Category Archives: soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

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This soup has always been a favorite of mine and I usually try to order it when it’s offered on a menu. I am a big fan of Mexican Food and have always wanted to try to make my own Chicken Tortilla Soup .This is a super easy version using a store-bought rotisserie chicken and a packet of Taco Seasoning.  Now that the weather has turned super cold it’s a perfect time for heart warming meals. I started cooking soup in the afternoon, prep was pretty quick and I let it simmer for an hour and then turned off stove while we went out. When we got home I turned on the stove and continued cooking soup. I cut up avocado, chopped up some cilantro, put sour cream and cheese into some little bowls and in less than 1/2 hour we were sitting eating this delicious and tasty soup! Joel even ate the avocado!!!! This is big!!! He loved the soup. It’s very filling.

I use crispy tortillas if that’s what I have in the house. It is delicious with soft corn tortillas sliced up and added into the soup at the end also. I love when the crunchy chips go soft in the soup with the melted cheese– I could go on and on about this soup. Tonite I used soft tortillas.

If you have the time I suggest making this soup, it is so easy with a prepared chicken or you can make your own chicken .  The prep is about 15 minutes using store-bought chicken and cooking is about 1 1/2 to 2 hours for soup.  I just think soup tastes better the longer it sits. I prefer making it in the early part of the day and letting it sit on the stove for a while.

This is a big soup and will probably serve 6-8 nicely. I have a container in my freezer and 4 of us ate this soup.

Look for my slow cooker version also on my blog.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 Rotisserie Chicken from your favorite supermarket

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Packet of Taco Seasoning — this is really easy , use whatever brand you like

1 cup diced onion

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 diced green pepper

1 diced yellow, red or orange pepper

1 10 oz. can  Rotel brand Tomatoes and Green Chiles–just a suggestion

1 can enchilada sauce– green or red ( in Mexican Food section of your supermarket) its a small sized can

1 15 oz. can of whole-kernel corn  – drained

32 ounces Chicken Broth

3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

4 cups hot water

2 cans Black Beans , drained and rinsed unless they’re organic and then you don’t have to rinse but I always do anyway

3 Tablespoons Cornmeal –mixed with water ( see instructions)

5 Soft Corn Tortillas (I use the small ones) cut into uniform strips or crunchy tortilla chips–use as many or as little as you like–or skip all together for a lighter version.

Toppings:

*optional and use whatever you like — these are just some suggestions

Sour Cream

Cilantro

Grated Cheese –Monterey Jack is a good choice here or Mexican Blend Grated Cheese

Cut-Up Avocado

Salsa or Pico De Gallo

Diced Red Onion

Diced Fresh Jalapeno

Hot Sauce like Cholula is my favorite go to sauce

Directions:

I took skin off chicken and shredded most of the chicken meat.

Heat 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil in a large Pot –dutch oven is great here (Le Creuset) add onions, peppers, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the packet of Taco Seasonings if it’s very dry and hard to stir you can add a little more olive oil. Add in the shredded chicken and stir it all up.

Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, enchilada sauce, water , black beans and corn. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for app. 45 minutes to an hour, uncovered.

In a little bowl mix 3 cornmeal with a small amount of water , just enough to mix it into a paste like consistency. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes at least, I cooked for another hour. I always believe the soup is best when it sits for a long time.

Check seasonings, adding more salt if you need it , I added kosher salt because I felt it needed it. Taste has to be your guide but be sure not to undersalt, you don’t want this to be bland. Turn off heat and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.

Five minutes before serving, gently stir in the tortilla strips if you’re using them.

Ladle into bowls, then top with your favorite toppings and there you go! I think the chips/tortillas make this soup along with the cilantro and avocado. Let your taste be your guide here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup (no cream)

This is by far one of my most favorite recipes ever! Super Easy and Super Delicious and did I mention Super Easy?

It’s definitely fall and my first soup of the season  is almost always butternut squash soup. I’ve simplified the recipe along the way so that now it is just the way Joel and I like it. it’s pretty easy as long as you buy the squash pre – cut (available in every supermarket, and corner produce store). I just made my first batch of the season, and the squash is sweet and delicious. I always add a little butter to it, but you can totally leave it out. It tastes so creamy you’ll swear there’s cream in it, but really, there is none.  I love a little freshly grated nutmeg in it too, but you can certainly just sprinkle in a very little bit of already grated nutmeg. I hope your family and friends enjoy this as much as my family does! It’s always on my table for Thanksgiving. A delightful way to start a dinner, or a delicious main dish served alongside  a beautiful salad and bread. This can easily be made vegetarian by substituting chicken broth for vegetable broth, which is how I make it on Thanksgiving for Kerri, who is vegetarian.

Ingredients:

4 pkgs. (approx. 4 lbs.) butternut squash (it’s doesn’t have to be exact)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large spanish onion, chopped

8 – 10 cups chicken or vegetable broth

*1 -2 tablespoons unsalted butter (for this serving size, I use 2 but it’s totally optional)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

*use whole nutmeg – you just grate a little in for flavor. I always tend to use whole, but grated will do. It’s just a touch of it–if I had to guess, I’d say 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon depending on your taste

*if you really want to top it off with a touch of cream you can . Just add a little heavy cream to the soup and blend it right in at the end. Honestly it’s not necessary but it def adds a a layer of richness!

Directions:

In a heavy Le Creuset (or any other ample size large pot), I heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is heated, put in onion and about 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt. Sweat out the onions until they are translucent (approx. 5 – 8 minutes). If you’re using the butter, add it now too. I then add all of the butternut squash and mix the onions, oil and butter as best I can all over the squash. Next, add enough broth to cover the squash (I used approx. 10 cups of chicken broth to cover). I keep the remaining half a box of broth in case I need it later. Return to a low boil, then bring to a simmer. I let it cook a very long time–at least an hour until soft–and then I turn off the heat and let it sit for a while. I like to make it early and let it sit for as long as possible, because the squash gets very soft. Then right before I am about to serve, I use an immersion blender and blend it into a beautiful smooth soup. If you need more broth, add it as you blend. This is also your salt, pepper and nutmeg moment. Season to taste and blend just until smooth. I leave it in the pot until I need it and then gently warm it up. This soup will keep in the fridge for a few days. It can be frozen as well. Upon defrosting you may need to add more broth. Sometimes I serve this soup with beautiful croutons if I can find them in specialty stores, but it is delicious and beautiful on its own, and very good for you! My family loves it , and I hope yours does too.

*should serve 10 – 12 as appetizer

Green Pea Soup from Bergdorf Goodman – Happy St. Patricks Day

IMG_7457IMG_7459IMG_7455 IMG_7466 IMG_7469Let’s celebrate St. Patricks Day with this delicious green soup! The first time I had this soup was downstairs in BG and I thought to myself I must re-create this delicious light soup. Low and behold along came *The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook which included this delicious recipe.   My two favorite items to order on the BG menu are the Gotham Salad and  the Green Pea Soup and they are both right there in this wonderful little cookbook. There are many other delightful recipes in the book as well which make it a worthwhile purchase. The shocking part of this delicious soup was the addition of a sweet potato and soy sauce. I didn’t see that coming, I would have made it without either of those two items. The soy sauce adds an intense layer of flavor and the potato gives it some real texture. Blend well. I used my high-speed blender for this .

*The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook by Laura Silverman–available through Amazon or Bergdorf Goodman

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1 whole sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1 Tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, if you have white pepper use it but I didn’t so I used black

3 3/4 cups chicken stock

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 lb. fresh or frozen , thawed green peas. I used one whole bag of frozen green peas.

1/2 cup chopped fresh flat parsley

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat and sauté the onion, celery, carrots, sweet potato, garlic, salt and pepper until the vegetables are tender but not brown. I let it cook down for about 1/2 hour.

Add the stock and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Stir in the peas and just blanch them for a minute.

Turn off the heat. Cool slightly, then add the parsley ( don’t omit the fresh parsley, please) Taste for Salt but I found it was just right with the 1 teaspoon.

In a blender or food processor, do it in batches ( I did it in 3) , puree all the ingredients until smooth. Serve warm!

Love the taste and enjoy all the healthy benefits!!!

*can be made vegan with vegetable stock

Mushroom Barley Soup (can be vegetarian)

I have the funniest story about me and this soup. The first time I made it, I received the recipe from a friend. I didn’t see that it said .5 lbs. of mushrooms and I thought it was 5 lbs! So you can only imagine how much chopping I was doing. I had never seen a recipe say .5 instead of 1/2 lb! Joel happened to be in the kitchen and he kept saying that is an awful lot of mushrooms, and until I looked at it carefully I hadn’t seen that it said .5 . Who writes .5 ? Well, we had enough mushroom barley soup for the whole winter and then some–it expanded to a huge amount, and I had to keep adding liquid, it was hysterical. Once I realized what I had done, I had a good laugh, but the soup was still pretty tasty. I will write it it the way it should be and I doubt you’ll be making that same mistake any time soon. This is a very tasty , deeply robust soup, very healthy rendition of Mushroom Barley Soup. (and I always wear my reading glasses when I read a recipe now because you never know when you really need to see the difference between .5 and 5! )

Ingredients: 

1/3 cup dried mushrooms, like porcini

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

12 medium carrots, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 lb. of white mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1/2 lb. of shitake, cremini, portabello or other mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1/2 lb. of whole barley( I had to use pearl barley because that’s what I had in house, it’s fine) I just used 1/2 a bag. Don’t worry over exact measurements here, just eyeball it. If you have a scale, you can measre it exactly, I just halved the bag.

6 cups of beef broth (vegetarians can use vegetable broth)  and you will need the other 2 cups in the box if you are using boxed broth. You will need 8 cups total, just start out with 6.

3 tablespoons sherry

* 1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar – I like this and add it before I serve it. It’s no biggie if you don’t want to use or don’t have it.

Directions:

Cover dried mushrooms with 1 cup of  hot water and set aside for 20 minutes. Reserve the liquid and finely chop mushrooms.

Heat oil in heavy bottom pot (Le Creuset).

Saute onions and carrots over medium heat until onions begin to turn golden and transparent. Add garlic and saute for a minute. I always throw a bit of kosher salt and pepper in while veggies saute. Just a bit, you’ll taste for Salt and Pepper later.

Add fresh mushrooms(dried ones as well)  and saute for about 5 minutes until mushrooms release their water. Raise the heat and add the barley. Saute until barley begins to color. Add broth and sherry. Add mushroom soaking liquid to pot. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Soup will start to naturally thicken as barley plumps up, if you need to add more liquid either water or broth will be just fine.  Simmer for about an hour, you will probably need more liquid, I always add the other 2 cups of broth, and I add water then if it is still too thick, play it by ear. I also add additional Salt and Pepper at this point, you will have to adjust to your own personal taste.  Add vinegar right before serving, if you are using it.  Serve with nice crusty bread! Enjoy!

This makes for a delightful lunch meal with a salad and bread. I also make this in the morning , put whole pot in fridge ( once it cools down) and right before dinner heat it up. This gives flavors time to meld together, and then if you need to add more liquid  you will add water since you’ve already added the additional 2 cups of broth. Freezes up beautifully, and exactly what I will do, because whole family will be coming to visit at the end of week, Yeah!!!! 🙂 🙂

White Bean and Tomatoes with Veggies Soup- can be vegetarian

photo (2)photo (2)photo (2)photo (2)photo (5)I decided to take a little bit different spin on my usual vegetable soup.  I did use chicken stock but you can certainly keep this completely vegetarian with vegetable stock. Play around with it and use whatever ingredients you like and whatever vegetables and stock suit your tastes best. This was delicious and heartwarming,  we ate some and froze the rest for another time. This should stay frozen for about 3 months in freezer. When you defrost you’ll thin out with a little stock while heating it up. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic , chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

1 can yellow corn, drained ( 15 oz. can)

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

5 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth

2 15 oz. cans of white beans, drained and rinsed I used Cannellini but butter beans would be nice too, any white bean would work here

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried thyme

5 – 6 small red potatoes , cut into small pieces (had them in the house and they added a really nice flavor)

*fresh kale , rib removed and torn into small pieces.  This is totally optional, I had some kale on hand and decided to use it. Spinach would also be delicious.

Directions:

In a large stock pot ( Le Creuset) over medium heat , saute onion and garlic until tender and onion is translucent , approximately 5 minutes or so. Stir in carrots and corn, season with salt and pepper. I just throw in some kosher salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill. You will taste for salt and pepper towards the end , so don’t worry about seasonings. Cook carrots and corn for a few more minutes, give it a few stirs. Pour in chicken broth, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, and thyme. Bring soup to a low boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for app. one hour.

Separate soup into 2 equal portions, I just took out 1/2 of the soup into another bowl. Allow soup to cool to room temperature, once cooled down sufficiently puree  the half that you took out in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return that pureed batch to the remaining soup in stockpot and heat until warmed through. Adjust your seasonings with salt and pepper as needed. If soup appears to be very thick you can thin it out with a little water or broth, add a little at a time. I also added some fresh kale at this time, I removed the rib and tore the leaves into small pieces.  This is totally optional, but since I had the kale I figured I would. Serve hot with a nice crusty bread . I love the pretzel rolls from Whole Foods, check them out.

Creamy Tomato Soup with Parmesan Crisps

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Parmesan Crisps with Tomato Soup

 

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Soup at the beginning of the cooking process

 

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Parmesan Crisps

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Tube of Tomato Paste–I love the tubes

FullSizeRender (27) FullSizeRender (26)FullSizeRender (23) FullSizeRender (24)One of our most favorite soups is Tomato Soup. I love the creaminess in this soup and the texture and tang of the tomatoes. I added parmesan crisps to the top which only add another layer of “deliciousness” to the soup. I did add 1/2 cup of heavy cream mostly because I had it in the house but also because over the whole recipe it’s just a little bit of richness that goes a very long way. I suppose you can omit it but I wouldn’t. We loved it just the way it was and I have 2 large containers that went into the freezer for another night’s meal. The parmesan crisps are super easy and all you’ll need is some grated parmesan. Croutons would work well as well.

*you’ll need an immersion blender and a Dutch Oven type of pot with a tight fitting lid.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter

1 whole onion, finely diced

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 minced garlic clove

3 whole Large Carrots, Peeled and finely diced

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste–the tubes make life so nice and easy

3 Cans Whole Tomatoes — 28 oz. each–Italian whole plum tomatoes with their juices

32 ounces , Vegetable or Chicken Broth

1 cup water

1/2 cups Heavy Cream

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil ( approximate amount) you can eyeball and you can use more for garnish if you’d like

Grated Parmesan if you want to make the Parmesan Crisps (recipe to follow soup recipe)

Directions:

In a large Dutch Oven kind of pot ( Le Creuset) , heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat, then add onion, garlic and carrots. Stir and cook till vegetables soften but be careful not to burn the garlic and onions. This will take app. 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and incorporate it into the vegetables with a wooden spoon. Cook for another 3 minutes or so.

Add canned tomatoes with their juice, broth and water. Stir together and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for at least 30 minutes. I had time so I allowed it to simmer for about an hour. The longer the better.

I then turned heat off and allowed to cool for a few minutes before using immersion blender. Be careful because hot soup can burn. I gave it a quick few minutes with the immersion blender , the tomatoes completely broke down because they had cooked so long. You can leave some texture in the tomatoes if you like chunkier pieces.

Add the cream, salt and pepper to taste, I used about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and about 12 grinds on the pepper mill. You should taste for salt to your own particular taste. Add the basil and simmer for another 5 minutes or so. I then topped with parmesan crisps and they just kind of melted in to the soup which was just divine.

Parmesan Crisps:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1 heaping Tablespoon of Grated Parmesan onto a silicone or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Pat each teaspoon down a little, leave about 1/2″ apart. Cook for  3- 5 minutes till edges turn brown and crisps are golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes and lift off cookie sheet.

Winter Cabbage Soup with Veggies

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Skiing on Aspen Mountain

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Simmering Soup

Because this has a lot of cabbage I am calling it Cabbage Soup but it’s really a tomato based Vegetable Soup with a lot of cabbage — 1/2 head of cabbage. I love it and it’s very tasty and delicious. Heart warming on these cold winter nights. A perfect lunch meal or dinner alongside a salad with some toasty crunchy bread for dipping. This is what I did.

P.S. Vegan and Gluten Free for those who care

Ingredients:

1 large yellow onion , chopped

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 Tsp. Kosher Salt– you may want to add more it’s up to your taste– I added more

4 medium carrots, cut into small pieces

4 ribs of celery, cut into small pieces

5 cups of Vegetable Stock and if you don’t care about the Vegan thing add Chicken Broth –you can also just use plain old fashioned Water if you don’t have Broth in the house . The broth adds a little more flavor for sure.

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

1/2 of a smallish head of cabbage– if it’s a large head use a little less

2 Tsp. of chopped fresh Rosemary

2 15 oz. cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Grated Parmesan for Serving

Directions:

Chop the onion. In a very large pot, ( think Le Creuset large Dutch Oven) heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp. of the salt and cook the onions down till they’re translucent ( lower heat if necessary because we don’t want any burning here) Cook until soft and translucent about 5 minutes.

While the onion is cooking down, cut the carrots and celery into small pieces. Add to the pot and cook along with onions till softened about 6- 10 minutes on a low flame.

Add the finely chopped garlic to the pot and cook for a minute or so

Add the tomatoes and 5 cups of broth ( you’ll probably have to add more broth or water as the soup cooks ) Break the tomatoes up with your wooden spoon and let this come to a low boil.

Shred the cabbage and chop the rosemary. Add the cabbage and rosemary, drained beans, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and the remaining 1 tsp. of kosher salt to the pot. Partially cover with a lid allowing some steam to escape, reduce the heat to a simmer until the vegetables are tender. I definitely cooked for an hour or so, I like to cook my soups for a long while. You’ll have to check on it for more salt and more liquid.  I definitely added more salt and more broth as I went along.

Serve topped with grated Parmesan Cheese if you’d like .

Enjoy!

 

 

Winter Veggie Soup with Barley and Turkey Sausage (optional)

photo 1 (29)photo 3 (17)photo 5 (14)It’s beginning to feel a lot like winter here in the Northeast. What better way to warm up then with a bowl of soup? Helps warm the body and soul. I  went totally crazy with the vegetables and I cut up everything that was in my fridge and what I bought in the supermarket. I realize that this is a lot of vegetables and a lot of cleaning and chopping but so worthwhile. I added spicy turkey sausage but if you would like you can keep this totally vegetarian, and vegan if you leave out the cheese rinds. The magic ingredient in this soup is the “cheese rind” it adds another dimension to this soup for sure. I just cut off the end (rind) of the parmesan cheese hunk of cheese! Amazing flavor!!!!

I used vegetable broth because I had it, you can use chicken broth as well.

This is what I did.

Don’t be put off by the shopping list and the chopping. You, your family and friends will be forever grateful.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 sweet or spicy turkey sausages ( large ones)

1 cup pearled barley

8 cups vegetable or chicken broth

2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into app. 1/2″ thick rounds, cut however you like, I just like to taste a piece of carrot in my soup

2 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1/2″ thick rounds as well

2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch slices , leave the skin on

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced ( don’t omit this , it adds amazing flavor)

1 medium leek, thinly sliced and washed well

One bunch of Swiss Chard, remove the center stem and chop leaves

1 Parmesan Cheese rind, optional

1 dried bay leaf

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped chives , I didn’t have fresh which I recommend but I used dried, it’s really OK if you omit , just adds one more layer of flavor to the soup.

Directions:

In a large stockpot ( Le Creuset), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon into small pieces, I like to brown the sausage, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the barley and stir constantly until it is lightly browned, app. 3 – 4 minutes. Add the broth, carrots, parsnips, zucchini, fennel, leeks, chard , bay leaf and cheese rind. About 1 teaspoon kosher salt and about 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. You will taste for salt and pepper again at the end. Bring the whole thing to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered until the barley is tender . I cooked for about an hour.

Remove the rind and bay leaf and discard after the first hour. Season the soup with remaining S & P if desired. You may also want to add a little liquid if it’s too thick, you can add more broth or just some water will work as well.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cooked sausage and chopped chives.

Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Balls

Italian Wedding Soup with Chicken Balls

this is one of my absolute favorite recipes–one of my top ten.  It is a soup , which is also a full meal. It is hearty and pretty healthy.  It is one of my staples from September through April. It freezes well and you can just take it out of the freezer the night before, and you’ll have a wonderful meal the next evening. When you defrost it you will probably want to add broth/water to it. add a little at a time till you get the consisitency you like. Enjoy:)

Ingredients: chicken balls

1 lb. ground chicken

1/2 lb chicken sausage, casings removed

3 slices whole wheat bread for bread crumbs ( I put into food proccesor with steel blade for crumbs) i remove crusts . should be app. 1 cup of bread crumbs

2 teaspoons minced garlic ( 2 – 3 cloves)

1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano ( fresh is best) but whatever you have will do

1/4 cup grated Parmesan ( again nothing beats fresh) but whatever you have will do here as well

3 tablespoons milk

1 extra large egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Soup Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small -medium yellow onion minced

1 cup diced carrots ( 3 )

1 cup diced celery (2 stalks)

10 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup dry white wine( use whatever you have open)

1 cup small pasta tubetini, ditalini, stars, etc.

5 ounces fresh spinach, washed and trimmed

*fresh dill ( I love the flavor) add at your own discretion about 1/4 cup minced fresh dill.

Directions:

preheat the oven to 350 degrees  put parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

for the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage,bread crumbs, garlic, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, salt and pepper  all in a bowl and mix well with a fork.  I use a teaspoon, and make 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls and drop onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet. you should have about 30 to 40 small balls. bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. set them aside. (I made about 30 balls, they were a little larger this time out)

For the Soup:

 heat the olive oil over medium – low heat in a large heavy bottomed soup pot ( Le Creuset type pot) Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, about 10 minutes, don’t brown. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil, at this point I let soup cook a while to soften the vegetables, app. 1 hour. ( a low simmer) if you’re in a hurry you can probably do the whole soup in 1/2 hour , veggies will be soft enough to eat. if some of the liquid evaporates you can always add a little more broth.

chicken balls out of the ovenItalian Wedding Soup cooking

 Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook another 6 – 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the meatballs and simmer for another minute or so. taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for another minute or so, the spinach will just wilt. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Corn and Tomato Soup – no cream

DSCN0358DSCN0382DSCN0381The corn is so delicious right now that I had to make this soup. I was going to save this recipe for the Fall but I used the fresh Olathe corn at the market now and couldn’t wait to share. When the corn is not as fresh and sweet you can definitely use frozen . I used fresh tomatoes from the farmers market and fresh Olathe corn ( local in Colorado) but I happen to know Long Island has particularly good sweet local corn. So while the getting is good and you can get fresh vegetables please do so. Farm to Table here we go again.

I made this soup for dinner as an appetizer. I think it would be good cold but I prefer it warm.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots , coarsely chopped or 1 large one

1 teaspoon kosher salt ( more to taste)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ( more to taste)

3 1/4 cups corn, or 1 lb. bag of frozen corn thawed it’s approximately 5 – 6 ears of fresh corn

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian

2 beautiful medium size tomatoes, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces*

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn

Directions:

In a large dutch oven ( Le Creuset) type of pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, salt and pepper, cook stirring occasionally until shallots are soft, app. 5 minutes. While this is going on cook up the corn as follows.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and just cook corn till it turns yellow for 1-2 minutes, then I throw into an ice bath to stop the cooking. When corn is cooled down cut kernels off cobs.

Place the cooked shallots, corn and chicken stock into the blender.

Pour the corn mixture back into the pot. Bring the mixture to a low simmer , cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, just to heat through.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tomatoes and basil, let it cook for another 10 minutes or so.  Taste for Salt and Pepper.

Ladle into soup bowls and serve!

*to seed the tomatoes, cut them in 1/2 horizontally and using a small dessert spoon, scoop out the seed and discard. The seeds make the soup too watery.