Saturday, March 16, 2019

Spanish-Style Meatball Soup with Saffron and Kale #soupswappers

Today is Saturday Soup Swappers and today's challenge was to make a soup with meatballs!  This was a super fun challenge.  Why?  Because I love meatballs!!  Since childhood I have leaned toward a dish that features meatballs...I have even been known to eat lamb meatballs and if you know me well, you know that lamb rates at the bottom of my list of favorites.  Bring on the Spaghetti and Meatballs, bring on the Italian Wedding Soup.  I will always have a fork and spoon ready!

Today's soup features turkey meatballs and kale with a lovely picada mixed in just before serving.  Picada originated in the Catalan region of Spain around the thirteenth or fourteenth century as a way of thickening a soup or stew.  It is a combination of ground nuts, bread crumbs, aromatics and olive oil that when mixed together thickens a dish and provides a "tah dah" to the dish!

Saffron is the star of this soup.  It has a lovely subtle flavor that you know when you taste it.  Paella isn't paella without saffron!  Bouillabaisse isn't bouillabaisse without saffron!  And, this Spanish-style soup wouldn't be nearly as tasty without it! There really isn't a substitute for saffron.  It is expensive and if you are lucky enough to be traveling in Spain you can easily find it in the market.  Saffron is the dried orange-red stigma of a crocus sativas a sterile crocus used specifically for the purpose of its three stigmas!  Yes, three.  Three per flower.  And, they are hand-harvested!  You can see why the expense.  There are 70,000 flowers harvested for one pound of saffron!

The soup starts with a sofrito which is a base for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese cooking.  This sofrito consists of onion, red bell pepper, and garlic.  The recipe says the rest....




Spanish-Style Meatball Soup 
with Saffron and Kale
adapted from America's Test Kitchen
Soup Serves:  6-8

Picada 
Yields:  1 cup
Preheat oven:  375° (Place oven rack in the middle.)

1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 slices white bread, quartered
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
Three twists fresh ground pepper

Pulse the nuts in a food processor to fine crumbs.  Add the bread, olive oil, salt and pepper and continue to pulse the bread to coarse crumbs.  Spread the mixture over a baking sheet.  Toast, stir frequently, until golden brown.  (Ten minutes)  Let cool.

The picada may be made in advance and stored in an airtight container for two days.

Meatballs
Yields: 30-35 meatballs

2 slices white bread, torn into quarters
1/3 cup milk
1 pound ground turkey (93 % lean)
1/2 cup Manchego cheese
3 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
3 Tbsp minced shallot (1 medium)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

In a large bowl, mash the bread and milk together into a paste.  Add the ground turkey, Manchego cheese, parsley, shallot, oil, salt and pepper.  Mix the combination thoroughly.  When combined, roll the meatballs by pulling off about 2 teaspoons of meat mixture.  Roll into firm balls and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator until firm, about 45 minutes.

Soup
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp saffron threads, crumbled
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
8 cups chicken stock
1 recipe of picada
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1/2 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil until shimmering.  Add the onion and bell pepper.  Cook until softened and lightly browned. (10-12 minutes) Stir in the garlic, paprika, saffron, and red pepper flakes.  Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits.  Cook until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the broth and bring the soup to a simmer.  Gently add the meatballs and kale.  Continue to simmer until the meatballs are cooked through 12-15 minutes.  Off the heat, stir in the picada, parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve.

PRINTABLE RECIPE



The Saturday Soup Swappers is a group of bloggers brought together by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm. The group gets together on the third Saturday of the month to share soups or stews based on a theme selected by one of the members. If you are interested in joining in on the fun, follow the link above for more information. All are welcome!

Meatball and Noodle Soup (Sopa Albondigas con Fideo)  by Palatable Pastime 

Zucchetti and Meatball Soup  by  Home Sweet Homestead

Green Gram & Chicken Meatball Clear Soup  by  Sneha's Recipe 

Albondigas Soup by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Shrimp and Pork Meatball Wonton Noodle Soup  by  Karen's Kitchen Stories  

One-Pot Fennel & Stout Beef Meatball Stew  by  Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice http://faithhopeloveandlucksurvivedespiteawhiskeredaccomp

 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Slow Cooker Lentil, Vegetable and Pasta Soup #soupswappers

Today is Saturday Soup Swappers and today's challenge was to make a soup with an Italian flair!

I think that I mentioned my husband having knee replacement surgery which led to no appetite.  Soup was was came to mind.  I have made so many pots of soup this month that it is actually hard to decide which one to post for today's challenge.  It was a good month for soup!

When I think of Italian soups, the first soup I usually think of is Minestrone. I have a great recipe for it but I had seen some lentils in the pantry as well as some kale and vegetables in the refrigerator so it was settled.  I pulled out the slow cooker and put it together before I left for the library as I was volunteering in the Genealogy Room that day.  It was nice to know that dinner would be ready when I got home!

This is a super recipe for improvising.  Whatever is in season will work.  You can make it as brothy or hardy as you like depending on you selection of vegetables.  You really must give it a try!



Slow Cooker Lentil, Vegetable & Pasta Soup

1 pound Bob's Red Mill Lentils (brown), rinsed and picked over
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large celery rib with leaves, chopped
1 can fire roasted tomatoes (about 2 cups)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 medium zucchini, sliced
8 cups vegetable stock
1 cup small pasta

Garnish:  Chopped parsley, fresh grated romano

Combine all of the ingredients except the pasta and zucchini in the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.  Add the pasta, sliced zucchini and salt and pepper.  Cook an additional 30 minutes or more until the pasta is tender.  (You may wish to increase the temperature of the slow cooker for this last step.)

PRINTABLE RECIPE

We loved the soup!  It had great flavor.  The next time I make it though, I will not use zucchini.  I just didn't like the flavor, it seemed bitter.  Maybe it was because it was winter zucchini as I am usually a big fan of this squash.   The kale never made it to the soup...it didn't pass muster!



The Saturday Soup Swappers is a group of bloggers brought together by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm. The group gets together on the third Saturday of the month to share soups or stews based on a theme selected by one of the members. If you are interested in joining in on the fun, follow the link above for more information. All are welcome!

Inlinkz Link Party

Friday, January 18, 2019

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup #SoupSwappers

Today is Saturday Soup Swappers and I was challenged to make something that would warm us up on a cold and snowy day.   Today's theme was selected by Sue at Palatable Passtime.  Thank you, Sue, for stretching my memory... This was quite a challenge as snow is only a memory for me...the last time it snowed here was January 25, 1999!   That was an exciting day as it wasn't just a dusting of snow, it was six inches in some places.  Most folks were told to stay home and not go to work.  I know school was cancelled...we don't have anything that looks like a snowplow and our streets were filled with children, snowmen, and if you lived near a hill, there were sleds and skis everywhere!  What did I cook?  I have absolutely no idea!  I do know that I sat outside with a cup of tea and watched as it continued to snow and snow and snow.  I loved every minute!!

Back to today. Well, I feel fortunate if we have rain.

I was facing a challenge, though.  Terry had a surprise issue with his knee the first week of December.  He was in excruciating pain.  After multiple trips to doctors....the bad news came.  He was facing a knee replacement right after the New Year.  Needless to say, he has had no appetite, but, Chicken Noodle Soup sounded comforting.  So, I made a very quick and easy Chicken Noodle Soup.



Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin slices
2 celery ribs, sliced thin
1 medium onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 quarts organic chicken stock, more if desired
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried thyme
12 oz wide egg noodles
2 cups shredded chicken, a rotisserie chicken works great or cook three chicken thighs and a chicken breast in the oven and shred.
3-4 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high.  Add the carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves and thyme and saute for about 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.  Add the garlic and saute another minute or two.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Allow the mixture to gently boil until the vegetables are tender.

Add the egg noodles and boil the mixture for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles are soft.  If it appears that additional liquid is needed add more stock or a cup of water.

Add the chicken and parsley to the mixture and continue to simmer until the chicken is warm.  Adjust the seasoning as desired.

Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with a bit of parsley, if desired.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


While Terry was only able to eat about half a cup of soup, he said it really hit the spot.  I know I enjoyed it. Who doesn't like a basic chicken noodle soup?  If nothing else, it brings back childhood memories!

The Saturday Soup Swappers is a group of bloggers brought together by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm. The group gets together on the third Saturday of the month to share soups or stews based on a theme selected by one of the members. If you are interested in joining in on the fun, follow the link above for more information. All are welcome!


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Chicken, Pasta and Leek Soup #SoupSwappers




What to do when the leftovers start disappearing and one has not made the soup!  When, the ingredients change and you do not end up with what you thought....the orzo disappeared, the spinach had its own private trip, but the chicken remained!   I seem to be good at falling back and regrouping.

Today is Saturday Soup Swappers and I was challenged to use up my leftovers!   One or more of the soup's ingredients was to be leftover from another meal.  For me the count went from three to one!  Today's theme was selected by Karen at Karen's Kitchen Stories. Thank you, for reminding me that leftovers do not have to be an exact repeat of a previous meal and that improvising can be a good thing.

Leftover Chicken, Pasta and Leek Soup

2 cups chicken pieces
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced into half moons
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 can diced tomatoes
1 large potato peeled and diced into small cubes
2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup water, plus additional if needed
1 sprig rosemary, leaves striped, finely chopped
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 cups noodles or any small pasta
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar

In a large pot heat one tablespoon butter and olive oil. When hot, add the leeks, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables soften.  Add the can of tomatoes, chicken, potato, beans, chicken broth and water.  Stir.  Allow to simmer until the potato has started to soften.  Add additional liquid if needed.  Add the pasta and cook on medium until softened.  Taste the broth.  We found that the addition of a bouillion cube enhanced the flavor.

Add a splash of sherry vinegar and serve.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


The Saturday Soup Swappers is a group of bloggers brought together by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm. The group gets together on the third Saturday of the month to share soups or stews based on a theme selected by one of the members. If you are interested in joining in on the fun, follow the link above for more information. All are welcome!


Inlinkz Link Party

Friday, November 16, 2018

Spicy Winter Squash Soup

Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love the reprieve from the heat and hope of cool breezes and, just maybe rain!  For now, there is no rain but the cool morning air brings a smile to my face.

As the evenings cool down soup comes to mind for lunch or dinner.  Today is Saturday Soup Swappers and I was challenged to make a soup using squash, pumpkin, or both.  The theme was selected by Ashley at Cheese Curd In Paradise.  And, of course, I decided to use both squash and pumpkin!




Spicy Winter Squash Soup
adapted from Cookie and Kate

Yield: 6-8 servings

1 medium butternut squash, halved, seeds removed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, small chop
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 apple, cored, peeled, chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground coriander
Pinch of cloves
1 tsp kosher salt
3-4 cups vegetable broth
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Garnishes
1/4 cup pepitas, lightly roasted with spices.
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
Pinch coriander
Sour Cream, thin with vegetable broth
Chopped cilantro

Preheat oven:  350° F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the squash, cut sides down and roast for 40 minutes.  Test with a fork.  Remove from oven when tender.  Allow the squash to cool.  Remove the flesh from the shell and place in a bowl.  (Should the squash have some firm spots, it will continue cooking with the broth.)

In a Dutch oven, warm the oil over medium heat.  Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic, squash, pumpkin, apple, salt and spices.  Cook 2-3 minutes until fragrant.

Add the vegetable broth and lemon juice.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes.  Test the squash to assure it is tender.

Blend the soup in batches in a blender or use an immersion blender and blend the soup until smooth.  Return the soup to the pot and keep warm on low.  Taste and adjust the seasonings, as desired.

To prepare the pepitas:  In a small skillet warm the olive oil, chili powder, cumin, coriander and a pinch of salt.  Toss to combine and toast for 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned.

Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with the sour cream.  Sprinkle with pepitas and cilantro.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


I had expected the soup to be a bit more spicy.  Should I make it again I would definitely increase the spices.

The Saturday Soup Swappers is a group of bloggers brought together by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm. The group gets together on the third Saturday of the month to share soups or stews based on a theme selected by one of the members. If you are interested in joining in on the fun, follow the link above for more information. All are welcome!

And here is the reason that I have been out of touch with blogging!  Our daughter got married!





Friday, August 17, 2018

Spanish Romesco Sauce Becomes Soup! #SoupSwappers

Romesco sauce is a popular topping in Spain.  It hails from the Catalonia area of Spain and appears with roasted vegetables, fish or slathered on a crostini.  While in Spain I grew to love crostini with Romesco....so yummy, especially with a nice glass of wine!  This Romesco soup is a variation of the sauce.  It has all of the great ingredients: roasted red peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and almonds with some vegetable broth and a few surprises tossed in.

One of the surprises is harissa paste.  I usually have powdered harissa on hand but paste has more complex and depth of flavor than the powder.  (Thank you, Amazon...you saved me miles of driving.)  So when it was suggested that harissa paste be used, I was willing.


The other surprise is chickpeas.  This soup has smashed chickpeas in it.  These, along with the almonds, give a nice texture to the soup.  It is called Spanish Romesco Soup with Smashed Chickpeas!

Today is Saturday Soup Swappers and I was challenged to make a soup using almonds.  I usually associate almonds with baking so I had a little thinking and working to do.  Today's theme was selected by Sneha at Sneha's Recipes.  Thank you, Sneha, for reminding me that there many ways to use an almond!



Spanish Romesco Soup with Chickpeas
adapted from Minimalist Baker


Yield:  8 servings

2 red peppers (with skin and stem)
4-5 cloves of garlic (skin on)
1 cup raw almonds
1 28-oz can roasted diced tomatoes
1 1/2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
3/4 tsp spicy smoked paprika
1/2 tsp each salt and fresh ground pepper
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 to 2 tsp harissa paste (taste and add more as desired)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 15-oz can chickpeas (drained, rinsed, smashed)

Garnish:  Chopped cilantro, shaved parmesan cheese

Preheat oven:  350° F.

Line a baking sheet with foil.  Arrange peppers on one side.  On the other side spread the almonds and garlic.  Place in oven.  Roast almonds for 12 minutes.  They will be golden brown and slightly cracked.  Remove the almonds from the baking sheet and set aside.
Continue roasting the garlic for 7-8 minutes.  Remove and set aside.  Return the baking sheet to the oven and increase the temperature to 475° F.

Roast the peppers until they have blackened, about 12 minutes.  Turn the peppers midway to char the other side.  Once charred, remove the peppers and place in a paper bag or wrap in foil to allow them to steam for about 3-4 minutes.  After steaming the peppers, peel away the skin, remove the core and the seeds.  Remove the skin from the garlic.

Put the peppers, garlic, almonds, tomatoes, vinegar, harissa, paprika, salt, pepper, and maple syrup into the blender.  On high speed, puree the ingredients until smooth.  Scrap down the sides of the container as needed.  Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired for additional heat, sweetness, acidity or salt.

Pour the mixture into a large pot.  Add the vegetable broth and the smashed chickpeas.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce and simmer on low for approximately 15 minutes.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish as desired with chopped cilantro and parmesan.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


This was an enjoyable soup.  I loved the spiciness and depth of flavor from the harrisa paste.  And I am so thankful to have the air conditioning unit up and running!  Ten days without air conditioning is a very long time.  Once the house had cooled down....on came the oven to roast those gorgeous peppers, garlic cloves and almonds!!

The Saturday Soup Swappers is a group of bloggers brought together by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm. The group gets together on the third Saturday of the month to share soups or stews based on a theme selected by one of the members. If you are interested in joining in on the fun, follow the link above for more information. All are welcome!


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Spicy Veggie Chili with Summer Squash #soupswappers

Today I was challenged to prepare a soup or chili that required me to use a slow cooker.  That means the dish had to be one that would stand up to our summer...for me, that is a chili and one that features veggies.  Using a slow cooker during the summer is so much better than using an oven! And, it is a garden veggie time of the year! 

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Soup is hosted by Karen at Karen's Kitchen StoriesThank you for reminding me that the slow cooker is a great summer appliance.

The Saturday Soup Swappers is a group of bloggers brought together by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm. The group gets together on the third Saturday of the month to share soups or stews based on a theme selected by one of the members. If you are interested in joining in on the fun, follow the link above for more information. All are welcome!


This chili is a winner!  It lives by its name, it is spicy and the flavor is wonderful!  We loved it and neither of us can wait for lunch tomorrow!




Spicy Veggie Chili with Summer Squash

adapted from Dina Cheney, Fine Cooking

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup scallions, white, light green and some dark green parts (4 onions)
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced jalapeno (1/2 medium)
1 1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp kosher salt, divided, 
5 grinds fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp oregano flakes
2 cups frozen corn
2 yellow squash, quarter lengthwise, then cut into thick slices
1 zucchini squash, quarter lengthwise, then cut into thick slices
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 Tbsp minced chipotle chiles or use just the adobo sauce
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 28-oz fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 15-oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Garnish:  Tortilla chips, sour cream, chopped avocado

In a 10-inch skillet, heat half of the oil on medium-high.  Add the bell peppers, scallions, garlic, jalapeno, half of the salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder and oregano.  Saute about six minutes, just until the vegetables soften.  Add the squash and the corn and saute an additional three minutes.  Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker.  Add the beans and mix well.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining oil, tomato paste, chipotle chiles or adobo sauce, and flour.  Cook until the mixture is thickened and the flour disappears.  Increase the heat to high and add the tomatoes with their juices, vegetable stock, lime juice, and the remaining salt.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring well for about 3 minutes.  Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker.  Mix well.  Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.  Stir in the cilantro.  Serve with chips, sour cream and avocado.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


I wasn't really certain how the squash would do in a slow cooker so upon thought, I decided that they should be cut into thick slices and quartered.  They stood up to the heat really well.  This was truly a tasty recipe.  If you aren't a fan of really spicy chili, I would suggest cutting back to one Tablespoon of adobo sauce.