WakeMed Health & Hospitals (Raleigh, N.C.)
Jennifer Leamons, chef at Café 3000 at WakeMed Health & Hospitals, says the beauty of this labor-intensive soup lies in the crafting of the fresh pasta. “We make our own noodles with fresh thyme in the dough and we also infuse the oil for the pasta dough with fresh thyme,” the chef explains. She adds that you can also do something similar with spaetzle or even add caramelized onions to the dough for a different take.
The Springs at Crystal Lake (Illinois)
Simple is sometimes best when it comes to chicken soup, according to Steven Petersen, director of foodservice at this rehabilitation center northwest of Chicago. But his team tweaks the basic recipe by throwing in cremini mushrooms as an additional vegetable and adding red pepper flakes for a little kick.
University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
How do you make a time-honored comfort food relevant in the new millennium? Spice it up, Southeast Asian style, as the chefs at the University of Illinois have done. Dining Services Director Dawn Aubrey says the addition of ingredients such as lemon grass, cilantro, fish sauce and coconut milk guarantee that the soup is a hit with adventurous college students. The university also offers a version that uses the ubiquitous ramen noodles.