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Simply Asparagus

17 Feb

Hello Friends! Look at that! It’s an actual soup with soup in it! And a delicious and easy one, if I do say so myself. Last week I got a huge package of asparagus at Costco (which is a place where happy things come true, like a bottle of honey the size of your head, but also can be scary, because WHO NEEDS THAT MUCH TOILET PAPER???) and then got really busy and five days later realized if I didn’t cook it it would go to waste. So soup it was. This soup was really simple, very tasty, and made me feel like spring was almost here… one can only hope!

Simply Asparagus

  • Saute 4-6 cloves of garlic in olive oil on low until transluscent
  • Add one chopped medium-sized yellow onion and cook until almost opaque, adding in the grated rind of two lemons (yellow part only)
  • Add in 2-3 regular sized bunches (or one Costco bag) of asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces with the tough ends kept out, and cover, stirring occasionally
  • Once the asparagus is most of the way cooked through, add chicken or vegetable broth and let cook until warm
  • Blend with an immersion or regular blender
  • Add the juice of two lemons, and 1/2-1 cup heavy cream, salt, and pepper to taste
  • Enjoy!

Parsnip Soup

23 Feb

Last week I had a soup fail. That’s right. Sometimes I fail at soup (also, I make soup on my off weeks – clearly I don’t have this ‘sick of soup’ issue that Mary does). It wasn’t actually that bad, just didn’t quite taste how I wanted. I’d roasted some carrots and potatoes and added in other veggies and then accidentally forgot it was simmering, so burned a little off the bottom (which I, at the time, felt maybe deepened the flavor?) and yeah. Overall it was kind of meh…. just watery and not that exciting. And you know why?

Because I didn’t have parsnips. Parsnips would have made everything better. You know how I know? Because I essentially made the same soup this week except with parsnips and it’s delicious. Zizi, as you can see, likes it too. And it’s almost vegan. Except for that stick of butter I couldn’t resist.

Speaking of vegan, keep your ears perked for next week… Mary is going to have some news for all you veg fans. Check it out here!

Parsnip Soup

  • Chop up 3-4 potatoes (I used white) and boil in a small pot off to the side
  • Saute 4-6 cloves of garlic in olive oil with a few generous shakes ‘italian seasoning’ (aka, basil, rosemary and oregano… I think). When opaque, add in one chopped yellow onion
  • When onion is translucent, add in one point chopped parsnips and one pound chopped carrots and a stick of butter (delicious)
  • Peel, chop and add in one small butternut squash (it was reeeeally little, so maybe half of a regular?)
  • When veggies are mostly soft add 1-2 heads of chopped Swiss chard, salt and pepper
  • Add in potatoes with their water when they are most of the way cooked
  • Simmer for about 10 minutes and blend, adding more water if necessary


Coconut in the Crock Pot

9 Feb

*I did take a picture of this soup, but have forgotten to upload it, so instead here’s a picture of people studying. On a Friday.

I know, I know, once more we have a crock pot soup. I’m sure some of you who have time in your lives and work regular hours and don’t just try to live on clementines and carrots between classes.
(Sidenote: did you know that if young children eat too many yellow foods like carrots and squash they get a yellow caste to their skin????? Apparently my sister and I both had this problem because of squash. Now our niece does. Veggies run in the family!)
But for those of us who are who are reading econ textbooks on the bus on the way to work (that was this morning. That book is heavy) we don’t have the luxury of extra sauteing time…. at least not until next week 🙂
SO, another soup! I’m going to write the recipe how it would have been in my ideal world (aka, with an extra can of coconut milk and some peas) because I think everyone would like it better that way.
Coconut Crockpot
  • put 1 cup dried chickpeas, 1 cup dry rice, 1 packet boneless skinless chicken thighs, 1 chopped red pepper, 6-8 chopped carrots, 6-8 chopped garlic cloves, 6-8 chopped plum tomatos, a few shakes of red pepper, 1 or so inches of chopped ginger, one peeled, de-seeded and chopped acorn squash, a small bag of frozen green peas and two cans of coconut milk into your crockpot and cover the rest with water.
  • Sprinkle some garam masala spice, chili powder and allspice into the mix and let set for 8 hours on low.
Come home and enjoy!

Pre-Vacation Fridge Stew

30 Nov

I always feel like before vacation there’s this secret challenge to eat all of the food that could go bad, but also have at least one fresh meal (aka, not spaghetti, although it will do in a pinch) available for when you get home so you don’t have to go out to the store or eat take-out when you first get back. (Mary’s head: I don’t know if other people are like this, because I’m never this organized to think about these details BUT I can testify that Alayna gets herself into a tizzy if she doesn’t have a meal prepared to come home, too. Anyway, read on…) Shockingly it’s times like these that I turn to stew. With this one I managed to use all of my half peppers/bags of carrots/onions, come out with something delicious for when I got home, and ‘lazy cook’ (meaning, chop up a bunch of things then do nothing for a long time then eat! Crockpots are brilliant!).

Even MORE importantly, over Thanksgiving I was up in New York and got to see Mary! A long dinner and a palm reading (what? yes, we did that) made me miss New York, but at least I’ll be back in less than a month! (What, hi!, I’m back. Dude that palm reader FREAKED ME OUT. Freaked me so bad that I might start to reconsider my drunk habit of popping into palm readers’ shops. Have you noticed there are as many palm reader shops as bodegas in NYC? And how there is always a fat man in an undershirt watching loud TV in the back? No one ever talks about these things.)

Uhm, is it just me or do I actually sort of look like a palm reader? Alayna just looks like a graduate student though.

Vacation Stew!

  • Add about 2 cups of dried lentils, one chopped sweet potato, one chopped red onion, one chopped red pepper, 6 cloves of chopped garlic, half a bag of baby (or grown-up) carrots, two inches of chopped fresh ginger, one peeled and chopped acorn squash and five chicken thighs (in bitesized pieces) to your crockpot with a few generous shakes of tumeric, a pinch of saffron and enough water to almost cover
  • add some salt and pepper
  • set on high for 6 hours



Baba Ganoush Soup & Red Hot Cobbler

19 Oct

You know, sometimes it’s the little things in life that count… like being rewarded for not running your dishwasher before you leave in the morning and then having to eat out of giant bowls when you have soup night on Saturday instead of Monday because you’re staying in to study and you need SOMETHING to look forward to. I know that looks like a regular soup bowl, but rest assured, it was HUGE! … So was the hunk of cheese my friend and I devoured (mmmm… cheeese)…. and the apple cobbler. What can I say, I’m a stress cooker! Although so far I’m not getting any complaints.

Either way, there’s a really great blog called Smitten Kitchen that often has delicious recipes on it (especially for cakes!) that I generally find to look delicious but often seem a little more complicated than what I’m really willing to do for just, you know, dinner. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love cooking, and can dirty up a kitchen with pots and pans better than anyone else I know, but generally when I’m cooking I am hungry and I want it NOW! Or at least I want to not actively do anything about the food getting ready the entire hour of preparation. That’s why I love roasting!… It’s probably also why she has a cookbook deal and Mary and I are writing to Campbells.

SO, the other day I clicked over there and saw “roasted eggplant soup” and immediately thought “BABA GANOUSH SOUP THAT IS BRILLIANT!”. So I clicked on the link and it had roasted eggplant and roasted tomatos! Even MORE brilliant because I love them both.

…. Then I stopped reading the recipe because I was so entranced by the idea of baba ganoush soup (and probably zizi doing something), so when I went to the market I picked up eggplants and tomatoes and I had an onion so I roasted them when I got home with a head of garlic, blended, mixed in tahini, added some lemon and then…. looked at the recipe again.

This was NOT supposed to be baba ganoush soup. It was supposed to be something with thyme. That is a whoooole other region of the world of soup. Also, she was ‘meh’ on her soup and mine was delicious.

Guess failing at reading comprehension is not always a bad thing 🙂

Then I made cobbler. With cayenne pepper. Because it also seemed like a good idea at the time and I clearly was making sleep deprived decisions out the wazoo. But hey, you know what? Also delicious. Take that sleep! I don’t need you! I’ll just stay up on Saturday nights reading! SO THERE!!!!

Then again, that also leads to things like this (caveat, not me)… thanks grad school!

Baba Ganoush Soup

  • Put 2-3 eggplants in one pyrex with the tops cut off, sliced in half and poked a few times with a fork along with half a head of garlic with the top chopped off and cover with foil. In the other pyrex, put 3-4 tomatoes, sliced in half, and a large yellow onion, without the skin, quartered. Cover that with tinfoil too.
  • Bake at 375 for about 40-45 minutes until the eggplant seems kind of slimy when you cut into it (sounds gross, tastes delicious)
  • Take everything out of the oven and put it into the soup pot (making sure you take the garlic out of its skin!) and cover with enough water to make it brothy. Simmer for 10-15 minutes then blend, adding salt, two generous spoonfuls of tahini and the juice of 1-2 lemons. Serve!

Red Hot Cobbler (in that it tastes like red hots, the candy, it’s not that hot)

  • Slice up 5-6 apples and put them into a small pyrex (this obviously depends on how many apples you have)
  • Mix about 1/2 cup sugar with 2 tblspns flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and a few generious shakes of cayenne pepper. Pour over the apples and stir so the apples are pretty evenly covered
  • For the crumble top, mix about a cup of flour with half a cup of sugar and a little salt, then cut in a stick of butter. You can start off with a whisk to break things up, but you’ll want to switch to a fork at the end when the mix is making itself clumpy
  • Once mix is clumpy, sprinkle over your apples
  • Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes (until crumple is lightly browned)


Roasted Squash and Coconut Soup

6 Oct

Fall is in the air, my friends, and I’m sad to see summer go (and yes, Bagel, I DO have some posts I need to put up about my horrible horrible failure at cooking salmon on the grill… even though we got some delicious results in the end), but it’s nice to have a hot soup on a cold day. I got a nasty cold over the weekend and, me being me, decided that the only way to cure it would be through food. And by food, I mean ginger and garlic. That’s right kids, in the course of two days, I’ve consumed no less than one huge ginger root and, last night, an entire head of garlic. It was delicious. And I feel a lot better today. I started with a steamed artichoke with a roasted garlic/butter sauce while the soup was simmering on the stove and I read my stats homework.


Then I moved on to my delicious delicious amazing soup (with the rest of the head of garlic) that I blended using my brand new immersion blender (thanks sister!)… I swear I have never blended a soup so thoroughly in my life… it was silky smooth and delicious. The only thing I would maybe change about this recipe is to maybe throw in a chile ancho at the beginning to get a little more depth to the flavor. Maybe that will be a project for another week when Mary has the soup reign

… now I just have to figure out what I’m going to do with all these apples.

Roasted Squash and Coconut Soup with Ginger

  • Halve 3-4 large acorn squash, scoop out the seeds and place in a brownie pan. Add a little bit of water into the hollow of each squash and cover with tinfoil, baking at 375 for about an hour (until you can easily poke through the  flesh of the squash). In the same pan, put a full head of garlic with the top chopped off and a little bit of olive oil on top.
  • When your squash have been cooking for a while, chop up about 2 inches of garlic and sautee in olive oil with a few generous shakes of chili powder. When fragrant, add one small can of coconut milk and half a can of water and bring down the heat to a simmer.
  • When your squash is out and cool enough to handle with oven mits, scoop out the insides into the soup pot, adding more water if necesarry. Let simmer for another 20-30 minutes to really get the ginger flavor in.
  • Use your AWESOME immersion blender (or a regular blender if you don’t have excellent late birthday presents showing up at your house) to blend thoroughly and serve!

Roasted Beet and Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese and Basil

21 Sep

According to my friends who’ve already been to grad school, one of the first things to go is your ability to eat Real Food, and I’m starting to see why… between the mountain of reading (really? a book a week? in only ONE class? sometimes with additional articles?), group projects (three schedules, one deadline is okay… until you have three group projects in a week) and all the various and sundry that you have to turn in or attend so that you’re ‘maximizing your experience’, the library quickly becomes the cool place to hang out instead of the kitchen.

But no worries my lads and ladles. If there is one thing I’m dedicated to, it is Real Food. Food with nutrients that don’t come from a bag o’ chips and endless supply of coffee. The only problem is fitting it into my schedule. As far as prep time this soup is pretty easy… hack up some beets and throw them in the oven while you have group meeting number one (although I don’t advise forgetting about them for two hours like I did, although they turned out fine) and then do the tomatoes while you’re wrapping up that last presentation in the last hours of the day. Peeling beets at 1am may not appeal to you, but trust, when you come home the next day and all you have to do to make a quick, delicious and nutricious dinner is throw some stuff in a blender, you’ll be glad. Very, very glad. And then you can go back to the grind at least knowing you’re feeding your brain more than just ideas.

Roasted Beet and Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese and Basil (and sweet corn on top)

  • Cut the tops and roots off 6-8 largish beets (remember you can cook your greens too!), slice in half and roast in a pyrex covered with tinfoil at 400F for about 45 minutes or until they are easy to spear with a fork
  • Halve 6-8 tomatoes and do the same, making sure you reserve the juice (you can do this at the same time as long as they’re in different pans and you, again, don’t forget that you’re roasting things)
  • When the beets are cool, you should be able to slide off the skins easily
  • Blend beets, tomato juice, a handful of fresh basil and a generous portion of goat cheese (mmm! fresh chevre from the local farmer’s market!) with a little bit of water (about a cup or two) and serve!
  • Sweet corn on top is optional, but also delicious