Posts Tagged ‘soup’

So-Tasty Tortilla Soup

Well fall has finally arrived here in Virginia so let’s celebrate with some soup! I’d argue that tortilla soup is the perfect soup on rainy or early fall days. There is something so warming about the nice light broth, veggies and SW flare that tortilla soup brings. We are big fans of spanish style cooking and especially of tortilla soup. This is a great side-dish on taco night, or as the main course when you are looking for a lighter meal.

Ingredients:

3 tbsp Corn Oil
4 small Corn Tortillas – coarsely chopped
4 cloves Garlic
handful of Cilantro – chopped
1 Yellow Onion
1 tbsp Cumin
2 tsp Chili Powder
2 Bay Leaves
1.5 quarts Chicken Broth
2 tsp Salt
pinch of Cayenne Pepper
28 oz. Tomato Puree
2 Chicken Breasts – Cooked and Shredded
Cheddar Cheese – just a pinch for garnish before serving

Directions: 

In a large soup heat oil over medium heat. Add tortillas, garlic and cilantro and cook for about 5 minutes until tortillas are soft. While those are cooking puree the onion (we LOVE using our Magic Bullet for this). Add onion and tomato purees into the soup pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir in: cumin, bay leaves, chicken broth and chili powder. Once this is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  After about 15 minutes add the chicken and then continue simmering for another 15 minutes (30 minutes of simmering, total). Stir-in salt and cayenne pepper to taste, remove bay leaves. Garnish with cheese and dig-in!

Tortilla Soup photo 1 (4) photo 2 (1) photo 4

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Perfect Pistou Soup

I absolutely love soup – making it, devouring it, smelling it, etc. To me, soup is so versatile. You can have a chilled soup in the summer, a warm and hearty soup in winter, serve it as a side or first course, or have it as a meal. Long ago I stumbled up The Soup Bible in the bargain section of my local Barnes & Noble. It was an immediate must-have for my (very small) cookbook collection. Since purchasing it I have tried a heaping handful of recipes, some have been great others very bleh. This soup however was phenomenal.

According to the book, Pistou soup is a traditional vegetable soup from Nice, in southern France. I have made a bit of a spin on their recipe so below is my adapted version. I made this while the snow/sleet/wintry mix was creating sloppy streets outside and loved how it really warmed us right up as we ate it! Another perk of this – it was ridiculously quick and easy to make all in one pot, and heated up the next day for leftovers quite well! Overall, this soup was a winner and we will deifnitely be making this again.

Recipe adapted from The Soup Bible

Ingredients

1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
1 smallish potato, diced
1 shallot, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 – 8oz can diced tomatoes
5 cups vegetable stock
2 oz green beans, cut into 1/2 inch lengths
1/2 cup frozen baby peas
1/2 cup ditalini pasta (you can swap out other ‘baby’ pasta shapes too such as elbows, stars, etc)
4 – 6 tbsp pesto
pinch of salt
pinch of ground black pepper
grated parmesan cheese (for serving)

Directions

Place the squash, zucchini, potato, carrot, shallot and tomatoes in a large pan with the vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring them to a boil and then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the green beans — if you are using FRESH green beans then add them with the other veggies above, if you are using frozen string beans add them after everything above has simmered for 20 minutes — baby peas and ditalini pasta. Cook for an additional 10 – 15 minutes until the pasta is tender (but not too soft). Add a pinch more salt and pepper to your taste.

Add a small spoonful of pesto into each individual bowl and then add the soup to the bowl. Stir to mix the soup and pesto and serve! Ensure you have grated parmesan cheese handy for anyone eating the soup – as a small sprinling of parmesan in each bowl really enhances the flavor of the soup.

Since is a french soup, I’ll end this post by saying “Bon Appetite!”

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Winter Crop Share Week 3 Report

Having a week off of the share for Thanksgiving was a welcome break! It gave us some time to use up ingredients we had hanging around and give our fridge a nice thorough cleaning. Now that the holiday season is in full swing it seems that our kitchen is turning out more baked items than traditionally cooked items so I’ll be sure to share those successes and failures as quick as I can! I cannot say this enough but with our social schedule jam-packed having a smaller share has really helped us prevent waste!

What we received:

– Eggplant
– Onions
– Carrots
– Beets
– Apple Cider
– Tangelos

Upcoming Meals:

As a child raised in the early 1990’s when I think of beets the first thought that pops into my head is of the cartoon Doug, which prominently featured the band, The Beets!. Unfortunately for me, Doug did not include recipes only songs, so while I cannot get their catchy tunes out of my head I’m trying to find some recipes that will turn us on to the beets in our basket. Family has told me that they find beets to be delicious and sweet so I am going on the hunt for something that will highlight the sweet side of beets. Of course, details shall be posted!

The carrots and onions are going to be used in a stew, or chili. With colder temperatures starting to arrive it is officially soup, stew and chili season (oh yes, and cold season too!). Putting these great fresh ingredients in the stews and soups is a delicious and noticeable difference from their frozen (or dare I say canned) counterparts.

The tangelos have been an interesting inclusion in the basket. Part of the lure of this share was that it was local, which is a term I use loosely as many farms are from the surrounding states. The tangelos are from Florida. I enjoy getting citrus in winter but I’m not sure that it really what I’m looking for from this share…. I have enjoyed eating them but I’m just wishing they stuck to more winter crops from the general states that surround us, we live in Virginia so PA, MD, VA, NJ, NY, maybe even Ohio, and WV and NC wouldn’t be bad places to get crops from but Florida just seems too far. That is what I thought about as I ate my tangelo at breakfast this morning, so food for thought – when you sign up for a crop-share and expect local produce how do you feel when your produce isn’t as local, or even regional, as you expected?

Final thoughts – good week for crops, great week for baking, delicious meals shall be served in our home! Sorry for the late post everyone, hope you enjoyed!

The Kale Soup Semi-Failure

I’m not counting this soup as a total and complete utter failure but really a semi-failure, it could have been a lot worse. We used this recipe from the Trader Joe’s Cookbook (http://cookingwithtraderjoes.com/ ) and the reasons we didn’t like it truly had nothing to do with the recipe as much as with the Kale (in my opinion at least).

The short of this recipe was that it was potatoes, kale, garlic and broth. The soup was nice and easy to make. I would highly suggest checking out the book or their blog for more inspiration as the remainder of the book has been a delight to cook with. To quickly summarize you cook some potatoes in veggie broth, add in some kale, onions, garlic (maybe shallots my memory is escaping me) and that’s really all. Get it to a nice boil and make your kale a nice bright green color and ‘enjoy’. 

It just definitely did not fit our taste buds. It smelled really nice and garlicky, the potatoes had a nice firmness to them overall it was a really nice pleasant soup to put together and cook – easy and quick. Now onto the point where I only call it a semi-failure …

The kale was just too darn bitter, I could not get past that. I skimmed out some of the kale. Since I believed the kale was making the soup a bit too bitter I did what I could to skim out some of the extra abundance of kale and really with just a bit of kale, the broth and potatoes it wasn’t a bad soup at all. I think having the kale for the bitterness was necessary it was just way too much and became very overpowering very quickly.

To date, I think I’m going to stick with steaming my kale. I am hoping to try kale chips next time too to see how that turns out. Kale has definitely been fun to sample with and try in different ways. I think this soup could be good, I may just not be the experienced enough person to figure out what went wrong and how to make it right…

If you have any suggestions on making this more edible please share, also feel free to share any other kale preparation techniques you enjoy!

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