Tomato + White Bean Soup

I've been making and eating A LOT of soup.  I love soup.  This one extra wintery with the rosemary, white beans and fennel.  Yum.  Try it with farro.  

serves 6.

Tomato + White Bean Soup

4oz chopped pancetta

1 yellow onion, finely diced

1 bulb fennel, finely chopped

2 large carrots, peeled, finely chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 14oz tin crushed tomatoes

1 quart vegetable stock

1 cup water

s + p

1 14 oz tin white beans, drained, rinsed

3 cups chopped kale

In a large pot over medium low heat, cook pancetta, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and pancetta is crispy, about 10 minutes.  Drain fat.  Raise heat to medium.  Add onion to pot with pancetta.  Cook, stirring frequently until onion is glossy and soft, about 5 minutes.  Stir in fennel, carrots, rosemary and thyme.  Cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock and water.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.  Turn off heat.  Stir in beans and kale.  Adjust seasoning. 

Cam's Sour Soup

I have happy associations with this soup.  Cam made it for the first time, almost to the date, 3 years ago.  I left work early, not feeling well, trudged through freezing cold winter weather and came home to a warm apartment filled with the smell of this perfect soup.  

It's an unusual soup, unlike the ones we usually make.  It's perky with sour notes of lime and lemon grass, spicy with chiles and ginger, and full of comforting root vegetables.  

Serves 4.

Sour Soup

about 1.5 lbs of daikon, peeled, chopped

3 bay leaves

2 lemon grass stalks, 3" pieces, crushed

3" fresh ginger, peeled - half cut into coins, half minced

4 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon soy sauce

dash sesame oil

dash olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 red fresno chile, seeded, minced

3 carrots, peeled, diced 

1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced

1 celery root, peeled, diced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 quart chicken stock

zest + juice of 1 lime

8 oz mushrooms, halved, sliced

1 bunch collard greens, stems discarded, chopped

s + p

chopped fresh cilantro leaves

In a small pot, bring daikon, bay, lemon grass, ginger coins, water, soy and sesame oil to a boil. Lower to a simmer.  Cover and simmer until daikon is tender, about 50 minutes.  Remove leaves, lemon grass and ginger coins.  Set aside.

(While the daikon stock is simmering - prep the remaining vegetables.)

Heat a dash of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Once hot, add minced ginger, garlic, chile, carrots, leek, celery root and thyme.  Saute until glossy and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, lime zest, daikon and daikon stock.  Bring to a boil, add mushrooms, simmer until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.  Stir in collard greens, cook 2 minutes more.  Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.  Garnish with cilantro.   

 

 

Beef + Barley Stew

Let's embrace the cold weather and make this stew.  

Beef + Barley Stew

2 pounds lean stew meat, cut into small bite sized pieces

high heat oil, such as canola or grape seed

1 large yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cups water

2 quarts beef stock

1 cup pearled barley

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 1/2 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

1 1/2 cup diced cremini mushrooms

s + p

Season meat with salt and pepper.  In a large pot, set over high heat, brown meat in oil.  Work in batches to avoid crowding the pan.  Set browned meat aside.  

Brown onion in pot, stirring frequently to avoid burning.  Add garlic and tomato paste, cook, stirring until browned.  Stir in meat and accumulated juices, water, stock, barley, bay, thyme and rosemary.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer 1 1/2 hours until meat and barley are tender.  Skim off any fat or foam that occurs during simmering.  

Add carrots, celery and mushrooms.  Simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove bay leaf.  Serve hot. 

Slow Cooker White Bean, Andouille + Collard Greens Soup

I'm only minimally sorry for bombarding you all with all these slow cooker recipes this month but I've been using this little machine weekly.  I have the 4 quart crockpot which is great size for Cam and me.  I promise I'll start mixing it up after the slow cooked pork recipe I'm sharing next week.  

This is almost a stew, slightly thickened by the starchiness of the beans.  Make sure not to let it cook too far, otherwise the beans will breakdown entirely and you'll have a weird, delicious blended bean soup situation. Cook until the beans are tender but don't let them fall apart.  

Slow Cooker White Ben, Sausage + Collard Greens Soup

12 oz white beans, soaked overnight and drained

12 oz andouille sausage, sliced

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 carrot, peeled, diced

1 bay leaf

about 3" piece of parmesan cheese rind wrapped in cheese cloth

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

4 cups chicken stock

3 cups water

1 bunch collard greens, stems discarded, leaves chopped

splash red wine vinegar

s + p

Add beans, sausage, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, bay leaf, cheese rind, thyme, basil, oregano, stock and water to the slow cooker pot.  Stir, cover and let cook on High about 4 hours or 7 hours on Low, until beans are tender.  Stir in collard greens.  Season with salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.  Serve hot. 

Classic Beef Stew

My mom used to make a delicious beef stew when I was young.  It was my absolute favorite - I could eat bowls and bowls of it.  I had a hankering for it this weekend that couldn't be stopped. Here's my version, it's pretty close to the original with super tender bites of meat, satisfying root vegetables and a hearty beef flavor.  I think it was the chilly pre autumn evenings that put me in the mood for something so filling and warm.  Feel free to add peas or corn to this along with the green beans, if you'd like more vegetables.  

Cooking time will greatly depend on the size of your stew meat pieces.  For something like this, that I'm eating like soup, I prefer the meat to be bite sized.  Think no bigger than a ping pong ball.  It will take less time to become tender and is easier to eat.  

Serves 6-8.

Classic Beef Stew

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

3 lbs lean stew beef, in bite sized pieces

s + p

3 tablespoons flour

high heat oil, as needed

1 large yellow onion (or two small), chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tomato, peeled, seeded, diced

2 quarts beef stock

4 carrots, peeled, chopped

2 potatoes, peeled, chopped

zest of 1 lemon, in long strips, no pith

1/4 teaspoon chile flakes

2 cups chopped green beans

Gather thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, peppercorns and mustard seeds in cheesecloth and secure with string.  Set aside.  Secure lemon zest with strips with string, set aside. 

Season meat with salt and pepper.  Toss with flour. In a large pot, over high heat, brown meat. Try for a deep brown crust. Work in batches to avoid crowding the pan.  Add more oil, as needed during browning.  Set browned meat aside. 

Add onion, cook until browned, stirring, to avoid burning.  Add garlic and tomato, cook until browned.  Add stock, beef, accumulated juices and spice sachet to pot.  Bring to boil, cover and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until beef is tender, about 1.5 hours.  Skim any fat or foam from surface.  

Add carrots, potatoes, chile flakes and lemon zest bundle.  Boil, uncovered, until vegetables are tender.  Add green beans.  Turn off heat, season with salt and pepper.  Remove spice sachet and lemon zest bundle before serving. 

Chorizo + Tomato Vegetable Soup

A quick stroll through the farmers market will get you all the things you need to make for this soup.  It's smoky, spicy, salty and a little sweet from all the peek season summer vegetables. Chorizo is a fresh Mexican sausage made from pork and spiced with paprika.  It can be found in most butcher shops and grocery stores.  I held back on it so if you like a meatier soup use 1 pound chorizo.  

Makes 6 servings.

Chorizo + Tomato Vegetable Soup

small splash high heat oil

8oz chorizo sausage, casings discarded

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped

1 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped

1 tin diced tomatoes

1 quart vegetable stock

1 1/2 cup diced new potatoes

1 teaspoon dreid oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 bay leaf

kernels from 2 ears of corn

1 cup green beans, chopped

s + p

lemon juice

Heat a pot over medium high heat.  Add oil.  Add chorizo, cook until browned and set aside.  Return pot to stove, lower heat to medium.  Add onions, cook until soft and glossy, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic, carrots and poblano chile, cook 4 minutes, stirring.  Add reserved chorizo, tomatoes, stock, potatoes, oregano, cumin, paprika and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Let simmer 20 minutes.  Add corn and green beans.  Simmer 10 minutes more.  Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  

 

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.

 

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. 

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.  

Simple Chickpea Soup with Lemon + Dill

A very simple soup.  Chickpeas and vegetables perked up with plenty of lemon and fresh dill.  It's super bright and flavorful.  Most of the ingredients are probably in your fridge and pantry right now.  I served it over brown rice for dinner.  Vegetable stock maybe used to keep things vegetarian.      

Grab a pound of kirby cucumbers while you're at it and use the rest of the dill to make pickles. 

Serves 4.

Chickpea Vegetable Soup with Lemon + Dill

1 tsp olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 carrot, peeled, diced

2 celery stalk, diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled, minced

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 quart chicken stock

1 14 oz tin chickpeas, rinsed, drained

1/2 bunch lacinato kale, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

 juice of 1 lemon

s + p

In a pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, chile flakes.  Cooking, stirring frequently, until vegetables are aromatic and glossy, about 5 minutes.  Add stock. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add chickpeas, kale, dill and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve hot. 

Hot + Sour Soup

Here's one for all you people with a cold.  (Seriously, everyone around me is sniffling.)  What's better than hot, spicy, tangy soup when you're sick?  Missing the traditional lilly buds and wood ear mushrooms of more traditional chinese hot and sour soups, all the ingredients for this one can be found in most well stocked grocery stores.  Szechuan peppercorns are toasted by placing in a hot pan on the stove, tossing occasionally and cooking until fragrant.  Grind with a spice grinder, clean coffee grinder or crush under a heavy pan or rolling pin.  

I recommend cutting and slicing everything small, so it fits on a spoon.  

Serves 4.

Hot + Sour Soup

2 oz prosciutto, julienned

8 oz firm tofu, julienned

4 shiitake mushroom caps, sliced

2.5 oz bamboo shoots, julienned

1 teaspoon minced ginger

1/2 teaspoon toasted, ground szechuan peppercorns 

32 oz chicken stock

2 tablespoons soy sauce

4 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water, optional

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon hot chile oil

scallion greens, thinly sliced, for garnish

In a small saucepan, bring prosciutto, tofu, shiitakes, bamboo shoots, pepper and stock to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and add soy sauce and rice vinegar.  Whisk in cornstarch slurry, simmer until thickened.  

Remove from heat, stir soup in one direction to create a current and slowly pour in beaten egg.  It will turn into cooked, eggy ribbons.  Add hot chile oil and adjust seasoning with additional soy for salt, chile oil for heat or rice vinegar for sour.  

Garnish with scallions and serve with rice.  

 

 

Healthy Kale + White Bean Soup

I know, I know.  My last post was a soup too.  I don't know about you, but I really enjoyed eating everything and anything I wanted to over the holidays.  But it's 2015 and time to get back to healthier habits.   On my agenda for January are getting back to the gym, maybe a run here or there, avoiding alcohol and treats that are obviously bad for me (sorry french fries), getting enough rest, generally being a healthy person and eating lots and lots of vegetables.  And I'm starting with this soup!  I served it over red quinoa and it was great.  Nothing like a little kale and quinoa.  

Makes about 8 servings.  

Kale + White Bean Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 bulb fennel, quartered, sliced

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped

leaves of several sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

2 quarts vegetable stock

28 oz tim cannellini beans 

4 cups chopped kale (curly or lacinato)

S + p, to taste

lemon juice, to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium low heat.  Add onion, carrot and celery.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.  Add fennel, tomato, thyme and chile powder, cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.  Add stock.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.  Stir in beans and kale.  Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, additional chile powder and lemon juice.  (We used a whole lemon.)  

 

 

Curry Stew

A cross between an indian and thai curry.  Make is vegetarian by substituting vegetable stock for chicken stock and tofu or extra vegetables for the chicken.

Curry Stew

1 lb chicken breast

3 potatoes

drizzle olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup ginger, minced

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 green pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tin lite coconut milk

2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 1/2 cups green beans, chopped

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper

Cook chicken.  Chop and set aside.  Boil potatoes.  Chop and set aside

In a large pot, saute onion in drizzle of olive oil about 1 minute.  Add garlic and ginger, saute 1 minute more.  Add carrot and green pepper, saute 1 minute more.  Add coconut milk, chicken stock, curry powder, paprika, chili powder, bay leaf and fish sauce.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.  Add green beans.  Cook 5 minutes more or until green beans are crisp tender.  Add Chicken and potatoes.  Heat through.  Add lime juice and salt to taste.

 

 

Tortilla Soup

If it's on a menu I order it.  Excellent choice for roasted chicken the day after. Tortilla Soup

olive oil

yellow onion, diced

2 jalapenos

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

32 oz chicken stock (used from previous post) or store bought

2 cups diced  cooked chicken

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon oregano

salt & pepper

Garnishes:

4-6 corn tortillas cut into strips and toasted in skillet or fried

sliced radishes

lime wedges

cubed avocado

crumbled cotija or grated jack cheese

fresh cilantro, chopped

Under the broiler or on the open flame of a gas stove, heat jalapenos until they blister.  Place in ziplock bag for 5 minutes to soften, then dice, discarding pith and seeds.  In a large pot saute onion, garlic and jalapenos in olive oil five minutes.  Add diced tomatoes and cook 2 minutes more.  Add stock and season with chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes.   Add chicken.  Serve hot with above garnishes.

Chicken Soup

This soup is the first thing my husband cooked for me and it's my favorite dish.  We make it at least once a month.    It is simple and healthy.  I chop the veggies very small, the idea being that each spoonful will contain a little of each ingredient.  Perfect on its own but also served with farro, rice or noodles.

Chicken Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

3-4 garlic cloves, small dice

1 large leek, small thin dice or 1 onion or both

3 carrots (1 heaping cup), peeled and finely diced

3 stalks celery, small dice

2 red potatoes, small dice

7 mushrooms (cremini used here but chantrelles wouldn't be a mistake), small dice

2 32oz containers chicken stock (or homemade, of course)

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (1 teaspoon for spicy soup)

salt and pepper

1 teaspoon worchestershire

1 lb chicken breast

2 cups leafy greens (collards or kale), leaves only, chopped

In a pan, cook chicken, chop into small pieces and set aside.  In a large pot, saute garlic, leek, carrots and celery in olive oil about 5 minutes.  Add stock, bay and chili flakes.  Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer.  Add mushrooms and potatoes. Simmer 20 minutes.  Salt and pepper.  Add worchestershire, chicken and greens.  Simmer 5 minutes more and that's it.

Vegetable Chili

It's 60 something degrees in brooklyn today and I'm already in sandals and ready for foods that remind me of warmer, sunnier seasons. This chili is one of them.

(a lot of) Vegetarian Chili

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 28oz can peeled, diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cup water

1 yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 bell pepper, diced (i used orange)

1 zucchini, diced

1 or 2 jalapenos, diced (wear gloves!)

2 tablespoon oregano

2 heaping tablespoons each: paprika, cumin, chile powder

Fresh cilantro, cut

Salt/Pepper

Juice of one lime

1/2 cup corn, frozen or off the cob

3/4 cup edamame (without shells)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Saute onions and garlic with olive oil in large pot, about 2 minutes, until soft. Add remaining vegetables, cook 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes, water, herbs and spices, simmer for one hour. Add lime juice, corn, edamame and beans. Cook additional 10 minutes.