Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This version is from the Whitewater Cooks: At Home cookbook. I couldn't find it on Amazon but the other Whitewater cookbook is on my list on the right. -->

1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
1 1/2 cups onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
28 oz can tomatoes, drained (I didn't drain them)
2 tbsp masa harina (I had to use regular flour)
4 cups chicken stock (veggie stock would be ok too)
1 cup water
1 lb chicken breasts, cut in bite size pieces
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
I also added cumin, coriander, chili powder, a tbsp taco spice mix, and oregano to taste.

Saute onion, garlic, 1/2 cup cilantro in 2 tbsp oil over medium heat for 10 minutes, until brown.

Put sauteed mixture in food processor, add tomatoes, and puree until smooth.

Add 2 tbsp more oil in the pan and return the onion/tomato mixture to the pan.

Add flour and spices and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add stock and water and bring to boil.

Add raw chicken and simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

Check seasonings, salt and pepper.

Serve with the following toppings.

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, diced
1 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
Juice of two limes

2-3 corn or flour tortillas, cut into thin, 2" long strips and then fried in small batches in 1/4 -1/2 cup oil, in deep frying pan. Drain on paper towel.

Serves 8.

Tuscan Harvest Soup

Here's another wonderful recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant: Cooking For Health cookbook. This recipe is just a teaser - please go buy the book by clicking on the link to the right.

I followed this recipe fairly closely but I added more spices (see italics).

2 cups chopped onion
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp ground fennel seed (I didn't add this - I don't like fennel seed)
1 cup celery, chopped
1 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup fennel bulb, chopped
2 cups green cabbage, chopped
2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (I used buttercup squash)
4 cups vegetable stock (I used chicken stock)
1 cup water
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained (white kidney beans)
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp minced thyme (I had to use dry, 2 tsp)
1/4 cup chopped fennel leaves (or parsley)
3 tbsp lemon juice

I also added ground cumin, ground coriander, and oregano.

In a covered soup pot on medium-low heat, cook the onions and salt in the olive oil for about five minutes.

Add the garlic, ground fennel, and celery and cook for about three minutes.

Stir in the carrots and cook for about three minutes.

Add the chopped fennel bulb and cabbage, and cook for about five minutes.

Add the squash, vegetable broth, and water. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the squash softens but does not fall apart, five to ten minutes.

In a blender, puree 1 cup of the beans with 1 cup of the soup. Stir the puree into the soup pot.

Add the remaining beans, black pepper, thyme, and fennel leaves. Simmer, covered for about 10 minutes until all of the vegetables are tender and flavors have melded.

Just before serving, stir in lemon juice. If desired, place a piece of toasted bread in individual soup bowl, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Ladle the soup over the bread and drizzle a little more olive oil on top.

January 23rd addendum

I have made this soup many times and right now it is my absolute favourite. 1 cup is only about 150 calories and has chock full of nutrients.

I change the recipe almost every time I make it - adding in or substituting various vegetables as well as herbs and spices. I've used different types of squash, I often skip fennel although I love it, but it's pricey right now, I've thrown in parsnips and other root veggies. And almost always, I added chopped greens near the end, such as kale, spinach, or swiss chard.

One of the keys to making this soup yummy, is pureeing part of it. It really gives substance to the broth so don't skip that step.

I make a big pot every weekend and freeze it in 1 1/2 - 3 cup containers to take to work during the week. 1 1/2 cups is the perfect amount for lunch for me, add a few pieces of fruit and I'm good. If I want more protein, I sometimes cook up from barley or quinoa and throw in 1/2 cup cooked grain into the soup just before I heat it up.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Italian Stew with Winter Squash and Chickpeas

I picked up a couple of Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks, popular with the vegetarians out there, and made this delicious stew. Even Erik liked it!

The recipe can be found online here so I feel ok reprinting it for you. I followed the recipe fairly closely but I doubled the spices and added at least one teaspoon of cumin as well. My changes are in italics.

Serves 4-6 (I made half the recipe and had one cup left over)

3 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp ground coriander (I used about 1-2 tsp)
1/2 tsp thyme (I used 1 tsp)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups water
15 oz can chickpeas, drained
2 cups chopped butternut squash (I used buttercup squash from my garden)
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
5 cups chopped kale (not stems)
1 T chopped fresh basil
2 tsp red wine vinegar (I actually forgot the vinegar and it was still good but it would have been a nice addition)

Saute onions and salt over medium heat for 12-15 minutes until onions are soft and beginning to carmelize.

Stir in garlic and spices.

Add water and all of the vegetables except the kale. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add kale and simmer 5-10 minutes, until kale is tender but still bright green.

Adjust seasoning. Stir in basil and wine vinegar.

I served this over brown rice. Very yummy.

1 cup has:

315 calories
14g protein
53g carb
7g fat
14g fiber