All posts tagged soup

  • roasted fennel and zucchini soup

    roasted fennel and zucchini soup

    Tired of zucchini yet? I’m not not ready to let go of summer vegetables yet, but I’m making batch after batch of soup as the temperatures begins to dip down. Heat, serve, and store back in the fridge — one of my favorite ways to eat. I love the gentle and sweet anise flavor of fennel, but I recommend going easy on the garlic here. Four cloves were added to this batch of soup, but I was initially tempted to toss in the entire bulb. I’m glad I didn’t, otherwise the fennel wouldn’t have had the opportunity to shine through. If your fennel includes stalks and fronds, save the fronds to make pesto. I added a little bit of of the pesto to the soup for garnish, but reserved the rest of it for pizza.

    As an aside, if you are visiting or live near Detroit, the Arab American Museum hosts a food walking tour of Dearborn. So bummed I didn’t know this tour existed until after I moved. Please eat everything ever from Shatila so I can live vicariously through your stomach.

    roasted fennel and zucchini soup 2

    Roasted Fennel and Zucchini Soup

    For the soup:

    4 medium sized zucchini, sliced in half
    2 fennel bulbs, cut in half
    1 cup new potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
    1 onion, cut into quarts
    4 cloves of garlic
    3 cups vegetable broth
    1 bay leaf
    freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
    salt and pepper, to taste

    For garnish (optional):

    a tablespoon of chopped nuts per bowl (hazelnuts or walnuts)
    fennel frond pesto
    drizzle of olive oil

    Fennel frond pesto (optional):
    2 cups fennel fronds
    2 cloves garlic
    1/4 cup pine nuts
    2 tablespoons lemon juice (add more to taste)
    salt and pepper, to taste
    1/3 cup olive oil

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, wash and prepare vegetables. Lay zucchini, fennel, potatoes, onion, and garlic on a pan. Use your hands to thoroughly coat the vegetables in olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and place in the oven. Roast for 35 minutes.

    While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the pesto (optional). Blend all the ingredients except for the oil in a food processor, scraping down the sides, processing again, and repeat until it’s formed a paste. With the machine running on low, slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture transforms into a loose sauce. Scrape down the mixture in the food processor, as needed. Give the pesto a taste and adjust the amount of cheese, lemon, and salt to your liking.

    When the vegetables are ready, remove them from the oven and transfer them to a stock pot. Add vegetable broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium heat, lower the temperature and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Remove bay leaf from the pot. Working in batches, blend the soup in a food processor or blender, or just use an immersion blender if you have one, until the soup is smooth. Return the soup back to the pot, then add the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Season to taste, and serve. Garnish with some chopped up nuts, olive oil, and a small dollop of pesto.

    Serves about 6

  • broccoli and cheddar soup

    broccoli and cheddar soup

    Every time I go to the renaissance festival, I always make sure to order broccoli and cheese soup in a bread bowl. It’s still too hot that time of year to enjoy almost boiling soup, finding a place to eat is almost impossible, my hands are covered in animal hair, and the soup isn’t that great — runny with the occasional speck of broccoli. But it’s tradition, so I keep ordering it anyway. A couple weeks ago, I set out to make the broccoli and cheese soup I wish they served at the renfest. It was so good I “forgot” to take photos of it, so I just had to make it again. It’s deliciously rich, creamy, and would be perfect for a bread bowl, but a hunk of crusty bread will do just fine.

    I’ve been making lots of soups and stews not just because of the weather, but they also make for such easy leftovers. While you can use a blender or food processor for this recipe, an immersion blender makes this soup much less of a hassle. This recipe calls for an obscene amount of butter, cheese, and milk. Everyone you serve it to will love it, just don’t tell them how much butter is in the soup.

    Broccoli and Cheese Soup

    1 onion, chopped
    1/2 cup butter
    4 garlic cloves, diced
    1/2 cup flour
    4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    1.5 cups water
    3 russet potatoes, cut into large chunks
    1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    1 tablespoon dried herbs (any or all of the following: thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, marjoram, parsley)
    salt and pepper, to taste
    8 ounces cheddar cheese
    1.5 cups milk (add more for a thinner soup)

    For serving (optional):
    Cheddar cheese, shredded
    Bread, lightly toasted

    Heat oil in a large stock pot. When hot, add the onions. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Remove onions from the pot and pour into a bowl. Set aside the onions.

    Melt butter in the stockpot. Add garlic, and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the flour, mixing constantly until smooth. Start adding the stock, a few tablespoons at a time. Once you’ve gone through the stock, add the water and mix into the pot. Toss in the onions, potatoes, herbs, and nutmeg. Simmer the soup over low heat for about 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Stir frequently. Test with a fork to see if the potatoes are ready. When the potatoes are cooked, add the broccoli and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Whip out an immersion blender and blend until desired smoothness. I like leaving some chunks. Return the pot to the stove.

    Add the cheddar cheese and milk to the pot. Heat until the cheese has melted through and the soup is hot enough to your liking. Ladle into bowls and serve with extra cheese, crumbled bacon, and with a side of lightly toasted bread.

    If you have enough soup for leftovers, it will thicken overnight. Mix in about 1/2 cup of water at a time to achieve desired consistency.

    Serves 8-10

  • chicken tortilla soup

    Tortilla soup is one of those recipes that became a part of my cooking repertoire soon after I fell out of the blogging groove in early 2011. Once I started making it, I couldn’t stop. I made it about 3 times weeks in a row in giant batches until Cory asked me to cook something else. It’s one of those dishes, where if I lived alone, I’d make for myself just about every week and never tire of. I still slip it into weekly dinner menus fairly often, though. I love the wonderfully rich smokiness of the chipotle in adobo sauce, the sourness of the limes, and I never ever get sick of avocados. Also, what better way to eat dinner than with a bowl of tortilla chips? Purists might groan at that, but it’s a lazy and delicious shortcut that’s stuck with me (plus Trader Joe’s has the best tortilla chips).

    chicken tortilla soup

    PS – I don’t have a good set up for taking photos in our new apartment yet. The backdoor hallway gets the best light and today I had a little helper during the photoshoot:

    chicken tortilla soup helper

    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken, shredded. In this case I used about 1 1/2 pounds of chicken legs, browned on each side on the stove, then baked until cooked through. I let it cool, then shredded it before adding it to the soup.
    1 large onion, diced
    2-4 cloves garlic, diced
    2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce, blended
    1 green bell pepper, diced
    1-3 jalapenos, diced
    1 tablespoon cumin
    1 teaspoon oregano
    1 bay leaf
    salt & pepper, to taste
    4 15-oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
    4 cups of chicken stock
    1 15-oz canned tomatoes, diced
    1 cup corn
    1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
    1-2 limes, juiced

    – small corn tortillas (1 per serving), sauteed until crispy and broken into pieces or tortilla chips

    Optional serving ideas:
    – grated cheddar or monterey jack cheese
    – guacamole or sliced avocado
    – sour cream
    – fresh cilantro
    – lime wedges
    – fresh jalapenos
    – chopped green onions

    Wash and pat dry chicken. Prepare the chicken as needed depending on the cut and size. If you’re using a rotisserie chicken, shred the chicken while the soup is simmering. In this case I used about 1 1/2 pounds of chicken legs, browned on each side on the stove in a stock pot, then transferred to a baking dish and baked until cooked through. I let it cool, shredded it, and added it later on to the soup.

    Drain most of the chicken fat from the stockpot, add a little more cooking oil and add the onions. Continue cooking the onions until softened, about, 5-7 minutes. Add green bell pepper and let it cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chipotle, spices, salt, pepper, and cook for another minute, stirring often.

    Add the black beans, chicken stock, canned tomatoes, and bring to a gentle boil. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the chicken, corn, and simmer for another 10 or so minutes. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Check the flavor and add more salt, if needed. Ladle into bowls and serve with tortillas and garnishes of your choice.

    Serves 8

  • ginger carrot and sweet potato soup

    It’s getting COLD in Michigan. Too cold for two former San Francisco wussies. And it’s going to get even colder. We’ve had no shortage of tea and hot chocolate on hand, and now I’ll be cooking up soups, stews, and chilis until the first sign of spring. I recently made a chicken soup and had a pound of leftover carrots that needed to be used and decided to make a soup around them based on what I had on hand. The result was a nourishing and slightly spicy and sweet soup perfect for chilly autumn days and nights.

    ginger sweet potato carrot red lentil soup

    Ginger Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

    1 pound of carrots, chopped
    1 pound of sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
    1 cup red lentils
    1 onion, chopped
    2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
    4 cups stock, vegetable or chicken
    3 cups water
    1 teaspoon curry powder
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1 tablespoon honey
    cayenne pepper, to taste
    salt & pepper, to taste

    Ideas for optional garnishes: freshly chopped cilantro, parsley, chives, yogurt, creme fraiche, bread crumbs, heavy whipping cream

    Heat oil in a large stockpot. Add onion and cook until onions are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add ginger and cook for another few minutes. Add stock, sweet potatoes and carrots and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until carrots and potatoes are very tender. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Bonus points for using an immersion blender (less cleanup!). Return the soup back to the pot and season with curry powder, coriander, honey, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve.

    Serves 6-8