This first soup, Italian Bean Soup with Pappardelle, was hearty and delicious. It was inspired by a soup from Trattoria dai Mugnai in Monteveglio, a village outside of Bologna. The second soup, Spanish Garlic Soup, was inspired by an “end of the month” meal, a “meal to make quickly with whatever is on hand and money is tight,” from José Andrés.
The recipes for these simple soups were adapted from Milk Street, the Italian bean and pasta soup from Milk Street Magazine, contributed by Rebecca Richmond, and the Spanish garlic soup from Milk Street TV, contributed by Christopher Kimball and Matthew Card.
Italian Bean Soup with Pappardelle
Yield: Serves 4
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T tomato paste
2 to 4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 15.5 oz cans Roman (borlotti), cranberry, or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or sage
1 piece Parmesan rind, plus finely grated Parmesan, to serve
8 to 9 oz fresh or dried pappardelle, tagliatelle, or fettucine, cut or broken into 2-inch lengths (see Note)
freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (I used a Meyer lemon)
In a large saucepan over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the tomato paste darkens slightly and begins to stick to the pan, about 3 minutes.
Add the beans, rosemary, Parmesan rind (use if you have it!), 5 cups water, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft enough to be easily mashed with a fork, about 10 minutes.
Off heat, remove and discard the Parmesan rind. Using an immersion blender, pulse the bean mixture until creamy but not completely smooth. (see Note) (Alternatively, if transferring to a blender, let cool for 10 minutes and purée in 2 batches before returning to the pot.)
Bring to a simmer over medium. Add the pasta and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente (refer to the package for cooking times, but begin checking for doneness a minute or two sooner than the directions indicate). (I used dried pappardelle, broken into 2-inch lengths, and cooked it for 6 to 7 minutes.)
Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with oil and top with grated Parmesan and additional pepper, as desired.
If you can find sheets of fresh pasta, they work nicely, too—simply cut them into rough 2-inch squares.
Don’t puree the beans until completely smooth; leave them with some texture.
Spanish Garlic Soup (Sopa de Ajo)
Yield: Serves 4
6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra
4 tsp sweet paprika
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
6 oz sourdough or other rustic bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups), divided
6 cups water
2 T chicken bouillion (I used Better Than Boullion)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large egg yolks
2 T sherry vinegar
In a medium saucepan over medium-low, combine the scallion whites, garlic and 3 tablespoons of the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to color, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add both paprikas and cook, stirring, until fragrant and darkened, 30 seconds.
Add 1 cup of the bread cubes and stir well.
Whisk in the water and bouillon, increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking occasionally to break up bread, for 15 minutes. Whisk vigorously to ensure bread is thoroughly broken up.
Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet over medium, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, the remaining 3 cups bread, the scallion greens, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the hot broth. (It is important to do this step to prevent the yolks from curdling when added to the pot.)
Remove the soup from the heat. Off heat, vigorously whisk the egg yolks into the soup, then whisk in the vinegar.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, fill individual bowls with the crouton mixture, then ladle the soup over them. Drizzle with additional oil, if desired.
My son is a major fan of creamy comfort food. He was obsessed with this pudding and its caramel notes. ❤ I loved all of the garnishes.
This recipe for this sweet treat was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. She was able to find the perfect ratio of milk to cornstarch to prevent grittiness. I found that the pudding had to cook a little bit longer to thicken.
I topped the chilled pudding with lightly sweetened freshly whipped cream, toasted and sweetened sliced almonds, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Next time, I may try candied pecans instead of almonds. 🙂 The original recipe includes several other options as well.
Yield: Serves 4
4large egg yolks
1/2teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4packed cup/165 grams dark brown sugar
1tablespoon unsalted butter
2cups/480 milliliters whole milk
1cup/240 milliliters heavy cream
1tablespoon bourbon or Scotch whisky, optional (I omitted it)
2teaspoons pure vanilla extract
freshly whipped cream, sour cream or crème fraîche, for serving (I lightly sweetened the whipped cream with confectioners’ sugar)
chopped candied ginger, sliced almonds, Demerara sugar, shaved chocolate, cocoa nibs or flaky sea salt, or a combination , for garnish, optional
Put egg yolks, cornstarch and salt into a large heatproof bowl (preferably with a spout), and whisk until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps. (I used a balloon whisk and a pyrex bowl with a spout.)
In a medium pot over medium heat, combine brown sugar and butter, whisking, until the brown sugar melts, 1 to 2 minutes. (I used a sauce whisk so that I could get into the edges of the pan.) Let cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to smell like hot caramel and darkens slightly, about 1 minute longer. (Don’t walk away, or the mixture may burn.)
Immediately pour the milk and cream into the pot. (It will bubble fiercely and seize up- the sugar clumps.) Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the clumps melt, 2 to 4 minutes.
Slowly whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking yolks until smooth, then whisk in the remaining hot cream mixture. Pour the egg-cream mixture back into the saucepan and place it over medium heat.
Cook pudding, whisking constantly especially around the bottom and edges of the pot, until it comes to a full boil. It is important to bring the pudding to a full, vigorous boil to activate the cornstarch. Otherwise, it may not set. (If you end up with thin, runny pudding, undercooking may have been the issue.) Also- it’s okay if the eggs curdle because the mixture is strained at the end.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring the mixture constantly, until it thickens enough to mound thickly on the spoon, 4 to 10 minutes. If at any point the pudding looks curdled, whisk to help smooth it out.
Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof container or bowl, then stir in the Scotch or bourbon, if using, and vanilla.
To prevent a skin from forming, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding. (If you like the skin, don’t cover pudding until it cools.)
Chill for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
If garnishing the pudding with toasted sliced almonds, evenly spread them on a parchment paper-lined rimmed sheet pan; roast in a 400 degree oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and place in a small frying pan. Top with granulated sugar, to taste, and cook over medium-low to medium heat just until the sugar melts and coats the almonds, about 1 to 2 minutes. Return to the lined baking sheet to cool.
When serving, spoon pudding into dishes. Top with dollops of whipped cream, sour cream or crème fraîche, and any of the optional garnishes. (I incorporated some confectioners’ sugar into freshly whipped cream.)
Now that it’s the very very tail end of corn season, I have a couple fresh corn recipes to share. I hope I’m not too late. We ate this cheesy dish for dinner but it would be wonderful for brunch as well. I also think that it could be prepared with frozen corn (gasp!) and served as a holiday side dish.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Clare de Boer. I used Kosher salt and modified the proportions. I also modified the baking dish (to have more crispy crust) and baking time. The lemony basil oil topping added a bright contrast to the indulgent and delicious dish.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan, divided (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
4 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
coarsely ground black pepper
1/3 packed cup fresh basil leaves (about 20 leaves)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
Add the corn kernels and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
Transfer half the kernels to a food processor and purée with 2 tablespoons olive oil. (I used a Vitamix.)
Transfer the corn kernels and puréed corn to a large bowl and let cool, about 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees, preferably on convection.
When the corn mixture has cooled, add the ricotta, heavy cream, crème fraîche/sour cream, 1 cup Parmesan and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt; season to taste with more salt, if desired.
Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks on high speed, 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir the yolks into the ricotta mixture until combined then gently fold in the whites, working delicately to avoid deflating.
Rub the sides and crannies of a 6-by-10-inch oval or 8-by-8-inch square (or similar 2-inch-deep) baking dish with a knob of butter. (I used a 8×10-inch oval dish.) Add 2 to 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, knocking it around the baking dish to coat the entire thing, then follow with a few grinds of pepper.
Pour the ricotta batter into the dish. Bake for 25 minutes and then remove from oven and top with another 3 tablespoons Parmesan. Continue to bake until the cheese has browned and the sformata has set in the center, about 5 additional minutes, a total of 30 to 40 minutes.
Using a mortar and pestle, grind the basil with the lemon juice and a pinch of salt, then stir in the remaining 1/4 cup oil.
Just before serving, top the warm sformata with the remaining grated Parmesan, drizzle with basil oil and serve.
I am taking a break from bombarding everyone with sourdough recipes. I still have quite a few tasty ones to share! 😉
This vegetarian fried rice dish was fast, easy, crowd-pleasing comfort food. Making it in a large cast iron skillet was the perfect vessel to create just the right amount of crispy rice and caramelized vegetables. According to the original recipe, another secret to getting color on the rice was the inclusion of sugar.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Kat Boytsova. I modified the proportions and substituted Basmati rice for sushi rice. It is a wonderful base recipe to incorporate any vegetables and/or protein with leftover rice in the fridge.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
5 cups of broccoli florets and stems (pieces should be of similar size)
1 large bunch scallions (I used 7)
6 large eggs
2 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1 1/2 T granulated sugar
2 T soy sauce
1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
4 large garlic cloves, grated
6-7 T vegetable oil, divided
4-5 cups cooked, day-old sushi rice (I used leftover brown and white Basmati rice)
4 T toasted sesame oil
3 T unseasoned rice vinegar
This fried rice comes together really quickly, so it’s important that all of your ingredients are prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.
Place broccoli to a medium bowl.
Trim scallions on both ends, then cut crosswise into 1″ pieces. Transfer to bowl with broccoli.
Whisk eggs in another medium bowl to combine and season with 3/4 teaspoons of salt.
Whisk sugar, soy sauce, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt in a small bowl.
Grate the ginger and garlic cloves into the bowl of sauce and give it another whisk.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet (or non-stick if you don’t have one)over medium-high until just beginning to smoke. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
Add broccoli and scallions, season with a good pinch of salt, and toss with a spatula to coat in oil. Cook, undisturbed, until well charred on one side, about 5 minutes. When we say “undisturbed,” we mean it! You need consistent, direct contact with the hot pan in order to get color on the veggies, so resist the urge to constantly fuss with them.
Mix with spatula and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until broccoli is crisp-tender and scallions are wilted, about 2 more minutes. Transfer veggies back to the bowl they came from.
Heat remaining 5 tablespoons vegetable oil in skillet over medium-low.
Add eggs and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until large curds begin to form, about 30 seconds. The eggs will cook very quickly, so try to err on the side of runny and less-cooked because they can become spongy if overcooked.
Add the rice and soy sauce mixture to eggs. Toss well to combine, then press down evenly into skillet. Cook, undisturbed, until rice is slightly crisped on one side, about 5 minutes. (Remember: undisturbed!)
Return veggies to skillet and toss well to combine.
Remove from heat, add sesame oil and rice vinegar, and toss once more. Serve.
I found one additional recipe that I’ve been waiting to share from Bon Appétit’s popular recipe list. Most of these popular recipes are comfort food dishes- no surprise!
This vegetarian carbonara has wonderful rich flavor from the deeply browned mushrooms combined with shallots and garlic. Genius. The luxurious sauce is made with the traditional Italian method, using egg yolks and cheese. This recipe is from Bon Appétit, contributed by Molly Baz. Very nice.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 lbs crimini or button mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
6 garlic cloves
2 medium shallots
1 cup parsley leaves with tender stems (about ½ bunch)
5 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups (4 oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more
4 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb orecchiette
Fill a large pot with water and season well with a few big pinches of salt. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, tear off and discard stems of mushrooms, then tear them into quarters (or in halves if small). Transfer to a medium bowl.
Lightly smash and peel the garlic cloves, then thinly slice.
Peel and finely chop the shallots.
Coarsely chop the parsley.
Whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, Parmesan, and freshly ground black pepper in another medium bowl; set aside.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high for a good 3 minutes. You want to get the pan very hot since adding the mushrooms is going to lower the temperature of the surface of the pan.
Toss mushrooms and 4 T extra-virgin olive oil once in pan to coat in oil. Cook, tossing once every 4–5 minutes (but mostly undisturbed), until mushrooms are mostly golden brown, 13–16 minutes. This will take some time and they will let out a lot of moisture before they start to brown.
Once mushrooms have been cooking for about 10 minutes, put the orecchiette into boiling salted water and set a timer 2 minutes shy of al dente according to package directions.
When the mushrooms are deeply browned, reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, shallots, and 1½ teaspoons of salt. Cook, stirring often, until aromatics are softened but not browned, 30–60 seconds.
When pasta is 2 minutes shy of al dente, reserve 2 cups pasta cooking liquid, then drain pasta.
Add pasta along with 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to mushroom mixture. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often to finish cooking the pasta and absorb liquid, about 2 minutes (this is why you’re cooking the pasta 2 minutes shy of al dente; it allows for the flavors to meld as the pasta finishes cooking in the sauce).
Remove from heat and let cool 1 minute. (Don’t skip this step—if the pasta is too hot when you add the egg mixture, it will turn into scrambled eggs instead of a luxurious sauce.)
Add 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to reserved egg mixture and whisk to combine and loosen eggs.
Gradually add egg mixture to pot, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed to loosen things up, until a very creamy, luscious sauce coats all noodles.
Add parsley and stir again to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning for salt.
Divide pasta among bowls. Top with Parmesan and a few cranks of pepper.
This is another wonderful one-pot vegetarian baked egg casserole that can be served any time of day. The title of the New York Times article about it was, “Polenta That You’ll Never Need to Stir: Baking a classic in a sea of eggs and cheese gives it complexity.” Irresistible. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Yotam Ottolenghi. I used my special grits from Charleston, South Carolina instead of polenta. I also increased the amount of garlic, reduced the red pepper flakes, and kept the corn kernels whole. I loved all of the brightness from the combination of fresh herbs. Delicious!
1/4 to 1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes, plus more for garnish
warm naan, pita, or crusty bread, for serving
Heat the oven to 375°F/200°C, preferably on convection.
If desired, add the corn to a food processor and pulse once or twice, just until roughly chopped. (I opted to leave the kernels whole.)
In a large bowl, combine the corn, spinach, cornmeal, Parmesan, scallions, 1/4 cup cilantro, parsley, dill, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a good grind of pepper; stir to combine.
Transfer this mixture to a large, deep, oven-proof skillet, then add the milk, stock and butter, stirring gently to mix through. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.)
Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and give everything a good whisk.
Return to the oven and bake until the cornmeal is cooked through and the mixture has thickened, about 20 minutes. Give the polenta another good whisk — it should be quite smooth and not completely set — then stir in half the feta.
Increase the oven temperature to 425°F/220°C, preferably on convection.
Use a dinner spoon to make 8 shallow wells in the polenta. Crack an egg into each well and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the remaining feta all over, and bake until the egg whites are cooked and the yolks are still runny, 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the reserved scallions and cilantro in a bowl with the oil. Spoon this mixture all over the polenta and eggs and sprinkle with the red-pepper flakes, if desired. Serve directly from the pan.