Search Results for: hot ingredients

Safely Blend Hot Ingredients

Blender Safety

Use these tips on how to safely blend hot ingredients to prevent an accidental splash of hot liquid in the face and chest.

  • Barely fill the blender halfway up the container. The blending action creates volume and the hot liquid oozes out the sides.
  • Make sure there is an even amount of liquid and solids in the container to blend smoothly.
  • Remove the smaller cap from the top and cover it with a kitchen towel folded in quarters or a thick oven mitt and be sure to hold the cloth or mitt over the hole with your hand. The steam creates pressure and pops the top off the blender and the hot liquid smacks you in the face.

Follow these simple tips and you’ll have a smooth puree and no accidents!

Try our: Curried Butternut Squash Soup.

Watch the video on How to Safely Blend Hot Ingredients here.

Asparagus and Leek Soup with Tarragon

asparagus and leek soup with tarragon in a bowl

Asparagus season is upon us and this Asparagus and Leek Soup with Tarragon is a two-for one recipe. It’s delicious either hot or cold!

After a long, cold spring, the farmers’ markets are now open and I’m scooping up these slender, green asparagus stalks weekly. Asparagus is an easy vegetable to work with, but be careful not to overcook it. Those crispy, green spears quickly turn an unappealing gray-green and become stringy. Time the cooking carefully, 30 seconds for the very skinny spears up to 2-3 minutes for the thicker spears, and you’ll end up with a bright green vegetable that’s slightly firm to the bite and garden fresh.

Check out our posts on How to Prepare Asparagus and How to Prepare Leeks if you are unfamiliar with working with these vegetables.

asparagus and leek soup with tarragon / chopped leeks

The recipe uses butter, primarily because I like the flavor of butter with both leeks and asparagus, but you can easily substitute vegetable oil to make this a vegan recipe.

Method

Melt the butter or heat the oil  in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Stir in the leeks, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, cover and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring twice. This process expels liquid and softens the vegetables. If the vegetables begin to brown, lower the heat a little.

asparagus and leek soup with tarragon

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the asparagus spears and cook 5 minutes more.

asparagus and leek soup with tarragon

Take the pot off heat and let sit for 10 minutes to cool slightly.

Purée Options

There are three options for pureeing the soup, but to get the smoothest purée, use a blender. Also check out our post on How to Safely Blend Hot Ingredients.

1. Blender – purée in batches until very smooth.
2. Food Processor – use the blade attachment and purée in batches until very smooth.
3. Immersion blender – puree in the pan until very smooth, this method takes the most time; however, you won’t have as many tools to clean after.

Stir in the tarragon and reheat. Garnish with more tarragon and a dollop of creme fraiche!

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Asparagus and Leek Soup with Tarragon

asparagus and leek soup with tarragon in a bowl

Make this delicious spring soup and serve either hot or cold!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
Scale

Ingredients

2 ½ pounds asparagus, washed and trimmed (any thickness)
2 leeks
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup minced onion
1 minced clove garlic
2 teaspoons coarse salt
½ teaspoon pepper
6 cups vegetable stock
¼ cup chopped fresh tarragon, plus more for garnish

Instructions

Melt the butter or heat the oil  in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Stir in the leeks, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, cover and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring twice. This process expels liquid and softens the vegetables. If the vegetables begin to brown, lower the heat a little.

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the asparagus spears and cook 5 minutes more.

Take the pot off heat and let sit for 10 minutes to cool slightly.

Purée Options

There are three options for pureeing the soup, but to get the smoothest purée, use a blender. Also check out our post on How to Safely Blend Hot Ingredients.

1. Blender – purée in batches until very smooth.
2. Food Processor – use the blade attachment and purée in batches until very smooth.
3. Immersion blender – puree in the pan until very smooth, this method takes the most time; however, you won’t have as many tools to clean after.

Stir in the tarragon and reheat. Garnish with more tarragon and a dollop of creme fraiche!

Notes

Soup freezes well.

Keywords: soup, apsaragus soup, leek soup, asparagus, leeks, tarragon, pureed soup, hot soup, cold soup

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup in a bowl

This recipe for Pepper Jack Squash Soup was on my mind for several days. I decided to make it on a Monday, which is typically a very busy, chore-filled day. It’s cleaning day, linen and towel laundry day, replenish the pantry and refrigerator day, and pay the bills day. Not always a good day to test a new recipe, but I was obsessed.

I decided to skip the sweat the vegetable step and just pile all the vegetables, salt, and stock into the pot and cook. Everything is pureed in the end, so the vegetables get a rough chop, though smaller pieces cook faster than large, so I sliced thinly and cut the squash into small cubes, which kept the cooking time to 45 minutes.

I also used my food processor to puree the soup and then switched to the shredder blade and shredded the cheese and stirred it into the soup. I saved having to clean another tool by having the food processor do double duty.

I was not disappointed. A butternut squash soup has a velvety texture that is only enhanced by adding the pepper jack cheese and the spices in the cheese give the soup some oomph!

Top the soup off with a few sprigs of fresh cilantro.

METHOD

Place the squash, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, and stock in a large saucepan.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup with stock

Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle boil and cook for 45 minutes or until the
until the squash is tender.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup ready for the blender

To test, push a couple of squash pieces against the side of the pan; once it easily squishes it’s done.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup soft vegetables

Let the soup cool for about 15 minutes before puréeing.

Scoop the vegetables and liquid in equal portions into the food processor, filling no more than halfway. You can also use a blender or an immersion blender. Be sure the soup is completely smooth.

See our blog/video on how to safely purée hot ingredients.

Return to the stovetop, add the cheese and cook over medium-high heat until the cheese is melted and the soup is streak free.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup with cheese

Soup freezes well.

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup in a bowl

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Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup

Pepper Jack Butternut Squash Soup in a bowl
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
Scale

Ingredients

3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 large celery stalks, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 cups vegetable stock, such as More Than Gourmet
8 ounces shredded jalapeño Monterrey Jack cheese

Garnish
Cilantro leaves

Instructions

Place the squash, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, and stock in a large saucepan.

Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle boil and cook for 45 minutes or until the
until the squash is tender. To test, push a couple of squash pieces against the side of the pan; once it easily squishes it’s done.

Let the soup cool for about 15 minutes before puréeing.

Scoop the vegetables and liquid in equal portions into the food processor, filling no more than halfway. You can also use a blender or an immersion blender. Be sure the soup is completely smooth.

See our blog/video on how to safely purée hot ingredients.

Return to the stovetop, add the cheese and cook over medium-high heat until the cheese is melted and the soup is streak free.

Soup freezes well.

Keywords: soup, butternut squash, pepper jack cheese, Monterrey jack cheese, cream soup

 

 

Vichyssoise

Vichyssoise in a bowl

Leeks are plentiful at the farmers’ markets these days and I can’t resist them. I haven’t made or had Vichyssoise in years and just seeing those leeks, I couldn’t get the soup off my mind.

Leeks are a member of the allium family – onions, garlic, scallions. It’s long and thin (1 – 2 inches in diameter) and has dark green leaves on top and a light green to white bulb at the bottom. The amount of light green and white depends on how deeply the leek is planted in the soil to avoid direct sunlight.

vichyssoise - leek photo

Leeks grow deeply entrenched in a sandy soil and those outer layers trap the sand and require a thorough cleaning. Chopped leeks are relatively easy to clean. Just trim and discard the dark green tops and the root on the bottom. Cut in half lengthwise, slice into thin pieces, and plop into a big bowl of cold water. Swish the cut leeks around, pick up handfuls and gently rub together between your palms to separate the layers and loosen the dirt. Let sit for several seconds to allow the dirt to fall to the bottom of the bowl. Scoop into colander, rinse the bowl, and repeat. Drain.

Cooking time for root vegetables like potatoes vary according to the size of the chunks. After peeling, I usually cut them in half lengthwise and then into ½-inch slices. Once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a gentle and in about 15 minutes the potatoes are tender. To test, gently press a cube against the side of the pan; it should easily break apart.

Bouquet garni is a combination of parsley (stems only are fine), thyme, and bay leaf, which are wrapped in cheesecloth or stuffed into a sachet bag for easy removal at the end of cooking. This method imparts the earthy flavors of the herbs and keeps the soup pristine.

bouquet garni

White peppercorns are commonly used for this dish – the thinking is no one wants to see little specks of black pepper in the beautiful white soup. I, however, am not a fan of white peppercorns – I find them very bitter. I use cayenne, which gives a subtle underlying heat that, in my opinion, neither white nor black peppercorns impart.

There are few ingredients in this soup and it comes together easily. As with so many recipes, the flavor is best after it sits overnight, giving a uniformly delicious mouthful with every spoonful. My husband and I finished this soup in two days. We were scraping the bottom of the bowl. It is very flavorful, and the texture is silky smooth.

Hot vs Cold

Vichyssoise is typically served chilled. Chilling mutes the taste and aroma of food, so it’s important to be aggressive when seasoning food you plan to serve cold. The recipe below gives the amount of salt and cayenne for both a cold soup and a hot soup.

Vichyssoise

Melt the butter in the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Stir in the cleaned leeks, garlic, salt, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. This releases excess moisture and intensifies the flavor of the aromatics. Lower the heat a bit if the leeks are starting to brown.

leeks to saute

Add the potatoes, stock, and bouquet garni, bring to a boil, lower heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes. The time varies depending on the size of the potato pieces. I cut my potato in half lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch slices.

Vichyssoise in saucepan

Remove and discard the bouquet garni and let the soup cool for 20 minutes.

To purée, fill a blender or food processor with both solids and liquid to the halfway point and process until completely smooth. See our post/video on How to Safely Blend Hot Ingredients.

Stir in the half-and-half or cream. If you prefer not to use dairy, use a cup of stock.

Vichyssoise in a bowl

Serve chilled or hot with a generous garnish of chopped chives.

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Vichyssoise

Delicious hot or cold, this soup has a silky texture and earthy flavor. The chopped chives are not only a beautiful visual element, but the flavor complements the soup nicely.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 quarts 1x
  • Category: Soup
Scale

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups leeks, thinly sliced (about 1 ½ pounds whole leeks with generous white portions)
1 clove garlic minced
kosher salt:
Cold: 2 ½ teaspoons
Hot: 1 ½ teaspoons
¼ teaspoon cayenne
4 medium Idaho potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups good quality chicken or vegetable stock, such as More Than Gourmet
1 bouquet garni
1 cup cream, half and half, or stock

Garnish
chopped fresh chives

Instructions

Melt the butter in the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Stir in the cleaned leeks, garlic, salt, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. This releases excess moisture and intensifies the flavor of the aromatics. Lower the heat a bit if the leeks are starting to brown.

Add the potatoes, stock, and bouquet garni, bring to a boil, lower heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes. The time varies depending on the size of the potato pieces. I cut my potato in half lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch slices.

Remove and discard the bouquet garni and let the soup cool for 20 minutes.

To purée, fill a blender or food processor with both solids and liquid to the halfway point and process until completely smooth. See our video on How to Safely Blend Hot Ingredients.

Stir in the half-and-half or cream. If you prefer not to use dairy, use a cup of stock.

Serve chilled or hot with a generous garnish of chopped chives.

Notes

Vichyssoise is typically served chilled. Chilling mutes the taste and aroma of food, so it’s important to be aggressive when seasoning food you plan to serve cold. The recipe below gives the amount of salt and cayenne for both a cold soup and a hot soup.

Keywords: cold soup, hot soup, potato leek soup, potatoes, leeks, soup, gluten free, dairy free

Rosemary Pea Soup

pea soup shooters with herb croutons

pea soup shooters with herb croutonsSpring is around the corner and that means young sweet peas are beginning poke through the dirt ready to begin their climb up the vines and ripen into tiny green beads of deliciousness. This is the time to make a delicious chilled or warm Rosemary Pea Soup.

The velvety texture and the sweetness from the leeks and peas is nicely tempered by the earthy flavor and aroma of fresh rosemary. This soup is delicious chilled or heated, but please note that the amount of salt for each style varies.

chilled soup with croutons

Cold foods require a little more salt to amp up flavor and this is done while the soup is hot. It takes a little finesse to get it right – as soon as the salt is a little too prominent for a hot mixture, stop. Chill. If you aren’t sure what temperature you want to serve the soup, season it for the hot version.

To fix an already chilled soup that isn’t properly seasoned, take a ladle or two of soup and heat, either on the stovetop or in the microwave, and add the salt necessary for the cold version. Stir to dissolve and add back to the cold soup.

Use our herb crouton to make a garnish and use finely minced rosemary, serve with a chilled Rosé, and celebrate the arrival of spring – finally!

To Make the Soup

chilled soup with croutons

Heat the oil over medium heat in a covered 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan. Stir in the leeks, scallions, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper, cover and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring once. If the vegetables are browning, lower the heat a little.

chilled soup with croutons

Stir in the stock, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes more.

chilled soup with croutons

Puree the soup in batches in a food processor or blender – be careful of the steam, or in the pan with an immersion blender.

chilled soup with croutons

The texture should be smooth and velvety.

chilled soup with croutons

Place the bowl in an ice bath to cool

Serve in small cups with three croutons each for a lovely appetizer or starter course.

chilled soup with croutons

See our video on how to safely blend hot ingredients.

Watch the Rosemary Pea Soup video here.
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Rosemary Pea Soup

chilled soup with croutons

A delicious, versatile Pea Soup that can be served chilled or hot. Top with crunchy rosemary croutons and celebrate the arrival of spring and spring produce!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 quarts 1x
  • Category: Soup/Appetizer
Scale

Ingredients

Chilled Pea and Rosemary Soup

¼ cup unsalted butter
2 cups thinly sliced leeks (whites and light greens), thoroughly rinsed and drained (about 2 leeks)
½ cup minced shallots (about 3 shallots)
½ cup diced celery (about 1 stalk)
¼ cup rosemary leaves only
1 tablespoon coarse salt*
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 cups vegetable stock or water
6 cups fresh shelled peas or 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen peas

Garnish                      

Rosemary Croutons

Instructions

For the Rosemary Pea Soup:

Heat the oil over medium heat in a covered 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan

Stir in the leeks, scallions, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper, cover and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring once. If the vegetables are browning, lower the heat a little.

Stir in the stock, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes more.

Puree the soup in batches in a food processor or blender – be careful of the steam, or in the pan with an immersion blender. The texture should be smooth and velvety.

Place the bowl in an ice bath to cool

Serve in small cups with three croutons each.

Notes

*Reduce the salt by 1 teaspoon if serving warm or hot

Celery Root and Leek Soup

This quick and easy recipe for Celery Root and Leek Soup is velvety smooth and tasty.

Leeks are in the same family as garlic, onions, shallots, and scallions and look like a giant scallion. The root portion is white with the middle a light green then very dark green up to the top. This is a tightly layered vegetable, cut it in half widthwise and it looks like tree rings. These rings hide the sandy dirt in which leeks are grown and a thorough soak and rinse, or two, are necessary.

I didn’t use the dark green tops, which tend to turn a pale soup green. The cooked leek has a subtle flavor and aroma. The flavor of the leek pairs well with the earthy celery root and for a little contrast a chopped up Honeycrisp apple adds nice balance to the soup. Some heavy cream finishes the soup. Save a few celery leaves for a garnish.

DSCN3574

Melt the butter over medium heat in a covered 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan. Once the butter foams, stir in the leeks, onion, celery, apple, garlic, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring once. Lower the heat if the vegetables are browning.

IMG_2083

Add in the celery root and water or stock and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat to a gentle boil, cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally. The soup is done when the vegetables are easily crushed against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon, about 30 minutes. The timing on this will vary depending on the size of the vegetables.

IMG_2086

Puree the soup in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender. Please proceed carefully; the soup is hot. Don’t fill processor or blender to capacity; the soup will overflow from the motion of the blade. See our post on how to blend hot ingredients safely.

IMG_2094

Return soup to the pot.

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Stir in the cream and adjust seasonings. Soup freezes well.

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Celery Root and Leek Soup

The celery root and leeks are sweet and the apple provides a little tartness. Apples and celery go well together, think Waldorf salad. A final dollop of cream rounds out the soup nicely.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 quarts 1x
  • Category: Soup
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cups cleaned and thinly sliced leeks, no dark green
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1 pared and thinly sliced apple, such as Honeycrisp
  • 1 teaspoon mince clove of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups pared and cubed celery root
  • 4 cups water or stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a covered 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan. Once the butter foams, stir in the leeks, onion, celery, apple, garlic, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and sweat for ten minutes, stirring once.
  2. Add in the celery root and water or stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle boil, cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until vegetables are easily crushed against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon, a least 30 minutes. The timing on this will vary depending on the size of the vegetables.
  3. Puree the soup in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender. Please proceed carefully; the soup is hot. Don’t fill processor or blender to capacity; the soup will overflow from the motion of the blade.
  4. Return soup to the pot. Stir in the cream and adjust seasonings.
  5. Soup freezes well.

 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

The streets and yards are lined with all the colors of fall: gold, rust, brown and a few recalcitrant green leaves. As our appetite changes with the season, we need something to fill the kitchen with the tempting aromas that make us salivate in anticipation of the next meal, and nothing does that better than a bowl of soup. This recipe for Curried Butternut Squash Soup has few ingredients: curry, butternut squash, Granny Smith apples, onions, vegetable stock, olive oil and Kosher salt. It’s perfect for all dietary needs — it’s vegan, dairy free and gluten free.

Look for a squash with the stem end still attached and one that is firm and weighty. The outer skin is tough and inedible, but provides a protective coat that allows the squash to be stored in cool, dry spots for weeks, and as a side benefit, it becomes sweeter with storage time. The pear-shaped squash is solid through the neck and the bulbous portion contains a pocket of seeds, which are edible after cleaning and roasting, similar to pumpkin seeds. The flesh color is a vibrant golden yellow, rich in carotene, vitamins A and C and the squash is high in fiber.

For this recipe, the squash can either be peeled, seeded, cubed (the smaller the cubes, the faster the cooking time) and added directly to the soup mixture for cooking; or roasted and the flesh scooped out at the end of the cooking. Either method works well, there is no difference in taste, texture or appearance.

See these helpful posts for How To: Peel a Butternut Squash and How To: Roast a Butternut Squash.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Line Up Your Ingredients

Butternut squash, Granny Smith apple, onion, olive oil, curry, salt and vegetable stock. I’m showing hot curry here for those whose palettes are not as delicate (okay, wimpy) as mine. If you decide to use the hot curry, halve the amount to one teaspoon.

Also, for those really paying attention, I made a double batch, which is why the onion is HUGE and there are two apples. That’s a five-pound squash! I have tested the recipe for a single batch and it works great. I wanted to get a big batch made and frozen for the holiday season. It really comes in handy. Last year I served a small mug of the soup to everyone as they arrived for X-mas eve dinner.

Line up your ingredients for the soup:

Sweat Your Vegetables

Heat the olive oil in a large covered pot over medium-high heat. Lower the heat a little, toss in the onion, apple and salt and cover and sweat for five minutes, which releases water and softens the onion and apple.

IMG_0564

Release the Flavor of the Curry

Stir the curry powder into the hot vegetables and oil and stir for about 30 seconds, which releases the natural oils in the spice.

IMG_0565

Add the Stock and Simmer

Add the stock and squash (either raw or roasted) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle boil and cook until the apple and squash are easily crushed when pushed against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. This can take anywhere about 45 minutes depending on the size of the squash pieces.

IMG_0569

Puree the Soup

Puree the soup with a blender, in batches, or with an immersion blender. See out video on how to safely blend hot ingredients.

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Taste

It’s always a good idea to taste at this point and tweak to your liking. Enough salt? Too thick? Add some water. Too spicy, add a squeeze of lemon juice.

 

IMG_0613

 More Than You Need Now?

Freezes well for several months.

 

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Curried Butternut Squash & Granny Smith Soup

For this recipe, the squash can either be peeled, seeded, cubed (the smaller the cubes, the faster the cooking time) and added directly to the soup mixture for cooking; or roasted and the flesh scooped out at the end of the cooking. Either method works well, there is no difference in taste, texture or appearance. Check out the website to see How To: Peel a Butternut Squash and How To: Roast a Butternut Squash.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: Six 2-cup portions 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 two and one-half pounds butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoonssweet curry powder*
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • *reduce by half if using hot curry

Instructions

  1. Set up:
  2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  3. Line a 10” x 15” baking sheet with parchment or foil.
  4. Method:
  5. Heat the oil in a large covered pot over medium-high heat and stir in the onion, apple and salt; cover, lower the heat and sweat for five minutes.
  6. Add the curry and stir for 30 seconds to release the flavor.
  7. Stir in the stock (and raw squash, if using this method) and bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle boil and continue cooking until the squash easily crushes against the side of the pan, approximately 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of the squash cubes.
  8. Puree the soup (add the roasted squash at this point if using that method) in a blender, in batches, or with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  9. Soup freezes well.

Potato, Leek, Turnip and Bacon Soup

This Potato Leek Turnip and Bacon Soup came together in an ad hoc manner. I noticed potato leek soup in the soup bar at the store. When I got home there were turnips in the vegetable bin. The bacon was a no brainer.

Method

 

Put the bacon in a cold large Dutch oven or saucepan pot over medium heat, cook, stirring occasionally until fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat and add the onions. Cover and sweat for three minutes; scrape the bottom to remove any flavorful tidbits.

Toss in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the potatoes, turnips, stock or water, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the vegetables are very tender; they should easily break apart when pushed against the side of the pan with a spoon. The timing will vary depending on the size of the potatoes and turnips.

Let the soup cool for about 20 minutes then purée in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender until completely smooth. See our post on how to safely blend hot ingredients.

Reheat and top with chopped chives.

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Potato Leek Turnip and Bacon Soup

This Potato Leek Turnip and Bacon Soup came together in an ad hoc manner. I noticed potato leek soup in the soup bar at the store. When I got home there were turnips in the vegetable bin. The bacon was a no brainer.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 quarts 1x
  • Category: Soup
Scale

Ingredients

6 ounces bacon, medium dice
4 leeks, white part only, root trimmed, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
3 Idaho potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 large turnips, peeled and cubed
8 cups stock or water
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Garnish
chopped chives

Instructions

Put the bacon in a cold large Dutch oven or saucepan pot over medium heat, cook, stirring occasionally until fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat and add the onions. Cover and sweat for three minutes; scrape the bottom to remove any flavorful tidbits.

Toss in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the potatoes, turnips, stock or water, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the vegetables are very tender; they should easily break apart when pushed against the side of the pan with a spoon. The timing will vary depending on the size of the potatoes and turnips.

Let the soup cool for about 20 minutes then purée in a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender until completely smooth. See our post on how to safely blend hot ingredients.

Reheat and top with chopped chives.

 

Daiquiri

Daquiri with lime peel

Summer is the season for delicious, refreshing rum cocktails that evoke days by the poolside soaking up the sun, reading a good book, or schmoozing with friends. The Daquiri is a simple mixed drink, yet over the years it has taken on many forms, particularly a frozen, slush-like cocktail, made from a variety of fruits or packaged blends.

Daquiri ingredients

I remember my parents and some or our neighbors would have a frozen daquiri on a hot summer evening. My mom would get out the blender, toss in some ice, a can of frozen limeade, and rum and they sipped the drinks on the front stoop or while they played croquet in the yard.

The original Daquiri, however, is fresh and sweet-tart, made only with rum, fresh lime juice and simple syrup. The drink is shaken and served neat in a glass with a twist of lime peel. That peel is optional, and I personally don’t think the drink needs it.

Daquiri cutting a lime peel

Try the original version for a less sweet, refreshing summer cocktail!

Make up a batch of daiquiris and serve with our Curried Devil Eggs!

Interesting Rum Facts

Rum is distilled from a fermented sugar cane product such as molasses.

Rum is aged, usually one or two years, in old bourbon oak barrels; any longer and the clean taste is altered.

Light rum is filtered through coal to remove any color from the barrels.

Rums are often blended, mixing various years or adding light, medium, and/or dark rums for complex flavors and colors.

Rum is used in cooking, such as rum balls, rum cake, and is great to use to macerate fruit. Let’s not forget Bananas Foster or rum raisin ice cream. Also try a little rum in your rice pudding!

Daquiri double

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Daiquiri

Daquiri in a glass

A classic daiquiri is made of rum, freshly squeezed lime juice and simple syrup. It’s a refreshing, sweet-tart drink.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 three-ounce cocktail 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
Scale

Ingredients

1 ½ ounces rum
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ ounce simple syrup

Garnish (optional)
twist of lime peel*

Instructions

Pour the rum, lime juice, and simple syrup in a shaker filled with 4 or five ice cubes.

Shake, strain into a martini glass.

Add a twist of lime peel, if desired.

Notes

*It’s easier to peel the lime before juicing. Only take the very thin outer peel and not the pith.

Keywords: cocktail, mixed drink, rum cocktail

Lemon Vinaigrette

lemon vinaigrette in a bottle

A simple Lemon Vinaigrette goes well with a variety of lettuces, from delicate butter leaf to pungent greens like arugula or watercress. Toss in a few halved cherry tomatoes that have been dusted with kosher salt and a twist or two of a pepper mill and you have a delicious salad. Add some protein, such as chunks of lobster meat, or sliced chicken and you have a light lunch or dinner.

I enjoy chilled asparagus dressed with a tablespoon or two of lemon vinaigrette. Try this with a our Herb-Crusted Roast Salmon, (LINK/ PHOTO) simply place the asparagus in the center of the plate and drape the salmon across.

This recipe calls for both the zest and juice of a lemon. Be sure to remove the zest, first and then juice the lemon! Pour 3 tablespoons good olive oil in a jar, all of the zest and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt in a jar and shake. Alternatively, whisk the ingredients in a bowl.

lemon vinaigrette with asparagus

The mustard creates an emulsion, which keeps the oil and lemon juice together and softens the tang of the lemon juice just enough that our lips won’t pucker up!

Never overdress. This recipe makes a generous ¼ cup and is enough for 4-6 cups of lettuce and fillings. Lettuce greens or vegetables, such as Chilled Asparagus, only need a light coating and the vinaigrette should never pool in the bottom of the bowl. And, a good dose of freshly ground pepper is always welcome.

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Lemon Vinaigrette

lemon vinaigrette in a bottle

A simple lemon vinaigrette that’s great on delicate lettuce or pungent greens like arugula or watercress. Also good over chilled vegetables, like asparagus!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1/3 cup 1x
  • Category: Salad Dressings & Viniagrettes
Scale

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

Combine the oil, lemon zest and juice, mustard, and salt in a jar and shake.

Keywords: salad sauce, dressings, lemon and olive oil vinaigrette

Zarzamora Ardiente Cocktail

Zarzamora Ardiente cocktail

Zarzamora Ardiente means “fiery blackberry.” This cocktail contains blackberries and jalapeño, a little fresh lime juice, agave, and 2 ounces mezcal. It’s sweet/tart with some heat and a delightful smokiness from the mezcal.

I’ve never been a fan of mixed drinks, they tend to be very sweet. But it seems that in this new age of creativity on the part of bartenders, natural flavors and juices and less sugar are in style and the result is delicious and interesting cocktails.

I’ve had two mezcal cocktails that I’ve really loved. A local Mexican restaurant in Wilton CT, Cactus Rose has a Smoky Cosmo, made with Espadin mexcal (sic), orange liquor, blood orange puree, and fresh lime juice that is delightful. My very first mezcal cocktail was in LA at Broken Spanish, made of EL ZOCALO mezcal, passion fruit, Campari, yellow chartreuse habanero tincture, and Sal De Gusano (which is agave worm salt – see blow for more information). I was blown away and definitely hooked on this very special distilled beverage made from the agave plant.

What is Mezcal?

Tequila and mezcal are both made from agave, a succulent that thrives in hot, arid environments and requires very little water to survive. Tequila is made from only one type of agave, blue or weber, and must be grown in the state of Jalisco or in small parts of four other states. Mezcal (tradition spelling is mescal) is made from 28 or more varieties of agave from all over Mexico. Mezcal has a smokiness that, in my opinion is its real appeal, missing in tequila.

There are two types of mezcal: one made from 100% agave and a second made from a minimum 80% agave and a maximum of 20% other sugars.

Mezcal has three different aging categories: abacado, joven, or blanco  is clear, un-aged, and bottled immediately; it may have flavoring or coloring added. Resposado or madurado is aged in wood barrels for 2-11 months, and añejo is aged in wood barrels for a minimum of 12 months.

Zarzamora Ardiente the pour

The smoke flavor is the result of the processing. Once the plant is harvested, the leaves are removed with a machete revealing the heart of the agave, called the piña, which is taken to a palenque, a rustic distillery. The agave is then processed further, layered over the hot oven and covered with the outer leaves of the plant and roasted for several days. The caramelized agave is then crushed or pulverized, fermented, distilled and sometimes aged.

If you want to learn more about this excellent liquor, I suggest Finding Mezcal: A journey into the liquid soul of Mexico with 4o cocktails, by Ron Cooper. My daughter and her boyfriend gave me a copy for Christmas and it’s a fun read!

The Myth of the Worm

I remember hearing that tequila had a worm in the bottle when I was younger (YUK)! This is apparently a marketing gimmick. What is in the bottle is either the larvae of a caterpillar of a night butterfly or the agave snout weevil that naturally infest agave plants and the worm salt (Sal De Gusano) mentioned in the above cocktail from Broken Spanish.

The Cocktail

Zarzamora Ardiente ingredients

I’m trying a new mezcal today, Sombra mezcal artesanal made from 100% Maguey Espadin using the joven aging method. The resulting cocktail has a deep purple color and depending on how much you muddle the jalapeño, it can have quite a kick. I like it over ice garnished with a thin slice of jalapeno.

Zarzamora Ardiente juice and jalapeno

Cheers!

METHOD FOR MAKING ZARZAMORA ARDIENTE Cocktail

Place 2 slices jalapeño in a cocktail shaker and crush with a muddler or the handle of a thick wooden spoon. The more you crush the jalapeño more heat is released from the essential oils of the chili.

Zarzamora Ardiente muddled jalapeno

Add 6 blueberries and crush with the muddler.

Zarzamora Ardiente muddled blackberry

Add mezcal, lime juice, agave, and a handful of ice cubes. Cover and shake well.

Replace the cover with the strainer and pour into a rocks glass filled with 4 or 5 ice cubes. Top with a slice of jalapeño.

Zarzamora Ardiente cocktail

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Zarzamora Ardiente

Zarzamora Ardiente cocktail
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Ingredients

5 blackberries
3 thin slices jalapeño, divided
2 ounces mezcal
1 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce agave
4 ice cubes

Instructions

Place 2 slices jalapeño in a cocktail shaker and crush with a muddler or the handle of a thick wooden spoon. The more you crush the jalapeño more heat is released from the essential oils of the chili.

Add 6 blueberries and crush with the muddler.

Add mezcal, lime juice, agave, and a handful of ice cubes. Cover and shake well.

Replace the cover with the strainer and pour into a rocks glass filled with 4 or 5 ice cubes. Top with a slice of jalapeño.

Basic Pancake Recipe with a Few Variations

Basic Pancake Recipe

A Basic Pancake Recipe is a simple mix of flour, baking powder and/or baking soda, salt, and milk or buttermilk. Whisk the ingredients together, then let the batter rest. The individual starch granules absorb liquid and swell, which prevents a raw starchy taste in the pancake.

Use different flours or a combination of flours, such as white whole wheat, which you can substitute 100% for all-purpose flour, or half oatmeal flour and half all-purpose flour. Substitute 25% with buckwheat flour for a deeper, nuttier flavor, but avoid using too much as this is a very dense flour.

Add fruit, such as berries or thinly sliced bananas, chopped nuts, or chocolate chips for variety. Creamed corn makes great corn cakes for a slightly savory taste – they’re good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Basic Pancake Recipe with Blueberries

Pancake batter only takes a few minutes to make and while the batter is resting, preheat your griddle or pan. A hot griddle or pan is essential to getting that lovely brown exterior with crispy edges and to activate the leavening agent for airy flapjacks (couldn’t resist using the dated term, just saying it makes you giggle.)

After you pour the batter, bubbles should appear on the sides and the pancake will rise. Flip when golden brown and cook for another couple of minutes. Don’t be discouraged by a slightly pale first flapjack, the pan was probably not hot enough and the rest will be perfect.

Basic Pancake Recipe

Keep Those Pancakes Warm

A stove-top griddle or electric pancake griddle, only holds so many pancakes at once and must be made in batches. To keep your pancakes warm, preheat the oven (180 – 200 degrees F) or a warming drawer, line a half-sheet baking pan with a cooling rack, which allows for air circulation, spread the pancakes over the rack, and place in the warm oven or drawer. Warm the serving platter, plates, syrup, or other toppings too.

Basic Pancake Recipe with Fruit

Watch our basic pancake recipe video here.

Watch our fruit pancake recipe video here.

Watch our banana pancake recipe video here.

Watch our creamed corn pancake video here.

Recipes

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Basic Pancakes with Variations for Fruit and Chocolate Chip Pancakes

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 large pancakes 1x
  • Category: Breakfast/Brunch
Scale

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 eggs
2 cups whole milk
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat the griddle.

Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

Beat the eggs in another bowl and whisk in the milk, butter and vanilla.

Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to blend

Generously brush the griddle with oil or melted butter just before pouring the batter.

  • Size:
    1/2-cup measure for large pancakes
    ¼ cup measure for small pancakes
    2 tablespoons for half dollar pancakes.

After you pour the batter, bubbles appear on the sides and the pancake rises. Flip when golden brown and cook for another minute or two. Don’t be discouraged by a slightly pale first flapjack, the pan was probably not hot enough and the rest will be perfect.

To keep your pancakes warm, preheat the oven (180 – 200 degrees F) or a warming drawer, line a half-sheet baking pan with a cooling rack, which allows for air circulation, spread the pancakes over the rack, and place in the warm oven or drawer. Warm the serving platter, plates, syrup, or other toppings too.

Notes

Fruit and Chocolate Chip Pancakes:

2 cups fruit, such as berries, sliced banana or chocolate chips*

Gently fold into the pancake batter and scoop out. The weight of these fillings makes them fall to the bottom, so be sure to scoop down or take handfuls of the variation ingredients and plop on top of the batter right after pouring on the griddle. Adding the ingredients to the bitter on the grill allows you to mix it up a little, raspberries for one and bananas for another, or a combo of ingredients!

*nutritional content is for basic pancake recipe.

Keywords: pancakes, flapjacks, fruit pancakes, banana pancakes, berry pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, breakfast, brunch, basic pancakes

 

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Creamed Corn Pancakes

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Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 ears of corn, kernels removed and corn milk scraped out (about 1 1/2 cups) or, 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat the griddle.

Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

Place corn kernels, cream, eggs, butter and vanilla extract in a food processor and or blender and pulse to chop. Don’t puree, the corn should have a coarse texture.

Pour the corn mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to blend

Generously brush the griddle with oil or melted butter just before pouring the batter.

  • Size:
    1/2-cup measure for large pancakes
    ¼ cup measure for small pancakes
    2 tablespoons for half dollar pancakes.

After you pour the batter, bubbles appear on the sides and the pancake rises. Flip when golden brown and cook for another minute or two. Don’t be discouraged by a slightly pale first flapjack, the pan was probably not hot enough and the rest will be perfect.

Notes

To keep your pancakes warm, preheat the oven (180 – 200 degrees F) or a warming drawer, line a half-sheet baking pan with a cooling rack, which allows for air circulation, spread the pancakes over the rack, and place in the warm oven or drawer. Warm the serving platter, plates, syrup, or other toppings too.

Keywords: pancakes, creamed corn pancakes, creamed corn, breakfast, brunch