Soups

Maha's Lentil Soup By Annie Copps

Monday, March 28, 2011
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sliced irish soda bread

My sister-in-law is a great cook and from a family of great cooks including her mother, three sisters, and sister-in-law. Every meal she has ever prepared for me, mostly traditional foods from her native Syria, is a feast for the senses—she is an instinctive cook and an artist by training and my personal favorite, her lentil soup is my favorite.

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
4 medium onions, finely chopped
½ cup olive oil
4 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dry coriander
1 pound dry lentils, rinsed and picked through
2 to 3 tablespoons cumin
Kosher or sea salt
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ pound vermicelli or angel hair pasta, broken into 1-inch pieces
2 fresh lemons
Serve with fried pita chips or unseasoned croutons

Directions
This is a traditional soup from Syria and Lebanon adas hisem (which translates to "unripe grapes/lentils") it is both vegetarian and vegan, and surprisingly hearty. Start with lots of chopped onions in a healthy amount of olive oil. Then add carrots and lots of garlic. Once the vegetables are softened, stir in some fragrant dried coriander and bright and lemony cumin, as well as dried lentils and enough water to cover the mix by a few inches. Once the lentils have cooked, add a bunch of Swiss chard and toasted vermicelli noodles that have been broken into bits—they cook up and add a creamy flavor and texture. Ladle into serving bowls and give the soup a healthy squeeze of lemon and you are good to GO.

In a large soup pot over medium high heat, saute onions until translucent.

Add garlic and carrots and cook 2 to 3 minutes.

Add coriander, stir well to coat the vegetables, and cook about 2 minutes or until very fragrant.

Add lentils and stir well to coat.

Add enough water to cover the ingredients by 3 inches (about 8 cups). Stir in cumin.

Cook about 30 minutes or until lentils are al dente (softened, but not completely cooked).

Season with salt (about 1 tablespoon).

Add Swiss chard and cook about 10 minutes.

Remove 1 cup of broth and whisk in flour, then whisk back into soup pot.

In a saute pan over medium high heat, saute pasta until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add pasta to soup mixture and cook about 8 minutes more. Ladle into soup bowls and squeeze about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice over the top.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)

___________________________________________________________
annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Chicken Soup with Lime and Hominy

By Susie Middleton   |   Friday, May 4, 2012
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spicy red beans

This is a quick and easy version of sopa de lima, a comforting yet refreshing Yucatan chicken soup made tangy with fresh lime juice. Tasty garnishes include fried tortilla strips (or tortilla chips), diced avocado, and fresh cilantro.

Serves four.

Ingredients.

12 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 small white onion (8 oz.), chopped
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeño, minced
1 quart lower-salt chicken broth
1 15-oz. can hominy, drained
1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano, crumbled if the leaves are large
4 to 5 Tbs. fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2-1/2 oz. cotija or feta cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (1/2 cup)

Directions:

Cut each chicken breast crosswise into 1-1/2-inch-wide pieces.

Heat the oil in a 6-quart pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the broth, hominy, oregano, and chicken. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a plate. Using two forks, shred the meat into bite-size pieces and return to the pan. Bring the soup back to a simmer over medium heat, stir in the lime juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, top with the cheese, and serve immediately.

Nutrition information (per serving):

Calories (kcal): 320; Fat (g): 12; Fat Calories (kcal): 100; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 29; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4; Carbohydrates (g): 27; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): 680; Cholesterol (mg): 65; Fiber (g): 4;

 

Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine.

Pasta E Fagioli By Annie Copps

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
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bowl of pasta e fagioli

When the stars make you drool, just like a pasta fazool, that's amore… Or so the big Dean Martin song goes. Once you try this recipe for pasta e fagioli, a hearty and delicious soup made from pasta and beans, I think you'll find some love in a bowl.

This take on the classic soup comes from by dear friend Anthony Giglio, who is a bit of a renaissance man with an encyclopedic knowledge of wine, story telling abilities of a bard, and the generosity of a saint. His recipe comes from his Neapolitan grandmothers who made this cucina povera staple when cranberry beans were fresh in the markets, or for Friday suppers that weren't during meatless Lent.

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
4 pork spare ribs
1 cup crushed plum tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
2 8-oz cans cranberry or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups beef broth (low sodium)
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound tubettini or small shells pasta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus extra for garnish
Garnish

Directions
In a large soup or sauce pot over medium high heat, saute onion in olive oil until golden, then add carrot and celery, stirring to coat well. Cook 2 to 3 minutes.

Push vegetables to the edges of the pan and add pork chops, browning them gently on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir well, scraping up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan.

Bring to boil, then lower heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add beans, stir well, and cook for 5 minutes. Add broth, bring to gentle simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove meat from bones, roughly chop, and return to soup.

Scoop out half the beans and pass through food mill over the pot, or pulse in blender and return to pot. Season with salt and pepper.

Before adding pasta to soup, make sure soup is liquid enough to handle the pasta (if somewhat thick, add a half cup of water, bring to boil), then add pasta and stir frequently to prevent sticking. (Soup will thicken as pasta absorbs the liquid). Remove from heat just before pasta is cooked through, al dente—about 6 minutes.

Add butter and cheese and stir well. Ladle soup in to warmed soup bowls and let rest at least five minutes; it will thicken more as it cools.

Swirl olive oil in a circle over each bowl and served with a pepper mill and bowl of cheese to pass at the table.
___________________________________________________________
annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

About the Author
Susie Middleton Susie Middleton
Susie Middleton is editor at large for Fine Cooking magazine and the author of veggie cookbooks Fast, Fresh & Green and The Fresh & Green Table.

Follow her on Twitter at @sixburnersue

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