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Posts tagged ‘soup’

Clean Soups- Magic Mineral Broth and Thai Coconut Broth

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I’m a cookbook hoarder, well hoarder may be too harsh but I love my cookbooks, collect them and can literally spend hours in the bookstore looking at them and almost always leave the store with at least one if not more. When I received an email from the editors at Food52 asking if I would be interested in reviewing a cookbook for the Piglet Community Picks  there was no pause in my answer, a resounding YES.  I was given a choice of 6 cookbooks and Clean Soups was my first choice. It is not a voluminous cookbook, but offers some fantastic healthful and delicious basic broths used as a base for a variety of different types of soups.

I chose to make the Magic Miracle Broth,  a vegetable broth, and a stepping stone to another recipe Thai Coconut Broth which will  become a pureed soup. One thing I loved about this broth is that the vegetables are used unpeeled, everything, onion, carrot, garlic with the peels and all, it’s so easy to just throw it all in a pot and let it cook. If you love soup and clean eating I really recommend you purchase this cookbook. Part two of this post will be published in a few days, the finished soup.

Magic Mineral Broth

Makes approximately 1 gallon of broth

6 unpeeled carrots cut into thirds

2 unpeeled yellow onions, quartered

1 leek, white and green parts cut into thirds

1 bunch celery including the heart, cut into thirds

4 unpeeled red potatoes

2 unpeeled Japanese or regular sweet potatoes, quartered

1 unpeeled garnet yam, quartered

5 unpeeled garlic cloves, halved

1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley

1 (8 inch strip) kombu

12 black peppercorns

4 whole allspice or juniper berries

2 bay leaves

8 quarts cold filtered water

1 tsp sea salt plus more if needed

Rinse all vegetables well including the Kombu.
In a 12 quart or larger stockpot, combine the carrots, onion, leek, celery, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, garlic, parsley, kombu, pepper, allspice berries and bay leaves. Add the water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for at least 2 hours or until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted. As the broth simmers some of the water will evaporate, add more if the vegetables begin to peek out.

Strain the broth through a large course mesh sieve (use a heat resistant container underneath) and discard the solids. Stir in the salt adding more if desired. Let cool at room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. Store in the refrigerator up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 6 months.

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Thai Coconut Broth

Makes approximately 2 1/2 quarts of broth

8 cups Magic Mineral broth

2 13.5 oune cans coconut milk

3 1 inch pieces of fresh ginger

2 shallots peeled and halved

3 kaffir lime leaves or 1 tsp lime zest

1 stalk lemongrass, cut in chunks and bruised

1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more if needed

In a 6 quart pot combine the broth, coconut milk, ginger, shallots, lime leaves or zest, lemongrass and salt, bring to a low boil over medium heat. Cook for about 20 minutes. Decrease to low and simmer for another 30 minutes. Remove the solids, taste and add more salt if desired.

Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days and 6 months in the freezer.

 

Tomato Soup

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I have a good friend who used to live in Brooklyn and a couple of years ago moved into Manhattan, we don’t get to see each other that often and I was so happy that we set a date to meet and decided we would catch up over lunch. I offered to cook and thought since it’s cold outside a bowl of soup would be good, she lives near Sullivan Street Bakery and said she would bring bread. The first thing I thought of was tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve made tomato soup before, posted it a few years ago, it was actually an accident that turned into soup. This one is intentional and it’s phenomenal. I got the recipe from food network and reading it I thought OMG, there is something wrong for example it called for 3/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup on the tomatoes and sauteeing the vegetables in 1/2 cup of olive oil, REALLY, don’t think so. Luckily the recipe from Michael Chiarrello had an accompanying video from his show. I followed what he said in the video and not what was written and the soup is awesome. I made a few changes adding some fresh tomatoes, rind of parmigiana but other than those two things I stuck to the recipe. The soup is delicious and quick and easy and I highly recommend. Who can resist dunking a gooey grilled cheese in tomato soup, it’s one of lifes great pleasures.

Homemade Tomato Soup

Makes 2-3 generous portions or 4 moderately sized portions

1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes- juices drained and reserved

1 cup fresh tomatoes cut into pieces or if cherry or grape cut in half

1 stalk celery

1 small onion

1 carrot

1 1/2-2 cup (approximately) stock, chicken or vegetable or water

reserved juice from tomatoes

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil to drizzle on tomatoes and to cook the vegetables

small piece of parmigiano rind (optional)

fresh basil chopped (I used 3 large leaves)

1 tbs butter (optional)

heavy cream- I didn’t measure but if I had to guess it was a bit shy of 1/4 cup (optional)

Heat oven to 450 degree’s. Drain canned tomatoes and reserve the juice. Place on baking sheet along with fresh tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until caramelized – it took approximately 20 minutes

Heat some olive oil in heavy non reactive sauce pan or saucier. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until they start to soften and caramelize. Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, stock or water, bay leaf, rind of parmigiano and cook approximate 25-30 minutes until vegetables are tender add the basil now.  Remove bay leaf and you can use either your immersion blender or your blender and puree until smooth. Return to pan and add the optional butter and cream. Serve hot.

Happy Halloween, Cheesy Cauliflower Puree With Roasted Vegetables And Pear With Poire William Creme Anglaise

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Halloween is a big day in our neighborhood, our community group the Society for Clinton Hill sponsors a Halloween Walk and other events, there are months of planning that go into this. Last year there were over 3000 children and adults that participated and this year I think there will be more, judging from the response we have gotten so far. We have a halloween map showing houses that hand out candy, a theatrical production at 313 Clinton Avenue, the Dead Zombie Band puts on an incredible show and everyone looks forward to it. Because we are a not for profit organization local business donate to help us defray the expense of putting this whole thing together. I am on the board of directors for the community organization and am in charge of the PR, social media and the website as well as helping to coordinate.  It’s a tremendous amount of work but very rewarding. I will post photo’s this week. Happy Halloween to all!!

Sorry about all the cauliflower recipes, as I said in the last post it’s an obsession of mine and a filling and delicious sub for carb laden rice or potatoes or pasta. In this case I probably would have served over polenta but instead served with a cauliflower puree made rich with a little creme fraiche and grated comte cheese. The vegetables are simple, a small graffiti eggplant roasted with whole cherry tomatoes and shallot. For a textural diversion I sauteed some fresh bread crumbs in garlic, butter and olive oil and sprinkled over the top.

In an effort to satisfy my sweet tooth and still stay away from refined sugar and flour I created this simple dessert by poaching pears in Poire William (pear liquor) with a touch of maple syrup to sweeten and served with a créme anglaise again with a little maple syrup to sweeten and some Poire William.  Créme Anglaise is a custard sauce made with eggs, milk or cream, sugar, vanilla and rum or some sort of spirit or liquor. Because I am not really eating refined sugar I chose to lightly sweeten with maple syrup, this was adapted from Julia Childs recipe in her book, “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom”.  I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t thicken properly because there is no sugar but it worked just fine.

Cauliflower Puree with Roasted Vegetables 

Really no recipe required for this I made enough for 2 servings

Cauliflower puree follow instructions but use creme fraiche rather than cream.

1 small eggplant cut into bite size pieces

cherry tomatoes

1 shallot peeled and cut into quarters

cheese of your choice I used comté and didn’t measure- grated – add as much cheese as you like

olive oil

salt and pepper

fresh breadcrumbs

1 small garlic clove thinly sliced

butter

Make the cauliflower puree and set aside. Clean and cut your eggplant and shallot, heat the oven to 400 degree’s. Place parchment on sheet pan and lay the vegetables and whole cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes. The eggplant and shallot should be soft and the tomatoes nicely caramelized.

Heat a little olive oil and butter in a skillet on med high heat, add garlic and sauté until soft. Add the breadcrumbs stirring so that the fat is absorbed by the breadcrumbs. Toast in the skillet until crisp and browned.

Heat cauliflower puree in saucepan add grated cheese. Serve immediately with the roasted vegetables spooned on top, sprinkled with breadcrumbs and garnish with a little parsley if you like.

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Créme Anglaise

2 servings

Adapted from a recipe by Julia Child

3 egg yolks

2-3 tbs maple syrup

1 cup half and half or whole milk

2 tsp vanilla

2 tbs Poire William (you can use the juices from the poached pears for this)

Whisk egg yolks with the maple syrup until the yolks are thick and pale yellow. Heat milk to scalding and add in a slow steady stream to the egg yolks whisking constantly. Pour into the saucepan and cook on medium to medium low heat until it thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, using your finger swipe a line and if it stays intact it’s done. Remove from heat immediately, pour through a fine sieve to remove any bits of egg that may have cooked and add the vanilla and pear liquor.  Refrigerate until ready to use, since this is best served warm heat over simmering water (bain marie) until warm to the touch. The créme anglaise which is usually a light yellow because of the maple syrup and vanilla is more beige in color.

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Poached Pears

Heat oven to 375 degree’s. Peel, cut in half and core the pears,  place in a buttered baking dish adding some Poire William, pear nectar or whatever liquid you like. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until pears are soft when gently poked with the end of a sharp knife.

If your créme anglaise is cold you can warm over simmering water. Spoon onto a plate and top with the pear.

You can add a cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom pod or whatever spice you like to the pears and this will infuse with a gentle warm spice that would be delicious as well.

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Count Dracula

Percy as Count Dracula

Paul Bertolli’s Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower soup

Cauliflower soup

I had a head of cauliflower, it’s getting cold outside and I wanted some soup but it had to be very simple. I found this recipe on Food52, I had run out of stock vegetable or chicken and couldn’t run to the store, was waiting for a delivery and when I saw how easy this soup was and the list of ingredients is minimal I knew this was what I would make. This is part of the Food52 Genius collection, it is genius in it’s simplicity and tasting it you would never know just how easy it is to make. It would be an elegant addition to any meal, your guests will be impressed. As it is this recipe is vegan, no dairy or animal products at all. Of course I added a couple of tbs of butter to mine, just because I like butter but this is completely optional and unnecessary. The soup is delicious as is.

Serves 8

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (6 ounces), sliced thin
  • 1 head very fresh cauliflower (about 1-1/2 pounds), broken into florets
  • Salt, to taste
  • 5 1/2 cups water, divided
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Warm the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sweat the onion in the olive oil over low heat without letting it brown for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower, salt to taste, and 1/2 cup water. Raise the heat slightly, cover the pot tightly and stew the cauliflower for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Then add another 4 1/2 cups hot water, bring to a low simmer and cook an additional 20 minutes uncovered.
  3. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender to a very smooth, creamy consistency. Let the soup stand for 20 minutes. In this time it will thicken slightly.
  4. Thin the soup with 1/2 cup hot water. Reheat the soup. Serve hot, drizzled with a thin stream of extra-virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.
smooth and creamy

smooth and creamy

Spring Is Here….. In Theory And A Spring Recipe

Spring Turnips

Spring Turnips

At 12:57 PM today it’s officially spring. It is a glorious day in NYC with temps in the 50’s and after a tenacious winter those warmish temps feel really nice. It will be short lived but thats ok I see the light at the end of the tunnel. The first little nubs of green are peeking through the earth and I know that very soon there will be buds everywhere.

I can’t wait for the spring vegetables to hit the market, right now it’s still winter produce. I wanted to make something that just screamed spring but, to be perfectly honest, was completely uninspired by anything I saw at the market.

I decided to reprise a recipe that I made a couple of years ago, it’s a great spring soup, it’s simple and delicious and it will be the first thing I make when the spring produce hits the farmers market. I posted this on Food 52 about 2 years ago and was a communiuty pick, the editors also made the soup and  it was photographed by Mr Ransom the very talented food52 photographer. I also posted this here in May of 2012

Creamy turnip soup

Creamy turnip soup

Creamy Spring Turnip Soup With Wilted Radish Greens And Bacon

Serves 4-6 depending on serving size

3 cups spring turnips cut in quarters

3 young leeks cleaned very well and sliced

4 cups broth (I used chicken but vegetable broth would also be good or even water)

1/4 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

Clean and slice your leeks, I like to clean, trim and chop into rounds and add to a large amount of clean water. The grit goes to the bottom, then I scoop them out and rinse again. Let them air dry while you prep the turnips. Peel, rinse and chop the turnips into quarters.

Heat only enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a heavy large saucepan, add the dried leeks and cook only until softened. Add the turnips and cook for a short time you don’t want them to brown only to start to soften, I cooked on medium/high heat, Add the stock, bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and cook for approximately 30 minutes or until the turnips are very soft.

You may not need all of the liquid depending on how thick you like your soup, so drain the turnips and leeks and process in blender until very smooth, Pour into a bowl and add back the stock until it reaches the consistency you like. Now add the heavy cream. Adjust seasoning. Stir and set aside while you make the topping. If you are serving the soup warm pour back in the saucepan and keep on very low flame.

Greens and Bacon

4-6 slices bacon (I like maple cured)

the leaves from a head of radishes

Remove the greens from the radishes and clean very well to remove any grit, Lay on paper towel to dry.

Fry the bacon until crisp, remove from pan and lay on paper towel, add the dried radish greens and saute only until wilted, Remove to paper towel. Ladle soup into bowls lay some of the wilted greens and crumble some of the bacon on top.

Photograph by James Ransom for Food52

Photograph by James Ransom for Food52

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup hearty and delicious!

Lentil Soup hearty and delicious!

Its cold outside and in the winter I really love to have a hot bowl of soup. I love lentils, they are nutritious, loaded with protein, fiber and vitamins, one of natures perfect foods. They are also so easy to make. I usually make the whole package, 2 cups dry lentils and this yields a big pot of soup, for me this is multiple meals and it freezes nicely. I divide into portions, stick them in the freezer. I like to add lots of vegetables, onion, celery, carrot, garlic and parsley.  It is a healthful delicious meal as is, but I really love adding kielbasa to my lentil soup there is something about the smoky sausage that adds so much flavor. You don’t have to, this is optional of course. I’m sure all of you have your go to lentil soup recipe, this is mine. I sometimes add kale or spinach to the pot at the end of cooking time.

Ingredients:

2 cups lentils washed and sorted

1 small onion chopped

1 large stalk celery

1 medium size carrot cleaned peeled and chopped

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley chopped

2 cloves garlic chopped

6-8 cups chicken, beef, vegetable stock or water

1/2 lb smoked kielbasa sausage (Optional)

salt and pepper to taste

handfull of Spinach or Kale

Coat the bottom of your pot or dutch oven with olive oil (not too much), heat on medium high and add the onion, garlic, celery and carrot, saute stirring frequently until the vegetables start of soften, add the  parsley.  Heat the stock if you are using stock. Now add the cleaned lentils, give it a stir and add hot stock or hot water. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Let cook stirring occasionally for approximately 1 hour or until lentils are softened and cooked through. Watch it carefully, if you think it’s too thick add more water or stock to thin. I threw in some spinach after it was cooked the heat of the soup wilts the spinach. NOTE: If adding Kale you will need to continue cooking for 5 minutes or a little longer. Spinach wilts instantly but Kale is a bit tougher and requires a small amount of cooking time.

Creamy Spring Turnip Soup With Wilted Radish Greens And Bacon

Creamy Spring Turnip Soup

The contest on Food52 is all about radishes and turnips. Honestly, I am not a lover of either but if I had to pick I guess turnips would be my choice. I do however love greens, turnip or radish they are delicious and anything is better with bacon, right? This soup is silky and creamy and can be eaten warm/hot or chilled. The wilted radish greens and bacon are delicious with the soup. I made this with young spring leeks and turnips and only added a little cream to smooth out the bite from the turnips. I am so pleased at how wonderfully this soup came out and it literally takes less than an hour to prepare. With the weather turning warmer I’m sure soup is not high on the priority list, I had it slightly chilled last night for dinner and it was wonderful.

The Soup

3 cups spring turnips cut in quarters

3 young leeks cleaned very well and sliced

4 cups broth (I used chicken but vegetable broth would also be good)

1/4 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

Clean and slice your leeks, I like to clean, trim and chop into rounds and add to a large amount of clean water. The grit goes to the bottom, then I scoop them out and rinse again. Let them air dry while you prep the turnips. Peel, rinse and chop the turnips into quarters.

Heat only enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a heavy large saucepan, add the dried leeks and cook only until softened. Add the turnips and cook for a short time you don’t want them to brown only to start to soften, I cooked on medium/high heat, Add the stock, bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and cook for approximately 30 minutes or until the turnips are very soft.

You may not need all of the liquid depending on how thick you like your soup, so drain the turnips and leeks and process in blender until very smooth, Pour into a bowl and add back the stock until it reaches the consistency you like. Now add the heavy cream. Adjust seasoning. Stir and set aside while you make the topping. If you are serving the soup warm pour back in the saucepan and keep on very low flame.

Greens and Bacon

4-6 slices bacon (I like maple cured)

the leaves from a head of radishes

Remove the greens from the radishes and clean very well to remove any grit, Lay on paper towel to dry.

Fry the bacon until crisp, remove from pan and lay on paper towel, add the dried radish greens and saute only until wilted, Remove to paper towel. Ladle soup into bowls lay some of the wilted greens and crumble some of the bacon on top.

Last Pot of Hot Soup, Maybe…. Chicken Noodle Soup

Crocus in bloom

During the cold winter months I sometimes make a pot of soup a week, this winter my thoughts were turning to gazpacho because the it’s been unusually warm. I walk outside and see bulbs have already bloomed, actually I saw the beginnings at the end of January and now we have full blooms. I really haven’t followed tradition, my own, and made soup. I’ve barely had hot chocolate or hot toddy’s. So I decided to make soup today, with temperatures in the low to mid 40’s and the weather forecast in the high 50’s low 60’s the rest of the week, I thought I better do it now or else I might just retire my soup pot. I made chicken soup with escarole and noodles. The noodles are homemade from dough left over from last weeks Italian offerings, made some stock with chicken, onions, celery, carrots, garlic and herbs (parsley). I will probably freeze what’s left after enjoying a bowl, you never know, next week we may get snow.

Chicken Stock:

1 whole chicken, organic if possible

1 whole onion peeled and cut in half

2 stalks celery cut in half

2 cloves garlic

2 big carrots cut into big chunks

handful of cleaned parsley and whatever herbs you like to add

enough water to cover the chicken

salt and pepper to taste

4 cups torn or chopped well cleaned escarole

noodles or whatever type of pasta you like to add to the soup. About 2 1/2 cups cooked pasta

Add everything except the escarole and noodles to stock pot and boil for 2-3 hours on med/high heat or lower heat if you want to cook all day. When done remove chicken and vegetables from pot, add the escarole and cook for 20 minutes. In separate pot boil your noodles and add to chicken soup when they are done, Cut the carrots on the diagonal and add back to soup, You can serve with some of the boiled chicken in the bowl and I like to grate some romano cheese on top.

Root Vegetable Potage

Hot soup on a cold day!

  • 6 cups flavorful chicken or vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
  • 4 medium size potatoes (I like yukon gold) peeled and quartered
  • carrots cleaned, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 medium turnip cleaned, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 parsnips peeled cleaned and chopped into large chunks
  • 1 large onion quartered
  • 2 large cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • good size handful of mint chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil to cook garlic and mint
  • sour cream for topping soup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
Coat bottom of large pot with a little olive oil heat on med/high and add diced onions. Cook until onions are soft. Add the stock, now add the potatoes, carrots, turnip, and parsnip. Cook on med/high until vegetables are very soft. Remove from heat and puree either using your immersion blender or food processor. Add the butter and optional heavy cream. Adjust seasoning to taste.

In small fry pan on medium heat add the olive oil, now add the garlic and cook until its just starting to brown, add the chopped mint and cook on low heat for a minute or two, you don’t want the garlic burned but it should be crisp kind of like a garlic chip. Ladle some soup into a bowl, add a dollop of sour cream and spoon some of the garlic and mint over the sour cream.

ALTERNATE METHOD; Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees, line a sheet pan with parchment or aluminum foil, lay the cut carrots, parsnips and turnips drizzle with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes. They will just start to brown. Remove from oven and add as in step 1 along with the raw potatoes.