Archives for posts with tag: soup
Potato-Leek-Zucchini Soup with toasted chickpeas by Carmyarmyofme
Potato-Leek-Zucchini Soup with toasted chickpeas, a photo by Carmyarmyofme on Flickr.

I can’t forget about this one. So good.

I’ve been neglectful and forgotten where I found the recipe.


Carrot Leek Soup with butter croutons and sesame oil

I made this soup in the early spring and I still think about it!  A nice creamy carrot leek soup with homemade croutons, scented with sesame oil – a nice touch that makes this dish memorable.  Sunday Soup, the book from which this recipe came, has many terrific recipes inside of it.  I’ve made several soups, for several different seasons, and I am continually surprised at how flavorful and delicious their soups are.  It’s a seemingly typical cookbook with a lot more great recipes than you might expect.  A winter soup from the same cookbook that was equally complex and delicious was this Chorizo, Kale, & White Bean Soup topped with Parmesan cheese.  Both soups lasted for days and were just as delicious when reheated.

Chorizo, Kale, & White Bean Soup

Of course, next I’ll have to make a nice summery soup to go with this warm weather!  Luckily, this is one of those cookbooks categorized in my favorite fashion: by season.

Cuban Chickpea & Potato Soup

Refresh by Ruth Tal looked very promising when I took it off the shelf at the library.  It’s a restaurant based cookbook from the Fresh Restaurants in Toronto, Canada.  It has a lot of good ideas in it, but it also has a lot of recipes with difficult ingredients to track down.  Unless you have access to a really well-stocked natural foods market, you may have the same difficulties that I did locating components such as durum flour, Engevita, lemongrass, Chywanprash, Spirutein, and the large number of herbal extracts – Royal Jelly, Osha root, etcetera – that these recipes require.  Because I didn’t have access to these more obscure ingredients, this severely limited which recipes I could try out of this cookbook.

The pictured Cuban chickpea and potato soup was an easy enough recipe.  The results were delicious and there was enough soup to keep me fed for days.  The soup is made from onions, celery, garlic, red bell peppers, cumin, fennel, thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, veggie stock, potatoes, chickpeas, and lemon juice.  It was simple enough to put it all together and it made a quite satisfying meal (or 5 meals…)

I had less luck putting together other dishes from the book.  There are a wealth of smoothie recipes in the book, which I wanted to try, but had difficulty tracking down the required contents.  I also tried to make a recipe called Dragon Rice Bowl, but it required a sub-recipe for Miso gravy which I absolutely failed at making when my substitutions for certain ingredients just tasted freakin’ awful.  Spit it out and pour it down the drain awful.  I ended up just eating the rice and veggies from the rice bowl recipe with plain soy sauce and rice vinegar.  My pathetic failed attempt is not pictured.

Overall, my sense of frustration with finding ingredients and the failed-at-substituting attempt made me not love this cookbook.  If Nature Mart or Erewhon were not special trips for me, I might have like it better.

Refresh by Ruth Tal.

Verdict: Shelve it.

Exceptions go to those who have super awesome well-stocked natural markets in their neighborhoods – those people should definitely check it out.

Saffron Risotto

My mom didn’t have a slow cooker.  Not that I remember anyway.  We slow cooked our collard greens and lima beans and spaghetti sauce on the stove top.  When I received a slow cooker as a gift, I really had no idea what to do with it beyond  simmering chili all day.

Still, I didn’t gravitate to actually learning what to make in my slow cooker until I spotted Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two.  It wasn’t the promise of another chili recipe or a meat dish that you set in the morning before work that caught my attention.  No.  It was the risotto.

Creamy and cheesy – I love risotto.  But it’s usually the type of thing I order when it is available at a restaurant instead of going through the trouble of making it at home.  Could I actually make risotto without standing over it for 40 minutes, stirring, adding more liquid, stirring, stirring, stirring, adding more liquid and stirring again?  Oh slow cooker, let me dust you off because I just have to see if this dream is for real!

Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two has a few risotto recipes, along with polenta, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, barley, bean, and meat recipes.  I chose a straightforward saffron based recipe to make just to see if the risotto would come out tasting good or not.  Happily, it was quite good.  My risotto was a bit mushy instead of al dente because I used a larger crock pot than the “for two” recipe called for.  Next time I might double the recipe to accommodate for the large crock pot, and besides extra risotto is good for the next day.

Zucchini Soup

Declaring the risotto a success I moved on to try out another recipe.  I liked the author’s anecdotal introduction to this recipe: she read about this zucchini soup as Katharine Hepburn’s favorite soup and constructed a slow cooker version.  It’s very simple: butter, shallots, zucchini, broth, curry powder, and cayenne pepper.  The soup simmers on low all day and with a whirl of an immersion blender and tossing in some oven baked croutons, you have a great dish.  It’s ultimately a thick soup after it’s puréed – filling without a need for heavy cream or corn starch thickeners.  I had some leftovers the next morning with a fried egg and that was a flipping fantastic way to start the day – who knew?  Maybe Katharine Hepburn did…

Based on the two successes I had with this cookbook I’m going to try to use my slow cooker more.  I have my eye on recipes for “Provençal Tomato Soup with Poached Eggs”, “Curried Cream of Broccoli Soup”, and some of the other risotto recipes.

Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes For Two by Beth Hensperger.

Verdict: Check it out.

My slow cooker horizons needed expanding, maybe yours do too.

Chickpea & Barley Stew

This one came from The Garden of Vegan: How It All Vegan Again by Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer.  These two authors have written a few popular vegan cookbooks including Garden of Vegan, How It All Vegan, and La Dolce Vegan.  Let’s be clear: I don’t love these books.  Not all of the recipes appealed to me, but that may have more to do with how they name their recipes — this one was called “Bodacious Bean & Barley Soup” — and the over-the-top wacky presentation of recipes.  I can see how that approach may actually attract many people, I think I prefer a much more straightforward presentation.

That being said, when it comes down to the actual food, this soup was good!  Barley + chickpeas + cumin + turmeric + cilantro + mint = a good basis of things that I like to eat.  A really nice touch was the yogurt that is stirred in when the soup is finished cooking.  We used real yogurt instead of soy yogurt so our version was definitely not vegan, but the yogurt is what really tied it all together.

Garden of Vegan Garden of Vegan: How It All Vegan Again by Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer

Verdict: Check it out.

This is one that, for me, will remain a library book and never one that shows up in my personal library.  But, that was some tasty soup – so don’t completely skip by it on the shelf.