Monday, January 25, 2016

December Soups

 Saint Lucy Soup Sicilian Style

St. Lucy was martyred by having her eyes torn out but later becomes the Saint that welcomes the Christmas season for Skandinavians

8 cups water
½ cup olive oil
½ lb whole-grain dried wheat (farro)
½ lb dried chickpeas or 1 8-oz can
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, sliced
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper

Pour water and oil into a pot. Add the other ingredients and let it boil slowly covered for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Check the seasonings, remove bay leaves, and serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Bearn Country Soup

1 can of navy beans
2 quarts water
1 leek, julienned
1 yellow beet, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
½ small cabbage, coarsely chopped
10 green beans
3 potatoes, peeled and left whole
Bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs thyme, 4 sprigs parsley)
3 sweet Italian sausages
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 lb salt pork
Salt and pepper

Soak the beans overnight. Drain and rinse. Pour the water into a large soup pot and all the vegetables except the potatoes, bouquet garni, and garlic. Cover the pot and cook on medium-low for 1 ½ hrs. Add water if necessary. Add the potatoes, herbs, sausages, garlic, and bacon and continue cooking for another 1 ¼ hrs. Taste and add seasoning. Remove the potatoes, sausage, and bacon and hold warm. Simmer 15 minutes longer and remove bouquet garni. Serve hot with French bread and then serve the potatoes and sausage on a separate plate accompanied by a green salad with some vinaigrette over the potatoes.


Saint Nicholas Soup

1 oz butter
1 leek
2 medium carrots
2 turnips
2 potatoes
½ head of cabbage
½ tsp salt
2 quarts water
1/6 cup chervil, chopped

Wash and peel vegetables and slice into small pieces. Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add the vegetables and salt and stir a few times. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium low and cook for 30 minutes covered, stirring occasionally. Blend the cooked soup in a blender until creamy. Serve topped with croutons and chopped chervil.

Zuppa Toscana

1/6 cup olive oil
½ onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
½ Tbsp minced sage
1 Tbsp thyme
8 slices Italian bread
4 tomatoes, peeled or 1 16-oz can of tomatoes
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups white wine
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a pot. Add onion, garlic, and herbs and saute for 1-2 minutes without browning. Add stale bread slices and continue cooking for a minute or two while stirring and turn off the heat. In a separate pot, cook the tomatoes for 4-5 minutes if fresh. Add the stock, wine, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and add the bread mixture. Continue cooking 12-15 minutes. Lower the heat and simmer another 15 minutes. Serve hot topped with Parmesan cheese.

Acorn Squash Soup

1 large acorn squash, cubed (I used two delicata squash)
½ large onion, chopped
½ cup precooked Arborio rice
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cups water
1 cup milk or unsweetened soy milk
Pinch sugar
Salt and white pepper to taste
Chopped parsley

Peel and cube the squash. Place cubes into a soup pot with onion, cooked rice, celery, and water. Cook the soup, covered over medium heat 30 minutes. Blend the soup and pour back into the pot. Add milk, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring almost to a boil and reduce to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Lagniappe: Kimchee Jigae

I boiled pressed tofu marinated in gochujang paste, boy choy, chicken stock, sweet potato starch noodles, and sliced Danish bacon (I like the texture between ham and bacon).

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