Posole or Pozole

A wonderful winter soup/stew. I get my white corn posole (hominy) from Rancho Gordo, my favorite resource for beans and grains. I prefer to use my leftover pork shoulder which I always seem to have in my freezer. There are so many fun garnishes for this soup-shaved cabbage, cilantro, avocado, radish slices, tortilla chips, sour cream or grated cheese. I have a ristra of New Mexican dried red chiles and I made a paste of 4 chiles by toasting them in a cast iron pan, covering with boiling water for 30 minutes and then puréeing and straining the paste. It adds a lot of flavor to the soup. We like to eat the soup with fresh tortillas, warmed, either corn or flour.

1 1/2 c. dried posole (or substitute canned)
1/2 onion, sliced
2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 small multi colored peppers, diced
5 serranos, sliced (or jalapeños-seeded or not, depending on your taste)
1 can of green chiles, dice
Mexican oregano
Cumin, ground
6 c. chicken stock
Leftover cooked pork shoulder or butt, diced

Soak 1 1/2 c. dried posole overnight in water. Drain and add fresh water. Bring to a boil with 1/2 onion, sliced for one hour. Drain.
Saute onion for 5-10 minutes until soft. Add minced garlic and diced fresh peppers. Add green chiles, spices and stock. Bring to a simmer. Add pork and cooked posole. Simmer 30 minutes. Serve with your choice of garnishes.

Fresh Clam Chowder

From my niece Joanie who went to a 9 month culinary program in Pasadena which she loved. This is a simple and delicious soup!
The key to the recipe is to flavor up the fish fumet/clam juice wine stock with herbs and vegetables. I used the top of fennel, bay leaf, peppercorns and parsley. You could use fresh thyme or any favorites. I bought Pasterneck clams from Whole Foods which are small and sweet-I buy them by the each and I used 20 for this recipe.

2 c. fish fumet or clam juice
1 c. white wine or blond ale
Bouquet Garni of bay leaf, thyme or any herbs of choice or vegetable tops/scraps
1 # fresh clams or 20 or so of your favorite
1/4 c. thick cut bacon, diced (2 slices)
1/2 onion, diced
1-2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 fennel, diced
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, diced (I like these diced on the small size)
1 c. Heavy Cream
fresh chopped parsley
salt and pepper
hot sauce of your choice

Cook bacon, rendering fat and cook until golden. Remove bacon and saute onion, celery and fennel until soft.
In another pan, bring stock and wine to a boil, add the bouquet Garni or herbs and peppercorns. Add clams and cook covered until open about 10 minutes. Strain stock through a cheesecloth, reserving. Remove clams from shells and set aside. If you are using large clams, you may want to chop them.
Add clam stock to the vegetables and add the potatoes. Simmer 20 minutes.
Add clams, bacon and cream. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce! Garnish with fresh parsley!

Fresh Corn Carbonara

From Epicurious It is a winner!
It’s the end of our corn season in Colorado but I had four ears left and was excited to try this recipe. I love that half of the corn kernels and corn milk and cream are puréed to make the sauce. I got wonderful thick bacon from a new stand at the farmer’s market called The Noble Hog. I added a roasted, peeled and chopped poblano Chile because we like spice. Very simple to make and delicious! I always reserve a cup of pasta water incase the sauce is too thick and I added about 1/2 c. pasta water to the finished dish.

12 ounces spaghetti or linguine
Kosher salt
3-6 slices thick-cut bacon (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/4″ strips
4 ears of corn, kernels cut off (about 3 cups), cobs reserved
1/2 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces), plus more to serve
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped, divided

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain.
Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain (reserve fat). Scrape excess corn milk from cobs into a blender by firmly running the back of a chef’s knife down the sides. Add cream, half of the corn kernels, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 2 Tbsp. reserved bacon fat. Purée until a smooth sauce forms.
Toss hot pasta with corn sauce, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and half each of the remaining corn kernels, bacon, and basil in a large bowl.
Divide pasta among bowls and top with remaining corn kernels, bacon, and basil. Season with pepper and top with Parmesan.

Rancho Gordo Marcella Beans

I discovered Rancho Gordo beans in San Francisco at the Ferry Building and have loved them for years. I had not tried the Marcella bean (named after Marcella Hazen) as it was her favorite bean in Italy. They are now grown in Napa and could not be better. You can order them online at Rancho Gordo or sometimes I find them in Whole Foods.The variety of beans that they sell is amazing!

This is a non recipe-ad libbed with what I had on hand and it could not have been better.
Soak Marcella beans overnight after rinsing.
Sauté onion, carrot, celery in olive oil in pot until soft, add a beautiful ham hock and cook a few more minutes. Add beans and their soaking water and cover by two inches of liquid. Add a bay leaf or two. Slowly simmer until soft-they will practically melt in your mouth. I cooked mine for over an hour and kept them in the bean broth. Season with salt and pepper when soft. Serve with any greens, shaved parmesan and extra virgin olive oil.

Chilled coconut corn soup

From Epicurious-a very interesting and simple recipe that is full of flavor. I love the turmeric in this soup and the texture is pure velvet-you can thin it out to the texture you like with either water or make corn stock from cobs.

2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 (1/2″) piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
6 ears of corn, kernels cut off (about 5 1/2 cups), cobs reserved
1 Yukon Gold potato (about 5 ounces) peeled, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
2 (2″) strips lime zest
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Diced avocado, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges (for serving)

Melt coconut oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion, ginger, tumeric, and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 8–10 minutes.
Break corn cobs in half and add to pot along with corn kernels, potato, coconut milk, lime zest, and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until potato is tender, 20–25 minutes.
Discard corn cobs and lime zest, then transfer soup to a blender. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and purée until smooth. Let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a large bowl and chill, covered, at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread coconut flakes on a small rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.
Stir lime juice into soup and adjust seasonings, thinning with water, if needed. Divide soup among bowls, then top with toasted coconut, avocado, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges alongside.

Soup can be made 4 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Turkey Pho

From the NY Times, a wonderful soup with your leftover turkey and stock from Thanksgiving. Charring the onion halves and ginger add a lot of flavor to the broth. I love all of the fresh tastes from the garnishes.

2 medium yellow onions, halved and peeled
1 (4-inch) piece of fresh ginger (do not peel)
12 cups turkey or chicken stock, preferably homemade
¼ cup fish sauce, plus more to taste
1 star anise
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 (1-pound) package dried rice vermicelli
12 ounces mung bean sprouts (about 3 cups)
1 small bunch Thai basil sprigs
3 jalapeños, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 to 3 limes, quartered, to taste
4 cups shredded cooked turkey (about 1 pound)
Kosher salt, to taste
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems (about 1 large bunch)
1 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 1 bunch)

Cook onions and ginger directly over open flame of a gas burner for about 5 minutes, turning them occasionally, until they are charred on all sides. (If you don’t have a gas stove, heat broiler and set onions and ginger on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, turning occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes until charred on all sides.) Allow charred ginger to cool, then slice it into 1/2-inch coins.
In a large Dutch oven or similar pot, combine onions, sliced ginger, stock, fish sauce, star anise and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
In the meantime, cook rice noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
Arrange mung bean sprouts, sprigs of Thai basil, jalapeños and limes on a platter and set on the table.
Remove onions, ginger and star anise from the pot. Add shredded turkey to the pot, and return it to a simmer. Taste the soup and adjust seasoning with additional fish sauce and/or salt, if needed.
Divide rice noodles, cilantro and scallions evenly among large soup bowls, then ladle hot stock over the top, making sure each bowl gets a healthy serving of turkey. Serve immediately, accompanied by platter of garnishes.
Cover and refrigerate leftovers, keeping noodles separate, for up to 3 days.

Cold Cucumber Soup with Shrimp

From Ina Garten-another winner! I used my home grown cucumbers, peeled and seeded. I would reduce the salt for sure. The flavor and texture is perfect! The shrimp garnish is wonderful in this soup and dresses it up.

2 (17-ounce) containers Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
3 hothouse cucumbers, unpeeled, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup chopped red onion
9 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (6 lemons)
3/4 pound cooked large shrimp, halved
Thin slices of lemon, halved, for garnish
Fresh dill, for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, half-and-half, cucumbers, red onion, scallions, salt, and pepper. Transfer the mixture in batches to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the cucumbers are coarsely pureed and then pour into another bowl. Continue processing the soup until all of it is pureed. Fold in the dill, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until very cold.

Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice. Serve chilled, garnished with the shrimp, lemon, and fresh dill.

Green Corn Soup plus Corn Stock

From Field of Greens cookbook by Annie Somerville. The corn stock only simmers an hour so you can be prepping the soup ingredients while it cooks. The corn stock makes a huge difference in this soup and adds lots of flavor. Use your own discretion about the jalapeños (or you can use serranos)-the soup is not overly spicy as you seed the peppers which removes the heat.

Corn Stock
Shaved corn cobs, broken in thirds or halves (I used the cobs from the 6 ears for the soup)
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 medium size potato, sliced
1 celery rib, sliced
5 parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, in their skin, crushed on the side of the knife blade
1 t. salt
1/2 peppercorns
9 c. cold water
Combine all ingredients in a stockpot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for one hour. Strain stock, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Discard vegetables. Yield about 7 cups.

Green Corn Soup

Corn Stock (about 5 cups)
1 T. light olive oil
1 large onion, diced into 2 cups
3 garlic cloves, chopped
salt
6 ears of corn, shaved (about 6 cups)
cayenne pepper
3/4# tomatillos, husked and halved
2-3 green jalapeños, seeded and chopped
5 cilantro springs
2 T. chopped cilantro
Make stock and keep warm over low heat. Heat olive oil in a soup pot and add onion, garlic, and 1/2 t. salat. Saute over medium heat until onion is soft, 5-7 minutes. Add the corn, a few pinches of cayenne, 1 t. salt; saute until corn is heated through, then add 2 cups of stock, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes until the corn is tender. Set aside 2 cups of sautéed corn to add to soup later. Add tomatillos and one jalapeño and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Puree the remaining jalapeños with 1/4 c. stock in blender, set aside. Add cilantro sprigs and puree the soup with 1 cup stock in blender or food processor. Pass it through a food mill for smooth texture and return to pot. Add reserved corn and stock to desired texture. Season with salt and jalapeño puree to taste. Cook over low heat for 25 minutes. Add chopped cilantro just before serving.

Coconut Corn Soup

 

From Epicurious. I did not add the toasted coconut as I thought it had enough flavor. I also added my corn at the last five minutes because our Colorado Olathe corn is very fragile. I only had 4 ears of corn to use and it worked out fine. I also added to the onions, a half carrot and celery and jalapeño as I had them on my cutting board from a previous dish. I think you could omit the potato if you wanted a thinner soup, or add stock. The corn cobs make such a nice tasting broth.

2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 (1/2″) piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
6 ears of corn, kernels cut off (about 5 1/2 cups), cobs reserved
1 Yukon Gold potato (about 5 ounces) peeled, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
2 (2″) strips lime zest
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Diced avocado, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges (for serving)
PREPARATION

Melt coconut oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion, ginger, tumeric, and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 8–10 minutes.
Break corn cobs in half and add to pot along with corn kernels, potato, coconut milk, lime zest, and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until potato is tender, 20–25 minutes.
Discard corn cobs and lime zest, then transfer soup to a blender. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and purée until smooth. Let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a large bowl and chill, covered, at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread coconut flakes on a small rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.
Stir lime juice into soup and adjust seasonings, thinning with water, if needed. Divide soup among bowls, then top with toasted coconut, avocado, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges alongside.
Do Ahead
Soup can be made 4 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Spicy Black Bean Soup

This recipe is from Field of Greens by Annie Somerville who is the chef of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco. It has some components to it that may seem labor intensive but it is the most flavorful black bean soup that I have ever had! One component is the Chipotle Puree which is just a can of chipotles in adobo, pureed. The pureed chilies keep forever in the refrigerator and it is a condiment that I use often. The other component is the ancho chili puree which are the ancho chiles, like you see in ristras-toasted in a cast iron pan until lightly toasted and then covered in a bowl with boiling water for 15 minutes-then drained and pureed. I find some beans, no matter how long you soak them need time to cook. This recipe calls for them to be soft in 20-25 minutes but my beans took over an hour to soften.* I think this soup could be great for a party with all sorts of garnishes including the above and also you could have rice and some type of cheese, like feta or any of the Mexican grating cheeses.

bean-soup-pot
2 c. dried black beans, about 12-16 oz. (I use 16 oz. as I buy my black beans by the pound from Rancho Gordo, sorted through and soaked overnight
6+ c. cold water
1 fresh oregano sprig
2 fresh sage leaves
1 T. light olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced, about 3 c.
salt and cayenne pepper
1/2 t. toasted oregano, in a small pan til lightly toasted
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 t. chipotle puree (see above in notes)
1 T. Ancho Chili puree (see above)
1/4 c. dry sherry
1/2# fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, about 1 c. or 1 8 oz. can of tomatoes, with juices
1/2 c. fresh orange juice
For garnish
1/2# fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped, about 1 cup
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
Or other garnishes
fried strips of tortillas
thinly slice avocado
creme fraiche mixed with orange juice, cumin and cayenne
black-bean-soup-garnished
Rinse and drain the beans. Place in a soup pot with the cold water, oregano sprig, bay and sage leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until the beans are soft-20-25 minutes or however long it takes. Heat olive oil in a saute pan and add the onion, 1/2 t. salt, 1/8 t. cayenne and toasted oregano. Cook over medium heat until onion is soft-about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and chili purees. Saute for 3-4 minutes, add the sherry and simmer until reduced by half, a minute or two. Add the tomatoes and 1/2 t. salt and cook for 10 minutes.
Set aside 1 1/2 c. cooked beans. Remove the fresh herbs and bay leaves. Combine beans and their broth with the tomatoes and onions and puree in the blender in batches. Add the reserved beans, orange juice and 1/2 t. salt. Season with salt and cayenne to taste. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
Toss the tomatoes and cilantro together and garnish each serving with a spoonful.