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Category Archives: soups

No Sear Lamb or Beef and Chickpea Stew

This is an easy one pot stew for lamb or beef. I chose lamb and was not disappointed! Add the greens at the very end just before serving. Serve with an earthy flavored yogurt such as Organic Valley Grassmilk Plain Yogurt

This delish lamb stew recipe comes from the cookbook Taste of Persia by Naomi DuGuid. She was featured on Christopher KimballsMilkStreetRadio where she shared this recipe. You can find it at: 

Milkstreetrecipes

Recipes.177milkstreet.com

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Beet Soup

Above is a beet soup made with grated beets and no greens and below it a beet soup with julienne sliced beets and greens. Same recipe, but different beet prep. The recipe makes about 4 1/2 quarts.

I have made many variations of beet soup, also known as borsht. Borsht is a Russian soup that’s a mixture of vegetables including beets, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes and possibly other veggies. The bright color of beets gets muted when cooked with other vegetables, so I like to make this beet soup with only beets, tomatoes and some onion in a vegetable broth with added spices. It’s really so simple. 

And the big surprise is that this beet soup tastes delish hot or cold! Cold soup in the summer is so refreshing! 

We had dinner in Chicago at the Russian Tea Time. It’s much more than a tea room. Their menu is full of hearty Eastern European fare! Their borsht was a beautiful red of grated beets and carrots which inspired me to develop this recipe for Beet Soup! 

8 medium to large beets

16 cups (64 oz) unsalted vegetable stock, low salt if possible if using store bought stock. Stock is better than broth!

2 – 28 oz cans diced tomatoes in juice, not sauce!

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

5 large bay leaves

8 large cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

10 whole allspice

10 whole coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes. This adds a fair amount of heat. Use less if you don’t want it hot.

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 -3/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 small bunch fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dried dill, but fresh is much better

Salt if desired

  • Trim off stems and leaves from beets. Reserve the stems. Use the leaves to make a Beet Salad. Look up my recipe. Or cut the greens in julienne strips and add to the soup at the very end.
  • Wash the stems and cut them into 1/2 –  1 inch lengths. Set aside.

  • Soak beets in water and scrub clean.
  • Peel beets with a vegetable peeler. Grate them with a food processor or Kitchen Aid attachment or slice and then cut into julienne strips. Set aside in a bowl.
  • Meanwhile, in a large 12 quart stock pot, heat the stock. 
  • Add onion and tomatoes to the stock.
  • Add bay leaves, garlic, allspice, coriander, and hot pepper flakes. Cover and bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes. 
  • Add the beets and stems to the soup. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Here is the beet soup made with julienne strips of beets and the greens

  • Add sugar, red wine vinegar, and dill. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. 
  • Add greens if you like. 
  • Cool and store in the frig for a full 24 hours so the flavors meld. 
  • Float sour cream or plain yogurt on each bowl if you like. But you’ll lose some of the bright red color! This is traditional, but not necessarily always used.
  • Voila!

This beet soup is made with julienne strips of beets and the greens.



Empty bowls of beet soup offer a beautiful color that’s even pleasing to look at!

Roasted Carrot and Ginger Soup

This is a recipe I found at The Mediterranean Dish! It’s similar to pumpkin or squash soup, but for those who don’t like pumpkin or squash, it’s super! Very easy with a food processor or stick blender.

Roasted carrots get a caramelized glow


Puree the carrots with grated ginger and minced garlic, adding some of the stock.


Pureed mix is quite thick at this point 


Ground coriander and allspice ready to be added to the pot


The puree is poured into a cooking pot. Then more stock is added with the allspice, coriander and finally the half and half.


A bit of chopped parsley or mint is layered on the bowl of soup. Voila!

  • On a large baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil. Then place 4 pounds peeled whole carrots and drizzle with more olive oil. 
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Roast at 425 degrees. Turn the carrots after 20 minutes. Bake another 20-30 minutes or until carrots are browning and fork tender.
  • Cut into 1/3s and place in the food processor, scraping the oil from the baking sheet
  • Add

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

2 cups warm chicken, turkey or vegetable stock

  • Puree until silky smooth
  • Scrape into a medium saucepan
  • Add

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2-3 cups stock

  • Whisk together and bring to a simmer
  • Add slowly

1-2 cups half and half 

  • I give the range of stock and half and half. If you want a stronger carrot flavor add less liquid.
  • This makes about 8 cups. 

Isn’t it pretty in my Ball canning jars! I love to store food in these containers.


Butternut Squash Soup with Hot Honey

  

Butternut squash has a pale exterior and a deep orange flesh. I find it is a great substitute for European pumpkin.

This soup has a sweet and spicy taste that’s a nice surprise. I found it at Food52. Here’s my adaption

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ground dried ginger or more

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds or so, peeled, seeded and cut in medium pieces

3 cups chicken broth or more

2 tablespoons honey

1-2 teaspoons crushed dried red pepper flakes and seeds

1/2 cup cream

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • In a medium saucepan heat oil. Add onion and Saute until tender.
  • Add garlic, ginger and cumin. Stir quickly for 30 seconds only
  • Add squash and broth. Bring to a boil, cover and then simmer until very tender.
  • Remove from heat.Puree with a stick blender.
  • Add honey and hot pepper flakes. Simmer covered 5 minutes.
  • Stir in cream. If it’s too thick, add more broth and cream.
  • Add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Garnish with a drizzle of cream or a spoon of sour cream

This should be spicy! Add more red pepper flakes, ginger or honey as you like!

Chicken or Turkey Soup with Vegetables

  
This soup is guaranteed to be delish, it does not take a lot of work, but you need to plan for a 2-3 day process. The chickens or turkey need roasting and the pan drippings and broth both need to be chilled overnight to allow all the fat to rise to the top so it can be removed and discarded.

 If you don’t have the time, pour the drippings from the roasting into a fat separator or a clear measuring cup. Allow to sit 20 minutes so the fat can rise to the top. Then pour the fat away or open the bottom of the fat separator so the good drippings can be dropped into a container or poured into the stock.

I use all organic chickens and produce for the best flavor!

Barbara Kafka’s book, Soup a Way of Life, was used for guidance in developing this recipe.

Stage 1Roasting the Chickens or Turkey

An easy alternative is to buy 3 deli roasted chickens which are smaller than the 5 pounders I roast, but then you won’t get the pan drippings to enrich your stock!

In a large roasting pan with a flat or V-shaped turkey rack in the bottom, place two 5-pound organic roasting chickens that have been rinsed well and dried with toweling.

Sprinkle chickens generously with kosher salt. The turkey should be brined or salted overnight first. More info below.

Place roaster on the bottom rack of a preheated 425 degree F oven

Brush skin with melted butter

Roast chickens 25 minutes and then rotate pan front to back. Brush skin with butter. Roast another 25 minutes and rotate again. Brush skin with butter. Add 1/2 cup water to pan. Add more water as needed. You should end up with at least 1 and 1/2 cups of pan drippings.

Roast another 25 minutes or until thickest part of breast reads 160 and the thigh reads 170 degrees on an instant read thermometer

Let chickens rest on the stove top 15 minutes. Serve or debone completely. Reserve all bones.

The turkey roasting 

 
  
                                             We call this TURKZILLA!

The turkey takes longer.  Roast breast side down on a foil covered rack that’s been punctured with many knife slits, 45 minutes at 425 degrees then turn breast side up. Roast 1 -1 1/2 hours at 325 degrees or until internal breast temperature reaches 160 degrees. Maintain 1 cup or more of water in the pan while roasting.

For more specifics go to CooksIllustrated.com and look up Roasted Salted Turkey

Add more water to the roasting pan and heat on the stove top if the drippings stick to the pan. Pour into a container. Refrigerate overnight and then remove the fat layer on top. To cut corners pour drippings into a clear container and let sit 20 minutes. Use a fat separator if you have one.

  
This fat separator opens at the bottom so the handle can be squeezed and the drippings only are dropped out of the bottom.

Stage 2The Broth or Stock

                                                                    The Perfect Stock Pot!

  
In a large pot place all the bones of 2 large roasting chickens or 1 turkey and cover with water by an inch.

Add the reserved drippings. Cover stock and bring to a boil.

Allow broth to barely simmer so bubbles are just breaking the surface of the liquid, with the lid slightly ajar, 4-5 hours. Add water if the level falls below the bones.

  
Remove from the heat and cool 15 minutes.

Strain broth through a colander and a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth into a large pot or bowl. Pour strained broth into storage containers. I use quart size canning jars. This makes about 3-4 quarts.

  
Refrigerate stock overnight to allow fat to rise to the surface and solidify. Discard fat before using broth.

  
Stage 3Making the Soup

In a large pot melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat

Stir in 1 large shallot, chopped and 2 leeks, washed well and sliced (white and light green parts) or 2 onions, peeled and cut in wedges

Sauté until translucent. Add 1-2 large cloves garlic, minced and sauté 10 seconds. Don’t brown the garlic!

Add 8-12 cups roast chicken broth and bring to a boil

Add 1 fennel bulb, sliced horizontally or 8 stalks celery, sliced

1 turnip, peeled and diced, optional

1 pound thin carrots, peeled and sliced into coins or a fun squash like delicata, seeded, cut in 1/4s and sliced

Simmer with a cover 5 minutes

Add 3-4 small zucchini (the striped zucchini variety is attractive). You can also add yellow summer squash. Simmer with a cover 5 minutes

Voila! Your soup is finished! This is a very fresh tasting soup so don’t overlook the vegetables. They should hold their shape. Reheating will cook the vegetables further.

Cold Beet Soup

This is a soup my Russian grandmother used to make. It’s all vegetables, no meat and served ice cold! It’s the Russian version of Spanish gazpacho and salamorejo!

You can add more of the ingredients you prefer. It’s slightly sweet sour, but you can add more of the vinegar and sugar if you want. Garlic, green onion and dill are other strong flavors you can increase. If you want a chunkier soup, add more beets and cukes!

No sour cream in this recipe!

 

The cold borsht above has the leaves and stems. The borsht below does not have them.  


  

6 beets with stems and greens (you can omit the greens and stems and use 8 beets)

3 cucumbers, not too thick because those are seedy

8 green onions

1 bunch dill fronds, left whole

2 very large cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons white wine or rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

Trim the beet stems and leaves from the beet root. Wash all thoroughly in a sink of cold water. Scrub the beet roots with a brush. 

In a very large pot, place the whole scrubbed beet roots and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer until a fork can just slightly be inserted. Don’t over cook. They should be slightly crisp.

  
Lift the beets out of the beet water with a large spoon and place in a colander to cool. 

Place a mesh strainer lined with a paper towel or coffee filter over a large bowl. Pour the beet water over the filter into the bowl.  Reserve strained beet water and cool.  This is the broth. There should be about 8 cups or so.

To make a filter, fold a paper towel in half crosswise and in half again.

   
   
Cut up the beet stems into 3 inch lengths. Cut the larger greens in 1/2 or 1/4s. Place stems and greens in a medium pot. Add 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Simmer only a minute or so. Strain the liquid through the paper toweling and reserve the greens and stems in a bowl to cool.

  
  
Peel the beets with a paring knife. Cut in 1/2, then slice and then cut into julienne strips or small cubes. Reserve in a bowl.

   
    
   
Wash and peel the cukes. Slice and julienne or cut into lengthwise quarters or eights and then slice into small bites. Reserve in a bowl.

  
Wash and slice the green onion. Reserve in a bowl.

Mince the very large clove of garlic. Add 1/2 tablespoon of the 2 tablespoons of salt and mince to a paste. Reserve.

  

In a very large bowl with a lid or a pot combine all the ingredients with a spoon. Add more salt, sugar, vinegar, garlic, green onion to taste. Cover and chill overnight and serve ice cold with a whole grain European style bread. Leave the dill in the container. Don’t add it to the serving bowl.

  
This is so colorful and nice to look at I like to store it in clear glass quart size canning jars in the frig. Enjoy!

Cold Cucumber and Lettuce Soup

This refreshing summer soup seems new and trendy, but it really is my Russian Grandma Korzin’s recipe! My mom told me about this as I was preparing a pureed cucumber soup for a dinner party. I do remember eating this in my grandmother’s kitchen. It is the original “Ranch” dressing!

In a large ceramic or glass bowl combine:

4 cups cucumber, peeled, large seeds removed, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

4 green onions, sliced thin (this should be heavy on the onion)

Sprinkle heavily with Kosher salt and let sit 20 minutes

  
Add 1 head iceberg lettuce which has been sliced in 1 inch slices and then cut into 1 inch squares

  
In a small bowl whisk together:

2 cups sour cream and 4 cups buttermilk

  
Stir into vegetables. Serve immediately and make sure it is cold! 

  
The leftovers wilt as it sits in the frig. My grandmother preferred to serve her lettuce soup that way.

This is about 6-8 servings