Soup and Stew

Bouillabaisse

A classic French shellfish and fish stew recipe, prepared with the freshest possible seafood, caught and served the same day. Served with a spicy sauce rouille.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6

Bouillabaisse is a classic French dish from southern France, in particular, of the port town Marseille. It requires many different varieties of fish, and traditionally was made with whatever the fishermen hadn’t sold that morning.

There are plenty of variations of bouillabaisse, and even in Marseille you’ll find strong debates over the proper way to make it.

The most important thing is that you should use several varieties of fish, and the fish should be very fresh. In Provence you would use a variety of Mediterranean fish, but here in the states where we can’t get those fish fresh, we have to make substitutions.

The distinctive flavors of a bouillabaisse broth include saffron, which also gives it its orange color, orange zest, and fennel.

Use firm fish for fillets such as sea bass, red mullet, haddock, halibut, cod, conger, or red porgy. Small whole fish can be added as well. Also traditional are mussels, squid, and crab.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of at least 3 different kinds of fish fillets
  • 1 pound mussels or clams
  • 1 pound squid or crab
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 fennel bulb, thinly sliced, or 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • One long, wide strip of orange zest
  • 8 ounces clam juice or fish stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced rustic French bread, plain or toasted

Directions for Sauce Rouille:

  • 1 Tbsp hot fish stock or clam broth
  • 2 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 small red hot pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup soft white bread, pulled into bits
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Put hot fish stock or clam broth into the bottom of a blender. Add garlic and red hot pepper, salt and bread. Blend until very smooth. With the blender still running, add olive oil slowly and stop the blending as soon as the oil disappears.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of at least 3 different kinds of fish fillets
  • 1 pound mussels or clams
  • 1 pound squid or crab
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 fennel bulb, thinly sliced, or 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • One long, wide strip of orange zest
  • 8 ounces clam juice or fish stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced rustic French bread, plain or toasted

Directions for Sauce Rouille:

  • 1 Tbsp hot fish stock or clam broth
  • 2 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 small red hot pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup soft white bread, pulled into bits
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Put hot fish stock or clam broth into the bottom of a blender. Add garlic and red hot pepper, salt and bread. Blend until very smooth. With the blender still running, add olive oil slowly and stop the blending as soon as the oil disappears.

Method

1 Cook the onions, leeks, fennel: Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large (6-8 quart) pot on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, leeks, and fennel. Stir to coat the vegetables with the olive oil. Cook on medium heat until softened but not browned, about 10-15 minutes.

2 Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme saffron, salt, orange zest: Add the crushed garlic, chopped tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, saffron, salt, and orange zest.

Cook until the tomatoes are soft and broken down, about 10 more minutes.

3 Add fish fillets, cover with water and stock, boil: Cut fish fillets into 2-inch pieces. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Lay the fish pieces over the vegetable mixture and pour over with 2 cups of boiling water. Add clam juice or fish stock. Bring everything to a boil, and cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.

4 Add shellfish: Add the mussels, squid, and/or crab, pushing aside the fish so that the shellfish is now covered in liquid, and boil for 10 minutes more, uncovered.

Add freshly ground black pepper, and more salt to taste. Remove the bay leaves, sprigs of thyme, and orange zest from the broth.

5 Place slice of bread in bowl, top with rouille, then broth, then fish and shellfish: To serve, remove the fish and shellfish to a platter to keep warm. Place a thick slice of crusty French bread (plain or lightly toasted) in each bowl and put a dollop of the rouille sauce on top of the bread.

Ladle the soup broth over the bread, and then portion out fish and shellfish onto the bowls.

Posted by gen_gen - 2019 at 

Categories: Soup and Stew   Tags: , , ,

Vegetable Soup with Sweet Basil

Soup au Pistou— a wonderful vegetable soup recipe with fresh tomatoes, leeks, potato, onion, celery, zucchini, green beans, carrots, and basil.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

This is a lovely summer vegetable soup that my father discovered years ago from Wolfgang Puck (who was recounting a favorite recipe from his mother).

It’s a French classic “Soup au Pistou” for which you gently cook very fresh summer vegetables in either water or stock, and stir in a paste (“pistou”) of basil, garlic, and tomatoes.

This soup is similar to a light Italian minestrone, but without the white beans, and with a pistou “pesto” for flavor.

It’s simple, light, healthy, and delicious. Clean eats that taste amazing!

Dad makes the soup several times each summer, especially when the garden is producing a lot of summer squash and tomatoes. It’s a great way to use up garden produce.

Note from Wolfgang Puck: His mother only uses water, because her vegetables are peak-of-the-season, just-picked, and therefore full of flavor, but you can use stock if you like. Pistou, the puree of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil in this recipe, is a traditional French condiment that adds a burst of flavor just before serving.

Ingredients

  • 2 small leeks, white part only
  • 1 large potato, peeled
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 12 green beans
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 quarts chicken stock (or 2 qts water, 4 bouillion cubes, a pinch of thyme, and 1/2 bay leaf OR you can use vegetable broth for a vegetarian option)*
  • 4 to 6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 30 fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • A few drops of Tabasco sauce

*Use gluten-free stock or bouillon for gluten-free version.

Method

1 Prep vegetables: Cut the leeks, potato, onion, celery, zucchini, green beans, and carrots into 1/4 inch diced cubes.

2 Cook the vegetables: In a 6-quart stockpot, combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil with the 3 tablespoons of water. Add the vegetables and cook over medium-low heat until all the water evaporates. Do not brown the vegetables.

3 Add stock and simmer: Add the stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

4 Make the basil pistou: Put the tomatoes, basil, garlic, and remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a food processor. Pulse until puréed.

5 Stir the purée into the cooked soup. Do not let the soup return to a boil. Season, to taste, with salt, pepper, and a few dashes of Tabasco. Serve the soup hot or cold.

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Mom’s Cold-Season Chicken Soup

This light chicken broth soup is perfect for cold season! It’s easy to digest and made with homemade chicken stock.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4

Mom and dad are both sick this week with a “rotten cold” that is keeping them feeling pretty miserable – coughing, sneezing, grumpy, etc.

Mom made a delicious chicken soup today with just chicken broth and vegetables, no chicken meat. It was so good, I just had to get the instructions down before I forgot.

The most important thing of course is the chicken stock. If it all possible use chicken stock you’ve made from bones or backs (see chicken stock recipe.)

If you are looking for a more robust chicken soup, check out our Chicken Noodle Soup made with stock from a whole chicken.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of homemade chicken stock
  • Fat from the homemade chicken stock
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced in 1/4-inch slices (about the same amount as onion)
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced in 1/4-inch slices (about the same amount as the onion)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbsp of chopped greens from a green onion (green part of the green onion) or chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning (ground sage and thyme)
  • 1/8 teaspoon (a pinch) of crushed red pepper flakes (or a small pinch of cayenne)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of homemade chicken stock
  • Fat from the homemade chicken stock
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced in 1/4-inch slices (about the same amount as onion)
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced in 1/4-inch slices (about the same amount as the onion)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbsp of chopped greens from a green onion (green part of the green onion) or chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning (ground sage and thyme)
  • 1/8 teaspoon (a pinch) of crushed red pepper flakes (or a small pinch of cayenne)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

1 Sauté onion, carrots, and celery: In a 4 qt saucepan, heat a tablespoon of chicken fat (that has risen to the surface and solidified from your homemade stock) on medium high heat. If you don’t have enough chicken fat, you can add some olive oil. Sauté the vegetables in the fat until the carrots are almost done.

2 Add seasonings: While you are sautéing the vegetables, add the seasoning – the poultry seasoning, the crushed red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Seasoning like this during the cooking of the vegetables brings out their flavor. According to my mother, crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne is very helpful for a cold, which is why it is part of this recipe.

3 Add stock and simmer: Add the 4 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a low simmer. Cook until the carrots are just cooked through (about 5 to 10 minutes).

4 Add the fresh parsley and green onion greens. Check seasonings (you will likely need to add more salt) and adjust to taste.

Serve with (at least) day old crusty French bread.

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Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup

Roasted eggplant and tomato soup recipe made with oven roasted tomatoes, carrots, garlic, chickpeas, and eggplant

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

Fall is here and it is soup season once again. This roasted eggplant and tomato soup recipe is a terrific recipe from Martha Stewart‘s (now defunct) Everyday Food magazine.

The flavors of the roasted tomatoes, garlic, carrots, chickpeas, and curry combine beautifully in this vegetable soup while the roasted eggplant gives the soup its substance.

I don’t usually like tomato soups, but this one has lots of flavor. We have found that it tastes even better the next day, as the flavors have had more time to blend.

Ingredients

  • 12 plum tomatoes (about 3 lbs), cored, and cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 lbs), cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Equipment needed:

  • 2 large rimmed baking sheets
  • Food processor or blender

Ingredients

  • 12 plum tomatoes (about 3 lbs), cored, and cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 lbs), cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Equipment needed:

  • 2 large rimmed baking sheets
  • Food processor or blender

Method

1 Prepare baking sheet with the tomatoes, carrots, and garlic: Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Place racks on the top third and bottom third of oven. Place the tomatoes, carrots, and garlic in a large bowl and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables evenly.

Spread them out in an even layer in a rimmed baking sheet, with the tomatoes cut side down on the baking sheet.

2 Prepare baking sheet with the eggplant and garbanzo beans: Place the chopped eggplant and garbanzo beans in the same bowl and sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil, the curry powder, a teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Toss to coat the eggplant pieces and garbanzo beans well.

Spread them out in a single layer on a second rimmed baking sheet.

3 Roast the vegetables: Place the baking sheet with the tomatoes and carrots on the top rack and the eggplant and garbanzo beans on the lower rack in the oven.

Roast at 425°F (220°C) until cooked through and lightly browned, about 45 minutes. About halfway through the cooking turn the vegetables over so they brown on the other side.

4 Remove skins from tomatoes, process tomatoes, carrots, garlic in a blender: Remove the vegetables from the oven when done. Use tongs or a fork to peel off the tomatoes skins (they should come off easily) and discard. Place the roasted tomatoes, carrots, garlic, and all of the juices from the roasting pan in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

5 Stir in roasted eggplant and garbanzo beans, add water: Pour the tomato carrot purée into a large pot. Stir in the roasted eggplant and garbanzo bean mixture. Add 3 to 4 cups of water to thin. Heat to a simmer on medium.

Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro to serve.

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Beef Bouillon Soup from Oxtails

Highly flavorful beef bouillon soup made from beef oxtails.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 cups, serves 6 to 8

Many recipes call for beef stock (e.g. French onion soup), but good beef stock is hard to come by, with beef prices these days, expensive to make.

Beef oxtails make a wonderful stock and sometimes you can get them (try Costco) at a reasonable price. If you’ve never cooked oxtails before, they do indeed come from the tail of a steer, and they make the most divinely flavorful stew.

Their bones are also filled with marrow, perfect for making bouillon. It makes a delicious soup all on its own. You can also use it as a base for French onion soup or other beef-based soups.

We found this recipe in an old issue of Gourmet magazine. It accompanied an oxtail pâté which you make from the strained oxtails from this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lbs oxtails, patted dry
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch sections
  • Zest of one orange, removed in strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries (if in season, otherwise use a quarter of a lemon)
  • 10 oz mushrooms, chopped coarse
  • 3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch sections
  • 4 sprigs of thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lbs oxtails, patted dry
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch sections
  • Zest of one orange, removed in strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries (if in season, otherwise use a quarter of a lemon)
  • 10 oz mushrooms, chopped coarse
  • 3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch sections
  • 4 sprigs of thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns

Method

1 Roast the oxtails, carrots, onions: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Pat dry the oxtails with paper towels and put them in a roasting pan. Sprinkle on all sides with salt and pepper.

Add the carrots, onions, and zest. Roast in the middle rack, turning the oxtails as the are browned.

Once browned, remove from oven and place the oxtails and vegetables into a large stockpot.

2 Deglaze the roasting pan: Place the roasting pan on the stovetop on medium high heat. Add the wine to the pan to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits.

3 Simmer the oxtails and other ingredients: Add the deglazing liquid to the stockpot with the oxtails. Add the cranberries, mushrooms, celery, thyme, bay leaf, cloves, and peppercorns.

Bring the liquid to a boil, skimming whatever foam rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 3 hours.

4 Strain the bouillon from the oxtails: Ladle the mixture through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or paper towels into a large bowl.

Reserve the oxtails for another use, such as oxtail pate. Discard the remaining solids.

The bouillon can be made 3 days in advance and kept chilled. Discard excess fat (leave enough to cover soup when chilled).

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How to Make Shellfish Stock

Make your own shellfish stock with the shells from crabs, shrimp, and lobster. Homemade shellfish stock recipe with photos and step-by-step instructions.

Ready in:

  • Yield: Makes 2-3 quarts

Years ago, on a little island off the coast of Marblehead, Massachusetts, a friend’s aunt showed me how to eat a lobster, including the fine art of sucking the tender meat and juice out of the spindly legs.

It was July, when lobsters are in season, and we had a huge pot of them for our gang. Aunt Judy then explained that one makes lobster bisque from the leftover shells.

I still recall my astonishment. How could something so delicious come from boiled shells?

While New England has its summer lobster season, we in Northern California have our winter Dungeness crab season. In anticipation of making stock for seafood bisques and stews, I have been collecting our leftover shells from each crab feast and freezing them.

Making seafood stock is similar to making chicken stock; it takes time and attention, and the final result makes it worth the effort. Best to do on a weekend afternoon. Make a big batch and freeze what you don’t need!

Ingredients

  • 4-6 cups shellfish shells, from shrimp, lobster, and/or crab
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced or chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly sliced or chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly sliced or chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • Several sprigs parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10-15 whole peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Ingredients

  • 4-6 cups shellfish shells, from shrimp, lobster, and/or crab
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced or chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly sliced or chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly sliced or chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • Several sprigs parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10-15 whole peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Method

1 Break up larger pieces of shell: Break thick shells (lobster or crab) into smaller pieces by putting in a sealed, thick plastic bag and either rolling with a rolling pin or hitting with a meat hammer to crush.

Cut up thinner shrimp shells with a chef’s knife. Don’t crush or cut too small. You can even skip this step if you want, if you are already dealing with broken up shell pieces (like cracked crab).

2 Roast shells (optional): Place in a large roasting pan and roast at 400°F for 10 minutes (this step you can skip, but it greatly enhances the flavor).

3 Cover shells with water and heat to not quite a simmer: Put the shells in a large stock pot and add enough water to cover the shells with an inch of water. Heat the water on high. As soon as you see that little bubbles are starting to come up to the surface, reduce the heat to medium.

Do not let the water boil! You want to maintain the temperature at just at the edge of a simmer (around 180°F), where the bubbles just occasionally come up to the surface.

Do not stir the shells! Stirring will muddy up the stock.

Skim the foam. As the bubbles come up to the surface a film of foam will develop on the surface. Use a large metal spoon to skim away this foam. Let the shells cook like this for about an hour; skim the foam every few minutes. The foam comes from shells releasing impurities as their temperature increases.

4 Add the wine, onions, carrots, celery, tomato paste, herbs, peppercorns: Once the stock has stopped releasing foam, add the wine, onions, carrots, celery, tomato paste, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns.

Bring to a low simmer and reduce heat so that the stock continues to barely simmer, but not boil, for 30 minutes. If more foam comes to the surface, skim it off. Add salt and remove from heat.

5 Strain through a lined sieve: Use tongs, a large slotted spoon, or a spider strainer to lift out and remove most of the solids from the stock. (Later put in a plastic bag and put outside in the trash! Shellfish shells have a way of stinking up a kitchen.)

Dampen a few layers of cheesecloth and place over a large, fine mesh strainer, over a large pot or bowl.

Pour the stock into the strainer. Either use the stock right away, or cool for future use.

If you aren’t going to use in a couple of days, freeze (remember to leave some headroom at the top of your freezer container for the liquid to expand as it freezes.)

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Lamb Stew with Almonds and Apricots

Sweet lamb stew with honey, almonds, and apricots. Traditional North African Mrouzia tagine.

Ready in:

  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Following a from the NY Times the other day, I made a sweet lamb stew with honey, almonds, and apricots. The stew is a traditional lamb tagine called Mrouzia, prepared throughout North Africa during Ramadan.

I had several problems with the NY Times recipe, the first being that although the recipe calls for 3 lbs of lamb, if you look at the video instructions on the NY Times site, the chef is clearly using at least 4 lbs of lamb and is using 6 cups of stock to go with it. I used only 2 lbs of lamb, reduced the stock required by a third, and it still took way too long to reduce to the proper consistency.

The stew is also very sweet. Apparently a Mrouzia uses a lot of honey as a way to help preserve the meat in places without refrigeration. But, that’s not a problem here, and all that honey just makes it seem unbalanced.

Finally, I messed up and used regular whole raw almonds instead of blanched almonds (without skins). I don’t think it makes much of a difference, but every recipe I checked calls for blanched almonds.

The stew was actually terrific, especially after I balanced the sweetness a little with some fresh squeezed lemon juice. It is highly flavorful and very rich. What follows are the proportions of ingredients that I would use the next time I make this stew – less stock, a lot less honey and a little lemon to balance the sweetness.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds lamb shoulder or neck, trimmed of fat and cut into 2 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried apricots, roughly chopped, or raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups almonds, whole and blanched
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 cup carrots, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds lamb shoulder or neck, trimmed of fat and cut into 2 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried apricots, roughly chopped, or raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups almonds, whole and blanched
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 cup carrots, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Method

1 Marinate lamb: In a bowl combine the ginger, pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, coriander, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves and water and mix well. Add the meat and rub in the paste, coating evenly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2 Cook onions with garlic and cinnamon: In a Dutch oven or other heavy, lidded pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and cinnamon sticks and cook until the onions are translucent and the mixture is fragrant.

3 Add meat, marinade, stock: Add the marinated meat (including the marinade) to the pot and then the chicken stock. Bring the stock to a boil, and skim off any scum that appears.

4 Simmer until tender: Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring from time to time. Add water if the pot becomes too dry. Stew until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours, more if needed.

5 Add apricots, almonds, honey, carrots: Add the apricots, almonds, honey, and carrots and simmer, uncovered, stirring often to prevent scorching, until the meat is very soft and almost falling apart, about 30 minutes longer.

The sauce should reduce to a syrupy glaze. At this point taste and add lemon juice to desired level. The lemon juice brings some balance to the sweetness from the honey and apricots.

Note: this recipe can be prepared in advance up to this point. Allow to cool, refrigerate and serve within a couple of days.

6 Serve: Stir in the chopped parsley and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Serve immediately with couscous or rice.

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White Bean and Vegetable Soup

Hearty white bean soup with onions, cabbage, tomatoes, celery, carrots, potato, squash, broth, and Parmesan cheese.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

Is it that time of year yet for hearty soups?

Maybe, maybe not.

In any case, this one is a family favorite, combining a potpourri of colorful vegetables with the creamy texture of white beans.

Want to make those beans from scratch? Here’s how to make them on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker.

Adapted from Bon Appetit magazine.

Ingredients

  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini or white kidney beans (or 1/2 lb dried beans, soaked overnight in water), drained
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 head of green cabbage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 5 cups (or more) vegetable stock
  • 1 medium potato, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 head of red cabbage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 zucchini or summer squash, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Tabasco sauce (optional)

Method

1 Cook onions, with thyme and garlic: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, thyme, and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes.

2 Add green cabbage, tomatoes, celery, and carrots. Sauté 10 minutes.

3 Add beans, 5 cups of stock, potatoes, and basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for one hour.

4 Add red cabbage and zucchini. Add salt. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes longer.

5 Serve: To serve, stir in the cheese. Sprinkle in a dash of Tabasco hot sauce if you want to give the soup a little zip.

Serve with ground pepper and bread.

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Corn Chowder

Simple corn chowder made with sweet, fresh corn, onion, carrot, celery, potatoes, red bell pepper, milk, and bacon.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8

With sweet, fresh corn, still available at the local farmers market, we just couldn’t resist trying our hands at some fresh corn chowder.

The recipe is adapted from one by Mitchell Davis in Kitchen Sense and is full of flavor. The original recipe calls for a strip of bacon, but you can add a little bacon fat instead, if you have some on hand, or just add a little more butter.

For vegetarian option, omit the bacon and use 2 Tbsps of butter instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 strip bacon, or 1 teaspoon bacon fat
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup small diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup small diced celery
  • 4-5 ears of sweet corn, kernels removed from the cobs (about 3 cups), cobs reserved (see steps for taking corn off the cob)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 1/2 cups milk, whole or low fat
  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and large (1-inch) diced (about 3 cups)
  • 3 teaspoons of Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Method

1 Cook the bacon: Place butter and bacon into a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Heat on medium heat until the bacon renders its fat, 3-4 minutes.

2 Add the onions, bell pepper, carrot, celery: Add the chopped onions, red bell pepper, carrot, and celery, lower the heat to medium low and cook until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.

3 Add corn cobs (stripped of corn), milk, bay leaf to pot, simmer: Break the corn cobs in half (after you’ve stripped off the corn) and add the cobs to the pot. Add the milk and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.

Make sure the heat is as low as can be and still maintain a gentle simmer (on our stove we had to use the “warm” setting) to prevent scalding the milk on the bottom of the pan.

4 Add potatoes, salt, thyme: After 20 minutes, add the potatoes, salt, and thyme to the pot. Increase the heat to return the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain the simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.

5 Discard cobs, bacon, bay leaf, then add corn, black pepper: Discard the cobs, the bacon strip, and the bay leaf. Add the corn kernels and black pepper. Again raise the heat to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat and cook for another 5 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.

Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Soup and Stew   Tags: , , ,

Roasted Red Pepper Potato Soup

Roasted red bell pepper soup with potato, garlic, onion, and red bell peppers.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

The inspiration for this recipe comes from my mother’s friend Claire, who grows beautiful red bell peppers in her garden. She brought over some soup for us to try and a recipe.

Over the years we’ve adjusted the recipe to include more peppers and fewer potatoes, to intensify the roasted red pepper flavor.

By the way, this soup is open to flexibility on the ingredients and amounts. Claire originally made her soup with non-fat milk instead of the cream, and it was still wonderful.

Ingredients

  • 4 large red bell peppers
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 quart chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 1/4 cup cream or milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Cayenne, salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients

  • 4 large red bell peppers
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 quart chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 1/4 cup cream or milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Cayenne, salt and pepper to taste

Method

1 Roast bell peppers until blackened all over: Roast the red bell peppers by placing them over or under an open flame until they blacken on all sides. (You can use a grill, cooktop gas burner, or oven broiler.) Place the blackened peppers in a bowl, cover the bowl with a plate, and let the peppers steam for 5 minutes, or until the skins feel like they can easily be slipped off. Remove the peppers from the bowl, peel off the blackened skins, remove the seeds. Chop the peppers roughly.

2 Sauté onions in butter: Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3 Add potatoes, garlic: Add the potatoes and cook another 1-2 minutes, then add the garlic and the chopped roasted peppers. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes.

4 Add stock, simmer:  Add the stock, stir well and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are soft, about 12 to 15 minutes.

5 Purée soup: Purée the soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Fill the blender about halfway with the soup. Start the blender on low and keep your hand on the top, in case the lid wants to pop off from the rising steam. Once everything is well chopped, turn the blender to its highest setting and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. You might need to do this in batches.

6 Add cream, seasonings: Return to a clean pot set over low heat. Add the cream, stir well and taste. Add some cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.

Posted by gen_gen -  at 

Categories: Soup and Stew   Tags: , ,

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