gastronome
Leek Potato Soup

I've been sick this week and jonesing for some nourishing hot soupy goodness. I picked up some leeks at the store yesterday, but was sadly unable to find Carrie's infamous leek soup recipe online anywhere. Instead, I found Karine's Gastronome post and an old Alton Brown recipe on the Food Network site and improvised from there. Voila! Serve with some warm sourdough or french bread for a super tasty fall dinner.

Leek Potato Soup
4-5 medium leeks, cleaned & sliced half-way up to the dark green sections
3 tablespoons olive oil
3-6 garlic cloves, crushed and roughly chopped (to taste)
kosher salt
4 cups organic veggie broth
4 cups water
2 cups or 5 small potatoes (new red, yukon gold), diced small
1 cup unsweetened soy milk or heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped chives
white or black pepper (to taste)

In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add leeks and garlic and a heavy pinch of salt and sweat for 5 minutes. Decrease heat to medium-low and cook until leeks are tender (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Add stock and water, increasing heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Add potatoes. Reduce heat, cover, and gently simmer until potatoes are soft (about 40-45 minutes).

Turn off the heat and puree. (If you have a good immersion blender - great! I find cycling through my regular blender messy but effective). Stir in soy/heavy cream. Taste, adding salt and pepper to season. Sprinkle with chives and serve. Refridgerate leftovers - they will reheat the next day nicely, or serve chilled.

Serves 4 generously.

Posted by rebecca at 03:08 PM

Green Garlic and Spring Pea Soup

Dinner: May 31, 2006
Originally uploaded by Jenblossom.

We got some beautiful green garlic at the Union Square Greenmarket last weekend, which I had never cooked with before. There was a bit of a chill in the air last night, so a light spring soup sounded perfect for dinner. A quick Google search brought up meriko's post, which I used for inspiration. I made a few changes according to what we had on hand, snipped some herbs from the garden and within about 45 minutes had this beautiful, subtly flavored soup on the table - every spoonful was like a taste of springtime.

Green Garlic and Spring Pea Soup

2 tbsp. unsalted butter
12 stalks green garlic, white and pale green parts only, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup white vermouth
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup fresh peas
1/2 cup creme fraiche
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)

For garnish:
4 baguette slices, toasted
snipped fresh chives
additional creme fraiche

Melt butter in a large heavy bottomed pot, then add the green garlic. Add a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until softened. Add vermouth and allow to cook town for a couple of minutes, then add the stock, water and thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs from the pot, then add the peas. Pull the leaves from the thyme sprigs and return to the pot. Cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until peas are tender and bright green. Remove the soup from heat and puree using a stick blender, regular blender or food processor. Return soup to pot, adjust seasoning, and stir in 1/2 cup of creme fraiche, stirring well until it is fully incorporated. Add lemon juice and stir.

Place soup into bowls, garnishing each with a baguette slice, a dollop of creme fraiche and some chives.

Serves 4.

Posted by jenblossom at 07:39 AM

Winter Squash Soup

Dinner: November 28, 2005

Originally uploaded by Jenblossom.

Blustery November weather calls for soup - warm, hearty and comforting, it's just the thing to take the chill off.
We've actually had this particular soup twice in the last few weeks - the first time, following the Epicurious.com recipe to the letter (with Gruyere croutons), and the second, with a garnish of crispy fried sage leaves. Both were delicious, and I have to say the soup survived being frozen, thawed, and reheated beautifully. This one's a keeper.

WINTER SQUASH SOUP WITH GRUYERE CROUTONS

Soup
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons sugar

Croutons
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
24 1/4-inch-thick baguette bread slices
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage

For soup:
Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)

For croutons:
Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.

Serves 8.

Recipe from Bon Appétit, December 1996

Posted by jenblossom at 07:41 AM

Parsnipalicious!

OMG, so, like, I probably would never have tried this crazy healthy-sounding soup except for how one of the local hippie groceries sells parsnip mashed potatoes in their deli section and they're downright fabulous. I don't like sweet vegetables made sweeter, so this recipe was perfect for my tastes. And super rich tasting without much fat at all. And easily made, like, vegan, man. Kickass!

To follow: Creamy Parsnip Soup with Horseradish

This is from "Entertaining for a Veggie Planet" by Didi Emmons. She notes, "Don't buy extra-large parsnips, since they tend to be woody in the center." Hehehe. She said "woody."

2 T. olive oil
1 lg yellow onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 1/2 lbs parsnips, peeled or scrubbed and cut into 1" pieces
1 T. minced fresh sage, thyme, or rosemary
(I used some fresh rosemary and some ground thyme)
1 t. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
About 2 T. prepared or fresh grated horseradish
(I used maybe 2 tsp of cream-style prepared horseradish, but I am not a huge fan of the stuff)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 c. sour cream (optional)
(I used lowfat sour cream and added it directly to the bowl)

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until translucent (8-10 min.). Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add potatoes, parsnips, herbs, and 7 c. water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 25 minutes, or until potatoes and parsnips are tender. Remove from heat.

In a blender, puree soup in batches, or use immersion blender to puree it in the pot. Return soup to pot and heat through. If soup is too thick, add 1/2 to 1 c. water. Stir in vinegar and horseradish to taste, then season liberally with salt and pepper. Whisk in sour cream, if desired. Do not boil soup or sour cream will curdle. Serves 6 to 8.

Posted by leek at 11:22 PM

egg drop soup of health and comfort

This is sort of a Chinese egg drop soup via my kitchen randomness. It's warm and comforting and perfect for soothing a cold. The proportions are variable and really up to personal taste and depend a lot on what your broth tasted like to begin with. If I'm sick, I put in lots more ginger and cayenne.

Egg-drop soup is one of those cross-cultural recipes. How do you make yours?

Ingredients

2 c. chicken or vegetable broth, homemade or as close as you can get.
1 tsp. - 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated fine
dash cayenne pepper
soy sauce
(rice wine vinegar)
sesame oil
an egg
chinese scallions or green onions
salt

---

Put your chicken broth into a saucepan and let it sit over med-high heat until it comes to a simmer. While the broth heats, grate the ginger and stir it into the broth. I use a microplane grater to get the ginger really fine and juicy. If you can't get the ginger grated fine, just use more. Add salt and soy sauce. Taste the broth -- you may find that it needs a touch of acidity to brighten up the flavour. Add a drop or two of rice wine vinegar if you need to. Add a dash (or more) of cayenne pepper.

In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together the egg, a few drops of sesame oil, and about 1 tsp. soy sauce.

When the soup is just about to come to a full boil, take the fork from your egg and swirl it around quickly in the soup. Turn off the heat under the pot. While whisking the soup, pour the egg in a slow stream. The motion of the soup is what makes the egg drops -- if you pour the egg too quickly or you don't stir the soup, you'll get big clumps of egg.

Taste and add more salt, soy, or sesame oil as needed.

Garnish with chopped scallions.

Posted by naomi at 10:28 PM

ajiaco

I used to eat ajiaco at Timo's when I was especially cold, or feeling under-the-weather. It's a gorgeous Colombian chicken & potato soup with tasty garnishes. You use several sorts of potatoes - a starchy potato to thicken the soup, and slices of a waxy potato to chew on. Créme frâiche, corn, cilantro, capers, avocado, and a side of chunky salsa complete this meal-in-a-bowl. Jen, your grandmother's chicken soup reminds me of this one, a little.

Soup:
1 onion, diced small
1 tsp olive or peanut oil
5-8 oz roasted, shredded chicken meat
3/4 lb starchy potatoes, cut into chunks (I used red creamers)
1/3 lb waxy potatoes, in half-inch thick slices (fingerlings are fun)
5-6 cups chicken stock
1-2 cups corn kernels
1 tsp coriander
salt & pepper, to taste

To Garnish:
Chunky salsa, of choice
2 tbsp capers
créme frâiche or sour cream
avocado, diced
3 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro

1. Sautée the onion in the oil over high heat until it begins to color. Add chicken stock, and scrape up any tasty browned bits that have stuck to the bottom. Add the chunks of starchy potatoes. Add some salt, and the coriander.

2. Simmer soup until potatoes are tender (~20 minutes). Roughly purée. (Immersion/stick blenders are great for this.) Return to heat; add potato slices. Cook until slices are tender to the bite. Add corn; cook one more minute. Stir in chicken; adjust salt and pepper levels to your liking.

3. Ladle soup into wide bowls, and top with a generous spoon of créme frâiche, a teaspoon of capers, a handful of avocado, and some cilantro. Serve with a small bowl of chunky salsa on the side.

Notes: I leave the skins on my potatoes for this soup. Russell would prefer it if I peeled the sliced potatoes. Sometimes I do that when I'm not using fingerlings.

Posted by shock at 07:50 AM

Creamy Potato Soup

My Grandma D. wasn't the same sort of cook that my Grandma H. is, but I do have a few favorite dishes of hers. One of them was her potato soup... simple and hearty, and just the thing for a Meatless Monday dinner.

Of course, I couldn't *just* make it the way she did... I had to give it my own spin. Served with a salad of mesclun, Granny Smith apple, walnuts and extra-sharp cheddar, this soup was just what the doctor ordered for a blustery January night. (Sadly, my camera wasn't cooperating, so you'll just have to imagine what it looked like...)

Creamy Potato Soup

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large leek, halved, cleaned and sliced
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
4 Yellow Finn potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 sprigs thyme
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy bottomed pan, melt butter in olive oil. Add onion and leek, and saute' until softened and fragrant. Add wine and thyme, and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes and broth, season with salt and pepper, and continue simmering until potatoes are soft.

Once the potatoes have cooked through, lightly puree the soup, either by using an immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender. (I like to leave it a bit chunky and texture-y.) Add cream a little bit at a time, stirring well to combine. Check for seasoning, and add additional salt and/or pepper if needed.

Garnish with chopped scallions, chives, or other fresh chopped herbs. You can also add shredded cheese or crumbled cooked bacon, if desired.

Serves 4-6.

Posted by jenblossom at 08:36 AM

IMBB 11: Nacho Soup

I think soup might be one of my very favorite things to cook. When I was doing my morning coffee reading and saw that there was an IMBB event today, my thoughts immediately turned to Derrick asking when I was going to participate again, and then to soup. I thought that a hot bowlful would make a perfect January lunch, so off to the store I went. This soup is based on the citrusey black beans I make for our nachos - hence the garnishes and the name. Many thanks to Cathy at my little kitchen for hosting this round!

For the soup:
5-6 oz shredded chicken meat
2 cans black beans, drained
1 tsp olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, in half-inch dice
4 cups chicken stock
2 shots Grand Marnier
1 Tbsp coriander
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp cumin
salt & pepper to taste
For the shallot relish:
4-5 shallots
2-3 limes
1-inch chunk of gingerroot
fresh cilantro
salt & pepper to taste

Other tasty toppings you might like:
tortilla chips
shredded chedder or crumbled queso fresco
diced avocado
sour cream
chunky salsa

Shallot Relish
1. Peel your shallots, and chop them into quarter inch dice. Stick them in a bowl or a jar. (I like to use an old jam jar, so I can shake up the relish as it marinates.)
2. Mince the ginger. Add about 2 teaspoons to the jar.
3. Chop some cilantro roughly. Add about a teaspoon to the jar.
4. Squeeze limes into your jar until the mixture is covered. Salt & pepper to taste. Put it in the fridge to rest until the soup is ready. It will keep for 2-3 days, but is best served a few hours after you make it.

The Soup
1. Chop onions into half-inch dice. Caramelize them in the olive oil over medium-high, until golden-brown. Add the cumin, chipotle, and coriander; stir for a few moments. Take care to not let the spices burn.
2. Add the Grand Marnier. Scrape up anything that might be stuck to the bottom of your pot. Add the beans. Stir well. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Use a blender or a stick blender to puree the soup. I use a stick blender and leave the texture a little rough. Stir in the shredded chicken, and add salt and pepper to taste.

The chips (if you want to bake them yourself)
1. Preheat the oven to 475. Turn on the convection fan, if you have one.
2. Cut corn tortillas into wedges - I do 8 to a tortilla.
3. Arrange the wedges on a baking sheet. Mist with water, and sprinkle salt & smoked paprika over the chips.
4. Bake for 5 minutes. Check frequently - they go from perfect to burned in about 3 heartbeats. Serve warm.

To Serve
1. Ladle soup into warm bowls.
2. Top with a dollop of sour cream, a spoonful of shallot relish, and a spoonful of avocado chunks.
3. Serve with warm tortilla chips and a beer.

Posted by shock at 01:58 PM

celery-celeriac soup with roquefort croutons

First day of the new year? Time to make winter soup, of course. I'm no friend of celery but this Celery-Celeriac Soup with Roquefort Croutons from the December 2004 Cooking Light changed my mind...temporarily at least. It was pure refreshing hot green love. Carol and I ate many bowls.

To prepare soup, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 cup thinly sliced leek (about 1 large) and 1/2 cup chopped shallots; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in 4 cups chopped peeled celeriac (celery root; about 2 medium), 1 1/2 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potato, 1 cup water, 2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, 2 thyme springs, and 2 bay leaves; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in 2 cups thinly sliced celery, 1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper; simmer 10 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves and thyme.

Place half of celery mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed celery mixture into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining celery mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup half-and-half.

Preheat broiler.

To prepare croutons, arrange 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices French bread baguette in a single layer on a baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Broil 1 minute or until golden. Turn bread over; sprinkle bread with 1 tablespoon crumbled Roquefort cheese. Broil 1 minute or until cheese melts; cool 1 minute on baking sheet. Place bread on a cutting board; cut each bread slice into 6 wedges to form croutons. Ladle about 1 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with 6 croutons. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings.

Posted by astraea at 11:00 PM

turkey noodle soup

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Everyone seems to have leftover-Thanksgiving-traditions - and this is the one I grew up with. Sure, there were sandwiches, and reheated stuffing - but turkey noodle soup is the leftover I dreamed about. I remember roasting a turkey my freshman year in college for fun with a few friends, and being most excited about the prospect of next-day soup. This recipe's for Robert, who helped us eat some of this year's bounty.

Much like the danger tart, this recipe is more method than precision. It's key to be flexible when you're cooking. Remember, you usually do this when you're still exhausted from The Big Meal. It should take around 45 minutes, start to finish.

First things first: When you're done carving the turkey and you're washing up dishes, make some turkey stock. Get the stuff out of the cavity of the bird, get rid of any seriously burnt-up edges, and make a basic poultry stock. Strain, defat, and store for your soup - or make the soup on the spot!

If your stock is chilled, ladle it into a pot and get it heating. A little bit of reduction will only make it richer, so go ahead and turn up the heat. If you are the sort who likes onions (or still has some sliced leeks lying around from mise-en-place, by all means start by cooking them in a little olive oil, and then add the stock when they're caramelized.)

Noodle things next: You'll be making rough-cut, rustic, hand-rolled egg noodles. I grew up using this recipe, which isn't that different than the one I use now. Sometimes I throw in freshly ground pepper or chopped herbs or dried herbs with the flour. Sometimes I just leave them plain.

Root around in the crisper or your herb garden. Any variety of fresh herbs around? Wash 'em, pluck 'em, chop 'em, and set them aside while your pasta dough is resting and your stock is boiling. If you have any celery, you can dice that into small pieces.

Pull off a raquetball-sized hunk of dough. Roll it out to around a quarter-inch thick. Slice it into diamondey shaped noodles, around 2 inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide. Brush off most of the flour, and throw them into the boiling stock. as you're done slicing them. (I like to use a pizza cutter to slice my noodles.) Irregularity of noodles is part of the charm. Keep rolling out and slicing noodles, adding them to your soup as you go. The bit of flour that comes along for the ride will thicken the soup just a tad. If you had some celery, throw it in with your first batch of noodles.

After you add the final batch of noodles, let them cook at a simmer for 5-7 minutes. Taste a noodle around minute four. Pick a thick one. If it's still white and pasty in the middle, give it a little longer. When done, your noodles will be a uniform beige when you bite through them, but still have a chewey (not pasty!) mouthfeel. When the noodles are done, toss in any fresh herbs you've preapred. If you have any roasted garlic around, stir in a spoonful.

Ladle your soup into bowls, top with a freshly grated nutty hard cheese (we like parmigian) and a generous grind of black pepper. If you must add something green, I recommend another salad.

Welcome to a Blink (and Borogove!) family tradition.

Posted by shock at 10:39 PM

Simple Supper: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

I used to make this soup all the time - it was inspired by a tomato, basil and asiago cheese soup at the now defunct Franklin Street Brewing Company in Detroit. I loved it so much I started experimenting until I got it right, but I have refined it over the years. It's easy as can be, and wonderfully comforting on cold autumn nights.

Jen's Tomato Basil and Asiago Soup

In a heavy bottomed pot, warm a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add 1/2 of a small onion, finely diced (about 1/4 cup) and saute until translucent. Add one clove of garlic, just lightly smashed with the side of a knife... I love how keeping it basically whole allows the flavor of the garlic to come out, but it's much more subtle than chopped garlic.

Tonight I used one box of POMI crushed tomatoes (26.45 oz - you can certainly substitute an equal amount of canned crushed tomatoes), two cups of organic chicken stock, and a tablespoon of dry vermouth. Bring this to a simmer and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring well. Finally, add about 1/2 cup each finely shredded aged asiago cheese and fresh basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade. Stir well to incorporate and let cook another five minutes. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with more fresh basil leaves.

(And if you're wondering, the grilled cheese sandwich is cave-aged gruyere and Cabot Vermont-style extra sharp white cheddar on wholegrain wheat bread. YUM.)

Posted by jenblossom at 07:10 PM

greetings and chicken soup

I'm very happy to have been asked to contribute, and I can think of no better way to start off, during this celebration of el Dia de los Muertos, than by posting one of my favorite dishes... a chicken soup, based on my grandmother's recipe. It's appropriate for the season, and who doesn't love a nourishing, comforting bowl of soup? It really does feed the soul as well as the body.

   

Jen’s Grandma’s Chicken Soup

** Note: this is the “quick & easy” way to do it… if time permits, I’ll stew my own chicken and use the stock and meat from that.

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
8 cups chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced or crushed
2 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 heaping tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon dried mexican oregano
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
juice of 1/2 lime
few dashes hot pepper sauce
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
diced fresh avocado and tomato, and fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Add oil to a large, heavy bottomed pot and sautee garlic and onion until translucent. Add chicken, broth, potato, garbanzos, lime juice, hot pepper sauce and spices to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add rice, cover and simmer until rice and potatoes are cooked through. Be sure to taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Serve with avocado, tomato and cilantro sprinkled on top and warmed corn tortillas on the side.

Posted by jenblossom at 08:53 AM

Cheddar corn chowder with bacon

Because the Bacon of the Month Club demands more than a mere salad, here's the perfect thing for a cold fall night with some artisan bacon - and some last corn of the season.o

(Taken from the Barefoot Contessa cookbook)

4 oz. bacon, chopped
2 Tbl olive oil
3 cups chopped yellow onion (about one really big one)
2 Tbl unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 cups chicken stock
3 cups white boiling potatoes, diced
5 cups yellow corn kernels (about 5 ears).
1 cup half-n-half (I used Silk Soy Creamer)
1/4 lb sharp yellow cheddar, grated

1) If using fresh corn, cut the kernels from the cob and blanch in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Frozen corn also works - just add it directly in step 6.

2) Cook bacon in olive oil until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon, set aside.

3) Add onions & butter, cook until onions are translucent, about 10 mins.

4) Add flour, turmeric, salt & pepper, cook 3 minutes.

5) Add stock & potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer until potatoes are tender.

6) Add corn to the soup, then the cream and cheddar. Cook 5 mins, until cheese is melted. Season to taste.

7) Served topped with bacon!

Vegetarian variation: I whipped up a batch with veggie stock and the results were still good, though I might do the broth as half-veggie and half garlic broth to keep it from getting overwhelming. The bacon may of course be omitted as well - you could substitute roasted red pepper instead.

Serves 5-6

Posted by patrick at 03:04 PM

wild rice & porcini soup

Mike & Meredith gave me a truly excellent cookbook (and I'd never heard of it!) for the holidays this year - the CIA's The Book Of Soups.

Just before Russell & I left for our whirlwind visit to Norfolk and NYC, I made a soup & salad lunch for Miss Mo & myself. This is a hearty, creamy soup - perfect for a cool but bright day. I served it with caesar salad and a 2002 Navarro rosé. This soup is an adaptation of the CIA's Minnesota wild rice soup.

1 tsp butter
3 carrots, diced into quarter-inch cubes
3 leeks, white & light green parts, finely diced
3 celery stalks, also in quarter-inch cubes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2.5 to 3 quarts chicken stock
3/4 cup wild rice (I used a wild rice blend, and it worked nicely)
3/4 cup cream (heavy, half & half, or soy creamer. I used soy creamer.)
1/4 cup white vermouth
2-3 oz dried porcini
salt & pepper
chopped parsley, for garnish

Rehydrate the porcini mushrooms in some of the hot chicken stock. After 15-20 minutes, remove the porcini & chop them. Strain the mushroom-infused stock to get rid of any sand from the mushrooms.

Heat a soup pot over medium heat; add the butter, carrots, and celery. Cook until softened.

Reduce the heat to low, add the flour & stir well. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.

Start adding your stock in small batches, starting with the porcini stock. Stir well during the additions to prevent flour clumps. Bring to a simmer. Add the wild rice, and a bit of salt. Simmer until the rice is tender, but a little chewey (around 45 minutes).

Stir in the cream and vermouth. Adjust the salt & pepper to taste, and serve garnished with parsley.

(The original recipe calls for sherry instead of vermouth, less stock and slightly different vegetable proportions, and no porcini mushrooms. I like the rich mushroom taste with the nuttiness of the rice.)

Posted by shock at 07:21 PM

cauliflower fondue soup

Cooking with Amy's Creamy Cauliflower Fondue soup looked good to me, but a little heavy for a daily soup. I toyed with it, removed the carrots and potato, and came up with this....

1 onion, diced
4-5 cups cauliflower florets
1 tsp olive oil or butter
chicken or veggie stock
salt & pepper
2 oz emmenthaler (or other nutty swiss melty cheese), shredded
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup soy creamer
1-2 tbsp sherry

Sauté the onion over medium-high heat until golden. Add the cauliflower, and cover with stock so the total volume is around 10 cups. (I'm guessing this is probably 5-6 cups of stock. I was ladeling straight out of the stock pot, so i didn't measure precisely.) Add a few pinces of salt.

Simmer for around 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. Purée with a stick blender until almost smooth (i like a little roughness in my cauliflower soups). Add the soy creamer.

Toss the shredded cheese with the flour, and stir into the soup until melted over medium heat. (Cook at least 5 more minutes to take away the raw flour taste.) Adjust salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the sherry, a tablespoon at a time. Stop when it tastes right.

Serve in big bowls garnished with hazelnut oil, fresh ground pepper, and a long thin crouton.

Posted by shock at 10:11 PM

peppery celeriac & pancetta soup

Danger soup! I wanted to make a particular recipe out of The Zuni Cafe cookbook for some friends, but the seasonal veg (asparagus) was, well, out of season. I messed around with the idea, keeping the pancetta and rice and stock part of the recipe, and wound up with a soup that's quite yummy and nutty in flavor. It reheats nicely for lunches later. You should feel free to play around with the veg, and post what you find!

Time from start to serve: less than an hour.

1 small onion (i bet leek would be good, too)
chicken or veggie stock
1/3 cup arborio rice
1 ball of celeriac
a few slices of pancetta
fresh ground pepper
salt

optional:
sugar snap peas
fresh basil, chiffonade
toasted pine nuts
parmesan shavings

0. Slice the root ball off of your celeriac, and cut off the skin. Cut into 1/2-inch dice. Chop the pancetta into 1/2-inch pieces, too. Set aside.
1. Dice your onion. Small, as it's going to wind up in the soup exactly as you chop it.
2. Gently sweat the onion until it's translucent in a touch of olive oil or butter. (5-6 minutes, medium-low heat.) Grind in generous helping of pepper.
3. Add the arborio rice & 6-7 cups of stock. Turn up the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. (You want the rice to cook through and start falling apart.)
4. While the broth & rice simmers, start sauteeing the pancetta. When it started to give up some fat, drop in the celery root. Sautee over medium-high heat until the celeriac is browned and crisp on the outside, and soft and cooked through in the middle. Salt to taste, and grind in a generous helping of pepper, as well. If you finish before the broth and rice is ready, just turn off the heat and let the mix sit.
5. When the rice is soft, scoop in the celery root and pancetta. Add the basil, if using it. Simmer for one minute to let the flavors meld. Taste & adjust salt & pepper. It should have a kick. If you want to use snap peas, toss them in for the one minute of cooking.
6. Ladle into bowls and garnish with toasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan

Variations & notes: I threw in a few tablespoons of soy creamer when reheating this for lunch, and it made a fabulous creamy soup, as well. I don't think i'd use the basil if i were using the snap peas. Vary your stock so your soup is the right amount of brothy - celery roots come in lots of sizes, so vary the stock appropriately.

Posted by shock at 11:20 AM

potato leek soup

after reading a few different recipes, i came up with my own... and it was really quite good.

3 leeks, white parts and 1" of green cleaned well and sliced
5 new red potatoes cubed
5 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons basil
3 tablesppons butter or olive oil
4 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

in a large pot saute leeks and garlic in the oil. once hey are soft and begin to look clear add the stock and water. bring to a boil and add the potatoes, basil, salt and pepper. cook until the potatoes are soft.

remove from heat and puree half of the soup and return to pot.

serve with grated asiago cheese.

I made this soup on Thursday night, and ended up not eating it until friday and it is amazing. I hope this recipe makes sense, it is hard to come up with amounts when you just kinda throw it all together. You can use vegetable broth instead of chicken.

Posted by karine at 07:12 PM

opah, glass noodle & carrot soup

soupthumb.jpgI made this soup for lunch over the weekend - it was very simple, very tasty, and only took a few minutes. I think you could substitute any firm white fish for the opah, and any sort of veg you particularly like. I definitely liked the play of color the carrots gave the soup, as well as the crunch and the flavor. (Click the picture for a full view.)


Serves 2.
1 packet (2 oz) bean thread/glass noodles
1 packet (2 servings) instant dashi
1 tbsp yellow miso paste
0.5 lb opah, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
1 carrot, cut into half-inch thick slices
1 dash hot sauce
sushi sprinkle or shreds of seaweed for garnish (optional)

1. Put a pot of water on to boil. Cook bean thread noodles according to instructions. Drain them when done and set aside.
2. Dissolve the dashi in 2 cups of water. Add hot sauce to taste (this is for flavor, not for super heating the soup). Bring the broth to a simmer.
3. Turn down the heat, and add the fish. Poach gently for 4-5 minutes, or until the fish is done. Add the carrots in the last minute or so of cooking.
4. Divide the glass noodles into two bowls. Top with each bowl with half of the fish and carrots.
5. Stir the miso paste into the broth. Fill each bowl with broth. Top with sprinkle or seaweed, and serve!

Posted by shock at 09:04 AM

Mimi's tomato bisque

This is my favorite tomato soup recipe. You can muck with the recipe very safely to make it lower-fat and a little less rich; as written, the recipe creates an incredibly deep, rich soup that's edible only by the cup. If you want it as a main course for dinner, cut the milk down to 1 cup and fill in stock for the rest. Don't miss the gin - it's the secret ingredient! I bet you could make it vegan by using veggie stock, and stirring in a bit of warmed-up soy milk and some plain soy yogurt instead of the sour cream.

Recipe from Allison Becker Hurt's Kitchen Suppers - Good Food for Good Friends, a cookbook i heartily recommend to all of you, especially those of you who like to cook for your clan.

Makes 4-6 servings

3 c. milk
1/2 c. fine bread crumbs
1 medium onion stuck with 9 whole cloves
2 tsp sugar
1 sprig parsley
1 bay leaf
2 c. chopped ripe fresh or drained, canned tomatoes
1/2 tsp baking soda
2-3 tsp gin, to taste
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
1 c. sour cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
for garnish: lemon slices, pickled onions eah stuck with a clove, chopped fresh parsley, or dollops of sour cream.

1. In a medium pot, combine the milk, bread crumbs, onion, sugar parsley and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over very low heat, then simmer for five minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Remove and reserve the onion.

2. Stir in the tomatoes and baking soda. Bring to a simmer, then cook gently for 15 minutes. In batches, transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and puree.

3. Pour the pureed soup back into the soup pot. Return the onion to the
soup. Stir in the gin. Bring to a gentle simmer over very low heat. Cook
gently for 20-30 minutes.

4. Discard the onion and whisk in the butter. Stir in the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the soup is very hot but not boiling. Serve immediately, garnishing each serving as you wish.

Notes from meriko:
a) i peeled the onion.
b) i used half 2% milk, and half veggie stock. I'm sure chicken stock would work as well.
c) i used canned tomatoes. Unless your tomatoes are just brilliant, canned tomatoes are usually better.
d) i used bombay sapphire gin, because it's what i had.
e) This took about an hour to make.

Posted by shock at 06:16 PM

Allatonce Vegetable Soup

Want to make a fresh veggy soup, and you're in a hurry? Logan found this on allrecipes.com, and made a few changes. It's a one-pot chunky hearty soup that's a meal in itself.

ALLATONCE VEGETABLE SOUP

3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
4 tomatoes
3 cups tomato-vegetable juice cocktail
1 leek, chopped
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 cup peas
1 cup fresh corn
2 cans garbanzo beans, (use liquid for water below)
2 cups water
1 cup wild rice
1 tablespoon soy sauce or bragg's!
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon dried dill weed

In a large pot over high heat, combine the entire list of ingredients. Yes, the entire list.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. The wild rice may be a bit underdone at this time, but if you put the stew in the fridge overnight, the rice will be just perfect!

Posted by tapeworm at 10:26 AM

m-ko request

My absolute favorite, bar-none, soup recipe: Roasted Butternut and
Garlic Bisque. Adapted (a bit but basically intact) from good ol' Epicurious. The
goat cheese on top really makes the soup superb (my own
addition! ha!) so I wouldn't leave it out if I were you.

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND GARLIC BISQUE

1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 cups chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 4-lb. butternut squash, halved lengthwise
6 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1/2 cup dairy (choose fat content depending on preference;
this soup is rich enough that regular or even nonfat milk is
just fine.)
Goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Insert one half of garlic head in hollow of each squash half. Rub garlic and squash surfaces with olive oil; place face down on baking sheet. Roast for 45 min.-1 hr. or until flesh is soft.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery; sauté until onions are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Scoop flesh from squash halves; add squash, stock, and chopped sage to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, squeeze garlic cloves from skin into small bowl. Discard skin. Mash garlic with fork until smooth.

Stir garlic into soup. Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. Return to pot. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Stir in 1/2 cup dairy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with 1-2 tbsp. goat cheese crumbled across top of each bowl.

Makes 12 servings.
 
(original version from Bon Appétit, November 2000)

Posted by leek at 11:11 AM

onion soup & goat cheese toasts

Given my trackrecord, one might think I eat nothing but soup and salad. Lately, that might be the case! My favorite soups and salads tend to be light on the belly and quick to prepare, making them achievable even on the busiest days. This soup clocks in at about an hour's preparation time, but most of the hour it's very hands-off so in my book it still qualifies as 'easy to make' - and those cooking sweet onions will perfume your kitchen wth a heavenly smell, to boot!

Here is a new recipe I tried this week, courtesy of 'In Style'* February 2003:

Sweet Onion Soup with Goat Cheese Toasts
6 tbsp unsalted butter (or substitute veggie oil)
3 large sweet onions, sliced (Maui, Vidalia)
8 cloves of garlic
1 tsp ground corriander
1 cup white wine
8 cups chicken or veggie stock
salt and pepper to taste
thin slices of challah or brioche, lightly toasted
6oz. goat cheese

In Dutch oven melt butter (or heat oil) over medium-high heat. Stir in onions; cover, reduce heat and simmer until softened but not browned, stirring occassionally (about 30 minutes). Mix in garlic and corriander. Add wine and bring to boil until liquid is absorbed (7-9 min). Add broth, bring to boil again. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spread goat cheese over toasts, broil until cheese is golden. Ladle soup into cups and top with toasts. Serve hot!

Makes about 12 cups.

* Culinary inspiration can be found in the oddest places. In this case, sandwiched between an article on throwing the perfect bridal shower, and a review of a celeb-happy New York restaurant that Woody Allen and Salma Hayek swear by. Mon dieu!

Posted by rebecca at 08:32 PM

sopa de ajo

Not a NYF recipe! This is a fantastically simple and aromatic soup - it's often what i want when i'm sick. It takes only a few minutes to make (maybe 15-20, tops), and you can usually find all the ingredients in the pantry, even when you're scraping the refrigerator clean. You can up the garlic if you like, and the spice - it's great for both comfort and clearing out your sinuses. Today i made it too spicy for Russell, but just right for sickie me. The recipe comes from the Terra cookbook.

For the croutons:
Oven @ 350 F
1/2 tsp minced garlic (I really use about a tsp here)
1/2 baguette, in 3/4" dice (about 2 cups)
1/2 tsp paprika
a bit of olive oil

Combine olive oil and garlic. Toss croutons in garlicky oil; sprinkle with paprika. Spread out, and bake on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, until crispy. (I turn them once during baking.)

While croutons bake, make the soup:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic (I use about 1.5-2 tbsp, to be fair)
1 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne (I use more like a 1/4 tsp)
5 c. stock (recipe says chicken, but I've sucessfully used veg)
Salt and pepper

Brown garlic over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir in paprika and cayenne - stir a lot so they don't scorch. Add stock IMMEDIATELY. Return to heat, bring to a boil, and add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

By now, your croutons should be out. Turn the oven up to 500 F

Get some oven-safe bowls. Ladle in soup to about half full. Add croutons to soup, in a circle around the outside. Crack an egg into the middle. Spoon some more stock over it until the bowl is 4/5 full.

Bake bowls for 4-5 minutes, until egg white is semi-set but the yolk is still runny. Sprinkle with chives. Have everyone stir their egg in to thicken and enrich the soup at the table.

Posted by shock at 02:01 PM

Sweet Potato - Lentil Soup

More soup cravings! More soup gets made! Now we explore the world of lentils... I started yesterday with a recipe from VegWeb, but I thought it was a little too bland. So I added more veggies, and more spices, and I was just delighted with the results. Next time I would either cut the lentils in half, or double the stock/veggies, since I found the proportions to be a bit off. But it still tasted great!

Last night was actually a great night for cooking for me, since I improvised on this recipe, and liked it better for what I added. And then Shari came over, stressed out from work, and I made her Christmas Cupcakes from Ms. Lawson's book, topping them with cream cheese frosting (as voted on by the group). I was really super pleased to be able to make things entirely out of my recently-stocked pantry and have everything taste as I expected... or better!

Sweet Potato - Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

* 1 lb lentils (2 1/3 cups)
* 2 lb sweet potatoes, scrubbed and diced (I ended up adding in regular red potatoes too)
* 1 cup diced onion (Vidalia if available)
* 3-4 stalks celery - sliced
* 3-4 large carrots - sliced
* 32 oz vegetable broth (I used Imagine, which is thick, so I added more water)
* 6 - 8 cups water
* (optional - other soup vegetables)
* 1 tbs+ oil
* organic raw sugar (to taste - 1-3 tbs.)
* 2 tsp. salt
* basil to taste (1 tbsp)
* oregano (1 tsp)
* black pepper to taste (1/2 tsp?)
* dash of clove powder
* tbsp minced garlic

Directions:

Sauté onions in oil until soft. Add garlic and then sugar and saute briefly. Add all other ingredients except carrots & potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes, then add potatoes and carrots and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Preparation time: 1.5 hour+

Notes: I was thinking that it would be good to grate an extra carrot and saute it briefly with the garlic before adding the stock. I left the skin on the potatoes, because I like them that way. I added cloves because a friend once advised me that they add a "smoky depth" to vegetarian soups & stews, and I think I agree. I added garlic to their recipe because I scoff at the notion of a soup without garlic, and because it's good for sickies. I also think the soup would be gorgeous to try using a variety of colored lentils - do they taste different?

Posted by heather at 07:43 PM

mushroom soup

If only i were Russell, i could feel good about titling this recipe "danger mushroom soup". I fear that i don't have a formal recipe to share; mushroom soup is one of those things i make by the seat of my pants. It's a little bit different every time, but it's always yummy (if you like mushrumps!). This is more of a method - definitely comment with your own riff! If you're the visual type, here's a picture of the plating from NYF 2002.

The basis for this soup is pretty simple - mushrooms, aromatics, herbs, and stock. It can be made with just about any kind of stock - i most often use chicken or vegetable, but have been known to use beef or oxtail stock if i have it.

Put some fancy dried mushrooms in hot stock to soak. You'll get a fantastically rich mushroom liquid to throw in your soup, as well as some earthy mushrooms to pump up the depth of the mushroom-ey flavor. Porcinis are my favorite, but any mix will do. After soaking and draining the mushrooms, run the liquid through a strainer or coffee filter to de-grit the jus.

Slice or dice or quarter (as you see fit) some crimini or button mushrooms. If you're using portobellos, scrape off the black gills first; they'll turn your soup a nasty color. (I don't bother using expensive wild mushrooms in this soup - save them and sautée them for toast or pasta, or garnish your soup with them.) Chop up an onion or a shallot or some leek; all will flavor your soup nicely. Sautée your onion-of-choice until translucent in a little butter or olive oil (or duck fat, if you have it!), and then throw in your mushrooms. Cook these until they've released their liquid and are nicely browned, with a good fond on the bottom of your pan. Throw in some fresh thyme, and deglaze with your choice of sherry, sweet vermouth, or white wine. (Red wine is good, too. It's especially nice against a rich, deep oxtail stock.)

If you want, you can roast your fresh mushrooms instead. Put them in a pan with the chopped onion, toss the mix with a little olive oil, and pop them in the oven at 350 for around an hour. Check in every 15 or 20 minutes and stir them up. When you're done, pull out the mushrooms, and deglaze the caramelized bits on the bottom of the roasting pan.

Dump all of this into the bottom of your soup pot, add the rehydrated mushrooms and the liquid, and top your pot off with stock. Simmer this for at least 20 minutes - you can let it go as long as you like. I think it simmered for about an hour for NYF 2002.

Puree the soup. You can do it with a stick blender and leave it a little chunky, or you can do it in a blender and make it smoother. For the ultimate satiney mouth-feel, you can push the blended soup through a fine mesh strainer. Return it to the pot, reheat, and add salt and pepper to taste. You can add milk or cream to thicken it and add a little richness; if you use soy milk, be sure to heat it to the same temperature as the soup before adding it. If you're feeling flush and fancy, add a drop of truffle oil to the top of each bowl of soup before serving. Other good garnishes include a few fresh leaves of thyme, a swirl of créme fraîche, or a drizzle of roasted red pepper puree.

Posted by shock at 04:21 PM

watercress soup

This soup is so gorgeous - it literally comes out the color of the green in the gastronome logo. You can peek at a picture in the NYF menu entry. The flavor is very delicate, and so savory! Pushing it through a strainer or a tamis is a lot of work, but the smooooooth texture definitely makes the effort worth the payoff. I picked this soup because i know Beca loves watercress - and because i thought it would nicely complement a mushroom soup. The recipe comes from Chez Panisse Vegetables.

2 bunches watercress (about 1 pound)
1 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cups chicken stock or water (i used vegetable stock)
a few parsley leaves
a few tarragon leaves
salt and pepper
créme fraîche

Pick through the watercress and discard any thick stems.
Peel and slice the onion and the garlic thin and stew them in the olive oil, covered, until soft and translucent. Add the stock, bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. After five minutes, add the parsley. Have ready a large bowl half-filled with ice and a smaller bowl, preferably stainless steel, that will nest inside it and rest on the ice.

Remove the soup from the heat, add the watercress and tarragon, and allow th esoup to tand for five minutes, no longer. Immediately purée the soup in a blender and pour it through a medium-fine sieve into the bowl on ice. Stir the soup until it is at room temperature, then remove it from the ice and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Reheat the soup to a simmer just before serving; do not boil it. LAdle the soup into bowls and garnish lightly with lines of lightly salted créme fraîche streaked on the surface.

Serves 6.

Note: This recipe also makes excellent spinach soup: just substitute tender young spinach for the watercress.

Note from meriko: I kept this in the fridge for about 5 hours before service; the bright green color held nicely.

Posted by shock at 09:35 PM

maya's black bean soup

I think this will be my year of soups. I crave soup all the time lately, and it's a good thing to be able to make 'in the background' while I'm doing schoolwork at home. I made this soup for Christmas eve this year, and we've been munching on it ever since. We polished it off last night, and at a week old, it was better than ever. Tim doesn't like black bean soup typically, but he loved this one. I'm making a batch tomorrow to freeze.

If you haven't ever checked out vegweb.com, it's got some great features. You can generate menus and shopping lists from their recipes, and the user ratings are generally useful.

I'm also looking for a recipe similar to the black bean soup that Cha Cha Cha serves - we had some with fried plaintains on the side there, and I was in heaven. Any suggestions?

Maya's Black Bean Soup
from vegweb.com http://www.vegweb.com/food/soup/3134.shtml

Ingredients:

* 2 cups (one pound) black beans
* 6 cups water
* 2 bay leaves
* ¼ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1 cup (2 medium onions) minced
* 6 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 cups celery with leaves minced, (3 stalks)
* ¼ tsp celery seed
* 1 cup of carrot, minced or finely grated
* 1 tsp. ground cumin
* 1 tsp. dried bazil
* ¼ tsp. oregano, dry
* ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)
* 1 tbls kosher salt
* ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
* 1 lime juiced
* 1 dash cayenne (red) pepper (or more to taste)
* 2 tbls vegetable broth
Directions:


This is a VERY easy recipe. Prep time is only about 20 minutes. Cook Time varies depending on whether you use a pressure cooker or conventional pot.

A FEW NOTES: This soup is meant to be pretty smooth. It can be made smoother or chunkier with little effort. A food processor for getting a really fine mince on the veggies (I have a very small one and it works just fine for this) will be a huge help. You will also need a blender or one of those hand-held "stick" blenders you can immerse in your pot. Lastly, you don't need it, but a pressure cooker will allow you to make this soup in about an hour. I know, I know-I used to be scared of them too. The new ones are not like what you remember from your childhood. Get a big one. You will wonder how you managed without it. Really.

Remove all foreign matter (stones, etc.,) from the beans. Rinse then completely cover the beans with water and soak overnight. (This is better than quick soaking because it helps remove indigestible sugars and almost eliminates digestive problems.) Drain the old water and place the beans in a deep pot or pressure cooker. Add 4 cups of water and the olive oil. Cook beans on medium heat, covered, until soft (about 1½ to 2 hours or just 15 minutes in a pressure cooker at the high setting). If using a blender, pour 2/3 of the beans into the blender and puree. If using the hand blender, remove 1/3 of the beans and puree the rest. Return all to original pot, add bay leaves and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally.

Heat broth in a large non-stick skillet and saute onion, celery, carrot, cumin, basil, celery seed, cayenne and about 4 minced cloves of garlic until vegetables are tender (10 to 15 minutes). Add this to the beans along with the parsley, lime juice, black pepper and salt. Add remainder of water (or more) to thin soup to the desired consistency. Cook another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remainder of garlic, finish cooking with another 15 minutes.

Garnish with vegan sour cream and some bits of green onion.

Serves: 6 to 8

Posted by heather at 08:34 PM

peanut-coconut shrimp soup

Another great one from the Best of Sunset Recipes magazine. This soup takes about 10 minutes to whip together from start to finish. Lacking Asian peanut sauce in my pantry, I took a 'danger meal' route with the soup and made some creative adjustments. It makes enough for 2 regular portions, or one super generous one. Here are the details:

Peanut-Coconut Soup with Shrimp
1 1/4 cups reduced fat chicken broth (I used veggie broth)
1 1/4 cups canned reduced fat coconut milk
3 tablespoons Asian peanut sauce (I substituted organic peanut butter, garlic, ginger, chilie oil, soy sauce)
6 ounces uncooked shrimp peeled & deveined
2/3 cup frozed petite peas (I left these out)
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
lime wedges

In a 2 quart pan, combined broth, coconut milk, peanut sauce (or equivalent!), and peas (yuck - or not!). Bring to a simmer over high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Rinse and drain shrimp, stir into soup. Remove from heat. Let stand until shrimp are just opaque - about 3 to 4 minutes.

Ladle soup into warm bowls and sprinkle with green onion. Offer lime wedges to squeeze into soup.

About 270 calories per serving.

Posted by rebecca at 09:23 PM

roasted butternut squash soup

I'm vaguely hell-bent on not adding more recipes to my kitchen site until i revamp it to use Movable Type. Until then, y'all are subject to me posting recipes for friends right here.

This is actually a two-fold recipe; it starts with a roasted butternut squash puree that you can freeze off, turn into soup, make into a pasta sauce, or even whip up into a side dish. I've done all of those things with it. I especially like the sweet/tart/caramelized edge that the squash takes on from the roasting glaze - it's subtle, but it's definitely there, and definitely good. It's easy to make vegan - substitute soy margarine or olive oil in the roasting glaze, swap veggie stock in for the chicken stock, and either omit the half-and-half or sub in cooking-grade soy milk. The recipe comes from the Tra Vigne Cookbook, a gift a few Christmases ago from the Krists. Recipe follows.

Roasted Winter Squash makes about four cups puree

about 3 lbs butternut squash
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dark unsulfered molasses

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the squash. Halve lengthwise, discard the seeds, then cut into 1-inch dice. Place in large bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter ceases to foam and has turned a light brown, pull the pan off the heat and immediately add the sage, sugar, vinegar, and molasses. Mix well and let simmer over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes to meld the flavors.

Pour the veingar mix over the squash and toss well, then tranfer to a heavy rimmed baking sheet or baking dish large enough to hold the squash in a single layer. Place in the oven and roast, tossing at least once, until very tender and caramelized, about 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle but still warm.

Work in batches if necessary; transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Use immediately, refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to two months.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. diced onion (1/4-inch dice)
1/4 c. diced carrot (1/4-inch dice)
1/4 c. diced celery (1/4-inch dice)
1 cinnamon stick
salt and freshly ground pepper
about 4 c. chicken stock
1/2 tsp ground coriander (optional) (nb: i always use it)
1.5 c. roasted winter squash
1/2 c. half-and-half
1/4 c. mascarpone cheese (optional)
2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, celery, carrot and cinnamon stick and saute until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken stock and the coriander, if using, and bring to a boil. Simmer for several minutes. Stir in the squash until smooth, then simmer gently to let the flavors meld, about 10 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.

Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and reheat gently. Add the half-and-half, if using. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with a spoonful of mascarpone and/or a scattering of pumpkin seeds.

Additional notes from meriko: Always use the coriander. Sometimes if the soup is too, too rich, i'll add a tsp of white wine vinegar to brighten it up. (Be cautious - a little goes a long way.) I also often top this with a small drizzle of pumpkinseed oil instead of the pumpkin seeds.

Posted by shock at 05:59 PM

won ton soup with noodles

Potsticker/wonton type dumplings and I have a colorful history. In the past, it's been pretty hit-and-miss as far as how well the potstickers tended to stay together during the cooking process. After many years of winging it with my own variations on potstickers, I decided to try a recipe out of one of my new birthday presents: Wonton Soup with Noodles from Terry Durack's Noodle book. Even with all my veggie substitutions (and not having a few ingredients on hand), the results were fabulous!

5 oz. shrimp, minced and 5 oz. ground pork [or firm tofu, minced]
2 tablespoons pork or bacon fat, minced [skip this for veggie]
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and minced [I also added enoki]
4 water chestnuts [I used firm white onion for crunch]
2 green onions
1 sm. egg white
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. fresh egg noodles
1 package wonton wrappers
1 tsp cornstarch mixed in 1 tablespoon water
8 cups chicken stock [or veggie stock]
2 slices ginger, peeled [I doubled this]
3 oz choi sum (flowering cabbage) [I ignored this]
[I also added a slug of shiitake broth concentrate for extra flavor punch]

Combine the dumpling mixture and chill. Cook and drain the noodles. Assemble the wontons. Heat the stock with the ginger slices. In a separate pot of boiling water, boil a handful of wontons at a time for 4 or 5 minutes until the bob to the surface, fully cooked. Divide the broth (remove the ginger slices!), noodles, and wontons between the serving bowls. Recipe says it serves 4 - or two large single servings for a hearty meal.

Consider me converted to the Noodle book! Bon appetite!

Posted by rebecca at 07:37 PM