Monthly Archives

February 2018

ROOT VEGGIE SOUP

Root Vegetable Soup

This simple and extremely satisfying soup can be made with whatever root veggies you have on hand.  Rutabagas, celery root, parsnips, carrots, sweet and regular potatoes, turnips.  There’s really no exaggerated usage here as all are quite content cooking side by side.  Together with onions, garlic and a few condiments, you have created an earthy and satisfying meal to remove the chill on a frosty winter’s night.   Give the carnivore in you a rest and try this robust veggie…

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PICKLED GOLDEN RAISINS

Pickled raisins

Amazingly sweet and sour raisins that will definitely elevate any dish.  Perfect for topping Ramen dishes, salads, tacos, rice and any type of Mediterranean cuisine.  It’s hard to believe that these little plump, sweet and tart morsels are that incredibly good.   ½ cup of Turbinado sugar 1 cup of water 1 TBSP of mustard seeds 1 TBSP of coriander seeds 2 Bay Leaves 1 Sprig of fresh rosemary 3 TBSP of champagne vinegar 2 cups of small golden raisins…

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BOUILLABAISSE

Bouillabaisse, soups

Much is expected from fish stews, but what makes this version of Bouillabaisse anything but insipid is the combination of Provençale herbs, spices and the touch of Pernod or Pastis (licorice flavored liqueur) in the broth.  A traditional Provençale seafood stew originating from the port of Marseille, Bouillabaisse is a distant relative of the Cioppino and may even be related to our Gumbo.  The present delight in this stew-like soup is the abundance of fish and shellfish in it.  Every…

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CREOLE SHRIMP AND SAUSAGE GUMBO

Creole Shrimp Gumbo

Here is another superlative example of the culinary debates that surface over food.  This one’s been raging for decades.  Quintessentially, Gumbo is a Creole/Cajun soup that has been prepared and enjoyed for over 300 hundred years in Louisiana.  The conflict therein lies with the thickening agents used.  In Louisiana most gumbos achieve their color and thickness from the brownish roux, a legacy left behind by the French colonial cooks in the 14th century, and in theory, many claim that its…

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AVGOLEMONO – GREEK LEMON AND EGG SOUP

Characteristically this is originally a rich sauce made from chicken broth, egg and lemon and served over grilled meats, cabbage rolls, grilled style Greek Fricassee and many more dishes. Including chicken, white rice and additional stock makes it quite a substantial soup and I’ll wager it will make you besotted at first slurp and equally as flummoxed because you can’t conceive that such simplicity imparts such superlative flavor.   2 cups of cooked white rice 2 egg yolks 5 cups…

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VICHYSSOISE – CREAM OF POTATO AND LEEK

Vichyssoise

The irreproachable character of Vichyssoise makes this fair and virtuous soup one of the most elegant around.  The simplicity of the unadulterated ingredients create a clandestine appearance, making you wonder how this delicate soup can turn out so wickedly good. When potatoes, leeks, onions, chicken broth and cream have developed a close bond, a velvety cream is born that’s not only delectable, but incomparable in excellence. This is another of those soups that’s typically served chilled, but I’m adventurous and…

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TUSCAN MINESTRONE

Tuscan Minestrone

In Italy, Minestrone means “big soup” and since it’s a ubiquitous giant for all seasons, when done correctly, there is no better dish.  There’s really no traditional set version for this gastronomic chameleon, as you can practically throw in the kitchen sink and it’s amicable to any palate. The habitual partnership of a profusion of veggies and some kind of bean demand a sturdy broth, with substantial seasonings.  In Italy, the high regard for Minestrone calls for a version in…

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CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

Chicken Noddle Soup

From youthful recollections, you know your ma’s and grandma’s Chicken Noddle Soup was one of the best things you ever tasted.  Those are gratifying memories of comfort and home associated with this classic which removed the chill from a frigid winter’s eve and also provided essential TLC when you were feeling poorly. We have succumbed to the relentless gravitational pull of processed foods and with the diurnal 24 hour countdown, it’s easier by far to reach for a can of…

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FRENCH ONION SOUP – 101

French Onion Soup

There is a superlative reason why French Onion Soup is one of the most exalted and ordered starters in the world –  it’s wicked good and decadently extravagant. For onion lovers it’s what dreams are made of.  Let’s face it, who doesn’t love creamy, luscious flavored onions that have been long simmering in a rich broth with melty, stringy Swiss on top?  It’s an “off the charts soup” and you almost wish it came in a bottomless bowl. Even for…

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FRENCH ONION SOUP – SOUPE A L’OIGNON

French Onion Soup

Please read my post on French Onion soup 101 and delve into the why’s and how to’s of this French bistro classic. The pan is important; I use a 6-quart, deep sauté pan from Le Creuset.  Also ensure you have some type of Country crock bowls, stalwart enough to take the broiler heat.  If you’ve invested in a kitchen blow torch, kudos to you – that is the best way to melt the cheese. Build some fortifications around your soupe…

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GREEN CHICKEN POSOLE

Posole Green

Typical posole doesn’t include potatoes, but I had this version made by of my friends in California and it was such a show stopper I had to steal her recipe.  Originally from Mexico City, Marucha knows Posole doesn’t call for potatoes, but her family has made it this way for generations.   The chicken, potatoes and hominy here are a triumvirate dream. 1 ½ medium onions 4 garlic cloves – rough chopped ½ TSP of anise seeds 1 TSP cumin…

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MEXICAN RED POSOLE

MEXICAN RED POSOLE

Posole is not the “fix it and forget it type of soup”.  If you have delved into my blog, you’ll know that I am not a tremendous supporter of the crockpot, as I use it rarely.  There is preparation involved in posole, but the adventurous journey is well worth the effort.  The broth has tremendous complexity and depth, as this soup is definitely large and in charge, with a bit of a kick which can be made as spicy as…

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MEXICAN POSOLE (POZOLE)

MEXICAN RED POSOLE

Posole is typically served on Christmas eve, but literally buckets of posole are consumed in Mexico on Thursday and Saturdays – don’t ask me why, it’s just the custom. When we feel poorly and bedridden with an oppressing and debilitating cold, we crave the magical comfort of Chicken Noddle soup (known as Jewish Penicillin) and Posole is the prominent Mexican remedy for flu and equally as effective for the common hangover. However, the vast consumption of posole isn’t necessarily for…

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ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP

Italian Wedding Soup

If you are occupying idyllic thoughts of a bride and groom delicately sampling this soup to give them “vigor” for their upcoming wedding night, cast them aside.  Nothing remotely close am afraid.  The term “minestra maritata” delves around the marriage of flavors attained when all the ingredients really get to know each other as they cook. There are plenty of classic Italian flavors recognized throughout this satisfying, yet light tasting soup, which appears at almost every Italian restaurant in the…

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