Zucchini Pizzas

It's not pizza, but it is a gluten free, vegetable thing that will remind you of pizza.  This is perfect if you have any zucchini-zillas growing in your garden.  The wider the zucchini, the better.  I think this would also be great using portobello mushroom caps instead.  (Or in addition, you could mix and match your veggies!)

Serves 2-4.

Zucchini Pizza Bites

1 large, mega zucchini, cut into 3/4" slices

 olive oil

s + p

1 cup tomato sauce

1 - 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Toppings:  olives, onion, pepperoni...

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Brush both sides of zucchini slices with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Arrange on baking tray.  Place in oven and cook 12 minutes.  

Remove from oven and top with sauce, cheese and desired toppings.  Return to oven and bake 10 minutes more.  

Plum Upside Down Cake

This cake is incredibly easy.  The hardest part is deciding how to layer the plum slices.   I whipped this up in between an afternoon at the beach and a backyard dinner.  (A quick one!)  It's really the perfect balance of fresh summer fruit and sweet cake.  Feel free to substitute peaches or nectarines for the plums. 

Makes 1 cake. 

Plum Upside Down Cake

2 tablespoons butter, room temp

about 1/3 cup light brown sugar

2-3 ripe plums,pitted, thinly sliced

1 2/3 cup cake flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup butter, room temp

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the inside of a 9 inch cake pan with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Make sure to get the sides and corners.  Sprinkle with the brown sugar.  Be very liberal with the butter and sugar.  Arrange fruit slices on along base of pan, extend to sides if you like. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk flour, salt and baking powder together.  Set aside.  In another bowl, whisk butter and sugar until light.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients in two or three batches, alternating with the milk, until batter is smooth but not over mixed.  

Pour into prepared cake pan, over fruit.  Gently smooth top if needed. Bake 40-45 minutes or until fully baked.  Remove from oven and let cool in pan 5 minutes.  Run knife along edges to loosen.  Invert cake onto plate and serve.  

Vegan Bowl + Dill Mustard Sauce

Vegan bowls!  I love these.  Perfect for lunch because it has a little bit of everything.  This one has flavors of dill, mustard and caraway seed.  This recipe came about after visiting the Ithaca Farmer's Market and tasting several sauerkrauts by Crooked Carrot.  They make raw, live culture products using local produce.  I picked up their Original Kraut and immediately began working on a 'bowl' recipe suitable for this pristine, classic sauerkraut.  And here you have it.  

Also, if you haven't had tempeh - try it!  It has a firm chewy texture and an earthy taste.  It's made of fermented soy beans and has more protein and fiber than tofu.  

Serves 4.

Tempeh Vegan Bowl + Dill Mustard Sauce

for the bowl

1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce

8oz tempeh

4 large handfuls of chopped kale

small splash olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

pinch red chile flakes

lemon juice, to taste

1 cup quinoa

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

3 carrots, peeled into ribbons

1 cup sauerkraut

for the sauce

2 teaspoon olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

s + p

fresh dill, finely chopped

Cook the tempeh: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice tempeh into 1/4 inch slices and drizzle with tamari.  Arrange on tray and bake 8 minutes or until golden brown.  

Cook kale:  Add about 1/4 cup water to a large saute pan.  Bring to a boil.  Add kale.  Cover and cook until kale wilts, about 1 minute.  Drain.  Return to medium high heat.  Push kale to one side of pan.  On the bare side, heat splash olive oil with minced garlic and chile flakes.  Cook until garlic softens and toss with kale.  Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  

Cook quinoa:  Combine quinoa and 2 cups of water in a small sauce pan.  Cover, bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is soft.  Stir in poppy seeds.  

Cook mustard dill sauce:  In a saute pan, over medium heat, warm olive oil.  Add shallots and caraway seeds.  Saute until shallots are soft and mixture is fragrant.  Turn up heat to high and add stock.  Boil until liquid is reduced by half.  Remove from heat and stir in mustard.  Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Liberally, toss with quinoa and stir in as much dill as you like.  Save extra sauce of drizzling over finished bowls.  

Assemble the bowls:  Spoon dressed quinoa into bowl. Top with sautéed kale, tempeh, raw carrot ribbons and sauerkraut.  Drizzle with extra mustard sauce if you like. 

 

 

Turkey Chili

Another easy dinner idea.  This is a meatier chili than I normally make.  It has lots of protein and little fat because of the lean ground turkey.  Serve over brown rice and kale.  Everything's instantly better with a bit of kale, isn't it?  

Serves 6.

Turkey Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely diced

1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb lean ground turkey breast

s + p

1 14 oz tin diced tomatoes

14oz chicken stock

1 14oz tin black beans, drained, rinsed

1 14oz tin chickpeas, drained, rinsed

1 14oz tin kidney beans, drained, rinsed

2 tablespoons cumin

1-2 tablespoon chile powder, to taste

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Warm oil in a pot, over medium heat.  Add onions, jalapeños and garlic.  Cook until soft, about 8 minutes.  Season turkey with salt, pepper and add to pot.  Cook until browned.  Break meat up with a spoon while it cooks.  Stir in tomatoes, stock, beans, cumin, chile powder and cinnamon.  

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Adjust seasoning as desired.  Serve hot.

 

Thai Tea Ice Cream

It's finally hot out.  Cool down with this ice cream - infused with the Thai iced tea flavors of anise and cardamom.  

Thai tea leaves can be found on amazon (what can't be?) or at well stocked grocery stores.  I like the one by Panthai.  

Makes about 1 quart.

Thai Tea Ice Cream

2 cups milk

1 cup cream

2.5 oz thai tea leaves

1/2 cup sugar

4 egg yolks

pinch salt

Combine milk, cream and tea leaves in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Turn off heat and let steep 10 minutes.  Strain and discard tea leaves.  Stir in sugar.  Return to boil.

Beat egg yolks in a bowl. Whisk in 1/3 boiling liquid to temper the eggs.  Add tempered eggs to the boiling liquid.  Add a pinch of salt.  Cook, whisking constantly until mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.  

Strain into a bowl set over an ice bath to cool right away.  Place in fridge.  Let cool completely.  

Process in ice cream maker until smooth and frozen.     

 

Pineapple Coconut Chia Seed Overnight Oats

I like the convenience of overnight oats.  I stir everything into a cup before bed and wake up to a nutritious breakfast.  I rarely eat breakfast at all - a habit I'm trying to break starting with this easy one.  

Makes 1.

Pineapple Coconut Chia Seed Oats

1/4 cup old fashioned oats

1 1/2 teaspoons chia seeds

1/4 cup coconut milk (like silk or so delicious brands)

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons crushed pineapple

small splash vanilla extract

about one tablespoon toasted coconut flakes 

Mix all ingredients together except the coconut flakes.  Cover and refrigerate overnight (8 hours).  Top with toasted coconut flakes and enjoy.  

 

Cam's Black Bean + Tomatillo Soup

This is a good one.  I wasn't sure about the tomatillos when Cam was explaining his idea for the soup but they really add a beautiful bright flavor.  

Tomatillos look like little green tomatoes that you'll find in papery/dried leaf like husks.  Peel those off and discard along with any stems. Cotija cheese is a salty, hard cow's milk cheese from Mexico.  You can grate it or just crumble it with your hands - you'll notice it crumbles into little rice sized bits.  

Serves 8.

Black Bean + Tomatillo Soup

1 lb dried black beans

1 large white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon cumin

2 quarts water

1 jalapeno, quartered

2 bay leaves

cilantro, leaves chopped and stems separated and reserved

1 lb tomatillos, husks removed, quartered

2 ears corn, husks removed

2 tablespoons cotija cheese

lime juice

salt + pepper

Pick through beans, discarding anything that is not a bean.  Place in bowl and cover with 3 inches of water.  Let soak overnight.  

In a large pot over medium low heat, warm olive oil.  Add onions and sweat until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic, cook 2 minutes.  

Wrap jalapeño, bay leaves and cilantro stems in cheese cloth, secure with kitchen string. 

Drain beans of soaking liquid.  Add beans, jalapeño sachet, cumin and 2 quarts of water to the onions.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until beans are soft, about 2 hours. 

While soup is simmering, heat oven to 350.  Arrange tomatillos in oven safe dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil.  Roast until soft, 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and puree smooth.   

Grill corn until slightly blackened.  Cut kernels from cob, discard cob.  Toss with cotija cheese, chopped cilantro leaves and lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper.   

Remove sachet from beans.  Puree about 1/3 of soup.  Stir tomatillo puree and pureed 1/3 into soup.  Adjust seasoning.  Top with corn garnish. 

Burgers + Seasoning

Just in time for Fourth of July grilling!  This will add flavor to your burger with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.  I love a classic burger in the summer, cooked on the stove or on the grill, with a squishy bun, american cheese, crisp lettuce, paper thin red onion slices, ketchup and mustard.  And pickles. I hate it when I forget pickles.  

80:20 is the best meat to fat ratio for burgers.  When forming, don't overwork (it'll change the texture) and make sure to leave a divot in the center of the patty with your thumb (it'll help them cook more evenly).

Serves 4.

Burgers

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 teaspoons paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 lb ground beef, formed into 4 burgers

1 tablespoon butter

Mix pepper, salt, sugar, garlic and onion powders together.  Sprinkle over both sides of all burgers.  

On the stove:  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  When hot, melt butter in skillet.  Carefully, place burgers in skillet.  Cook about 3 minutes on each side.  

On the grill:  Heat grill to high (gas) or until coals are glowing and ashy.   Brush burgers with melted butter.  Place burgers on grill, cook 3 minutes.  Flip and cook 5 minutes more or until done to your preference. 

Either cooking method - add cheese about 2 minutes after flipping.  

Assemble burgers on buns with ketchup, mayo, mustard, pickles, cheese, lettuce leaves, onion and tomato slices.  

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are classic, no frills chocolate chip cookies.  A dessert staple -these were made by all my relatives growing up and it's my go to chocolate chip cookie recipe.  

Makes 30 cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperate

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups flour

1 package semi sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare cookie sheets with liners or grease.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and both sugars.  Stir in eggs and vanilla.  

In another bowl, whisk salt, baking soda and flour together.  Combine with wet ingredients.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Use a tablespoon to portion out cookies, form them into spheres and arrange on baking sheets.  (They will spread during baking, I fit 12 on a half a sheet tray.) 

Bake 10 minutes.  Let cool. 

Lemon Pepper Green Beans

I almost always use the stove top when cooking, rarely the oven.  But last weekend I realized how nice it is for somethings.  For example last weekend, making dinner, it was great to throw (yes, throw.) these and a potato side in the oven while focusing on sautéing our steaks just right.   It also helps me time the meal right so all components are hot and ready together.  

Serves 4.

Lemon Pepper Roasted Green Beans

1 lb green beans, trimmed

splash olive oil

s + p (lots of black pepper!)

juice and zest of 1 lemon

Heat oven to 425.  Toss green beans in oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roast 10 minutes. Remove from oven and toss with lemon juice and zest.

Lemon + Parmesan Risotto

IMG_9014.JPG

This was one of those 'I don't have a thing to make dinner with' situation.  (Also, an 'I do not want to go to the grocery store nor do I want to order in but I am very hungry for dinner' situation.  What can I say?  I can be difficult.)  I realized, I had, and just about always have, all the things I needed to make risotto.  Risotto is great.  It's so easy, just requires a bit of patience for stirring.  This one is punched up with tastes of lemon and fresh thyme.  

We ate this as a main course - remember?  Low fridge inventory/laziness - but It would be great served with grilled chicken or sautéed vegetables. 

Makes 2-4 servings. 

Lemon + Parmesan Risotto

1 tablespoon butter

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 cup aborio rice

1/4 cup water + 1/4 cup white vinegar

1 quart chicken stock (or vegetable, for all you veggies), kept hot on the stove

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

zest of 1/2 lemon

s + p

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic thyme leaves and rice, stir to coat in butter and cook until rice is glossy and edges become translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add water and vinegar.  Cook, stirring until almost all evaporated.  

Add hot stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously until absorbed before the next 1/2 cup addition.  Continue adding stock, stirring, absorbing until rice is creamy and soft but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cheese and lemon zest.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.   

Malt Vinegar Roasted Potatoes + Herbs

Just you're usual roasted potatoes with garlic and herbs but brightened up with splashes of malt vinegar straight out of the oven.  I love these.  Use new potatoes, fingerlings or creamers.

Serves 2-4. 

Herb Roasted Potatoes

1 lb small potatoes, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons grape seed oil

leaves from 1 stem rosemary

2 thyme sprigs

3 cloves of garlic, smashed

s + p

several splashes of malt vinegar

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss potatoes with oil, rosemary leaves, thyme sprigs and garlic cloves.  Season with salt and pepper.  Arrange on baking dish.  Place in oven and roast about 30 minutes, tossing once during roasting.  Remove from oven once potatoes are cooked through, golden brown and a bit crispy. Immediately, splash a bit of malt vinegar over potatoes while they are still hot.  

Korean Beef Jerky

Guess who finally got herself a food dehydrator?! (It's me.)  I love it.  The lowest setting on the oven worked fine but now I don't have that space monopolized for hours and hours.  

And what better food for my new dehydrator's maiden voyage than beef jerky?  Nothing.  This recipe is gingery, spicy, garlicky and a pinch sweet. 

Use grass fed/pastured local, super lean beef.  I like top round, the london broil cut.  Ask your butcher to slice it into very thin strips.  Or put it in the freezer for 20 minutes and slice it yourself.  Just don't freeze it solid, it'll be impossible to slice right. 

makes about 6oz.

Korean Beef Jerky

1 tablespoon honey

4 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

1 tablespoon sambal oelek

2 tablespoons water

1 garlic clove, grated

1/2 inch round of ginger, peeled, grated

1.5 lb grass fed top round / london broil steak, in thin strips

sesame seeds, optional

Whisk together honey, tamari, sambal oelek, water, garlic and ginger.  Combine with steak strips, coating evenly.  Place in fridge and let marinate overnight, stirring once of twice.  

Arrange marinated strips on dehydrator screens, sprinkle with optional sesame seeds and dehydrate at 160 degrees for about 4-8 hours.  (Ours took 6 but the amount of time varies with thickness of your slices, humidity, moisture content of the beef... lots of things so check it occasionally.)  Once dry, store in airtight container. 

 

Quick Dinner: Pasta + Kale

On Friday nights, Cam and I like to stay in and catch up.  We drink wine, order takeaway dinner,  relax and chat about our week.  It's a really nice way to unwind after a crazy work week and enjoy being together.  (Chibi likes it, too.)  We've made one small change to our evenings recently, which is that now we make dinner.

Nothing elaborate.  Just something quick and easy that can be put together in under 30 minutes. It's fun and provides leftover bites for any weekend hunger attacks.  I'll be sharing these here and there. 

Serves 2-3. 

Pasta with Kale + Mushrooms

3 cups wide egg noodles

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms

1/2 tablespoon butter

2 cups chopped kale

s + p

juice of 1/2 lemon

grated parmesan cheese

Boil egg noodles for 6 minutes.  Drain and set aside. 

Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Add chile flakes, garlic and sliced mushrooms.  Cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are soft.  Add butter and kale, cook about 2 minutes.  Add pasta.  Cook, stirring frequently until hot.  Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Serve with grating of parmesan cheese.  

 

Cam's Creole Bean Dish

It's spicy!  (It doesn't have to be, just lessen the cayenne if you're scared.)

Cam came up with this one and made it for me the other night.  It's so good.  I felt like I was back in New Orleans.  

We used Scarlett Runner beans from Rancho Gordo.  They are large and dark.  Use those if you can find them.  Otherwise, try cranberry/borlotti or red beans.   

 Makes 6 servings.

Cam's Creole Bean Dish

1 1/2 cups dried beans, soaked overnight in plenty of water

2 links garlic herb pork sausage, casings removed

1 yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 celery stalks, diced

1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon fennel powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 quart vegetable stock

On a pot, over medium high heat, brown sausage meat.  When meat is 'halfway' browned, add onions.  Cook, stirring frequently, until onions become softer and glossy.  Add tomato paste. Stir to coat onions and sausage.  Stir in celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves and all seasonings.  Add stock and drained, soaked beans.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Partially cover and simmer 2-2 1/2 hours.  Stew will have thickened and beans will be tender.  Salt to taste. Serve with rice. 

Cinnamon Rolls + Blood Orange Glaze

Buns!  I never make these because I will eat about six the first day.  My willpower stands no chance around cinnamon buns.  None at all.  Luckily, I had a work meeting I knew these would be perfect for.   

The blood orange juice makes the prettiest pink glaze.  I love the color, so cheery and fun. 

Makes 16.

Cinnamon Rolls + Blood Orange Glaze

for the rolls

1 packet active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup milk

1 egg

pinch salt

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

for the filling

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons maple syrup

 1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon melted butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

for the blood orange glaze

2 cup powdered sugar 

2 tablespoon melted butter

pinch salt

splash vanilla extract

about 1/3 cup blood orange juice

In a bowl of a stand mixer, whisk yeast, warm water and sugar.  Let sit.  

In a small pot, melt butter.  Add milk.  When steaming hot, remove from heat.  When warm, whisk into yeast mixture.  Add egg, salt and flour.   Knead with dough hook attachment for a few minutes until dough is a smooth ball.  (More flour maybe added during kneading if dough seems too sticky.)   Place dough ball in an oiled bowl, turning to coat.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. 

While dough is rising, whisk together melted butter, maple syrup, sugar and cinnamon.   

Punch dough down to deflate.  Roll out into a large rectangle, roughly 9" x 24".  

Spread filling evenly over rectangle.  Roll up dough, beginning with the long side.  Seal ends. Slice into 16 slices.  Arrange in 9"x 13" baking pan, leaving space between each roll.  Let rise about 40 minutes.  

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. 

While cinnamon rolls are baking, whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, pinch salt, vanilla and blood orange juice until smooth.   

Glaze rolls and serve warm.  

Salsa Verde

This super simple sauce goes with lots of things but I like it for chicken or steak.  It reminds me of warm weather and tastes a bit like a garden.  Fresh herbs and bright lemon.  Increase the red chile flakes for more kick.  

Salsa Verde

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

1 small clove garlic, minced

1/8-1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

juice + zest of 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients.  Set aside for a few minutes before using to let flavors come together.

 

Thai Noodle Salad

Crunchy romaine and veggies contrasted with soft rice noodles dressed in a thai lime dressing. Sweet, sour, tangy and a pinch spicy.  So much flavor. I think this would be great for lunch on a hot day. 

Serves 4.

Thai Noodle Salad + Lime Dressing

for the dressing

1/2 cup lime juice (about 3 limes)

2-3 teaspoons minced fresno chile

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon tamari

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon grated ginger

s + p, to taste

for the salad

3 oz super thin rice noodles (vermicelli)

1 cucumber, julienned

2 carrots, peeled, julienned

1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, julienned

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts

chopped fresh cilantro (or mint or thai basil)

Whisk together lime juice, chile, fish sauce, tamari, brown sugar and ginger.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.  

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Turn off heat and add rice noodles.  Let sit about 8 minutes, noodles will be softened.  Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. 

Divide noodles, cucumber, carrots and bell pepper into 4 bowls.  Spoon over lime dressing as desired and garnish with crushed peanuts and fresh herbs.  

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey Tomato Sauce + Zucchini

Not your typical tomato sauce.  Full of veggies and lean ground turkey.  It's perfect over roasted spaghetti squash, zoodles, pasta or used for stuffed zucchini.  

To make the stuffed zucchini: Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut zucchini lengthwise and scoop out seeds, making a well for the sauce and arrange on a baking dish.  Spoon prepared sauce into zucchini.  Place in oven and roast 20 minutes.  Top with grated cheese while it's still hot. 

Makes about 1 quart.

Turkey Tomato Sauce 

small splash olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced

2 stalk celery, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb ground turkey

28 oz canned tomato puree

2 bay leaves

4 thyme sprigs, stems discarded

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Add diced onion.  Cook until soft, 5 minutes.  Add bell pepper, celery and garlic, cook 5 minutes.  Add turkey: cook, breaking up meat, until cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Stir in tomato puree, bay leaves, thyme, worcestershire sauce and cayenne powder.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  

 

Thai Hot + Sour Soup

Are you sick of reading posts for soup, yet?  WELL, TOO BAD! 

What can I say?  I really like soup.  This one is spicy, sour, full of vegetables, chicken and all those thai flavors of lemongrass, ginger and lime.  Yum!  It's also super healthy.  

If you can't find thai bird chiles, use a serrano pepper.  Remove the stem, halve lengthwise and slice, keeping the membranes and seeds.  Soup might need to be seasoned with additional siracha or sambal oelek at the end for more spice.  Whichever chile you use, wear gloves when handling.  

Makes 2 quarts.   

Thai Hot + Sour Soup

8 cups water

3 lemongrass stalks, outer leaves remove, cut in half, bruised

2 inches ginger root, peeled

4 kaffir lime leaves, bruised

stems of 1 bunch cilantro

3 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce

2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, fat trimmed

1 teaspoon grape seed oil

3 carrots, peeled, sliced

2 Thai bird chiles, seeded, minced

5 oz broccoli, chopped  

4 oz snow peas, trimmed, sliced

s + p

1 tablespoon fish sauce

juice of 1 lime

Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Place water, lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, cilantro stems, garlic, peppercorns and soy sauce in a pot.  Bring to a boil, add chicken.  Reduce to a simmer.  Simmer, partially covered until chicken is tender, about 15-20 minutes.   

Remove chicken.  Once cool enough to touch, shred.  Set aside.  Strain stock, discarding solids.  Set aside.  

Wipe out the pot, return to stove over medium heat, add oil.  Add shallots, cook until clear and soft.  Add carrots and chiles.  Sauté 3 minutes.  Add stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer 5 minutes and add broccoli.  Simmer until tender, 5 minutes.  Add snow peas and chicken.  Heat through.  

Season with salt  pepper, fish sauce, lime juice.  Garnish with cilantro leaves.