Archive | Soups & Stews RSS feed for this section

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Tomato-Caper Jam

22 Feb

I am back on the soup making and eating wagon.  Right out of the gate we have a winner.  A first prize combo.  The roasted cauliflower soup was made quickly and without much thought.  I needed lunch and the head of cauliflower needed to be used, like, yesterday.  So I roasted it with onions and garlic added some chicken stock and made soup.

I love roasted cauliflower and the soup was very good, but not particularly memorable.   A spoonful of tomato-caper jam, a drizzle of Meyer Lemon olive oil and a tangle of thyme transformed the soup into something else all together.  A warm, elegant, complex and deeply satisfying lunch.  A real treat.

Continue reading


Acorn Squash & Sweet Potato Soup

23 Jan

Monday is starting to become synonymous with soup in our house and I am beginning to really get into it.  Making soup is a lot less time-consuming than I thought it would be and rarely requires ingredients beyond what I already have on hand.  In fact, it is a very  efficient way to clean out the fridge.  This soup is the perfect example of the clean out the fridge quality that soups have.  It managed to transform a lonely acorn squash and a few sweet potatoes into a healthy and comforting lunch.  This soup is definitely more than the sum of its parts.

Continue reading

Curried Chickpea Stew

18 Jan


Chickpeas remind me of my mother.  She loves them. We all have a few ingredients, a handful of flavors that make us happy, that we return to again and again.  Ingredients that, in our mind,  never fall out of fashion or favor.  My grandmother has duck, my aunt has lemon, my mother has chickpeas.

This is another fast and healthy meal that makes great leftovers – big enough flavors to serve alone but it would also be a fantastic bed for pan-seared salmon or grilled steak.  Play with the veggies in this one, I just included what I had in the fridge – although the spinach is essential, there is something magical and velvety about spinach bathed in warm, fragrant spices.

I used Jamaican curry powder (Did I mention that the new grocery store in our neighborhood has a Jamaican foods sections!) You can use any curry powder that you have on hand or an internet search will turn up appropriate ratios of ingredients to put together a curry from scratch.

Continue reading

Vegetable Soup with Beans and Collard Greens

16 Jan

So far so good with the soup resolution.  Buying 1038 boxes of chicken stock while they were on sale has helped.  We don’t have much cabinet space in our apartment, so every time I open a cupboard a box falls out and hits me in the head.  A very physical reminder that I should make some soup.

This recipe makes about 4 quarts of soup, enough to feed 8-10 people and still have a little leftover. Or enough to feed two adults and a 2 year-old lunch for a week.  The soup got better and better after a few days.  Light, spicy and satisfying.  More than once last week I would think about the soup in the fridge and get excited to go home and have some lunch.  This soup is good.

Continue reading

Black Bean Soup

9 Jan

I talked a big talk last year.  Fall/Winter 2011 was going to be season of soup.  I think I made 2 or maybe just 1?  I blame an unusually warm winter and the holidays.  The holidays just made me want to make candy, not soup.   So now I get to declare, in this, the second week of The New Year, that Winter 2012 will be the season of soup!

We had a few very cold days last week, like barely making it out of the teens cold.  I bundled Isabella up so warmly that she couldn’t put her arms down by her side.  We went outside to run and play and burn off a little energy, she made it to the gate of our building, turned around and asked, “Go home now Mama?”  It was that kind of cold.  The perfect time to renew my soup making aspirations.

This soup is easy, very easy.   It takes about 15 minutes to get everything cooking together, you let it simmer a little longer, blend and eat.

Continue reading

Turkey Soup with Chive Dumplings

28 Nov

I have been thinking about Chicken and Dumplings for a while now.  Sometimes that happens. I get a dish or an ingredient stuck in my head and I keep pushing it aside until I have unconsciously bought all of the ingredients, done half the prep work and read enough recipes to come up with a plan of action.  Weeks of contemplating paired with 3 quarts of homemade turkey stock and heaps of leftover roasted turkey made Sunday’s lunch practically a forgone conclusion.

Continue reading

Seafood Stew

30 Oct

It snowed here yesterday!  It didn’t really stick, but it was cold and pretty miserable.  I made a seafood stew for dinner.  It was warm and comforting and had that slow cooked feel, but it only took about 30 minutes. Best of all it left my oven open for a bunch of baking!

This is one of those core techniques, if you figure it out and are comfortable, you can substitute any main ingredient and adjust the complimenting flavors.  I used andouille, white wine and tomatoes as my main flavors. You could use bacon, beer and onions.  Or fish stock, lemongrass and ginger.  I used clams, calamari, shrimp and scallops.  You could do it completely with mussels or add a lobster tail or a filet of fish.

A final note.  It is always easier to cook if you have prepared all of your ingredients before you start.  In this case it is a necessity.  Seafood cooks quickly!

Seafood Stew

1 andouille sausage, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

2 garlic gloves, minced

2 tomatoes, cores removed, diced

6 clams

1/2 lb of squid, heads and bodies.  Slice bodies in to rings

8 medium shrimp

2 large diver scallops

2 cups white wine, approx

1/4 cup each parsley and tarragon, chopped

1 lemon, zest and juice

Salt & Pepper

Olive Oil

I like to use a 12 inch stainless skillet with a lid, it has enough surface area that ingredients cook quickly and evenly, but is deep enough to hold everything comfortably.  If you were going to make this for a large group, a big, deep pot would be best.

Brown the andouille in some oil until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the pan and put aside.  Add the onions to the pan and sauté until translucent.  Add more oil if necessary.  Deglaze the pan with a little wine and scrape up all the golden brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add tomatoes and garlic and cook on low until the tomatoes have and broken down – about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and lemon zest.  Add enough wine to make the mixture soupy.  Add the andouille back to the pan.  Turn heat up and bring to the boil.  Let boil 2-3 minutes. This will allow the alcohol in the wine to cook off and the mixture to reduce slightly.

Meanwhile, heat a heavy bottomed skillet (cast-iron works beautifully) over high heat.  Pat the scallops dry and season both sides with salt and pepper.  Add a little oil to the pan and put the scallops in the pan.  Cook until a golden brown crust forms and then flip and repeat.  The exterior should have a golden brown crust, but the interior should be slightly translucent and velvety.  Remove from the pan until ready to eat.

Back at the main event … Add your clams and calamari and cover.  Let cook for 2 minutes.  Remove lid and add shrimp to the pan.  Cook until the shrimp are pink, the calamari are opaque and the clams have just opened.  Add the fresh herbs and the lemon juice.  Toss to combine, taste and add salt and pepper as needed.  Pour into a serving bowl and place the scallops on top, garnish with more fresh herbs.  Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.  Enjoy!

%d bloggers like this: