Went back through some of my older posts and decided to make this recipe for Indianish Broccoli and Spinach Soup. I am going to serve it with Baked Potatoes, a good winter meal. Yum!
This is a yummy recipe that comes from a great soup cookbook called Sensational Soups by Jeni Wright.
Cream of Broccoli Soup with Crostini
1 lb broccoli
4 canned anchovies, chopped (you’ll use the others for the crostini)
5-5.5 cups of broth (veggie or chicken)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2-3/4 cup cream
Separate the stems from the florets, chop stems. Bring broth to a boil and add stems and anchovies, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add florets, 1/4 cup Parmesan and pepper. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes. (Here I let mine cool while I picked up the kids) Puree in a blender until smooth. Add cream and reheat without boiling. Serve hot with more cheese and crostini (below)
1 finely chopped garlic clove
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp vinegar
loaf of bread (I used my favorite Olive Oil Ciabatta)
grind into a paste with a mortar and pestle. Slice bread into thick slices (I did 8 and left a few plain for my little ones) and put under a broiler for 2 minutes. Spread with anchovy paste and serve as is or heat in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Fall is always a busy time in our house and I often rely on classic dishes that I know by heart when things are hectic. Recently my oldest son asked me if I could make something new for dinner. Here is what I devised:
White Bean and Garlic Pasta
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 cloves garlic (I used one enormous one from the Garlic Festival!), pressed or minced
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup cream
1 lb pasta
After rinsing the beans, puree them in a mini processor or blender, adding water as needed to get a smooth texture (I probably added 1/3 cup of water).
In a skillet, heat butter and olive oil (you can use all olive oil to make it vegan). Saute garlic until fragrant, add beans and cook while stirring. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add parsley (I used dried as my fresh was looking really ugly, but fresh would be best, use about 2 tsp dried or 1/4 fresh). Remove from heat.
Boil water for pasta and cook according to package. I like penne, but any shape will work. When pasta is almost done, put bean sauce back on heat and add cream to thin it out (if you are going vegan use some of the pasta water). Add the drained pasta and toss well to combine. Serve with grated Parmesan (or not).
The harvest holiday of Sukkot starts tonight and for the next 8 nights we will eat in our Sukkah (a temporary hut like structure, ours is on our porch). This holiday is by far my favorite of all on the Jewish calendar. I love to eat outside on chilly nights and my children (and I) get such a kick out of decorating the sukkah.
My other favorite park of Sukkot is making fall foods that will warm those dining in the sukkah! Soup is always on the menu. Tonight we will eat the Butternut Squash soup below. Tomorrow night I will make a Lentil and Roasted Garlic soup! Yum!
Roasted Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Soup
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 medium onions, sliced
1 tbs butter (can omit to make this vegan)
salt and pepper
5 cups bouillon or vegetable broth (I used Rapunzel Sea Salt and Herbs)
Preheat oven to 450F. Toss the squash with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of thyme. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the edges are browning.
Meanwhile in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven heat butter (or substitute olive oil) and caramelize the onions. See instructions and pictures here.
When the squash is cooked, add it and the broth/bouillon to the pot of onions. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
My tomato plants have done very well this year, maybe from the heat, maybe from extra care, who knows! So they are very prolific right now and I have more than I can eat raw. So time to make sauce! This is a simple riff on the lovely recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
Fresh Ripe Tomato Sauce
about 4 lbs ripe tomatoes
2 Tbs olive oil
two small onions
3 cloves garlic
2 ribs celery
1 small carrot
basil, cut very thinly
salt and pepper
Bring a pot of water to boil. Score the ends of the tomatoes in an X. Dunk in the boiling water and then slip off the skins. Chop roughly and put through a food mill. If you do not have a mill you can quarter the tomatoes, squeeze out the seeds and then chop into smaller pieces- you will get a chunkier sauce this way unless you puree it.
Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan (I use a Le Cruset). Put onions, garlic, celery and carrot in food processor and chop until very fine (you can do this by hand too). Add to hot olive oil and saute a few minutes. Add a dash of salt and saute a bit more. Add pureed tomatoes and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 1-2 hours or until deep red and thicker. Add some pepper. Add basil right before serving.
I served ours with breaded eggplant cutlets, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese! Yum!
Made pizza for dinner tonight, so fun and easy and all the kids loved it! One was eggplant and yellow peppers the other feta, olives, spinach and garlic.
See my recipe and instructions for pizza making here.
Even though our chickens are still too young to lay eggs, we adore fresh eggs. I picked some up today as I was in the area of a great egg farm (Flamig Farm in West Simsbury CT). I decide to make a riff on Eggs Florentine for dinner!
1 recipe polenta (I used 2 cups salted water, 1/2 cup polenta, cooked for 4 minutes then allow to cool and firm up a bit)
1 med onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs olive oil
8 oz baby spinach
3/4 cup cream
dash of nutmeg
salt and pepper
about 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 Tbs each salt and lemon juice
1 very rip tomato, sliced (homegrown!)
fake (or real) bacon, crumbled (I like Morningstar Veggie Strips)
Prepare the polenta. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onions and stir until soft, about five minutes. Add garlic, cook about 2 minutes then add spinach and stir until wilted. Add cream and cook until reduced, about 10 minutes. Add pepper and salt and stir in Parmesan.
Heat a large pot of water with salt and lemon juice. When boiling reduce heat to keep at a simmer. Stir the water a bit on one side while you slide in one egg (break it into a small bowl first). Agitating the water will help the white form a nice ball. Don’t worry if they look crazy at first, they come together in the end and will taste good no matter how they look. Cook each egg about 2.5 minutes. I found I could do two at a time.
Assemble each plate with polenta on the bottom, a slice of tomato, a spoonful of the creamed spinach and then an egg. Top with a bit more of the cream sauce and sprinkle with bacon.
These are a great entree for the hot weather. It is delicious at room temperature and can hold well if you want to make ahead. They are very flexible too, if you want to add other veggies or use another protein source (cooked chicken, shrimp, etc). I was lucky enough to get some fresh, homegrown Thai Basil from my mother this weekend!
Summer Rolls (to make 8)
1/2 onion, finely minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
sirracha, to taste (I only add about 8 drops as my little ones are heat sensitive!)
1 tsp vegetable oil
6 Tbs water
2 Tbs creamy peanut butter
1 Tbs Hoisin sauce
2 tsp tomato paste
1 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
2 oz bean thread noodles (vermicelli)
1 Tbs rice vinegar
12oz extra-firm silken tofu
1/4 cup peanut oil
8 rice paper rounds
bibb or iceberg lettuce (ribs cut out)
approx. 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
approx 1/4 cup Thai basil, cut in strips
Cook onion and garlic in vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat until golden. Whisk in remaining ingredients and cook 1 minutes. remove from heat.
Cover noodles with boiling hot water and let soak 15 minutes. Drain well and pat dry between paper towels, then toss with vinegar in a bowl.
Slice tofu into 8 planks and dredge with potato starch and a sprinkle of salt. Fry until golden in the peanut oil over medium high heat. Remove from pan onto a plate with paper towels.
Place a dampened paper towel on your work surface and have everything ready to fill the rice papers. Soak the rice paper in water for about 1 minute or until pliable. Be careful when you pick it up not to rip it.
Place the wrapper on the paper towel and put a piece of lettuce on the bottom third. Spread with some of the peanut sauce. Add a plank of tofu, basil and cilantro and some of the noodles. Fold the wrapper up and over the filling. Fold in the sides then put some carrot along the crease and fold the rest of the way (see the pictures in my previous post). Transfer finished roll to a plate covered in paper towels. Be careful that they do not touch each other or they will stick together.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve with peanut sauce for dipping.
I bought a beautiful and very large head of broccoli at the farmers market on Tuesday. I used part of it to make a delicious Tofu Stir Fry (I fried tofu in peanut oil, then scrambled three eggs, then steamed the broccoli, then added ginger, garlic and scallions along with Lee Kum Kee Vegetarian Stir Fry Sauce and voila, dinner!). Then tonight I used the rest (including all the stems) to make a great Broccoli and Cheddar soup.
For the soup I took the broccoli, one onion, three cloves of garlic and 6 cups of broth and brought it to a boil. Added salt and pepper and simmered till soft and then pureed with the immersion blender. Before serving I added about 1/3 cup milk and 1 cup of grated cheddar.
Served the soup with potato skins (with veggie bacon and cheddar) and sugar snap peas.
This was a lovely surprise for me when I returned from a long day at a craft show!
Elizabeth was at the Milford craft fair yesterday. The rest of us were “enjoying” the rain. After a morning of home repair, it was time to think about dinner. Normally I would make nachos and miso soup, a delectable combination. But with the rain we had the time for something more adventurous. The silver lining is that now the bathroom sink runs freely, the kitchen cabinet door is back on, the piano bench is repaired, the hall light fixture is ½ fixed, and I finally got the picture printed that Elizabeth asked for about 2 months ago.
This recipe is based on that posted by the MY-Thai Oriental Grocery.
Sauce – Prepare first so that it can sit in the fridge for an hour.
½ cup Palm Sugar
¼ cup tamarind concentrate
¼ cup fish sauce
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
Mix the above in a saucepan, heat covered on low for 45 minutes. Uncover and turn off the heat while you go back to the grocery for overlooked ingredients. Heat on medium uncovered for about 15 minutes until viscosity is noticeably increased, but thinner than maple syrup. Put in the fridge.
Pad Thai Ingredients
200 g of thin Thai Rice Noodles, soaked in water for at least 1 hour, then drain in a colander
2 tbsp sliced green onion stalk
2 tbsp sliced green onion
2 eggs - our kids asked for extra egg
Slices of bean curd – I used 5 oz of inarizushi-no-moto (seasoned fried bean curd) from a Japanese grocery.
2 tbsp chopped garlic
2 cups bean sprouts (I went to 5 stores before I found bean sprouts. Unreal. How can an Asian grocery call itself Asian and not have bean sprouts?)
3 tbsp smashed-by-a-4-year-old peanuts. If you don’t have a 4 year old and a mortar and pestle, crush peanuts will suffice.
3 tbsp canola oil
lime, used as a toy for about 20 minutes, then washed and sliced.
Heat a big skillet on medium heat
Saute the garlic in the oil for about 2 minutes till it is golden
Add the eggs, sauté
Add the rice noodles and the sauce. Stir until the noodles absorb the sauce.
Add the green onion, bean sprouts, bean curd, and some of the crushed peanuts. stir, stir, stir.
Serve garnished with bean sprouts, bean curd, crushed peanuts and lime.
I served this with raw string beans on the side.
My dish only remotely resembled this: