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Posts Tagged ‘soup’

The stuff my husband brings from farmers markets nowadays makes me want to shake the winter hibernation off with some fresh healthy recipes.  I know, right? What’s happening to me?!  Well, I guess all the things green and juicy and flavorful, and not kale are quite inspiring. Plus they are reminding that there is a slight (very slight, but…) chance of sunny days on the horizon, and low possibly (but still a possibility!!!) of a t-shirt-kind of day, and that perhaps we should get into a t-shirt appropriate shape!

Here is something healthy and delicious to celebrate the spring!

Asp_Soup_WM-2

 

Vegan Cream Of Asparagus

From While Chasing Kids | Soups | American

This soup is so creamy and smooth you would never guess it’s vegan!
Serves: 6

00:45
00:10
00:35

cal Calories 245kcal

Low fat Total Fat 8g

Low sat-fat Saturated Fat 1g

chol Free Cholesterol 0mg

High sodium Sodium 1030mg

carbs Total Carbohydrate 39g

Serving size 419g Calories from fat 72kcal Fiber 8g Protein 9g Sugar 14g
6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 bunches fresh asparagus, chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 steam fresh rosemary
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven and sauté cumin seeds for about 3 minutes till fragrant. Add garlic and onion, sauté, until onion is golden yellow. Add asparagus and sauté for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add cauliflower, cilantro, chopped rosemary leaves, and vegetable broth. Bring to boil and cook on medium low heat for about 25 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  3. Pure soup in a blender. Pour the pure back into the Dutch oven and add lemon juice, salt and pepper, bring to boil and take off the heat.
  4. Serve hot; garnish with a few drops of vinegar and pine nuts.

Tips

  • Add cumin seeds for a slightly nutty flavor.

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There are people who take the whole “back to school” craze rather seriously. I know a family that makes 60-70 frozen meals before each year starts. All ladies from their clan gather to spend a day or two chopping, cooking, packaging, and labeling… Pretty impressive, hah!? I tried to accomplish something like that before our second child arrived, though baby Pea ended up being an angel (who said women are high-maintenance?) and unlike her brother devoted her infant days to snoozing.  So, my extreme food storage proved to be unnecessary.

However, with time I did appreciate all the stuff in the freezer. So, a new tradition was started.  Now we make extra and stow our favorites for the days, when there is no time to make a fresh dinner.

Here is one of those recipes.  All you need on the serving day is some bread or croutons!

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TOMATO BISQUE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 cups chopped leaks, white and pale green parts only (about 3-4 leaks)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 30 oz whole peeled tomatoes
  • 14.5 oz vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbs chopped fresh basil leaves or 2 t dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream (or half-and-half, or milk)

Yields about 9 cups of soup

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare the soup. In heavy pan, heat oil, leeks, celery, and garlic over medium-high heat; cook 8-10 min or until leaks are soft.  Add tomatoes, broth, wine, and lemon juice.  Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover; and simmer for 30 min.  Remove from heat; add basil, salt, and pepper.  Puree soup mixture in food processor or blender until smooth.

Make ahead. Freeze in gallon or quart zip lock bags, pressing out the air and laying flat.

Serve: if frozen, thaw; heat through over low heat, stirring occasionally; add cream and simmer about 10 min or until thickened.  Do not boil.  Garnish with basil.  Serve warm.

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“Journal, I’m on a sugar cleanse. I haven’t had any sugar in over three weeks. I think I’m experiencing withdrawal. Today I screamed at a plant. I don’t know why I decided to do this. It’s crazy. There’s sugar in everything. Did you know that? Everything. Even cupcakes. All right, I have to go, Journal. You’re being a jerk.”

/DeGeneres, Ellen (2011-10-04). Seriously…I’m Kidding (Kindle Locations 392-395). Hachette Book Group. Kindle Edition.  /
 

My neighbor let me borrow her Ellen DeGeneres book, and I couldn’t resist copying this passage as there is nothing that could describe my feelings better, and I’m not even on a cleanse!  Today’s Russian recipe doesn’t use any sugar for a change, though I’m sure the evil thing has snuck in there anyways!

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MUSHROOM SOUP WITH BARLEY

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of barley, cooked
  • 12 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, chopped
  • 3 large potatoes, diced
  • 2 lb mushrooms
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sour cream and fresh chopped dill for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Pour vegetable broth in a large pot and bring it to boil.

While the broth is warming up, heat the olive oil on a large skillet.   Sauté onion till golden, add the carrots, garlic, and asparagus and sauté until soft.

Once the broth is boiling, add potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, add the sautéed mixture, and cook for another 5-7 minutes until potatoes are well cooked.

Collect about 1/3 of the vegetables and puree them in a food processor.  Return the puree into the soup pot.  Add mushrooms and bay leaves, and simmer for 10 more minutes. Add salt and pepper.

The soup tastes even better on the second day.

Serve hot with sour cream and freshly chopped dill.

Make ahead: this soup freezes well for up to 6 months.  Pour chilled soup (without sour cream and dill) into a large zip lock bag.  Lock it, squeezing the air out.  Lay flat in the freezer.

 

 

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This beet soup would probably be one of the first items that pops up if you google “Russian cuisine”. However, being more of a pastry person while growing up, I skipped all the borscht hype.  Eight months ago our family was invited to a Russian dinner that completely changed my attitude.  A few… quite a few.. disastrous attempts later I am finally proud to present my vegetarian version of this famous Russian dish.

Traditionally borscht is made with beef broth and beets (of course), and there are a million different ways to prepare it.  I found my favorite recipe on another US blog written by a Russian mom.  Here it’s modified to fit our tastes.  Though, if you are looking for the original meaty version, I cannot recommend a better place than Sofya’s blog!

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VEGETARIAN BORSCHT

INGREDIENTS:

  • 7 medium beets, leaves removed
  • 5 liters vegetable broth
  • 3 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 medium turnip, peeled and grated
  • 1,5 yellow onion, shelled, and finely cubed
  • 1 8-oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • ½ head of garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 small cabbage, finely shredded
  • 3-4 medium potatoes, cubed
  • Juice from 2 small lemons
  • 2 dry chili peppers
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 peppercorns
  • Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 400⁰F/200⁰C.  Wrap the beets in foil, punching a few holes in each bundle.  Bake the beets for about 1-1.5 hours.

Pour vegetable broth into a large soup pot, and let it come to a boil. While the broth is warming up, preheat a frying pan, melt the butter on it, and sauté carrots, turnip, and onion in it until the vegetables are very soft and juicy (for about 10 minutes).  Add tomato paste, and steer, letting it to melt and incorporate.

Once the beets are baked, remove them from the foil, peel, and shred.

Dump the sautéed vegetables, beets, cabbage, potatoes, chili peppers, bay leaves, cloves, and peppercorns into the broth, and let boil for another 10 minutes.  When the potatoes are cooked, add lemon juice, salt, and garlic. Your goal is to find the perfect balance between sweet and sour when putting together the final ingredients.  My babushka actually adds sugar, if the beets are not sweet enough.  It’s all about pleasing your taste buds!

Make ahead: the vegetarian borscht will keep well in the freezer for up to 6 months.  Cool it, pour it in freezer-safe zip lock bags, and let lay flat in the freezer.  The meat version should be ok for up to 3 months.

To serve: garnish the soup with sour cream and dill.

 

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Four days with no meat and we haven’t turned green yet!  Apparently there are some delicious choices in the vegetarian world! Who would have thought!!!

This recipe is a combination of two summer soups my babushka used to make.  Baby Pea and I hit the jackpot at the San Francisco Ferry Building farmers market – nettle and sorrel!  I wasn’t patient enough to cook separate meals with all that goodness on my hands. 

One has to be extra careful when playing with nettle as it … ouch!!! stings!  with skin burns and everything.  If you are in New Zealand, I’d stay away from nettle all together, since you have some scary poisonous stuff growing there.  

On my part, however, there are no doubts in nettle’s healing powers.  Not because of what I find in Wikipedia , but because I grew up believing a shirt made out of nettle (especially the kind that grows by graveyards boo-ha-ha) can break evil spells. I’m talking of pour Elisa’s story from Anderson’s “Wild Swans” of course.

Fairy tales aside, the soup is magic in its own right. Here is how to make it:

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SORREL-NETTLE SOUP

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 cups of water or your favorite stock
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 3 medium potatoes, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch of sorrel
  • 1 bunch of stinging nettle
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3 tsp sour cream (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Bring water or stock to a boil.  Add potatoes and let boil on  low heat for about 10 minutes.  If desired, sauté onions and carrots, add them to the soup.

Meanwhile boil about 3 cups of water.  Carefully place nettle in a colander, and pour boiling water over it.  Your nettle should not be stingy any more!

Remove stems and chop sorrel and the nettle, divide between the soup bowls.

Shell the eggs and dice them. Distribute with the sorrel/nettle mixture.

Once the potatoes are cooked, adjust the broth flavor with salt and pepper,  pour the soup into the bowls.  The sorrel leaves will turn brown and very soft, while nettle will release it’s special flavor and get even brighter and greener.

Serve with sour cream if desired.


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