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Archive for the ‘Soups & stews’ Category

Winter Vegetable Soup

Posted by Jeanne on February 3, 2014

We had a really good soup tonight.  It was not at all what I planned – the menu for the week says “minestrone” but while I was making it, things took a different turn and it ended up very unlike a minestrone.

Curt said to me at dinner tonight, “This soup is really good.  You should write down the recipe.”  And then it dawned on me that I actually have this “blog” where once upon a time I posted things about food, including recipes.  So here I am, blogging!  Look at me!

Unfortunately, since I totally lost the plot on the blogging thing, there is but a single picture of this dish, and it was taken with my phone.

Winter vegetable soup

2 TB olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 C)

3 – 4 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 C)

3 – 4 ribs of celery, chopped (about 1 C)

6 C vegetable or chicken stock (note:  if you are feeding actual vegetarians, use veggie stock.  Vegetarians don’t eat animals.  Stock is made of animals.  I can’t believe I have to note this.)

1 14.5-oz can tomato sauce

1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, drained

2 14.5-oz cans chickpeas (or any beans you like, really)

2 – 3 sprigs fresh thyme, or 0.5 tsp dried

1 C uncooked pearled farro

3 – 4 C chopped kale

3 – 4 C cubed butternut squash

3 – 4 TB prepared pesto (I used pesto from the garden we froze over the summer.  In a jar would be fine too.)

(Perhaps I should use a few more parentheticals?  Perhaps not.)

Salt & pepper

Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a really, really big, heavy pot.  Add onions, carrots and celery and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring often, until the onions are nearly translucent (about 10 minutes).  Add stock, tomatoes, beans and thyme and bring to a boil.

Lower heat to a simmer and add farro, kale and squash.  Cover and simmer until the farro and squash are cooked but not mushy, about 15 – 20 minutes.  Stir in pesto and season with salt & pepper to taste.

Image

Eat with some sourdough your lovely husband made with starter he got from coworkers.

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Posted in Cooking, Garden/Seasonal, Soups & stews, Vegetarian | 1 Comment »

Clearing out the cobwebs

Posted by Jeanne on October 25, 2012

My, but it’s been awhile, hasn’t it?  Last weekend I was in San Francisco for my race, and I visited a friend from college who lives in the Bay area.  He asked if I was still cooking, which is a fair question since I have not been posting.  And the answer is yes, I have been cooking.  Just not writing about it.

There is this feeling of obligation (for me at least) that if I haven’t posted in ages, my opening post must be epic!  And contain tons of pictures!  Etc.  But I haven’t had time to compose an epic, photo-heavy post because the child is distracting me.

An adorable distraction, but a distraction nonetheless.  Which is as it should be, but I’d like to post more often.  So here goes.

It’s fall!  Time for soup and stew and butternut squash in everything.  Today I’m making cochinita pibil and also boeuf bourguignon, Julia Child’s recipe.  I also made some beginner’s beef ragout from this book for the baby.

She loved it.  So far, feeding E has been a lot of fun.  She likes everything but avocado (darn.  More avocado for meeee!) so far.  We’ve been using a mix of homemade and store-bought foods, and she’s just starting to get some meals at daycare too.

I think we’re going to try and work our way out of purees and see if she can start feeding herself soon.  If nothing else, the dogs will LOVE it when she throws things on the floor.  Especially Nettie.

Posted in Cooking, Cooking, Entrees, Feeding the spawn, Parenting, red meat, Soups & stews | Leave a Comment »

Split pea soup

Posted by Jeanne on December 28, 2011

Drive by, barely a post to say:  I made split pea soup and I liked it.

I have NEVER liked split pea soup.  Ever before.  But my in-laws made ham on Christmas eve, and for some reason Curt mentioned the night before that he loves split pea soup, so we took home some leftover ham (and the bone) and I made some split pea soup.

I tried it fully expecting to end up having a peanut butter sandwich for dinner, and ended up really liking it.  This is why I always try things again even if I didn’t like them the other times I’ve had them.

Split pea soup for the win!

I could take some photos but frankly, split pea soup is hideous.  So here is a picture of Nettie in her holiday gear:

This is why dogs bite people.  Happy holidays!

Posted in Cooking, Soups & stews | Leave a Comment »

Fridge Friday – Thai curry soup edition

Posted by Jeanne on July 1, 2011

This has  been a LONG week.  We had a big, fancy dinner on Monday night that I’ll blog about soon, and I went kayaking on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Oh, and running on Tuesday and Thursday.

Tired.  Very tired, and very much looking forward to a three-day weekend!

Want to see what’s in my fridge?

This picture brought to you by my phone as I was about to walk out the door.  You will notice much generic Costco Sport Drank again – working out in the summer makes you thirsty.

Chicken and noodles – we’re making this recipe for dinner tonight, but with greens from the garden.  Probably mostly chard and kale.  It’s an old favorite that I haven’t made in ages, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

Posted in Cooking, Fridge Friday, Garden/Seasonal, Soups & stews | Leave a Comment »

Daring Kitchen April: Edible Containers

Posted by Jeanne on April 14, 2011

Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

I came up with two ideas for this challenge:  beef & chocolate bock stew in an Irish soda bread bowl, and a chicken & peanut stew in a sweet potato bowl.

Beef & chocolate bock stew, inspired by this recipe.

3 TB canola oil, divided
0.25 C all-purpose flour
2 lbs. boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt
5 C sliced onion (about 3 medium onions)
1 TB tomato paste
4 C beef broth
1 (12-ounce) bottle Sam Adams chocolate bock (or other dark beer)
Freshly ground black pepper
1.5 C carrot, cut into chunks (I used those pre-cut “baby” carrots)
2.5 C Yukon gold potatoes, cubed

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle beef with some salt; dredge beef in flour. Add half of beef to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan with a slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining oil and beef.

Add onion to pan; cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Return meat to pan. Season with salt & pepper; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover and bring to a boil. Cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add carrot and potatoes. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are tender.

Irish soda bread bowls, inspired by this recipe.

3.5 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking-soda
0.75 tsp salt
1.5 C milk

Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly flour baking sheet. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Mix in enoughmilk  to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball.

Turn onto a lightly flour surfaced and knead just until dough holds together, about 1 minute. Stretch dough until it is about 2 inches high, and cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter.  Or the lid of a jar.

Have you seen my biscuit cutter?  It appears to have run away from home.

Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool until they can be handled.

Cut through the top of the bread, around in a circle, and remove.

Scoop out the insides of the bread, trying not to poke through the outer edge.

Serve stew in bread bowls.

And secondly:

Chicken & peanut stew, inspired by Bittman’s The Best Recipes In The World

2 TB vegetable oil

8 chicken thighs, about 2 lbs. (I used boneless, skinless thighs)

Salt & pepper

1 medium onion, chopped

One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated

0.75 tsp cayenne pepper

0.25 tsp ground cumin

One 14-oz. can diced tomatoes

4 C chicken broth or stock

0.75 C natural peanut butter

Chopped scallions, for serving

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken pieces with salt & pepper and add to the skillet, browning well on all sides.  Remove chicken from pan and set aside; return the skillet to the heat.

Add the onion and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.  Stir in cayenne, cumin, and tomatoes and cook until tomatoes begin to break down, 3 to 5 minutes.

Return the chicken pieces to the pan and add 3.5 C of the stock.  Bring to a boil, and then simmer until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

While chicken cooks, whisk together remaining 0.5 C of chicken stock and the peanut butter.  When the chicken is cooked through, add the peanut butter mixture to the pan.  Simmer another 20 to 30 minutes, or until sauce mixture thickens.

After the dish was fully cooked, I cut up the chicken into small bites and added it back into the sauce.  I wanted smaller bites, rather than full pieces of chicken, so they would fit well into my sweet potato bowls!

Sweet potato bowls

2 lb. sweet potatoes

Olive oil

Salt

2 TB butter

0.25 C flour

Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.  Rub sweet potatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place in a baking dish and cover with foil.

Bake until very soft, 40 to 60 minutes.  Cool, uncovered, until the sweet potatoes can be handled.  Lower heat to 350F.

Peel sweet potatoes, discarding skins.  Add butter and flour,  mash until very smooth, and season with salt & pepper to taste.

Prepare a muffin tin with butter, oil, or cooking spray.  Place a heaping tablespoon of sweet potatoes into each cup, and press up the sides to form a small “bowl” shape.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are firmed up and can be removed from the muffin tin.

Serve the chicken stew inside the sweet potato bowls, garnished with scallions.

Yummy and cute!  Thanks to Renata and the Daring Kitchen for another great challenge.

Posted in Appetizers, Baking, Breads, Cooking, Daring Kitchen, Entrees, red meat, Soups & stews | 1 Comment »

Tomato & pepper soup

Posted by Jeanne on April 1, 2011

We interrupt our regularly scheduled but infrequently posted Fridge Friday to bring you something very important:  the soup tutorial.

Don’t be intimidated by the prep list or the multitude of instructions.

Tomato & pepper soup

A 32-oz. box of soup, unopened

A 2-quart saucepan

Instructions:

1.  Open soup by pulling tab.

2. Pour soup into the saucepan (into is important; next to the saucepan did not work very well during recipe testing).

3.  Warm over medium heat, stirring often, until heated through.

4. Serve.

We like to season with some black pepper and serve with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Bon appetit, and happy April 1st, everyone!

 

Posted in Cooking, Entrees, Not about food, Soups & stews, Vegetarian | 2 Comments »

Tastespotting at Random: Hanoi noodle soup

Posted by Jeanne on March 2, 2011

This post is brought to you by Saveur’s recipe for Hanoi noodle soup with chicken, baby tatsoi, and bok choy.

I used leftover turkey from Friendgiving, and the stock that I made from the turkey bones after the birds were carved.  I didn’t have any fresh cilantro or mint as called for in the original recipe.  I had frozen mint, and some of the Thai pesto I made last summer, so I improvised using those.

Also, I couldn’t find any tatsoi, so I bought some mustard greens and decided to use spinach we already had instead of the bok choy.

Mustard greens are pretty.  And really delicious.

Now I’m starting to sound like the reviewers on Epicurious or the Food Network website – except I promise not to say “I changed EVERYTHING it was possible to change, and made the recipe vegan. This recipe is TERRIBLE!”

Hanoi noodle soup, inspired by Saveur’s recipe

8 cups stock

2 TB fresh ginger, sliced

3 cloves garlic, smashed whole

2 TB Thai pesto (or 0.5 C fresh cilantro), divided

0.5 C frozen mint (or fresh if you’ve got it), divided

3 – 4 cups chopped cooked turkey

1 bunch mustard greens, thinly sliced

0.5 lb. raw spinach

0.25 lb. rice noodles (preferably 0.5 inch wide)

Sliced scallions

Bring stock to a simmer over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, Thai pesto and half of the mint (half the cilantro too if you’re using fresh).  Simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain out the solids and return the liquid to the pot over medium heat.

Add turkey and mustard greens and cook for 10 – 15 minutes, until greens are tender.  Add spinach and cook 5 minutes, until wilted.

While greens cook, soak rice noodles in hot water for about 10 minutes, until very soft.  Add to soup and serve immediately, with remaining herbs, sliced scallions, Sriracha or chili-garlic sauce, and slices of lime.

Despite all my changes, this was REALLY good.  Really really really good.

And naturally gluten-free!

Posted in Birdies, Cooking, Entrees, Soups & stews, Tastespotting at Random | Leave a Comment »

Oxtail Stew

Posted by Jeanne on December 8, 2010

My brother Joe’s friend Colin lives in a farm.  They met in college and were roommates for several years, but Colin has since moved to the country and Joe is back in Omaha.

Living where he does, Colin has the opportunity to acquire some ah, “variety meats” which he was kind enough to distribute to my brother, and which Joe was kind enough to pass along to me. He kept the tongues for himself to make tacos, but I got about 5 pounds of oxtails.

Oxtail stew (based on the recipe for Oxtail, Vaccinara Style, found in Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan.)

0.5 lb bacon or pancetta, cut into small pieces (optional)

0.25 C chopped parsley

2 cloves garlic, minced

0.75 C chopped onion

0.75 C chopped carrot

2.5 lb. oxtail, severed at each joint

1.5 C dry white wine (we used vermouth)

1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained

0.5 C water

Salt & pepper

1.5 C coarsely chopped celery

Put the chopped bacon or pancetta in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven with a lid over medium heat (if not using, warm 0.25 C olive oil).  Cook about 10 minutes, until mostly but not fully cooked.

Add the parsley, garlic, onion and carrot and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

Crank the heat to medium-high, add the oxtails, and brown on all sides.  Add the wine and let simmer for about 30 seconds.  Add the tomatoes and water, and season as desired with salt & pepper.  Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.

Cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and cook for 1.5 hours, stirring every 0.5 hours.

Add the celery to the pot and stir to incorporate.  Cook about another hour, or until the meat is very tender and comes easily away from the bones.  Skim as much fat as possible off the top of the cooking liquid and serve at once.

Per a suggestion I got on Twitter, we served our oxtail stew over soft polenta.

And it was GOOD.

This has been a very meaty week on Jeanne Cooks World, hasn’t it?  Tis the season for big, hearty stews.

Posted in Cooking, Fishes, red meat, Soups & stews | Leave a Comment »

Italian wedding soup

Posted by Jeanne on November 28, 2010

Last weekend, my friends Peter and Erika came to visit all the way from New England. They brought with them their son Dylan, who was utterly obsessed with our fridge and the dog bowls.

Sunday it was brutally cold and Dylan seemed to be feeling a bit under the weather, so we stayed in and made soup instead of going out.

Dylan observes, and disciplines the cork trivet with a spatula.

Italian Wedding Soup, cobbled together through many recipes found online

Meatballs

1 lb ground turkey

1 egg

0.5 C seasoned breadcrumbs

0.5 C Parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper

Soup

1 TB olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 0.5 to 0.75 C)

3 stalks celery, finely chopped

3 large or 6 small carrots, finely chopped

8 C stock or broth (we used chicken)

4 – 6 C uncooked greens, such as kale, chard, or spinach (we used kale)

I have never seen anyone so excited about kale ever in my life.

0.75 C small pasta, such as orzo or acini de pepe

Salt & pepper

Additional Parmesan for serving

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix meatball ingredients until well-combined.  Form into small rounds (no larger than 1 TB) and place on a baking sheet. Cook for about 30 minutes, rotating sheet pan halfway through.

While meatballs are cooking, warm the olive oil in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until softened a bit, about 10 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil. If you’re using hardier greens like kale, add now and simmer about 10 minutes until the greens are softened.  Otherwise, just allow to simmer – add pasta and cook about 6 to 8 minutes or until pasta is cooked.  If you’re using softer greens like spinach or chard, add now and stir to wilt.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.

When meatballs are cooked, add as many as you like to the soup, depending on what broth to stuff ratio you prefer (I know, very exact…).  Top with Parmesan and enjoy.

Keep warm out there.

 

Posted in Cooking, Soups & stews | Leave a Comment »

Retroactive Crocktober plan

Posted by Jeanne on October 31, 2010

In preparation for the busy week ahead (who am I kidding, they are always busy weeks) I planned the following for my tribute to Crocktober:

Butternut squash & sage soup, plus white bean and rosemary bruschetta

Orange chicken + rice

Chipotle red bean & sweet potato chili

Lentil soup (I think I’ll add some cumin and lemon – and may leave out the Canadian bacon.  We’ll see though.)

Mongolian beef + rice

I’m sneaking this one in just under the wire to meet the Kitchen Play deadline – but I want to win the fancy-pants cookware from Sur La Table!  So tonight, we’re having the butternut squash & sage soup with some white bean and rosemary bruschetta – originally posted by the very talented Maris of In Good Taste.

I thought it would be a good riff on soup & sandwich for a cold Halloween evening.

Butternut squash & sage soup, inspired by this recipe.

1 TB olive oil

3 garlic cloves, unpeeled

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed

4 C  stock (chicken or vegetable, I used chicken)

20 fresh sage leaves, divided

Now our sage plant looks like a child that has been given a terrible home haircut…

2 sprigs fresh thyme

0.25 tsp ground nutmeg

Salt & pepper

2 tsp. butter

Turn slow cooker on high and add olive oil, onion, and garlic.  Let cook for a few minutes until fragrant.

Add squash, stock, thyme, nutmeg, and 10 of the sage leaves (crumbled to release the oils).  Cover and cook on low 4 to 6 hours, or until squash is very tender.

Remove the thyme sticks (and the sage if you like).  Blend with a stick blender, or in batches in a regular blender.  Add some additional stock if the soup is too thick. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Warm butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Fry sage leaves until slightly browned around the edges and crisp; drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with kosher salt.  Serve soup garnished with fried sage leaves.

And also adorable bruschetta.  We didn’t have fig balsamic as recommended, so I bought some figs instead and served them on the bruschetta, and drizzled the whole thing with some balsamic reduction.

Yum.

Posted in Appetizers, Cooking, Garden/Seasonal, Soups & stews, Vegetarian | Leave a Comment »