Archive for the ‘soups’ Category

pumpkin soup

pumpkin soup

Pumpkins are fun to carve. But they are even more fun to eat because of their super nutrient-rich value. They contain vital antioxidants like beta carotene; Vitamins A, C, B and E; and minerals niacin, copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

Many varieties of pumpkins are available at your local farmers’ markets.  You can find hundreds of recipes on line, so stock up on your favorites and start using them in your cooking and baking. They store well in a cool dark place, so there is no need to worry that they will go bad.

For this soup I used the traditional orange pumpkin, but you can easily substitute it for any variety you like.


ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2-1/2 whole black peppercorns

Heat oil in pan and stir fry onions and garlic until soft

Add stock, salt, pumpkin, thyme, and peppercorns

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered

Puree the soup in small batches using a food processor or blender

Return to pan, and bring to a boil again

Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered

Stir in heavy cream

Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley


Read Full Post »

chicken broth soup with tiny meatballs and fresh spinach

chicken broth soup with tiny meatballs and fresh spinach

This traditional dish, sometimes called Italian wedding soup, successfully marries the flavors of meats and greens. My son Marco was feeling a little under the weather so decided to spend a little time making this not only healthy and delicious soup but also quite beautiful. The mini meatballs take a while to prepare but are definitely worth it. Great job Marco!

marcosoup2

ingredients

1/2 pound ground veal

1 egg, beaten

1 small finely minced onion

1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup orzo or pastina

a handful of fresh spinach, washed, trimmed, and torn into bite-size pieces

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In a large bowl, mix the ground veal, egg, onion, bread crumbs, cheese, salt, and pepper to taste

Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls

In a large pot, bring the broth to a simmer

Add the pastina and let it cook according to directions, stirring frequently

Add the meatballs and simmer them in the broth for 10 minutes.

Then stir in the spinach and simmer it until it’s wilted, about 1 minute. Serves 4

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Read Full Post »

pasta reale in brodo

IMG_5359

You can have this delicious soup in minutes if you have some extra broth in the fridge. It is very similar  to stracciatella soup. I found a written recipe on Simply Italian with Michela Chiappa. Perfect soup for these cold days. Warm, comforting and delicious!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

IMG_5600

ingredients

1 egg
pinch of salt and pepper
handful of grated parmesan
handful of breadcrumbs
500 ml chicken stock

to serve

an extra grating of parmesan

¼ tsp of dried chilli flakes (optional)

method

Before you start this recipe you should have your chicken broth bubbling on the stove.

Crack your egg into a bowl and whisk with a pinch of salt and pepper. Then add the parmesan, breadcrumbs and work this mix to form a dough.

Once a dough is formed, hold a cheese grater with large holes over your chicken broth (turn off the heat if the steam is too hot). Push the dough through the cheese grater and allow the tails of pasta to drop directly into the boiling broth, then simmer for about 2-4 minutes.

Serve in a bowl with lots of fresh parmesan on top and a sprinkling of chili flakes, if desired.

Be careful – if your cheese grater is sharp, use the back of a spatula to push the dough through the grater.

It is worth using home-made chicken broth, but alternatively use good quality stock cubes.

If you don’t have parmesan, throw 3 small handfuls of stelline into the water instead for an equally delicious dish.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

cook’s tips

Be careful – if your cheese grater is sharp, use the back of a spatula to push the dough through the grater.

It is worth using home-made chicken broth, but alternatively use good quality stock cubes.

If you don’t have parmesan, throw 3 small handfuls of stelline into the water instead for an equally delicious dish.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Read Full Post »

IMG_4620

IMG_4621

Read Full Post »

herbivor soup

1395313_588081097919798_1970069639_n

The markets are now full of last harvest produce. Take this opportunity to buy a little extra and freeze for use on those cold winter days, when fresh garden tomatoes, peppers and herbs can make a great starter for just about anything.

I called this dish “herbivor soup” because 90% of the veggies are from Herbivor Farm. I visited the farm a few times this summer and even got my hands dirty planting and picking. Not only did I enjoy the experience, but when the time came to cook all these beautiful vegetables, I realized that I was preparing and cooking stress free. I didn’t worry about where these vegetables were grown or if they really are organic, or if they snuck in some pesticide at the last minute.  Lisa and Justin prepared some beautiful and plentiful baskets for their CSA clients (picture above shows items for one basket). Unfortunately for me, the farm is in Ottawa, so I am not able to sign up for a basket.  However, I will definitely visit more often next year.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

IMG_4603-1

IMG_4574-1

Stir-fry some chopped onions and green onions until translucent.

IMG_4575-1

Add some cut up zucchini, peppers, carrots and cherry tomatoes.

IMG_4569

These are the last string beans from my garden.

The big ones I cooked separately for a side dish and the small ones I added to the soup.

IMG_4580

Let everything cook for about ten minutes, before adding beet tops, swiss chard and Chinese cabbage.

IMG_4567 IMG_4566


IMG_4568

IMG_4584

IMG_4585-1

Add a jar of tomato puree and all your liquids. Here I added the water from the beans and 8 cups of chicken broth

 IMG_4589    IMG_4595-1

Add cooked beans at the very end.

IMG_4593

Add a handful of fresh herbs like parsley, basil, celery leaves, kale, dill and whatever else you have left in your garden.

IMG_4597-1

Let the pot come to a full boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Other spices can be added also.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Read Full Post »

IMG_3193These are the first zucchinis I picked this week from my garden. The straight one is 33 inches long. With zucchinis this big, we have to be very innovative on how to prepare them. Maila, my mom’s caregiver, used the zucchini today in two recipes. She cut the neck of the zucchini in 1/4 inch slices and roasted them in the oven with mozzarella cheese sprinkled on top.  The second recipe  is a Filipino tinola soup. The zucchini slices were very good, like mini pizzas. The soup was amazing. Except for the ginger, she used everything fresh from the garden.

roasted zucchiniingredients

1/4″ slices  of zucchini

salt and pepper to taste

slices of mozzarella cheese

olive oil for pizza pan

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

oil pan 

place zucchini slices side by side

salt and pepper to taste

cheese slices on tops 

place in 350* oven until cheese is slightly brown

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

chicken tinolatinola soup

ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion chopped

2 or 3 garlic bulbs

4 pieces of chicken

1 cup cubed zucchini pieces

celery leaves (5 or 6)

pepper plant leaves (5 or 6)

1″ ginger root sliced

1 cup cooked basmati rice

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat

add onions and sauté until tender

add ginger and garlic and chicken pieces  

continue cooking for a few minutes

add leaves and 3 cups of water

cover and simmer until chicken is half done

add zucchini and continue cooking until done

add salt and pepper to taste

pour over rice before serving 

* if you don’t have pepper plant leaves, you can substitute with spinach, kale or swiss chard

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Read Full Post »

cabbage soup

Whenever I make cabbage soup I always end up adding other vegetables. The end result is very good but it doesn’t have a very strong cabbage flavor. Because I love cabbage so much, this time I decided to keep it simple and only use cabbage with a few spices.

For other cabbage soup recipes please visit The Giant Cabbage.  I came across this interesting blog on cabbage recipes, a collection of more than 200 cabbage recipes by Cherie Stihler.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

ingredients

8 cups stock (heated)

olive oil

chopped onion

chopped garlic

salt / pepper to taste

chopped parsley and basil

chopped red pepper

1 head of cabbage shredded

_______________________________________________________________________________________
In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat

Stir in onion and garlic, cook until onion is nicely browned

Add cabbage and cook until half done, turning frequently

Add red pepper and cook another minute

Add parsley, basil and salt and pepper, turn until blended

Add stock and cook until done

Taste and add more seasoning if needed
_______________________________________________________________________________________

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »