Have you tried any of these recipes?

Have you tried any of these recipes? If you have, please leave a comment to let me know how it worked for you and if you suggest any changes!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Creamy Pea Soup

There is something about eating brilliant colors that intrigues me.   Egg yolks, carrots, merlot.....  And trust me, the greenest green you're going to eat all week is going to be this pea soup.  Hmmm.  It is a lot prettier in person.

The color of spring
A dash of summer's flavors
Keeps me through winter

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 lbs frozen peas (about 4 1/2 cups), partially thawed at room temp. 10 min.
  • 12 leaves of Boston lettuce from 1 small head, washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat butter in large saucepan over low heat until foaming.  Add leeks and cook, covered, until softened, 8 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.  Stirring constantly, gradually ad chicken broth.  Increase heat to high and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium0low and simmer 3-5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in workbowl of food processor fitted with steel blade, process partially thawed peas until coarsely chopped, about 20 seconds.  Add peas and lettuce to simmering broth.  Increase heat to medium-high, cover, and return to simmer; simmer for 3 minutes.  Uncover and reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer 2 minutes longer.
  4. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth.  Return pureed mixture to saucepan and stir in cream.  Warm soup over low heat until hot, about 3 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately. 

I enjoyed mine with bread and butter.  I can't wait for the leftovers!  I think I'll try it mixed with rotini noodles and sauteed broccoli and mushrooms for a warm pasta salad.

Recipe from Cooks Illustrated Soup and Stew 2011 issue.

Italian Lentil and Escarole Soup

The wind is blowing, the snow is coming down, and it is time to warm yourselves inside with a hearty, healthy, colorful soup.  One that goes well with a glass of wine is a plus!  And so..... a delicious lentil soup:  I love finding new ways to use lentils.  While soup isn't really a new way, this tasty soup makes eating lentils in the winter seem like a much fresher experience.  And the escarole in this soup was a stroke of genius!
I like escarole
I hate throwing away cheese
Perfect solution.

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • a couple of carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • a couple of celery ribs, diced
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz french green lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Parmesan cheese rind (about 4x2 inches)
  • 1 head escarole, chopped
  1. Combine the oil, carrot, onion, celery, garlic, parsley, and 3/4 tsp of salt in a heavy-bottomed, large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are quite soft, dramatically reduced in volume, and very lightly browned, 17 to 20 minuts.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high and add tomatoes, lentils, chicken broth, 3 cups water, bay leaves, and Parmesan rind; bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer until lentils are soft, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Stir in the escarole and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately in warmed bowls, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
I had never thought about using a rind of cheese this way (make sure it is a nice dark one, and isn't a piave or another parmesan substitute), nor was I big on stirring lettuce into soups, but this worked really well.  And any chance to drizzle good olive oil over something has me in raptures.  This does take quite a while to make.  Including chopping and cooking the lentils, two hours start to finish.

Recipe from Cooks Illustrated, Soups and Stews, 2011.
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