Archive for the ‘Soup’ tag
Last weekend I got together with a number of the New York Food52 members for a potluck picnic in Central Park. Elina (a.k.a. The Naked Beet) organized a wonderful get together on Sheep’s Meadow, with great turnout and amazing food. My contribution was a cold avocado soup with lobster and scallions.
I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite parts of eating sushi is the miso soup. For years I ate the thin, watery soup that you get from every sushi delivery joint, and loved it, not knowing that there was something else beyond takeout miso soup. Then I bought miso for the first time to make a miso butter (more on that here) and I made my own miso soup. Guess what? It blows that takeout stuff right out of the water.
So here we are at the final installment of the Roast Duck. Part One is here, Part Two is here. Remember that roast duck carcass that you froze after you made duck breast and duck confit? Time to make duck and udon soup!
I love Mexican food, but I have yet to find a Mexican restaurant in New York that can consistently make the kind of food I used to enjoy when I lived in Arizona. The best I’ve had here was at a hole-in-the wall place on Bedford Ave out in Brooklyn that I used to love, but it closed down about 6 months ago, much to my chagrin. Instead I have been cooking more Mexican food to satisfy my cravings, and attempting to get it as close to authentic as possible. Getting good ingredients is half the battle, so I have been shopping at a little Mexican bodega near my buddy’s place in Bushwick (I believe it’s on the corner of Graham and Montrose, for you Brooklynites). They have everything from dried ancho chilis, Oaxacan cheese, and rendered pork fat to cactus paddles and fresh corn tortillas. Not to mention the GIGANTIC bin of bulk chicharones that you can buy by the pound. And no matter how much stuff I buy it never seems to cost more than $10. I love it.
I had lots of chicken stock sitting around after this Food52 contest, along with half a chicken, so the obvious thing to make was a tortilla soup.
This week’s Food52 competition gave me an excuse to cook up an old favorite of mine: Spinach and Walnut Bisque. This recipe, believe it or not, came from our dining hall in college. No joke. Admittedly the food at Dartmouth was far above average, but specifically the food at Collis Hall was what I wound up living on for breakfast and lunch during my freshman year. Collis was about 50 feet from my dorm room, and while small, had an excellent selection of food. An omelet station, smoothies for the morning, a great sandwich and wrap area, an ever-changing array of soups to go along with the sandwiches, and the requisite coffee for early morning classes (“early morning” being “10 a.m.”). Back then I was still in the “fledgling chef” phase, but as soon as I tasted this soup, I knew that it was one that would be added to my quiver. The nice thing about this particular dining hall was that since it prided itself in “health” and “nutrition”, the ingredients for each soup were listed on a card in front of the soup station. Thus I was able to take quick crib notes on the ingredients of the soup, and from there I experimented to come up with the proper proportions. Along the way I added a freshly toasted crouton to the dish, and now I can make it in my sleep. I figured that there was no better way to showcase spinach as an ingredient than in this unique, creamy bisque that takes no time at all to make. Back in the day I used to cut corners and make it with canned spinach (for shame!) but now I use fresh. Because everyone would laugh at me if I posted a recipe with canned spinach, obviously.
As New York City was hit with another big winter storm (Snowpocalypse Now: Redux? SnOMG 2?) I had the ingredients for chicken noodle soup just sitting in my fridge. So I did the obvious after a romp through the snow in the park, and made a chicken noodle soup. I almost feel embarrassed to call this a “recipe”, because it’s really easy and it was made with ingredients I had on hand, but I will include it here because it is the “second life” of my roast chicken recipe. Actually, I used some of the leftover chicken in the Buffalo Chicken Pizza, so this is the third meal we’ve gotten out of them. Don’t throw out those carcasses, because they will make a great dishes that aren’t even close to leftovers!
In this case I used two carcasses, one of which I’ve had in the freezer for a few weeks since cooking fried chicken. Never throw out old chicken carcasses, pork bones, or beef ribs. You can make great stock from them, and you never know when you’ll want to whip up a batch of homemade soup. Like when you get home from running the dog around in knee-deep snow, and all you want is comfort food. Two dried chipotle chili peppers added to the broth give this soup a warm, zesty finish. A few vegetables, some herbs, noodles, and your chicken, and you are on your way to “so-far-from-Campbell’s-soup-in-a-can-you-can’t-even-say-Warhol” heaven.
Gorgonzola has been one of my go-to cooking cheeses for a long time. In college, when I was learning the ropes at the Psi U grill, one of the recipes that I inherited was a grilled gorgonzola-stuffed tomato with scallions and bacon. Simple, creamy, melty goodness. Figs stuffed with gorgonzola, wrapped with bacon, and thrown on the grill can do double duty as a sweet and salty starter or a decadent and rich dessert. Pair it with caramelized onions and throw it onto a crust and you’ve got a tasty tart. The sweet, savory, and creamy combination almost always works. Why not in a soup?
***update*** 2/25: My soup was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Food 52′s Onion Soup Contest! Thanks guys!
Last week I picked up my monthly farm share distribution, which included 2 lbs of sweet winter carrots, along with onions, beets, potatoes, milk, eggs, beef, yogurt, pickled beets, and tomato puree. A carrot ginger soup seemed to be in order.
This afternoon I made a quick cabbage soup, using mostly vegetables from the CSA farm share (Community Supported Agriculture) to which I belong.
I love making soups. They are usually very easy, and you wind up with tons of food that keeps well and can be frozen and defrosted later. This is a very simple and tasty vegetable soup: