Category Archives: Soups

Curried Tomato Soup

Thanks to Joanne for her interesting pick for the Food Matters project this week.  I really look forward to my weekly creation and having someone else pick a dish for me (and everyone else on the project) really pushes me to try new things.  Not that I don’t try new things all of the time…but it’s undeniable that I tend to pick certain types of dishes over others.  Well, this week was Curried Tomato Soup with Hard Boiled Eggs.

I have been going through a hard boiled egg phase lately so I already had that going for me.  And the soup ingredients were very similar to a cauliflower and pea curry I made recently (sans peas) so it wasn’t too much of a stretch.  I put the soup together whilst gabbing on the phone so it took a bit longer than it should have but it was very easy.  When done, I wasn’t sure I liked the big chunks of cauliflower floating around in it (I should have chopped it into smaller bits) so I took my immersion blender (best thing since sliced bread) and went at it.  If you don’t have an immersion blender yet and you like to cook please, for me, just get one.  They are so awesome.  You can make smoothies, puree soups, dips, anything…all without dirtying a food processor or blender.  Anyway, I went at it until the soup was a puree with some very little bits and I really like what it did for the soup although I’m sure it would have been fine without pureeing had I chopped the cauliflower into smaller bits.  For Joanne’s take on the dish as well as the recipe, head to:  http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/.  For everyone else’s take on the dish check out:  http://thefoodmattersproject.com/.  Those bloggers come up with some very unique takes on each week’s recipes.  I took the soup to Sunday dinner with Carrie, Abby, Kellie, and Bill and offered it two ways:  topped with roasted shaved fennel or with hard boiled eggs.  At first everyone thought it seemed more like a sauce or a dip but after a bite or two, everyone seemed to really get into it.  I got more into it myself and am glad to have this added to my repertoire!  One other thing:  I served it at room temp and preferred it this way.  It was a great dish on what felt like a summer day on the patio.

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Curried Tomato Soup with Hard-Boiled Eggs

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh hot chile
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 cup coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; include their juice)
  • 1 small cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  1. Put the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  When it is hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chile.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.  Stir in the curry powder, cumin, and sugar.  Cook and stir until the spices become fragrant, a minute or 2 more.
  2. Add the potatoes and carrot and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring, for a minute or 2, then add the vegetable stock, coconut milk, and tomatoes with their liquid.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles gently.  Cook, stirring once in a while, until the potatoes and carrots are fairly soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Add the cauliflower and adjust the heat so that the mixture bubbles gently.  cook until all the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes more.  (The soup can be made up to this point in advance and refrigerated for several days or frozen for months; gently reheat before proceeding.)  Serve garnished with the hard-boiled eggs and cilantro.
  4. NOTE:  I pureed it, which I thought turned out pretty well.  It would translate well into a sauce for vegetables or tofu over rice or as a dip for some crusty bread.

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Escarole

I have been doing a some traveling lately (and eating out a lot) so I was looking forward to getting home and making a big pot of soup.  Nothing says home to me more than a pot of soup (at least in the winter).  This recipe from last month’s Cooking Light magazine had been on my counter for a while and it is one of those soups I always hear good things about so I thought I would give it a whirl.  I wasn’t sure if I would be too into this soup–I typically like soups with tomato bases or with bean bases (split pea, red lentil, etc.).  I also wasn’t crazy about the escarole idea (kind of lettuce-y) and almost bailed on it altogether, thinking of adding kale instead.  But I made the recipe to the letter and it is delicious.  Filling, creamy, savory, and so good.  Ah, it is good to be home!

  • YIELD: Serves 4 (serving size: about 2 cups soup and 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese)
  • HANDS-ON:15 Minutes
  • TOTAL:50 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 5  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2  (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2  fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1  (1 1/2-ounce) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
  • 8 cups chopped escarole (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons shaved fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation

1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds. Add vegetable broth and the next 5 ingredients (through cheese rind); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and carrot; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until carrot is tender. Stir in red pepper, salt, black pepper, and vinegar. Remove and discard rind; sprinkle soup with shaved cheese.

Add Some Spice To Your Life

Even though it has been a few weeks since Christmas, I am still coming down from my holiday eating habits.  There was a day after Christmas where I felt like every cell in my body wanted vegetables.  I was starting to feel really sleepy from all of the sugar, butter, cheeses and chocolates.  That day, I made a big pot of minestrone and I ate it for several days–it was such a relief to get away from the unhealthy foods I had been eating for a couple of weeks.  Even after my minestrone week, I have noticed that I continue to crave sugary foods much more than normal and would like to get away from the feeling that I HAVE to have chocolate or another sweet right after meals.

I’m playing with the idea of doing a 1 month detox to get my cravings in check and to increase my energy levels.  That interest led me to search some sites for detox plans and I came across a new blog called http://mynewroots.blogspot.com/.  Last night I made the root vegetable mulligatawny.  All I can say is if detoxing has recipes like this, I’m in!

Root Vegetable Mulligatawny

If you do not have all of the spices on hand, just use a couple tablespoons of your favorite curry powder.

Aura’s note:  I used lemon because I didn’t have tamarind on hand.  I actually had some soup before adding lemon because I forgot that last step and it was just as delicious without it as it was with it.

On the second day I had this (changed the photo to day two because it was prettier!) I topped it with some flax oil, parsley, and pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds).  Also served it with sauteed spinach with some pepitas.  Why pumpkin seeds?  I read there is a lot of magnesium in them, which will reduce cravings for chocolate.  Let’s see if that works…

  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. curry leaves (about 15)
  • ½ Tbsp. turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • ½ Tbsp. coriander
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 6 cups diced mixed root vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, celeriac, parsnips, turnips, daikon, kohlrabi, sunchokes etc.)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (optional)
  • 1 14oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14oz. can coconut milk
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp. tamarind paste dissolved in ½ cup water (or juice of ½ lemon)
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

1. Cover lentils with water to soak while you prepare the rest of the dish.

2. In a large stockpot, heat the oil and add all spices and minced ginger (not the garlic). Stir often so spices do not burn. When the mix smells fragrant, add onions and cook until softened (if the mix becomes too dry, add a little of the tomato liquid and stir well). Add garlic and cook a couple minutes more.

3. Add the chopped vegetables and stir well to coat with spices. Cook for 5 minutes. Add chickpeas, if using, and cook until heated through. Add canned tomatoes and coconut milk.

4. Drain and rinse lentils very well and add them to the pot, along with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are soft and the root vegetables tender.

5. Add tamarind (or lemon juice) to the soup. Season to taste.

6. Garnish soup with fresh cilantro and some quality olive oil. Serve hot. Tastes amazing the day after!

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

I made this soup last night with Jayme and Kelly.  It was really easy to make and made for a great meal with some toasted six-grain sourdough and a salad.

Hungarian Mushroom Soup, taken from “The New Moosewood Cookbook” by Mollie Katzen.

Serves 4; takes about 1 hour

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 to 3 tsp. dried dill (or 2 to 3 Tbsp. freshly minced)
  • 1Tbsp. mild paprika
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk (can be lowfat) at room temperature
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (can be reduced-fat variety)
  • finely minced fresh parsley, for the top
  1. Melt the butter in a kettle or Dutch oven.  Add onions, and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms, salt, dill, and paprika.  Stir well and cover.  Let cook for about 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in lemon juice.
  2. Gradually sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir another 5 minutes or so over medium-low heat.  Add water, cover, and cook about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Stir in milk; add black pepper to taste.  Check to see if it needs more salt.  Whisk in the sour cream, and heat very gently.  Don’t boil or cook it after this point.  Serve hot, topped with freshly minced parsley.

AURA’S NOTES:  I used three types of mushrooms:  fresh cremini (baby bella), fresh shiitake, and dried porcini mushrooms (reconstituted prior to cooking the soup).  Make sure to discard the shiitake mushroom stems because they are very tough and stringy.  The dried porcini added some woodsy-ness to the soup.

I love sour cream but for this soup, I kind of wish I would have left it out.  The milk made it creamy enough on its own.  I noticed right away that the soup wasn’t nearly as attractive once the sour cream was added.  Next time I’ll just add milk and maybe garnish it with a small dollop of sour cream instead of mixing it in.