Posts Tagged ‘soup’
A quick lunch with co-workers at Pescatore (Italian for fisherman).
The Smoked Salmon Sandwich was good. Not amazing, not innovative, just the smoked salmon, red onions, arugula, capers, and a generous amount lemon dill mayo. Simple and done right—enough for me to want another, to make me trust what they do, and to make me go back and try something new.
What got me excited though was the cucumber-yogurt soup. Light, fresh, with a bit of that yogurt tart. Some chives for a few fun spikes of flavor. Perfect for a hot humid day. I’m sure it’s a simple recipe; I’m going to have to hunt for one and make it for the next roommate dinner.
On a final note, the atmosphere at Pescatore is clam and pleasant. And staff actually spoke Italian. A server to two young Italian men at the table behind me and (shockingly) in the kitchen—there were actually people yelling at each other in Italian!
955 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10022
A week or two ago, the New York Times had an article about some cabbage dishes that break the stinky stereotype. Meg has been saying for months that she wants to cook more soups, so the cabbage soup recipe seemed like the perfect choice
Bess Feigenbaum’s Cabbage Soup
Adapted from The National, Manhattan
Time: 3 hours
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup minced or grated onion
1 cup peeled thinly sliced carrots
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes in purée
1 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 pounds cabbage (tough outer leaves, core and ribs removed), sliced into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons.
1/2 cup golden raisins
Fresh ground (preferably medium grind) black pepper
Sour cream, optional.
1. In a 6-quart pot over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and add garlic. Cover and cook until garlic is tender but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add onion, and sauté until translucent. Add 3 cups water, carrots, tomatoes and purée, tomato paste, ketchup, brown sugar and bay leaf. Simmer at a lively bubble for 10 minutes, then crush whole tomatoes with potato masher or fork. Continue to simmer until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
2. Using an immersion blender, or working in batches with a stand blender, process mixture until it is coarse, not puréed. Return sauce to pot and add lemon juice, cabbage ribbons and 3 cups water. Place over medium-high heat and cook at a lively simmer until cabbage is cooked to taste, from al dente to meltingly soft, 1 to 2 hours. Add 3 to 6 cups water, to thin to desired consistency. Ten minutes before serving, stir in raisins and a few twists of black pepper. If desired, garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream.
Yield: 8 servings.
I’m pretty sure that I’ve never cooked with cabbage where it takes center stage, as in this soup. Embarking on this new frontier, Meg and I decided to closely adhere to the recipe. I was excited to use this opportunity to test my eye-balling skills, figuring out how to accurately judge whole ingredients’ measurements. For example, I was a little surprised to see that only about one and a quarter small onion was needed to make a cup of diced onion.
The recipe was, all in all, fairly easy. Basically, just cut things and put them in pot and let it all cook for a while.
So…. how did it taste? Meg and I both agreed that it was WAY too sweet. Edibile, but too sweet. (Which maybe shouldn’t be a surprise given that the article the recipe comes from is Cabbage’s Sweet Side.) The recipe calls for brown sugar, ketchup, raisins, and a full cup of tomato paste–all adding to the high level of sweetness.
The soup might work better as a small part of a larger dinner, but when taking center stage, Meg and I agreed that the sweet needs to be take down a notch or two. We we next try, we are going to definitely cut the brown sugar and the ketchup. Meg also had the idea of adding in some India or Middle Easter spices. (I’m so proud of her improvisational thinking!!!) I think that with Meg’s spices this dish might be great served over rice–but only more cooking will tell!
It might not have been the best idea for the middle-of-July heat, but one day Meg woke up with what I still think was a brilliant idea: bread bowls. (Yeah, this post is being written a little after the actual events, but don’t think about it as me being lazy, think about it as an exciting time machine!) The whole summer Meg had been turning out amazing fresh breads. Her idea this day was simple: make two half-sized peasant breads, cut off the top, pull out some of the bread, insert soup, and eat.
I was excited until she told me she wanted to use canned tomato soup. Not only is it fundamentally and morally wrong to serve tomato soup without grilled cheese, but I knew we could do better. Si se puede!
My idea: beer cheese soup. Sure it was about 95 degrees out, but if people can do Christmas in July I didn’t see why we couldn’t do beer cheese soup in July.
I found two recipes online at www.foodtv.com. Each recipe had its own good things going on: The first was nice and creamy, calling for a good deal of milk. The second didn’t have the milk but it had kielbasa sausage and a roux to thicken things up (Both recipes are included below). Not wanting to miss either the creamy or the meaty, I decided to combine the deliciousness into one recipe:
The Creamy-Meaty Beer Cheese Soup
• 1/2 pound kielbasa sausage, finely chopped or processed until crumbly
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 cup minced onions
• 1/4 cup minced celery
• 2 bay leaves
• 3 tablespoons minced garlic
• 4 ounces butter
• 1/2 cup flour
• 1 (12-ounce) bottle light beer
• 4 cups chicken stock
• 2 cups whole milk
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 3 cups grated Cheddar (about 12 ounces)
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, for garnish
Cook the kielbasa in the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over high heat until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the onions, celery, salt, pepper, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until the onions are slightly caramelized, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. While the onions cook, in another large saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 4 minutes to make a blond roux. When both the roux and kielbasa mix are ready, pour the roux into the kielbasa mixture. Gradually whisk in the stock and the beer. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Gradually add the milk. Continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add the cheese a little at a time, stirring until nearly completely melted after each addition. Remove from heat and ladle into the bread bowls (When I make it again I might try to add just a bit of sherry with the beer).
The result might be one of the most densely caloric meals I’ve ever had, which was great, even in the heat of summer. But, as we approach the fall, this will become an even better choice!
Creamy Beer Cheese Soup
4 ounces butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup minced onions
1/4 cup minced celery
1 (12-ounce) bottle light beer
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups whole milk
1 pound sharp cheddar, grated
Dash hot red pepper sauce
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 4 minutes to make a blond roux. Add the onions and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 2 minutes or until the vegetables are wilted. Stir in the beer and stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Stir in the milk and cheese. Continue to cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and hot sauce. Reduce the heat and keep warm.
Meaty Beer Cheese Soup
1/2 pound kielbasa sausage, finely chopped or processed until crumbly
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons minced garlic
8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups lager beer, preferably amber
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme
3 cups grated Cheddar (about 12 ounces)
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, for garnish
Cook the kielbasa in the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over high heat until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until the onions are slightly caramelized, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the stock and the beer. Add the thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Add the cheese a little at a time, stirring until nearly completely melted after each addition. Remove from the heat, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.