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.
Christopher Kimball of Milk Street TV announced that this chilled tomato soup was superior in both taste and ease of preparation to my beloved summer gazpacho. I had to try it!
This puréed velvety soup is more elegant, creamy, and filling than gazpacho. We ate it as a complete meal with a green salad. It can be made year round with Campari tomatoes, which I used, or made with peak-season summer tomatoes, of course.
This recipe was adapted from MilkStreetTV.com, contributed by Diane Unger. The bread is undetectable in the finished soup but creates the desirable consistency. The sherry vinegar is an essential ingredient as well. I loved all of the garnishes. Lovely.
Yield: Serves 4
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored (I used Campari tomatoes)
2 1/2 ounces country-style white bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)(I used fresh sourdough)
1/2 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1 tsp granulated sugar
3 T sherry vinegar, plus more to serve
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup plus 1 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
4 thin slices of prosciutto (about 2 ounces), torn into pieces
3 or 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced or quartered, optional
finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
In a blender, combine the tomatoes, bread, bell pepper, garlic, sugar, vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Blend on high until completely smooth and no bits of tomato skins remain, about 1 minute. (I used a Vitamix.)
With the blender running, gradually add 3/4 cup olive oil.
Transfer to a large bowl of lidded container, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours.
While the soup chills, make the hard-cooked eggs, if using. Fill a saucepan about a quarter of the way with cold water. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of the saucepan. Add more water so that the eggs are covered by at least an inch of water. Bring to a full boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes, drain. Place eggs in an ice bath. When cool enough to handle, peel and quarter or slice. Set aside.
While the eggs cool, place a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering.
Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and let cool completely, then roughly chop; set aside.
Taste the soupand season again with salt and pepper. (Chilling the soup blunts the flavor and additional seasoning may be required.)
Ladle the soup into (preferably chilled) bowls. Top with the prosciutto, hard-cooked egg (if using) and chopped parsley or cilantro.
Drizzle with additional oil and vinegar, as desired. (I omitted this addition.)
Many years ago, my husband and I first tried Romesco sauce while on vacation in Barcelona. It was served with grilled ramps. We were instant fans! Using jarred fire-roasted red peppers as a shortcut is an absolute genius way to create it. I served the meatballs and sauce in this dish with slices of sourdough baguette to sop up every last drop. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Sara Frost. I modified the proportions. The original recipe notes that the delicious sauce can add richness to other lean proteins such as fish, pan-roasted chicken breast and can also be used as a dip for vegetables. Next time, I may serve this dish with grilled scallions. Yum.
My son ate the leftover meatballs and baguette as a luxurious sandwich with melted cheese, topped with Romesco sauce, of course. This dish could also be served as a fabulous appetizer.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 3/4 lbs ground turkey
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1/2 cup panko
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp paprika
4 to 6 T finely chopped parsley, plus more coarsely chopped for serving
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 T plus 1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup toasted almonds (I used toasted sliced almonds)
1 12 to 16-oz jar fire-roasted peppers in water, drained (I used Trader Joe’s)
2 to 4 small garlic cloves, crushed (I used a garlic press)
1 T red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
finely grated zest of half of a lemon
crusty bread, for serving, optional (I served it with a sourdough baguette)
Preheat oven to 425°. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
Using your hands, mix ground turkey, eggs, panko, cumin, onion powder, paprika, parsley, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt in a large bowl.
Working one at a time, use a 1 1/2-inch scoop out to ration out the mixture. (I had 28 meatballs.) Place on a plate.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium. (I used a large stainless steel “all-in-one” pan.)
Working in 2 batches, cook meatballs until golden brown all over, about 2 minutes per side.
Transfer skillet with all of the meatballs to oven and bake until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
While the meatballs are baking, pulse almonds in a food processor until coarsely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Pulse drained fire-roasted peppers, garlic, vinegar, and cayenne in food processor until almost smooth.
Transfer to bowl with almonds and stir in remaining 1/2 cup oil; season Romesco sauce with salt, to taste.
Spoon romesco sauce onto a platter or into shallow bowls; arrange meatballs on top.
Finely grate lemon zest over and scatter coarsely chopped parsley on top. Serve with crusty bread, as desired.
Chicken and rice is an absolute favorite in my house. This chicken meat was incredibly tender- falling off the bone- in this pressure cooker version. The rice was full-flavored and fabulous.
This recipe was adapted from The Essential Mexican Instant Pot Cookbook: Authentic Flavors and Modern Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker bye Deborah Schneider. I used a stove top pressure cooker. I branched out from my comfort zone and used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. 😉 I also substituted a Cubanelle for an Anaheim chile and increased the garlic.
We ate it with a green salad. Wonderful!
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp saffron threads
2 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (8 thighs) or 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 tsp coarse salt, divided
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 T olive oil
1 small white or red onion, diced
8 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Cubanelle, Anaheim, or Poblano Chile, stemmed, seeded, and diced
2 Roma tomatoes, cored and diced or one 14-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed and drained (I used Basmati rice)
parsley or cilantro, minced, for garnish
In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of the chicken broth to a bare simmer over medium-high heat.
Add the saffron threads to the hot broth and let steep for about 30 minutes.
Season the chicken pieces on all sides with 1 tsp of the salt, the black pepper, and the pepper flakes. (I used a 9×13-inch pyrex dish.)
Heat the oil over medium heat in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot.
Working in batches, add the chicken in a single layer and cook until well browned on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate.
Add onion, garlic, and diced chile to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, until the onion begins to soften.
Stir in the tomatoes, cumin, smoked paprika, bay leaf, and the remaining 2 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened.
Stir in the saffron-infused broth and the remaining 1 cup broth, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
Stir in the rice and, using a wooden spoon, gently swirl the rice until it falls in an even layer.
Return the chicken to the pot, arranging the pieces in an even layer, then pour in any accumulated juices.
Secure the lid and seal under pressure, set to meat/stew on an Instant Pot. (I brought my pot up to high (2nd ring) but may reduce to the first ring next time because a lot of the rice was crispy- but delicious- on the bottom of the pot.)
Cook for 20 minutes.
Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then move the pressure to venting to release any remaining steam.
Open the pot and let cool for 10 minutes to allow the rice to firm up prior to serving.
This dinner was like a mini-Thanksgiving feast. 🙂 I served the chicken with roasted gold and sweet potatoes, broccoli, and acorn squash. The incredibly flavorful, rich sauce made the meal complete.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by José Andrés. It was inspired by the rotisserie chicken and sauce made by the Morales family at El Asador de Nati in Córdoba, Spain. The sauce incorporates the pan drippings with an entire head of roasted garlic. Wonderful.
one 4 1/2- to 5-pound chicken, patted dry
freshly ground black pepper
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise, plus 2 cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced yellow onion (I used 1/2 large yellow onion)
1/2 cup minced green or orange bell pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
pinch of dried thyme
Preheat the oven to 425°, preferably on convection roast.
Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper and place in a large ovenproof skillet (I used a 12″ sauté pan) along with the head of garlic, cut sides down. Roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken breast registers 160°. (I used the oven probe.)
Transfer the chicken and garlic to a cutting board; let rest for 15 minutes. Pour the pan drippings into a heatproof bowl.
Meanwhile, in the skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, minced garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the wine, bay leaf, thyme and the reserved pan drippings.
Squeeze the roasted garlic into the sauce and bring to a boil over high heat, then simmer over moderately low heat until slightly reduced, 5 minutes.
Discard the bay leaf. Transfer to a blender, add 2 tablespoons of water and puree until very smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. (I used a Vitamix.)
Carve the chicken and transfer to a platter. Drizzle with sauce and serve additional roasted-garlic pan sauce on the side.
My non-pork tenderloin-eating son gobbled up these bites of meat! The sauce and seasoning were absolutely delicious.
This recipe was adapted from Milk Street: The New Home Cooking by Christopher Kimball. I doubled the recipe to use two pork tenderloin. We ate it with Basmati rice and green salad. Fabulous.
Yield: Serves 6
1 T ground coriander
1 T ground cumin
1 T smoked paprika
2 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 one-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 T lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
2 T honey
3 large garlic cloves, finely grated
2-3 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1-2 T chopped fresh oregano
In a medium bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.
Add the pork and toss to coat evenly, massaging the spices into the meat until no dry rub remains.
Let the meat sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in another small bowl, combine the lemon juice, honey, and garlic. Set aside.
In a large skillet (I used a 14-inch skillet) over medium-high, heat 2 T of the oil until just smoking. Add the meat in a single layer and cook without moving until deeply browned on one side, about 3 minutes.
Using tongs, flip the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until cooked through and browned all over, another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 140 degrees.
Off the heat, pour the lemon juice-garlic mixture over the meat and toss to evenly coat, then transfer to a serving dish. (I tossed the sauce with the meat in my serving dish.)
Sprinkle the oregano over the pork and drizzle with the remaining 1 T of oil, if desired. (I omitted the additional oil.)
A while ago, my son read a book that mentioned flan and he really wanted to make it. We actually made it together at that time. 🙂 It really is quite simple to prepare, and he felt like he had achieved a great accomplishment when it came out well. He’s been asking to have it again ever since!
I think that it is particularly delicious served with strawberries. This recipe is a blend of multiple flan recipes- including one from my grandmother.
Yield: One 8-inch flan
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
5 large eggs
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (low fat can be substituted)
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 T pure vanilla extract
pinch of coarse salt
strawberries, for serving, optional
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, preferably on convection.
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan; bring to a simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, occasionally swirling, until amber, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Pour into a 1 1/2 to 2 qt (8-in) ceramicbaking dish or 8-in cake pan, tilting to cover the bottom surface and halfway up the sides of the dish.
Place the prepared dish on a dish towel or a silicone pot holder (to prevent it from shifting) inside a roasting pan. (I used an enameled cast iron lasagna pan.)
Place the eggs, condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla, and salt in a Vitamix. Blend for 20 seconds. (Alternatively, mixture can be whisked in a bowl until combined.)
Pour through a fine strainer into the prepared pan.
Slide the oven rack out and place the roasting pan on the hot rack.
Fill the outside of the pan with HOT water halfway up the sides of the flan dish.
Bake for 60-70+ minutes, or until the center is wobbly.
Remove from the oven; let cool to room temperature.
Remove flan from the water bath. Cool and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Dip the bottom of the dish in warm water, then invert onto a rimmed platter. Serve.