Category Archives: Soup

Thai Shrimp Bisque, Recipe

Standard

We finally got some snow here in Boston! It sure is a big change from last year’s winter when the term “Snowpocalypse” was overused for good reason. I’m sure our snow bunnies still aren’t happy since it didn’t stick but I am just fine with it.

Anyways, an inch or two of snow is more than enough to drive me into the kitchen to try a new soup recipe. I found this recipe for a Thai Shrimp Bisque through My Recipes (which searches Cooking Light, Food & Wine, and a few other food magazine sites) and, although long, the list of ingredients weren’t too intimidating for someone like me who doesn’t have a lot, if any, experience cooking Thai food. I love the flavors of Thai food and how they combine citrus, spice and creaminess all into one well rounded dish. This soup is really filling just on its own and has a burst of lime that makes it feel very fresh and light even on a cold snowy-ish Boston day.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Thai Shrimp Bisque20120303-093338.jpg
From Cooking Light, 2000

Ingredients

Marinade:
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lime rind
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Shrimp stock:
2 cups water
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Soup:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 tablespoon grated lime rind
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation

To prepare marinade, peel shrimp, reserving shells. Combine shrimp and next 8 ingredients (shrimp though garlic) in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.

To prepare the shrimp stock, combine the reserved shrimp shells, water, wine and 1 tablespoon tomato paste in a large Dutch oven. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until the liquid is reduced to 1 cup (about 10 minutes). Strain mixture through a sieve over a bowl, and discard solids.

To prepare the soup, heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and sauté 8 minutes or until browned. Add 1 cup shrimp stock, coconut milk, and 1 tablespoon tomato paste, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour and reduced-fat milk in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add to pan; reduce heat, and simmer until thick (about 5 minutes). Add shrimp and marinade, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon lime rind, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and salt.

Chicken, Leek, and Mushroom Soup, Recipe

Standard

Happy National Homemade Soup Day! I hadn’t planned it this way but realized the coincidence of this “holiday” when reading Foodimentary’s blog (great blog if you don’t already follow it!).

New Englanders seem to love the cold and as soon as it dips below freezing they hit the slopes or grab their ice skates. I am not a New Englander. I’m not sure how I ended up here as I am the happiest in the tropics where it’s so hot and humid that you are constantly covered in a glowy warm dew. I’d trade my boots for flip flops and parka for a polka dot bikini any day of the year. When the weather dips below freezing I bundle up, bring out my knitting needles, and spend my time making soups and other hearty dishes.

I wanted to make a chicken soup but something a little different, not your mama’s chicken noodle soup. This one, on She Cooks, He Cleans’ blog, caught my eye as it has a little something different in it – apple and apple cider. I’m also a big fan of puréed soups and love any excuse to bust out the immersion blender.

This is a really easy, filling meal and makes great leftovers to take into work. Very flavorful with the apple giving the soup a nice burst of freshness. Not quite like anything I’ve tasted before – definitely a keeper! Hey, an apple a day however we can get it, right?

Chicken, Leek, and Mushroom Soup
From She Cooks, He Cleans

Ingredients:
2 free-range chicken breasts from U.S. Wellness Meats (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
4 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)
3 tablespoons Kerrygold unsalted butter (grass-fed)
2 leeks, white and pale green parts, thinly sliced, washed thoroughly and dried
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
10 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used a mixture of cremini and shiitaki)
1 tart apple, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pour the chicken broth into a large, heavy pot. Rinse the chicken breast halves with cold water, and place in the pot with the chicken broth. Bring the broth to a simmer, and cook the chicken for 15-20 minutes at low heat. As the chicken is cooking, periodically skim the foam from the broth and discard. Move the chicken to a dish to cool. Pour the chicken broth into a bowl through a fine-mesh strainer, and set aside. Wipe out the pot with paper towels.

Using the same pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute leeks and celery until soft, but not browned, for around 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute for 2 or 3 minutes,, then add the apple cubes and cook for another few minutes until the mushrooms and apples are soft. Return the strained chicken broth to the pot with the vegetables; stir in apple cider vinegar, dried thyme, and cream. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, partially covered.

In the meantime, cut the chicken into smaller pieces, then shred each piece by hand. Cover the shredded chicken so it doesn’t dry out, and set aside.

After the broth and vegetables have simmered for 20-30 minutes, use an immersible hand-blender to puree the vegetables to a finer consistency. (I like to leave it a little chunky.) Add the shredded chicken to the the soup. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat on low for at least 10 minutes. Serve hot, and enjoy!

This isn’t the most beautiful meal to photograph but you get the point.

20120204-141418.jpg

Ciopinno, Recipe

Standard

20111230-152649.jpgFor the last 5-6 years my dad and I have been making Ciopinno for Christmas dinner. Not being Italian I am not sure exactly how this tradition started but it was a one time thing that ended up sticking around.

With Christmas usually being just the two of us this is a great one-pot meal which is uncomplicated but fancy enough for company. This Christmas my mum flew in from California and my brother and his son from Japan so our family gathering almost tripled! Thankfully there is always enough Ciopinno to go around and then some.

I don’t love all of Giada De Laurentiis’ meals but this one is a keeper. To the point and delicious.

Don’t forget to pick up a loaf of crusty bread to go along side of it.

—————————————————-

Ciopinno
From Giada De Laurentiis

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
5 cups fish stock
1 bay leaf
1 pound manila clams, scrubbed
1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 pounds assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks

20111230-152704.jpgHeat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.

Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

—————————————————-

20111230-152736.jpgFor dessert dad busted out his cigar lighter, I mean torch, for crème brûlée. He makes one mean crème brûlée and whats better than being able to play with your food?

Yet another delicious Christmas at the Plants, or the Poinsettias as a friend dubbed us (get it? Holiday Plants!)

I’ll leave you with this photo of my dad’s pup, Arrow, guarding the Christmas tree. Happy Holidays!

20111230-152715.jpg

(Note my dad’s fancy Christmas gift tags, aka post-it notes)

Mushroom, Sweet Potato, and Smoked Gouda Chowder, Recipe

Standard

Hello, Smoked Gouda.

Until recently, the only time I made soup was when I was trying to save money or watch my waistline. I veered towards veggie or bean soups, filling but low cal. Not today, my friend. Today we are into the thick, creamy, bacony, cheesy sticktoyourribs soups like this one.

The bacon and smoked Gouda are a marriage made in heaven, you won’t be disappointed.

Mushroom, Sweet Potato, and Smoked Gouda Chowder
Source: Adapted from Elly Says Opa

6 slices bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced (I used portabellas)
3-4 cups sweet potatoes, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
Good pinch of dried thyme
1 bay leaf
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup half and half
4 oz smoked Gouda, shredded
Kosher salt
Black Pepper

1. In a stockpot or dutch oven, cook the bacon until it has rendered its fat and is crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside.

2. Add the diced onions and the mushrooms to the bacon fat in the pot. Season with a little salt and pepper, and cook until the moisture released from the mushrooms evaporates and the vegetables start to brown, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Add the sweet potatoes and the garlic, stirring to combine. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender. Season again with salt and pepper, and return most of the bacon to the pot, leaving a little extra to garnish the soup.

4. Remove the bay leaf. Puree as much or as little of the mixture as you want in a food processor, and return the pureed soup to the pot (alternatively, use an immersion blender). Add the half and half and the Gouda. Simmer until the soup has heated through and the cheese has melted. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

5. Serve, garnished with the extra bacon.

6. Inhale.

Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Avocado, Recipe

Standard

After a year’s worth of dread and postponement I finally got my dental implant today. I am officially bionic with a titanium screw in my face. Just watch what I can do now! Before I start leaping tall buildings and moving cars with my bare hands I will just focus on making soup while I recover. I found this keeper from Our Life in Food.

I’m posting the original recipe here but need to confess to a few shortcuts (you aren’t allowed to razz me, I am on painkillers) and changes.

First of all, I used canned beans. I didn’t have the patience to soak dried beans overnight, etc. Canned beans seemed to work perfectly well and I’ll likely use the same shortcut when I make this again. A couple of notes: I used sweet Italian sausage (just break it out of its case and crumble), I used a jalapeno as I couldn’t find Habaneros at Shaws (should have gone to Whole Foods, I know), I reduced the stock to 4.5 cups as I figured the black beans wouldn’t be soaking up water which seemed to work well, and I omitted the cilantro as I didn’t think it was really necessary. And there we go, an easy and delicious soup to add to your recipe box.

I can’t recommend this soup enough, it was hearty and rich and totally fulfilling!

Black Bean and Sausage Soup with Avocado and Cilantro
Source: Adapted from The Daily Soup Cookbook

1 lb pork sausage
1 onion
1 habanero, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground thyme
2 bay leaves
1 lb black beans, soaked overnight
6 cups chicken stock
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
1 avocado
Handful cilantro, chopped

1. Crumble the sausage into a soup pot, and saute until cooked through. Remove to a bowl.

2. In the same pot, add the onion, and cook until softened. Add the habanero and the garlic, and cook for an additional minute.

3. Add the cumin, thyme, and bay leaves, and stir to coat the vegetables.

4. Stir in the black beans, chicken stock, tomatoes, pepper, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and partially cover. Simmer 1-2 hours, until the beans are tender.

5. Puree the soup with a food processor or an immersion blender.

6. Season to taste with Kosher salt. Add the sausage back into the pot, mix to combine, and bring everything to a simmer again for a few additional minutes.

7. Peel, pit, and dice the avocado. Mix with a handful of cilantro and a good sprinkle of Kosher salt.

8. Serve the soup topped with the avocado mixture. Enjoy!