This soup is phenomenal. It might actually be one of the best things I’ve made recently. And it’s soup-er easy (sorry, just can’t resist a bad pun)! A bit of chopping and boiling and you have a delicious meal. The flavors are just amazing together. Granted paprika, onion and garlic are probably my favorite flavors, but really they were just made to be in this soup together.
The original recipe called for kalamatas. I ran out last week and much to my extreme disappointment, my Costco has decided to stop stocking them… At the rate I go through olives, kalamatas are just too expensive to be bought in any quantity less than Costco-sized bulk. I used green pimento stuffed olives and they were wonderful. Since they are so salty, I made sure to use low-sodium broth and didn’t add in any extra salt. It definitely was not needed.
I absolutely loved this soup. I definitely plan on making it again, hopefully the poor weather keeps up and it will be repeated sooner, rather than later. Even though this soup was great, I might make a few minor changes. I think the paprika could have used another flavor to combine with. I was thinking a bit of cayenne maybe or a squeeze of lemon perhaps or even a little drizzle of balsamic. Just a little addition could add a whole new layer of depth and deliciousness.
3/4 cup roughly salty chopped olives (I used green pimento stuffed olives)
Heat oil a large soup pot over medium high heat. Saute onions in oil until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and saute about a minute or so, then mix in the thyme and paprika.
Add the lentils, broth, and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are almost tender. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for another 20 minutes or so, or until lentils are very tender. Add spinach and olives and stir frequently until spinach is wilted and velvetty. Add water or more broth to thin, if necessary.
It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day! That makes me happy. I happen to particularly enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, but I have yet to meet for an excuse for a party that I didn’t like. That and I’m Irish (thanks ma and da). I have some traditional (Mama CC made/approved) and not so traditional things in store for the week. Unfortunately, my celebrations can’t begin until I’m done with midterms. Hopefully dreams of potatoes and whiskey will be enough to see me through…
This salad is definitely not your stereotypical Irish fare. It’s light and healthy and vegan actually, the exact opposite of meat and potatoes. It would be a great starter for any dinner party. It would definitely help balance out any and all corned beef and whiskey that might be consumed. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this salad. I really like salads with multiple lettuces and this had a great mixture. The crispy, cool iceberg, peppery arugula, soft butter, and some spinach just because. They all really worked together and made each bite interesting. I basically opened the fridge and grabbed anything green. It worked out to be a festive little number and perfect early spring lunch.
Johnny Cash wrote a song “Forty Shades of Green,” which I am a bit embarrassed to say that I only discovered yesterday. My Ireland born, Johnny Cash-loving father will be so disappointed. I remember flying into Dublin when I was younger, and shockingly, it wasn’t raining. I think she was trying to get me to shut up, but my mother told me to try to count the 40 shades of green out the window and that’s been the only connotation I’ve ever known until yesterday.
40 Shades of Green Salad
For the Cilantro Lime Dressing:
2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 limes, juiced
1-2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons grainy Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
2 cups baby spinach
2 cups arugula
2 cups butter lettuce
1/4 head iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
1 bunch (about 8) green onions, chopped
1/4 pound green beans, trimmed, blanched and cut in half
1 avocado, pitted and diced
For the Cilantro Lime Dressing:
In a small bowl, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until thoroughly blended.
For the Salad:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the lettuces, green onions, and green onions. Gently toss the greens thoroughly with about 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Place the greens onto six salad plates (white looks nice), arranging any of the little pieces that have fallen to the bottom of the bowl on top.
Place several pieces of the diced avocado on each plate. Lightly drizzle with a bit more vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
I’ve already shared the amazing caesar salad I had at Il Cane Rosso on my last trip to San Francisco. I finally got around to making the other part of that delicious lunch. It was love at first bite (Slurp? Spoonful?) with this soup. I liked the added chili oil drizzle so much that I stopped by Stonehouse Olive Oil after lunch and promptly bought some chili oil so I could make the soup when I got home. The soup came out so brown that you can barely see the chili oil drizzle on top, but I swear it’s there. I let the vegetables get a little too roasted. They would have been the perfect side dish, nice and crispy, but the extra brown color didn’t help the color of the soup.
This soup is so simple to make. The most involved part is chopping and peeling the butternut squash, which can be easily fixed with pre-cut, but I finally discovered a faster way to peel and chop. The vegetable peeler! Had the skin off in no time and made the whole process much easier. The soup is completely vegan. I added some queso fresco I needed to use up to add a little flavor and texture. Definitely not necessary though.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Chili Oil
1 large butternut squash
2 large yellow onions
6+ garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
chili infused extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400°F. With a sharp knife slice both ends off the butternut squash. Remove the skin off the squash.
Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds of both halves. Then cut the squash into cubes and place in a large bowl. Set aside.
After peeling and cutting the ends of the onion, slice into large cubes. Place the onion in the same bowl as the squash. Peel the garlic cloves and place in the bowl.
To the squash, onions, and garlic add the olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix to evenly coat the vegetables with the herbs.
Pour everything in a roasting pan or baking dish. Place in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour until the squash is very tender.
Place the roasted squash, onions and garlic in the blender. Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth and blend on high until smooth. About one minute.
Pour mixture into a large soup pot over medium heat and add the remaining 3 cups of broth. Stir and heat until combined. Top with 1 teaspoon of chili oil per bowl and crumbled queso fresco. Serve.
The second I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, I knew I was going to make it. Every single ingredient in the original recipe sounded soup-er appealing. My end result ended up being a little different. It may be the sore throat, or the stuffy nose, or the general quasi-illness induced haze I am currently living in, but I set about making this soup and then promptly forgot to include half the ingredients. Oops…
I left out the ginger. I meant to put it in. I even put it out on the counter to peel, but promptly forgot about it until I was ladling it into the bowl. I even dug out my little bottle of toasted sesame oil to drizzle over the top. Neither the ginger, nor sesame oil ended up in the soup, but I was pretty okay with that. I like carrots. I love miso. Throw in some garlic and onions, and I really don’t see how you could go wrong.
One quick note about the Miso, I used Cold Mountain Miso . I can’t find the details on their website, but as far as I can remember all but one of their miso is gluten-free (one is made with barley). I had two different types of miso on hand (I might have a slight miso soup problem), one is Kyoto White Miso and the other is the Light Yellow Miso (Japanese White). I used the Kyoto White to begin with, but I have to say it was super mild, like you could barely taste the miso mild. I had to add the same amount of the yellow miso to get any miso flavor. If in doubt, go with the stronger miso.
4-6 garlic clove, minced (I used double that amount)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup white miso paste, or more to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
5 scallions, very thinly sliced
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, onion and garlic sauté until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add broth. Cover and simmer until carrots are tender when pierced, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Puree soup in batches in blender, or all at once with an immersion blender. In a small bowl, whisk together the miso an a half-cup of the soup. Stir the mixture back into the pot of soup. Taste the soup and season with salt, pepper or additional miso to taste.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with a small mound of scallions.
Sometimes I get a bit indecisive when it comes to making certain meals. I try to make a rough meal plan every week mainly to make both shopping and blogging a bit easier on myself, but sometimes I just don’t stick to it. Despite my best efforts to plan ahead, sometimes I just don’t feel like what I had previously planned out. On this week’s plan I had both lentil soup and tomato soup. It’s been super cold here lately, so soup is in high demand. When it came time to make lentil soup for lunch one day, it just seemed kind of blah… I really wanted tomato soup, but it didn’t really seem filling enough. Then I got wonderful idea of putting the two together. I’m quite happy it did. The end result had everything I wanted. It was tomato-y and comforting and filling and hardy all at the same time.
If I had time (aka if I wasn’t starving for lunch at the time) I would have chopped up some more veggies to add to the soup. Carrots would be perfect in this soup. I did throw a couple large handfuls of spinach at the end to add some sort of vegetable and color (hard to see in the picture, but it’s in there). The green onions were a last-minute, impulsive addition and were amazing on top. The soup itself is completely vegan. I decided to add a couple spoonfuls of greek yogurt to stir in for a little extra creaminess, but it’s definitely not necessary.
Red Lentil Tomato Soup
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2-28 ounce cans whole (or diced) tomatoes
2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 large handfuls baby spinach
5 green onions, sliced
greek yogurt/sour cream, optional
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add onion to the pot and cook until soft, 6-7 minutes. Stir in garlic, paprika and cumin. Cook 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
Add in tomatoes, juices and all. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. If using whole tomatoes: With a handheld/stick blender, blend the tomatoes and onions until mixed, but still slightly chunky.
Bring heat back to medium-high and add in the broth and lentils. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Allow soup to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until lentils are soft and have absorbed some of the liquid.
When lentils are soft, add in baby spinach and stir until slightly wilted.
Put soup in serving bowls, top with green onions and greek yogurt, if desired, and serve.
Brussels sprouts and capers! I can’t think of anything finer. I love both brussels sprouts and capers. This dish is the stuff my dreams are made of. Roasting the sprouts is essential. Roasting gives them a nuttiness and subtle caramelized flavor that is amazing when combined with the salty, crispy capers. The red pepper flakes are a nice background note. You can adjust your red pepper usage to your own taste. I like spice, so I went a little heavy with it. With so many other wonderful flavors it remained a nice accompaniment to the dish, not overpowering and hot.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Capers Adapted from this recipe.
2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/2 cup drained brined capers
4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2-6 garlic cloves, minced (more is better)
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (adjust to your own heat preference)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oven to 425F/220C. Toss brussels sprouts with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Place sprouts on rimmed baking sheet. Roast 15-20 minutes until crispy and golden.
While the sprouts are roasting, blot capers on a paper towel. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add capers and cook, stirring carefully (mixture will splatter), until capers start to open and are brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chile flakes to pan and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer capers and garlic to a paper towel to drain.
Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with capers and a squeeze of lemon.
I got the idea for this soup from Frugal Feeding. Cauliflower, broccoli and leeks are all among my favorite vegetables. I used to be fairly neutral towards cauliflower until I started roasting it. I am fairly certain roasting makes just about anything better. If the soup is looking a little more white than green, that might be due to the fact that some a lot of the broccoli disappeared somewhere after roasting and before entering the soup pot. Roasted broccoli is probably in my top 3 favorite vegetables. It would have been rude not to sample some, and like I said, roasting makes everything better.
I was tempted to try to make this with a melted cheese crouton on top, but since gluten-free bread is so incredibly temperamental, a piece of toast with some Boursin seemed like a much safer bet. Apart from the cheese on the bread, the soup is entirely vegan. I ended up having a lot of soup left over, so I ended up freezing the rest. I’ll report back on how it serves up after defrosting when I get around to eating it.
Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli & Leek Soup
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5+ garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 head (about 2 pounds) cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large (about 1 pound) bunch broccoli, cut into florets
3 large leeks, cleaned and light green/white part cut in half vertically
1 1/2 liters (6 cups) low-sodium vegetable broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. In a large heavy pot heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion when oil is hot. Cook onion until soft and starting to brown. Reduce heat and add in garlic. Allow onion and garlic to continue to brown and caramelize over low heat, stirring occasionally (about every 10 minutes) while you prepare the rest of the soup.
In a large bowl or plastic bag toss cauliflower, broccoli and leeks with remaining olive oil. Place on large rimmed baking sheets (I had to use two) and place in oven for 25 minutes. Turn the vegetables after 15 minutes.
When vegetables are done roasting, transfer to the large pot with the onion. Increase heat to medium-high and add in 1 liter/4 cups of vegetable broth with salt and pepper to taste. Allow soup to come to a low boil and remove from heat. With either a blender or a hand blender, blend the soup until you reach the desired consistency. If the soup is too thick, add in more broth 1 cup at a time.
You could whip this up in less than five minutes. Tapenade is a great appetizer. It is wonderful for dipping veggies and is also great on crackers or bread. I actually made this tapenade not as an appetizer (even thought that’s what we used the leftovers for), but to put on chicken that I baked in the oven. It was also delicious. It is a pretty versatile spread. don’t like a lot of olive oil or overly oily dipping sauces, so I went a little light on the oil. You can add as much or as little you feel necessary.
Black & Green Olive Tapenade
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 cup pitted green olives (I used Spanish olives with pimentos)
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 lemon, juiced
olive oil, to preference
Put all the ingredients except the lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor. Pulse for about 5 short bursts. Add in lemon juice and a small amount of olive oil. Pulse several more times. Add more oil if you need to. Continue pulsing and adding oil or lemon juice until desired consistency is reached.
Um. This might be one of the best ways to serve potatoes I have stumbled across. I’m Irish, I am basically an expert on all things potato. So, if I say these are great potatoes, you can rest assured that these really great potatoes. And they are SO easy. So easy. They are also a great way to make multiple individual servings. These might even work for more of an appetizer orientated party.
For some reason we only have mini muffin pans or jumbo muffin pans… (Memo to self, get regular sized muffin pans.) I used the jumbo muffin tin, which worked out fine. The potatoes got super crispy where they were touching the edge of the pan. If I had a regular sized tin, they would have turned out super crispy and even more wonderful. The middle of the stack got super creamy and wonderful almost like a gratin, but without the effort.
Roasted Potato Stacks
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
Salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Brush 8 muffin tins with the garlic oil using a pastry brush or paper towel.
Peel the potatoes and thinly slice them with a mandolin or by hand.
Layer a potato slice in the bottom of a muffin tin and brush it with a thin layer of oil.
Layer another slice of potato and brush it with the oil.
Repeat until it stacks up to the top of the muffin tin.
An alternate method would be to put the slices in a large bowl and toss with the oil mixture until coated.
Repeat until you have a total of 8 potato stacks.
Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the potato stacks with the minced garlic.
Bake the potato stacks in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown and cook through.
I desperately want it to be fall. It officially is according to the calendar, but the weather around here is making the reality quite different. I dream of cardigans and tights and flannels and coats and all the things that are completely useless in Southern California but any temperature under 65 degrees automatically warrants wearing. I keep thinking that if I act like it’s fall, it will be fall. That’s where soup comes in. It might be uncomfortably hot still, but I still keep thinking that if I make seasonally appropriate recipes or wear seasonally appropriate clothes, the season will also become appropriate. Unfortunately, this line of thought has resulted in nothing but annoyance and overheating.
Luckily this soup was delicious enough to over look the heat for the 10 minutes it took to eat. I got a hankering for soup over the weekend and saw some lentils in the cupboard crying out to be used up. I opened the fridge and the mushrooms literally threw themselves at me, so I thought it would be rude not to include them as well. I googled around for a bit trying to find a mushroom and lentil soup recipe, but nothing was really leaping out at me. So in typical fashion I chopped up some vegetables, threw them in a pot, minced some garlic, added some spices and broth, added a bit more garlic for good measure, put a lid on it and hoped for the best. I was a bit concerned about the mushrooms getting rubbery (blah), but fortunately they managed to maintain their natural mushroomy consistency and even survived reheating. This soup is basically endlessly adaptable. You could throw in diced tomatoes and their juice for a cup of broth, add some spinach or kale, and just about any other vegetable you could imagine.
Mushroom & Lentil Soup
1 medium onion, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
3-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
1-8 ounce package mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup lentils, green or brown (the bigger ones), well rinsed
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
Prepare and cut up all the vegetables.
In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When heated, add in onion, carrots and garlic and cook until slightly softened and fragrant.
Add in spices and mushrooms and stir to coat. Allow water from mushrooms to cook off slightly and add in lentils and broth.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are all cooked and soft.