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Archive for the ‘Soup’ Category


After the hurricane when we came down with colds, I had an impulse to make chicken soup. But being congested, I really wanted something I could taste. I always love Asian soups, and a little spice sounded like a great idea. And it was. But next time, I won’t wait to be sick to make this soup.

Thai Red Curry Chicken Soup

5 cups chicken stock

1 package rice noodles

2 tablespoons thai red curry paste

3 tablespoons fish sauce

1/2 can coconut milk

2 tablespoons sugar

Juice and zest of 2 limes

3 tablespoons cilantro (or basil or parsley), chopped

2 tablespoons mint, chopped

1-2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken or roasted chicken breast

1 tablespoon sesame or vegetable oil

Saute the curry paste in the oil for a few seconds to infuse the oil. Add the stock, fish sauce, coconut milk, sugar, lime zest and half the juice, and let it come to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the chicken and allow to warm through. Off the heat, add the herbs and the remaining lime juice and serve.

 

Easy Chicken Stock

1 chicken carcass with leftover bones

1 onion, cut into quarters

2 garlic cloves

2 carrots, cut in half

a couple sprigs of any herb in the fridge, such as sage, thyme, parsley, etc

salt and pepper

water

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and fill with water to almost full. Allow to simmer for 45-60 minutes and then allow to cool on the stove. Strain out the solids, and either use immediately or freeze for later.

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Well, it’s been a challenging couple of weeks on the M&M front; first the hurricane and then my computer decided to die on me. Consequently, I feel like Thanksgiving has snuck up on me. I don’t think I will be making a full Thanksgiving meal this year, however I will do a Thanksgiving-inspired menu. I might include this Angel Hair with Butternut Squash and Sage as a side dish, because there really should a pasta to make it a holiday.

This Farinata would make a great gluten-free appetizer to snack on while the rest of the meal cooks. You can change the toppings to suit your mood, but I liked the olive and cheese combination.

Eggplant Caponata is always a good appetizer as well, and this version is a little Thanksgiving-inspired, with the use of cinnamon.

We usually make a vegetarian option which tends to be a Lasagna or some Stuffed Mushrooms. I always make extra though, because invariably the meat-eaters want them too.

Butternut Squash Soup flavored with apples and sage is a fantastic way to start the meal. I can’t get enough butternut squash in the fall.

Thanksgiving requires a mashed vegetable of some sort,  so I either go with these Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Prosciutto or some Parsnip Puree.

And of course, we can’t forget the cranberry sauce. I ALWAYS make this Brandied Cranberry Sauce so I have plenty leftover. Stay tuned for some Turkey Pot Pie!

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We survived the hurricane without any damage beyond getting a little stir-crazy, so I have to feel pretty grateful. We didn’t lose power or have any terrible flooding, but all we could do for days was watch the damage on TV. Of course, one of my first plans of action was to get to work on hurricane food.

Naturally, my first inclination was for mac & cheese, which was so delicious that it was gone before I could take pictures. For those curious, my mac & cheese is basically my tuna noodle casserole without the tuna. Next up, tomato soup and grilled cheese. I had some cherry tomatoes that were ready to be roasted, and combined them with some canned tomatoes to round out the soup. Perfect cold, rainy weather food. And it’s always a good time for a grilled cheese.

Roasted Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

1 pint cherry tomatoes

4 tablespoons olive oil

12 sprigs thyme

1/2 can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed or pureed

1 cup red wine

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 slices whole grain bread

3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese

thin slices apple, a tablespoon apricot or fig jam, etc (optional)

Roast the cherry tomatoes with half the olive oil and half the thyme at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic in the remaining olive oil for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the tomato paste and allow to rust for another minute or two. Add the roasted tomatoes, canned tomatoes, sugar, and wine. Allow to cook together for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the grilled cheese. You may choose to puree the soup with a stick blender, but we wanted it chunky this time.

Toast the bread in a pan with olive oil or in a toaster until light brown. Add the cheese and any toppings you may like. Cook in a saute pan with a little olive oil or butter until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted. Make sure to flip halfway through and a lid can sometimes help the cheese to melt. Use medium heat so that the bread does not burn before the cheese has finish melting. Allow to cool a few minutes before cutting, so that the cheese does not run out.

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In the summer, we all switch over to cold soups, which I don’t really enjoy all that much. I’m not a big fan of raw onion or raw garlic, so gazpacho has never been a favorite…until now. A little bit of heat with the juicy tomatoes and the refreshing watermelon makes a delicious summer soup that I like with a skewer of marinated shrimp. All it needs is a squeeze of lime, and it’s perfect for these hot days.

Watermelon Gazpacho

2 cups cubed watermelon

1 pint cherry tomatoes

2 scallions

Juice of 1-2 limes

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (to taste)

salt and pepper (to taste)

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until it reaches a think consistency but still has some texture. Chill until ready to serve.

Marinated Grilled Shrimp

1/2 pound large shrimp cleaned with shells removed (I like to remove tails so they can just be eaten)

1 teaspoon aleppo pepper

1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

salt and pepper

Juice of 1 lime

3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl to marinate for 30-45 minutes. Much longer, and the lime will start to cook the shrimp. Skewer them onto soaked skewers and grill for 2-3 minutes on the first side, until they start to turn pink. Flip and continue to cook for 1 minute more on the other side. Remove and serve with a lime wedge.

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It’s that time of year where everyone goes crazy over ramps. I tend to like them best in pastas and risottos or with eggs, but I decided to try them in this soup. It’s the perfect spring soup, which I like to leave a little chunky by using my immersion blender. If you can’t get ramps, leave them out or substitute some garlic or onion. Either way, enjoy a little bit of spring!

In other news, it’s my birthday and we’re going to Puglia next week! Get ready for some new Italy-inspired recipes!

Asparagus, Ramp and Leek Soup

1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

6 ramps, chopped

3 leeks, washed well and chopped

2 cups chicken stock (I use homemade, but feel free to use your favorite or substitute vegetable stock for a vegetarian version)

1 cup white wine

1 teaspoon minced chives

salt and pepper to taste

squeeze of lemon and drizzle of olive oil (optional)

Combine the asparagus, leeks, and ramps in a pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil or butter and season with salt and pepper. Saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and stock and simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Off the heat, carefully blend with an immersion blender. Add the chives and serve. Add a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil if you would like.

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Ochazuke is one of my favorite comfort foods and I’ve been craving it this week as I’m sick with a cold. A nice, light broth combined with salmon for protein and rice for substance makes it a perfect one bowl meal. I may be congested, but thankfully I can still taste this. It’s traditional pub food, and I loved it the first time I tried it. I’m waiting to learn how to make dashi from a Japanese friend, but this is a pretty good version. Most ingredients you should be able to find in your supermarket, but feel free to substitute!

Ochazuke

1 cup cooked white rice (any variety will do)

2 cups hot freshly brewed green tea

2 tablespoons mirin

4 ounces salmon fillet

2 tablespoons bonito flakes or ground bottarga

2 tablespoons japanese rice seasoning or combination dried seaweed and sesame seeds

Roast the salmon for 10 minutes with just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper until it’s cooked to medium rare. Pile the rice in a bowl and lay the salmon over the top. Sprinkled with bonito and rice seasoning. Combine the tea and mirin and pour over the top.


Chazuke

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Last year we tried Urban Organics, who brought us a box of produce every week. I had no idea how many beets we would end up getting, and I kept trying to come up with new things to do with them (and the beet greens). It seemed there’s a dearth of good vegetables in winter, so it’s a good thing I’ve learned to like beets. This year, I found a beet soup on the Bon Appetit Cleanse and I had to try it. I have to admit, the original recipe tasted…well…healthy. So I’ve doctored it up a bit and I think this might be the still healthy but tasty version.

Beet Soup with Caramelized Onions

6-8 beets roasted in foil for an hour at 375 degrees and skinned, or pre-cooked

1 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

1 cup red wine

2 cups vegetable stock

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder

1/4 cup plain yogurt

Saute the onion in the butter and olive oil until it softens. Add the thyme and continue to cook until they start to caramelize and brown. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add the beets. Cook for a few minutes. Add the stock, ginger, and five-spice powder. Cook for another 10 minutes and then let cool a little. Blend with an immersion blender or in a regular blender (carefully). Add the yogurt and stir through. Reheat if necessary. Garnish with some extra yogurt and scallion slices.

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