Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Soupa Avgolemono

Soupa Avgolemono is one of the most basic soups there is. The Greeks were downright brilliant when they came up with this one. My mother used to make this when I was a child, her recipe having come from either the Bozakis' or the Zanikos', no real idea which family.

Mom always made it with orzo, but this version has rice in it just because I didn't have orzo on-hand. I like mine rather lemony so I use a third cup of fresh lemon juice as opposed to the more standard 3 tablespoons. I also don't like too much rice or pasta, so the amount there is a bit lower than most.

Soupa Avgolemono
Printable Recipe
Ready in 25 minutes
Serves 4

6 cups good quality chicken broth
1/2 cup uncooked rice
2 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Bring broth to a boil and add rice. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until rice is tender. (Less time for pasta).
Whisk together eggs and lemon juice in a small bowl. Pour in a ladleful of hot stock very slowly, whisking all the while, to temper the eggs so they will not beome scrambled eggs when added into the soup.
Pour into the soup, whisking as you do, and cook for several minutes, stirring constantly.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Garden Vegetable Soup

Take your favorite garden-fresh veggies, toss them into good quality stock, spike it with a few favorite herbs and, voila! Vegetable soup. Easy as that? Yep, easy as that.

I left out starchy veggies here, opting for the ones that are my personal favorites, and this turned out to be exactly what I wanted. It was not heavy, but still hearty enough on its own. I think a crumbling of fresh goat cheese would be absolutely perfect on this - or even a grating of fresh Parmesan. Either way, it's simple and full of vitamins and fiber.

Garden Vegetable Soup
Printable Recipe
Ready in 45 minutes
Serves 6

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion (I like red) diced
1 red pepper - diced
1 green pepper - diced
1 small bunch green onions - sliced, green and white parts
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 stalks celery - diced
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups fresh green beans - cut into 1-inch lengths
2 small carrots - peeled and diced
2 small zucchini - diced
6 plum tomatoes - peeled, seeded and diced
1 Tablespoon freshly snipped dill
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
sea or Kosher salt to taste
freshly ground pepper
cheese or fresh herbs for serving, if desired

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, peppers, celery and garlic and cook until vegetables begin to sweat.
Pour in stock and add carrots and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce immediately to a simmer.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add zucchini, tomatoes and herbs. Simmer for another 20 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve topped with cheese if desired.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Chilled Vegetable Soup

Close to Gazpacho, but with a few subtle differences, this soup is refreshing and full of flavor. Even my 3 year-old couldn't stop eating it.

Rather than puree as the gazpacho is made, I've left the vegetables in tiny little chunks. I like the bite to it and the allspice adds a depth of flavor that I really love.

Chilled Vegetable Soup
Printable Recipe
Ready In: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

1 small cucumber
1 small zucchini
2 ribs celery
1/2 small Spanish onion
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
2 green onions - white and green parts
2 medium tomatoes - peeled, seeded and diced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 clove garlic
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon freshly snipped dill
1 Tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Extra vegetables and herbs for garnish

Peel, seed and cut all vegetables into very fine dice (first 8 ingredients). Toss together in a large bowl.
Stir together tomato paste and water or stock and add to veggies. Toss in all seasonings (last 6 ingredients) and stir until well combined. Chill overnight or for at least 4 hours so flavors will blend. Serve with reserved chopped veggies and herbs
on top.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Turkey Club Soup

Another delicious American institution is the Turkey Club. Smoked turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato and just the right amount of mayo sandwiched between two slices of toasted bread. I think I ordered this one during my teen years more than any other and I have a few kids who order it when we dine out as, as well. As a soup it's just as yummy. Lettuce isn't all that appealing to many once cooked, so I used celery to add some color and green flavor to this and it worked really well.

Turkey Club Soup
Printable Recipe
Ready In: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

1/2 pound bacon - cooked crisp
2 Tablespoons bacon grease
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 cup celery - finely diced
1 cup diced tomato - I like grape tomatoes for their intense flavor
1 pound smoked turkey - diced large
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled bacon, diced tomato and toasted bread squares for garnish

Crumble bacon and set aside.
In a medium soup pot, cook bacon grease and flour together briefly.
Add celery and cook for 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in tomato and turkey - cook for another 5 minutes.
Pour in cream and stir well - add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with crumbled bacon, diced tomato and tiny toasted bread squares on top.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chili Cheese Dog Soup

One of America's favorite foods is the chili dog. In my family, it's the chili cheese dog. The kids loved this soup - minced onions and all. The bowl in the photo is garnished with ketchup, mustard and cheese, but you can add any condiment you usually like on your hot dog.

Chili Cheese Dog Soup
Printable Recipe
Ready In: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion - minced
1 pound lean ground beef
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 packet Goya Sazon with cilantro (orange packet)
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic - minced
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups beef stock
1 pound all beef hot dogs - cut into thin slices.
2 cups shredded cheddar

Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat and add oil.
Cook onion in oil until translucent. Add beef and cook until browned. Drain excess oil.
Add in tomato paste and seasonings. Stir until well combined.
Pour in stock and stir well. Add hot dogs and simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in cheese until smooth.
Serve topped with ketchup, mustard, cheese, onions, relish or any other hot dog condiment you like!