Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Seriously Tasty Tomato Soup

My pal Emily and I made up something brilliant. It's called Epic Day of Cooking. And you each gather 3-4 recipes, make your shopping list, go to the Berkeley Bowl, shop away (make sure you get enough bar snack mix), and then go to Emily's apartment, cook everything, and put it in single serving size tupperware and freeze it.

And then you're incredible, and you have tasty soups for days!

Did I mention you drink champagne while cooking? It makes you even more incredible. It does not help you use consistent formatting on your instagram though. Strange.
The half and half in this photo is a lie. You could put a splash in at the end, but then it would cause unfortunate side effects for your lactose-intolerant friends. Anyway, just ignore it.
Tomatos. Like, 5 lbs.
Onions. Like, 3
Chicken Stock (you really should make your own)
2 Bay leaves

Chop your onions. Be furious that Berkeley doesn't compost. Really Berkeley? REALLY?

Core and halve your tomatoes, stick them on a sheet pan with your garlic and onions.

S&P for roasting.

Roast them for 25 minutes

Mmm... roasted.

Apply veg to soup pot, add 2 bay leaves and chicken stock. Simmer for 40 minutes.

Take out your bay leaves! They are tough to digest.... 

Add some basil!
Fresh basil is a totally delicious herb. I have a hankering for an herb garden. But alas, apartment living and San Francisco fog may not let it be as fruitful as my Momzo's. Her garden is magical.

Anyway, back to soup.

Enjoy your success with a(nother) glass of champagne! You are making soup magic!

Blend the soup with your immersion blender. If you don't have an immersion blender, stop reading this blog and GO GET ONE NOW.

Blend it until it looks even more delicious.

You will be so excited about how tasty it is, that you won't even WANT to add a splash of half & half.

You will be so excited, you will forget to photograph it. But trust me, it looks good. Put it in your belly.

Soup Santa

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Man Soup

Every man I know loves this soup. It's meaty. It's potatoey. It's incredible. It doesn't even have a proper name other than "you know that meaty soup dad and jarod[my brother] love?" My mom would often make this soup on a chilly afternoon, letting its delicious smells permiate our whole house.

The best part, she would drain the bacon on a plate with a paper towel next to the soup pot. A soup pot that looked kinda like this, for the record.

Which was so awesome (Mom's had pictures of vegetables on it... not flowers...but you get the idea)

I would always sneak bacon.

Sorry, mom. But you were kind of asking for it. Always cook extra bacon!

6 slices of bacon (plus a few for the cook)
1 red onion
6 cloves of garlic (I used some roasted garlic I had on hand)
1 can of garbanzo beans
1 1/4 lbs stew beef (or a beef shank, you can cut it up)
1 lb ham shank (I had to use sliced ham... )
about 8 red potatoes
about 2 cups of baby carrots
2 kielbasa sausages (8 oz. total)
1 t cumin
1 t oregano

Let's do this!
Cook the bacon until crisp, then lay on your super cute and greenzo napkin to drain, because you don't have any paper towels. 
 Drain all but 2 T of the bacon grease. Slice the onion, and smash or dice the garlic. Cook in the bacon grease. Praise God for the smell of onions and garlic cooking in bacon grease.
While the onions cook, cut up your beef and ham into sizes of beef and ham that would fit in your
These onions are totes ready.
When the onions and garlic are limp, add the meat, plus the liquid from your garbanzos and enough water that it appears to be about 6 quarts (ugh, don't you hate measuring? I do!)

Let that stew for an hour and a half. Chop your vegies!

Add the vegies!
Simmer for 45 more minutes. Add spices and crumbled bacon. Die a little, because surely this is heaven


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dueling Emotions... or, Asparagus and Broccoli Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese

There used to be a commercial, I'm not even sure what for, but it had these women who kept saying they wanted to go to the zoo, but they couldn't because they were out of olive oil. Or they wanted to play in the backyard, but they ran out of toilet paper.

I want to take a bubble bath, but I got a new cookbook and I want soup and biscuits.

I need to both watch The Real Housewives of Everywhere and to make soup, but I have no TV in my kitchen.
I want to eat soup, but I ALSO want to eat melty chocolate cake, but my kitchen is small and I don't have the necessary ingredients... and I need to watch the Housewives.
So many dueling emotions.

I want to drink champagne. But I gave up drinking for lent, except on Fridays and Saturdays.

I am not very good at lent.

I want to cook steak for my husband... but we are out of steak. I am NOT out of broccoli, asparagus and goat cheese.

Broccoli, Asparagus and Herbed Goat Cheese Soup
loosely translated from here (Thanks, Giada!)
3 cups of trimmed asparagus, cut into 1"-ish pieces
4 cups of broccoli florets
4 T goat cheese
1 T chopped fresh basil, or dried, if you're the kind of girl who doesn't have fresh today (I'm totes that kind of girl)
A squeeze of lemon juice
4 cups of chicken stock (or, 4 cubes of your homemade chicken stock ice cubes plus enough water to make 4 cups)
2 T unsalted butter
1 more T of chopped fresh basil
1 medium diced onion (harsh realities: I keep diced onion in a baggie in my freezer. there are white, red and yellow onions in there. there, i said it. they work just fine)

Roast them veggies with some EVOO and S&P at 350 for about 15 minutes. do not burn yourself.

While they roast away, prepare the herbed goat cheese:

Smoosh the goat cheese and basil with the lemon juice and some S&P in a bowl.

Smoosh it.

Using your fancy William-Sonoma cookie scoop, scoop up 4 1"-ish balls of cheese and put on a plate in the fridge to set.

In your soup pot (you don't need a huge one), heat the butter and sweat the onion.

Add the veggies and stock, and the basil. Bring to a simmer, for about 15 minutes. 

Then blennnnnnnnnd it with an immersion blender. Perfection.

It's not super beautiful in the pot... but it's beautiful in your mouth. I promise.

Soup Santa doesn't lie.

Best served with these Whole Wheat Honey and Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits, from my brand new, signed copy of The Joy The Baker Cookbook, which I got today from Omnivore Books, which is officially my new obsession.

You should visit. Also, I met JOY THE BAKER today. No bigs/ totally bigs. She wrote about soup inside my copy of her book.

Harsh realities: when you're hurrying to put dinner on the table (wow, you're such a good wife!) and you also need to photograph said dinner for your silly little soupy blog, catastrophes can happen.

Like your best fruit bowl can swan dive into oblivion.

No produce was harmed (purposefully) in the making of this blog... except for the ones I ate....


Doesn't the table look pretty? No broken bowls here!
My husband waits patiently to enjoy his soup supper.

Very serious biscuit preparation.

These biscuits are sweet and salty. Like my husband.
They match the tangy goat cheese glob that melts into the veggie goodness of this soup. This soup is totally healthy, but feels extra decadent, on account of the glob of goat cheese in the middle.

Dueling soup-motions. 

Soup Sunday: you're doing it right.