On afternoons when I am working at home, I love to have a pot of soup simmering on the stove. This soup is great because it doesn’t require a lot of prep work and it comes together really quickly. It doesn’t need to cook down for hours because most of the flavor is developed in the first 25 minutes when the tomatoes and garlic are roasting in the oven. It helps to use really good tomatoes. I used a random mixture of heirloom tomatoes from the farmers’ market. You could actually roast the tomatoes and garlic a day or so ahead and combine it with the rest of the ingredients when you are ready to serve it. The mixture of roasted and fresh tomatoes is a great contrast. I like to top it with freshly chopped dill and a drizzle of coconut milk, but it is great unadorned!
Roasted Tomato Dill Soup
3 large tomatoes, or a mixture of tomatoes yielding about 3 cups
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 quarts vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt, plus additional to taste
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup fresh dill, plus extra for serving
1/4 cup coconut milk for serving (optional)
Slice the two large tomatoes and gently dry them. Place them on a pan without overlapping the slices, add whole cloves of garlic and 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper (no oil). Roast at 475 for 25 minutes, allow to cool slightly. Combine the unheated stock, tomato paste and roasted tomatoes in a pot and blend with an immersion blender. Bring to a simmer and stir in fresh cherry tomatoes, chopped dill, red pepper flakes and taste for seasoning. Serve with extra dill and coconut milk.
I love making my own chicken and vegetable stock, but I have always bought beef stock. I heard it was a lot of work and takes a long time. This is true. Roasting bones, simmering for nearly a day, straining, skimming fat, it isn’t a quick process. The end result is worth it and doesn’t resemble any stock you can buy at the store. I used this recipe as a guide from Nourished Kitchen that simmers for up to 24 hours.
If you are going to make beef stock, you really need to buy the highest quality stock bones you possibly can. I bought mine from Full of Life Farm at our local farmer’s market. If you are boiling bones you really should know where they came from, right? As mentioned this is quite different from store bought boxed/canned beef stock. It will have a deep rich beef flavor and don’t be surprised that it will congeal when it cools. I added spinach, and dried thyme for an iron/nutrient dense quick soup. This would be the perfect base for French onion soup or rich fall gravies.
Adapted from Nourished Kitchen
3-5 pounds beef stock bones (local grass fed organic)
4 celery stalks
4 cloves of garlic
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp peppercorns
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 bouquet garni of thyme, rosemary, parsley
salt to taste
Rinse and dry the bones. Place evenly on a sheet pan and at 400 degrees for an hour until they are browned. Add the drained bones, bay leaves and vegetables to a large pot and cover with water. I used a 6 quart Dutch Oven and fit about 14 cups of water. Bring to a boil and add vinegar. Turn down to a simmer and skim off any fat and foam as it boils to the top. I found I only had to do this a few times. For the last few hours of simmering, I added my herbs and peppercorns. Allow to simmer for as long as possible, up to 24 hours. (Yes, it is a long time!) After it has cooled slightly, pour though a fine mesh sieve. Cool completely and skim off any fat from the top layer. The finished stock will set when refrigerated.
I love a good deal, and this stew is a bargain in terms of ingredients. When we went on a big grocery shopping trip after moving into our new place, I bought..oh, over ten pounds of various dried beans and lentils. They were on sale thus making it completely necessary for our house of two. I really like these pink beans, but you could easily use navy or any other variety. I know that many people profess to hate anchovies. Me, I am a lover of all small fish. Anchovies add a deep richness to this simple stew, and I promise that you will not taste fishiness in the end result. Even my tiny fish phobic husband agrees. This is the perfect soup to make on a lazy afternoon when you have time to let it simmer. The beans will still take several hours to cook and for the flavors to come together.
This makes a fairly huge amount of stew. For us, that means plenty of leftovers. I like keeping some in the fridge and adding some freshly steamed vegetables to the top as the week goes on. The fresh parsley is a really nice counterpoint to the richness of the broth and beans, but I feel the need to put fresh herbs on just about everything.
Pink Bean and Vegetable Stew
1 Pound dried pink beans (soaked overnight)
1 large onion
6 large carrots chopped
6 celery stalks chopped
1 2 oz tin of anchovies packed in olive oil, drained
5 cloves of garlic
1 16 oz can of chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp salt (more to taste, depending on stock)
1 tsp pepper
1 bouquet garni (1 sprig rosemary, several sprigs of marjoram, oregano and thyme)
I quart chicken stock
1 1/2 quarts water
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley
Heat olive oil over medium heat and sautee, chopped onions, carrots and celery until the onions are slightly translucent. Add the drained anchovies and stir, they will melt into the oil. Add the chopped garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in the chicken stock, tomatoes, water and rinsed beans. Tightly tie together the herbs using kitchen twine and add to pot with bay leaf. Bring to a boil and add salt and pepper. After it has come to a rolling boil, allow to simmer on low for at least three to four hours. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust. Optionally, stir in 1/2 cup fresh parsley.
I have been mushroom obsessed lately. I love pretty much every kind of mushroom, but lately shitakes have been particularly appealing to me. They can be a bit expensive but I find that I don’t really need that many of them to add a lot of flavor, especially in soup. I had never cooked maitake mushrooms before, and I added one to this soup as well. The flavor may have been too delicate to taste it distinctly with the woodsy shitakes. Next time, I may try it on its own in a delicate broth. This soup cooks very quickly and is great for a weekend lunch.
1 maitake mushroom
½ cup sliced shitake mushroom caps
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
2 chopped cloves of garlic
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp honey
½ tsp ground pepper
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
2 quarts chicken stock
2 bundles of long Chinese egg noodles (they usually come in a package of 4)
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Saute the mushroom in about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. The mushrooms will shrink up considerably. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for about a minute. Pour the chicken broth over the mushrooms and bring to a boil. Add the celery, carrots, sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper and honey. Return to a boil and add the noodles. Cook until the noodles are soft and taste for salt.
I am finally feeling better, and I think part of the credit goes to this soup. I think that anything this green must be really good for you. This is like cream of broccoli soup without the cream. We ate this with a dollop of ricotta on top for a little extra something. I think it would also be good topped with a little goat cheese or mascarpone. I served this with my Daring Bakers parmesan lavash crackers.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
2 tbsp flour
1 cup low fat milk
1 quart of chicken stock
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup water
6 cups of broccoli
1 cup of butter beans (canned)
2 tbsp grated parmesan
Salt and pepper
Heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat in large soup pot (at least 4 quarts). Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent and add the garlic. Cook the garlic for about a minute and add the flour. Stir continuously for about 1 minute and add 1 cup of milk. Continue to stir until milk thickens slightly (enough to coat the spoon). Add the chicken stock and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and broccoli florets, fresh thyme, fresh ground pepper and a bay leaf. Simmer until the broccoli is just tender. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprig and add the beans. Blend with an immersion blender or carefully transfer to a standing blender. Blend to desired thickness (I left some small unblended pieces of broccoli for texture). Stir in the parmesan cheese.
Also, check out this contest Martha Stewart is having. She will be featuring different blogs on her site.
Due to being sick and feeling miserable, I am a little late getting this post up. I actually made this last week. It was really delicious but I have to admit that I made significant changes to this recipe to lighten it up a bit and make it suitable for a main course. I replaced most of the olive oil with butter and only added 1/2 a cup of cream and 1 1/2 cups of lowfat milk. I rarely have white wine on hand so I used a 1/2 cup of good cream sherry. To bulk up this soup, I used extra cremini mushrooms and some precious chanterelles that I bought at the farmer’s market.
Thanks to Brown Eyed Baker for choosing this recipe!
I wish I could say this soup was the product of my garden. Alas, it was not. I still have two tiny green tomatoes on my one plant. However, the likelihood of them ripening before frost is not good. Most of the vegetables used come from J’s uncle’s overflowing garden. He gave us: tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, eggplant, and a ton of jalapeno peppers. I have other plans for the eggplant and peppers. The broth for this soup is on the lighter side as I am not really a fan of heavy tomato based vegetable soups. When I reheated this for dinner the night after it was made, I added four cheese ravioli even though there was already spaghetti in the soup. The cheese in the ravioli added a nice richness to this, and of course everything is better with cheese.
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 quart chicken stock, plus 2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
¼ tsp fresh oregano
A pinch of finely chopped rosemary
1 medium zucchini
1 medium summer squash
1 cup chopped tomatoes
½ cup spaghetti ( I used a whole grain blend)
1 cup canned kidney beans
1 tsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Sautee the onions, carrots and celery in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook for another minute then add the chicken stock and water. Add the herbs, be certain to only add a small amount of rosemary as it can overpower the soup. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for at least half an hour.
In a separate sautee pan, add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Over medium heat add the zucchini and squash. Allow them to brown slightly and add the tomatoes. These will likely have a lot of liquid that can be cooked off by raising the heat slightly. These can now be added to the stock.
Break a ¼ of a pound of spaghetti into four sections. Bring the soup to a boil and add. When the pasta is al dente add the beans and stir in the fresh parsley. Remove the bay leaf and the spring of thyme before serving.
Late summer local corn is like the consolation price at the end of the season. I hate that sense that school is starting and less free time is on the horizon. Just about every year around this time, I make some variety of corn chowder. Usually it involves shrimp, but I decided to start this chowder off with bacon because it was what I had in my freezer at the moment. I love the smokiness that it added. I used cipolli onions because they happened to have them at the farmer’s market. You could replace them with shallots or yellow onions.
We had this with a simple heirloom tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar salad and more of that fabulous Bread Alone whole grain baguette. It was the perfect end of summer meal.
4 strips of bacon
4 small cipolini onions
2 carrots chopped
2 stalks of celery
4 ears worth of corn removed from the cob
1 clove finely chopped garlic
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, dice 3 ½ and grate the other 1/2
½ cup good quality sherry
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup water
1 quart chicken stock
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp fresh chopped dill
Cook the bacon in a large sauce pot adding a tablespoon of olive oil if the bacon in very lean. Remove the crisp bacon and drain on paper towel. Add the chopped onion and an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Sautee until the onions are translucent then add the carrots and corn. Cook for about 5 minutes and add the corn and garlic. Add three and a half of the potatoes and sherry and allow the alcohol to cook off for 2 minutes. Add the water, chicken stock, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and add the grated potato. Allow the soup to simmer for at least an hour.
About fifteen minutes before serving stir in the cream, reserved bacon and fresh dill.
We ate this simple soup for dinner tonight. I love Chinese Egg Noodles (Kame is a readily available brand). I make a few variations of this. Sometimes, I add a beaten egg to the boiling pot or bok choi and bean sprouts.
1 quart chicken stock
2 bundles of egg noodles
8 raw shrimp (fresh or frozen)
1/8 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp hoison sauce
1 tbsp chopped scallions
Boil the chicken stock and add the noodles. When the noodles are almost fully cooked, add the shrimp. When the shrimp turn pink, add the sauces and scallions.
I served this with a few extra scallions on top.
This is my Mom’s recipe onion soup recipe with a few small changes. I love this soup, and it is really simple to make. I really need to buy oven proof bowls to make it properly. I use organic beef broth because the conventional often has weird things added to it. You could also make your own beef stock; although, I have never done it.
6 medium yellow onions
1/2 to 3/4 cup of good quality sherry
2 cartons of organic beef broth
2 Bay leaves
1/2 cup of water
salt and pepper
For the top:
Bread slices, Swiss or Gruyere cheese, freshly grated Parmesan
Heat 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large soup pot. Cut onions in half and then slice them lengthwise. Sautee them over medium heat until they are translucent and have begun to carmelize. Add 1 cup of sherry, turn heat to high and allow some of the alcohol to burn off, then add 2 quarts of beef broth. Add one or two bay leaves, fresh ground pepper and 2 tsp of salt. Bring to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer on low for a few hours. Taste the soup for salt and pepper before serving.
Toast slices of bread, one per bowl. Grate the cheeses. If you have oven proof bowls, you can put the soup in the bowls, add the bread, top with cheese and broils until the cheese melts. If you don’t, you can top the toast with cheese and melt it in the toaster. I then just sink the cheesy bread down into the bowl of hot soup. It is not quite the same as the restaurant effect but it it still pretty wonderful.