Summer Gazpacho

Photo from lavenderandmacarons.com

Adapted from lavanderandmacarons

Ingredients

  • 6 very ripe tomatoes
  • 2 slices slightly stale bread (optional)
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper (or Anaheim Chile)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for a richer soup, use up to 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine, apple cider, sherry vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

  1. Roughly chop tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy but still with some texture.
  3. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
  4. Chill Gazpacho in a refrigerator for 30 minutes or serve at room temperature topped with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, chives and a drizzle of olive oil.


Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Za’atar Oil

Recipe adapted from Milk Street’s Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon salted butter (I use 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 medium yellow onion cut into 1/2 inch-dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup red lentils (picked over and rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons long-grain white rice
  • 5 cups water
  • kosher salt

For Serving

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper (I use za’atar)
  • Chopped fresh mint leaves, to serve (optional)
  • Lemon wedges, to serve (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium, melt the butter. Once it has stopped foaming, add the onion then sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, paprika and cumin, then sauté for 1 minute.
  2. Add the lentils, rice, water and 2 teaspoons salt, then bring to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook until the lentils and rice are tender and broken down, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. I briefly use an immersion blender to slightly cream up the soup.
  3. Meanwhile (if using Aleppo pepper), in a small skillet over medium, heat the olive oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the Aleppo pepper cook until a few bubbles appear and the oil is bright red. Remove from heat and set aside. If using za’atar, no need to heat the oil.
  4. Serve the soup with Aleppo pepper or za’atar oil drizzled over each serving. Serve with mint and lemon wedges.

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DIRECTIONS

In a large saucepan over medium, melt the butter. Once it has stopped foaming, add the onion then sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, paprika and cumin, then sauté for 1 minute.

Add the lentils, rice, water and 2 teaspoons salt, then bring to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook until the lentils and rice are tender and broken down, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium, heat the olive oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the Aleppo pepper and cook until a few bubbles appear and the oil is bright red. Remove from heat and set aside. Serve the soup with Aleppo pepper oil drizzled over each serving. Serve with mint and lemon wedges.


Turkey & Black Bean Chili

Adapted from Matt Martinez

One of my favorite one-pot meals. This is a quick and incredibly flavorful turkey chili with vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 3/4 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3/4 tablespoon salt (I use 1/2 tablespoon)
  • 3/4 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional)
  • 3/4 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped sweet white onions
  • 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped green chilies
  • 1 (14 ounce) can whole stewed tomatoes (I drain the tomato juice into the pot and then chop up the tomatoes into smaller pieces before adding them to the pot).
  • 2 whole chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (I use one pepper and remove the seeds)
  • 1 cup fresh corn (I use frozen)
  • 1 cup finely chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chicken stock (add additional broth or water if using black beans, approximately 3/4 cup, to desired consistency)
  • I like to add 1 can black beans, drained and barely rinsed

Directions

  1. Preferably using a cast-iron skillet, brown the turkey in the oil.
  2. Add all the ingredients, except zucchini and chicken stock; saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetables and stock; cook for approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve immediately.

I like to serve this with fresh baked corn bread crumbled on top

*tip – Since you only need one chipotle pepper, separate the peppers in a ziplock bag and freeze for next time.


Lemony Lentil Soup with Swiss chard

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed or powder
  • 2 cups dried brown lentils, rinsed
  • 8-10 cups broth or water (I like to use water with 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken)
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard (leaves and stems)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, more to taste
  • 1 package wide egg noodles (optional) or
  • 1/4 cup long grain white rice, rinsed (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and spices and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  2. Add the rinsed lentils and stir. Add 8 cups of the water and/or broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce and simmer, uncovered for 25 minutes or see below for pressure cooker option.
  4. Meanwhile, separate the Swiss chard leaves from the stem. Tear the leaves into bite sized pieces. Cut the stems into 2 inch pieces. Keep them separate.
  5. Before adding the chard, puree the soup if desired.
  6. Add the stems of the Swiss chard and the rice, if using, and cook for 10 minutes. Add up to 2 cups more water if the soup seems thick.
  7. Add the chard leaves, and egg noodles, if using, and cook until the noodles are tender, approximately 10 more minutes.

Stove-top pressure cooker

  • Using a stove-top pressure cooker, follow steps 1 and 2. If using rice, add now.
  • Step 3. Lock lid and cook under pressure for 5 minutes. Let the pressure drop on its own.
  • Proceed with step 6 and 7.

Anthony Bourdain’s Mushroom Soup

Photo from epicurious.com
This is an easy, delicious soup from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook. Recipe adapted from epicurious.com.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter (I use 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced (I use 3/4 cup)
  • 12 ounces/340 g button mushrooms, sliced (I use 16 ounces: 1 (8oz) package Cremini and 1 (8oz) package button
  • 4 cups/900 ml light chicken (or vegetable) broth (I use 4 cups water with 4 tsp Better than Bouillon, Chicken)
  • 1 sprig of flat parsley
  • Salt, to taste (at least 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces/56 ml high-quality sherry (I skip this)

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter (I use 1 tablespoon) over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the mushrooms and the remaining butter (I use 2 more tablespoons). Let the mixture sweat for about 8 minutes, taking care that the onion doesn’t take on any brown color.
  3. Stir in the chicken stock and the parsley and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour.
  4. After an hour, remove the parsley and discard. Let the soup cool for a few minutes, then transfer to the blender and carefully blend at high speed until smooth. (Blending the soup really well at high speed is very important to ensure a creamy consistency, especially if cutting back on the butter. I tried using an immersion blender and it wasn’t able to blend enough to create the desired texture).
  5. Return the soup to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and bring up to a simmer again. Add the sherry (if using), mix well, and serve immediately.