Curried Lentil, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup

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Curried Lentil, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is my new favorite.  It combines smooth with crunch since the French lentils keep their firmness.  The red lentils and butternut dissolve into a lucious creaminess.  The sweet and spicy flavors meld together beautifully.  And I love the orange and green colors of this soup.  It improves after each reheating and MUST be made the day before.

Yield: 5-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3  tsp curry powder ( I use a combination of Japanese and Indian curry blends)
  • 1-2  tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 cups chicken broth or vegetarian broth or water or combination
  • 14 oz light coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup red lentils, also known as Lal Masoor Dal (Goya sells this)
  • 1/4 cup Spanish Pardina lentils (Goya sells this) or French Puy lentils
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 TBS brown sugar ( or to taste)
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped or about two cups after stemming and chopping

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and cook over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until onion becomes tender. Stir in the ginger, garlic, curry powder, and salt. Stir for about a minute, stirring frequently.
  2. Meanwhile, roast the squash for 15 minutes at 450 degrees until beginning to brown or fry over high heat.  This caramelizes the squash and heighten the flavor but if you are in a hurry just throw it in without browning.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to darken in color, stirring constantly. Add the water, coconut milk, red lentils, and squash (either quickly roasted or  fried in or just cut up and not roasted). Bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, until the squash are falling apart and the lentils are cooked through, about 30 minutes. The red lentils will have dissolved and the French lentils will still have a little
  4. Stir in the kale and cook for about 5 minutes, or until wilted and tender.
  5. This soup is better refrigerated and warmed up and eaten the next day.

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CHILLED CORN VICHYSSOISE

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CHILLED CORN VICHYSSOISE  

3 Tbs. olive oil)

3 medium leeks, trimmed, sliced and washed

2 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced

4-6 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob. Put corn from one ear aside.

32 ounces or 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

½ cup ½ and ½ (optional)

Salt to taste

Snipped chives for garnish

1.  Using heavy casserole, fry the onions in butter until soft and lightly browned.

2.  Adds sliced leeks and cook slowly with onions for another 10 minutes, stirring

     occasionally.

3.  Add chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.  Simmer gently, covered for

     20 minutes or until leeks are soft.

4. Add corn and cook for another 5 minutes.

5.  When slightly cooled, pureed the mixture in a blender or food process until very

      smooth.  Add ½ and ½ if desired at this point and mix together.

6. Fry the last ear of corn kernels over high heat with a little oil and some salt until beginning to brown.  Set aside to use for garnish. (This step is optional)
7.  Refrigerate 24-48 hours.

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PRESSURE COOKER BEAN SOUP

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bean soup

BEAN SOUP:  In preparation for the winter storm I made my obligatory soup.  The essential comfort food for cold snowy weather.  I bought a package of Bob's Red Mill 13 beans Soup Mix, and put one cup of the beans aside in hot water to soak for a few hours.  They then got drained and thrown into my pressure cooker along with  some salt and  some optional browned cubes of boneless beef ribs Next I added broth, a can of diced tomatoes with the juice and extra water if needed to amply cover the beans. I  used about  6 cups of liquid. The cooker was brought up to pressure and cooked for 8  minutes .  After depressurizing I checked  the beans and if the biggest ones were almost done,  I added  diced   onions, cabbage,  celery, carrots, parsnips, leeks, and winter squash (butternut this time) that I had quickly fried over high heat in some olive oil while stirring until  lightly brown.   I  brought it back up to pressure and cooked for 5 more minutes and  again depressurized and checked to see if everything was done. Add more broth if you want it to be more brothy.  This soup lasted several days through the snow storm and just gets more flavorful with each reheating.  I serve my bean soups drizzled with great olive oil and good grated parmesan.

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TURKEY CONGEE WITH BARLEY

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Leftover turkey has many tasty reincarnations. Turkey barley congee is one of my favorites that I make every year after Thanksgiving. It starts off by using the turkey carcass to make a rich broth. Congee is a nourishing and healthy one dish meal which I’ve adapted from the recipe of one of my favorite cookbooks: 

A Spoonful of Ginger: Irresistible, health-giving recipes from Asian kitchen, by Nina Simonds. She references the healthful or medicinal qualities of each recipe so you feel good about what you serve your family and guests.

 
 
 
 
 
  • Difficulty: moderate
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TURKEY CONGEE WITH BARLEY
Adapted from the cookbook, “A Spoonful of Ginger” by Nina Simonds.
 
For the broth:
1 Turkey carcass from the Thanksgiving dinner
12 cups water
Salt
1 peeled onion
1 celery stalk
1 slice ginger
 
For the marinade:
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 ½ Tbs rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
 
For the soup:
1 pound or more leftover turkey meat, cut into bite size pieces or use uncooked turkey meat. if you don't have leftovers.
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 cup whole grain or pearl barley, rinsed and drained.  (whole grain barley is healthier)
3 carrots,  peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
3 stalks celery , cut into ¼ inch dice
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 tsp.-1 Tbs.   grated fresh ginger (depending on how much you like ginger)
8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced (fresh) or/and dried shitake:  5-6 reconstituted in water
1-2 cans chicken or turkey broth as needed (optional:  see note).
  1. Combine the broth ingredients and bring to boil in large pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for an hour.  Strain and check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary.
  2. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for the marinade, add turkey and coat with marinade. Refrigerate.
  3. Fry onions in oil or butter until soft and lightly brown and set aside.
  4. Fry mushrooms in butter or olive oil until lightly browned and set aside.
  5. Add barley to the strained broth and cook for 45 minutes. If necessary, add more water or broth.
  6. Add carrots and celery (and turkey meat if it is uncooked) and cook another 15 minutes, checking to make sure there is enough liquid.
  7. Add browned onions, cooked turkey, rice wine, browned mushrooms and grated ginger and cook another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  8. Taste for seasoning and add more broth if necessary and a little sesame oil to taste.
 
Note: This is meant to be a thick, porridge like soup. I prefer it a little soupier and so I have some broth set aside to add if necessary.
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Thai corn and craw fish chowder

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Thai Corn and Crawfish Chowder

 

4 ears corn shucked

1 TBS butter

Olive oil

1 large onion, chopped into small cubes

4 cups chicken broth, seafood broth or lobster broth

1 can coconut milk (14 ounce)

1 TBS Thai red curry paste

1 pound cooked crawfish tail meat (comes frozen) or shrimp, crab or lobster

Salt to taste

 

1.       Fry the corn kernels over high heat in a frying pan with no oil and after 3 minutes add butter and when melted continue to cook for another 2 minutes of high heat before setting the corn aside.

2.      Fry the onions in olive oil until soft and beginning to caramelize and then set aside

3.      Defrost the crawfish and fry over high heat with some butter and olive oil in two batches for 5-6 minutes each and set aside.  IF using other seafood skip this step if the seafood is already cooked.

4.      Place the shucked corn cobs in the broth and boil together for 20 minutes to infuse the broth with the corn flavor.  Then remove the cobs and discard.

5.      Mix the red curry with 1 TBS of the coconut milk until thoroughly combined.  Then add to broth along with the rest of the coconut milk and bring to simmer.  Add the onion, corn and crawfish and bring to simmer again.  Simmer for 10 minutes and taste for seasoning.

This chowder can be eaten immediately or refrigerated for the next day.  If using lobster or shrimp do not add the seafood until right before serving and then add it to the simmering broth and simmer until warmed through.  It is important not to overcook the seafood.

 

 

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Green Gazpacho

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Green Gazpacho

 

For this soup you will need a really strong blender such as a vita-mix.  The quantities are just approximate.  This is a “taste and adjust” recipe since there are many factors at play.  You will need to let it rest in the fridge for a day and then taste and further adjust the vinegar, salt and olive oil.

 

2 cups (about a pound) cucumbers (which only need peeling if the peels are thick and  only needs seeding if the seeds are big)

1 cup,(about ½ pound)  seedless grapes green or red

1 cup raw almonds

1 shallot

1 medium garlic clove or more to taste

1 TBS chopped dill

1 cup water

1 TBS sherry vinegar (or other wine vinegar)

¼  buttery olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

 

Blend together in vita-mix or other very strong blender until totally smooth.  Taste and adjust for seasoning and then refrigerate overnight and taste and adjust seasoning before serving.  Serve with a swirl of olive oil and a little chopped dill in each bowl.

 

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LENTIL SOUP IN AN HOUR

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 I got home from work just before 6 tonight.  I took  one pound of  stew beef out of  the freezer and got right to work. 

1. Defrosted the beef in the microwave and cut it up into small chunks. (Beef optional)

2. Fried the beef in olive oil until just browned

3. Peeled and cut up 2 carrots, 2 celery and  1 cleaned leek and threw them into the pressure cooker 

4.  Added the beef and one can of diced tomatoes, a bay leaf, salt, pepper and 36 ounces of chicken or vegetable broth.

5.Cleaned half a pound of lentils and added them to the pot.

6.  Deglazed the frying pan with 1 cup of water and added that to the pressure cooker.

7.  Heated up my stove top pressure cooker to pressure and then cooked for 8 minutes.

8.  Meanwhile chopped up and fried a large sweet onion.

9.  Brought the pressure down in my cooker under cold water, opened it, and added the onions.  Tasted for seasoning and checked how tender the beef was.

10.  Closed up the pot, brought it back to pressure and cooked 3 more minutes.  

AND VOILA,!  An excellent meal with some crusty bread and salad.  And the leftover lentil soup will be even better tomorrow!

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TURKEY LEFTOVERS

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Leftover turkey has many tasty reincarnations. Turkey barley congee is one of my favorites that I make every year after Thanksgiving. It starts off by using the turkey carcass to make a rich broth. Congee is a nourishing and healthy one dish meal which I’ve adapted from the recipe of one of my favorite cookbooks: A Spoonful of Ginger: Irresistible, health-giving recipes from Asian kitchen, by Nina Simonds. She references the healthful or medicinal qualities of each recipe so you feel good about what you serve your family and guests.
 
 
 
 
 
 
TURKEY CONGEE WITH BARLEY
Adapted from the cookbook, “A Spoonful of Ginger” by Nina Simonds.
 
For the broth:
1 Turkey carcass from the Thanksgiving dinner
12 cups water
Salt
1 peeled onion
1 celery stalk
1 slice ginger
 
For the marinade:
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 ½ Tbs rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
 
For the soup:
1 pound or more leftover turkey meat, cut into bite size pieces or use uncooked turkey meat. if you don’t have leftovers.
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 cup whole grain or pearl barley, rinsed and drained.  (whole grain barley is healthier)
3 carrots,  peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
3 stalks celery , cut into ¼ inch dice
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 tsp.-1 Tbs.   grated fresh ginger (depending on how much you like ginger)
8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced (fresh) or/and dried shitake:  5-6 reconstituted in water
1-2 cans chicken or turkey broth as needed (optional:  see note).
 
 
  1. Combine the broth ingredients and bring to boil in large pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for an hour.  Strain and check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary.
  2. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for the marinade, add turkey and coat with marinade. Refrigerate.
  3. Fry onions in oil or butter until soft and lightly brown and set aside.
  4. Fry mushrooms in butter or olive oil until lightly browned and set aside.
  5. Add barley to the strained broth and cook for 45 minutes. If necessary, add more water or broth.
  6. Add carrots and celery (and turkey meat if it is uncooked) and cook another 15 minutes, checking to make sure there is enough liquid.
  7. Add browned onions, cooked turkey, rice wine, browned mushrooms and grated ginger and cook another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  8. Taste for seasoning and add more broth if necessary and a little sesame oil to taste.
 
Note: This is meant to be a thick, porridge like soup. I prefer it a little soupier and so I have some broth set aside to add if necessary.
 
 

 

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SORREL SOUP

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GROWING SORREL

 

 

 
 
Sorrel is a perennial herb that has been used for centuries for cooking in Europe. I grew up eating sorrel soup that my mother prepared if she could find anyone growing sorrel. Now you can find plants at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market and also at Early Bird Farm on Elmira Road in Ithaca. You just plant it and that’s it. The leaves provide a wonderful base for this sour tasting soup. The next year you find a more established plant yielding as many leaves as you’ll need. Here is the basic recipe for SORREL SOUP:
 
 
 
 
 
 
½ lb sorrel leaves, washed
2 Tbs. butter
1 medium sweet onion chopped
1 small potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
32 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup ½ and ½
 
  1. Fry onion in soup pot until lightly browned and soft, set aside
  2. Melt butter and add sorrel leaves and stir them around until they are brown and wilted.
  3. Add broth and potato and cook for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are cooked.
  4. Place in blender with onions and blend until a smooth consistency
  5. Add salt to taste
  6. Reheat and add ½ and ½

Serves 4-6

 

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TURKISH RED LENTIL AND BULGUR SOUP FROM DANO’S

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 Karen Gilman,  of  Dano’s Heuriger on Seneca was kind enough to send me this recipe from the wonderful Turkish meal they served the other day.  This soup is incredible.  Trust me.  It is truly unique and these complex combination of flavors and textures really work.  Yes, the dried mint is just right.  The only thing I changed was that I used chicken broth instead of water or vegetable broth and I added about 1 Tbs. of pomegranate molasses.  This added just a subtle tang that I needed to make it perfect.  Both the pomegranate molasses and the red pepper paste (I used Marco Polo brand red pepper spread with eggplant and garlic) can be found in the international foods section at Wegmans.  And "yes" it’s worth it to get these products and make this soup. Thank you Karen and Dano!

Red Lentil, Bulgur and Mint Soup

serves 4-6

 
2 tbl virgin olive oil
a large spanish onion finely diced
2 clove garlic minced
2 tbl red pepper paste turkish
1 cup tomato juice
2 tbl paprika
1/2 tsp Turkish red pepper or ground red pepper
6 cups vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 cup red lentils
1/4 cup fine bulgur
1 tbl dried mint salt and pepper
 
topping
 4 tbl unsalted butter
1 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp paprika
 
 
  • Heat olive oil; add onion and garlic cook gently over medium heat until soft not brown.
  • Stir in pepper paste, tomato juice, paprika and Turkish pepper. Add lentils and broth.
  • Cover pot bring to boil lower heat cook 30 minutes stir occasionally until lentils blend with broth. 
  • Add bulgur and mint season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes stir occasionally, if soup is too thick add more broth.
 
To make topping, melt butter over low heat,  add the mint and paprika and stir until mixture sizzles.
Ladle soup in bowl and drizzle topping on top to taste.
 

 

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