Tag Archives: soup

Market Vegetable Soup

This vegetable soup is also known as clean out the fridge soup. Every week, we go to our local farmers’ market and stock up on local produce. Why let any of that produce go to waste??

  

Before any of that produce in the fridge spoils, make soup! Sure, composting is nice and of course good for the environment, but wouldn’t you rather have delicious soup in your belly? For this batch, I literally cleaned out our fridge before shopping day tomorrow. 

Speaking of shopping, every week we go to one of our favorite markets. Either Easton Farmers’ Market (http://eastonfarmersmarket.com) or Emmaus Farmers’ Market (http://emmausmarket.com). If you don’t shop your local farmers’ market you should start! Local produce is better and most importantly, fresher! It hasn’t traveled cross country in the back of a truck. If you are lucky you will even begin to develop a rapport with the vendors like we have. I honestly look forward to grocery shopping. Can you say that?

Now, this more of a suggestion than a recipe. There are no exact amounts and it will change every time you make it. Talk about simple as well!! One tip, once all of the vegetables are in the pot bring it to a boil and then turn all the way down to low and allow it to simmer. The longer it simmers the more the flavors will develop.

For this batch, I started by dicing one large onion and six cloves of garlic. They went into my six quart dutch oven with a few turns of extra virgin olive oil to sauté over medium heat.

I followed with a bunch of carrots, some celery (which admittedly had been in the fridge way too long), several small heads of cauliflower, a few peppers, two different types of mushrooms, four yukon gold potatoes and two large handfuls of swiss chard. This is not necessarily a pretty soup. I just cut everything up and toss it in the pot. The mushrooms and Swiss chard went in last so they won’t overlook.

For the broth I used one quart of home canned tomatoes and four quarts of vegetable stock.  I like to keep the seasoning simple. Allow the taste of all the vegetables to shine. For this batch four bay leaves, salt, pepper and cayenne are all I used.

As a bonus, the house smells delicious!! There is no potpourri that can make a house smell as good a soup simmering slowly on the stove. So next time you think about tossing those vegetables into the compost, or worse, the trash give this soup a try.


Spicy Mushroom Tofu Soup

Photo Sep 08, 12 37 14 PM

The hubby and I had this dish for lunch today and even though I forgot to take my usual amount of pictures we enjoyed it so much I decided to share it. I did remember the most important picture, the completed dish! This soup has the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. It is a nutritionally packed and a well-balanced meal all in one bowl. It is also prepared in one pot. Minimal dishes required!

Now, I know some of you are not tofu fans, but when treated right it adds a delicious flavor, texture and nutritional punch to dishes. My current favorite is Wildwood Organics Sprouted Extra Firm. It is perfect just the way it is, no need to press. When in doubt, always press to get rid of the extra moisture so you do not have mushy tofu. Mushy is not the texture you are going for.

To start, get a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil warming over medium heat in your favorite soup pot. Once the oil is warm grate in a two-inch piece of ginger and four cloves of garlic. Next, generously sprinkle in chili powder and chili flakes. Fresh sliced Serrano would be good as well but there was none in the house. How generously? That is up to you! Add in the chili to your taste. We like a little spice so I am heavy-handed.

Meanwhile shred half of a small cabbage and two bok choy. Napa cabbage would work really well here as well. I used plain old cabbage because that is what we had in the fridge. Once the aromatics have released their oils and the kitchen smells amazing, drop in the cabbage and bok choy.

Sauté until the cabbage is beginning to get tender. Then add in one pound of sliced mixed mushrooms. Use whatever you have on hand. Sauté until the mushrooms are nice and brown. Once brown, add in six cups of unsalted vegetable broth, two cups of water, one-half cup of mirin, and a few tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce. Season to taste with white pepper, black pepper and salt.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer. Once you turn the heat down, add twenty ounces of extra firm tofu cut into small cubes. Allow to simmer around thirty minutes until the flavors marry nicely. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with sriracha for a little extra heat.

Not only is this soup hearty and filling, but it will help clear your sinuses as well! Especially if you add in as much sriracha as I do!


Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies

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This is one of those great Sunday afternoon meals that take time, effort, and a little bit of tender loving care, but are well worth it in the end. The main meal is savory and soothing, then the next night have a warm and comforting soup made with the leftovers.

Preheat the oven to 475*. Make sure to remove the chicken approximately one hour prior to putting in the oven to allow it to come to room temperature. Remove the neck and innards and season well with salt and pepper inside and out.

Slice two shallots and five cloves of garlic and slide them under the skin of the chicken. Place an onion which has been quartered and a bundle of fresh thyme and oregano into the cavity. Coat the skin of the entire chicken with extra virgin olive oil.

Now for the root veggies. Clean one pound of fingerling potatoes, eight beets (reserve the greens to cook as a side dish), four turnips, and six parsnips. Peel one onion and cut into quarters. Peel and slice eight cloves of garlic. The fingerlings potatoes get cut in half. Chop all the root veggies to approximately the same size as the fingerling potatoes.  Toss everything together with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated.

Place the chicken breast side down in a large roasting pan. Arrange all the veggies around the chicken and place in the oven and roast for twenty minutes. Flip the chicken half way through.

Turn the heat down to 400* and continue to roast until a thermometer placed in the thigh reads 165*. This will take somewhere around an hour. Make sure to baste the chicken several times throughout the entire cooking time so that it stays nice and moist. No one like dry chicken! If the chicken is done before the veggies, remove and allow to rest while the veggies finish cooking. The chicken needs to rest at least twenty minutes prior to carving.

While everything is cooking, clean and rough chop the greens from the beets. Chop and saute four slices of bacon until browned. Add in the chopped beet greens and some red wine vinegar. Saute approximately fifteen minutes until tender.

When the veggies are done cooking, toss well in the chicken drippings. All that is left of the main course is to enjoy!!

After the main course has been thoroughly enjoyed, place the chicken carcass in a large stock pot with enough water to cover. Over high heat, bring to a boil for ten minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer thirty minutes.

While the carcass is simmering, chop the remaining chicken and veggies into bite size pieces. No need to add anythign else in, the leftovers should work just fine.

Strain the carcass, removing any remaining meat. Place the chicken and veggies into the stock pot and add the broth back in. Simmer fifteen minutes or so to combine the flavors and heat through. There shouldn’t be any need to season since the ingredients were already seasoned well. If needed adjust the seasoning at the end. Enjoy with some nice crusty bread.


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