Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tomato Dill with Farmhouse Cheddar

On Sunday, February 19th, I made this Tomato Dill soup. It was my least favorite of the soups so far. I'm not a big fan of dill but I'm not sure that's what made this a poor soup to me.  I think the reason I didn't appreciate it was because it called for canned tomatoes, not fresh.

The first step was to add leeks to heated oil and cook until softened.  Then you add tomatoes, chicken stock, dill, cayenne, and salt.  Here it called for fresh dill and I used dried because there is no fresh dill in stores this time of year.  Once the soup was cooked, I pureed it until smooth. The soup is garnished with shavings of White Cheddar. 

It was liked by others in the household, it was just myself that thought it was not so great.  To me, this was the least flavorful and creative soup of the bunch. Maybe the reason is that I chose it to be an easy, and quick soup to mke on a low energy day.


in the pot                       

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mama Veli's Pozole

This week's soup has been voted the Best Soup So Far by the entire family.  It was a prep-intensive but easy to cook soup.

I started by preparing the garnishes - sliced radishes, shredded red cabbage, chopped avacado, chopped cilantro, and sliced limes.  Then I processed 10 fresh Tomatillos along with chopped onion, a few sprigs of cilantro, and a few sliced jalapenos in the food processor until it resembled salsa.  The next step was to cook the chicken and shred it.  I boiled the chicken in the chicken stock
and then shredded it with a fork.  Once shredded, I added it back to the stock along with the Tomatillo salsa and a main ingredient of Pozole - Hominy - and let it cook until the flavors blended, about an hour.

Once cooked, it was as simple as dishing it up and topping with the garnishes.  Everyone raved.  The family agreed that the soup included a lot of complex flavors, there was lots of zip,and they liked how the many flavors worked together with the garnishes.  They thought it was going to be super spicy but it turned out to have a tang without being spicy.  One person in the family did not like it because they don't particularly like Mexican flavors.  Pozole was a big hit.
Pozole, without garnish

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Black Bean Soup with a Hint of Orange

This soup was the first soup I've made that was not based around a single vegetable as its theme.  In fact, it doesn't call for any vegetables at all, its beans and meat - black beans and chorizo sausage.

I used dried black beans that I soaked overnight and paired with Mexican chorizo sausage.  I browned the sausage then added chopped onion, rosemary, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. When these flavors were mixed I added the beans and chicken stock and simmered until the beans were soft, over an hour.  Once the soup was cooked, I added orange juice for the 'hint of orange' flavor.  Then, I used the immersion blender to blend up the beans and make the soup smooth.

I have to say, this has been the least favorite soup we've tried so far.  It was not bad, just not as many positive comments as the others.  Comments about this soup included 'too sweet', 'too orange-y', 'too spicy', and 'too bean-y'.  A coupld of people said it was good, just not their favorite and one family member said they just did not like it. 

I served some on Sunday night and more on Monday night and I noticed that on Sunday night I could barely tell there was a hint of orange but on Monday night, the flavor was VERY orange tasting to me.  The orange flavor increased as it sat in the refrigerator overnight.  I'm not sure the orange flavor goes well with the spiciness of the chorizo and I would probably not make this recipe in the same way again.  Thats what this soup project is about - trying new things and discovering what you like and what you don't.

browning chorizo