Summer Squash Soup with Mint Pesto

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
2 patty pan squash, chopped
1 yellow zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups onion broth or light vegetable stock
½ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil
½ tablespoon red chili flakes
½ teaspoon salt

Directions

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and butter on a medium high heat, add the shallots and the onions and cook until translucent. Add the squash and chives and cook for about 5 minutes or until semi soft. Season with salt and add vegetable stock and cook on medium for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly and blend until smooth using a blender or a hand held mixer. In the meantime in a blender combine the fresh herbs, garlic, and olive oil and blend until smooth, season with chili flakes and salt and drizzle on top of the soup.

Spicy Gumbo with Purslane Bishop’s Elder & Sassafras Leaf

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4 servings

Wild puslane (Portulaca oleracea) takes the place here of the okra used in traditional gumbo recipes. It has similar thickening properties, but adds a flavor all its own. Closely related to celery, bishop’s elder (Aegopodium podograria) replaces that vegetables here. The filé powder stirred into traditional gumbos is made from dried powdered sassafras (Sassafras albidum) leaves – a tree native to our region’s forests (and parks)!

Ingredients

¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
¼ cup bishop’s elder stems and leaves, chopped
1-3 fresh or dried hot chilé peppers
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups chopped purslane leaves and stems
2 links andouille, chorizo, or other smoked sausage cut into ½-inch chunks
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoons filé powder
Salt to taste
(Plus cooked rice to serve the gumbo over)

Directions

In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the roux is a rich brown color. Remove from the heat and let cool for 1 minute.
Add the onion, bell pepper, bishop’s elder and hot peppers. Return to the heat. Whisk in the stock. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, whisking constantly.
Reduce the heat to a medium. Add the purslane, sausage and garlic. Simmer until the sausage is cooked and the vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Stir in the filé powder and salt to taste. Serve over cooked rice.

Vegan Variation: leave out the sausage, add 1 cup cooked beans, substitute 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo for the hot chilé peppers.

Summer Sausage and Herb Cassoulet

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
½ tablespoon lemon zest
2 pounds cranberry beans, shelled
1 cup white wine
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
½ cup fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 links of herbal chicken sausage, sliced 1 inch thick
1 cup bread crumbs
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh parsley for garnish

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. In a ceramic casserole pan heat the olive oil on a medium high heat, cook the onions, garlic and lemon zest for about 3-4 minutes or until semi translucent. Add the cranberry beans, white wine and stock and stir well. Cook for about 5 minutes add the herbs, seasonings and sausage, stir well. Cook about 5-8 more minutes and take off heat. Mix together, bread crumbs and cheese and season with a little salt. Sprinkle atop the mean mixture and place in a preheated oven, uncovered for about 10 minutes or until browned on the top. Take off heat and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Summer Squash Soup with Basil-Mint Pistou

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
2 patty pan squash, chopped
1 yellow zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups onion broth or light vegetable stock
½ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil
½ red chili flakes
½ teaspoon salt

Directions

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and butter on a medium high heat, add the shallots and the onions and cook until translucent. Add the squash and chives and cook for about 5 minutes or until semi soft. Season with salt and add vegetable stock and cook on medium for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly and blend until smooth using a blender or a hand held mixer. In the meantime in a blender combine the fresh herbs, garlic, and olive oil and blend until smooth, season with chili flakes and salt and drizzle on top of the soup.

Fresh Pea Soup with Ham Hock and Croutons

May 26th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 loaf ciabatta bread
Olive oil
Salt
2 ham hocks, raw or smoked
1 large Spanish onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 leek, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 cups white wine
1 bouquet garni (bay leaf, thyme, parsley, Grains of Paradise, or black pepper)
2 quarts stock, vegetable or chicken
2 cups fresh peas

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the ciabatta into 1″ squares. Toss with olive oil and salt onto a baking sheet and place into oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

In a 1 gallon stock pot, add 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Bring to a medium-high heat and sear the ham hocks until golden brown. If the ham hocks are smoked, you can just go to the next step and add the hocks later. Add to the stock pot the onion and sweat for about a minute. Then add in the celery and sweat for another minute. Now add in your leeks and garlic and sweat again for another minute or two. Try to do this without getting any color on the vegetables. Deglaze the bottom of the pan with the white wine and reduce heat to a medium flame. Reduce wine for about 3 minutes. If using smoked ham hocks, add them now as well as the bouquet garni and stock. Bring stock to a simmer and let cook for about 45-60 minutes. Add in the fresh peas during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking or until soft and remove ham hock. Using an immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and serve with croutons. Use extra parsley for garnish.

Spring Vegetable Minestrone with Herb Pesto

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

For spring vegetable minestrone

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
3 carrots, chopped medium
3 celery ribs, chopped medium
5 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup fresh English peas
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups arugula leaves, chopped

For the herb pesto

1 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

For the soup

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add vegetable stock, thyme, carrots, celery, asparagus, and green beans. Season with salt. Increase heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are almost soft, about 20 minutes. Add peas, beans and tomatoes and cook 10 minutes more. Add arugula and cook just until wilted. Serve soup drizzled with herb pesto.

For the herb pesto

Place all ingredients, except olive oil, in blender. Stream in olive oil while blending and combine.

Rustic Artichoke Soup

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped small
1 onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
Hearts of 6 large artichokes, cut in quarters
3 medium size white potatoes (Yukon gold), peeled and chopped
8 cups vegetable stock
1 fresh bay leaf
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon chopped for garnish
10 fresh parsley stems, plus 1 tablespoon chopped for garnish
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt

Directions

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook leeks and onions until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add artichoke hearts, potatoes, and stock. Place bay leaf, thyme and parsley stems in cheesecloth, tie and add to pot. Season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until ingredients are cooked through and flavors have melted together. Remove herbs in cheese cloth. Puree soup with immersion blender or food processor. Heat soup, and add butter. Taste for salt and serve.

Asparagus Spear & Wild Mushroom Pilaf

May 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
1 medium shallot, chopped small
1 cup mixed fresh wild mushrooms (morels, chanterelles, etc)
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup white wine
¼ cup vegetable stock
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

Directions

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add butter and olive oil. Cook the onions and shallots for a few minutes or until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, nutmeg, and asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half then stir in the cooked brown rice. Fluff mixture with a fork and sprinkle herbs into pilaf. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Rustic Artichoke Soup

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped small
1 onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
Hearts of 6 large artichokes cut in quarters
3 medium size white potatoes (Yukon gold), peeled and chopped
8 cups vegetable stock
1 fresh bay leaf
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon chopped for garnish
10 fresh parsley stems, plus 1 tablespoon chopped for garnish
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt

DIRECTIONS

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook leeks and onions until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add artichoke hearts, potatoes, and stock. Place bay leaf, thyme and parsley stems in cheesecloth, tie and add to pot. Season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until ingredients are cooked through and flavors have melted together. Remove herbs in cheese cloth. Puree soup with immersion blender or food processor. Heat soup, and add butter. Taste for salt and serve.

Spring Vegetable Minestrone with Herb Pesto

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For spring vegetable minestrone

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
3 carrots, chopped medium
3 celery ribs, chopped medium
5 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup fresh English peas
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rined
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups arugula leaves, chopped

For the herb pesto

1 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

For the soup

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add vegetable stock, carrots, celery, asparagus and green beans. Season with salt. Increase heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are almost soft, about 20 minutes. Add peas, beans, and tomatoes and cook 10 minutes more. Add arugula and cook just until wilted. Serve soup drizzled with herb pesto.

For the herb pesto

Place all ingredients, except olive oil, in blender. Stream in olive oil while blending and combine.

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 Minestrone

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 red onion, chopped medium
3 stalks of celery, chopped small
2 medium carrots, chopped small
1 medium red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped small
1 medium yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped small
1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups hot water
1 cup vegetable stock
1 bunch of dinosaur kale, chopped
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup small fresh macaroni (¾ cup dried)
½ cup parmesan, freshly grated
Parmesan rind (optional)
Salt/ pepper

DIRECTIONS

Cook garlic, onions, celery, carrots, and peppers in oil in a wide 7-to 9-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally until vegetables are very tender and begin to stick to bottom of pot, about 45 minutes total.

Push vegetables to one side of the pot. Add stewed tomatoes to cleared area and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir into vegetables and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. (Tomatoes may stick to pot, but don’t let them burn.) Bring to a simmer. Stir in kale and parmesan rind. Simmer, covered, until greens are tender, about 40 minutes.

Coarsely chop herbs, and stir into soup along with beans. Simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes.
Discard rind. Season soup with salt and pepper.

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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