Kosher Soup

Winter Vegetable Soup

Winter+Vegetable+Soup.jpg

Makes 6-8 servings. 

Nourishing, hearty, with a rich flavor of vegetables, tomatoes and basil, this soup freezes very well and is convenient to have on hand for unexpected guests.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 onion

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 parsnips

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 zucchini

  • 6 cultivated mushrooms

  • 1 small cauliflower

  • 1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes, Pomi brand (See Note)

  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth

  • One 15.5 can butter beans, drained (See Note)

  • 2 cups tightly packed basil leaves, torn to small pieces

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper  

PREPARATION:

  1. Peel and cut the onion and garlic into large pieces. Chop coarsely in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. 

  2. In a large saucepan heat the oil and sauté the onion/garlic for a few minutes.  

  3. Peel and cut the parsnips and carrots into large pieces. Chop coarsely and add to the saucepan. 

  4. Wipe the zucchini, trim the ends, cut into large pieces. Chop coarsely and add to the saucepan. 

  5. Wipe the mushrooms with a damp towel, quarter, chop coarsely and add to the saucepan. 

  6. Separate the cauliflower into small florets and also add to the saucepan.  

  7. Sauté all for a few minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, vegetable broth, butter beans and basil. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook covered for about 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.

NOTE:

I chop all the vegetables SEPERATELY in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. It is important to cut the vegetables into large pieces before chopping.   

I use Pomi brand chopped tomatoes. They come in cartons. Leftover tomatoes can be frozen. 

I use Goya brand beans.  

 
 

Broccoli Soup

Broccoli+Soup.jpg

Makes 4 servings. 

This soup is pure simplicity and delicious. It should be part of your repertoire of soups to make throughout the year.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bunch broccoli, 2 stalks, about 1 ½ pounds

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 3 cups chicken broth 

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Chives for garnish, snipped with scissors

PREPARATION:

  1. Cut the broccoli into small pieces, peel the stems and cut into small pieces. Rinse.  

  2. In a medium saucepan heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over low heat until soft, a few minutes.

  3. Add the broccoli and 2 ½ cups of broth. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and cook until the broccoli is soft, about 20 minutes. 

  4. Puree in a Vitamix adding the reserved ½ cup of broth, as needed.  Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

  5. Serve garnished with snipped chives.

 
 

Savoy Cabbage Soup

Makes 6 generous servings. 

Freezer friendly, thick, nutritious and great on a cold, winter day, this soup can be a meal in itself if cooked with meat. I chop all the vegetables in a food processor to save a lot of time.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¾ ounce dried porcini mushrooms

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 onions, quartered

  • 4 cloves garlic, quartered

  • 2 carrots, cut into large pieces

  • 1 small Savoy cabbage, about 11/2 pounds or regular cabbage.

  • 6 cultivated mushrooms

  • 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • Small bunch dill, tied with a string, leave some for garnish

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl, pour boiling water over the mushrooms, cover and let stand for about 20 minutes. Strain soaking liquid through a sieve lined with a paper towel, squeezing mushroom over the sieve to extract more liquid. Set liquid aside. Wash soaked mushrooms carefully to remove any sand, pat dry with paper towels and chop coarsely. 

  2. Chop the onions and the garlic coarsely in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Do the same with the carrots. Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage, quarter, core and chop coarsely.   

  3. Wipe the cultivated mushrooms with a damp paper towel, quarter and chop coarsely.

  4. IT IS BEST TO CHOP EACH VEGETABLE SEPARATELY.    

  5. In a large saucepan heat the oil, add the onions, garlic and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, both mushrooms, mushroom liquid, tomatoes, vegetable broth and dill.   

  6. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower the heat then cook gently, half covered for about 30 minutes. The Savoy cabbage will be a little crunchy.   

  7. Season to taste with salt, pepper. 

  8. Garnish with dill snipped with scissors.

 
 

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup.jpg

Makes 2 servings. 

This is a soup without the addition of any liquid. The taste and the consistency is totally dependent on the quality of the tomatoes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes

  • 2 garlic cloves, quartered

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 5 thyme sprigs, plus leaves from 2 sprigs for garnish

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

PREPARATION:

  1. Rinse, core and slice the tomatoes. Place them in a saucepan along with the garlic, olive oil and thyme.

  2. Bring to a gentle boil, cover and cook over low heat until the tomatoes are very soft, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.  

  3. Discard the thyme and puree in a Vitamix until very smooth.

  4. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Garnish with thyme. 

 
 

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup.jpg

Makes 4 servings.

This soup is silky, creamy with a touch of sweetness.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, about 2 pounds
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • I medium onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ½ an inch piece ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar, approx.
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish

PREPARATION:

  1. Peel, seed and cube the squash. You should have about 4 cups.
  2. In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil, add onion, garlic and sauté for a minute. Add ginger, butternut squash, nutmeg and 2½ cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes. The vegetables should be soft.
  3. Puree in 2 batches in a Vitamix until very smooth.
  4. Adjust the consistency with the reserved ½ cup of broth and season to taste with Balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
  5. Serve garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds.
 
 

Winter Corn Soup

Winter Corn Soup.jpg

Makes 8 servings.                                             

This soup has a silky, creamy consistency without the addition of cream, a beautiful pale yellow color and a touch of sweetness. The ingredients for the soup are readily available all year round.  The inspiration came from Mexican cuisine, which is rich in corn, lime, and cilantro. I am featuring a revised version of this soup, one of my favorites, because the advent of Vitamix makes this soup so easy to make. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 pounds frozen corn, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, approx
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground white or black pepper
  • Cilantro petals for garnish

PREPARATION:

  1. In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil, add onions and garlic and sauté for a minute.
  2. Add the broth and the corn.  Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.         
  3. Puree the soup, in batches, in a Vitamix until very smooth.
  4. Season to taste with lime juice, salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish with cilantro petals.

NOTE:

This soup freezes very well. When reheating whisk it as it boils to bring back the creamy consistency

 
 

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup.jpg

Makes 6 generous servings.

I tend to serve this creamy, flavorful soup all year round. It is light enough to whet the appetite. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 leeks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large cauliflower, about 3 pounds, or 2 small ones
  • 3 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
  • 4 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder, approximately
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted sunflower seeds for garnish

PREPARATION:

  1. Cut off and discard the dangling roots and most of the green part of the leeks. Discard one or two of the tough outer leaves. Cut the white and light green parts into slices. Place in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove any sand, drain well.
  2. Peel the garlic and cut into quarters.
  3. Cut off the green leaves of the cauliflower and discard. Cut and discard all but ¼ inch of the heavy stem. Cut the stem and the head into small pieces and rinse.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and the garlic. Sauté, covered, over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, 4 cups of the broth and the curry powder. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes or until cauliflower is soft.
  5. Puree the soup, in batches, in a Vitamix until very smooth.
  6. Adjust the consistency with the reserved broth and season to taste with curry powder, salt and pepper.
  7. Garnish with toasted sunflower seeds.
 
 

Corn and Squash Soup

Corn Soup 2.jpg

Makes 6-8 servings.

The combination of summer corn and summer yellow squash makes for a wonderful, nutritious and golden colored soup.

I serve it warm or at room temperature.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ears corn plus 1 for garnish
  • 4 medium yellow squash, about 1½ pounds
  • 3 cups vegetable broth.
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, approx
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and sauté for a minute.
  2. Shuck the corn kernels, setting aside one of the ears for garnish.
  3. Rinse the squash and slice.
  4. Add the corn, zucchini and 2¼ cups of the broth to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes or until tender.
  5. Puree the soup, in two batches, in a Vitamix until smooth and silky.
  6. Adjust the consistency with the reserved broth. Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.
 
 

Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup

Makes 2 servings. 

This is a refreshing creamy tomato soup which I like to serve cold or at room temperature on hot summer days. Unfortunately without a Vitamix the soup will have to be strained to remove the seeds and some of the skin. I like to serve it with a basil pesto but snipped chives are equally delicious and certainly less work.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ -1 cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chives, finely snipped for garnish

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Rinse the tomatoes. 
  3. Place in an ovenproof dish that is large enough to hold the tomatoes in a single layer. Place the garlic underneath the tomatoes.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Roast for 1 hour, turning the tomatoes once. 
  6. Pour into a Vitamix and add ¾ cup vegetable broth. Puree until smooth.
  7. Adjust the consistency with the extra vegetable broth.
  8. Season to taste with sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. 
  9. Garnish with snipped chives. Use scissors.
 
 

Zucchini and Roasted Pepper Soup

Makes 4-generous servings.

This is a light, creamy, flavorful soup with a touch of cumin, and it freezes very well. The ingredients are in season all year.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 1 pound zucchini (3 medium), plus 1 extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin, approx
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Core the peppers,
  3. Cut into quarters and seed.
  4. Line a broiler pan with foil and place the peppers, skin side up on it.
  5. Broil close to the heat source until skin is almost blistered and charred, about 7 minutes. Wrap the peppers in the existing foil and cool.  The heat will loosen the skin. Peel and cut into pieces.
  6. Rinse zucchini, pat dry, trim ends and slice.
  7. Heat olive oil in a medium, covered saucepan, add the onions, and sauté covered over low heat for 2 minutes. Add the cumin, zucchini, peppers, and broth.
  8. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower the heat and cook covered until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. 
  9. Puree the soup in batches, in a Vitamix until the soup is very smooth. Season to taste with cumin, salt and pepper.

GARNISH:

Rinse, dry, trim and finely cube the extra zucchini. Sprinkle over the soup.

 
 

Carrot Soup

Makes 8 servings.                                                             

Since the ingredients for this creamy, delicious soup are available in all seasons, you can serve it hot, at room temperature or cold, depending on the season.  I like it best served cold or at room temperature in warm weather

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, quartered
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled, sliced, reserving 1 carrot for garnish
  • 1 cup dry white wine.
  • 5-6 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander.
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, approx
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground back pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, wine, 5 cups of broth, cumin, coriander, and chili powder. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
  2. Puree the soup, in batches, in a Vitamiix until smooth. 
  3. Adjust the consistency with the reserved broth.
  4. Season to taste with lemon juice, cumin, coriander, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  5. To serve: steam the remaining carrot until just tender. Grate coarsely and garnish. 
 
 

Asparagus Soup

Makes 6 servings.        

This is a silky, creamy and delicious springtime soup, when asparagus is at its best. Before the advent of the Vitamix the soup was a bit time consuming requiring a blender and a strainer to remove the stringy parts.  With the Vitamix it is just blending that is required.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • 3 pounds asparagus, plus 6 spears for garnish
  • ½ pound Golden Yukon potatoes, peeled, sliced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat the olive oil in medium-sized covered saucepan. Add the garlic and the shallots and sauté for a minute.
  2. Hold each asparagus spear with both hands and snap at the point where it breaks off easily.
  3. Discard that part and rinse and cut the rest. Add to the saucepan along with the potatoes, chicken broth and tarragon.
  4. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat and cook covered for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.  
  5. Remove tarragon sprigs. Puree the soup in two batches in a Vitamix until very smooth. 
  6. Season to taste and garnish with steamed sliced asparagus tips.

NOTE:

This soup freezes very well, but when reheating it, whisk it as it begins to boil to restore the creamy texture.

 
 

Red Lentil Soup

Makes 6 servings.

This recipe is a healthy, thick, hearty soup, to warm your heart on the bleakest days of winter. This soup also freezes very well. It is one of the few soups that I do not puree.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic, cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded finely chopped (See Note)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, approx
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, approx
  • 1 3/4 cups red lentils
  • 6 -6 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, approx
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish, optional

PREPARATION:

  1. In a large covered saucepan heat the olive oil. Add onions, garlic and jalapeno. Sautee covered over low heat for about 10 minutes.  The onions should be soft. Stir in cumin and turmeric. Add lentils and 6 cups of broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower the heat and cook covered for about 15 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
  2. Adjust the seasoning with cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper and lime juice.
  3. This soup thickens a bit. When ready to serve, adjust the consistency with the reserved ½ cup of broth. Season to taste again.

NOTE:

I chop finely the onions, garlic and jalapeno in a food processor. Be sure to quarter the ingredients first.

When seeding jalapeno peppers, please wear thin plastic gloves to avoid irritating your skin or your eyes.

 
 

 

 

Mushroom Soup

Makes 5- 6 servings.

I like to take advantage of the mushroom season – which is at its peak in Fall and Winter – and if you happen to be a mushroom lover, as I am you will find this soup irresistibly delicious.

A bit of dried porcini brings out the flavor of the assorted fresh mushrooms.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 -3 leeks
  • 1 pound assorted fresh wild mushrooms (chanterelles, black trumpets, oyster, shiitake)
  • ¼ cup extra -virgin olive oil
  • 3 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Leaves from 6 thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl, pour boiling water over the mushrooms, cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove reconstituted mushrooms and squeeze dry all the liquid back into the bowl. Cut the mushrooms into small pieces. Set aside.
  3. Strain the mushroom liquid through a fine mesh sieve (if you do not have a fine mesh sieve line what you have with paper towel).
  4. Cut off and discard the roots and tough dark green leaves of the leeks. Cut the white and light green parts into thin slices. Place in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove any sand.
  5. Wipe all the fresh mushrooms with a damp paper towel and trim ends. For the shiitake discard the stems.  Cut all the mushrooms into small pieces.  
  6. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, add the garlic and the leeks and sauté over low heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Add all the mushrooms, including the reconstituted porcini. Increase the heat and sauté for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The mushrooms will exude a bit of liquid. Add the porcini liquid, the chicken broth, parsley and thyme.
  8. Bring to a boil, over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
 
 

Celery Root Soup

Makes 6 generous servings.

This is a silky, nutritious soup that tastes rich without the addition of any cream.

People are always impressed with the elegance of this soup, and it is very simple to prepare.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 leeks
  • 2 medium celery roots, about 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 thyme sprigs, plus some for garnish
  • 5 ½ cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Cut off and discard the roots and tough green leaves of the leeks. Cut the white part and light green part into small pieces. Place in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove all the sand.
  2. Peel celery root carefully and remove all embedded dark spots. (This rough looking vegetable is a bit tricky to peel.)
  3. Cut into small pieces.
  4. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan with a cover, add the leeks and sauté covered for 5 minutes. Add the celery root, thyme and 5 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook covered for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Remove the thyme sprigs and discard. Puree in a Vitamix until smooth.
  6. Adjust the consistency with the reserved broth and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve garnished with thyme petals.
 
 

Gazpacho

Makes 6 servings.

Since tomato season is very short – usually from July until early October or however long the warm days of early Fall remain – I urge you to take advantage and try this soup.   

If you like your gazpacho to be more nourishing, you may want to serve it with condiments, such as chopped seeded cucumber, chopped bell pepper, chopped red onion,  chopped peeled tomato and croutons.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, rinsed, cored, cut into large pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, rinsed, cored, seeded, cut into large pieces
  • 2 Kirby cucumbers, peeled, ends discarded, cut into large pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, cut into pieces (See Note)
  • ½ small red onion, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, approximately
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Snipped chives for garnish, or an assortment of condiments
  • 1 slice gluten free whole wheat grain bread, optional

PREPARATION:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a Vitamix and puree until very smooth. (If you like your soup a little coarser, puree it for a shorter time.)  If your soup is not as thick as you like it add 1 slice gluten free whole wheat bread cut into pieces and puree.
  2. Season to taste with vinegar, salt and pepper and serve it very cold garnished with chives or the suggested condiments.

NOTE:

When seeding jalapeno peppers, I advise wearing thin plastic gloves to avoid irritating your skin or your eyes. 

 
 

Bell Pepper Soup

Makes 6 generous servings.

This is a creamy soup for all seasons with a definite bell pepper taste and a distinct gorgeous color no matter which bell peppers you choose.  I have recently purchased a Vitamix, and now I prefer it to a blender when making soups.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 5 garlic cloves, quartered

  • 4 orange bell peppers, rinsed, cored, seeded and cut into large pieces

  • ½ pound Golden Yukon potatoes, peeled, quartered

  • 14.5 ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes

  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Cilantro leaves for garnish

PREPARATION

  1. In a medium covered saucepan, heat the olive oil, add garlic and sauté for a minute.
  2. Add peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, broth sugar and chili powder.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower heat and cook slowly, covered, until potatoes are soft, about 25 minutes.
  4. Cool a bit.
  5. Puree in batches in a blender until very smooth (you will have to blend this soup longer than usual to make sure that there are no traces of the pepper skin).  The Vitamix is a time saver and improves the texture of the soup, making it more silky and creamy.                     
  6. Season to taste and garnish with cilantro leaves.

NOTE:

This soup freezes well, but when reheating, whisk it as it begins to boil to bring back the creamy texture

 
 

Kale Mushroom Soup

Makes 6-8 servings.

This is a hearty, nutritious, and flavorful winter soup that can almost be a meal in itself.  It also freezes very well. Do not be discouraged by the chopping I do it all in a food processor.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, quartered, finely chopped (See Note)
  • 4 garlic cloves, quartered, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, cut into thick slices, finely chopped
  • ¼ pound white mushrooms
  • ¼ pound shiitake mushrooms
  • ¼ pound Portobello mushrooms
  • ¼ cup medium bulgur  
  • 5 ounces baby kale
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • Leaves from 6 thyme sprigs 
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Truffle oil, for garnish, optional

PREPARATION:

  1. Place porcini mushrooms in a small bowl, pour boiling water over the mushrooms, cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove reconstituted mushrooms and squeeze dry. Set aside. Strain the mushroom liquid through a fine sieve and set aside. 
  3. Wipe the white mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Trim the ends, quarter and chop finely in a food processor.
  4. Wipe the shiitake mushrooms, discard the stems, quarter and chop finely.
  5. Wipe the Portobello mushroom, cut into eights and chop finely together with the saved porcini mushrooms.
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan.
  7. Add onion, garlic, carrot and sauté for a minute. Add the rest of the oil and all of the mushrooms.  Sauté over high heat for a minute.
  8. Add the bulgur, kale, reserved mushroom liquid, vegetable broth and thyme.  Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook covered for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

NOTE:

I suggest chopping all of the vegetables, in a food processor. I do the onions and garlic together, the carrots separately, and the mushrooms, each variety, separately.

 
 

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Soup

Makes 8 servings.

This soup is delicious and nutritious, with a dazzling color.  It’s wonderful on cold days. If you are using a regular blender, it is necessary to blend the soup for a long time to allow for the skin of the peppers to disappear. The alternative is to skin the peppers first, or to use a Vitamix (See Note).

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into cubes,
  • 1½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed (3 medium to large)
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Leaves from 5 thyme sprigs, plus some for garnish
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, approx

PREPARATION

  1. In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil and add the peppers, potatoes and onion. Sauté for a minute. Add 3½ cups of broth, thyme, and saffron. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and cook covered for about ½ an hour or until potatoes are soft.
  2. Cool a bit. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs.
  3. Puree very well, in batches, in a blender. The longer you puree it the smoother the soup will be.
  4. Adjust the consistency as needed, with the reserved ½ cup of broth
  5. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lime juice.
  6. Serve garnished with thyme leaves.

NOTE:

The Vitamix is really quite powerful and creates a creamy texture within seconds.  

 
 

Parsnip Soup

Makes 8- 10 servings.

I have recently discovered parsnip, a neglected vegetable which is full of nutrients and has a touch of sweetness.  This soup is easy to prepare.  It’s creamy without any addition of cream, and it also freezes very well. I like to serve it warm or cold.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 leeks
  • 2 pounds parsnips
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Parsley for garnish

PREPARATION:

  1. Peel the shallots and slice. Peel the garlic and slice. Cut off and discard the roots and tough dark green leaves of the leeks. Cut the white part into thin slices. Place in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove any sand.
  2. Peel the parsnip, trim the ends and slice thickly.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the shallots, garlic and leeks. Sauté over low heat for a minute. Add parsnips and 6 ½ cups of the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Then lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 25 minutes or until the parsnips are tender.
  4. Cool the soup a little. Puree in a blender, in batches, until very smooth.
  5. Return the soup to the saucepan and adjust the consistency as needed with the reserved ½ cup of broth. Season to taste.