Mushroom Spinach Soup with Middle Eastern Spices

Wow, ten days have passed since I last posted a recipe! My daughter was home for spring break and she was bored so she decided she would do a lot of the cooking, so Helpful! But she doesn’t follow recipes or want to participate in my blogging project, so I haven’t had much to post. Thank you again Melissa Clark and New York Times Cooking for this recipe! This is a very healthy and hearty vegetarian soup that can be bulked up further with lentils, grains or sausage (no longer vegetarian then) if one desires. We decided we just wanted a warm vegetarian soup that wasn’t too heavy, so we left it as is except we added a can of chopped tomatoes and some broth to the recipe.

Mushroom Spinach Soup with Middle Eastern Spices

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 60+ minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
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Rich and Hearty vegetarian soup that has a lot of add-in options

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb mixed mushrooms such as shiitake, cremini, oyster, etc. medium dice
  • ½ lb shallots, finely diced
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped (use a little less if dried)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground allspice
  • one 14.5 oz can chopped peeled tomatoes (organic or no salt added if possible)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup of low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • fresh lime juice, to taste (I cut one lime and served the wedges with the soup so people could squeeze in as much as they wanted at the table)
  • plain yogurt, for serving (optional)

Procedure

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spread out chopped mushrooms and shallots on a large lightly oiled sheet pan.  Sprinkle vegetables with a little salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes and then stir. Roast for another 10 minutes or until the mushrooms have substantially shrunk and most of the liquid has evaporated. You can alternatively do this in the pot you are going to make your soup in by sautéing the vegetables.
  3. Heat a large pot over medium heat, add a little olive oil to just barely coat bottom of pot, after that is heated add the mushrooms and shallot mixture, tomato paste, thyme, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and allspice. If you like a little more spice, add a little more of all spices as I did. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in can of tomatoes including the liquid, 4 cups of water and 1 cup of vegetable broth. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook gently for at least 20 minutes. I simmered for over an hour because I had the extra time. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Using a blender or food processor, coarsely purée 1/2 of the soup and add back to unprocessed soup. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve in bowls with a squeeze of fresh lime, sprinkle of thyme and an optional dollop of yogurt. Enjoy!

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March 26, 2017

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Simmering soup before spinach was added.
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Finished soup (I forgot to add the spinach).

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Vegetable, Beef and Farro Soup

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Here in the Bay area it has been cold (by our California standards) and SUPER RAINY so I thought a hearty soup would be nice. I made this soup yesterday and I have to admit it took quite a bit of time but it was really worth it.  The soup was very rich, warm and nutritious (I need to work on adding nutritional stats to my recipes!) and it got a thumbs up from both my husband and son. This is after I made a disastrous meal last night with chicken, vegetables, lemon and herbs that was difficult and laborious and just turned out incredibly BLAND! So disappointing, but that happens. Toss it and watch my husband and son make quesadillas because they were still hungry (no joke- that is what they do when they don’t like dinner or if I really under-fed them).

For this soup I started with a Food and Wine recipe and added more vegetables, a little wine, more herbs and a leaner cut of meat. The recipe called for chicken stock, which I found strange, but followed it anyway, and I regretted it. I think beef stock would match the beef and farro much better. Nevertheless, the soup was still very tasty, I just think the beef broth would be better so I am recommending it for anyone following it. Vegetable broth would also be good (I added some vegetable broth at the end since I cooked it ahead of time and the farro had absorbed quite a bit of the broth). I also think that the beef can be left out completely and with some vegetable broth instead of beef broth it would be a very lovely vegetarian meal as the farro has quite a bit of protein and the soup is full of vegetables. I love the addition of the miso, it gave the soup a lot of extra flavor and excitement!

Vegetable, Beef and Farro Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: about 45 minutes active, 2 hours inactive
  • Difficulty: medium
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Hearty vegetable and beef soup for a healthy cold evening meal.

Credit: Food and Wine Beef and Farro Soup

Ingredients

  • canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef (I used grass-fed flat iron steak), cut into 1 inch pieces.
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 9 cups of beef stock (I used chicken stock, but I think that was not a very good idea, beef stock I think would have tasted much better)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 whole head of garlic, cut off the knobby top that was attached to the plant and pierce in several places with a knife.
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut in thirds
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 leek, light green and white parts only, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme (or fresh)
  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • 1 small bunch of Tuscan kale, chopped (3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons of white miso
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for garnish

Procedure

  1. Heat a dutch oven on medium-high heat with some canola oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain off the fat and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Pour out any extra oil/grease in the pot and then add the wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits. Add the broth along with the meat, garlic, onion, 2 carrots cut in thirds, fresh thyme and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, arrange the cut tomatoes, leeks, celery and carrots on a lightly greased pan. Sprinkle a little olive oil, freshly ground pepper, salt, dry oregano and dry thyme on the vegetables and roast in the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and soft. Set aside the cooked vegetables.
  5. After the soup has cooked for 1 1/2 hours, remove the garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaves and carrot chunks (I actually like to keep the soft carrots). Stir in the roasted vegetables and the uncooked farro and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over moderate heat, or until farro is tender. Add the kale, miso and paprika and cook uncovered on low heat for 10 minutes. Add any additional salt and pepper if necessary. Serve in bowls with a garnish of the cheese.
  6. Enjoy and let me know how you like it!

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January 19, 2017

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Adding the fresh thyme
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Slicing the leeks
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Browned beef

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Garlic ready to add to the soup
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Carrots, celery, leeks ad tomatoes
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Getting ready to roast the vegetables
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The roasted vegetables
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The finished soup.

Hot and Sour Soup with Vegetables

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Cooking the onions, garlic, ginger, scallions and mushrooms.

Tonight is the last night that my daughter is home for her winter break and she suggested we make Hot and Sour Soup. What a great idea! I love soup and I think if you add a little protein and extra vegetables it makes such a nice one-pot meal, although tonight I decided I can’t even try to feed this to my spice-phobe son, so I also marinated a little chicken and steak in garlic, ginger, soy sauce and mirin and then stir-fried it and served it on the side along with some roasted broccoli that I tossed with a little olive oil, white wine vinegar and salt and pepper. It all was sooooo warm and yummy!  The soup is basically the recipe from Feedmephoebe.com, with some extra vegetables and I didn’t make it vegan, so thank you Phoebe Lapine for an excellent recipe!

Hot and Sour Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: fairly easy
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Better and healthier than take-out hot and sour soup with added vegetables based on Mushroom Hot and Sour Soup from FeedMePhoebe.com.

Credit: Feed Me Phoebe  

Ingredients

  •  olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated (about a 2 inch piece grated)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced and white and green parts separated
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 baby bok choy, sliced
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or stock
  • 1/2 cup firm tofu, drained and cubed (or chicken, shrimp, etc)
  • 2 teaspoons sambal olek
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons of warm water
  • 2 egg whites, gently beaten

Procedure

  1. Heat a little olive oil in a medium to large stockpot or dutch oven.  Sauté the onions, garlic, ginger and white part of the scallions for 5 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently.Add a little salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired while sautéing.
  2. Add mushrooms and cook for another few minutes or until the mushrooms has become soft and released a lot of their liquid.
  3. Add the Sambal Olek and stir. Cook another minute.
  4. Add the soy sauce and vinegar to the mixture, stir and scrape up any browned bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot. Add the broth, bok choy and tofu, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer for ten minutes.
  5. While the soup is simmering, mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. set aside.
  6. Add the cornstarch to the soup and simmer for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently.
  7. Remove the soup from the heat. Add the egg whites to the soup by slowly pouring them into the soup and at the same time carefully stirring the soup in large zigzags to form ribbons of egg whites in the soup. Gently stir in the green onions and serve in bowls.

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January 2017

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Cooking the soup. So many vegetables!
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The finished soup

Beef and Chicken Sausage Chili

Beef and Chicken Sausage Chili

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 45 minutes active and 1 1/2 hours cooking
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Adapted from Cooking Light's All American Chili - really flavorful and lean chili for a cold winter day.

Adapted from Cooking Light, January 2003.

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 or more large jalapeños or serranos, diced
    • NOTE: I do one of two things due to the spice-phobe in my family; either cook without the jalapeños and serve them on the side or after all the ingredients are combined, I separate out a portion that will remain spice-free and then add the jalapeños (or serranos) to the large pot and cook. 
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken breast sausage (or whatever sausage you prefer). If it is link-style, chop it.
  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 3 Tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (lately I have used coconut palm sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 cups of dry red wine
  • 2 – 28 ounce cans of low-sodium chopped tomatoes with the juice
  • 1 can of low-sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of low-sodium cannellini beans (or great northern or white kidney beans), drained and rinsed

Procedure

  1. Heat a large dutch oven or pot on Medium-high. Add a small amount of olive oil and coat the bottom of the pot. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken sausage and ground beef and cook for about 10 minutes or until meat is thoroughly cooked. Drain the grease from the pot and return it to the heat.
  2. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, sugar, cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt and bay leaves to the mixture and stir for one minute.
  3. Add the red wine to the mixture. Cook and stir for one minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and the beans, stir well and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Stir occasionally.
  5. Uncover and cook for 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove the bay leaves and serve in bowls. Garnish with chopped onions and/or shredded cheese if desired.

NOTE: This also works well to follow recipe up to step 4, then once you add the beans put the mixture into a slow cooker, set on medium and leave it to cook for the day. I do this in the mountains, so it is about 45 minutes preparation and then dinner is ready when I come home from skiing! 

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December 8, 2016

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Getting my ingredients ready.
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chopping the onions and garlic
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Cooking the onion, garlic, peppers and meats.
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The onion, garlic, peppers, and meat with the spices (step 2).

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Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)

Cold days call for warm soup, at least in my house. This is the second time I have made this soup, adapted from a Food and Wine recipe, and it is really a lovely warming soup to eat when the temperature drops. I made the recipe with a few modifications. The recipe called for chicken thighs, but I really don’t care for dark meat chicken so I used organic skinless, boneless chicken breasts; I also couldn’t find the specific type of thai chili paste, so I used the one I had in my fridge (Thai Kitchen brand roasted red chili paste); I didn’t have kaffir lime leaves so I substituted a tablespoon of grated lime zest; and lastly Whole Foods didn’t have thai chilies, so I substituted serrano peppers. If I had been more motivated I could have found these items at another grocery store, but I wanted to keep things quick and simple. Despite the substitutions the soup turned out very well, I got a thumbs up from 2/3 of us (I left the serranos out of the spice-phobe’s soup, he found the soup just “okay”). I have no idea why my soup came out whiter than the Food and Wine picture, maybe it was the different chili paste I used? I served the soup with some plain brown jasmine rice and broccoli roasted in the oven with olive oil, squeeze of lime, garlic, salt and pepper.
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Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Sweet and spicy coconut chicken soup to warm you on a cold day.

Adapted from Food and Wine magazine, May 2016.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, trimmed and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons Thai chili paste (The original recipe calls for Nam Prik Pao — which is a sweet and spicy Thai condiment. I couldn’t find this at my local store so I used Thai Kitchen brand roasted red chili paste)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of finely grated lime zest (original recipe calls for 2 kaffir lime leaves, but these are not easy to find, so I use grated lime zest).
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, tender inner white part only, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Two 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk (I used the lite type)
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 Serrano peppers, seeded and very thinly sliced on the diagonal, plus more for garnish if desired (original recipe calls for Thai chiles, but they are hard to find).
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped
  • cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Limes wedges, for serving

Procedure

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the fish sauce.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken broth or stock with the chili paste, sugar, lime leaves and lemongrass and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and fish sauce to the saucepan along with the shiitakes and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the lime leaves (if using lime leaves). Stir in the lime juice and chiles and season with salt. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle the soup with the cilantro and serve with lime wedges and sliced chiles.

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December 5, 2016

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Lemongrass. Just use the tender white part you see here.
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Roasted Vegetable Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is another family favorite, originally from Cooking Light, but I tried to deepen the flavor by roasting the vegetables and puréeing them instead of using canned tomato soup as the original recipe calls for. I think the results are pretty good, but I may still tweak it some in the future. I am posting my “new” recipe as well as a link to the original.

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Roasted Vegetables

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 90 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
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Original is a fairly easy to throw in a pot and cook for an hour soup that is a whole meal. Really tasty and a family favorite for years. New version has the same basic recipe but an additional step is taken to roast the vegetables under the broiler to give the soup added depth and eliminate the use of canned tomato soup.

Credit: This recipe is based on this Cooking Light  recipe

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 3 pounds of fresh tomatoes, quartered (or 28 oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes)
  • 1 small sweet onion, quartered
  • 1 Anaheim chile pepper,cut in half and de-seeded
  • 1 Poblano chile pepper, cut in half and de-seeded
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in quarters and de-seeded
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 dried chipotle chile, de-seeded
  • 1 quart of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 ear of corn, husk on
  • 2 cups of shredded cooked chicken breast (I just buy some cooked “perfectly plain chicken” from whole foods to save a little time)
  • sliced lime wedges
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • tortilla chips

Procedure

  1. Pre-heat oven to broil.
  2. place tomatoes on a baking sheet, skin side up and roast until skins start to blacken, approximately 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them, broil cooks quickly. When finished cooking set aside to cool and peel off the blackened skins.
  3. Place fresh peppers skin side up, onions chunks separated, and garlic, on the lightly greased baking sheet and roast until skins start to blacken. Set aside and cool slightly then peel off the blackened skins.
  4. Cook the corn in the microwave, then peel cob and shuck the corn. Set aside.
  5. Purée the majority of the tomatoes, peppers and onions and all of the garlic. Coarsely chop the remaining roasted vegetables and set aside.
  6. Heat a large dutch oven or large pot to medium high. Add the puréed vegetables, chicken broth, wine, chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano and black pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer. Add the chopped vegetables, corn, dry chipotle pepper and shredded chicken. Mix and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove the dried chipotle pepper. Add chopped cilantro. Serve in bowls with crushed tortilla chips and a little shredded cheddar. Enjoy!

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November 2016

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Peeling the skins off of the roasted tomatoes
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Vegetables beginning to roast
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Vegetables almost all roasted
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The tomato, onion, garlic and pepper purée
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The finished soup!

Fresh Mushroom Soup

This soup turned out to have amazing flavor and texture! I started searching online for a mushroom soup recipe and found they tend to have either milk or cream added or a lot of butter and flour, none of which fit into my idea of a healthy soup, so I created my own. I did borrow the idea of roasting the mushrooms from a Food and Wine recipe , but decided not to roast them until they were crunchy, instead I just roasted them until they shriveled down some, lost most of their water and just became little flavor-bombs. When the soup is blended with the cooked vegetables it looks like it might be creamy, but there is no dairy or flour in it! I think the soup is pretty healthy and not too fussy. My picky son actually ate a whole bowl of it and my husband ate a couple of bowls of it (he was hungry?). I served it with a chopped salad of kale, romaine and butter lettuces; chopped carrots, avocado, tomatoes and a hard-boiled egg for a little protein with a little shredded mixed Mexican cheese I had leftover from the enchiladas a couple of days ago and some toasted pine nuts. I dressed it with a very simple dressing made of extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and freshly ground black pepper.

Fresh Mushroom Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy to medium
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Rich and creamy but dairy and flour free healthy mushroom soup. The flavor comes from roasting the vegetables and blending them into the soup.

Credit: Food and Wine 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, tops thinly sliced
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • ½ sweet or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 oz package of dried porcini mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dry oregano) — reserve a few fresh leaves (if using) to garnish with.
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups of low sodium vegetable stock or broth

Procedure

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place about ¼ of the sliced shiitake mushrooms, cremini mushrooms and the carrots on a lightly greased (cooking spray) baking sheet. Drizzle about a tablespoon or so of olive oil on the vegetables and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 10 minutes. Check on them, if they have shrunken and dried out some they may be ready, if not cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Heat 1–2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. When hot, add chopped onions, garlic and remaining carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Add remaining uncooked shiitake and cremini mushrooms to the onion mixture in the pot, season with salt and pepper and add 3 thyme sprigs, white wine and the fresh or dry oregano and sauté with for 5 more minutes.
  5. Add dry porcini mushrooms, water and vegetable stock to the pot with the sautéed vegetables. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to gently simmer the soup for 30 minutes with the lid on.
  6. Remove thyme sprigs, peeling the leaves off and returning them to the pot but throwing away the stems. Pour soup into a blender (or use an immersion blender) and carefully blend until completely smooth. Return soup to the pot, add additional salt and pepper if needed. Add the roasted mushrooms and carrots, ladle into bowls and garnish with a little fresh thyme and oregano.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    October 2016

Mushrooms and carrots before roasting
Mushrooms and carrots after roasting

 

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The soup before puréeing
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Finished soup
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Simple salad to go with the soup.

Homemade Chicken Soup

Homemade Chicken Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 60 minutes active; 2+ hours inactive
  • Difficulty: medium
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Rich, savory, homemade chicken soup that I make for Jewish holidays as well as for occasional cold days. I usually make with matzo balls and sometimes with noodles for a warming one pot meal.

Credit: This recipe was originally given to me by a friend , Michelle, years ago. She originally got it from her husband’s grandmother. I have personalized it a bit over the years. Thank you Michelle for the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 14 cups of water
  • 1 whole chicken cleaned and washed. (Instead I often use a couple of large bone-in chicken breasts because it is easier and I don’t like dark meat chicken – but a whole chicken will add more flavor).
  • 1 large onion, quartered.
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut in thirds
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 large sweet potato or yam, peeled and quartered
  • 1 rutabaga, quartered (I couldn’t find this today, so I left it out and the soup still tasted fine)
  • 1 small bunch of fresh dill, whole including stems
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • a few sprigs of fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Optional – 1 quart of low-sodium chicken stock or broth. (If you use a whole chicken cook longer and leave the stock out- also you may need to add another quart of water if cooking longer).
  • Matzo balls (optional)
  • Noodles or pasta (optional)

Procedure

  1. Add the water to a large Dutch oven or pot. Add chicken and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that forms. Boil for 15 minutes.
  2. Chop vegetables while the pot is boiling.
  3. Add the vegetables and herbs after the chicken has boiled for 15 minutes. Bring back to a boil, then turn down to a rapid simmer, cover and cook for 2-2 ½ hours (or longer if using whole chicken and you don’t want to add stock- 4-6 hours will make it quite rich).
  4. Add stock (if using) after an hour of cooking. Check occasionally that the soup is just simmering gently, with small bubbles-not large ones – continually, but slowly rising to the top – this keeps the soup translucent. It is also recommended not to stir the soup vigorously (this helps to keep it clear).
  5. Once the soup has the desired flavor, strain the soup. Keep the chicken parts and vegetables that you like. I usually keep the carrots and chicken and discard the rest. Be careful to discard all the chicken bones. Return the chicken and vegetables you want to keep to the strained soup. Ideally let cool for a couple of hours or refrigerate overnight and skim the fat off the top.
  6. When ready to serve re-heat for 30 minutes or so. I sometimes add some extra fresh carrot slices at this point because not everyone likes really soft carrots.
  7. Serve in a bowl with matzo balls, or noodles or rice. I usually make simple matzo balls from the mix (recently noticed this is pretty high in sodium) or from the recipe on the back of a matzo meal box.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com  October 2016

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The vegetables and dill
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The soup cooking with all the vegetables and herbs
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The finished soup. Strained and served with chicken, a carrot and a matzo ball. So warm and satisfying!

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon – courtesy of NYT Cooking

I am re-posting this with pictures. Today seemed like a great day for a vegetarian dinner. The leaves on the trees are changing and it just feels like autumn. This soup has a plethora of healthy vegetables and some lentils for protein. I am pairing this soup with Broccoli Cheese Spaghetti Squash, which is posted separately.

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Pretty quick vegetarian soup recipe that is slightly spicy, light and bright.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground chile powder (or cayenne pepper), more to taste
  • 1 quart low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • Juice of ½ lemon, more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Procedure

  1. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering.
  2. Add onion, garlic, carrots, and mushrooms and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder (or cayenne), and sauté for 2 minutes longer.
  4. Add broth, 2 cups water and lentils. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.
  5. Using an immersion or regular blender, or a food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.
  6. Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted lightly with chili powder if desired.

Nutritional Information (per NYT Cooking)

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)
377 calories; 13 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 8 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 46 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 7 grams sugars; 18 grams protein; 7 milligrams cholesterol; 539 milligrams sodium
Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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