1. A steamy bowl of soup made with vegetarian wontons from my local Asian supermarket.
2. Finding inspiration for the coziest of November casseroles.
3. The perfect use for a crapload of cranberries.
Here’s a riff on another Moosewood soup. I love barley in soups as it gives them so much more substance. The chewy, nutty grains make a soup so much more of a meal.
1/2 cup pearl barley
5 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced celery
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp dried dill
1 tsp chili pepper
salt & pepper
1 large can diced tomaotes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cups chopped kale
crumbling of feta cheese
In a medium soup pot, bring the barley and water to a boil.
Cook the barley for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, cook the celery, garlic and spices until the celery is slightly tender.
Once the barley is cooked, add the celery, tomatoes, vinegar and kale, stirring to combine.
Cook for another 5-10 minutes over low heat, until the kale has wilted.
Serve with a handful of feta sprinkled over top, plus fresh dill if you have some on hand.
Fall is a time for soup. And since fall has hit early (after a wet and lackluster summer) it has been soup time all the time. My go-to book for soup recipes is Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special which is brimming with instructions for the best soups and salads you’ll ever make. For something a little different, I tried one of their creamy dairy soup recipes – a chapter I haven’t really explored until now. Here’s my modified version of their cauliflower cheese soup (sans onions and garlic since it was for eating at work).
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups diced potatoes
4 cups roughly chopped cauliflower
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cups hot water
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1 cup grated aged Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
salt & pepper
chopped fresh basil
Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot, then add the vegetables and oregano.
Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.
Add the water and tomatoes and bring to a slow boil.
Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until veggies are tender.
Toss in the two kinds of cheese, along with the milk, salt, pepper and basil.
Puree the soup using an immersion (stick) blender until not entirely smooth. (I like to keep a few veggie chunks for texture.)
If making for a regular dinner, as opposed to work dinners, I would add a whole chopped onion and a couple of cloves of garlic at the first step. For the sake of the evening library visitors, I left these ingredients out.
A bit of an update on the things I’ve been making recently:
I finally bought my very own barbecue! Last night, I threw down a thick little steak and a couple of portobello mushrooms. Great stuff.
My summer veg pots are coming along nicely. My tomato plants are crammed full of little green babies, and my lettuce is finally far enough along to pick. The raspberry bushes are producing a bumper crop – along with some goat cheese from the market, I can pull together a nice little lunch from the yard.
Before my parents left for the coast (maybe they’ll bring me a salmon…) my mom made a big batch of borscht, my favourite summer soup. This batch was made using the recipe in the Rebar cookbook, with lots of white beans and fresh dill. Probably the most amazing version I’ve ever had.
This is some tasty soup. The beef stock that serves as its base comes from a batch of (not-so) short ribs I made for New Year’s Day. I haven’t gotten around to blogging about them, but I’m still reaping the rewards from making them. I used the first bit of stock to make a bok choy, beef and noodle bowl. The rest of the stock went into the freezer to be saved for future soups and stews. Today was a day for soup, so I rummaged around the back of the freezer, dug out the brick o’ broth, and left this soup simmering away on the stovetop until it was time for dinner.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced into thin ribbons
3 ribs of celery, cut into thin slices
1/4 pearl barley, rinsed and sorted
6-8 cups beef stock
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 handful of kale, rough chopped
salt and pepper to taste
In a very large soup pot, cook the onion and celery in the oil until soft.
Add the barley, and stir around until it’s slightly toasted.
Pour in the beef stock, and bring the whole thing to a slow simmer.
Let the soup cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the barley is tender, add the beans and the kale.
Leave the soup to simmer until the kale has gone limp and the beans are warmed through.
Serve with a nice hunk of crusty bread on the side.