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.

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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.

Avgolemono Soup

This is a Greek lemon, rice and egg soup that is so comforting. You probably already have the ingredients and it comes together in 20 minutes. I used rice but will try orzo next time I make it.
avgolemono-soup
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup uncooked orzo (or rice or pastina)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice

In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil.
Add the orzo, rice, or pastina and cook until tender but still al dente, about 7 minutes (20, if using rice). Season with the salt and pepper and reduce heat to low; simmer.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and lemon juice until smooth.
Ladle about 1 cup of the hot broth into the egg-and-lemon mixture, then whisk to combine.
Add the mixture back to the simmering saucepan. Stir just until the soup becomes opaque and thickens as the eggs cook, 1 to 2 minutes. Add more salt and pepper, if desired, and serve.

Indian Spiced Corn Soup with Yogurt

From The New York Times Indian spiced corn soup a very easy corn soup to make! I did strain the soup for a finer texture and loved the flavor. We ate it cold but I think it would be delicious hot, as well. I love the flavors of the Indian spices with the corn.
Indian spiced corn soup
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
Large pinch cayenne
3 cups corn kernels, from 4 ears
Salt and pepper
Whole milk plain yogurt, for garnish
1 tablespoon chopped chives, for garnish
A few cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish, optional

Put butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, mustard seeds and cayenne and sizzle for a minute or so.
Add corn kernels and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 4 cups water and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Purée soup in a blender. Check seasoning and adjust salt.
To serve, ladle into small bowls. Garnish each with 2 tablespoons thick yogurt. Sprinkle with chives and cilantro sprigs. Add a squeeze of lime.

Pasta e Fagioli

This is a very easy soup that my mother found years ago in House Beautiful magazine, I believe. I have started using the dry beans soaked and cooked separately and it makes a huge difference!  It is nice to blend some of the soup mixture up before adding the pasta to give the soup some body. I only add **1/2 c. pasta-stars, dilatini or orzo all work well. Also if you have any parmesan rinds you are saving, wrap them in cheesecloth and simmer them in the soup-they add so much flavor! Note-If you like beans you should definitely try Rancho Gordo beans as they are all fantastic. I used a yellow eyed bean for this soup and it is incredible. Rancho Gordo has wonderful heirloom beans, most of which I have never heard of-very fun to try the different beans.

Serves 10 as a first course or 6 as a main course
3 tablespoons pure olive oil
3 to 4 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 cups (about 14 ounces) dried cranberry, borlotti, cannellini, or other small white beans, soaked overnight in water to cover, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups diced canned plum tomatoes, with juices
8 cups water or chicken broth, or as needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound small shells, ditalini, or other small pasta shape
**
Extra virgin olive oil for finishing
Grated Parmesan for finishing

In a large soup kettle, warm the pure olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until it renders its fat and is golden, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the soaked beans, the tomatoes and their juices, the 8 cups water, and 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.
To give the soup more body, remove 2 or 3 large spoonfuls of beans and vegetables, place in a food processor or blender, and purée until smooth. Return the purée to the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Although you can cook the pasta directly in the soup, there is a danger of the soup scorching if the beans have been puréed. To avoid this, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, stir well, and cook until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain the pasta, add to the soup, and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, and top each serving with a generous swirl of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of Parmesan, and a liberal dusting of black pepper. Serve at once.

Italian Wedding Soup

This is the most amazing soup! I have wanted to try it forever and am so happy that I finally did! The Barefoot Contessa rarely disappoints! I love that you bake the meatballs and by the time they are baked, the soup is done! I used the little star shaped pasta that is so festive! I am not sure a photo would give this soup justice but I assure you, everyone will love it!
For the meatballs:
¾ pound ground chicken
½ pound chicken sausage, casings removed-I used two links of mild Italian
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley and or basil
¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese-I use all parmesan due to husbands salt concern
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons milk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the soup:
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onion
1 cup ¼-inch diced carrots (3 carrots)
¾ cup (¼-inch diced celery (2 stalks)
10 cups homemade chicken stock
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars **I cook my pasta separately and really like orzo
¼ cup minced fresh dill
12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed -One bag of washed spinach from WFds is only 6 oz and seems to be plenty
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1- to 1¼-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs. They don’t have to be perfectly round.) Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan cheese.

Best Shrimp Bisque

This is a recipe from Bon Appetit It takes some time but is worth it! It is better than the Barefoot Contessa recipe because it has a very smooth and silky texture. It is very elegant! **Note I have just remade Ina’s Shrimp Bisque and find it just as good if not better IF you strain it through a sieve. I use a rubber spatula to push the soup through the strainer-do not get discouraged as it will all go through (patience!) except for about 1/4 cup of mass. We love a floater of sherry on top of the soup after it is served into a bowl!
IMG_3326
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp (about 45), peeled, deveined, shells reserved
2 bay leaves, divided
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup long-grain white rice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon (or more) cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
Shrimp puree for bisque
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add shrimp shells and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add 1 bay leaf and 8 cups water. Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Strain, discarding solids. DO AHEAD Shrimp stock can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool slightly; chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until just opaque in center, 3-4 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to same pot. Add carrots, celery, and onion and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until very soft, about 20 minutes.
Remove pot from heat; add brandy. Return pot to heat and stir until almost evaporated, 2-3 minutes. Add rice and tomato paste; stir for 1 minute. Add shrimp stock, remaining bay leaf, parsley, thyme, and ¼ tsp. cayenne. Simmer uncovered until flavors meld and rice is soft, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve 4 shrimp for garnish and stir remaining shrimp into bisque. Remove parsley, thyme, and bay leaf.
Working in batches, purée bisque in a blender until smooth. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer set over a clean pot. Discard solids in strainer. Stir in cream and reheat bisque over medium heat. Add lemon juice. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more cayenne, if desired.
Mince reserved shrimp and mix with chives in a small bowl. Place 1 heaping tablespoon shrimp mixture in the center of large, shallow soup bowls. Ladle bisque around garnish and serve.

Red Lentil Mulligatawny

A wonderful soup from Madhur Jaffrey, the queen of Indian food. I made a half recipe and served it with puppodums, if you can find them. You could also serve it with naan, and mix a little tamarind or mango chutney with yogurt for a garnish. This recipe was in Saveur.
Mulligatawny
9 T. unsalted butter, divided
1 t. Aleppo pepper, optional
1/2 t. cumin seeds
1/2 t. coriander seeds
1/2 t. black mustard seeds
2 dried chiles de arbol
1 plum tomato, minced
3 T. minced ginger
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, minced
1/2 jalapeño, minced
1/4 c. flour
1 T. ground coriander
2 t. ground cumin
1 1/2 t. ground turmeric
9 c. chicken or vegetable stock
1 3/4 c. red lentils
3 T. minced cilantro
1 c. canned coconut milk
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
plain yogurt to garnish
fresh cilantro to garnish
Puppadums
Cook 5 T. butter Aleppo pepper, cumin, coriander, mustard, chiles, and tomato in an 8″ skillet over high heat until fragrant. Set sauce aside. Heat remaining butter in a 6 quart saucepan over medium high heat. Add ginger, garlic, onion and jalapeño and cook until browned, about 15 minutes. Add flour, coriander, cumin and turmeric, cook until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add stock and lentils, boil. Skim any scum that surfaces. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, covered, until tender, about 45 minutes. Add cilantro, puree, if you like. Add coconut milk, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve garnished with sauce, yogurt and a little fresh cilantro.