Showing posts with label soup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soup. Show all posts

Friday, November 15, 2019

Curried Sweet Potato Soup in the Instant Pot

Smooth and creamy with warming Thai spices, this vegan sweet potato soup cooks up quickly in the Instant Pot for an easy first course or light meal.

image of 2 bowls of curried sweet potato soup, an Instant Pot, colorful napkins, spoons, and sweet potatoes

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I like to use my Instant Pot to prepare meal components--not just meals. In the summertime that means cooking--and freezing--endless ears of freshly shucked corn, or steaming potatoes for potato salad or my Grilled Garlic Scape Pesto Smashed Potatoes recipe. In the fall and winter that means preparing winter squash and root vegetables.

Pin for later!

Smooth and creamy, with warming Thai spices, this vegan sweet potato soup cooks up quickly in the Instant Pot for an easy first course or light meal.

If you find yourself with an abundance of oddly-shaped sweet potatoes from your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, the farmer's market, an ugly produce subscription service or your own garden--try this recipe! It's a terrific way to use cooked sweet potatoes in a simple and satisfying soup.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

An Instant Pot version of the classic creamy chicken & wild rice soup. Laden with mushrooms, carrots & celery, this soup cooks from frozen chicken breasts in under an hour in an electric pressure cooker.

photo of a bowl of chicken & wild rice soup on a plate with a pile of oyster crackers (no oysters were harmed in the making of the crackers)

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Yes, it's been a while. I've been teaching a series of Instant Pot Basics cooking classes for the past two months. We make this recipe in Class 2:  Cooking from Frozen. My students have inspired me to create some new recipes for the Instant Pot that I'll be sharing here now that I'm in between classes for a bit, so stay tuned!

I love using my IP for soup. The ability to sauté the veggies, deglaze the pan, and then add the rest of the ingredients and walk away is heavenly! Because I'm sharing soups with my folks and my girlie as well, I've had days this winter when I've made 3 different soups in a single morning. My days are not All Soup All The Time, though. Mostly I've been spending my time shoveling since Minnesota decided to welcome me in a Big Way. We live on a corner, so after the first 5 or 6 snowfalls we really got the hang of shoveling this place. I even shoveled a racetrack in the backyard since there's so much snow. (You can see video of the dogs running their track on my FB and IG feeds.)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Simple Green Soup (Not Really a Recipe)

A simple healthy soup of fresh vegetables with plenty of greens, then pureed for smoothness. This soup is gluten and dairy free, and can be made vegan if you like.

A simple healthy soup of fresh vegetables with plenty of greens, then pureed for smoothness. This soup is gluten and dairy free, and can be made vegan if you like.
Whoa-the dishes are actually matching this time!  Never happens here.

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After a month of indulging in my favorite holiday treats, and making my traditional holiday meals, and going out to holiday gatherings, I crave something simple like soup.  Soup that doesn't have lots of cream, that's just made with wholesome ingredients, soup that is going to help me reach my goals of eating more vegetables.

I have a terrible problem of reading recipes but not following them precisely.  I'll get an idea of something I want to make, or I've got stuff from the farm share I need to figure out how to use, so off I go in search of recipes.  I'll look in my cook book stash, my bookmarked recipe files, and surf the internet.  Usually I will find 2 or 3 different ones that look appealing, then cobble together my own creation.  Generally, the result tastes pretty good.

Except for soup.

I have not yet mastered the technique of making soup without a recipe.  Sure, I know how to use good ingredients.  I know to sauté the veggies to get some caramelization at the start.  I know soup is better the next day.  But the seasonings/spices/salting--especially the salt--trips me up.  I'm so afraid of over-salting that my family has gotten used to adding a few grinds from the salt grinder at the table.

This soup is like the Pirate Code:  more of a guideline, really.  The next time I've got a pile of leftover vegetables, and kale, I'll make it in a slightly different way.  Still good, enjoyed with a good bread and a hunk of cheese.  What isn't good, enjoyed with a good bread and a hunk of cheese?  I could eat that morning, noon, and night.

But back to the soup.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Kale Soup

Colorful as well as flavorful, this soup recipe combines sweet potatoes and kale with chicken and . . . maple breakfast sausage? Yes. Just try it. It's yummy!

a bowl of chicken, sweet potato and kale soup with an egg salad sandwich on the side

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When the weather cools off I'm ready to make up a pot of soup. Seeing folks' soups simmering on Instagram compels me to head into the kitchen and make some soup for my family. Usually I open the fridge and see what farm share produce needs to be used up. I think all great soups started out that way--with whatever was on hand--and it remains my go-to method for soup making.  Using flavorful ingredients (stock instead of water, sausage instead of unseasoned meat) are a couple of shortcuts to a warming, filling, and enjoyable soup experience.

close up of a bowl of chicken, sweet potato and kale soup with an egg salad sandwich alongside

In the past I've shared several soup recipes. My Spicy Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder remains perennially popular on Pinterest. (No charge for alliteration). The Six Ingredient Spicy Mustard Greens and Chorizo Soup was my first time using sausage for double duty--as both a seasoning and a protein--a short cut I now use often while cooking for my family. When we're feeling under the weather, my Thai Turkey Cold-Busting Hot & Sour Soup is just the ticket. And underpinning all of these soups--stock. Doesn't matter if it's chicken stock or vegetable stock, using the scraps left from the farm share and turning them into soup stock is just plain Frugal, Eco, Farm Fresh Feasting. Or so I coined it 4 years ago.

part of the process of making chicken, sweet potato and kale soup

I keep a bag in the freezer and each time I chop carrots, onions, or celery--the tops, tips, peels and or skins go into the bag. Mushroom stems if I'm making beef or vegetable stock. Then I add some bones (for beef, turkey, chicken or ham stock) and I've got the beginnings of a great soup.  In fact, I picked up chicken necks and backs at the farmer's market recently and my next 'day off project' will be to simmer a big ol' pot of chicken stock.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Turnip, Potato, and Sausage Soup

A hearty soup, thickened with turnips and laden with chunks of potato and sausage. You can make this with as little as 5 ingredients!

A hearty soup, thickened with turnips and laden with chunks of potato and sausage. You can make this with as little as 5 ingredients!

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All the best soups seem to come out of what's handy and needs to be used up in the fridge. Even if they have fancy names, like Italian Wedding Soup or Mulligatawny Soup, I'm willing to bet that the very first pot happened because the cook tossed together what was on hand. It worked, so the ingredient combination was remembered, repeated, and eventually written down.

A hearty soup, thickened with turnips and laden with chunks of potato and sausage. You can make this with as little as 5 ingredients!

This soup was inspired by the need to use 2 kinds of turnips--salad turnips plus a bunch complete with greens, from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. My first version used only 5 ingredients and the family plowed through it for supper with a loaf of good bread, while my daughter polished off the leftovers at lunchtime.

I made it again, taking care to write down the ingredient amounts, and added an additional ingredient (onion) which made the soup even better I think. So no matter if you want to say "5 ingredient soup" or if it's not terribly outrageous to use 6 ingredients in your soup, if you've got turnips with greens, give this a try.

I used a combination of salad turnips and red turnips from the farm share in this soup. If you don't have both kinds, just use whatever turnips you've got on hand, and add some initially and save the rest for later in the recipe. I've made this soup with Italian sausage links and with crumbled sausage. I prefer the crumbled sausage because I liked how it distributed nicely throughout the soup, allowing the chunks of potatoes and turnips to take center stage.

Just like in my Spicy Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder, and my 6 Ingredient Spicy Mustard Greens Soup, using some sausage in a pot of soup, along with a flavorful stock, is an easy way to get a lot of flavor in a short amount of time with a short list of ingredients. I've got some stock recipes on the blog (Ham Stock from Easter leftovers, Vegetable Stock in the Slow Cooker, Thai Turkey Stock, Beef Stock) but those jars of soup base are quick ways to get loads of flavor as well. I even found one that fits my beloved canning jar storage caps (Amazon affiliate link) which was such a thrill for me I posted it on Instagram. It doesn't take much to thrill me.

A hearty soup, thickened with turnips and laden with chunks of potato and sausage. You can make this with as little as 5 ingredients!

For more recipes using turnips, please see my Turnip Recipes Collection. For more recipes using potatoes, please see my Potato Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me scrambling to deal with the onslaught of multiple kinds of turnips from the farm share. For more soup recipes, check out the drop down menus on the right side bar in the Soup category.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Spicy Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder

A creamy soup of corn and sweet potatoes cooked in corn stock and spiced up with chorizo. A wonderful way to enjoy the bounty of late summer vegetables.

For other recipes using corn, please see my Recipes Using Corn Collection. For other recipes using sweet potatoes, please see my Sweet Potato Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, or the bounty of the garden.

One of my current failings with raising kids is my lack of follow through. [There's a corn cob connection here, but I'll meander first. Skip ahead to the recipe if you're squeamish.] I've got the "give your children chores" part down, I'm not always thorough on the follow up to see that the chore has been completed. Some chores are easy to follow through on--taking out trash, putting away clean laundry, clearing the table, walking the dogs.

My kids are in charge of emptying the compost bucket into one of the compost bins outside. Because an empty bucket comes back into the kitchen, I assumed the task has been satisfactorily completed.

Then I took Robert Barker on his morning walk and noticed what appeared to be chewed up corn cobs. Guess what? Corn cobs don't get digested, either. [That's the squeamish part, I'm deliberately being vague.]

Still, I didn't put it all together until my girl told her brother "just don't throw the compost, put it in the bin!" Aha! Apparently the raspberry canes had grown so much that he stopped bothering to lift them out of the way like she did. I sent him out with trimmers and now the path is clear and the compost is going into the bin.

Follow through--something I need to work on.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fruity Green Gazpacho

Sweet peppers, mild vegetables, grapes and mint make a refreshing chilled soup with a bit of an edge.

Do you ask for recipes when you taste something yummy--and homemade? I sure do. Even a vague "well, I used a bit of this, a smidgen of that, and a handful of the other thing" is enough of a jumping off point for me. When I've got the right blend of vegetables from our community supported agriculture (CSA) farm share, it's time to grab the appropriate fruits and give it a whirl. Literally.

Last September at a Cool Soups for a Hot Cause fundraiser I had a refreshing green gazpacho. It was sweet, but had a bit of edginess to let me know it wasn't entirely a fruit soup. [I've got my family's Scandinavian Fruit Soup on the blog if you want an entirely fruit soup.] After my second helping--which came after tasting ALL THE SOUPS on offer--I asked how it was made. The generous cook behind the tureen told me it had white grape juice and mint, and that she'd used the recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook(Amazon Affiliate link). I made a mental note to find it, but after googling a bunch I never found that recipe.

Instead, I found this recipe for a green gazpacho without white grape juice. That looks good, but not the sweet-with-a-bite soup I'd enjoyed. I kept on searching. This recipe has the grape juice, but also jalapeño and the soup I liked was not spicy. Alanna shares her recipe--a more precise version with honeydew and grapes--here.

In the end I cobbled together a few ingredients in the blender and hoped for the best. The result was cool and creamy, sweet and just a little bit edgy, and we enjoyed drinking it. I cannot find my paper with precise measurements yet I'm going to war with the troops I have so I'm deliberately vague in the recipe below. This is clearly one of those 'taste as you go' situations.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sherried Black Bean and Broccoli Stem Soup

A smooth and elegant vegetarian soup made from humble ingredients--black beans and broccoli stems--finished with sherry and egg yolks. Unpretentious? I'm not talking 'bout wine here . . .

Sherried Black Bean and Broccoli Stem Soup | Farm Fresh Feasts

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If you want to be technical, I have had a teeny tiny smidgen of formal culinary training.  When I lived in Richmond, Virginia I took a class at a local cookwares store. The class was taught by Nancy Maurelli and was all about Bean and Grain Cooking. That's where I first tasted this soup--and I'm a packrat kept most of the class handout through seven moves.  Key word--most.
The internet is an amazing thing.  From that stapled class handout I'd removed the page with this recipe since I kept fixing it for my spouse during our early years together.  I had the rest of the handout, which included Nancy Maurelli's name, so I started a quest to find Nancy and see if she still had the recipe.  In 2008 that quest paid off (interestingly, through the Local Harvest website where you can find Community Supported Agriculture [CSA] farm shares and other local foods near you) and now that the recipe is back in my clutches, or at least the clutches of my Recipes email folder, I won't lose it again.  This post is merely planned redundancy.

Since I've been reading about Julie's experiments with Roasted Broccoli Stem Dip and Meghan's experiences with Broccoli Stalk Pesto, I thought I'd share this soup.  It tastes wonderful and presents so beautifully.  The idea of garnish on a soup was awfully high falutin' to me at the time, and still is to be honest, but I do it anyway--it's easy and fun. I can't say that my kids love it--though they do eat a small bowl when we have it--but that's OK.  Coupled with a mushroom appetizer such as my Skillet Mushroom Dip for Two or Soy Sriracha Roasted Mushrooms, this makes for a lovely "just for adults" Valentine's meal at home.  Add a steak and/or a salad if you like, though don't get too full for Love!

If I suggested one of the desserts from my recipe index and intimated that we'd be eating it this year for Valentine's day I'd be lyin'--my spouse wants Killer Brownies and I love him so that's what I'll get for dessert.  Perhaps with some Salted Caramel Ice Cream.

For more recipes using black beans, please see my Beans (Legumes) Recipes Collection. For more recipes using Broccoli, please see my Broccoli Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource or folks like me trying to use up every last stitch (does this metaphor work?) of produce from the farm share box. I'm sharing soup recipes on Pinterest, follow me there. I'm sharing articles that catch my eye on my Facebook page, follow me there. For a curated look behind the scenes of the blog, follow my IG feed. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Easy Celery Rice Soup (with Slow Cooker option)

A comforting soup of simply celery and rice, flexible for multiple eating styles and cooking styles

Easy Celery Rice Soup (with Slow Cooker option) | Farm Fresh Feasts

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Want to add more vegetables to your daily life? Do you think celery is underutilized in your kitchen? If so, read on for an easy soup--including a slow cooker option if you'd like to use that. This can be a vegetarian or omnivore soup--I've made it with vegetable stock as well as chicken stock--and appeals to my kids in a way that ants on a log never did. [Um, that's our term for a celery stick spread with peanut butter and dotted with raisins, just in case you were thinking I'm feeding my kids ants deliberately. Accidental ants I'm not responsible for.]

I'm not a huge fan of celery, so when my regrown celery resulted in an overabundance in the garden plot [shown below with one of my garden assistants, Simon] I scrambled around looking for ways to enjoy it.  Sure, I'm happy to stretch meat by adding chopped celery (and onions, carrots, peppers, or shredded squash) into my recipes for tacos, burgers, or meatloaf.  But I wanted to try some other ideas.  After all, celery from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share--or in this case from my garden--actually has a delicious CELERY flavor that I've never really tasted with store bought celery.  Who knew? While scanning the cookbook shelves at the library I saw a recipe for celery rice soup.  I didn't have any of the ingredients, other than celery and rice, so I didn't take note of the cookbook name, I re-shelved and moved on, but the recipe idea stuck with me.

Easy Celery Rice Soup (with Slow Cooker option) | Farm Fresh Feasts

Later in the week we were feeling run down, and celery rice soup seemed like a comforting idea.  It was good enough that I made it again a week later.  I've tried this with both yellow onions and leeks.  I bet it would also be good with shallots, so any alliums you've got on hand--use them.  We preferred this with chicken stock and chopped cooked chicken, but I could see taking it in a different direction--soy chorizo for vegetarians?  It's fairly . . . I won't say bland, but I will say it's not crazy seasoned like Ma Po Tofu [I got a jar of Ma Po Tofu sauce in my Christmas stocking and I'm looking forward to trying it--with celery].  This soup is just nice, basic, easy, and no frills--good for warming your belly on a cold day. And good for using up an abundance of celery.  Speaking of abundance . . . here's what I was dealing with when I made it:

Easy Celery Rice Soup (with Slow Cooker option) | Farm Fresh Feasts

For other ways to use celery, please see my Celery Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For ways to Use This Blog, please click here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Potato, Beet, and Leek Soup (And How To Make Vegetable Stock)

A thick vegan or vegetarian or omnivorous soup of potatoes, beets and leeks

Potato, Beet, and Leek Soup (And How To Make Vegetable Stock) | Farm Fresh Feasts

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My spouse is a vegetarian, at least while he's away on his all-expense paid work trip to an exotic foreign locale.  If you think it's ironic, considering I just shared a post on 106 Recipe Ideas Using Ground Beef because I have 110 pounds of ground beef in the freezer, you're in good company.

Since the rest of the household is omnivorous, I've been experimenting with ways to create meals we can all enjoy.
I've heard homeschoolers will use the Bus Stop Method of teaching--introducing a subject, then dropping off students to work at different levels while continuing to teach that subject.  I consider recipes like this, and my Vegan/Vegetarian/Omnivorous Valentine's Pizza and my Acorn Squash, Beet, and Sweet Potato Chili, to be similar to the Bus Stop Teaching.  Call it Bus Stop Cooking (though bear in mind I am cooking in my kitchen, not at a bus stop, and I have access to running water, an oven, stove, and all that).
 The base of this recipe is a vegetable stock, slowly cooked in the slow cooker (is that redundant?) all day (and in fact I kicked this batch over to Keep Warm and let it go overnight since I didn't feel like dealing with it in the evening).  I like mushrooms in my vegetable stock, so when I realize that I'm not going to finish a package I'll toss them in with the rest of the cast of vegetables into a Vegetarian Soup Pack in the freezer.

The inspiration for this soup came from Alanna's Greens 'n All Beet Soup.  I love the flavor of that soup, but my kids aren't crazy about chunks of vegetables, and lately with my obsession with sautéed beet greens there just wasn't any left for soup.  So I figured I'd adapt Alanna's recipe with the veggies I had.  Once I simmered and pureed the soup, I had a rick, thick, vegan bowl of yumminess (shown above).  That's Bus Stop #1.  Adding a dollop (love that word) of sour cream makes a nice vegetarian bowl (shown below left).  Bus Stop #2.  Adding a pound of browned and drained ground beef to the pot means that we've arrived at the final destination--a soup for omnivores [aka another way to get my kids to eat beets.  With beef.]

Potato, Beet, and Leek Soup (And How To Make Vegetable Stock) | Farm Fresh Feasts

I don't know if my spouse will continue as a vegetarian when he returns.  He says he'll eat "happy meat", so I've sourced a "locally-raised on locally-grown and -ground GMO free feed" turkey for Thanksgiving.  I do know that I will continue this Bus Stop Cooking method, because it tastes good!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Stupefyingly Simple Chicken, Rice, and Butternut Squash Soup

Stupefyingly Simple Chicken, Rice, and Butternut Squash Soup

One taste of this soup, and you too will be stupefied.  And your body slammed with enough beta carotene to . . . . well to do something astounding.  Maybe even run or something crazy.

For me, making soup is not a quick or easy thing.  I think it's a Production.  I have my Soup Packs.  There's lots of chopping involved.  I plan to spend hours over my pretty purple pot.  And I generally end up with something good that my family eats happily the first time but the soup leftovers don't usually get fought over like other things.

The day I made this, I had 2 kids home sick with colds, and I was busy with baking.  I didn't have time to devote to soup, but I thought the kids would benefit from a warm bowl for lunch.  The oven was on anyway, so I selected a small butternut squash from the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve in the corner of the breakfast nook, split it, scooped out the guts, and roasted it upside down on a rimmed baking sheet with a cup of water for 45 minutes until it was tender.  That part was easy.  I kept going.

Since I wasn't Making A Production out of the soup, I grabbed a large saucepan, preheated oil in it over medium heat, and dropped in about half a cup of carrots and celery from a freezer bag of pre-chopped veggies.  After they had started to soften I tossed in some Onion Onion and minced garlic.  I also tossed in 4 bullion cubes because I didn't have any soup stock on hand.  After my electric kettle had come to a boil I added about 4-5 cups of water to the pan.  Then a can of chicken, half of a squash, and let it simmer gently until lunchtime (give it at least 30 minutes, could go up to 2 hrs).  When it was time to serve, I scooped out the remaining rice from the rice cooker (last night's dinner leftovers), added it to the pot, and dished up bowls of warm soup.

Stupefyingly easy and surprisingly tasty, especially given the utter lack of effort on my part.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Thai Inspired Creamy Chicken Noodle soup (dairy and gluten free)

What's the most comforting bowl of soup you've ever had?

Thai Inspired Creamy Chicken Noodle soup (dairy and gluten free)

Many years ago my employer sent me on a long, all-expense-paid, trip to an exotic foreign locale just before a major holiday.  My friend drove me down to the airport, we said our goodbyes, I put my gun in the armory and settled down in anticipation of an early call for the next day's flight.

I woke to an ice storm instead.

After a day or so of 'will the weekly flight go late or just be cancelled' my friend came back, picked me and my gear up, and brought me back home.  Where I wasn't supposed to be.  I'd already celebrated the holiday, emptied my fridge, given away my houseplants and sent my dog ahead to my spouse.  It was a weird few days, of being there when I wasn't supposed to have been there, my brain straddling what was happening with what should have been happening.

My friends invited me to many meals during that time, and it was during one post-holiday gathering that I had the most comforting bowl of chicken soup.  It was chicken and rice, and I know my friend's mom added some food coloring to make it more visually appealing, but no matter.  A mom made me chicken soup when I needed some nurturing and it was good.  A few days later I left on my deployment without any weather-related or other drama, but the memory of what a good bowl of chicken soup can do for you stayed with me.

As you can see from the title, this is not your run-of-the-mill chicken noodle soup.  It's got a Thai twist because I had opened jars of Thai ingredients in the fridge, and the wonderful food bloggers I turned to for advice suggested I use them up in soup.  My recipe is an adaptation of both Kalyn's Thai Chicken Soup recipe and  Winnie's Thai-inspired Chicken Noodle soup.  I used what was on hand in my pantry, and I like my substitutions enough to write up the recipe on its own.  We ate this soup as chicken noodle soup for dinner, using a large handful of rice noodles.  The next day, since soup is better the next day, I brought this plus my rice cooker to serve chicken and rice soup for lunch at work.  If you need a little nurturing, and can access Thai ingredients (see NOTE below), keep this soup in mind.  Use coconut milk, not cream, if you like, or chicken breasts, not ground chicken, add sliced Bok Choy if you've got it in your CSA farm share--but do add the peanuts, fresh herbs, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice for garnish.  It's very tasty.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Finnish Summer Soup--with Kale

Other possible post titles:  'Finish All The Kale' Finnish Summer Soup, and Kale Keskäkietto

I hesitated to post this recipe now, because I'm not like Lydia who enjoys soup year 'round, or Karen who is addicted to soup.  I need cool weather, or at least a rainy day, to enjoy a comforting bowl of soup.  However, I've had several opportunities to enjoy this soup this Spring, so I thought I'd share and give you another kale idea since Spring 'tis the season for greens.

Because eating up each week's bag of kale from the CSA farm share doesn't come as effortlessly as eating up, say, a pint of strawberries, I need to work at it.  Throw in kids and it's a bit more effort.  This is where soup comes in.  I've found that if I puree vegetables in soup, my kids will eat them.  Even if it's green.  In the fall I put up kale (tear out the stems--feed them to the composting pigs or add them to the worm bin--blanch and freeze the leaves) and enjoy kale in hearty soups like this one.  But I'm not in a hearty soup mood when there's so much green outside.  Instead I wanted a summer soup.

This recipe comes from a little blue cookbook I've had for a long time, Fantastically Finnish: Recipes and Traditions by Beatrice Ojakangas, though I see it was published the same year as my son, and he's only like 5 or something I think.  I'm sure my mom picked it up, along with its Scandinavian brethren, at a Christmas bazaar.  Mom gave it to me because I spent a summer working in Finland and learned to cook a few recipes there.  Whenever I'd scan through the book this soup, Kesäkietto, always caught my eye.  In the head notes, the recipe comes from Esther Louma of Duluth, MN.  As written, it's a vegetarian recipe.  Because I recently had not one but 2 chicken carcasses burning a hole in my freezer, I spent a day making a pot of chicken jelly and substituted a quart of chicken jelly for the water (see NOTE below).  Since some varmint nibbled my pea plants (and parsley, and fennel, and tomato, and dill, though I have rescued almost all of them) I could not add the peas that this recipe calls for.  Therefore, I've utterly changed the recipe but kept the spirit of it--spring vegetables gently cooked in a milk-based broth.

I recommend you make this on a rainy late Spring/early Summer day, using whatever you've got available.  The nice thing about this recipe is that it makes 4 servings--so it's great if you have fewer eaters in the house, as you won't be eating this soup for a week.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Leftover Remake: Ham and Bean Soup--No Salt Added + Slow Cooker option (Leftover Ham Week)
My spouse took this photo.  This flower that has sprouted in a seam between the tiles on the roof of the Believer's Palace in Baghdad, which was actually a decoy building to hide a bunker that was built underneath the palace.  On my FB page I've shared what it looked like just to the right of the photo.
Bloom where you are planted.
To me, this quote exemplifies the best of military spouses.  Due to our spouses' careers, we often find ourselves re-creating our lives every few years as we move across the globe.  So many military spouses I know are enthusiastic, energetic people genuinely interested in exploring what makes this new location different than the last home.

It was with this spirit of adventure that I joined the local military spouse group for a tour of Dorothy Lane Market.  DLM is an amazing grocery store less than one mile (according to Map My Walk) from my home.  You may know of Wegman's--the Northeast US chain of grocery stores known for amazing customer service, happy employees, and terrific products.  DLM is a 3 store midwestern version.  During our tour of DLM, the thing that struck me was how similar to my kitchen the store is run.
Stores, they're just like us.
I make no secret that I'm partial to marked down produce, day old bread, and discounted meat and dairy products.  I'd noticed that I never saw magical markdown stickers at DLM, and during the tour I learned why.  Primarily, most of the baked goods and dairy products are picked up by different shelters each day.  But the rest of the stuff?  Tom told us it gets made into soups for the hot foods area, into salads, and into prepared foods sold in the ready-to-eat section.  Have you ever looked at your fridge and thought, "well, I need to use up that half onion, that baked potato, that bit of chard, that ham . . ."?  Can you imagine having an entire produce section/meat department/dairy department at your disposal?  Wowza.

During our tour we went from the top of the store to the basement, checking out different departments along the way and enjoying samples--including amazing fresh mozzarella made by the very talented Tracey.  Wow, that on a pizza, with some cherry tomato pesto and CSA farm share spinach?  We checked out the kitchens--does anyone other than Hobart make commercial dishwashers?  I really appreciated the chance to peek behind the scenes of a place I shop at frequently--all because of a curious military spouse's initiative.  Thanks, Aileen!

When we moved in to our home, our neighbors welcomed us with a box of cookies and Killer Brownies® and I was just blown away.  Seriously amazing goodies.  I'd known that we could walk down to Graeter's ice cream before we moved in, but this DLM store was new to me.

I was delighted when my daughter went Christmas shopping at Dorothy Lane Market.  No, she did not give me a Killer Brownie.  Instead, she gave me a container of beans + a recipe for Heavenly Ham® Bean Soup.  Recently she helped me make the soup--and her interpretation of the seasonings turned it into a delicious soup without any additional salt (the ham is salty enough, we think).

I used to buy the bags of Ham Been soup that contained such a pretty array of beans plus a seasoning packet.  I'd follow the recipe, using my leftover ham bone, and make a delicious soup.  Then I read the contents of that seasoning packet and resolved to make my soup without it, and it never really turned out right.  Something was just off.

I'm so glad I had my daughter help me make this recipe I'm sharing with you today.

There are 2 cool things about this recipe.  First, the recipe includes the amounts and kinds of dry beans*, so if I wanted to make up quart jars of my own pretty bean mix for gift giving I could.  Second, I got to use a jar of crushed tomatoes that I put up in the fall (which, come to think of it, would make a good pair of jars to give:  a jar of crushed tomatoes plus a jar of dried beans plus the recipe to use both to make soup).
*If you want to make your own pretty bean mix, here's what the recipe suggests:  1/2 cup (dry) each of lentils, split peas, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, navy beans, black beans, red kidney beans and lima beans.  Four cups total of mixed beans.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Silken Turnip and Potato Soup (and How To Make Chicken Stock)

Wrinkled old turnips?  Come on down! We love using you in soup!
I read this recipe in The Washington Post and first tried it when the farm share overwhelmed me with turnips provided us with an overabundance of turnips.  My whole family likes this.  I'm happy to make it earlier in the week and serve it the night before Thanksgiving, when I'm busy prepping and don't feel like cooking or eating a heavy meal.
Awaiting the sour cream garnish.

This soup tastes very rich, but it's made without any cream.  In fact, if you use vegetable broth and oil instead of the chicken stock and butter, it would make a vegan offering on your Thanksgiving table.
I don't usually have vegans at my table, so I make chicken stock for the base of this soup.  Whenever I roast a chicken, or pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store, I save the carcass for chicken stock.  Today I grabbed a soup pack and, armed with 1950 Betty Crocker's New Picture Cookbook, made up a batch.

Monday, November 5, 2012

French Green Lentil Soup (and How to Make Brown Stock, Frugal Farm Fresh Feast Style)

You know how I keep yammering on about saving all the unused bits and pieces of your farm share veggies in a Soup Pack?  Today I'm going to show you how I use a soup pack to make a brown (beef) stock, then use some of that stock to make soup.

This soup got started with the cow taking up residence in my freezer.  I asked for all the odds and ends of the beast, from tongue to tail and odd bits in between.  We got several packages of "soup bones" and today I got one out, along with a soup pack.  Instead of randomly throwing ingredients and insufficient salt into the pot, like I usually do, I decided to <gasp!> follow a recipe.  Well, loosely.

I consulted my handy 1950 Betty Crocker's New Picture Cookbook.  I was interested to read "Store covered in jars in the refrigerator.  The layer of fat on top will help preserve the stock." I usually freeze soup stock, and at this time of year freezer space is at a premium, so I gave it a go.  I heated the jars as if I was going to can the stock, then poured the strained (ooh!  used my cheesecloth! bonus!) stock into the hot jars.  I used my plastic screw top lids since they work in the fridge or freezer.  When I was ready to make soup I scooped off the fat layer (reminded me of my mom's wax on top of jam) and poured out the stock.