Friday, December 23, 2011

The Every Vegetable in Your Fridge Soup!

This is one of my favorite recipes! its really simple, because you can't screw it up.  Throw all the vegetables you have or can think of in a pot and cook them.  For some extra protein add beans at the end.

1 tbs. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 zucchini, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, diced
4 cups kale, de-stemmed and chopped
4 cups spinach
Fresh basil, chopped
Fresh parsley, chopped
8 cups broth
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a large pot.  Add garlic and onion, and brown for 3 minutes.  Add zucchini, red pepper, and tomatoes.  cook for 2 minutes.  Add sweet potatoes,  and cook for a few minutes.  Add broth, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes.  Add spinach, kale, basil, and parsley.  Cook until all vegetables are cooked.  Make a large batch and eat all week!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Juliana's Butcher Block

My apologies to my soup flock.  The souperstars have been so busy that we have not been meeting as much.  Therefore I'm posting a Juliana's Butcher Block!  The first snow came to chicago a few days ago, so i made this tasty Italian inspired beef stew.  Hope you enjoy,  and stay warm!

Beef Stew with Potato Gnocchi
serves 6

1 tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 zucchini, cubed
1 package of cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 package sliced mushrooms
Fresh basil, chopped
8 oz. stew beef, cubed and dusted with flour
1 package potato gnocchi
1 can cannelloni beans
4 cups beef broth
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

In a large pot heat half the olive oil.  Brown beef, then remove and reserve for later.  Add the rest of the olive oil and add the garlic and onions.  Brown and scrap up any bits from the beef.  Add mushrooms and brown well.  Add tomatoes and zucchini cook for a minute and then add the broth.  Bring broth to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and add the reserved beef and the gnocchi.  Once the beef is cooked and the gnocchi is soft add basil, beans, and parmesan cheese.  Heat until beans are warm and cheese is melted. Top with red pepper flakes of course!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Jake's Thai-me

This week we went on a thai adventure.  Mari and Jake are going to thailand in a few weeks, so they hosted a thai inspired soup night.  The menu consisted of spring rolls, tom khaa soup with scallops and shrimp, and mochi and cake for dessert.  The tom khaa soup had some of the best broth we've tasted, it was well balanced and very flavorful.  Hope you enjoy!

Tom Khaa Soup with Shrimp and Scallops
serves 4
*adapted from

6 cups vegetable broth
1 stalk lemongrass , minced
3 kaffir lime leaves 
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 red chilies, finely sliced
3 Tbsp. fish sauce 
a generous handful of fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
a generous handful of bok choy, chopped
a generous handful of red peppers, chopped
12 medium raw shrimp, shells removed
2 cup bay scallops
rice noodles
1/2 can good-quality coconut milk
1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. sugar
garnish with green onions

Pour stock into a deep cooking pot and bring to a boil.  Add the lemongrass and boil for 1-2 minutes. If using fresh lemongrass, also add the upper stalk pieces for extra flavor.  Add garlic, chili, lime leaves, and mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 1-2 minutes.

Add the shrimp, scallops, rice noodles, bok choy and red peppers.  Simmer 3-4 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and plump.  Reduce heat to medium-low and add the coconut milk, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Stir well to combine and gently simmer until hot and noodles are soft.  Add cilantro and Garnish with green onions.

Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Spring Roll Ingrdients
rice paper
cooked shrimp
green onions
woon sen (glass-rice) noodles
fresh mint leaves

Peanut Sauce Ingredients
1 cup fresh-tasting dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
1/3 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dark soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 to 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, to taste
2 to 2.5 Tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. tamarind paste
1 tsp. Thai chili sauce (more or less to taste)
1/3 cup coconut milk

Cook noodles and set aside. On a large flat surface moisten one sheet of rice paper. Place some noodles, shrimp, carrots, green onions and mint in the center. Carefully roll rice paper in the same way you would roll a burrito. For the peanut sauce combine all ingredients in a mixer. Serve springs rolls with peanut sauce.

Thai Cake and Mochi

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Soup Night is Back!

The wait is over, the weather is cold, and everyone is craving soup!   Our soup gang is officially back and we are better than ever!  For the first soup night of the season I hosted a spectacular meal of arugula salad  with pomegranate and pepitas,  butternut squash and goat cheese quesadillas, roasted red pepper and soup with cilantro cream, and apple crisp with bourbon ice cream for dessert.   This week I'm featuring two of the recipes hope you enjoy!

Red Pepper and Black Bean Soup with Cilantro Cream
Serves 6
*adapted Wellness Recipes 

1/2 cup (loosely packed) cilantro sprigs
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 tablespoon skim milk
5 large red bell peppers
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups vegetable broth
One 10 1/2-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

Preheat the broiler.  Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, purée the cilantro, sour cream and milk. Transfer to a bowl and chill until serving time.

Cutting vertically, slice the bell peppers in 3 or 4 flat panels, leaving the core and seeds behind. Put the bell pepper pieces, skin-side up, in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan and broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until the peppers are tender and lightly charred. Remove from the heat and let cool; peel off the skins.  This is hands down the easiest way to roast peppers.

In a large pot heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, garlic, salt, black pepper and cayenne, and sauté until the onions are softened slightly, about 2 minutes.

Add broth, and the bell peppers to the pan; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the peppers and onions are very tender, about 10 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, purée the soup.  Add the beans and cook over medium heat until warmed through. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each serving with some of the cilantro cream.

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Quesadillas

olive oil
salt and pepper
butternut squash
goat cheese
whole wheat tortillas

In a large pot boil water and add cubed butternut squash.  Cook squash until tender then drain.  Add olive oil and salt and pepper and mash with an immersion blender.  Set aside.

Take a tortilla

Smear with butternut squash puree

Add goat cheese

Add another tortilla

Fry in a skillet

Cut using a pizza cutter

Sunday, September 18, 2011

S.O.S. Avocado-Corn Chowwwwwdah

Sorry everyone, it has been way too long since my last post.  I started a new job and therefore viable  blogging time is limited.  Before the weather got too chilly, I wanted to do one last chilled soup for my S.O.S. (soups of summer) series.   Hope you enjoy this chilled chowder with a latin flare, and stay tuned soup season is upon us!  More is to come.

Avocado-Corn Chowder with Grilled Chicken
Serves 4
*adapted from Cooking Light

2 ripe avocados, divided
1.5 cups water
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp honey
1 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp pepper, divided
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
12 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 tsp olive oil
1.5 cups fresh corn kernels (3 ears)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped green onions
4 lime wedges

Peel and coarsely chop 1 avocado. Place in a blender. Add water, orange juice, honey, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4tsp pepper, and the red pepper.

Blend until smooth. 

Place in freezer to chill while chicken cooks.

Preheat oven to 375, place chicken on a baking sheet and cover with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Cook until fully cooked, about 20 minutes.  Let chicken stand 10 minutes. Cut or shred into bite sized pieces.

Peel and dice remaining avocado. Stir diced avocado, corn, bell pepper, and onions into chilled avocado puree. 

Spoon chowder into bowls. Top with chicken. Serve with lime wedges.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

S.O.S. Cantaloupe Tonight!

This week for S.O.S I made cucumber gazpacho with cantaloupe and scallops.  This summery dish was sweet and spicy and guaranteed to tickle your taste buds!

Cucumber Gazpacho with Cantaloupe and Scallops
Serves 4
*adapted from Epicurious

2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped (about 3 1/4 cup), plus 1/4 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into small dice for garnish (about 1/4 cup)
2 scallions, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (loosely packed) assorted fresh herbs, such as basil, tarragon, and mint, coarsely chopped, plus ¼ cup finely chopped (for garnish)
1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
1 small clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 small shallot
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon siracha
1/4 pound scallops
1 cup cantaloupe, cut into small dice

In blender or food processor, combine coarsely chopped cucumber, scallions, coarsely chopped herbs, ginger, garlic, olive oil, and yogurt and process until smooth, about 1 minute. 

Stir in salt, pepper, and siracha, then transfer to large airtight container and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

Heat a skillet with olive oil.  Sear scallops, about 1-2 minute on each side.  

Allow to cool then dice.  In a  small bowl, stir together scallops and remaining cucumbers, herbs, and salt.

Fold cantaloupe into soup. 

Divide soup evenly among 4 chilled bowls and top each with dollop of scallop mixture. Serve immediately.

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