Kabocha Soup with Spiced Pepitas

Adapted from Vegetarian Times, Jan 2009.

I haven’t made this in a couple of years. Kelsey brought home a kabocha squash from the farm with the intention of making this soup. It was as good as we remembered! Don’t skip the spiced pepitas, they really make the dish.

Spiced Pepitas
1/2 cup pepitas or shelled pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. honey (or agave)
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Soup
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp. dry sherry / rice wine will work
1 1/2 lb. kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth

To make the Spiced Pepitas:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, toss together pepitas, live oil, honey, paprika and salt. Spread on baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, turning occasionaly. Cool. break apart and toss with cilantro.

To make soup:
Heat oil in a large pot over med-high heat. Add onion, saute 5-7 minutes, then add garlic, smoked paprika & bay leaf. Cook 1 minutes. Add sherry and cook 2 minutes more.

Add squash, broth & 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to med-low. Cook 25 minutes, until squash is tender.

Remove bay leaf. Puree soup. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Serve sprinkled with Spiced Pepitas.

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Garden Soup with Kale & Cauliflower

Also from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen. Simple and delicious. The recipe calls for black kale, which I have never so I think it does not suffer from the use of regular grocery store kale.

2 leeks, white parts only, diced (about 2 cups)
1 russet potato (about 1/2 pound)
2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more to finish
2 cups stemmed and slivered kale
2 cups small cauliflower florets
1 garlic clove, minced
salt & pepper
6 cups stock or bean broth
Asiago cheese for grating

Wash the leeks well, dice. Chop the potato.

In a soup pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Stir in the leeks and potatoes. Add the kale, cauliflower, garlic and salt. Cook about 5 minutes.

Add the stock, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Season with pepper. Serve with Asiago for grating into the soup.

Barley Soup with Red Beans, Corn & Sage

Adapted from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen.

Even Mike thought this soup was tasty.

1 cup barley, soaked for 2 hours
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 bay leaves
10 fresh sage leaves, chopped or 2 tsp. dried
1 large red onion, diced
1/2 cup or more diced carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. tomato paste
salt & pepper
corn, 2 ears or about 1 cup frozen
1 1/2 cups (or 1 15-ounce can) cooked red beans – borlotti or red kidney

If you haven’t already soaked the barley, cover it with hot water and soak while you prepare the vegetables.

Melt butter with oil, bay leaves and sage in a soup pot. Add the onion and carrots, stir, cook over medium heat until onion starts to color. Add the garlic & parsley, then stir in tomato paste.

Drain the barley and add it to the pot with 2 quarts of water or stock and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the the barley is tender, about 35 minutes. Taste for salt, season with pepper.

If using corn on the cob, shuck and cut off kernels & press out the “milk” from the cob. Add corn, corn milk & beans to the pot. Heat through. Serve with fresh, chopped parsley.

Cabbage Soup

Adapted from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen, New York, NY: Broadway Books, 2006.

This is surprisingly good.

1 lb. green cabbage (recipe recommends Savoy, I used regular green cabbage)
3 Tbsp. butter
1 large leek, quartered lengthwise, thoroughly rinsed, and sliced thin (white & light green parts only)
1 large Yukon Gold or russet potato, peeled and cut into large dice
salt & freshly ground pepper

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, cut the cabbage into wedges, remove the core and thinly slice.
Cook in boiling water for 1 minute, drain.

In a soup pot, melt the butter. Add the leek and potato and cook for a minute or two. Add the cabbage and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour over 5 cups water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, about 20 minutes until the potato is tender.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serving suggestions:
– To each bowl add a dollop of sour cream and minced parsley
– Float a slice of crusty bread and cheese (blue or cheddar) in each bowl

Pumpkin Soup

For you Beth. I have no idea where I found this recipe but it was good.

1 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Hungarian hot pepper, diced (optional)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (or the equivalent of home cooked pumpkin)
1/2 cup milk or light cream
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. sugar or maple syrup (optional)

Saute the onion, garlic and hot pepper in olive oil until softened.

Add squash, pumpkin and stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 30 minutes, uncovered, until vegetables are tender.

Puree and return to pan (or use an immersion blender). Simmer another 30 minutes (really, I have not idea why this would need another 30 minutes). Add milk/cream and spices. Taste and add sugar or syrup if not sweet enough for your taste.

Serve garnished with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Cauliflower and Swiss Chard soup

Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Soups cookbook. Her version calls for leeks and kale, neither of which I had on hand.

1 medium onion, diced
1 russet potato (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut in chunks
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups slivered swiss chard, thick stems sliced separately
About 2 cups cauliflower florets
1 garlic clove, pressed
salt & pepper
6 cups broth (white bean broth, vegetable broth or chicken broth)
Asiago cheese for grating

Warm the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and potato and stir. While they are warming, slice the chard stems and add them to the pot. Slice the chard leaves into ribbons. Add the chard leaves, garlic, cauliflower and salt. Cook about 5 minutes.

Add the stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Finish each serving with a drizzle of olive oil, pepper and a grating of cheese.

Weight Watcher’s Garden Vegetable Soup

0 points per 1 cup serving, yet tasty

2/3 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 cups fat-free broth (any flavor)
1 1/2 cups diced green cabbage
1/2 cup green beans
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup diced zucchini
sliced fresh basil

Heat a large saucepan over low heat saute, spray with cooking spray. Saute carrot, onion & garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add cabbage, bean, tomato paste, salt and oregano. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes, until beans are tender. Add zucchini. Cook 5 minutes.

Serve with shredded fresh basil.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Kelsey called me the other day and said, “Mom, the recipe for broccoli soup is not on the blog.” Hmm, well that is because there is no recipe. I always make it up as I go, usually to use up leftover broccoli.

So, here is basically what I told her.

In a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp. butter or butter and olive oil

Saute until softened:
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, sliced thinly
1 stalk celery, sliced thinly

Add 2-3 cups of water or vegetable or chicken broth. If using water, add 1 tsp. bouillon.

Add 1 small potato (optional)
Broccoli (if uncooked)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. garlic power, optional
Simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Blend this up with an immersion blender.

Add milk or half and half, to desired creaminess (about 1 cup). If you would like a thicker soup, blend 2 Tbsp. flour with 3-4 Tbsp. water. Stir the slurry into the soup a little at a time until desired thickness. The soup must be allowed to almost boil before the flour will thicken.

Serve with grated cheddar cheese.

Poor Man’s Soup with Dumplings

For you Larry.

The Soup:
3-4 ounces of salt pork, finely diced
1 large celery stalk, sliced thinly
4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1″ sections
1 large onion, diced
4 cups water
2 tsp. chicken bullion
butter
salt & pepper to taste

Heat a 3-4 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp. butter and salt pork, saute about 5 minutes. Add onion, celery and carrots. Cook until just softened. Add water and bullion. Add salt & pepper to taste. Simmer until everything is cooked, about 1 hour.

Serve with dumplings.

Dumplings:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
milk (about 3 Tbsp)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Stir flour and baking powder together. Stir in an egg and enough milk to make a thick, heavy dough.

Drop by teaspoonfuls into boiling salted water. Cook 10 minutes. Drain and toss with butter.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Surprisingly delicious and simple! But my family loves coconut milk. I had this as a first course to a dinner of Malai Kofta but it is so filling that with a bit of crusty bread and a salad it would be a great meal.

Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin’s Vegetarian Classics, New York, NY: HarpersCollins Publishers Inc., 2001.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced / crushed
1 1/2 Tsp. minced fresh ginger
2 tsp. Madras curry powder
2 cups water
3-4 cups diced butternut squash, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 14 oz. can of unsweetened coconut milk
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Cilantro for garnish

In a large pot, warm the oil. Saute the onion, garlic and ginger until softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle on the curry powder and cook another minute, until fragrant.

Add water, squash, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes, until the squash is very tender.

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

Add the coconut milk and lemon juice and simmer 5 minutes.

Serve, sprinkled with finely chopped cilantro if desired.