Archive for the ‘Soups’ Category

I live one town over from Fall River, Massachusetts, and just down the road from New Bedford, Massachusetts, two thriving proud Portuguese communities. My daughter is in middle school, and she’s taking mandatory Portuguese language classes. We’ve got dozens of authentic Portuguese restaurants in the area, and even a well-stocked supermarket with its own bacalhau (salt cod) room: Portugalia Marketplace, in Fall River.

So when I first posted my recipe of Portuguese kale soup, I was told by many Portuguese friends that my soup wasn’t authentic so I couldn’t call it that. Fair enough. After all, my soup has far less carbs, fewer spices, and uses homemade stock instead of water. It may not be Portuguese, but it’s full of flavor.

My version of the classic Portuguese kale soup.

My version of the classic Portuguese kale soup.

4 cups home-made chicken or beef stock
4 cups water
1 cup lentils, rinsed in cold water
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, through a press
1 lb. chourico, peeled and chopped into small cubes (I use Mello’s, out of Fall River, Mass.)
1 large bunch organic kale
salt and pepper

Add the stock and water to a large pot. Heat until boiling. Add the lentils.

In a saucepan with a little olive oil or bacon fat, saute the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic for a few minutes. Add the chopped chourico and saute a few minutes more. Add the contents of the saute pan in the pot.

Wash and de-stem the kale, tearing the leaves into smaller pieces. Add the leaves to the pot and stir. The stems go in your compost pile. (You can also use them in a juicer.)

Cook the soup until the lentils are al dente. Taste and season for salt and pepper before serving.

 

 

My Portuguese pal, Paula, has a great soup recipe that has been passed down from her Mom. Her Mom even adds chicken feet to the stock, which Paula chooses to leave out. Like most Portuguese soup recipes I’ve seen, there’s a ton of carbs: often potatoes with pasta with a lot of beans. But it is good!

Paula’s Portuguese Soup

3 cans garbanzo beans
2 cans white cannellini beans
1 can pink beans
1 fennel bulb
Large bunch of kale
5-6 potatoes
1 cabbage
2 sticks hot chourico
Beef ribs
1 cup dry macaroni (elbows)
Red crushed pepper wet-optional

Drain and puree 3 cans of garbanzo beans in a food processor. Put the puree in a large pot with about a gallon of water.  Chop the chourico, and add it to the puree along with the ribs. Boil for 20 minutes. Chop the fennel bulb and cabbage into 2 inch squares.  Add the fennel and cabbage to soup and boil for 30 minutes.  Add the chopped kale, and boil for 30 minutes. Add the cubed potatoes and before the potatoes are done, add the remaining drained cans of beans. Add macaroni and cook for a short time at the end.

It may be the end of November, but the kale in my  garden is still growing! As the nights get longer and colder here in Southern New England, the first thing I go for is a great bowl of soup.

When I first posted my recipe of Portuguese kale soup, I was told by many Portuguese friends that my soup wasn’t authentic so I couldn’t call it that. Fair enough. Well, my Portuguese pal, Paula, has a great soup recipe that has been passed down from her Mom. Her Mom even adds chicken feet to the stock, which Paula chooses to leave out. Like most Portuguese soup recipes I’ve seen, there’s a ton of carbs: often potatoes with pasta with a lot of beans. But damn, it’s good! My version follows.

Paula’s Portuguese Soup

3 cans garbanzo beans
2 cans white cannellini beans
1 can pink beans
1 fennel bulb
Large bunch of kale
5-6 potatoes
1 cabbage
2 sticks hot chourico
Beef ribs
1 cup dry macaroni (elbows)
Red crushed pepper wet-optional

Drain and puree  3 cans of garbanzo beans in a food processor. Put the puree in a large pot with about a gallon of water.  Chop the chourico, and add it to the puree along with the ribs. Boil for 20 minutes. Chop the fennel bulb and cabbage into 2 inch squares.  Add the fennel and cabbage to soup and boil for 30 minutes.  Add the chopped kale, and boil for 30 minutes. Add the cubed potatoes and before the potatoes are done, add the remaining drained cans of beans. Add macaroni and cook for a short time at the end.

My version of the classic Portuguese kale soup.

My version of the classic Portuguese kale soup.

Here’s my version: carb-friendly and gluten-free, but still packs a lot of flavor.

4 cups home-made chicken or beef stock
4 cups water
1 cup lentils, rinsed in cold water
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, through a press
1 lb. chourico, peeled and chopped into small cubes (I use Mello’s, out of Fall River, Mass.)
1 large bunch organic kale
salt and pepper

Add the stock and water to a large pot. Heat until boiling. Add the lentils.

In a saucepan with a little olive oil or bacon fat, saute the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic for a few minutes. Add the chopped chourico and saute a few minutes more. Add the contents of the saute pan in the pot.

Wash and de-stem the kale, tearing the leaves into smaller pieces. Add the leaves to the pot and stir. The stems go in your compost pile. (You can also use them in a juicer.)

Cook the soup until the lentils are al dente. Taste and season for salt and pepper before serving.

November 5 is National Men Make Dinner Day. At my house, that’s every day. But soup is a great recipe for men to learn, because you can’t burn it!

When I first posted my recipe of Portuguese kale soup, I was told by many Portuguese friends that my soup wasn’t authentic so I couldn’t call it that. Fair enough. Well, my Portuguese pal, Paula, has a great soup recipe that has been passed down from her Mom. Her Mom even adds chicken feet to the stock, which Paula chooses to leave out. Like most Portuguese soup recipes I’ve seen, there’s a ton of carbs: often potatoes with pasta with a lot of beans. But damn, it’s good!

Paula’s Portuguese Soup

3 cans garbanzo beans
2 cans white cannellini beans
1 can pink beans
1 fennel bulb
Large bunch of kale
5-6 potatoes
1 cabbage
2 sticks hot chourico
Beef ribs
1 cup dry macaroni (elbows)
Red crushed pepper wet-optional

Drain and puree  3 cans of garbanzo beans in a food processor. Put the puree in a large pot with about a gallon of water.  Chop the chourico, and add it to the puree along with the ribs. Boil for 20 minutes. Chop the fennel bulb and cabbage into 2 inch squares.  Add the fennel and cabbage to soup and boil for 30 minutes.  Add the chopped kale, and boil for 30 minutes. Add the cubed potatoes and before the potatoes are done, add the remaining drained cans of beans. Add macaroni and cook for a short time at the end.

My version of the classic Portuguese kale soup.

My version of the classic Portuguese kale soup.

Here’s my version: carb-friendly, but still packs a lot of flavor.

4 cups home-made chicken or beef stock
4 cups water
1 cup lentils, rinsed in cold water
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, through a press
1 lb. chourico, peeled and chopped into small cubes (I use the mild stuff: Mello’s, out of Fall River, Mass.)
1 large bunch organic kale
salt and pepper

Add the stock and water to a large pot. Heat until boiling. Add the lentils.

In a saucepan with a little olive oil, saute the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic for a few minutes. Add the chopped chourico and saute a few minutes more. Add the contents of the saute pan in the pot.

Wash and de-stem the kale, tearing the leaves into smaller pieces. Add the leaves to the pot and stir. The stems go in your compost pile. (You can also use them in a juicer.)

Cook the soup until the lentils are al dente. Taste and season for salt and pepper before serving.

My pal, Paula, has a great Portuguese soup recipe that has been passed down from her Mom. Her Mom even adds chicken feet to the stock, which Paula chooses to leave out. Like most Portuguese soup recipes I’ve seen, there’s a ton of carbs: often potatoes with pasta with a lot of beans. As someone that tries to cut their carb intake, I make my soup with a lot less of that stuff.

Here’s Paula’s recipe…

Paula’s Portuguese Soup

Ingredients:

3 cans garbanzo beans

2 cans white cannellini beans

1 can pink beans

1 fennel bulb

Large bunch of kale

5-6 potatoes

1 cabbage

2 sticks hot chourico

Beef ribs

1 cup dry macaroni (elbows)

Red crushed pepper wet-optional

Drain and puree  3 cans of garbanzo beans in food processor .  Put puree in large pot with about  a gallon of water.  Chop chourico , and add it to the puree along with the ribs. Boil for 20 minutes.  Chop fennel bulb in food processor , chop cabbage ( 2 inch squares).  Add fennel and cabbage to soup and boil  for 30 minutes.  Add  chopped kale , boil for 30 minutes. Add cubed potatoes and before the potatoes are done, add the remaining drained cans of beans. Add macaroni and cook for a short time at the end.

My version of the classic Portuguese kale soup.

My version of the classic Portuguese kale soup.

Here’s my version: carb-friendly, but still packs a lot of flavor.

Ingredients:

4 cups home-made chicken or beef stock

4 cups water

1 cup lentils, rinsed in cold water

1 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, through a press

1 lb chourico, peeled and chopped into small cubes (I use the mild stuff: Mello’s, out of Fall River, Mass.)

1 large bunch organic kale

salt and pepper

Add the stock and water to a large pot. Heat until boiling. Add the lentils.

In a saucepan with a little olive oil, saute the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic for a few minutes. Add the chopped chourico and saute a few minutes more. Add the contents of the saute pan in the pot.

Wash and de-stem the kale, tearing the leaves into smaller pieces. Add the leaves to the pot and stir. Discard the stems.

Cook the soup until the lentils are al dente. Taste and season for salt and pepper before serving.

You make soup! And really tasty soup at that! The great thing about this soup is that you can pretty much add anything you like to it–ham, bacon, chicken, or keep it meat-free–and you just can’t go wrong.

Me? I had a couple of pigs’ feet in the freezer (seriously) and I plunked those suckers down into the soup as it cooked, removing and discarding the feet at the end. I chose not to pick the meat out of them…they had imparted a delicious porky flavor into the soup by then anyway.

I always use homemade chicken stock instead of water for extra flavor.

Lentil soup, with a pig's foot waving hello.

Lentil soup, with a pig’s foot waving hello.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

8 cups chicken stock

2 cups dry lentils

1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)

2 tbsp vinegar

1 cup spinach, rinsed

salt and pepper

Put olive oil, carrots, onions and celery in a large soup pot and place over medium heat. Add a little salt and pepper. Once the onion has softened, add the garlic, bay leaf, oregano and basil. Cook for a couple of minutes and add the chicken stock, lentils and tomatoes. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat. Let it simmer for an hour.

Before serving, add in the spinach and cook it until it wilts. Then stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cucumber season is winding down here in Southern New England. If you think these veggies are nothing special, it’s probably because you bought them from a supermarket, where they’ve been grown on the other side of the planet, covered in wax to prevent bruising, and then shipped to your local store where they place them under artificial lighting.

Go to your local farmer now. Buy some amazing fresh cukes. Then try any or all of these suggestions…

CRISPY CUCUMBER SOUP

3 medium-sized cucumbers, peeled and seeded

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 cup vegetable broth

4 cups plain yogurt (I like the full fat yogurt)

1/2 cup mint leaves

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper

Peel and seed 2 1/2 of the cucumbers and place in a blender with garlic, broth, 3 cups of the yogurt, mint leaves, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Mix well. Add remaining yogurt and wisk in.

Finely dice the leftover 1/2 cucumber and place in soup bowl. Add soup on top.

Garnish with a pinch of SEA salt, preferably Fleur de Sel.

REFRESHING CUCUMBER DRINK

This is a recipe I found last summer, and it’s one of the most refreshing summer drinks you can make for yourself. But it also requires a lot of preparation. It’s worth it. I made a pitcher this past weekend, and I can’t even begin to tell you how good it was!

Ingredients per pitcher:

8 English cucumbers, peeled and seeded

4 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves

12 Tablepsoons fresh lime juice

8 teaspoons sugar

16 ounces vodka

4 ounces Cointreau

Peel cucumbers and quarter lengthwise. Remove any seeds. Cut a couple of quarters into thin stalks for garnish. Rough chop the rest of the cukes and put them in a food processor. Blend until totally liquefied. Strain cuke juice through a fine sieve, squeezing out as much liquid as you can from the solids. Throw the solids in your compost bin.

In a pitcher, combine mint, sugar and lime juice. Muddle the mint leaves, then add 1 cup crushed ice to the pitcher and stir well.

Add 3 cups cucumber juice, the vodka and Cointreau to the pitcher and stir well again.

Strain liquid into tall glasses filled with ice. Garnish with cucumber stalks.

PIMM’S CUP

Pimm’s No. 1 is a gin-based liqueur made in England. There are many variations of this drink, but my favorite is this simple:

Pimm’s No. 1

Ginger ale

1 smaller cucumber, peeled and quartered lengthwise

In a tall glass filled with ice, pour 2 oz of the Pimm’s No. 1. Fill to top of glass with ginger ale, leaving enough room to place a stalk of cucumber in the glass.

And nothing comforts me more than a bowl of chopped cukes with sour cream, some finely chopped fresh dill and a pinch of salt. Something my Mom gave us as kids that I still love today.

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