09 Dec Cream of Mushroom Soup

From Sheila Lukins, USA Cookbook. Serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds white mushrooms, stems trimmed off (shiitake mushrooms are great)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 1/2 cups defatted chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 cup heavy (or whipping) cream
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Wipe the mushrooms caps clean with a damp paper towel. Slice mushrooms and set them aside.
  2. Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy pot over low heat. Add onion and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally (10-12 minutes). Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently for 15 minutes. Season with thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  5. Puree the soup, in batches, in a food processor or blender until smooth, then add the cream gradually. Mix well. Return the soup to the pot and adjust the seasonings to taste.
  6. Before serving, heat the soup over very low heat (do not boil). Garnish with chives and serve piping hot.
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09 Nov Fall Butternut Squash Soup

From Chef Jed Demler

Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 large (about 3 lb.) butternut squash
  • 1 large bulb shallot (1/4 cup to 1/2 cup diced)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Allspice
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups chicken stock

Garnish Ingredients:

  • Toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream
  • Chili oil (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast squash flesh side down for 40 minutes or until tender. Let cool slightly and scoop out flesh and discard tough peel. Set squash aside.
  2. In a heavy bottom pot, on medium high heat, sauté shallots until translucent. Add garlic and stir; allow to get fragrant but not brown. Add squash, all spice, salt, pepper, maple syrup, and chicken stock. Stir to combine and simmer, letting the flavors meld.
  3. Using an immersion or standard blender, blend all ingredients until smooth consistency. If soup is too thick, add chicken stock or water to desired consistency. Finally, blend in 2-3 tablespoons of whole butter for richness.
  4. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream, a few pumpkin seeds, and a drizzle of chili oil.
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15 Sep Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3 (15 oz.) cans pumpkin or 6 cups chopped roasted pumpkin*
  • 5 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

* To make pumpkin puree, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, and lie face down on a tin foil-lined baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees until soft, about 45 minutes to an hour. Cool, scoop out flesh. Freeze whatever you don’t use for future use.

Directions: 

  1. Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add spices and stir for a minute more.
  2. Add pumpkin and 5 cups chicken broth; blend well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Transfer soup in batches to a blender or food processor. Cover tightly and blend until smooth. Return soup to saucepan.
  3. With the soup on low heat, add brown sugar and mix. Slowly add milk while stirring to incorporate. Add cream. Adjust seasonings to taste. If a little too spicy, add more cream to cool it down. You might want to add a teaspoon of salt.
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18 Aug Bill’s Gumbo

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. okra, sliced
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 28 oz. cans tomatoes (break up whole ones)
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb. firm white fish (e.g. cod or snapper), cut up
  • 1/2 lb. lump crab meat

Directions:

  1. Fry bacon until crisp. Remove and drain, then crumble.
  2. Transfer 2 tablespoons rendered fat into pot or dutch oven.
  3. Add vegetables – okra, onion, and bell pepper – and saute until tender.
  4. Add tomatoes and crumbled bacon.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of file for thickening.
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06 Jul Watermelon Gazpacho

By Chef Jed Demler

Gazpacho Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sweet, ripe watermelon
  • 1 cup diced tomato (1 large tomato)
  • 1/2 seeded and diced cucumber (about 1/2 a cucumber)
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and diced (keep the seeds if you want more heat – you can use Thai chiles or serrano as well for more heat)
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion (1/4 of a small onion)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar, balsamic, or even fresh lemon juice could be used)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Garnish Ingredients:

  • Crumbled queso fresco, feta, or cotija cheese
  • Watermelon (I like to use an old-fashioned melon baller, but a small dice is just the same)
  • Finely chopped herbs (basil, dill, mint, tarragon, or chives could all work. Just sue what you have).
  • Flavored oil or vinegar

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, puree the tomatoes and watermelon until smooth. Add the jalapeño, cucumber, and red onion and pulse until blended and combined (I like a bit of texture). Season with salt and pepper and sherry vinegar and while pulsing, stream in the extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Transfer to a container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (the longer the better).
  3. Garnish with crumbled cheese, herbs, watermelon balls, flavored oil (I like meyer lemon), and balsamic vinegar.
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30 Jun Mediterraneo’s White Bean Soup

Makes about 4 quarts or 16 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. dry white (Great Northern) beans
  • 4 slices bacon (applewood smoked is available), chopped
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3-4 whole sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1-2 whole sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic or garlic puree
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper or to taste

Directions:

  1. The night before, sort, rinse, and soak beans according to package directions. Or, rinse beans and place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil over high heat, cover, and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and leave covered for 1 hour.
  2. After beans have soaked overnight or steeped for an hour, drain and reserve.
  3. Over medium heat in a large heavy pot, cook bacon until nearly brown. Add onion and cook until soft.
  4. Fold cheesecloth over to make an 8-inch square. Rinse thyme and rosemary and place in cheesecloth. Tie ends together with string or white thread.
  5. Add beans to onion mixture along with garlic, chicken stock, herb bundle, and any leaf. Simmer about 45 minutes or until beans are tender, but not overcooked. Discard herb bundle and bay leaf.
  6. In food processor or blender, puree half of the beans in small batches. Stir pureed beans back into soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: If applewood smoked bacon isn’t available, use any smoked bacon and add optional brown sugar.

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01 Jun Gazpacho

From Helen Corbitt’s Cookbook. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 1/4 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup canned tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
  • Dash of Tabasco
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic salt or garlic

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender or Cuisinart.
  2. Serve in ice-cold cups with an ice cube in each cup and a slice of lemon or lime for a garnish.
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24 Jun Gazpacho

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cups canned tomato juice
  • 2 T fresh herbs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup croutons, to garnish

Directions:

1.  In a bowl, reserve 2 T each of the tomato, cucumber, pepper, and onion to garnish. In the food processor or blender, purée the remaining ingredients (except the croutons) until smooth, adjusting the seasoning to taste with lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper.

2.  Cover and chill thoroughly, at least 3 hours but preferably overnight. Adjust the consistency as desired with water.

3.  Serve in chilled bowls garnished with the reserved vegetables and croutons.

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10 Jun Summer Minestrone Soup with Pesto

Try this soup using other fresh vegetables or herbs you have on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 small red-skinned potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 small zucchini, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 15-ounce can cannelloni beans, drained
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, crushed
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 6 T purchased or homemade pesto
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.  Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes.

2.  Add broth and next 7 ingredients. Increase heat to high and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pot, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

3.  Stir in spinach; simmer 3 minutes longer. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

4.  Ladle soup into 6 bowls; garnish each with 1 tablespoon pesto. Serve, passing cheese separately.

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10 Apr Sausage, Greens, and Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds sausage
  • 1-2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 1/2 pounds red skinned potatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bunch spinach, kale, or other greens, washed and chopped
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 T dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 rind Parmesan or Pecorino cheese (optional, but so good!)

Directions:

1.  Heat 1T olive oil in large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Sauté sausage rounds for a minute or two, until they are nicely browned. Transfer to a small plate and set aside.

2.  Add 1T olive oil to the pot, along with the minced garlic and onions. Sauté over medium ‐low heat for 4‐5 minutes until onions soften and start to get transparent.

3.  Add broth, water, potatoes and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a steady simmer and cook for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

4.  Using a potato masher or immersion blender, mash half the potatoes right in the pot, so you have a creamy broth with some chunks of potato remaining.

5.  Add the cooked sausage, greens, beans, thyme, oregano, and rind. Cook until the greens wilt and the soup is heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 5-7.

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