7th December 2008

Acorn Squash and Wild Mushroom Soup

This soup, adapted from this recipe, was great on a cold evening: a variety of mushrooms, a bit of pasta, and chunks of acorn squash swim in a delicious, rich, mushroom-y broth. A very simple recipe with a fantastic result — it’s definitely going into our keepers list.

Chris says:

Holy — this is one of the best broths we’ve had in a long time.

Lisa says:

Yeah, it has a really strong mushroom flavor from soaking the dried porcinis.

Chris says:

Mmmmmm… really good.

Lisa says:

I’m totally going to make this again; next time I’m also going to add carrots.

Chris says:

Sounds great; sign me up!

Acorn Squash and Wild Mushroom Soup
5 cups hot organic vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 ounce dried porcini or morel mushrooms
1/2 cup peeled and finely diced acorn squash
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 lb assorted wild mushrooms, tough stems removed, sliced
1/2 cup small pasta
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Pour 1 cup hot stock over mushrooms in a small bowl; let sit 20 minutes. Strain through a coffee filter or paper towel. Add mushroom broth to stock. Rinse mushrooms and dice; set aside.
Add squash to stock in a large pot with bay leaf and bring to a boil; lower heat and continue simmering. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions 5 to 8 minutes, until soft. Add mushrooms and sauté until soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes, adding a little broth if they become too dry. Transfer to broth along with pasta. Cook 5 to 8 minutes, until pasta is cooked and squash is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in parsley. Ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan.

2-3 Servings

posted in Main Dishes | 5 Comments

14th November 2008

Chinese Egg Noodle and Shiitake-Ginger Soup

This strong-flavored soup is adapted from a recipe in Great Bowls of Fire. The original recipe called for ramen-style noodles, but we used chinese egg noodles and it came out great. The shiitakes and mushroom broth make this a shroom-tastic meal for this time of year. Veggie-licious!

Lisa says:

I heart mushrooms.

Chris says:

And you heart vegetables.

Lisa says:

Well now you know why I made this.

Chris says:

This is probably the darkest broth we’ve had in a long time.

Lisa says:

That’s mostly from the mushroom broth — it was darker than the chicken or veggie broths we usually use.

Chris says:

I’m a big fan — and the cornstarch at the end thickened it up nicely. A pretty filling meal!

Noodle and Shiitake-Ginger Soup
5 oz chinese egg noodles
1 tbsp peanut oil
1/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced at an angle
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
1 tbsp minced ginger root
2 cups sliced bok choy leaves
4 cups mushroom broth
1 8-oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/4 lb extra-firm tofu, diced
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
4 tsp Szechuan sauce
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Cook the noodles according to the package directions until al dente and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the mushrooms, carrots, bell pepper, and ginger and cook for 7 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Add the bok choy and cook for 3 minutes more. Stir in the broth, water chestnuts, tofu, soy sauce, sesame oil, and Szechuan sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 1 1/2 tbsp cold water. Whisk the mixture into the soup and cook for 3 more minutes over low heat.
Use tongs to place the noodles in 4 soup bowls. Ladle the soup over the top and serve.

4 Servings

posted in Great Bowls of Fire, Main Dishes | 2 Comments

24th October 2008

Red Chileatole with Mushrooms, Corn, Peppers, and Chicken

This is a perfect recipe to adapt to the vegetables you happen to have on hand.  Our CSA box came loaded with corn on the cob and mushrooms, so I modified a recipe from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday to use the fresh vegetables of the day.  As the book suggests, one of the great things about this soup is that once you master the base broth, the variations are limited only by your imagination.

Lisa says:

Wahoo! I love walking in the door to a meal that’s ready to go!

Chris says:

I like not feeling rushed on nights that you’re home late.

Lisa says:

Nice. Is it spicy?

Chris says:

Shouldn’t be — ancho powder is relatively mild; it has a slightly smokey flavor.

Lisa says:

Mmmmm… the masa harina really gives it a nice consistency.

Chris says:

Totally — and the flavor goes really well with the fresh corn kernels. The starch from juicing the cobs also helps thicken it.

Lisa says:

I like how thin you cut the chicken.

Chris says:

Yep — it cooks pretty quickly that way.

Lisa says:

Well this soup is disappearing pretty quickly this way.

Red Chileatole with Mushrooms, Corn, Peppers, and Chicken
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, halved and sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp ancho chile powder
1 1/2 tbsp masa harina
4 cups chicken broth, divided
6 oz cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 ears of corn
1/2 poblano pepper, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 large sprig fresh flat-leaf parsley
3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
salt, to taste

Husk the corn. In a shallow bowl, hold ears of corn upright and, with a sharp knife, cut kernels from the cobs. Then with blunt edge of the knife, scrape juice from cobs. Discard the cobs.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring until golden, about 7 minutes. Transfer the onion and garlic to a food processor or blender. Add chile powder, masa harina, and 1 1/2 cups broth; process until smooth.

Return the puree to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups broth, mushrooms, corn kernels and juices, poblano pepper, and parsley and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in chicken and continue to simmer until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes more. Taste and add salt if needed. Remove parsley and ladle into soup bowls.

3-4 Servings

posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Mexican Everyday | 2 Comments

21st October 2008

Basque Fish and Potato Stew

Here’s another really easy weeknight dish; we based the recipe on one found in Fresh Spanish. Traditionally, this stew is made with tuna, but any firm-fleshed fish will work. We used mahi-mahi and were very pleased with the results.

Lisa says:

Yay soup! 

Chris says:

This cold weather certainly gets me in the mood for it… 

Lisa says:

What fish is this? 

Chris says:

Mahi-mahi, but the original recipe used tuna… 

Lisa says:

Mmmm, it’s good. 

Chris says:

Capers rule. They’re like little bursts of salt. 

Lisa says:

So’s the salt. 

Chris says:

Okay, tonight you earn the sigh…

 

Fish and Potato Stew
12 oz mahi-mahi (or any firm-fleshed fish), cut into large bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
red onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 small roma tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/2 tbsp mild paprika
3/4 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into large bite-sized pieces
salt and fresh ground black pepper
parsley, chopped
capers

Arrange the fish in a shallow bowl and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan, add the onion and garlic, and cook over medium heat until softened. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, bell pepper, paprika, and potatoes, and stir to mix well. Add just enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Add in the fish, return to a boil, and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Serve ladled into bowls and garnish with parsley and capers.

2 Servings

posted in Fresh Spanish, Main Dishes, Spanish | 10 Comments

11th September 2008

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

Blendy!

A couple days ago, a recipe for Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho ended up in my email, and that same afternoon I came home to discover that our local supermarket had sent out a coupon for a free pound of heirloom tomatoes!  Synchronicity!  We hadn’t made gazpacho since last summer, and we’ve been meaning to try out a blended version to see how it compares to the chunky-style we’ve made in the past.  The recipe here is adapted from Latin Evolution, set to release in a few weeks.

Lisa says:

Are you making snacks and trying to pass them off as dinner again?

Chris says:

Hey, what’s wrong with wanting to eat light?

Lisa says:

Nothing, but come on… I literally ran out of the house to get food to go with this soup.

Chris says:

Okay, okay… but the question is, how do you like it?

Lisa says:

I like it … it might be just a touch too vinegary, though.

Chris says:

I agree — I updated the recipe note that you should taste it as you go before adding it all in.

Lisa says:

Good idea. So, this is really smooth…

Chris says:

…like yacht-rock!

Lisa says:

…sure… I think I like the chunky version a little better though.

Chris says:

I’m undecided. I think with a little tweaking this one could be the winner for me — I actually prefer the pureed consistency. The chunkier version was almost like just eating a bowl of salsa.

Lisa says:

What’s wrong with that?

Chris says:

Nothing, if I just wanted a snack…

Lisa says:

Why does that sound so familiar?

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
4 large red heirloom tomatoes
2/3 English cucumber, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic
1/4-1/3 cup sherry vinegar
3 tbsp diced day-old baguette, crust removed
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 English cucumber, seeded and diced
yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
red onion, diced

Core and peel the tomatoes, then cut into chunks. In a blender, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, most of the vinegar, and bread. Taste, and if needed, add the rest of the vinegar. Puree until smooth. While pureeing, slowly add olive oil until emulsified. Season with sugar, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate until cold. Serve in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and garnish with cilantro, accompanied by the diced cucumber, bell pepper, and red onion.

Makes 4-6 cups, depending on the size of the tomatoes

posted in Latin, Salads and Light Soups, Spanish | 9 Comments