Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Easy soup recipes

The weather is getting colder, and for some reason, time seems less easy to come by these days. Recently I've started getting into soups, of the easy-to-make-saute-and-blend variety. Here are a couple of favorites:

easy black bean soup

1 16-ounce package (about 2 1/2 cups) dried black beans (or canned)
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped carrots
5 cups veggie (or chicken) broth
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 jalapeño chili, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander

3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup (packed) chopped fresh cilantro

Place beans in large bowl. Add enough water to cover by 3 inches. Let stand overnight. Drain well. Simmer the beans in water until tender, stirring occasionally, about two hours (slow-cooker recommended.)

Sauté celery, onion, and carrots until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, beans, broth, jalapeño, vinegar, cumin and coriander. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer soup, 10-20 minutes.

Working in batches, transfer soup to blender and process until slightly chunky puree forms. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Blend sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice and 1/2 cup cilantro in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Place dollop of sour cream mixture atop soup. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro and chopped tomato.

easy cauliflower soup

1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, chopped
6 cups 1-inch pieces cauliflower (cut from 1 large head)
3 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt veggie (or chicken) broth
1 3/4-inch cube Pecorino Romano cheese plus additional cheese shavings for serving

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
White or black truffle oil (for drizzling)

Sauté onion, celery, and garlic. Cover and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Add cauliflower, 3 1/2 cups broth, and cheese cube. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes.

Puree soup in batches in processor. Return to same pan. Add cream and bring soup to simmer. Thin with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with drizzles of truffle oil and fried sage leaves.

Bon appetit!


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