Posts Tagged Soup

Roasted Tomato Soup; Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

It’s a comfort food-y kind of Sunday evening here.

Soup & Sandwich

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Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.  I like this recipe from the first season of Top Chef, and it’s simple enough that it’s not worth changing up.  It’s all over the internet, so go have a Google.

Dylan was in a helpful mood today, so I let him be my sous chef.  Fun!

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Zuppa de Pesce & Peanut-butter Cupcakes

It’s DH’s birthday today, so dinner had to be a little special.  He requested this fish stew, from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.  It’s a classic in our household too, but made less often now that we have kids.  It’s not only time-consuming to make, but also time-consuming to shop for, because it includes fish heads as one of Marcella’s CRITICAL ingredients.  If you’ve ever read a Marcella Hazan recipe, you already know that they are chock full of instructions like “And in order to make this recipe correctly, you’ll need to have been born a Silician fisherman and wake up at the crack of dawn to harvest your own scallops…” which, depending on the kind of cook you are, is either a deal-breaker or something you roll your eyes at and then go buy whatever scallops happen to be available at Whole Foods.

In most cases, I am the second kind of cook.  I nod appreciatively at what Marcella is trying to accomplish and then I make the closest approximation I can using American supermarket ingredients because I live in New York City and do not own a farm or a private jet.  But before we had kids, we lived in a much trendier neighborhood, and in this neighborhood there was a Really Awesome Fish Place.  And one day, after having made this recipe numerous times with no fish heads at all and thinking it was already pretty great, I thought to myself, Hey, Self, I bet the Awesome Fish Place would save some heads for you if you asked them a day or two in advance.  And they did.  And that week I made the recipe with the heads included and OH MY GOD MARCELLA I AM SO SORRY I EVER DOUBTED YOU.  The flavor was SO MUCH RICHER.  So, in short, fish heads matter, but require extra shopping, and that’s why we don’t have this very often anymore.

(PS, if you live in NYC, do NOT order the “fish heads and bones for stock” package from FreshDirect thinking you will get fish heads just because they’re in the name of the product.  I’ve tried this twice now and each time have received a very disappointing package of fish spines with NO HEADS.  I have written to complain and suggest you do the same.)

(PPS, in spite of my devotion to following Marcella’s orders because she is always right, I’ve still altered the recipe because hers assumes you will be serving 8 people, that you have the kind of money that buys five or six different kinds of shellfish, and also that you have the time to fillet whole fish yourself.  And that you are willing to use “1 cup of Italian plum tomatoes from a can” instead of just dumping the whole damn can in because REALLY, THERE IS ONLY SO FAR ONE CAN BEND.  I’m not giving exact measurements here because the amounts can be adjusted as needed depending on how many people you’re feeding.)

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Braised Lentils w/ Kielbasa

I have no idea where this recipe came from – it’s been in my box of “recipes from magazines I’ve taped to index cards” box for ages.  Cooking Light, possibly, judging by the font.  Points in its favor include short active cooking time (less than 20 minutes) and hearty flavors for the abysmal weather we’ve been having.  Points against it include Freshdirect not reliably carrying turkey kielbasa, thus necessitating a trip to Foodtown (where impulse purchases were made, totally blowing my weekly food budget).

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Miso Vegetable Chowder

This soup is embarrassingly healthy, rich and hearty, and takes about 20 minutes to prepare. Though it’s really more of a hearty soup than a chowder, I will defer to the original recipe name here.

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Lentil, Sausage, and Rice Soup

Short because I’m three posts behind (sorry!) – this was delicious.  It was rich and hearty but not heavy or greasy.  Didn’t taste nearly as healthy as it was, what with the spinach and the lentils and the brown rice. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tortilla Soup

This is one of the few recipes I had made from this cookbook prior to the launch of this blog.  This is one of my favorite tortilla soup recipes because it is so easy and tasty and chock full of “stuff.”

My method for almost all chicken soups is a multi-day process, but with very little “active” time.  First, buy a whole chicken.  Take it apart, reserving the breast and thigh meat and discarding the skin and any extraneous large globs of fat.  Put the bones in a slow cooker along with one onion, a couple each carrots and celery, and other flavors if this is for a specific use.  For this stock I added a tomato and a jalapeno.  Season with salt, cover with water, and cook on low overnight.  In the morning, strain the stock and put it in the fridge.  This can be done up to a week in advance, or even longer if you freeze it.  (Don’t forget to freeze the breast and thigh meat too!)  Discarding the skin is an important step because it makes the stock nearly fat-free.  You will wind up with all of the flavor from the bones and remaining leg and wing meat, but there will be no need to degrease it before use.

For the soup:

Heat some veg oil in a large pot.  Saute 1 each red bell pepper, green bell pepper, jalapeno, medium red onion.  (Seed the peppers and chop everything.)  Season with salt and cook 3-5 minutes or until softened.  Add 1 tsp cumin, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp oregano, and 2-3 cloves of minced garlic.  Cook another minute, then add 1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes with their juices and the chicken stock.  Add the chicken breasts and thighs and simmer about 20 minutes or until just cooked through.  Remove the chicken and dice.  Return the chicken to the soup along with 1 can rinsed and drained black beans (I like the low-sodium kind) and 1 10-oz package frozen corn (no need to thaw).  Bring the soup back up to a boil and you’re done!

Serve with tortilla chips (blue corn is nice), avocado, monterrey jack cheese, chopped cilantro, and fresh limes to squeeze on top.  Place the chips, cheese, and avocado in the bottom of each bowl and then ladel the soup on top.  Sprinkle with cilantro and squeeze the lime.

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I forgot to take any pictures before we ate, and Dylan refused to smile for the camera.  But you can see from how little is left in the bowl how much he liked it!

Dylan Report: HUGE success with this one.  He didn’t want to use his spoon at all, but he had a great time picking out all the various ingredients and eating them separately by hand.  His favorite parts were the avocado and chips, but he also ate a lot of the veggies.  Score!

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Chicken with Dumplings

Oddly enough, this is the first “chicken and dumplings” I’ve ever made where the dumplings weren’t matzoh balls. And it turns out I’m better with matzoh than flour – these were a little dense for my taste.

For the broth, I cut the breast and thigh meat away from a 5-lb chicken and put the remaining carcass (without skin) into the slow-cooker with a few carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1 onion, and a bit of salt. Filled with water and left it on low all day. When I got home, I scooped out the bones and veggies with a spider and added back the meat to simmer for about 30 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »

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