Potage of Spring Greens, with Green Garlic and Mint

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
Salt
1 small potato, peeled and diced
1 bunch dandelion greens
1 large bunch arugula
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 (10 ounce) bag baby spinach
½ cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup créme fraiche

DIRECTIONS

Combine the oil, onions, and garlic in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. When the onions begin to sizzle add 1 teaspoon salt, cover the pan and simmer 20 minutes until meltingly tender, check occasionally and add a tablespoon of water if the onions threaten to brown.

Meanwhile, steam the potato for 8-10 minutes until tender, set aside. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Blanch the dandelion and arugula for 2-3 minutes until tender but still bright green. Drain well and chop.

Add the stock to the onions and bring to a boil. Add the steamed potato, blanched greens, spinach and mint, simmer 3-4 minutes.

Puree the soup with the créme fraiche. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Recipe Property of Peter Berley

Winter Squash Potage with Spiced Créme Fraiche

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

For soup

3 pounds winter squash (such as kabocha, acorn, or butternut), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large or 2 medium Spanish onions, chopped (2 cups)
Sea salt or kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 quart vegetable stock, or water
½ cup apple cider or apple juice
Freshly ground black pepper

For bouquet garni

1 small handful celery leaves
3 to 4 fresh sage leaves
One 2-inch piece cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves

For spiced créme fraiche

&frac12 cup créme fraiche or sour cream
Freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground cinnamon
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the squash with the oil, season lightly with salt, and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning several times, until the squash is tender and lightly caramelized, 25 to 30 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, in a heavy, 3 to 5 quart soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and ½ teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Stir in the ginger and garlic, cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook gently for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice and lowering the heat if necessary to keep the vegetables from browning. Pour in the stock or water, and the apple cider or juice, and add the roasted squash.

To make the bouquet garni, bundle the ingredients in a square of cheesecloth and tie it closed with kitchen twine.

Add the bouquet garni to the soup. Raise the heat to bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to as low as possible, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Discard the bouquet garni and pass the soup through the fine holes of a food mill (or puree using an immersion blender or working in batches in a hand blender).

In a bowl, combine the créme fraiche with 5 or 6 gratings of nutmeg, several grinds of black pepper, and a pinch of salt.

Serve the soup in bowls with a dollop of the spiced créme fraiche, a dash of cinnamon, and a sprinkling of parsley.

Stop and Take Stock.

Making a simple vegetable soup? Take stock of the trimmings, and the other vegetables you have on hand and consider simmering them into a flavorful broth to enhance the flavor and nutrient-content of your soup. In a stockpot, combine 6 cups of any of the following: squash and ginger peels, mushroom stems, cabbage cores, parsley stems, chopped carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, leeks, parsnips, fennel, and garlic (cut a whole heat in half crosswise, and leave the peels on). Add a couple bay leaves, and some fresh thyme, or sage, cover with water, bring to a simmer, skim off any foam that rises, then simmer gently, uncovered, for an hour. Strain and use right away or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

© Recipe Property of Peter Berley

Root Vegetable Potage with Spiced Créme Fraiche and Honey-Crisped Walnuts

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pound onions, roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
4 to 6 peeled garlic cloves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
Sea salt or kosher salt
2 pounds assorted winter root vegetables, such as rutabaga, carrot, parsnip, turnip, celery root, and sunchokes, peeled and roughly chopped (about 8 cups)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly toasted and finely ground
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
6 cups chicken, duck or vegetable stock, or water
1 cup heavy cream or créme fraiche
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley, for serving
Honey-Crisped Walnuts, for serving

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy, 4 to 5 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon salt and stir well. Cover the pan and simmer over medium-low heat until the garlic and onions are soft and juicy, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the root vegetables, ground fennel, and turmeric. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the stock or water and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are completely tender and crush easily against the side of the pan, 30 to 40 minutes. Add the cream and simmer 3 to 4 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or working carefully in batches in a food processor or stand blender), purée the soup until smooth, then season with black pepper and additional salt, as desired.

Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley, and honey-crisped walnuts.

Honey-Crisped Walnuts

Makes about 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 cup walnut halves and pieces
3 tablespoons honey
Fine sea salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Rub a small baking dish or pie plate with the butter. Add the walnuts and drizzle evenly with the honey. Roast, stirring every 5 minutes, until golden brown, 13 to 14 minutes.

Scrape the walnuts onto a plate, season lightly with salt, and let cool. The walnuts will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

© Recipe Property of Peter Berley

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