegetables to be more interesting and varied, and they seem to have more flexibility when it comes to preparation. He likes to make this soup from leftover boiled cauliflower, carrots and rice — there was always some of these leftover from the cafeteria lines of many systems. A bonus is that the soup will take less time to prepare if the parts were already cooked, which is always a good thing when you are caring for the sick in body or in soul.
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cleaned and split into florets, stalks peeled
  • 2 carrots, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup cooked rice, or 1/3 cup uncooked rice
  • 2 cups milk
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
Place the cauliflower, carrots and stock into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat down to s simmer and cook till the vegetables are tender. Add the rice; if you are using raw rice, allow the rice to simmer in the broth for about 20 minutes or till soft. Purée the soup with a blender, food processor, or immersion blender (careful — hot liquids expand when agitated) till smooth. To serve, add milk — you may need a bit more stock or water if you used raw rice, which absorbs water when cooking. In any case, add milk till the texture is as you like it. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot or lukewarm. Serves 8.

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Rough & Tumble Broccoli Chowder
It was said that Booster's relationship with his wife was not an easy one — he was rarely home, and she was not exactly the matronly type. It was rough and tumble for most of the way. But she made this great soup, which Booster continues to make, even now that she's long gone ... it brings back the happy nature of their less than perfect union, and it always makes him feel better. Anyone who gets a bowl of this is lucky, too, for it's comforting, soothing, and though you can blend it to make it smooth or even serve it cold, it's better when it's fresh and whole, and just hot enough to burn your tongue ... just like both Booster and his wife. A bit of pain is not a bad thing, as she often told him; it lets you know you're alive! A perfect soup for the ill.
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion or 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
  • 6 small to medium sized potatoes, peels and chopped
  • 1 large head broccoli, cleaned and split into florets, and stalks peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth, hot
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
In a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot, cook the onion or leeks over low heat till softened and translucent. Add the potatoes and cook till slightly tender, then add the broccoli, tossing to coat in the cooking juices. Add the stock or broth and bring to a simmer. Cook till the potatoes are cooked through and the broccoli is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve piping hot. Serves 8.

Variation: Make a cold soup by blending the leftovers in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender, adding cold milk to loosen up the texture, to taste. Reseason with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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Hyperspace Chicken Noodle Soup
Han Solo gave Booster this recipe, telling him that Chewbacca had prepared it for him when they were hiding in hyperspace. Han had taken ill, but they couldn't pop out of the parallel reality, no matter what. His first mate opened some cans of chicken noodle soup, and recognizing Han's symptoms as respiratory and sinus-based, he added some spices to help "blow out the congestion," but without causing pain when eaten. It worked, and this simple formula has been in Boosters DSC files ever since.
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 cans chicken noodle soup
  • 6 cans water
  • 1 tablespoon Thai curry paste
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned or bouillon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 lb egg noodles or asian-style noodles
In a large pot, heat the oil and cook the onions and garlic slowly till softened. Add the cans of chicken soup, filling the empty cans twice each with warm water and adding that water to the pot. Heat to a boil and season with the curry paste, seasoned salt and cumin. Add the noodles and cook till they are tender, but not overcooked. Ladle into bowls hot. Serves 8.

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Ultrafresh Clam & Noodle Soup
Booster often gets special food from traders as barter or as gifts, and some of it is special indeed. Baby clams are a rarity in the GFFA, as these pelecypods require a unpolluted tidal environment and because of generations of war and turmoil, whole planets have been razed, or species have gone extinct. This soup is a chunky, chewy one, filled with fresh whole baby clams, cubed potatoes, fresh tomatoes, and noodles made from a yam starch and tofu — called shirataki — and served in a fish-based broth called a fumet. It's high-eating and good for those who are fully recovered physically but who need a bit more coddling to get fully well. You only get this if Booster really, really likes you!
  • 2 dozen fresh baby clams in the shell
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 Italian-style tomatoes, peels and de-pulped, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups fish stock
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 packets tofu shirataki noodles, or any asian-style long noodle
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
In a saucepan, place the clams and water and cook over medium heat till the clams open. Cool and remove the meat from the shells. Keep the resulting broth, but strain or decant to separate the liquid from the sand. Pour the broth over the clams and toss with chopped tomatoes. Set aside.

In a soup pot, heat the oil and cook the onion and garlic. When softened, add the stock and parsley and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and lower the heat — you do not want the noodles to over cook. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

To serve, ladle out noodles and hot broth into a bowl, then top with clams and tomatoes.

Serves 6 to 8.

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Chocolate Chip & Walnut Cookies for After-Vapors
When a patient starts to feel better, their appetite returns and in particular, they start craving stuff that isn't hot and soft and bland ... Booster figures that a crunchy cookie is the perfect remedy for the "nearly healed blues"! It's also a great snack for kids, and his daughter Mirax would fake "the blahs" in order to get him to bake a batch.
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup solid vegetable shortening
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chunks (semi-sweet or milk or white)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
Heat the oven to 375°F / 190°C. Prepare the cookie sheets by lining them with foil, but do not grease them.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, and set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream together the shortening, then add the egg (if you multiply this recipe, add the eggs one at a time, beating them in well before adding the next egg). When the mixture is beaten together and combined, add a third of the flour mixture, beat well, add another one-third, beat again, then the rest of it. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Drop tablespoons of batter onto the foil, about 2 inches / 5 cm apart. Place in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, checking after 8 minutes, just in case your oven runs hotter. When browned, remove the whole sheet of foil off the hot cookie sheet, then replace with another foil sheet full of batter drops. Using foil will make the process go faster.

Cool on wire racks completely before packing in airtight containers for delivery to the lucky masses! Makes about 25 or 30 cookies.

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