Posts tagged soup

Easy Mediterranean Chicken Soup

Mediterrean soup

5 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the temperature outside–but with the windchill it feels more like -6. Chicken noodle soup time. I’m getting tired of the regular chicken soup as the temperatures continue to slide. To capture a little bit of summer in a bowl, while warming myself up I’ve been making this Mediterranean version.

 

Recipe

 

Ingredients

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups cooked, chopped chicken (hello, leftovers!)

3 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. paprika (smoked, preferred)

1 10-oz. box Israeli couscous

1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and diced

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 lemon

 

Directions

  1. Prepare the couscous according to package directions. You can use the smaller, more widely available Moroccan couscous but I prefer the larger, Israeli variety.
  2. Place the 2 tbsp. of olive oil in the bottom of a soup pot to coat. Saute the onions and garlic over medium-high heat until fragrant and the onions translucent.
  3. Add in the carrots and celery and saute for 2 more minutes.
  4. Stir in the chicken and saute 2 more minutes.
  5. Pour the chicken broth into the pot and bring the mixture just to a simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Mix in couscous, parsley, olives, and seasonings.
  7. Serve each soup bowl topped with feta cheese and fresh squeezed lemon juice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions

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Thai coconut soup

Two months. It took nearly two months for The Sriracha Cookbook by Randy Clemens to work its way through the library system and into my waiting hands. Not familiar with Sriracha? Also called “rooster sauce,” this addictive, spicy Asian sauce perks up any dish. For me, Sriracha sauce has an instant heat that hits in the back of the throat, but goes away quickly. Really. I don’t like it straight, but mixed into dishes it adds that layer of interest that only chiles can.

I tried out Clemens’ Thai Chicken-Coconut Soup recipe. I found it was easy to put together but next time I’d definitely make some adjustments. Here are my notes:

  • The mixture of chicken and fish sauce didn’t seem to fit. I’d use shrimp in the recipe instead.
  • I didn’t buy the extra, pricier ingredients like lemon grass and kaffir leaves. Maybe one of these days, but the substitutes work well and the soup tasted nearly as good as the coconut soup from our favorite Thai restaurant.
  • I didn’t want to bother with mincing the ginger so instead I put it on a skewer and let it simmer with the soup while it cooked then just threw it out before serving.

    Ginger flavor, no mincing

  • Looking at the fat content of regular coconut milk, I opted for the lite version.
  • Clemens calls for a whopping 1/3 cup Sriracha in the soup. I like things hot, but my thought is it’s much easier to ADD more heat than to try to take it out so I used a couple teaspoons.

Recipe

Prep & cook time: 20-30 minutes

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

3 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 stalk lemongrass, white part only (optional)

1 (2-inch) knob galangal (or ginger)

3 kaffir lime leaves or 1 tablespoon finely minced lime zest

1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk

1/3 cup Sriracha (uh, I used about 2 teaspoons)

1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken cut into 1-inch cubes (I used leftover cooked chicken)

Juice of 1 lime

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh cilantro sprigs

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized pot add the chicken broth, fish sauce, lemongrass (if using), ginger and lime zest and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes. (Clemens points out you can strain out the galangal, lemongrass and lime leaves at this point but since I wasn’t using them, I didn’t have to.)
  3. Add the coconut milk, chicken and Sriracha and return the soup to a boil for 4 to 6 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Again, I used leftover chicken.
  4. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the fresh lemon juice. Serve garnished with cilantro.

    Soup's on!

Kids’ reactions: Okay, I wasn’t expecting rave reviews from the kiddos on this one. I thought the soup was excellent–soothing, spicy. The teen thought the soup was good but pointed out that shrimp would work better than the chicken. Agreed. My two younger kids thought it was on the spicy side and asked for extra servings of rice instead of seconds of soup. If only you could eat soup with chopsticks I think they would have given it more of a chance.

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French broccoli soup

Sure my kids ask for seconds of roasted asparagus and whipped purple potatoes, but I couldn’t coax them past a few tries of this recipe for broccoli soup. But I didn’t mind. I wanted the leftovers. Ever since I tried the recipe a few weeks ago, I’ve been having it for lunch nearly everyday since.

I do have hope for my kids–see, this recipe comes from my mom. When she claimed she’d been making it for years, I called her bluff, “But, I’ve never had it?!” I told her. “No, you wouldn’t try it, but I’ve been making it,” she explained. Hum, maybe she wanted leftovers too; and maybe, just maybe my kids will be calling and asking for this recipe someday (although I’m still going to offer it to them whenever I get the chance).

Recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes, start to finish

Servings: 4


Ingredients

2 cups broccoli, chopped, leaves and stem included (if desired)

1 cup celery, chopped

1/3 cup parsley, torn into pieces

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon cornstarch

3-4 cups chicken broth

Parmesan cheese shavings, for serving

Heavy cream (optional)

1/4 teaspoon hot paprika or cayenne (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Placed the chopped broccoli, cauliflower, garlic and parsley in a heavy bottomed pan or Dutch oven.
  2. Pour the chicken broth over the veggies (you can add more than 4 cups, depending on your desired thickness; I rarely measure, I just pour until it covers the broccoli about 1/2 an inch).
  3. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are soft; discard the garlic clove.
  4. In batches, puree the veggies and broth until smooth. Return the mixture to the pan. (I also stir in cayenne pepper or hot paprika at this point to give it a kick.)
  5. In a small cup, whisk the cornstarch with some of the soup, then stir it into the rest, bring it to a simmer, reduce heat and serve.
  6. Top individual servings with Parmesan cheese.

*A note from mom: the original recipe calls for you to stir in heavy cream. When she serves it to guests, she puts warmed cream on the table for those who want to add it in, but she doesn’t use it. I don’t either–it doesn’t need it.

Your turn–do you have a favorite dish your secretly glad your kids aren’t crazy about because then you can have the leftovers?

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Slow’s Bar BQ Hickory Blackened Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

Ingredients

8 tomatoes
3 red bell peppers
1 jalapeno
1 tbl spn salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1 cup water
juice of three limes
fresh cilantro for garnish
hickory chips or small logs (substitute other woods to experiment with flavor)
Directions

Start by lighting your coals. It’s best to use a chimney starter so you don’t impart the flavor of lighter fluid.  When your coals are nearing white hotness, apply the dry chips of logs.  You’re trying to create more fire than smoke.  When the flames are licking the grill, apply the clean dry tomatoes and peppers.  Turn them for several minutes until their skin is black to the point of crisping.  Remove the tomatoes and peppers and place them in a bowl.  Close the grill to put out the fire.  While you’re finishing the soup, your grill will be ready for your next course.  Continue by removing most of the skins, leaving a little for flavor. Remove the seeds and stem of the peppers, being careful to save the juice. Stem the tomatoes. Transfer all ingredients to a blender and puree until the desired consistency.  Serve warm or chilled with a garnish of fresh cilantro.

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Q&A with Michael Metevia, Slow’s BBQ in Detroit

With barbecue staples like St. Louis spare ribs and Carolina-style pulled pork served alongside one-of-a-kind creations like beef brisket, smoked gouda enchiladas and salads called the Charles Bronson (and kickin’ flavors to match the epithet) it’s no wonder that Slow’s Bar BQ has become an it spot in Detroit since opening its doors nearly five years ago.

An anchor in the emerging rebirth of the Corktown area, Slow’s, takes pride in using fresh, local ingredients and all-natural meats, explains the head chef of the kitchen, Michael Metevia. He also notes that “the staff here is great and they work really hard give it there all.” The flavorful, slow-smoked entrees along with a diligent staff, has made the BBQ joint popular among a diverse clientele—from business people to hipsters to families and, of course, Tigers fans. Metevia recommends that families try out the restaurant during one of their off hours, between 2pm to 4pm, “or you can come right when the doors open at 11am.” (Early lunch before a venture to the Detroit Science Center, anyone?) Metevia made the mistake of bringing in his 15-month-old during a Tigers’ game were lively fans filled the 80-seat establishment. The crowded restaurant induced a fit in the younger Metevia; since dad/chef has avoided bringing him in during busy times. Metevia points out that Slow’s does take reservations for parties over six people, so if you’re set on a certain time, grab some friends and call ahead to make sure you get in.

Below, Metevia shares some of his thoughts on cooking, as well as his own recipe for something fun to grill this summer—vegetables. He roasts a variety of veggies and then purees them for a summer soup that can be served either warm or cold.

What three ingredients do you always keep stocked in your pantry?
As simple as it sounds, I always have kosher salt, fresh peppercorns and quality olive oil. I put those ingredients in almost everything. I also use a lot of quinoa [a healthy, whole grain seed prepared like barley] and coconut oil.

Your favorite meal to make or serve?
At home my favorite meal is pot roast. It’s a great family meal and easy to put together—everyone is always satisfied. But I don’t always prepare it the same way. I don’t like to be in a rut and I think that happens to a lot of people when it comes to cooking. When you’re cooking for kids especially, it’s important that you mix things up so that they won’t become fickle when it comes to food. I like to mix it up, use different fresh herbs—it really depends from time to time what I use. Most of the time, I use some red wine, usually mushrooms.

We all have a favorite indulgence, for a chef like you it must be something spectacular?
Coney dogs. Usually, I’m a pretty conscientious eater and in general I try to find organic, natural foods. I know it’s bad for you, but I love having a Coney dog. With everything. It’s part of living in Detroit.

What’s one of your worst cooking mistakes?
I made 20 loaves of banana bread using salt instead of sugar. I could try to blame someone else—whoever did the stocking in the kitchen put salt in the sugar container—but I should have checked. All 20 were in the oven and then I tested one. I just spit it out it was so salty. That’s definitely the biggest cooking mistake I’ve ever made and I haven’t made one like it since.

There are so many great Michigan-made food products, what is your pick?
Calder’s chocolate milk. That stuff is delicious and the dairy is located in Lincoln Park.

What do you suggest for first-timers to Slow’s Bar BQ? What menu item should they make sure to try?
If it’s your first time, I recommend the mac ‘n cheese. Our preparation is unique to Slow’s with the dish—we find people just come back again and again for more. Everything is made from scratch—it’s really just good, old-style homecooking.

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