Soups & Stews: Where to find comfort by the spoonful

Soups & Stews: Where to find comfort by the spoonful in the foothills and Sierra:

Not the traditional roux thickened gumbo. It is a hearty soup topped with gingered greens and served with cornbread. Changes daily. Ike’s has been “keeping it Creole” for a decade.
Ike’s Quarter Cafe
401 Commercial St., NC, 265-6138

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Fresh chicken and homemade tortillas in a cream base, topped with sour cream, chives and tortilla strips. “Just the right kick.”

Made from scratch and simmered “low and slow” with house-ground beef, beans, stewed tomatoes, fresh onions, garlic and other ingredients. Enjoy a bowl during Grass Valley’s Cornish Christmas celebration.
Tofanelli’s Gold Country Bistro
302 W. Main St., GV, 272-1468

Vegetarian Chile
Perfect for fall. Green chiles, red peppers, tomatoes, tender black beans and onions in a thick stew, topped with green onions, cheddar cheese and sour cream. Served with a corn muffin.
Summer Thymes
421 Colfax Ave., GV 273-2904
134 S. Auburn @Booktown, GV 273-9866

Hearty Minestrone
A San Francisco-style minestrone, packed with vegetables, beans and pasta. Served with crusty Italian-French bread. Owner/Chef John Kane is a native San Franciscan.

Clam Chowder
An “old-school” New England chowder that is thick, creamy and loaded with clams. A generous portion.
Kane’s Family Restaurant
120 E. Main St., GV, 273-8111

Mussels Fra Diavolo
One pound of North West Blue mussels simmered in a spicy broth of garlic, fennel, tomato, chardonnay and a pinch of chili flake served with garlic pesto bread.
Lefty’s Grill
221 Broad St., NC, 265-5838

Burgundy Braised Beef
Braised beef served in a rich burgundy sauce with carrots, button mushrooms and onions, surrounding garlic mashed potatoes. Sublime. (Use a fork, though).
Simplicity Bistro
111 W. Main St., GV, 205-9365

Penne pasta with andouille sausage, shrimp and blackened chicken with black beans and green onion in a spicy creole sauce.
Served with garlic bread. Try it with Anderson Valley’s Winter Solstice, one of owner Matt Marguiles’ craft beers on tap.

Clam Fettucini
Clams, tomato, green onion, shallots and garlic in a white wine sauce.
Matteo’s Public
300 Commercial St., NC, 265-0782

Shrimp Paella

Prawns, clams, chorizo and vegetables with crispy Spanish rice.

Teriyaki Tofu Rice Bowl
Marinated and grilled tofu served over rice and vegetables.
Monkey Cat
805 Lincoln Way, Auburn, 888-8492

Chile Verde
Succulent bites of pork sautéed with fresh roasted tomatillo sauce. Served with warm tortillas. Try it with a Negra Modelo beer.

Chile Colorado
Pork sautéed with dry roasted red chiles.
Maria’s Mexican Restaurant
226 E. Main St, GV, 274-2040

Tom Yum
Chicken, vegetarian or shrimp in hot and sour soup with lemongrass, kaffir leaves, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes.
Taste of Thai
204 W. Main St., Suite 103, GV, 274-2968

Veal Emince
A Swiss specialty served with mushrooms and cream sauce, spaetzli dumplings. A dining institution on Tahoe’s West Shore.
Swiss Lakewood Restaurant
5055 W. Lake Blvd., Homewood, 525-5211


This is how you lure them in from splitting wood, tossing the football, or a conversation on the front porch. Serves 8 voracious adults.
I 2 1/2 lbs. Stew Meat
I 3 med. Tomatoes or 14-oz. can crushed Toms
I 2 stalks Celery, chopped
I 1 small Onion, chopped
I 5-6 c. chopped seasonal Vegetables
I Sprig of Rosemary
I 1 Bay Leaf
I 4-6 c. Water (plus 1-2 c. Red Wine, optional)
I Salt and Pepper to taste
In an 8-qt. pot over med. heat, sear beef on both sides. Add enough water to cover meat. Add bay leaf and cook over med. heat 15 min. Turn to simmer and let meat cook 1-1/2 hours. Remove meat, set aside.
In the same skillet you used for beef, sauté onion. Add all vegetables and rosemary to the soup stock, cooking on med.-low until vegetables are tender; about an hour.

Add beef to pot when vegetables are close to tender. Serve with a crusty bread.

Source: Nevada County Free Range Beef

photo credit: Keith Sutter

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