Lime-Garlic-Coconut Soup

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This is a variation on “Boiled Water” in Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. It was super easy and a great start. I have a couple of ideas for upping the game in the future. Of course, this wasn’t as quite as good as Issara’s Tom Ka soup, but it gave enough of the idea that if I don’t compare side by side, this was a pretty good stand-in until next time I have the real deal.

Ingredients:

  • 6-10 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper,
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 cups water
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • cilantro to garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper, coconut milk, water, and lime zest in a saucepan or stockpot. Bring to a boil, cover partially, and turn the heat to very low. Let the liquid bubble gently for 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the lime juice, and strain the soup into bowls. Garnish with cilantro.

**Notes: Bittman recommends ladling this soup over plain white rice, which I didn’t do but sounds good too. I did add some halved grape tomatoes (just raw at the end). I wonder if they would be good cooked in while the soup boils–and mushrooms too? Next time I will add a stalk of lemongrass in with the garlic and see how that goes. I also wonder if a bit of fish sauce would make the flavor more complex (I see fish sauce as an ingredient in many Thai soups).

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Slow Cooker Tomato Soup

This recipe, from Damn Delicious (a wonderful resource), makes a great soup that, I think, is incredibly flexible. I’m posting the recipe as is–which is how I made it, uh, mostly–and will post my own recipe notes down below. If I make it again I absolutely will tweak it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes with basil
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

FOR THE PARMESAN CHEDDAR CROUTONS

  • 4 cups (1-inch) French bread cubes
  • 1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. To make the parmesan cheddar croutons, spread bread cubes in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet; sprinkle with cheeses. Place into oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 10-12 minutes, stirring halfway; set aside and let cool.
  3. Place tomatoes into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in tomato sauce, vegetable broth, garlic, onion, bell pepper, tomato paste, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper until well combined. Crush the tomatoes into chunks using the back of a spoon.
  4. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
  5. Puree with an immersion blender until desired consistency is reached. Stir in heavy cream and basil; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Serve immediately with parmesan cheddar croutons.
**Notes: I added a full pint of heavy cream to the recipe and appreciated that level of creaminess. Next time I will omit the red bell pepper as I think pepper overpowers tomato soups. You can monkey around with the spices just as you would with a canned tomato soup. It can handle more basil, oregano, maybe some onion powder and Italian spices. I also like adding parmesan cheese to my soup before serving. Final note: I didn’t think the croutons were worth the effort. I did use a wheat French bread, but overall the taste was pretty bland. If I were to make them again I’d look up crouton recipes and mess with something to make them more flavorful. However, my favorite thing to eat with tomato soup is grilled cheese. Always. Great soup, with a really lovely texture. If you’re going for flavor alone though, this doesn’t taste that different from canned soups.

Creamy Tortellini Tomato Soup

I found this recipe online and changed the title to represent it more clearly. Pretty sure I added more broth and cream than it called for, but I followed the rest exactly. Loved the addition of spinach! This soup is delicious, though as I wrote on my blog, next time I probably won’t add tortellini or perhaps I’ll try another creamy tomato soup per personal preference.

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INGREDIENTS
1 tbsp. butter
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. flour
3 c. chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
3 tbsp. tomato paste
4 c. cheese tortellini
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
3 c. spinach, packed
1/3 c. cream
2 tbsp. basil, thinly sliced for garnish

DIRECTIONS
In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and flour and whisk to combine. Cook 1 more minute.

Add broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, and tortellini. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until tortellini is cooked, about 10 minutes.

Add the cream and parmesan and stir to combine. Add spinach and let wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil and serve.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Very flavorful soup adapted slightly from this recipe. Better than what you will buy at most restaurants.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 – 10oz can red enchilada sauce
1 – 10oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 – 15oz can chili beans in mild sauce
1 – 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 15 oz can fire-roasted corn, drained
3 & 1/4 cups Swanson Chicken Stock
1/2 t ground cumin
3/4 t paprika
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 & 1/2 t chili powder
4 ounces full fat cream cheese, softened
1 package (8 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
2 cups pre-shredded rotisserie chicken
Toppings: sour cream, avocado, fresh lime, and fresh cilantro

Instructions:

Place a large dutch oven or pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Once oil once it is hot and shimmering, add diced onion. Saute, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds.

Pour in enchilada sauce, the undrained fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained chili beans, drained and rinsed black beans, drained corn, and chicken stock or broth. Stir to combine and increase the heat to high. While it’s heating through to a boil, add in the cumin, paprika, seasoned salt, pepper, and chili powder. Stir again.

Meanwhile, cube the cream cheese into small cubes (it should be very softened — melt in microwave). Once the soup is boiling, stir in the cream cheese. Briskly whisk the soup until the cream cheese completely melts into the soup. Stir in the grated cheddar cheese and stir until melted.

Stir in the rotisserie chicken.
Serve with your favorite toppings such as sour cream (we use fat free), a chopped avocado, fresh lime juice, tortilla strips, fresh chopped cilantro, pico de gallo, guac, etc. — whatever you like best!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup w/ Turmeric

After accidentally buying a second head of cauliflower, I looked for ways to use up and was intrigued by a roasted cauliflower soup. I combined two recipes, and it resulted in a really delicious soup for a chilly spring night. Total win here. My whole family enjoyed it.

INGREDIENTS:

1 head garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
1 onion, diced
5 cups vegetable stock
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 t turmeric
1 t curry
1/2 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.

Cut head of garlic, about 1/4-inch, to expose tops of garlic cloves. Place garlic head, cut side up, in a sheet of foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Fold up all 4 sides of the foil and cover tightly.

Place cauliflower florets in a bowl and sprinkle with salt, pepper, turmeric, and curry. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil; gently toss to combine. Spread cauliflower out onto baking sheet. Place garlic onto the baking sheet. Place into oven and roast until cauliflower and garlic is tender and golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. Let cool before squeezing cloves from skin.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in vegetable stock, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

Stir in cauliflower and garlic. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until cauliflower is tender and falling apart, an additional 10 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender until desired consistency is reached.
Stir in heavy cream; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more vegetable stock as needed until desired consistency is reached.
Serve immediately.

Kale, Sausage & White Bean Soup

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Plucked from Dinner: A Love Story on a chilly night in December when my family needed something real to eat. This recipe is very close to Zuppa Toscana, only a bit healthier as there’s no added cream and we’ve got beans instead of potatoes.

1 onion, chopped
3 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
S&P, to taste
1/2 t red pepper flakes
4-6 links (about 1.25lb) Italian chicken or pork sausage, casings removed
1-32oz chicken broth
1-14oz can diced tomatoes
2-14oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
1 bunch kale, washed, stems removed, chopped into small pieces
Drizzle of red wine vinegar (about 2 T)
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Saute onion in a Dutch oven over med-high heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, s&p, pepper flakes and cook, stirring 1 minute.

Add in sausage and brown until cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes and beans. Bring to a boil. Add kale, simmer until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in a drizzle of red wine vinegar and serve stew with parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

**I substituted 1lb milk pork sausage for the links, and—gasp!—didn’t have any garlic in my pantry but made do with garlic powder.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

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This recipe provides a great baseline for a delicious broccoli cheese soup to share among friends. Suggestions on the Allrecipes.com page included increasing the broccoli and the cheese, and using half and half instead of milk. Mess with the ingredients on your own to come up with a combo that suits you!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli
  • 4 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf processed cheese food, cubed
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  1. In a stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Cook onion in butter until softened. Stir in broccoli, and cover with chicken broth. Simmer until broccoli is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat, and stir in cheese cubes until melted. Mix in milk and garlic powder.
  3. In a small bowl, stir cornstarch into water until dissolved. Stir into soup; cook, stirring frequently, until thick.

 

**My alterations: 2 T butter + olive oil for softening the onions, then add a handful of chopped carrots in and some garlic. Chop up about 30oz broccoli florets keeping in mind they will decrease significantly in size while cooking. Use 1 pound Velveeta + grated sharp white cheddar. Skip cornstarch in favor of 1/4 C Wondera (flour) for thickening.