September 12, 2009

Courgette Soup

AJLR, 4 Sept 09, PWYF Forum

1 lb courgettes (zucchini)
4 spring onions/scallions,
An ounce and a bit of butter
2 pints good stock (veg or chicken)
1 T plain/all purpose flour
Leaves from 4 or 5 sprigs of mint

Saute the onions, sliced, in the butter for 4 – 5 minutes. Trim the courgettes and slice fairly thinly, add to the onions in the pan and stir around, then lower heat, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour onto the mixture in the pan and stir around. Slowly add half the (hot) stock and stir until thickened. Add the washed mint leaves and simmer for 10 minutes, then either blend in the pan with a stick blender or pour into a liquidiser and do it that way. Add remaining stock, once everything is back in the pan, and heat through. Season to taste.

This freezes well.

Goes very well with fresh bread.

Chicken Nabe (Tori age-nabe)

BlackBear: Recipe Thread: December 9, 2008

Chicken Nabe (Tori age-nabe)

This is basically like a chicken soup or stew; I serve it over rice, and the great thing about it is the ingredients are pretty flexible. Don’t like something I put in? Substitute something else you like better! My version bears only passing resemblance to the recipe I originally got from the Chicago Tribune food page about 10 years ago. So fiddle around with it!

What you need:
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 cups water
3/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium, if you’ve got it)
a pinch of sugar, dissolved in the above


1-1.5 lb of chicken thigh meat, cut up in chunks and rolled in flour
2 packets of bonito flakes–this is basically dried mackerel, in tiny flake form. You can also buy it as powder. It’s available at Japanese markets or anyplace with a good Japanese food section.
8-12 fresh shitake mushrooms, in bite size pieces
half a head of bok choy, or several baby bok chois, cut up bite size
2 shallots, chopped (it’s theoretically supposed to be onion, but I don’t like onion all that much)
6 carrots, chopped in bite size pieces
Anything else you like–peppers, tofu, whatever.

Heat a little olive oil in a medium sized dutch oven. Stir fry your chicken pieces til they’re browned and no raw bits showing.

Add all the liquids and the bonito. Bring it back up to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Scrape up any bits of chicken on the bottom of the pan.

Add in the veggies that will need longer cooking–mushrooms, carrots, etc. Put the lid partly on the dutch oven, and let it simmer for 6-7 minutes.

Add in the bok choi and shallots, and let that cook for another 6-7 minutes. Check to see if the carrots are tender yet. As soon as they are, turn the heat off and serve it hot in a bowl with rice. This’ll serve 3-4 people easily, but you can expand or contract it as needed.

Spell for Banishing colds

NotLonely, 24 October, Recipe Thread

1 chicken
4 carrots, quartered
2 onions, quartered
2 sticks celery, cut in chunks
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped

Put in large pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to boil. Cook till dead.

Drink the liquid throughout the day, reheating only as much as you need at a time.
Eat the solids when you feel up to it.

Beef Stew

Kristin in MT, May 21, comment in “Playing With Your Food”

(makes a big pot-full (8qt?)– freezes beautifully)

3# beef (stew meat is okay, though I prefer to use a sirloin or chuck roast), cut into 1″ cubes)
1/4 c. flour (whole wheat okay), seasoned with salt and pepper

3 carrots, medium, sliced into 1/4″ rounds (peel ’em if you like — I do, Stef doesn’t)
1 onion, large, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
5 potatoes, medium (red or yellow), chopped into 1″ pieces
1 beet, large, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
3-6 cloves garlic, minced (pick your own garlic comfort level)
(optional) 1/3 c dried porcini mushrooms, ground to dust in a food processor or spice grinder

3 bay leaves
2 rosemary sprigs, about 7″

2 qts. beef broth (I like Pacific or Swanson’s Organic)
1 bottle red wine (a nice Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot)(may omit — replace with 3 c. water or broth)

Place seasoned flour in a big pot. Add beef and stir well to coat. Add the vegetables, optional mushroom dust, herbs , broth and wine to the pot. Stir. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for as long as you can stand it or about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs (which are most likely just sticks now) before serving.

This keeps really well in the fridge, right in the pot (lidded). Reheat leftovers on med-low heat with the lid on, stirring occasionally.

Bengali Lentil Soup

Jeanne Marie, May 20, 2008 comment in “Playing With Your Food”

In homage to Robin, the Five Heronies and to the noble Tartars, whose horsemanship and steak preferences have me in a vegetarian mood today, I offer the following recipe. It originally appears in Hope’s Edge by Frances Moore and Anna Lappe, and was inspired by recipes from Professor Muhammad Yunus and the women of Naripokkho, a women’s group the Lappés met in Bangladesh. I’ve made personal taste adjustments in blue.*

The soup will take you less than a half hour to make, and it’s extraordinarily yummy and healthy. Enjoy!
Jeanne Marie

*well, I tried to…the color didn’t translate when I cut and pasted…hopefully, you’ll be able to figure it out!)

Bengali Lentil Soup

1 cup red lentils (or whatever color…mix it up!)
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup canned tomatoes (or fresh, should you be the tomato growing type, like me!)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I reduce the salt to 1 tsp)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use olive oil, specifically, but then I always do…)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon yellow or black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons jalapeño pepper (1/2 small), seeded (I’ve been known to leave the jalapeno out, depending on my mood and whether or not I remembered to grab one when I was at the grocery store)
4 cups onions (2 large), finely sliced (I generally go with only medium onions, not large, and I don’t bother actually measuring the chopped onions – and, it still tastes lovely! I also sometimes mix these up – using one yellow and one red, for example)
5 teaspoons garlic (3 to 4 cloves), sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (or more…I’m a fan of cilantro, and will usually just chop the whole bunch I get from the grocery store)

Add lentils to water in a large saucepan. Add turmeric and stir. Bring to a boil and then
simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are soft. Add tomatoes and salt, and cook for a few
minutes longer. Reduce heat.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and sauté until
fragrant, for just a few minutes. Cook at a low heat and be careful not to burn the seeds.
Add jalapeño, onions, and garlic, and cook until golden brown (about 10 minutes).
Add onion mixture to lentils and cook for a few minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat. Add fresh cilantro leaves to the lentil soup and cover to steep for a
minute. (this is important – don’t overcook your cilantro! If you plan on having leftovers, as I do, I recommend not adding the cilantro to your individual containers, but adding it after you re-heat the soup. Better flavor that way, though if you forget and add it before freezing and reheating, I won’t tell)) Serve while hot.

For a final touch, scoop a dollop of fresh yogurt on top. (I don’t usually do this, but then, I’m a little strange that way…I think it’s fine without. For those who like, you could also use sour cream for dolloping)

Serves 6

Restaurant-Style Miso

Kristin in MT, 28 April 08, comment to ‘Ruby’s memorable first trip to England’

8 oz. water
a pinch of bonito flakes (a little goes a long way, says Stef the Chef)
1/2 tsp wakame (seaweed)

1″ – 2″ cube of tofu, diced into 1/4″ cubes
1 T. miso (any kind is fine, but light or white miso is traditional)
1/4″ – 1/2″ green onion, finely sliced

Bring water, bonito flakes and wakame to a boil in a small saucepan. Boil 1 minute, then take pan off heat. Stir in tofu then let stand 1 minute. Add miso and stir well to dissolve. Pour into bowl and sprinkle green onions on top. Fast, easy and delicious!

Notes: if using dashi miso, skip the bonito flakes as dashi miso already includes bonito flakes.

(serves 1)

Miso soup

Kristin in MT, 19 April, comment to ‘food heroine’

The secret, if I remember correctly, is bonito flakes which you boil briefly to make a broth.

I’ve also made a simple but tasty miso broth by putting a spoonful of miso into not-quite-boiling water, which can be dressed up with some chopped green onions, a little chopped tofu, whatever is on hand. Miso is so very versatile (and so very good for you).

Addendum by Robin, 20 April

I tend to like squashed marinated tofu–I can post this some day–you press the tofu between a couple of cutting boards at an angle with a weight on top and then marinate it later so it soaks it up better without going to pieces. Cut in small cubes and fry gently–these will then keep a week or so in your fridge–and a few of these make your miso soup sing. :)

Boiled Chicken and Chicken Avgolemono Soup

Susan from Athens, March 31, 2008, comment to ‘Alternative Banana Bread’

1 Chicken, cleaned and washed
1 carrot peeled
1 onion, peeled
soup rice
1 medium lemon
2 eggs, separated

1. Clean the innards of the chicken, cut off the neck and take out the windpipe, lungs and liver.
2. Burn off any hairs (if required) using alcohol flame over cotton wool.
3. Wash well.
4. Place in a big stock pot with enough cold water to barely cover it.
5. Add 1 carrot and 1 onion.
6. Bring to boil and simmer chicken between 45 minutes to one hour until it begins to fall apart, but be careful not to overcook, as it will fall apart entirely and will be difficult to remove from the pot.
7. Lift the chicken from the pan, put in on a plate and cover it. Also remove the carrot, but not the onion.
8. Measure the rice on a plate and rinse it well to remove any milky covering. Then sieve it and place it in the boiling chicken stock, along with a bit of pepper.
9. Boil for at least 20-30 minutes, maybe even 40 minutes on a medium heat. Leave the pan lid off so that the soup thickens.
10. When most of the liquid is boiled off only a little bit of concentrated broth with rice should be left for the avgolemono.
11. Squeeze the juice of 1 medium lemon.
12. Separate 2 eggs. Beat the egg whites until thick, nearly meringue-like, then beat in the egg yolks, one at a time.
13. Add the lemon juice drop by drop, while still beating. If the mixture is beginning to thin out, stop adding.
14. Get one Tablespoon of the hot stock and add that gradually, beating all the time. Beat in a total of 3-4 Tbs of stock.
15. Add this mixture to the rice and stock and stir it slowly for 2 minutes, carefully. Either the stock should be very hot and you don’t heat it, or else you use a very low light, so that it doesn’t curdle.
16. When it is finished, remove from heat. Serve immediately. The egg and lemon should be added at the very last minute, otherwise it can be ruined. (This doesn’t mean the soup can’t be reheated, it just never is as good as it is fresh).

This sounds complicated but basically involves letting things slowly simmer for ages while you do something else and some work at the end. The whole avgolemono technique is used for a variety of soups (meat soup, fish soup although not vegetable soup) and you stud the soup with the original ingredient if you want, or serve separately. You also use it when making dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), with the juice from boiling the dolmades and that is my all time favourite food.