Posts Tagged ‘soup’

More soup: Posole

March 16, 2009

My local HEB has started carrying pork products from Applegate Farms.  Finally!!  Pork made from pigs that were practically read a bed time story and tucked in to sleep at night.  This I can eat. http://www.applegatefarms.com/products/hdbs.aspx?fid=100&id=480,938,944

In celebration, I made a large pot of Posole.  Andy had never heard of hominy, so I felt this was a perfect opportunity for expanding culinary horizons.  Traditionally, posole is seasoned with dried red chilés, but I had none, so chipotles stood in place.   The finished stew can be served with rice, avocado, lime wedges, queso fresco…. whatever you think compliments the flavor.

6 slices, bacon
4 chicken thighs, skinned, deboned, cubed
3 small white onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 chipotle peppers, chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
kosher salt
cracked pepper
adobo sauce, to taste
1 beer
1 can whole tomatoes, crushed w/ juice
32 oz can yellow hominy, drained
1 lime, juiced
1 quart free range chicken broth
1 cup green cabbage, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped

In a very large pot, fry the bacon until crisp.  Remove it to drain, and set aside.  In the remaining grease, brown the chicken, and remove as well.  Then saute then onions in the still remaining grease.  Add garlic to soften, then green peppers.  Add cumin seeds and cook until they’ve become aromatic and started to brown a little.  Deglaze the pan with beer. Add back the chicken, and crumble in the bacon.  Add remaining ingredients excepting cabbage and cilantro.  Allow to simmer on low heat until the hominy is tender, and the flavors are incorporated.  Add cabbage and allow to wilt.  Serve with chopped cilantro.

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Tofu noodle soup

March 6, 2009

I lived in Athens, Ga for a little while after grad school.  I guess I really didn’t want to be there for long, because I just about refused to make friends or come up with any kind of social life while I was there.  Instead, I holed up in my little duplex with my dog, and some really good Thai take out.  That year, I fell in love with Tom Yum soups.  The blend of acid and heat is something I particularly love.  The following soup was meant to be a cross between my chicken noodle soup, and my thai favorite.  It relied heavily on everyone’s favorite Vietnamese  hot sauce.

I used the chili garlic sauce.  Lots.

I used the chili garlic sauce. Lots.

1 brick firm tofu
2 tbs olive oil
2 medium white onions, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 head celery (with leaves), chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced
1/2 head green cabbage, chopped
2 bottles beer
1 large can fire roasted tomatoes, crushed with juice
3-5 tablespoons chili garlic paste
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
1-3 tbs cumin
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup whole wheat egg noodles
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Drain tofu from storage water.  Line one dinner plate with two cup towels, folded in fourths.  Place the tofu block on the towels, then top with two more folded towels, and another dinner plate which faces upward.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours with cans to weight the top plate.  Leave in the refrigerator until well drained.  Remove tofu from fridge, and slice into squares about 1/4 inch thick.  Place on a hot non stick skillet.  Begin to gently press the tofu with a flat spatula.  Water will escape the tofu and evaporate on the hot skillet.  Turn when the underside has started to brown and repeat.  Continue pressing until the tofu is about halved in thickness and has a slightly meaty consistency. Cut into bite sized pieces.

Heat olive oil in a large soup kettle.  Saute onions until translucent, then add garlic to soften.  Add celery and stir until it begins to soften.  Add remaining ingredients except noodles, pressed tofu, and cilantro.  Allow to simmer, on low, until the carrots are softened.  Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.  About 20 minutes before serving, add the noodles and tofu and cook unti the pasta softens.  Serve with chopped cilantro.

Hatch Chilé Pumpkin Soup

September 21, 2008

A few weeks ago, the hatch chilés landed in the Southwest.  These are wonderful peppers that lend flavor and heat to recipes without the same acid or bite as a jalapeno.  A friend, Allysa, supplied me with a gallon bag of hot and a gallon of the mild.  These I blistered on the Big Green Egg, slapped under a heavy pot so they’d sweat, skinned, seeded, and froze down.  I grab them out of the freezer to throw in Mac and Cheese, Rice, or tonight: Pumpkin Soup.  They’re smokey, hot, and yummy.

1 medium sized pumpkin
Splash of olive oil
1 large Texas Sweet onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
4-5 hot hatch green chilés, diced (My soup was hot as sin. Back off if you care to)
1 tbs thyme fresh thyme leaves
1 tbs fresh sage leaves, diced
1 tbs fresh rosemary (or lavender?) leaves, chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
Fresh grated nutmeg, to taste (go spare on this at first and add to finished soup if desired)
1 pumpkin ale (regular beer would work. I used: http://www.buffalobillsbrewery.com/beers_bottled.asp )
Optional: Splash of milk or soymilk
Maple Syrup

Split the pumpkin in half. I do this using and old heavy knife and a rubber mallet.  Scrape out seeds and fiber and place these in a large stock pot that will accommodate a steamer basket. Cut the pumpkin into manageable cubes.  Add about ½ inch of water to the stock pot and place your steamer basket down into the liquid.  Place ½ the pumpkin cubes in the steamer basket, and steam over medium heat until fork tender.  After steaming, strain the liquid from the pulp and seeds and save it to use as stock.  Discard the pulp and seeds.  The steamed pumpkin I peeled, pureed, drained, and froze for later use.  I just wanted the stock.  I believe I first saw this idea on America’s Test Kitchen.

Place the remaining pumpkin pieces in 2 baking dishes and roast them at 350 until soft.  This took me about an hour.  Allow them to cool, and remove the peel from the meat.  Cut the meat into cubes and set aside.

In a heavy soup pan, heat enough olive oil to coat.  Add diced onion to the pot and allow to cook over medium heat until they soften and pick up some color.  I used the sweet onions specifically for the caramelization.  Add garlic, green chilés, and cook to soften.  Add seasonings, and herbs.  Mix through to release the aromatics.  Deglaze the pan with pumpkin ale and reserved stock from the steamed pumpkin.  Add pumpkin cubes and just enough water to almost cover.  Stir well and then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer on low until the flavors have blended and the pumpkin cubes are completely soft.  Puree the vegetable pieces with a stick blender, or in your food processor in batches.  Taste for flavor and adjust.

Mine was smoking hot from the peppers, so I added a generous splash of milk to cool it off, then served it with a drizle of maple syrup to balance the remaining fire.  A drizzle of heavy cream would have been nice as well, but who needs the fat?  Using soy milk instead of regular would have made this a nice meal soup for the vegans in your life.