Friday, November 19, 2010

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Serves 2

820gm pumpkin, diced into half-moon pieces
1 onion, peeled and dice
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
450ml water
200ml fresh milk
1 sprig of fresh Rosemary
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven at 150 deg C. Diced the pumpkin into half-moon shape pieces. Remove the seeds. Sprinkle a tablespoon of olive oil over the pumpkin. Roast it for 15 minutes with a sprig of fresh Rosemary.

2. When time's up, leave the pumpkin to cool. Remove the skin and cut it into cubes.

3. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauce pan. Saute onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and saute for another 3 minutes. Pour in 350ml of water and bring to a boil. Close the lid and leave it simmering for 8 minutes. By this time the pumpkin should be turn soft. Off the fire, and leave the soup to cool down a bit.

4. Pour the soup into blender and blend till smooth. Reheat the soup with 100ml of water and 200ml of milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Leek, Fennel and Zucchini Soup

Yield 4-6 servings
Time 1 hour


4 T olive oil
1 whole large leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
½ large bulb of fennel, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
5 cloves garlic
½ t fennel seeds (optional)
6 c vegetable stock

Directions Heat olive oil over medium-low heat, stir in the dark green part of the leeks, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the leeks along with the fennel, zucchini, and garlic, cover, and let cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until soft.

Add fennel seeds and stock, increase heat to medium, and cook another 10-15 minutes.

Let the soup cool a bit, then put vegetables in the blender along with a cup or two of the liquid and process until smooth. Return to the saucepan with the rest of the liquid and stir well. Season with salt and pepper and heat until just about to boil. Serve hot.

This recipe, called Soupe au Fenouil in French, was adapted from The Vegetarian Bistro: 250 authentic French regional recipes, by Marlena Spieler.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Spinach, Green Onion, and Smoked Gouda Quiche

6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
5.6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated smoked Gouda cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of grated nutmeg
3 large eggs


1. To prepare crust, place butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Combine milk, salt, and egg yolk in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add milk mixture to butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour; beat just until combined. Press mixture into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap; cover. Chill for 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 350°.

3. Unwrap and place chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 10-inch circle. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze 15 minutes. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.

4. To prepare filling, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; sauté 2 minutes.

5. Combine 1 cup milk and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in spinach mixture. Pour filling into crust. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Cut into 10 wedges.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Spicy Red Bean Soup

Spicy Red Bean Soup Serves 8

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse via Food Network

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 cup chopped yellow onions

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon coriander

1 clove garlic, minced

3 (16-ounce) cans cooked canned red beans, drained and rinsed

3 cups vegetable stock

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Hot sauce, to taste

Add the vegetable oil and once it shimmers add the onions, celery and bell peppers. Cook until they begin to soften, about five minutes. Add the bay leaf, cayenne pepper, cumin, coriander, and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about one minute.
Add the drained beans and the vegetable stock and allow to come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for thirty minutes uncovered.

Once the soup has simmered season with salt and add hot sauce then, working in batches, blend the soup until smooth.
Serve with cornbread.