As owners of Fly Fishers' Inn near Great Falls, Montana, Rick and Lynne Pasquale know how to warm up guests who come here for world-class fly-fishing. Their secret is soup. At the lodge, they pack a thermos of hot soup into the kits of anglers, to provide a warming lunch during a day wading the chilly waters of the Missouri River. Then back at the log cabin lodge, dinner begins with more hot soup.
Lynne takes pride in producing hearty soups that don't echo the meat-and-potatoes reputation of this part of Montana, such as faintly licorice-flavor fennel, double mushroom with wild rice, and sweet pea with tarragon, curried apple, and caramelized onion and shallot.
To serve one of the aforementioned soups as an elegant starter, offer about 3/4-cup portions. For a main-course serving, allow about 1 1/2 cups of soup with a light companion such as grilled shrimp or a toasted cheese sandwich.