I usually need grilled cheese as a bribe for my family to enjoy tomato soup for dinner. My daughter loved this soup even more than the grilled cheese! 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Food 52.com, contributed by Carolina Gelen. I modified the method and proportions. It was a quick dinner packed with flavor. Perfect with our grilled cheese sandwiches and giant green salad.
We swirled pesto into the soup just before serving. Additional cream or crème fraîche could also be added.
Yield: Serves 4 to 5
extra-virgin olive oil
1300 gramsgrape or cherry tomatoes (about 4 cups)
2 yellow onions, roughly chopped
2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
2 to 4 sprigs of basil
2 large sprigs of thyme
1 or 2 red chiles, optional (I omitted it)
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream (I used one 13.5 oz can of coconut milk), plus more for serving, as desired
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock, plus more as needed
homemade or store-bought pesto, for serving, optional
grilled cheese sandwiches or fresh bread, for serving, optional
Heat the oven to 450°F (230°C). (I set my oven to convection roast.)
Drizzle some oil into a deep baking dish. (I used a large enameled cast iron baking dish.)
Add in the tomatoes, onion, basil and thyme, and chile (if using). Drizzle more olive oil on top, plus a big sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix to coat. Add the garlic cloves, cut side down, nestled into the other ingredients.
Roast for 25 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are slightly charred. (I roasted mine for 38 minutes.)
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme. Remove garlic cloves from the papery skin.
Add the rest of the ingredients to a blender, along with the coconut milk and stock. (I used a Vitamix on the hot soup setting.) Remove the little plug from the blender lid, then cover the lid with a kitchen towel and blend until smooth.
Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed. Adjust consistency with additional stock, as needed.
Serve drizzled with pesto and/or cream with a grilled cheese sandwich and green salad, as desired.
This simple and flavorful chili is a lighter version of a classic beef chili. It is wonderful healthy option. It was included on a list of Food and Wine magazine’s best chilis.
The recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Art Smith. In the article he said, “(this) turkey chili is a big favorite of Oprah’s.” I modified the proportions and added additional toppings. We ate it with corn muffins and green salad on the side- it was still “healthy-ish!” 🙂
Yield: 6 to 8
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds ground turkey
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
three 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup beer (such as lager)( I used Negra Modelo)
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
sliced scallions or chopped chives, for garnish
sour cream, for serving, optional
shredded cheese, for serving, optional
In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add half of the turkey and cook over medium-high heat, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes.
Stir the turkey, season with salt and pepper, and cook until no pink remains, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the cooked turkey to a bowl.
Repeat with 1 more tablespoon of oil and the remaining turkey.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the onion to the pot. Cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, chile powder, cumin, oregano and chipotle powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Return the turkey to the pot.
Stir in the carrot, bell pepper, tomato puree, beans and lager and bring to a boil.
Stir in the stock and vinegar, cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
Add the thyme, season with salt and pepper and serve, garnished with scallions or chives.
I received a rice cooker for Christmas! I had to make some sort of chicken dish to serve with my perfectly cooked rice. 🙂
This comforting chicken curry was very thick and hearty. The recipe was adapted from Made in India: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen by Meera Sodha. I also included some of Sam Sifton’s adaptations from The New York Times.
The dollop of yogurt on top was essential. We also ate it with warm naan, roasted cauliflower and steamed spinach.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
2 T unsalted butter or ghee
1 T neutral oil, like canola
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cinnamon sticks, approximately 2 inches long
2 large white or yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 2 1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled with a spoon and grated or minced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 green cayenne or jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced (or 1 tsp chili powder)
kosher salt, to taste
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons strained or puréed tomatoes (I used Pomi)
2 T tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 T whole-milk yogurt, plus 1 cup to serve with the meal
2 to 2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 T ground or slivered almonds
1 tsp garam masala
pinch ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 cups brown Basmati rice, rinsed and cooked per package directions
Melt the butter or ghee in the oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat, and when it is hot and shimmering, add the cumin seeds and cinnamon sticks. Cook for a minute or two, stirring often, to intensify their flavors.
Add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are golden, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the ginger, garlic and chilies into a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt; smash them together into a coarse paste. (You can also do this on a cutting board, with a knife.) (I had a bit of a struggle with this! May try the cutting board method next time.)
Add the paste to the onions, and cook gently for 2 minutes or so, then pour in the tomatoes, and stir. Allow to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
Add the tomato paste, ground cumin, ground turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; stir to combine.
Add the yogurt slowly to the mixture, using a wooden spoon to whisk it into the sauce. It may be quite thick. When it begins to bubble, add the chicken.
Lower the heat, put the lid on the Dutch oven and allow the curry to cook gently for 30 minutes or so, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Add the almonds and the garam masala, along with a pinch of cayenne, and cook for 5 minutes more or so. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.
Serve with basmati rice and/or naan, and the additional yogurt for topping at the table.
Although I typically prefer vegetarian Ethiopian dishes, I felt compelled to try this chicken dish after seeing it on Milk Street. This chicken and red onion stew, Doro Wat, is the national dish of Ethiopia. I made Ethiopian Stewed Collard Greens, Gomen Wat, with my CSA collards as an accompaniment.
The recipe was adapted from a home cook, Tigist Chane in Addis Ababa, via 177MilkStreet.com, contributed by Courtney Hill. Ghee is substituted for Ethiopian fermented butter.
Instead of injera, Ethiopian flatbread, I served the stew over brown Basmati rice with warm naan on the side. The original recipe notes that it is important to make your own spice blend, berbere, to control the amount of heat in the finished dish. We omitted the optional hard-cooked egg garnish.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
For the Berbere Spice Blend:
2 T smoked sweet paprika
1 T sweet paprika
1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1/2 tsp dried basil, ground or crushed into a powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
For the Chicken Stew:
5 T ghee, divided
3 large red onions (about 2 pounds), finely chopped in a food processor
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
about 5 T Berbere spice blend (see above) (I used the entirety of the spice blend)
12 medium to large garlic cloves, minced in a food processor
2 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved
3 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 jalapeño or Fresno chili, stemmed, seeded (if desired), and finely chopped, optional
2-3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced, optional (I omitted the eggs)
lemon wedges, to serve, optional
brown Basmati rice, for serving, optional
Injera or naan, for serving, optional
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of the ghee until shimmering. (I used a large, wide and shallow enameled cast iron pot.)
Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, then cook, stirring occasionally and reducing the heat if the onions begin to brown before they soften, until lightly browned and completely softened, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons ghee, the berbere spice blend and 3/4 cup water.
Stir in the garlic, followed by the chicken.
Reduce to medium-low, cover and cook at a simmer, stirring occasionally, until a skewer inserted into the chicken meets no resistance, about 30 minutes.
Uncover, increase to medium-high and cook, stirring and scraping along the bottom of the pot, until the stew is thickened and a wooden spoon leaves a brief trail when drawn through the sauce, 5 to 10 minutes.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve topped with the scallions, chilies (if using) and sliced eggs (if using); serve with lemon wedges on the side, as desired. (I served it over brown rice with warm naan on the side.)
While unloading my CSA box, I spoke with another member about what she was making with all of the butternut squash we were receiving in our share. She said that there was no better way to use it than this soup! It was a great recommendation.
This recipe was adapted from Thomas Keller’s “Bouchon,” via The New York Times, contributed by Amanda Hesser. Hesser described it as “astonishingly flavorful and complex.” It was creamy, silky, and incredibly delicious. I made it for my mom on her birthday! 🙂 It would also be wonderful as part of a holiday meal.
I loved that it incorporated leeks, shallots, and yellow onions- and brown butter, of course. The toppings also gave it a lovely presentation.
Yield: Serves 6
1 3-to-3½-pound butternut squash
2 tablespoons canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 sprigs sage
1 cup thinly sliced leeks (about 2 leeks)
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots (about 2 carrots)
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
6 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons honey
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock, more if needed
Bouquet Garni made of 8 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs Italian parsley, 2 bay leaves and ½ teaspoon black peppercorns, all wrapped in a packet made of 2 green leek leaves or cheesecloth
1/4 cup crème fraîche
freshly grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced chives
extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (I set my oven to convection roast.) Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Cut the neck off the squash and set it aside. Cut the bulb in half and scoop out and discard seeds. Brush each half inside and out with about 1½ teaspoons of the canola oil. Sprinkle the cavities with salt and pepper and tuck a sprig of sage into each. Place cut-side-down on the baking sheet and roast until completely tender, about 1 hour. Remove the squash from the oven and let cool, then scoop out and reserve the flesh (discard sage).
Meanwhile, using a paring knife, peel away the skin from the neck of the squash until you reach the bright orange flesh. Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch pieces (you should have about 4 cups).
Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and thinly slice into half moons. Soak in a bowl of water. Using a slotted spoon, lift from the top before using.
Put the remaining canola oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat, add the leeks, carrots, shallots and onions and cook, stirring often, for about 6 minutes.
Add the diced squash, garlic, 11/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook gently for 3 minutes, reducing the heat as necessary to keep the garlic and squash from coloring.
Stir in the honey and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the stock and bouquet garni, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Add the roasted squash and simmer gently for about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend.
Remove from the heat and discard the bouquet garni.
Transfer the soup to a blender, in batches, and purée. Alternatively, use an immersion blender in the pot.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. Let the soup cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Place the crème fraîche in a small chilled bowl and stir in nutmeg to taste. Whisk until the crème fraîche holds a shape. Cover and refrigerate.
Gently reheat the soup until just hot. If it is too thick, add a little more stock.
Heat a medium skillet or butter warmer medium-over high heat. When it is very hot, add the butter and rotate the skillet over the heat as necessary to brown the butter evenly, scraping up any bits that settle in the bottom. As soon as the butter is a hazelnut brown, pour it into the pot of soup — keep a safe distance, it may sputter — then stir.
Ladle the soup into six serving bowls. Top each with a dollop of crème fraîche. Grind some black pepper over the top and sprinkle on the chives. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top.
My mom and I absolutely love Greek avgolemono soup. Recently, I made this meatball version when she was visiting. Springtime in a bowl! Light, bright and fresh.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used homemade stock and modified the method.
Yield: Serves 4
1 pound ground chicken, ground turkey, or beef, very cold
3/4 cup chopped fresh dill or parsley, plus more for garnish, divided
1/2 cup grated yellow onion (from about 1 small onion)
1/4 cup grated carrot (from about 1 carrot)
1/4 cup uncooked long-grain rice, such as Basmati or Carolina, well rinsed and drained
2 garlic cloves, finely grated, pushed through a garlic press, or minced
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
6 cups chicken stock (I used 4 cups homemade turkey stock + 2 cups chicken stock)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
freshly grated nutmeg, for serving, optional
In a large mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, 1/4 cup dill, onion, carrot, rice, garlic, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Gently mix with your hands until well combined.
Gently form the mixture into 24 to 30 meatballs, each about 1 1/4 inches in diameter, placing them on a plate or baking pan. (I used a cookie scoop to evenly ration the meat mixture.)
Cover and chill for at least 20 minutes or up to 24 hours. This helps the meatballs keep their shape while cooking.
In a large pot, bring stock to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium and use a slotted spoon to carefully add meatballs to the pot. The broth should cover the tops of the meatballs by about 1/2 inch. If not, add a little water. Simmer gently, adjusting the heat so the broth doesn’t boil, until meatballs are cooked through and rice is tender, 25 to 35 minutes. (You can break open a meatball to test it.) Remove pot from heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and lemon juice until just mixed. Slowly add a ladle of warm broth to egg-lemon mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in another two ladles of broth to temper the egg mixture.
Slowly drizzle the egg-lemon mixture back into the pot with the meatballs, stirring gently so you don’t break apart the meatballs.
Return the pot to medium-low heat until it just starts to simmer. (Wait for a bubble or two to appear, but don’t let the pot boil.) The broth should be silky.
Remove from heat, stir in remaining 1/2 cup dill. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. (It may need quite a bit of salt if you are starting with unsalted broth.)
Garnish with nutmeg, if you like, and dill, and serve.
This dish was a fun, delicious, and healthy dinner. Everyone in my house loves a meal that involves assorted toppings! 🙂
The recipe was adapted from Antoni Let’s Do Dinner by Antoni Porowski of Queer Eye. The chili published in his last book is one of our absolute favorites, so I knew that we had to try his vegan version (vegetarian with the optional sour cream and cheese toppings).
We ate it with cornbread muffins on the side. Wonderful.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
For the Chili:
3 T olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups water or a combination of stock and water
2 T tomato paste
1 T chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 T finely chopped chipotle chilies in adobo, plus more to taste (about 1 medium chile)
2 tsp packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup tricolor quinoa, rinsed
For the Toppings:
coarsely crushed or broken tortilla chips
shredded Mexican cheese blend, cheddar, or pepper Jack cheese
sliced or cubed avocado
chopped red onion or sliced scallions
canned mild green chilies or sliced fresh or pickled jalapeños
chopped fresh cilantro
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, dissolve the tomato paste in 2 1/2 cups water or in a combination of stock and water. (I used 1 cup stock and 1 1/2 cups water.)
Stir the chili powder, cumin, and oregano into the onion mixture and cook, stirring, until the spices begin to stick to the bottom of the pot, about 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, beans, chickpeas, chipotles, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and the tomato paste mixture. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches a low boil.
Add the rinsed quinoa, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender, about 25 to 35 minutes.
Remove the chili from the heat and adjust the seasonings and chipotle to taste.
Add the water to thin, if desired.
Serve with assorted toppings (and cornbread, if desired).