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Sunday Slow Soupers Archives

November 23, 2008

Sunday Slow Soupers: Porcini and Chestnut Soup

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Today begins the Sunday Slow Souper's weekly soup postings. Amy started us off with a wonderful holiday soup made with porcini mushrooms, and chestnuts. It is delicious...especially after adding some (ok, a lot of) cognac! We will be having this for dinner Monday night. Yes, food bloggers have been known to stage a photo when they are not eating the results yet. However, we both tasted the soup, and think it is interesting (in a good way). Brad called it "sophisticated comfort food".

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Chestnut and Porcini Soup---makes 6-7 cups, can be frozen
Ingredients:

1/3 cup dried porcinis
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery, diced
2 large shallots or ¼ small onion, finely chopped
1 sprig each of bay leaf, thyme and parsley
2 tablespoons butter

2 cans low-sodium chicken broth (or 4 cups homemade)
1 1/4 pounds coarsely chopped peeled roasted chestnuts or 8-12 ounces bottled/canned/defrosted chestnuts. You want between a cup and 1 1/2 cups chestnuts.
Fresh-ground pepper
2 tablespoons dry sherry, or white wine, or cognac

Creme fraiche or a swirl of heavy cream, for garnish
chopped parsley for garnish

1. Combine porcini mushrooms and the hot water in medium bowl. Let stand until porcini mushrooms soften, about 20 minutes.

2. In a large saucepan melt butter and add carrots, celery, and shallots or onions. Saute until tender. Add herbs and chicken broth.

3. Using slotted spoon, transfer porcini mushrooms into saucepan with chicken broth. Add porcini-soaking liquid to saucepan, carefully leaving sediment behind in bowl (I like to pour it through cheesecloth) . Add chestnuts and a few grinds of pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove herbs before pureeing.

4. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth, then return soup to saucepan. Or, just use an immersion blender, being careful to keep it at the bottom of the pot to avoid hot splatters. You may want to add a bit more water or stock if it’s too thick. You want a light soup, with the consistency of milk. Add Sherry, wine or cognac to taste. Bring soup to simmer, correct seasonings adding salt and pepper, to taste. Cool slightly and refrigerate. Can be prepared 2 days ahead or frozen. Re-warm over medium heat, stirring well to recombine if its separated.

5. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with a spoonful of crème fraiche, or drizzle a bit of heavy cream in a spiral. Just a touch of parsley for color is nice.

November 30, 2008

Sunday Slow Soupers:Mexican Turkey Soup

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Where was this when I used to cook a Thanksgiving turkey? It is a wonderful, flavorful way to use leftover turkey. Poor Brad had to forego the cilantro and guacamole, because I can stand either one! Avocados are the only fattening food besides chocolate that I don't eat. Here is Jerry's great recipe for "Mexican Turkey Soup":

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Mexican Turkey Soup

Ingredients
(Serves 4)

1-1/2 cups fresh corn niblets (frozen will work but thaw first)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions, white and light-green parts only; reserve dark-green ends to garnish
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp finely chopped, canned chipotle peppers
4 cups chicken stock (or if you have time, try making your own turkey stock)
3/4 cups shredded, cooked turkey
1 ripe avocado
2 limes
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp finely chopped, fresh cilantro

Instructions
In a large pot, dry-roast corn over high heat until lightly charred. Set aside in a small bowl. Repeat process with tomatoes.
Using same pot, saute onion, garlic and chipotle peppers in vegetable oil over medium heat. Add turkey and stock and bring almost to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.
Roughly chop tomatoes and add (with juices) to pot along with corn. Season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, mash avocado with a fork. Mix in juice from 1/2 of one lime and mayonnaise. Stir in chopped cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
Serve soup topped with avocado cream, finely chopped dark-green onions and a wedge of lime.
Nutrients per serving: 273 calories, 17 g fat, 17 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber.

December 8, 2008

Sunday Slow Soupers: Butternut Squash Soup

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This week's soup recipe for this easy and delicious soup came from Krista. With no cream or half and half, the soup was still thick and creamy. We loved the addition of pancetta and a little kick of red pepper flakes!

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

2 butternut squash, about 2 pounds each (or 1 acorn squash and 1 butternut)
a little butter (or olive oil)

a couple tablespoons diced pancetta (optional)
1 onion, diced
a dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
5-6 cups of chicken (or vegetable) broth
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
dash of freshly ground nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

optional garnish: a little creme fraiche or plain yogurt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scoop out seeds. In a roasting pan, place the squash with a little pat of butter or a drizzle of olive oil over each piece. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until completely cooked through.

2. In a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, saute the pancetta and onion (or just the onion in some olive oil) until lightly browned. Add some red pepper flakes to taste, if you like a little heat.

3. Scoop the flesh from the roasted squash and add it to the pot. Add 5 cups of vegetable broth and the seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes.

3. Using a hand mini blender, puree the soup until it is smooth and creamy. If it is too thick, add up to a cup more of the broth. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.

4. Serve garnished with with the creme fraiche or yogurt and an extra dash of freshly ground pepper.

Serves at least 6

December 14, 2008

Sunday Slow Soupers: Italian Wedding Soup

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Another week of fabulous soup! Terry shared this recipe, by FAR my favorite so far! I know I will be making a lot of this! I am so glad I doubled the recipe, and now have two tubs in my freezer, ready for company meals during the holidays. I used half beef, and half pork for the meatballs, and baked them. 2 pounds of meat made up 115 meatballs, which I froze separately. I also did not add the orzo, except for a little I cooked separately for the "sample bowl" Brad and I enjoyed before freezing most of the soup.

Here are the raw meatballs. I baked them for 20 min. at 375. Line the baking sheets with foil for easy clean-up.

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Here they are cooked. I let them cool a few minutes, then popped them into 2 ziplock bags in the freezer to go with the two tubs of soup I froze.

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Here is the delicious soup and the recipe:

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Italian Wedding Soup

Meatballs:
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound ground turkey (or ground meat of choice)
spices: 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt
Mix together, and roll into 1″ balls. Saute in olive oil until brown.

Soup ingredients:
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 cloves minced garlic
3 diced strips of turkey bacon (or regular bacon)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Marsala wine
2 quarts of chicken stock
1 cup orzo
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 fresh leaves of basil, chopped
3 cups of arugula
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano for garnish
Saute the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic in 1 T olive oil in a large soup pot for 5 - 6 min. Add bacon and the balsamic. Add the Marsala and let this cook down a little. When it is almost evaporated, add the chicken stock, orzo, meatballs, and oregano. Simmer this for about 15 min, til the orzo is soft. Add the basil and arugula and cook for about 1 more minute. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmigiano for garnish.


December 21, 2008

Sunday Slow Soupers:Pumpkin Cheddar Soup

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I have a house full of guests this weekend, and yesterday was soup for lunch day. They enjoyed bowls of BOTH Nancy's selection of pumpkin-cheddar, and last week's Italian wedding soup. Everyone loved both soups and the recipes were shared! My freezer is emptying out. The rest of the soup will be served to my interns on Monday night!

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January 4, 2009

Sunday Slow Soupers: Cindy's Fish Soup...Almost

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Cindy's Fish Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small head fennel, tops discarded, and bulb chopped
¼ cup wine (can be white or red, whatever you have open, or you can skip this altogether)
2 teaspoons fish seasoning (I use Dean & Deluca brand. If you can’t find, you could substitute Herbs de Provence)
1 15.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 5.5 oz can spicy V-8 juice
1 pound firm white fish such as halibut, cod, or rockfish, cut into 1” cubes
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, fennel, and garlic, and sauté until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add the wine, and continue cooking for a couple of minutes. Add the V-8, tomatoes, and fish seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and add the chopped fish. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the fish is cooked through and the flavors have blended, about 15 minutes. Serve with slices of crusty bread that have been toasted in the oven and rubbed with a garlic clove.
Variations: If you would like a spicier soup, you can add a chopped jalapeno to the onions when sautéing, or add some red pepper flakes. I’ve also made this with the addition of potatoes, or with chopped zucchini or yellow squash if I want more veggies in add. I also sometimes season with Sherry Rum Peppers Sauce or a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

I followed Cindy's recipe up to the point of adding tomatoes and V-8. I don't do tomatoes! This may come as a shock to some of you, but no tomatoes are eaten by this "Italian cook". That's right, no caprese salad (as gorgeous as it always looks to me), no recipes with either fresh or canned tomatoes! My only exception is my own ragu with tons of meat, or a Bolognese type sauce. I guess with enough meat, I will eat anything. Poor Brad only gets tomatoes in his salads when he is in a restaurant!

Anyway, instead of the tomatoes and V-8, I added 4 cups of fish stock and another splash of wine. I also added the red pepper flakes, and the resulting soup was delicious! It is very similar to another recipe i have that I hadn't yet tried. So here is the clear version of Cindy's Fish Soup:

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January 11, 2009

Sunday Slow Soupers: Caldo Verde

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Deborah selected a recipe for Portuguese Caldo Verde. Brad and I had fun making it together. I chopped garlic and onion and cooked them while he peeled and sliced the potatoes. I cooked sausage while the potatoes cooked, and he washed the dishes we had used so far and mashed the cooked potatoes. I cleaned, washed, and trimmed the collard greens, rolled them into tight bundles, and he sliced them into paper thin shreds.

Caldo Verde
1 large yellow onion, peeled and minced fine
1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 large Maine or Eastern potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
2 quarts cold water
6 ounces chouriço, chorizo, pepperoni, or other dry garlicky sausage, sliced thin
2½ teaspoons salt (about)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound collards, kale, or turnip greens, washed, trimmed of course stems and veins, then sliced filament-thin. (The easiest way is to stack 6 to 8 leaves, roll crosswise into a firm, tight roll, then slice with a very sharp knife.)

Sauté the onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy saucepan 2 to 3 minutes over moderate heat until they begin to color and turn glassy; do not brown or they will turn bitter. Add the potatoes and sauté, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes, until they begin to color also. Add the water, cover, and boil gently over moderate heat 20 to 25 minutes until the potatoes are mushy. Meanwhile, fry the sausage in a medium-size heavy skillet over low heat 10 to 12 minutes until most of the fat has cooked out, drain well and reserve.

When the potatoes are soft, remove the pan from the stove and with a potato masher, mash the potatoes right in the pan in the soup mixture. Add the sausage, collards and simmer uncovered 5 minutes until tender. Mix in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and taste the soup for salt and pepper. Ladle into large soup plates and serve as a main course accompanied by chunks of Broa,a heavy yeast-raised corn bread from northern Portugal.

The soup is hearty, flavorful, and healthy!

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January 18, 2009

Sunday Slow Soupers: Leek and Asparagus Soup with Fried Leeks and Amaretti

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This week was my week to choose a soup recipe. I decided to go with Leek and Asparagus Soup with Fried Leeks and Crushed Amaretti

This is a Roman dish, traditionally served at Easter time. The recipe is from A Cook’s Tour of Italy by Joe Famularo.

3-4 leeks, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
4 T. butter
2 c. peeled, diced potatoes
1 bunch asparagus, tender parts only, cut into 1 “ pieces
1 ½ quarts chicken broth (6 cups)
seasalt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup half & half
butter or olive oil for frying leeks for garnish
4 Amaretti cookies, crumbled, or grated

*optional: 2-3 oz. chopped, cooked pancetta.

1. Cut leeks in half and wash well, separating the leaves with your fingers while running them under cool water to remove any sand. Drain the leeks and cut them crosswise into thin slices. Reserve about ¼ c. of leeks for frying.

2. In a large saucepan, melt butter and sauté leeks lightly. Add potato cubes and sauté about 4 minutes. Add asparagus, broth and some salt and pepper. If using pancetta, add it now.

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Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Put mixture through a food mill, sieve, or use a blender or emersion blender. Return to saucepan and add half & half. Simmer until mixture is warmed.

To serve, heat some oil or butter in a small saucepan, and fry leeks until crisp. Ladle the soup into warm bowls, sprinkle with crumbled amaretti in the center, and top with some crisp leeks.

* Don't skip the toppings! They are wonderful with the soup!

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January 25, 2009

Sunday Slow Soupers: Sandi's Gumbo

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I have never eaten or cooked gumbo. I really liked Sandi's recipe. I made it exactly according to her directions, except I omitted oysters. I also used Italian rice, as the only rice I ever make is risotto, so that is what I had.

Seafood Gumbo
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup all purpose flour
1# chicken pieces
1# large shrimp, bay scallops, oysters
1# Andouille sausage
32 oz chicken broth
2 bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt & pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper (more or less)
chopped parsley
bunch of green onions chopped
In a large pot, saute onions and peppers. Add sausage and brown. Add water, spices, and chicken; simmer until the chicken is cooked through (if you use chicken on the bone you can cool it and pull it now) Use this broth as a part of your chicken broth.

Start the gumbo by making your roux. Use a heavy skillet and stir together flour and oil until it is a cocoa brown and thick, smooth consistency. You will want to start adding some broth to the skillet to thin your roux, then pour the it into the big pot. Stir like hell. Add chicken broth, stir some more until there are no clumps.

Cover and simmer. This will help to thicken the gumbo. Add cleaned shrimp and scallops, cooking on medium heat till shrimp are pink (10 minutes) Add the delicate oysters last. Remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Serve in a large bowl on top of a scoop of rice, with a garnish of green onions.

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Brad and I both loved this dish! The spicy sausage with the chicken, shrimp, scallops and vegetables was a wonderful combination. I glad there is plenty leftover!

February 8, 2009

Sunday Slow Soupers: Five Islands Seafood Chowder

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This week we enjoyed Sheena and Terry's delicious recipe for a hearty seafood soup.
It was rich and delicious on a rainy winter weekend night. I used shrimp, tilapia, clams, and a pound of fresh crab. My only addition was a splash of dry sherry!

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FIVE ISLANDS SEAFOOD CHOWDER

This recipe serves 12, and leftovers do not freeze well. Unless you are feeding a crowd either cut the recipe in half, or divide and freeze a portion when you get to the ‘may be prepared ahead to this point and frozen’ bit.

1 cup butter
2 cups chopped onion
4 cups chicken stock or clam juice
2 cups chopped celery
6 carrots – chopped
2 tsp salt (now that we watch our salt intake I greatly reduce or omit salt)
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 lb haddock fillets – or cod or red snapper or salmon, cut into chunks. I usually use part salmon and part a white fish.
4 cups whole milk
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 cans baby clams
1 lb cooked small shrimp (reserve a few shrimp for garnish)
1 lb crab (I sometimes omit the crab unless it is in season (i.e. cheap) or I am making the chowder for a special occasion)

In a large saucepan or soup kettle melt the butter.
Add onions and cook over low heat for a few minutes until soft.
Stir in stock, celery, carrots, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until carrots are tender.
Add fillets, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

(May be prepared ahead to this point and frozen; thaw and reheat before continuing to next step)

Stir enough of the milk into the flour to make a smooth paste.
Gradually stir paste into the soup, then stir in remaining milk and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly.
Just before serving stir in clams, shrimp and crab, leaving on stove for long enough for these additions to heat through.
Taste and adjust seasoning.

Garnish with reserved shrimp and some chopped parsley or green onion.

February 15, 2009

Sunday Slow Soupers: Baked Potato Soup

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Anne's selection this week is a quite flexible potato soup. You can change the basic recipe by adding ham, bacon, corn, different seasonings, and a variety of toppings, just like a baked potato. Frozen hash browns and country gravy mix make the process quite simple. I added a few toppings of green onion, cheddar and bacon bits.

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Ingredients:

Olive oil (to cover bottom of pot)
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 cups chicken broth
1 30 oz. package shredded potatoes (don't get flavored, or cubed; just plain shredded potato)
1 package country gravy mix (I use non-fat)
Salt & pepper to taste

Saute onion, pepper, celery and garlic in olive oil over low-medium heat until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add about 1/2 cup of broth and stir; make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom. Turn up heat until soup is bubbly. Add rest of broth, then add frozen potatoes.

Make sure you have enough broth. You should be able to stir, and the soup should be somewhat thin at this point. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes. Once the potatoes are soft, you are ready to thicken the soup.

Take 1 cup of hot water, and stir in the gravy mix. Make sure you don't have any lumps, and stir into the soup. Soup should be bubbly, but not boiling before you add the gravy. Make sure you mix the gravy into the soup well. Turn down to a simmer, and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Soup should be very thick now.

Add salt and pepper to taste.The gravy mix has a lot of seasoning in it, so make sure you don't season till after that is in. I also add about 2 tsp. of dried basil. Sometimes I add more garlic powder...just up to the cook!

This is your basic soup. Makes about 10 cups. Without any other additions, it is 1 point per cup, for you WW members out there.

You can top it with shredded cheese, bacon bits and chives, or just have it plain.

Variations: Add a can of creamed corn for corn/potato chowder. Add chopped ham for ham/potato soup. Leave out the garlic if you don't like it. Add more if you do! This is a very flexible recipe...I can't wait to see what all of you do with it.

Freezes well.

February 22, 2009

Sunday Slow Soupers: French Onion Soup

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Sharon shared this wonderful recipe for French Onion Soup. It was the best I have ever made! Perfect! Glad there is some left!

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French Onion Soup

2 lbs. yellow onions, peeled, halved lengthwise, then sliced thinly crosswise
2 Tbsps. oil
2 Tbsps. butter
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 dried bay leaf or 2 fresh bay leaves
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. sugar
2 tsps. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¾ C. dry white wine (or red wine)
6 C reduced-sodium beef broth (48 fl oz.)
6 diagonal slices of baguette
½ lb. shredded Gruyère (or Comte or Emmental) cheese
2 Tbsps. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)

Heat butter and oil in a heavy 4- to 5-quart pot. Add onions, thyme, bay leaves, sugar and salt. Stirring frequently, cook onions over moderate heat until they are very soft and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. Add flour and pepper, and stir for 2 minutes. Add wine and stir for 2 more minutes. Add broth and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

While soup simmers, preheat oven to 350°F.

Arrange bread in 1 layer on a baking sheet and toast, turning over once, until completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove croutons from oven and preheat broiler. Put heat-proof soup bowls in a shallow baking pan.

Discard bay leaves and thyme from soup and divide soup among bowls, then put a crouton in each. Add enough shredded Gruyère to cover crouton, then sprinkle each with Parmigiano-Reggiano (if using).

Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes.

Make ahead: Soup can be made and refrigerated or frozen (of course, do not add croutons and cheese to soup if making ahead); cool soup completely, uncovered, then refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze. Reheat soup before proceeding with recipe.

Makes 6 servings

March 1, 2009

Sunday Slow Soupers: Lentil Soup

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Kim shared her mom's recipe for this week. It was a big hit at our house. Brad loves lentils and tomatoes, and gets little of either, because I don't eat beans, or tomatoes (except in a meat ragu). He loved it, and will have a couple great lunches to take to work. Thanks, Kim!

Kim says,

"Recipe By :My Mom

1 Cup Lentils
4 1/2 Cups Chicken broth/stock (I use the fat free stuff)
2 1/2 sprigs parsley -- snipped
1 bay leaf
12 ounces tomato -- crushed (I use canned)
2 stalks celery -- chopped
2 sticks carrot -- sliced
1 onion -- chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 teaspoon thyme (dried)

1. cook until vegetables are tender, 1 1/2 - 2 hours

Seriously, that's how my mother gave it to me. But basically, she just throws it all into a pot, brings to a boil and then lets it simmer. I often double it and freeze it."

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March 15, 2009

Sunday Slow Soupers: One of Each Soup

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One of Each Soup

This Sunday's soup recipe is a favorite of my friend, Jan, from Keep Your Feet in the Street.

I was skeptical about putting an apple and a banana in a soup with onion, celery, and a potato, but, as a loyal Slow Souper, I gave it a try! It is an interesting mix of flavors, and can be eaten warm or cold. The banana and curry really stand out, as the variety of flavors move across your palate. If you are adventurous, and like curry, give it a try.

Terry made a variation where she replaced the banana with a carrot. I think I might like that version better, as I love bananas in their pure form, but don't usually like them mixed with other things (except peanut butter!).

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Jan's recipe:

Ingredients
1 large boiling potato (1/2 lb), peeled and coarsely chopped (I use Yukon Gold)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 celery heart (inner pale stalks with leaves), coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 large apple (preferably Granny Smith), peeled and coarsely chopped
1 firm-ripe banana, coarsely chopped
1 pint chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream (I use whole milk)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 rounded teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives (I have used chives or cilantro or a mixture)

Preparation:
Simmer vegetables and fruits in broth in a 3-quart heavy saucepan, covered, until very tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in cream, butter, curry powder, and salt and heat just until hot (do not boil).

Purée soup in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Thin soup with water if desired and serve sprinkled with chives.

Cooks' note:
· Soup can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.

March 23, 2009

Sunday Slow Soupers: Carrot-Ginger Soup

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The Sunday Slow Soupers have been making soup once a week since November! We have been getting a little tired of soup, especially with the recent temperatures in the 80s! Yesterday, as a storm passed through southern California, was the perfect day to try Debrah's quick, easy, Carrot-ginger-orange soup. We both enjoyed the combination of ingredients, and it took very little time to prepare.

Recipe:
One large onion - diced (I don’t cook with onions, so I would use a combination of green onions and shallots but you can use all or either)

Three cloves garlic minced or crushed

Three inch piece of ginger root - finely diced(you can use more or less depending on preference)

Eight large carrots (diced) (I used a bag of baby carrots cut in half)

One Large tetra pack of chicken or vegetable broth

One and a half cups of orange juice

Saute onions, garlic and ginger in olive oil on low heat to soften and start to carmelize for only 10 minutes. Put in carrots and saute for 5 minutes to bring out the sugars. Add enough broth to cover the carrots and simmer till carrots are tender.

Remove from heat, place a small amount of broth and all of the carrots into blender and puree until smooth. Pour back into pot, add orange juice and rest of broth (or water) until you get the thickness consistency you desire.

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March 29, 2009

Sunday Slow Soupers: Coconut Curry Chicken Noodle Soup

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This was a very interesting, and even amusing process for me. Marta got me away from my comfort zone and introduced me to new flavors! Many of you know I cook mostly Italian, or American food. I had NO ingredients for this recipe on hand, except the onion and garlic. My recent post on wontons made from leftovers is the first and ONLY Asian recipe you have ever seen on my blog (or in my kitchen).

The desert is not a mecca for Asian food. We have NO Thai restaurant (the one that was here, recently closed). I went to four grocery stores to find the ingredients, and was able to get everything except the kaffer lime leaves. I decided to use shrimp, as we have had a LOT of chicken lately, so I splurged on some beautiful, huge prawns. I began to think of this as "the $30 soup".

The kitchen island was filled with "mysterious" (to me) ingredients. Brad was mincing, I was chopping, and we were ready to make soup. I followed the recipe exactly, except for leaving out the lime leaves, and the cilantro garnish ( I HATE the smell and taste of cilantro!) The broth was done, the prawns were gorgeous, and we were at the point where you boil the noodles and add the garnishes. I asked Brad to turn off the burner, as we were not going to have the soup until dinner. He walked over to the stove and turned the knob. I meant to refrigerate the soup as soon as it had cooled down a bit. We went about our day...

Four hours later, the strong scent of curry brought me into the kitchen! The burner was still on! The soup had reduced to 1/2 an inch, and the huge prawns now looked like salad shrimp. I said a few words I will not repeat here.

After Brad cleaned the pot, he returned to the store for new shrimp and more coconut milk. We did it all again. The "$45 Soup" was really good, and hot enough for me. I really liked the crispy shallots on top! I am not sold on the noodles, though.

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During the "soup incident" I realized how little I eat ethnic food (anything NOT Italian).

I have eaten in a Thai restaurant TWICE (in my life).
I eat Japanese food less than once a year. (non-sushi that is)
I have eaten in a Vietnamese restaurant ONCE.
I have eaten Indian food twice in my lifetime.
We eat Chinese food about four times a year.
I may eat Mexican food twice a year (not counting an occasional quesadilla for lunch).
I may eat in a French restaurant twice a year.

Today we're having...PASTA!

Here is Marta's delicious soup recipe:

Coconut Curry Chicken Noodle Soup (Curry Mee)
Time: 45 minutes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced lemon grass or pale green cilantro roots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dark red chili paste, such as sambal, more for serving
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thigh or breast meat, thinly sliced and cut into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons curry powder, preferably Malaysian, Thai or Vietnamese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar, more to taste
About 12 kaffir lime leaves or curry leaves, fresh or frozen (optional)
8 ounces dried thin rice noodles (bun or vermicelli), or other Asian noodles such as udon or lai fun
Salt to taste
1 cup bean sprouts
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 scallions, cut into thin rings
2 shallots, thinly sliced and deep fried in vegetable oil until brown (optional)
Quartered limes for serving.

1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and lemon grass and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Do not brown; reduce heat if necessary. Add garlic and chili paste and stir until fragrant. Raise heat, add chicken and stir-fry one minute. Add curry powder and paprika and stir to coat. Then add coconut milk, half-and-half, chicken stock, turmeric, fish sauce, sugar and lime or curry leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 7 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook rice noodles in boiling water according to package directions (about 4 minutes). Rinse and drain.

3. Taste broth and adjust seasonings with salt and sugar. Divide noodles into large soup bowls. Bring broth to a boil, then ladle over noodles. Top with bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions and fried shallots, if using. Pass limes and sambal at the table.

Yield: 4 main-course servings.

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