Summer is coming to a close and tomatoes and corn are abundant in the markets for several more weeks. This is an easy and delicious way to utilize nature’s bounty.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions ( Vidalia are good, so are white or yellow)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 ears of fresh corn, shucked and cleaned
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
fresh ground black or white pepper to taste
In a soup pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook them, stirring occasionally to ensure no scorching, about 5 minutes until they are softened.
While the onions and garlic are cooking, cut the corn off of the cob, ( if you are using frozen corn about 2 cups-though the crunch and taste of fresh summer corn is ideal) by setting the cob on a cutting board horizontally and slicing the corn off with a sharp knife, rotating the cob as you go. This is easier than setting the corn upright vertically and is easier to control the knife. After the kernels have been removed, you want to scrape out any of the milky liquid from each cobb and use this in the soup as well. Add all of the corn kernels and milk to the pot with the onioins and garlic.
Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Stir and add the salt and pepper, and simmer for about 5 minutes more. Add the fresh tomatoes and cook 5 more minutes. Take off the heat and add the cilantro. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Ladle the soup into bowls and enjoy with a dollop of sour cream if you desire.
This is a soup to impress your guests. It is not a cheap soup ingredient wise. However with Thanks-annukah just around the corner (or is it Chanukiving) this year why not go all out for friends and family, while still cooking healthy?
This recipe uses my Fish Fumet and a whole lot of fish and shellfish and spices and herbs. It is a decadent soup with many layers of incredible flavor that just happens to be chock-full of good for you ingredients. This is a large recipe, with 10 servings, so adjust accordingly per your needs. It will do nicely for a meal at home, and will freeze well.
For the Bouillabaisse stock you will need:
2 Tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped carrot (peeled)
2 each large stalks celery chopped (not the whole thing, just 2 individual stalks)
14 ounces canned tomatoes, drained and chopped (I like the tomatoes in the cardboard cartons from Italy)
8 ounces dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
The rest of the ingredients:
10 littleneck clams, scrubbed (or whatever clams you find in your region)
10 mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
2 1/2 ounces lobster meat, cubed
8 ounces shrimp (16/20 count size), peeled and de-veined
8 ounces salmon fillet, cubed
4 ounces scallops, muscle tabs removed
4 ounces perch fillet, cubed (or Red snapper)
4 ounces halibut fillet, cubed (or cod)
4 ounces sea bass fillet, cubed (or grouper)
4 ounces sole fillet, cubed (or John Dory)
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped, fresh, parsley
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped tarragon
sea salt as needed
Begin by preparing the stock by heating the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, fennel, anise, parsley, orange zest, and bay leaves. Sweat the mixture until the onions are turning translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 45 minutes, and strain.
Rinse the pot and return the strained Bouillabaisse stock to the pot. Bring to a boil. Add the clams and the mussels. When their shells open, remove from the stock and reserve.
Lower the stock to a simmer and add the remaining fish. Simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Do not allow this to boil as it may break apart the tender fish.
Return the clams, mussels and lobster to the bouillabaisse. Simmer to heat through. Check for saltiness and add sea salt if needed.
To Serve 10-15 people depending.
Use a 12 ounce ladle, or if you prefer less, an 8 ounce ladle will render more portions. Ladle the soup into bowls and arrange the seafood in each bowl and garnish with the remaining parsley and tarragon.
So we know that fish and shellfish are a large part of a traditional Mediterranean diet. Typically those cultures will make a broth or stock from the carcass and head of the leftover fish after consuming, or removing the flesh. There is much nutrition yet to extract from the bones of fish.Minerals like calcium, retinol, choline, and fat soluble vitamin A. As well as some Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and protein from the bones.
The French make “Fish Fumet” and it is a delicate and versatile fish stock made primarily from fresh, salt-water, white-fleshed fish such as: Halibut, Sole, Flounder. However you may use any kinds of fish bones that you may have on hand.
To make 1/2 Gallon of Fumet for use, and freezing you will need:
1 Tablespoon good olive oil
6 pounds of good quality fish bones
5 ounces of mushroom trimmings (whatever you have leftover from preparing mushrooms), stems, or chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup onion, roughly cut
1/2 cup leeks, washed, and rough cut
1/2 cup parsnips, peeled, and roughly cut
1/2 cup celery, washed and roughly cut
2 1/2 quarts of fresh, cold water
2 cups dry white wine
1 sachet d’epices*
*(A sachet d’epices is a French “bouquet” used to flavor stocks and soups without overpowering them and allowing the herbs and spices to float freely.)
To make a Sachet d’epices you need some Cheese-cloth, about a 4 inch by 4 inch square. Place ingredients inside the cheese-cloth, and tie off the ends well, or use kitchen twine to tie a good knot to keep the spices from falling out.
3 parsley stems
1 bay leaf
2 springs fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dry
1/2 teaspoon cracked fresh pepper
1 crushed garlic clove
To make the Fish Fumet
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed, stock pot on medium-high heat. Add the fish bones, and vegetables. Sweat the ingredients until they become aromatic. (Sweat=cook gently until liquid from the ingredients begins to bead up and release on the outside). Add the remaining ingredients, and simmer slowly (important not to boil) for about 35-40 minutes. Skim the impurities which rise up to the surface frequently.
When it is done, strain through some cheese cloth draped over a chinois, or sieve, into another container which will comfortably hold the liquid. Use a large piece of cheese cloth so that it drapes over the sides of the container. I usually use another pot. Ladle it slowly into the new container. Cool and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
I really enjoy making Borscht. A traditional Russian soup that is said to be the reason for so many centenarians living there! A big pot of iron-rich soup that is satisfying and fortifying. Now that the end of Summer is here and Fall is peeking around the corner markets are rich with golden beets, red beets and chioggia beets.
Beetroots are chock full of phytonutrients called ‘Betalains‘. There are two main types of betalains in beetroot: betacynins (red-violet) and betaxanthins (yellow). Both are a water soluble type of betalains found only in a few of the worlds foods like: prickly pear fruit, beets, beet greens, swiss chard, quinoa and amaranth.
These nutrients help strengthen your cells and keep them healthy and strong against bad bacteria and disease. The phytonutrients in beets are strongly anti-inflammatory. Which is wonderful news for you because all autoimmune disorders are associated with, or caused by chronic inflammation.
Betalains in particular contain water soluble fiber that helps reduce LDL cholesterol, as well as cartenoids and flavonoids which help keep cholesterol from being deposited in the arteries. They protect the cells of the liver and brain from toxins, as well as containing both potassium and magnesium.
When you buy beets, you want to look for small or medium-sized beets whose roots are firm, smooth-skinned and deep in color. Smaller, younger beets may be so tender that peeling won’t be needed after they are cooked. Avoid beets that have spots, bruises or soft, wet areas, all of which indicate spoilage. Shriveled or squishy should also be avoided as these are signs that the roots are old and will be too fibrous.While the quality of the greens does not reflect that of the roots, if you are going to consume this very nutritious part of the plant, look for greens that appear fresh, tender, and have a lively green color.
To keep the greens, cut the majority of the greens and their stems from the beet roots, so they do not pull moisture away from the root. Leave about two inches of the stem attached to prevent the roots from “bleeding.” Do not wash beets before storing. Place in a plastic bag and wrap the bag tightly around the beets, squeezing out as much of the air from the bag as possible, and place in refrigerator where they will keep for up to 3 weeks. Raw beets do not freeze well, but cooked ones will.
For the soup you will need:
2-medium sized golden beets, or 1-large one, peeled and small diced (or grated if you feel like it)
2-Tablespoons yellow Miso paste
1-small onion, minced
1-large garlic clove, smashed
2-cups beet greens, chopped (may substitute chard, collards or kale)
1-medium carrot, peeled and small dice
1-teaspoon sweet paprika (smoked paprika is also good!)
2-Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or grape seed oil
4-cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you have reached the poultry part of the diet)
1-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt to taste
1-Tablespoon apple-cider vinegar
2-teaspoons dried dill
1-fresh bay leaf (dried is ok)
1\2 cup plain Greek yogurt
In a large soup pot over medium heat, use the oil to sweat the carrot, onion, garlic. When just beginning to soften, add the beets, beet greens, bay leaf, paprika and dill. Stir well for about a minute and add the Miso paste. Cook for another five minutes and make sure to stir so the Miso doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pot. Add the beets and stock and stir again. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn down the heat to a low simmer. Let cook,uncovered, stirring occasionally for another 15-20 minutes. Test for doneness and stir in vinegar and season with salt and any extra pepper you may like to add.
To serve add a good dollop of Greek yogurt to the top of your bowl of Borscht. Feel free to stir it in.
Variations: Use red beets and add 1-12oz can diced tomatoes, or 2 tablespoons tomato paste (instead of Miso) for a more traditional Borscht. You could also go full-stop, and add shredded red cabbage, about a cup, instead of (or in addition to) the greens.
2 pounds sugar pumpkin or butternut squash, cubed (easiest to buy prepared)
1 large white or yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 small bulb fennel, top removed, bottom trimmed, quartered and core cut out
1 small leek, green top removed, end trimmed, halved and sliced in half moons about 1/4 inch or less
1 cup oyster mushrooms, rough chopped or torn into pieces
2 Cortland or Empire apples, peeled, cored and quartered
3 cloves garlic, crushed or mashed with broad side of kitchen knife
4 cups low-sodium (preferably organic) vegetable broth or stock. ( can substitute water)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Za’atar spice mix (if you can’t find it make a mix of thyme, nigella seeds (or toasted sesame seeds, black or white), sumac, marjoram and oregano in equal parts and mix well)
1/4 teaspoon ground Ceylon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Kosher or sea salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
You will need to pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees F. You will need a baking pan, a food processor, or a good quality blender (or immersion blender wand), and a large pot or Dutch oven. This recipe makes 6-8 servings and can be served with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt on top and sprinkled with a pinch of roasted pumpkin seeds if you have them.
In the baking pan toss together the pumpkin, onion, fennel, garlic, apples, leek and mushrooms and coat well with the olive oil. Sprinkle the Za’atar spice mixture, the cinnamon, and the black and Cayenne pepper. Sprinkle with salt and toss a little more to mix well.
Roast on 425 degrees for about 40-45 minutes until pumpkin and fennel look browned and tender. Stir once or twice with a high -heat silicone spatula, or wooden spoon to prevent sticking and promote even cooking.
When ready remove from oven, and while still very hot, pour in one cup of vegetable broth and stir well to remove the sticky bits in the pan.
At this point you have several choices: you can food process the roasted vegetables into a nice puree and add to the Dutch oven or pot with the broth\stock\ or water and make your soup that way, adjusting for salt at the end. You could start the soup by adding the contents of the roasting pan to the Dutch oven or pot, add the broth\stock or water, heat until simmering and use an immersion blender wand to puree the soup. Or you could add the contents of the roasting pan to a high-powered blender and puree or add the contents of the pan to the pot/ Dutch oven with the liquid, heat to simmer then blend in a high-powered blender to puree; returning to the pot/ Dutch oven to finish and touch up on seasonings.
Whichever method is easier for you, do it. And remember to taste and adjust seasoning at the end. A pinch more salt, or even some of the spices in the recipe. Maybe a squirt of lemon juice if you like, or instead of a dollop of yogurt to serve (optional) stir it into the soup to add a touch of creaminess or tang.
The options are yours. I have given you the basic foundation for a great Fall/ Early-Winter soup which you can tweak or keep just as it is!
1 8 oz. can low sodium canned tomatoes, crushed or diced is fine
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt to taste or Janes Krazy Mixed-Up Seasoning
1 tablespoon Sri Lanka curry powder, or other spice blend of your choosing
1 fresh bay leaf
1 tablespoon Sri Lanka curry powder, or spice mix of your choosing
Soak beans overnight and drain well, washing two or three more times.
Wash the greens in a sink full of clean water and then drain in a colander. To prepare them begin by holding the vein that runs down the length of the leaf into the stem. Pinch that as you tear off the leaves with your other hand, leaving the tough stem to be discarded. Tear the leaves into pieces, or slice with a knife.
In a large pot heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium-high heat, and begin to sweat the carrots and celery and onions. Add a few pinches of Kosher salt and stir occasionally. Crush the garlic cloves, or if you like a stronger flavor, grate or mince them. Stir again and toss in bay leaf, greens and spices. Let cook for 3 more minutes stirring occasionally to ensure no burnt spots. Add the beans and cover with water or vegetable stock up to two finger widths above the ingredients. *If using store bought vegetable stock make sure it is low-sodium and organic if you can find it.
Bring the soup to a boil and skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Add more water if necessary.
Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook covered for about an hour and a half. Check for seasoning and adjust salt.
This soup can be frozen and holds up well in the refrigerator for up to a week. Heat only the portions you intend to eat at a time, as with any dish you re-heat.
Black beans are one of my personal favorites along with cannelloni and red kidney. If I had to choose three, which I don’t, because there are so many beans to choose from which are all delicious additions to soup, salad, and sides. If you haven’t eaten a lot of beans you might think they pretty much all taste the same. They all have a bean taste, I’ll give you that, but there are differences in flavor and texture between them. Some cook up firm and grainy, others softer and smooth inside, some firm and smooth and some soft and grainy. Some change color when you cook them, others grow to four times their original size. All pack amino acids, protein, fiber, vitamin c, calcium and much more. They have a high fullness factor and are very low in saturated fat. They help you lose weight. They taste good with just a little salt and pepper, and even better added to dishes. They carry flavor well and have a satisfying give under your teeth when you bite down on them. Which can help if you’re weaning off of red meat. Beans will help you with that.
Black beans in particular pack an impressive 15 grams of protein and fiber into one 1 cup serving. They have a rich, creamy texture when cooked, and good toothy mouth feel when you bite them, dark broth, and an earthy, minerality which is very satisfying paired with aromatics like onion, cilantro, garlic and strong spices like bay leaf and cumin.
Cuban Style Black Beans (Floridian Version)
1 lb bag black beans, rinsed and picked over
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil, olive works fine
1 yellow onion, diced (Vidalia if you have one)
2 medium Bay leaves, fresh are ideal, dry is okay
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 bunch cilantro, minced
Soak the beans overnight in a large pot. In the morning, set beans aside, but do not drain. Save the soaking liquid.
In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat, until you can begin to see little swirls running through it or smell it. Add the onion and saute for about six minutes, until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add two cloves of the garlic and continue cooking for another thirty seconds so the garlic releases it’s aromatics but doesn’t burn. Toss in the Bay Leaves.
Next add the beans to the onion and garlic mixture and enough of the soaking water to cover everything by an inch to an inch or so. Bring beans to a boil then cover (leaving a small crack open), reduce heat and simmer for one hour.
After an hour, stir the beans and add the remaining two garlic cloves. Return to a simmer and cook another hour until beans are tender and the cooking liquid is thick. Stir occasionally while cooking.
Once cooked, add salt and adjust accordingly, and the minced cilantro if desired. I prefer my black beans with freshly minced raw onion on top as well.
Additional options: Serve beans over rice, for a complete protein, puree and serve as black bean soup or save for additional uses.
This recipe serves about 6 people and freezes very well.
Kosher or Sea salt, and freshly ground pepper, if desired. Can also use white pepper.
In a large pot, boil heavily salted water and using a colander with handles, which fits into the pot-or a pasta cooker insert, if you have one that fits, blanch the corn kernels for about 1 minute.
If you don’t have a colander which fits into a pot, carefully drain the corn like you would pasta when it has cooked for one minute. In the blender or food processor, blend 4 cups of the corn until a thick puree is achieved. You may add a little of the hot water from cooking to help things along. You could add the truffle oil at this point while you are blending.
In a soup pot heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, chard stems, onion and leek and cook, stirring often, until they soften, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle some salt on them while they cook to help sweat them out.
Add the remaining corn kernels, the chard leaves, Thyme, and vegetable stock and the corn puree. Stir well and set to medium-low heat. If you would rather use an immersion blender and puree some of the soup in the pot before adding the chard leaves, that is okay as well.
You could also use an immersion blender to whiz things together even more once you added the corn puree. Check for salt and add it if needed stirring well to dissolve it. Season with white or black pepper if you like. Cook until the Chard leaves soften, about 15 more minutes on low-medium heat, making sure to stir occasionally.
The pureed corn adds a texture of cream and a heavier mouth feel with the addition of the White Truffle oil. It adds a wonderful earthy flavor to this soup. It can be served alone or with the addition of some fresh avocado and heirloom Summer tomatoes on top.
If you aren’t a fan of truffle oil, you could skip that entirely and spice the soup up using South West flavors, like smoked paprika and bell peppers and Parsley and Oregano instead of Thyme. Even just adding fresh Basil leaves would be a great twist. This recipe is a base-line for many good additions and herbs and spices.
Hope you enjoy the corn while it is still in the Farmer’s Markets!
Watermelon may not be your initial thought when thinking about a Gazpacho, but it adds a cool and refreshing flavor for a nice summer soup.
7-8 pounds watermelon, preferably seedless (red or yellow is fine)
2 slices Gluten-free bread, toasted or left out to dry for a day
1 green Bell pepper, seeded and minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
1 red Bell pepper, seeded and minced
1 medium yellow onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced or smashed
1 English cucumber, peeled and minced
1/2 cup Parsley, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
About a teaspoon Kosher salt or to taste (varies)
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 or 2 pinches cayenne pepper (optional)
Cut the watermelon by laying on it’s side, cut off the top, lay flat and with a large knife, cut down the top and sides while rotating the melon to remove the rind and white part. Cut the melon into 1-inch chunks. This should yield about 8-10 cups, give or take. Then in a food processor or blender, puree the melon and transfer to a large bowl.
Put the bread into the processor or blender, and blend until crumbs form. You could also use the pulse setting to gently pulse the bread to the desired crumb.
Stir into the watermelon puree the bread crumbs, the green and red pepper, the jalapeno (optional), the onion, the garlic, the cucumber, the parsley, the vinegar, and the Olive oil. Season with the salt and pepper and add the cayenne if using. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
Chill the soup before serving. It will last about 2-3 days, but it best the day of. You can also add crumbled Feta cheese on top of each serving if you like. I find Feta and Watermelon very complimentary. Just a Tablespoon will do!
Cioppino? Yes. *Chi-ppino*! Italian rustic fisherman stew which can become your own speciality depending on what kinds of sea foods you like and how many vegetables you wish to add. Cioppino is traditionally a rustic seafood stew with a little bit of everything good from the sea. Scallops, shrimp, clams, mussels, fish and often crab meat. It can be seasoned with oregano, thyme and basil, and makes a wonderful healthy feast.
3 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons good olive oil
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
1 bell pepper of your choosing, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Small handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 can (12-14 oz) chopped tomatoes
1 can (12-14 oz) chicken broth (low-sodium)
1 bay leaf (fresh if you have it! Dried is OK)
About 2 teaspoons fresh basil, minced or 1 teaspoon dried
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1 spring fresh oregano or 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup water
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 pound shrimp – peeled and deveined
1/2 pound bay scallops
6 each small clams
6 each mussels, cleaned and debearded
1 small can lump crab meat
1/2 pound cod fillets, cubed
Over medium-low heat heat olive oil in a medium stockpot, add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until onions and peppers are soft.
Add tomatoes and chicken broth, bay leaf, basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, water and wine.
Mix well. Cover and simmer 30 minutes on medium-low heat.
Stir in the shrimp, scallops, clams, cod, mussels and crab meat.
Simmer covered about 10 minutes more until clams open.
Ladle soup into bowls and serve with warm, crusty bread!
This takes about an hour from start to finish. You can add any fish you like such as Monkfish, Halibut, or leave out ingredients you don’t particularly like such as any herb. Play with it and I hope you enjoy it. I recommend a Pinot Gris or Riesling for the wine, but any dry white would work! Remember to save some to drink!