Cold weather like this calls for soup, and we have been meaning to try this particular one ever since I saw it in boxed form at Whole Foods. Keri and I were totally prepared with a freezer stocked full of frozen poblanos and jalepenos from our garden plots. Recipe below:
2 poblano peppers
2 jalepeno peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
3 tbsp all-purpose unbleached flour
3 cups vegetable broth (use bouillon if needed)
5 or 6 small white potatoes, cubed
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup frozen corn
1 tsp cayenne (we like spicy but you can use less)
salt and pepper to taste
cilantro for garnish
Roast the poblano and jalepeno in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove stem and seeds, dice them and set aside.
In a skillet, sautéthe onion, celery, and garlic in olive oil until the onion is translucent. Stir frequently to avoid burning the garlic.
Stir in the flour and sautéfor another couple minutes.
Stir in the vegetable broth and add the cream, potato, corn, and peppers.
Simmer on low for 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.
Scoop out 3 cups worth and blend in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return to pot and mix well.
Add salt and pepper to taste. We use a salt and a pepper grinder so 4 twists of each was perfect.
Garnish with cilantro.
I adapted this from a recipe I found on Allrecipes.com so it makes 4 large or 6 small bowls of chowder. To make this vegan, you can substitute the cream with a cup of water or unsweetened almond milk.
Tomatoes! We’re getting close to the end of the growing season and the final harvest is coming up quick. Our last couple trips to the garden yielded quite a bit of tomato and peppers and with the cooler weather it was time for some soup!
Spicy Tomato Basil Soup
3 pounds ripe tomato, blanched
2 Anaheim peppers, diced
1 Jalepeno pepper, diced
1/2 cup basil
1 tbsp paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large onion, diced
salt and herbs
1 cup water
Blanch the tomatoes. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Fill a large bowl with cold iced water.
Crosscut and remove the stem core from each tomato.
Add tomatoes to boiling water and let them boil for 30 seconds. Remove each and place in ice water bath.
Skins will loosen immediately. Peel each and put tomatoes in food processor. Blend with basil.
In a skillet, saute the onion and peppers in olive oil until onion is translucent. Add garlic and saute for another minute or two. Don’t burn the garlic.
Add everything to the food processor and blend well.
Transfer to a soup pot and bring to boil then reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Another day, another soup. Cream of Asparagus is on the menu. Tonight’s soup is brought to you by a lucky find from Asiana Market in East Providence. Asparagus is usually pretty expensive but Asiana had a ton of it at $2.39ish a bunch. I used 2/3 of the bunch for the soup. One third was used this morning for Oscar Benedict sans crab that Keri prepared for breakfast. This soup uses Mirepoix as the base and takes about 20 minutes to make.
Recipe: Cream of Asparagus Soup
2/3 bunch of fresh Asparagus
1 small carrot, minced
1 small onion, minced
1 large stalk celery, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups water
1 cup milk
pinch of Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Using a pot steamer, steam the asparagus using the 3 cups of water for about 10 minutes.
While the asparagus steams, mince all the other vegetables and sautee in butter/olive oil. Add Italian seasoning.
Sautee until tender.
Using a food processor or blender, blend the asparagus and water (There will be roughly 2 cups left that is now a broth of asparagus flavor) from steaming.
Return this to the pot.
Add the mirepoix and milk to the food processor and blend thoroughly then add to the pot.
We’re entering the last week of winter with a blast of cold up here in New England and I’m just about out of my stock soup ingredients. Luckily, I had just enough of the three main ingredients for Mirepoix plus a bit of fresh ginger and garlic, some hot peppers and Dal for this soup. It’s easy and quick to make and the heat of the hot peppers will warm you right up. If spicy hot is not your thing, the peppers can be left out. This recipe doesn’t call for salt. You can add salt to taste but I find that the butter provides just enough.
Recipe: Spicy Dal Soup
1 small onion
2 green onion
1 small carrot
1 large celery stalk
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 small hot peppers minced
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup of Dal
6 cups water
Sautee mirepoix in oil.
Add butter, peppers, and ginger.
As the vegetables sautee, bring the water to boil in a pot. Add Dal to water.
Add the spices and garlic to the mirepoix. Coat evenly and sautee for a couple minutes. Stir so it doesn’t burn.
Add everything to the pot and cook on medium low for 20 minutes.
Add more water if needed. The soup thickens up quite a bit.
I’ve been experimenting with some new (to me) cooking techniques lately and discovered “Aromatics.” Aromatics are a mix of vegetables and herbs sautéed in a bit of oil or fat and are used as the base for many dishes. They are perfect for making rich, flavorful soups. Every culture has their own version and for this recipe I used the French variant called “Mirepoix.”
Mirepoix is a mixture of celery, carrot, and onion that is sauteed in oil with herbs until the onion is translucent. In this, I used olive oil and a blend of dried basil, rosemary, thyme and oregano. When the onions were almost done I added two minced cloves of garlic. Adding the garlic too soon will burn it and give it a bitter taste. As this was sauteeing, I blended up some tomato from last year’s garden harvest that we keep frozen for use in the winter.
Ideally you should blanche tomato before freezing so that the skins can be removed easily. However, these tomatoes were roughly chopped and made into a chunky sauce before freezing flat in gallon size bags. I used half from the bag for this recipe. Roughly 5 cups of chopped tomato. A large can of puréed tomato will work for this. I’ve added about 2 cups of water to the puréed tomato to fill the pot about 1/3 the way up.
Once the Mirepoix is ready just add it directly to the pot. Add a tablespoon of paprika, teaspoon of cayenne, and a couple bay leaves then salt to your preference. I used about a tablespoon of salt for the whole pot. Let this simmer on low heat with the lid on for about 30 minutes for all the flavors to blend. Taste to see if it needs more salt. I try to use as little as possible if I can help it.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh grated peccorino cheese and a dash or two of pepper. Grilled cheese sandwiches are optional.
The full easy to read recipe is below:
Recipe: Tomato Mirepoix Soup
3 stalks of celery
3 large carrots
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
dried herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 cups puréed fresh or frozen tomato or one large can of puréed tomato
2 cups water
Start the mirepoix by cutting the onion, celery, and carrots into small pieces.
Add to pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and stir to cover vegetables with oil.
Begin sauté with medium heat and covered pan. The cover helps steam the vegetables a bit.
Add the herbs and stir.
Mince the garlic and add to the mirepoix when the onion is almost translucent.
As the mirepoix is sautéeing in the pan, add the tomato, bay leaf, spices, and bay leaf to a soup pot. Turn to low/medium heat.
Once the mirepoix is ready then add it directly to the soup pot and stir. Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.