Tag Archives: Winter Recipe

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow – now we need more SOUP

2 Feb

It seems our varmint friend Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, so we will have 6 more weeks of winter.  This is good news for my ski bum friends, but bad news for the rest of my amigos who want to bust out their flip flops and tank tops.  Punk Phil’s announcement does have a silver lining – more soup is needed.  No matter which side you are on, you can agree that soup is the best winter meal.

Here are a few unique soup recipes for your pleasure.  Be well my friends.

(Panade) Bread Soup with Onions, Chard, and Mushrooms

Panade

INGREDIENTS

  • 12-14 ounces day-old rustic bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter (vegan margarine works too)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions (sliced vertically, from tip to root)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 6 to 8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 10 to 12 ounces fresh chard, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1/2 cup hearty red wine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (vegan parm works too)

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Toss the cubed bread with a little olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt. Arrange bread on a baking sheet and toast for 20-30 minutes or until nicely browned.

While the cubed bread is in the oven, prepare the onions. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and the butter on medium heat in a 5 to 7 quart Dutch oven. Add the onions and stir to coat with the butter and oil. Cook gently, stirring occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes. If the onions begin to dry out at all, lower the heat. They should begin to caramelize and lightly brown. Add the garlic, cook for a minute more, remove from heat.

While the onions are browning, heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms. “Dry” sauté them (sauté without any added fat) until they release their moisture and are lightly browned.

Cut away the tough central stems of the the chard leaves (discard, compost, or use for another purpose). Cut across the leaves into 1-inch wide strips.

Remove half of the browned onions from the Dutch oven and set aside. Spread the remaining onions evenly over the bottom of the pot. Layer over with half of the chard and half of the browned mushrooms. Sprinkle with pepper, half a teaspoon of salt, and thyme. Put down a layer of toasted bread cubes. Add the remaining onions, chard, and mushrooms. Layer on top the remaining bread cubes.

Mix together the honey and wine, until the honey is dissolved. Pour over the bread mixture. Pour the vegetable stock over everything.

Scatter the top evenly with the grated cheese.

Cover the pot with foil (not the lid) and seal it around the edges. Cut 4 or 5 vent holes in the top. Put it in a 350°F oven. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Serve immediately, digging into the layers to get a bit of everything for each portion, or let cool and refrigerate, covered.

To reheat, gently simmer a portion until hot. Plate and garnish with additional cheese and thyme.

Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke) Soup

 If you like the taste of artichokes, I urge you to try your hand at making this soup with jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes). This is lick-the-bowl good.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (vegan margarine works)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 pounds jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat and cook the onions and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Do not brown them. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt.

Add the jerusalem artichokes and the veggie stock to the pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, until the jerusalem artichokes begin to break down, 45 minutes to an hour.

Using an immersion blender or upright blender, purée the soup. If using an upright blender, fill the blender bowl up only to a third of capacity at a time, if the soup is hot, and hold down the lid while blending. Alternately, you can push the soup through the finest grate on a food mill, or push it through a sturdy sieve. Add salt to taste.

Sprinkle with freshly grated black pepper to serve.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 lbs plum tomatoes (about 12), tough stem point removed, and tomatoes halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 lb carrots, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs of eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Preheat oven to 425°F, with racks on top and bottom of the oven. On one rimmed baking sheet, toss together tomatoes, carrots, garlic, 2 Tbsp oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread out on the baking sheet in a single layer, with the tomatoes cut sides down.

On another rimmed baking sheet, toss together the eggplant, chickpeas, curry powder, remaining 2 Tbsp oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Place both sheets in oven (tomato mixture on the top rack). Roast until tender, about 45 minutes, tossing the mixtures halfway through.

Using tongs, peel off and discard the tomato skins. Purée tomato mixture (including the juices) in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large pot. Stir in the eggplant mixture; thin with 3 to 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve, sprinkled with cilantro; garnish with toasted bread if desired.

Blood Orange and Beet Salad

30 Jan

Think eating locally needs to stop once winter comes?  Winter produce isn’t as scarce as you may think.   Cold weather crops, the use of hoop houses and other methods to extend the natural growing season, and old-fashioned storage vegetables like cabbages and potatoes all mean that there are plenty of winter fruits and vegetables to choose from in most of the country.   In an effort to eat fresh and local you want to look for these at your Farmers Market or grocery store.

Winter produce:

  • Apples
  • Beets
  • BloodOranges
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Clementines
  • Collards
  • Endive
  • Grapefruit
  • Green onions
  • Horseradish
  • JerusalemArtichokes
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Kohlrabi
  • Kumquats
  • Leeks
  • Lemons
  • Lettuce
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Onions
  • Pears
  • Peas
  • Persimmons
  • Pommelos
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Swiss chard
  • Tangerines
  • Turnips
  • Winter Squash

So now that you have a list of winter fruit and veggies, here is a recipe to use two of my favorites: Blood Oranges and Beets.

Blood Orange, Beet, and Fennel Salad

  • 2 medium red beets, tops trimmed
  • 2 medium golden beets, tops trimmed
  • 3 blood oranges
  • 1 medium navel orange (preferably Cara Cara)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced crosswise on a mandoline
  • 1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced on a mandoline (about 1/3 cup)
  • Good-quality extra-virgin olive, pumpkin seed, or walnut oil (for drizzling)
  • Coarse sea salt, such as fleur de sel
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro and/or chervil leaves

Preheat oven to 400°. Wash beets, leaving some water on skins. Wrap individually in foil; place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Let cool.

Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, cut all peel and white pith from all oranges; discard. Working over a medium bowl, cut between membranes of 2 blood oranges to release segments into bowl; squeeze juice from membranes into bowl and discard membranes. Slice remaining blood orange and Cara Cara orange crosswise into thin rounds. Place sliced oranges in bowl with the segments. Add lemon juice and lime juice.

Peel cooled beets. Slice 2 beets crosswise into thin rounds. Cut remaining 2 beets into wedges. Strain citrus juices; reserve. Layer beets and oranges on plates, dividing evenly. Arrange fennel and onion over beets. Spoon reserved citrus juices over, then drizzle salad generously with oil. Season to taste with coarse sea salt and pepper. Let salad stand for 5 minutes to allow flavors to meld.  Garnish salad with cilantro leaves.

Espresso Black Bean Chili

25 Jan

From one of my favorite chefs, Mark Bittman.  Here is a unique spin on chili.  Personally I adore coffee and black beans are so yummy (and healthy).

Why are black beans so healthy?  They are a wonderful source of dietary fiber, which has shown to help lower cholesterol. In addition, the high fiber of black beans helps to prevent blood sugar from rising too rapidly after a meal, which is beneficial for people with diabetes or other similar diseases. In addition, black beans are especially high in insoluble fiber, which helps keep your digestive tract healthy. Most importantly, black beans are a high source of protein with virtually NO FAT. Recent research has also found that black beans are rich in antioxidants, the highest level of antioxidants among other beans. These antioxidants, known as anthocyanins, found in black beans help destroy free radicals in the body, which can help fight against heart disease, cancer and aging.

Espresso Black Bean Chili

Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours, largely unattended

3 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 cups chopped ripe tomato (about 1 1/2 pounds whole; canned is fine; don’t bother to drain)
1/2 to 1 cup freshly brewed espresso, 1 to 2 cups brewed coffee, or 2 tablespoons espresso powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 cup dark brown sugar or 3 tablespoons molasses
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
1 pound dried black beans, washed, picked over, and soaked if you like
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Put the oil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

2. Stir in the tomato, espresso, chili powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, and beans and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the liquid bubbles steadily but not violently. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are beginning to soften, 30 to 40 minutes. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Continue cooking until the beans are tender, anywhere from another 45 minutes to 11/2 hours. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more sugar, salt, or pepper. Serve or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days

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