Curried Potato-Leek and Spinach Soup- Cheap eats for dinner!

tHSZfTw813c213631313936383r71oqQcA_1346357710Curried Potato-Leek and Spinach Soup

Serves 2

2 medium leeks, cleaned and cut into 1/4 inch pieces  to equal 2 cups

1 medium baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 tsp. curry powder

2 cups water

1 cup packed fresh baby spinach leaves, Cut spinach into thin strips

1/2 cup milk

salt and pepper; to taste

In a heavy bottomed soup pot add the butter, curry, leeks and potatoes. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the water; bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Place mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour back into pot and add milk. Heat until heated through. Do not boil. Stir in spinach.

Salmon-Asparagus Bisque

fehL8TaG13c213631303338353fehL8TaG_1346357592Salmon-Asparagus Bisque

1/2 lb. salmon

juice of 1 lemon

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup green onions, sliced onions

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup flour

2 cups milk

3 cups half-half

1/2 cup tomato puree

2 tablespoon dry sherry

1 tsp. salt

1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1 lb. skinny fresh asparagus, cut into bite size pieces if larger than a pencil, blanch cut pieces.

Poach salmon with juice from 1 lemon and enough water to just cover. Cool, flake and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter, stir in green onions and garlic; saute until onions are transparent. Blend in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and half-and-half, stirring until thickened. Add the salmon, asparagus pieces, tomato puree, sherry , salt, dill and pepper. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh dill.

Roasted California Chilies and Garlic Chowder with Rosemary Sourdough Croutons

Roasted California Chilies and Garlic Chowder with Rosemary Sourdough Croutons

Chowder:

8 dried California chilies

2 bulbs of garlic

Olive oil to drizzle on garlic

1 1/2 tsp. corn oil

4 white potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 onions, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 3-4 inch sprig of fresh thyme

1 cup white wine

1 cup water

about 1 1/2 cups half-and-half

salt: to taste

 

Croutons:

6 cups fresh sourdough bread cut into 1/2 inch cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

 

Chowder:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Roast the dried chilies in the oven for 30 seconds. Remove, reduce oven to 350 degrees.

Simmer the chiles in the pot of water until very soft.

While the chilies simmer, cut the tops of the heads of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and roast until soft. Set aside. Reduce the oven to 300 degrees. for the croutons.

While the garlic is roasting, drain chilies reserving a little bit of the liquid. Remove the chile stems and seeds. Puree the chilies in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, adding enough liquid to form a paste. Place in bowl; set aside.

In a large stockpot, heat the corn oil. Saute the potatoes and onions with the bay leaf and thyme over low heat for about 8 minutes.

Add the wine; deglaze the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes to let alcohol to evaporate. Add 1 cup of water,; simmer until vegetables are soft.

Squeeze the pulp from the garlic bulbs into the bowl of a food processor. Using a slotted spoon, add two-thirds of the potatoes and onions to the food processor bowl with the garlic. Process until smooth. Add the puree to the remaining vegetables.

Add the chile paste, the half-and-half and the salt to the chowder. Heat until just below simmer. Do not boil.

 

Croutons:

In a bowl, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil and rosemary. Spread the cubes on a foil line baking sheet; bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes, turning often until toasted. While the croutons are still hot , toss with the Parmesan cheese.

 

Ladle chowder into bowls, top with croutons.

Provencal Vegetable Soup

Provencal Vegetable Soup

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts

3 cups 1/2 inch diced unpeeled boiling potatoes

3 cups 1/2 inch diced carrots

1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 qts. chicken stock

1 teaspoon saffron threads

1/2 lb. French string beans, ends removed and cut in half

4 oz. whole wheat spaghetti, broken in pieces

1 cup Pistou ( recipe to follow)

Freshly grated Parmesan

 

Heat olive oil in stockpot, add onions, and saute’ over low heat 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add leeks, potatoes, carrots, salt and pepper and saute’ another 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and saffron. Bring to boil and then simmer just until vegetables are tender. Add the pasta and green beans, bring to simmer until pasta is al dente.. To serve. whisk 1/4 cup of the Pistou into the hot soup, then season to taste. Serve with parmesan cheese and dollop of Pistou.

 

Pistou

 

4 Large Garlic cloves

1/4 cup tomato paste

24 large basil leaves

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 olive oil

 

Place all but olive oil in food processor and puree. With motor still running , slowly add the olive oil to make a paste. Store in air tight container topped of with olive oil in the fridge.

Cheddar Ale Soup

ZfTw8xWf13c213336333633313FEvfehL8_1346369443Cheddar Ale Soup

4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

4 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup finely diced, onion

1/4 cup finely diced , carrot

1/4 cup finely diced , celery

1 bay leaf

1/3 cup flour

1-12 oz. bottle Ale

2 1/3 cups whole milk

1- 14oz. can chicken broth

1 tsp. dry mustard

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 lb. extra sharp cheddar

In large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; add onion , carrot , celery and bay leaf cook and stir often, until vegetables are translucent and softened. Stir in flour and cook about 3 minutes.

Slowly whisk in beer, milk , chicken stock, and mustards. Bring to simmer , stirring often to prevent scorching. Add grated cheese a handful at a time; stir until cheese has melted. Important not to let boil. Remove bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste. If a thicker soup is desired whisk in over low heat ,Wondra flour whisking constantly until thickened.

Serve with crumbled bacon on top.

Bacon Cheeseburger Chowder

ZfTw8xWf13c213336333538313FEvfehL8_1346369211Bacon Cheeseburger Chowder

I know this sounds weird but it does really taste like the old time burger joint burger in soup form.

1 lb. Ground beef, made into 4 patties

1  -14 1/2 oz Fire Roasted diced tomatoes

8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

4 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup finely diced, onion

1 yellow onion diced and set aside

1/4 cup finely diced , carrot

1/4 cup finely diced , celery

1 bay leaf

1/3 cup flour

1-12 oz. bottle Ale

2 1/3 cups whole milk

1- 14oz. can chicken broth

1 tsp. dry mustard

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 lb. extra sharp cheddar

1 1/2 cups cubed Velveeta cheese

1 large head Romaine Heart , sliced

Sear and cook through the hamburger patties in a large saucepan. Cut into bite size pieces about the size of a quarter. Set aside. You want patties because the seared patties have more service area that’s browned to create the burger flavor.

In the same pan the burgers were cooked, drain of extra fat ,leaving about 2 tablespoons over medium heat quick saute the diced yellow onion, do not cook through. Remove from pan and set aside. Melt butter; add finely diced onion , carrot , celery and bay leaf cook and stir often, until vegetables are translucent and softened. Stir in flour and cook about 3 minutes.

Slowly whisk in beer, milk , chicken stock, roasted tomatoes with the juice and mustards. Bring to simmer , stirring often to prevent scorching. Add grated cheese a handful at a time; stir until cheese has melted. Important not to let boil. Remove bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste. If a thicker soup is desired whisk in over low heat , Wondra flour whisking constantly until thickened. Add Velveeta cheese and stir in until melted along with the sauteed onion and cut up hamburger patties and bacon that were set aside. Add sliced Romaine lettuce at the end and stir in.

Serve with crumbled bacon on top, sliced scallions and shredded cheddar cheese.

Chinese Clay Pot Chicken

Chinese Clay Pot Chicken

1 1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt as needed

black pepper to taste

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup fish sauce

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon canola oil

6 sprigs cilantro, chopped including stems

2 Thai bird chiles, chopped

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. minced fresh ginger

1 tsp lime juice

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

Cut chicken into 1/2 inch cubes. Season well with salt and pepper.

Stir together the water, fish sauce, brown sugar, oil, cilantro, chiles, ginger, lime juice and vinegar in a small bowl until dissolved.

Put chicken in soaked clay pot. pour fish sauce mixture over chicken.

Put clay pot in cold oven and set temperature to 400 degrees. Cook until chicken is tender and juices coat chicken. Garnish with cilantro and serve over noodle or rice.

Cremini Mushroom and Barley Soup

htHSZfTw13c2133363335323338Or71oqQ_1346368858Cremini Mushroom and Barley Soup

1 Tablespoon oil

1 onion, diced finely

1 carrot, peeled and diced finely

1 celery stalk, diced finely

1 parsnip, peeled , diced finely

3 cups /10 oz. cremini mushrooms , sliced

2 quarts chicken stock

3/4 cup pearl barley

1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

1/2 pepper or to taste

1 Tablespoon chopped parsley

2 Tablespoons dry sherry

Heat oil in soup pot and add onion. Saute about 10 minutes until golden. Add the carrot, parsnip ,celery and mushrooms. Stir until combined well with onions. Cover and turn heat to low and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Remove the cover and add stock and barley. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until barley is tender,

Adjust seasonings. Stir in parsley. Stir in sherry , just before serving.

This soup tastes even better if made a day in advance.

Garbanzo Bean Soup

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8 cups water

1 lb. dried garbanzo beans

2 lbs. smoked ,meaty ham shank

1 large onion , chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 Tablespoon instant beef bouillon

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne

3 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 small head cabbage, about 1 lb., coarsely chopped

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Heat water and beans to boiling in dutch oven; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover and let stand 1 hour. Add ham shank, onion, garlic, bouillon, salt, pepper and red pepper to beans. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beans are almost tender. Skim fat if needed.

Remove ham shank; cool slightly. Trim fay and bones from ham. Cut ham into 1/2 inch pieces. Stir ham, potatoes and cabbage into soup. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beans and potatoes are tender. Stir in chopped parsley.

Beef Fajita Soup with Fried Corn Tortilla Strips , Cotija Cheese and Crema

tHSZfTw813c213336333436353r71oqQcA_1346368576

1- 15 oz. Black beans or kidney beans , drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon Olive oil

1 yellow onion , diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 bell peppers(1 each of a yellow, orange and red bell pepper, coarsely chopped)

2 tablespoons chile powder

1 1/2 tsp. chipotle chile powder, adjust to your taste

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1- 14 1/2 oz. fire roasted diced tomatoes

1 quart Chicken stock

2 tsp. chopped cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/4 lbs. flat iron steak. Season with salt and pepper

8-10 corn tortillas, sliced and fried

cotija cheese

Crema or sour cream

In a large soup pot , saute in the olive oil the , onions, bell peppers and garlic until tender. Add the chile powder, chipotle powder, cumin,and  coriander to the soup pot. Stir in to combine then, add roasted tomatoes and tomato paste. Saute until combined. Stir in chicken stock and simmer. Meanwhile, sear the steaks until well seared and golden brown . Set aside to rest. The meat will not be fully cooked. Stir in drained beans to soup pot. After meat has rested for about 10 minutes, slice thinly against the grain. Add to simmering soup and cook until meat is medium rare and stir in chopped cilantro.

Garnish with crema , fried corn tortillas and cotija cheese.

*Adjust chipotle pepper powder to your own taste