Pozole Rojo with Pork (GF)

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Oh, pozole. It's just the thing in the winter - a hot, chile infused, pork filled soup with a multitude of little toppings to dress it up. I love it but hardly ever make it at home because it can be pretty time consuming. I've edited this recipe down so it's easy and has minimal steps. 

If you've never had it, it is a brothy mexican soup made with chiles, pork and hominy. There are two kinds that I'm aware of - rojo (red) and verde (green). This is the red one. Toppings like any combination of toasted tortillas, cheese, avocado, sliced radishes, shredded cabbage, cilantro leaves, diced white onion and lime wedges should be served with it. 

A note on ingredients: hominy is a dried corn kernel that has been nixtamalized, meaning it was soaked in an alkali mineral bath that makes it easier to digest. You can find it dried or canned. Canned is much more convenient, just drain, rinse and add it to the soup. Treat the dried stuff as you would dried beans, soak overnight and simmer in a large pot of water for a few hours until softened. They will be puffy and chewy. 

To make the tortilla crisps in the photo, just heat a soft corn tortilla in a skillet over medium heat until it it crisp, golden and blistered, flip and repeat on the reverse. 

serves 4. 

Pozole Rojo

1 dried ancho chile pepper

2 cup boiling water

dash oil

6oz cooked, shredded pork

2 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

1 quart and 1 cup pork, chicken or vegetable stock

1 14 oz tin drained or 8oz dried then cooked hominy

s+p, to taste

lime juice, to taste

In a small skillet over medium high heat, toast ancho pepper. It will puff up and become toasty. Be careful not to burn it - it won't taste good. Once toasted, remove and discard stem, seeds and membranes. Break into pieces, cover with 1 cup boiling water. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes. 

In a medium pot, heat a dash of oil over medium heat. Cook pork, garlic, bay leaf, oregano and cumin until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add stock and hominy. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. 

Blend chile with soaking liquid until very smooth. Add to soup. Continue to simmer until hominy is nice and soft, wanting to fall apart, maybe 30 minutes overall, depends on what kind you used, Add more water or stock during cooking if needed. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice. 

Serve with garnishes on the sides like toasted tortillas, cheese, avocado, sliced radishes, shredded cabbage, cilantro leaves, diced white onion and lime wedges. 

Irish Vegetable Stew (Vegan, GF)

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As much as I like the plant based diet, it left a void in the slow cooked braised, stewed soup department - which is a big department! We made a slow cooked roast, beef stew type thing about twice a month. Even though it's summer, I wanted a plant based version of my favorite comfort food. 

I have two words for you: tomato paste and gluten free stout beer. More than 2 words but you get the idea. These things are magical together. Browning the tomato paste and deglazing with the stout create a beautiful base for the stew. Vegetarian or not, you will not even miss the meat in this thick, gluten free stew. 

I can't wait to make it again. It's good on it's own but also over cooked spaghetti squash. 

Get a gluten free stout like Murphy's. If gluten isn't a concern you can use any stout just keep n mind that if you use a chocolate stout or coffee stout, that flavor will be incorporated into the stew. 

Serves 6-8.

Irish Vegetable Stew

splash olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup tomato paste

4 ribs celery, chopped

4 carrots, peeled, chopped

10 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped

2 plantains, peeled, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon sage

1 bottle gluten free stout

1 quart vegetable stock

2 1/2 cups green beans, chopped

s + p, to taste

splash apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, to taste

In a 6 qt stock pot, over medium high heat, warm olive oil. Add onions and brown, stirring as needed, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and brown. Stir as needed, about 5 minutes. Add celery, carrots, mushrooms, plantains, bay, thyme and sage. 

Add stout. It will bubble, scrap up any bits from bottom of pot if you can. Add stock. Bring to boil. reduce to a simmer. Simmer until vegetables are soft, about 40 minutes. Add greens beans and cook, 5 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper and about 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. 

Pho-most Soup (Paleo, GF, DF)

I have no idea what to call this soup. When I was putting it together in my head, I wanted a super flavorful beef broth base like pho but I didn't exactly want pho. This soup is built on a rich broth infused with charred onion, browned ginger and toasted spices like cinnamon, anise and coriander seed. It's the best part of the soup. 

I just added carrots, sugar snap peas, collard greens and tofu knots - for protein. If you're aip or paleo, substitute any cooked meat. Toppings are a must. They really elevate the soup to a much better place. Shredded mint, cilantro, diced white onion and lime wedges. 

A word on tofu knots - They are delicious. I've used both fresh and frozen. Fresh are about 100 times better but they're hard to find. They also come dry but I haven't tried those yet. I've only seen each in asian grocery stores or markets. 

Makes 4 servings. 

A Pho Like Soup

3 star anise pods

1 cinnamon stick

3 cloves

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 yellow onion, peeled, halved

2" ginger, halved

4 cloves garlic, peeled

2 quarts beef stock

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon coconut aminos or tamari soy sauce

10 oz sugar snap peas, trimmed

3 carrots, peeled, chopped

8oz tofu skin knots

2 cups chopped collard greens

juice of one lime

salt, to taste

lime wedges

chopped mint

chopped cilantro

In a small cast iron skillet, toast spices. Set aside. Use the same pan to char onion, garlic and ginger. Add spices, charred onion, garlic, ginger and beef stock to a large pot and simmer for 1 hour. Strain out and discard solids. Return liquid to pot and add fish sauce, snap peas, carrots and tofu knots. Simmer until carrots are soft, about 7 minutes. Stir in collard greens and season with salt. 

Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped mint, chopped cilantro and lime wedges. 

Khao Soi (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

I really like this soup. Something about thai flavors lately. Every week my grocery bag comes home with lemongrass, ginger, garlic and coconut milk. It feels like I'm eating takeout but it's all home cooked. The beauty of batch cooking, right? 

Recipe adapted from Lazy Cat Kitchen. I love that name. 

Makes about 6 servings. 

Khao Soi Soup

6 garlic cloves, peeled

2" ginger, peeled, roughly chopped

1/4 cup chopped cilantro (stems or leaves)

2 lemongrass stalks, tough leaves removed, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon madras curry powder

3 tablespoons water

1 butternut squash, peeled, diced

2 stalks broccoli, peeled, in bite sized pieces

1 1/2 cup chopped green beans

4 carrots, peeled, sliced

1 quart vegetable stock

1 14 oz tin full fat coconut milk

28 oz water

1 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos

juice of 1 lime

2 teaspoons maple syrup

salt

cilantro, for garnish

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper. Toss squash with a splash of oil, arrange on one tray. Toss broccoli with splash of oil, arrange on the other tray. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper. Roast until softened and beginning to blacken, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. 

Combine garlic, ginger, cilantro, lemongrass, shallots, coriander, turmeric, curry powder and water in the bowl of a food processor. Puree to a paste. 

In a pot, heat a tablespoon of oil over a high flame. Add paste and cook until slightly browned, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock, coconut milk, water, peppercorn sachet and carrots. Boil, reduce to a simmer. Add green beans. Skim off any foam from surface. Simmer until greenbeans and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Add roasted broccoli and squash. Stir in fish sauce, tamari, lime juice and maple syrup. Salt to taste. Serve with noodles, zoodles, rice or enjoy on it's own. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro leaves. 

Lentil Soup (Vegan, GF, DF)

This is a very loving soup. It's comforting, healthy and very adaptable. I make it all the time and I think it's about the third time I've posted a lentil soup on here but it's been awhile. Each time I make lentil soup, I like to tweak it a little bit. Sometimes it's full of cumin, marmite, tamari & sesame or garam masala - like this one. 

It's hard to resist the warm spiced notes of garam masala - an Indian spice blend. I took things a bit further with a dash of sesame oil,squeeze of lemon and splash of apple cider vinegar, You'll know when the seasoning is right because all the flavors will pop and brighten. 

I strongly prefer chicken stock for my lentil soup but vegetable stock is great too if you're looking to keep things vegetarian. If you're in comfort food mode and you eat nightshades, a potato does something wonderful in here. Chop it up and add it with the lentils. 

Makes about 8 servings. 

Simple Lentil Soup

splash olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 carrots, peeled, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

10 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 quarts stock (chicken or vegetable)

1 1/2 cup french green lentils, rinsed

1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, chopped

s + p

lemon juice, to taste (about 1 lemon)

sesame oil, to taste (about 1.5 teaspoons)

apple cider vinegar, to taste (about 1 tablespoon)

In a pot, over medium low heat, warm olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft and glossy, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, bay, thyme, garam masala, stock and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. Add collard greens. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, sesame oil and apple cider vinegar. 

AIP Tom Khaa Gai (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

I love a coconut tom kha soup. So exotic and flavorful. I just don't use enough lemongrass in my everyday cooking. This one is full of veggies and healthy fat from the coconut milk. It makes a lot of soup so you could consider halving the recipe or freezing some. Just be sure to cool it down all the way before it goes into the freezer. 

To make the lemongrass easy to remove, cut it lengthwise but leave an inch at the top so it stays together. Roll it 180 degrees and cut again the same way. It should look like a little lemongrass tassel, Take a minute to bask in all the lovely lemongrass aromatics. 

AIP Tom Khaa Gai

serves 8. 

2 shallots, minced

2" numb of ginger, peeled and minced

2 stalks lemon grass, bruised and cut like a tassel

6 fresh or dried kafir lime leaves

2 tins full fat coconut milk

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced

6 cups chicken stock

4 carrots, peeled, sliced

8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 head cauliflower, chopped

8 oz green beans, chopped

lime juice, to taste

s+p 

fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large pot, boil shallots, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves and coconut milk for a few minutes until fragrant. Stir in fish sauce, honey, chicken, stock, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower and green beans. Simmer until vegetables are soft. Season with lime juice, salt and pepper. Remove lemon grass stalks and lime leaves. Garnish with cilantro leaves. 

Cam's Green Soup

Healthy Healthy Healthy!  We really needed this: a delicious dose of green veggies in a flavorful broth.  It's very flavorful and different from what we normally cook.  We made a big pot of rice to ladle the soup over in our dinner bowls.  

Makes about 4 servings.

Cam's Green Soup

2" ginger, large slices

4 green onions, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, sliced

1 large shallot, sliced

3 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons mirin

1 kafir leaf, dried or fresh

2 cups quartered brussels sprouts

1 small bunch broccolini, chopped

1 1/2 cup chopped green beans

1/3 cup shelled edamame

1 small bunch chard, or other greens, chopped

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon oyster sauce

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

salt, to taste

white pepper, to taste

lemon juice, to taste

Make the broth by simmering ginger, green onions, garlic, shallot, thyme, bay, mirin, and kafir leaf for 30 minutes.  Strain and discard solids.  Return broth to pot, bring to a boil.  Add brussels sprouts and broccolini, cooking until crisp tender, about 3 minutes.  Add green beans, edamame and chard.  Cook 1 minute.. Turn off heat.  Stir in oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil.  Season with salt, white pepper and lemon juice. 

Spicy Lentil + Vegetable Soup

So, are you thinking I should just change the blog name to Soups and Sweets?  Or just Soups and Soups?  That would be a little more accurate, wouldn't it?  What can I say?  We make a big pot of soup every Sunday to eat throughout the week and they're too good not to share.  So here's one more:

Makes about 8 servings.

Spicy Lentil + Vegetable Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, peeled, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 cup french green lentils

1 14 oz tin diced tomatoes

1 bay leaf

about 2" x 2" piece parmesan rind

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (omit if you prefer low spice)

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

4 cups chopped collard greens, stems discarded

salt, to taste

juice of half a lemon

In a large pot, over low heat, sweat onions and garlic over low heat until soft and sticky, about 10 minutes.  Raise heat to medium.  Add carrots, celery, lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf, parmesan rind, cumin, pepper, chile powder, thyme leaves and chile flakes.  Give it a good stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Add stock.  Bring to a boil.  Add mushrooms and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.  Skim off and discard any foam that occurs on the surface.  Stir in collard greens, season with salt and lemon juice.  Remove parmesan rind and bay leaf before serving. 

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Happy 2016!  I hope everyone had a fun and indulgent holiday season.  I know I did.  Lots of food and family time.  Now I'm back to gym and staying busy, working on healthy recipes for this month.  You can look forward to lots of veggies, lean proteins and nutritious snacks. 

But for now, here's an easy soup you can throw into the slow cooker and enjoy on a cold night.  It's so yummy and easy to make!  I think it took me about 10 minutes to get all this prepped and into the slow cooker.  Then it's hands off for four hours and then dinner is served.  The only problem being that I have to deal with smelling something delicious all day that is not yet ready for eating.  

Serves 6.

Green Split Pea Soup in a Slow Cooker

1 pound dried green split peas, rinsed, checked for debris

4 oz ham, diced

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

1/2 teaspoon cumin

6 cups chicken or veggie stock 

s + p

chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Combine all ingredients, except fresh parsley, in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours until peas are super tender with some even falling apart.  Season with salt and pepper.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley. 

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.