Kate's Recipe Book

February 16, 2011

Split and Green Pea Soup

Filed under: Soup — Kate @ 11:53 am

My mom made some soup while we were visiting home, from this recipe.  So I tried it myself.  Here’s how it went for us:

Get a big pot and put olive oil to cover the bottom, then fry a whole bunch of leeks (most of two average sized ones, probably, but Jonathan brought home a very masculine looking huge monster of a leek this time), and a couple of bay leaves.  When they’ve gone translucent, or maybe even browned a bit, throw in 2 cups of dried split peas, coat, then 11 or 12 cups of broth.  We used boullion cubes according to directions and it came out much too salty to our taste, so next time I’d use fewer cubes, or a different source of broth.  Cook around half an hour, till the peas are chewable but still have texture, or however you like them.  Then, in the blender, put in two cups of frozen peas (I defrosted them but I doubt you need to), an entire package of fresh dill, minus a bit saved to garnish, and a cup or two of the soup solids and enough of the soup liquid to keep things lubricated.  Blend it all up, which creates an electric green goop (keep in mind for a hallowe’en party), which you should add to the soup.  I had some dill and yogurt on top.  Yum!

Next time I might try making more of the blender goop per amount of soup, or using less broth overall to make it a thicker soup.  I also really love the electric green colour.  The split peas sit in the bottom of the bowl, so with too much broth it’s kind of like fishing.  I think my mom added a few frozen peas to the soup whole, as well.  I bet you could make it a cool looking soup by adding the goop to each bowl, together with yogurt, in a swirl, then putting the dill on top of that.  We’re not so fancy in these parts, though.

September 26, 2010

Pumpkins According to Mistress La Spliffe

Filed under: Main dish,Sauce,Soup — Tags: , — Kate @ 9:22 am

Mistresse La Spliffe writes about pumpkins and I find I want to rush out and buy many.  Yesterday was a culinary disaster: a very complicated method of making dirty dishes, is what it amounted to.  But I’m hopeful the next adventure will involve pumpkins.  Here’s what she writes, in entirety, with permission:

“Pumpkin is a beautiful and generous thing, and makes a sauce with a versatility approaching tomato sauce. If I said that in front of my family, whose pumpkin techniques are limited quite strictly to casseroles or frittelle, I don’t know whether they’d laugh or smack me one, but I do feel it’s true. While tomato sauce can give you degrees of what I consider a feminine sharpness, acidity, and clarity, running the gamut from invigorating to heartburn, pumpkin sauce gives you a gamut I imagine as masculine, from strongly comforting and fortifying to stolid.

“I suppose if God held a gun to my head and told me to choose, I’d choose tomato; pasta in tomato sauce is my eternal comfort food, and I don’t think the world has ever come up with anything lacking animal flesh in it that’s quite as good as gazpacho. But I’d miss the pumpkin fiercely, and part of that is because the truth is a tomato sauce or gazpacho can be ruined, while a pumpkin sauce can be poor in relation to other pumpkin sauces but it will seldom be a disaster – unless you simply don’t like it.

“Here’s the process, it’s basically the same as the process for pumpkin soup, and applies to most varieties of pumpkin I’ve came across.

“1. Fry your base (onions, garlic, the white part of leeks, celery, maybe some seedy herbs, like cumin or coriander seeds, or peppercorns, or whatever your taste runs to). Pumpkin takes kindly to a base fried in butter if you’re not averse to heavier flavours.

“2a. Once the base is sizzling enthusiastically add chunks of peeled, diced pumpkin and fry them for awhile (do yourself a favour and bake the pumpkin for ten minutes ahead of time, and then the skin lifts off quite easily with a normal veggie peeler.)

“2b.You also have the option of splitting the pumpkin down the middle, roasting it at high heat face-down in an oiled tray, and then scooping out the cooked flesh after about half an hour. I like doing that because I think it makes it rather sweeter, but it depends on your tastes; it also tends to make it heavier.

“3. Once the chunks have fried for awhile, or immediately if you have used roasted pumpkin flesh, add water or something else wet, translucent and inoffensive, just enough to cover. Anything from a rich meat broth through a veg broth back to water. Once again it’s a question of your tastes.

“4a. If you have used raw pumpkin chunks, cover and boil at medium heat until the chunks are tender, and puree – then you’re fundamentally done.

“4b. If you have used roasted pumpkin, you can puree immediately, but I suggest leaving it on low heat for ten minutes or so to make sure it’s all melded, if that makes sense.

“And there you go. More liquid gets you a pumpkin soup, less gets you a highly goopy sauce that is very nice for pizzas, especially paired with stinky cheese. Whether soup or sauce, this base also takes very kindly to the addition of curry paste to taste. It is also lovely with roasted red pepper pureed into it towards the end of the cooking; you can stick one or two in to roast at the same time as the pumpkin halves, if you go the roasting route. Green herbs should go in at the end, after removing it from the heat.

“It also takes well to the addition of cheese, but to avoid clumps and ugliness mix in the cheese in the form of a bechamel-based cheese sauce.

“As a soup, it works well either on its own or with the addition of other features, like (pre-cooked!) chick peas, or chunks of potato, shrimp, or white fish cooked directly in it. During this last shitty winter, I made a big batch of it every other week, in alternation with tomato sauce, and then froze it in jars that were just big enough to serve as a base for a quick but hearty and delicious soup for two in the evenings, so long as one or the other of us remembered to take out a jar to defrost in the mornings.

“Finally it can be enriched either with cream out of cows or goats, or with milk out of coconuts. In either case it should be added after the soup or sauce has been pureed and taken off the heat, or, if you freeze it in batches, after it has been defrosted and re-heated.”

January 7, 2010

Tortilla Soup with Chicken and Lime

Filed under: Soup — Tags: , — Kate @ 11:55 am

This is Tortilla Soup I made with Meg last year sometime and really enjoyed.  The link was here: http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,1749,156188-230192,00.html

3 c. chicken stock
1 each lime, juice of
1/4 c. tomato juice
1/2 each Jalapeno, chopped
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
1 each green onion, chopped
1/4 lb. chicken breast, boneless and skinless
1 6 in. yellow corn tortilla
1 6 in. blue corn tortilla
1 6 in. red chile corn tortilla
2 c. corn oil
1/4 c. hominy (cooked)
1 each Avocado (diced small)
1/2 c. Queso Asadero or Jack cheese (shredded)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Salt to taste

Simmer chicken stock, tomato and lime juices with the jalapeno, cilantro and green onion for 45 minutes. While simmering; grill the chicken until cooked all of the way through, then dice into small cubes. Heat corn oil in a sauce pot to 360 degrees. Cut tortillas into small julienne strips and cook in the corn oil until crispy. Strain soup and place in cups with the diced chicken and hominy. Place the tortilla strips, diced Avocado and shredded cheese on a side plate to be added by the guests as desired.

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