Category Archives: Soups & Stews

Gazpacho

An 80s trend with staying power, gazpacho’s quick, easy and comforting. In the positive column it’s versatile. It can be strained and served as a drink, paired with a salad for a meal, or served as a quick snack. On the negative side it’s associated with brunch.

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Only a few ingredients.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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Filed under Soups & Stews, Technique & Dirty Secrets, Vegetarian

Pork Stew w/Oyster Mushrooms

Pretentious but so good

Pretentious but so good

Oyster mushrooms… beautiful, delicious, and possessing a hipster pretension that’s off the charts. When I saw them at the farmers market I had to have them.

But back to the pork. These mushrooms have a deep, round and light taste. Pork stew’s perfect for maximizing their goodness. The stew itself is simple and comforting, like a big hug, and the additional splash of acid from fresh lime gives it that extra push.

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Filed under Main Courses, Pork, Soups & Stews

Green Chile Stew

I grew up in New Mexico and now live in Washington, DC. How is this relevant? In New Mexico we know chile but in DC we know pork. And pork is the only thing that can go in a green chile stew. This dish itself is really easy. And, like most stews, it can be elevated to a new level by serving with a poached egg.

4 Green Chile Stew

The trick is to cook on low heat so that the acid from the chile gets all the way into the pork.

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Filed under green chile, Main Courses, Pork, Soups & Stews

Potato and Leek Soup

Comfort that can be Chilled in Summer or Warm in Winter

Comfort that can be Chilled in Summer or Warm in Winter

Every time I go to the farmers market I return home to find a little buyers’ remorse tucked in amongst those lovely special treats.  This time it’s a leek.  Smells great, looks impressive, and cooks up like a twine sock.  It’s also mid-summer and I’m too lazy to do anything time consuming with the Hell Veggie.

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Tomato Soup

Just the thing when you’re in need of a Norman Rockwell moment, tomato soup can be on the table in less than an hour.  The basic ingredients are simple and can be used to make a straight up soup (you’ll want to seed and process the tomatoes to get that Campbells soup effect).   The additional vegetables and spice aren’t much extra work and they bring out a pronounced set of distinct flavors.

a great winter meal

As for the tomatoes, there’s little difference between store-bought and canned.  If you want, you can substitute two 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes or tomato puree.  The advantage of this is that you won’t have to deal with the peeling and mashing.  I use fresh because it’s fun (I like to play with my food ).

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Chicken Stock

I post a lot about cooking with boned chicken and fish.  It’s great presentation and easier to eat (why else would markets sell filets and breasts?).  It’s also the way cooking used to be done, because bones have all the goodness of marrow and texture of gelatin, and who wants the yummy firm stuff going to waste?  So use the bones for stock.

at the heart of most things savory

Making stock requires a bit more organization in the kitchen.  After a few times it becomes habit.  And there’s no comparison between the tepid stuff you bring home from the market and a quart of fresh stock waiting in the back of the fridge.  This is a basic recipe, so add whatever herbs you like, or a full bouquet garni if you want to get fancy.

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Filed under Condiments, Soups & Stews, Technique & Dirty Secrets

Vegetable Stew

There are two rules for any stew:  cook aromatics first (in this case celery, carrot, onion & garlic) and use dry wine.  And here’s a personal preference….  Use root vegetables for thickness instead of a roux or corn starch.

crusty bread completes the meal

This is a basic recipe.  The essentials are aromatic vegetables, stock and wine.  The rest is up to your discretion.  You’ll want to make more than you can eat immediately so that there’s something in the freezer for later.

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Filed under Main Courses, Soups & Stews, Vegetarian