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Archive for the ‘Soup’ Category

fall vegetable soup

I am usually not so undecided when it comes to what to cook but I want to make lots of different things for my mother while she’s here visiting, to be sure she tries at least a good sampling of my favorite dishes, and I some of hers. The truth is that my mother and I, more often than not, spend much of our telephone conversations talking about food and what we are currently making. The challenge is that we live in opposite hemispheres and so while I’m making cozy winter stews, she’s craving cooling summer salads.

cherry tomatoes, fennel, red turnips and celery root

While I was planning dinner last night, I had soup in mind but I wanted something brothy and fragrant that could use all the fall vegetables that are filling the markets. Finding a last pint of colored cherry tomatoes threw me off for a moment; that is until I decided to add them to the mix. They gave the soup a lovely brightness, which helped balance all the sweet tasting roots. I think this soup is a wonderful combination of ingredients and is surprisingly, both hearty and delicate. It’s such a treat to have her here in my kitchen with me to exchange recipes and have the opportunity to feed each other and our friends.

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soup for 4

Before I post more pictures of Turkey, I wanted to squeeze in a soup recipe. Warming soups and stews are all I can think about since the weather’s cooled and firmly planted its foot in fall. I love the way this season brings everyone closer to the stove. Even if you don’t cook, there is a change in focus and a desire to nourish, warm and ground yourself. This soup does it all and although most vegetables will work for this recipe, the sweetness of winter squash really enhances the flavor of the spices.

Here I used 3 types of lentils, they all play a different roll in creating a delicious texture: the red lentils almost completely dissolve and thicken the soup; the green add a creamy texture; and the French lentils remain intact and keep the soup looking pretty.

green and red lentils

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soup with tortilla, guacamole and pickled red cabbage

Many variations of this soup have passed through my kitchen this winter and I have loved each and every one. When I’m in the mood for a stew, I cut down on the liquid, cut the squash in larger chunks and stir them in at the end. Last fall I replaced some of the water with pureed tomatillos which gave the dish a delicious, tangy layer of flavor. (more…)

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sweet corn

lovely sweet corn

The first thing I did when I returned from my vacation was go strait to the Tompkins Square Park farmers market and buy sweet corn from Norwich Meadow Farms. Of all of the green markets I visit in New York, they are the only growers that sell organic sweet corn. It’s ready a little later than the conventional corn, but it’s well worth the wait. I have plans for velvety soups, salads and relishes but first I have to savor it my favorite way: steamed with umeboshi paste. To some of you this may sound strange but I promise it is a taste sensation. (more…)

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Winter Weekend Lunch

weekend lunch

We had friends over for lunch last weekend, and I wanted to serve them something tasty, simple and comforting. I made this easy white bean vegetable soup, some roasted rosemary potato wedges, radicchio and endive salad tossed with balsamic dressing and served it all with warm crusty bread with some local cloth bound cheddar. Lunch was followed by a blood orange fennel salad with black olives, the combination had been making my mouth water ever since I saw this salad on rachel eats a few weeks ago. Other than buy the salad ingredients, all I did to prepare for the meal was soak some beans the night before and it came together in an easy, lazy-weekend-morning kind of way. (more…)

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cauliflower soup with greens

This soup is so simple that I almost didn’t post it.  However, after a hectic Thanksgiving at Angelica Kitchen last week and the multitude of elaborate dishes I cooked and tasted, it was a welcome and nourishing change. Plain cauliflower soup is something I make frequently.  By plain, I mean cauliflower with sautéed onions and garlic simmered then blended smooth. It tastes delicious and is ready in under 25 minutes. Cauliflower is one of those superfoods that help fight cancer and assist in stimulating the liver out of stagnancy. Adding collard greens or kale like I did here makes it more of a one pot meal — these greens fortify the soup with calcium, iron and chlorophyll. You could use spinach or chard too.
Oh and if you don’t have dill, don’t let that get between you and a bowl of this velvety deliciousness. (more…)

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Asparagus Soup

Today is an exciting day because I went up to Union Square farmers market to gather ingredients and inspiration for my first post!

My enthusiasm and hunger increased as soon as I hit the first stand heavy with an abundance of asparagus, peas and strawberries…already my mind was spinning trying to figure out what to make… asparagus soup, sautéed radishes and sugar snaps. Or should I get sorrel and some herbs to put with the quinoa I had soaked earlier this morning? That frantic thinking only gets worse as we come into summer and the choices are impossible to make and carry!

green market goodies

green market goodies

So far I have settled on Asparagus soup, it is such a luxurious thing to eat. I only seem to make it once a year; because plain steamed or grilled asparagus is just so good.

Also I had a few fingerling potatoes I wanted to use up and 2 or 3 are all you need to give the soup a velvety texture. (You could use a medium size regular potato too)

I’m putting a touch of dill in this batch but only because I bought some and worry that I won’t use it all in time.

If you want to make this look fancy, cut 2 or 3 inches of the top of a few asparagus, steam or sauté them and garnish each bowl with 2 or 3 or one large stalk split length ways. Sprinkle on a few chopped chives (or dill) if you have any and it’s stunning!

asparagus soup

asparagus soup

Asparagus Soup

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
good pinch or 2 of sea salt
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 medium size fingerling potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
1 ¼ pound asparagus (1 bunch) trim about an inch of the ends and cut in 1 inch pieces.
2 cups filtered water
4 sprigs dill
few turns of black pepper

Warm a 3 or 4 quart pot over medium-high heat (actually I find that my heat is usually high, which is fine if you remain close).

Add olive oil and onion and sauté for a few minutes until translucent.

Add salt and garlic, keep stirring for another minute or two.

Stir in potatoes, lower heat and cover for a few minutes because they need a head start, as the asparagus cooks really fast. This becomes a nice caramelized base for the soup.

Add asparagus, stir and pour in enough water to just reach the surface of the asparagus, less is better as you can always add more when blending.

Cover pot, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes. The time will vary depending on the size of your asparagus. Mine was a big mixture of thin and thick so I turned off the heat when the larger ones were just tender.

Stir in the dill and black pepper.

Walk the dogs while it cools off a bit.

Blend in an upright blender until completely smooth, more water to get desired consistency. Season with more salt to taste.

Serves 4 as a starter.

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