Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hungarian Hot Sausage and Lentil Soup
 This soup was AMAZING!!!
I will most definitely be making it again! sorry no picture!

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 1 1/2 pounds bulk hot Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, gills scraped out, chopped
  • 1 cup pre-shredded carrots, available in sacks in produce department of the market
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 large starchy potato, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (or substitute a mix of 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon sweet paprika and 2 pinches cayenne pepper)
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, in tact on stems
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fire roasted chopped tomatoes, such as Muir Glenn or, regular diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups kale or chard, a small bunch, veins removed and chopped
  • Crusty pumpernickel bread, to pass at table
  • Butter, for bread


Heat a medium soup pot over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, then add sausage to pot and brown and crumble it, then add garlic, onions and mushrooms. Cook a few minutes, then add carrots, lentils, potato, salt and pepper, bay leaf, paprika or substitute mixture and rosemary (leaves will fall from stems as stoup cooks). Add tomatoes and broth and cover pot then raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Uncover pot and place heat back a bit but keep stoup at a good rolling boil. Cook 15 minutes until lentils and potatoes are tender. Wilt in greens in small bunches, remove rosemary stems and turn off heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve in shallow bowls with bread and butter to mop up stoup. Reheat leftovers thinning it with broth or water.


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Italian Wedding Soup
This has been one of my husbands favorite soups that I have made so far on his fast.  Very simple, yet tasty!  I just made the meatballs a bit too big!


For the meatballs:

  • 3/4 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 pound chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 10 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh dill
  • 12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs. They don't have to be perfectly round.) Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Cup-of-Garden Soup
This is DEElish!!!  
And is chock full of great vegetables.
We loved it!!!


  • 1  Tbsp.  olive oil
  • 2  strips  of smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1  clove  garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1  medium  red onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
  • 2    carrots, washed and finely chopped
  • 2    sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • 1    zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1  small  leek, washed and finely chopped
  • 1/2  tsp.  dried oregano
  • 1    bay leaf
  • 2  14.5-oz cans  chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1  large  potato, scrubbed and diced
  • 1  cup  Romanesco cauliflower or cauliflower florets
  • 1  15.5-oz. can  chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4  cups (one 1-qt. container)  reduced-sodium vegetable broth, preferably organic
  •     Large handful curly kale, stalks removed, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2  cup  mixed small pasta shapes or broken spaghetti
  •     Small bunch of fresh basil (optional)
  •     Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5  Tbsp.  freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the bacon and fry it gently until it starts to turn golden. Add the chopped garlic, onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, leek, oregano, and bay leaf. Cook slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then, until the vegetables have softened.
2. Add the cans of tomatoes, the chopped potato, cauliflower, drained chickpeas, and vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and cooked through (check by sticking one with a small knife).
3. Add 2 cups of water to the pan and return to boil. Once boiling, add kale and pasta and cook for 10 minutes more, or until the pasta is tender. If soup is too thick, thin it out with a little more broth or water.
4. If using the basil, tear the larger leaves into the soup and reserve the baby leaves for garnish. Season with a little pinch of salt and black pepper. Taste to check the flavors. Remove bay leaf and discard. Divide soup between serving bowls and sprinkle with the reserved basil leaves. Serve the Parmesan in a small bowl alongside to sprinkle over servings. Makes 8 servings.
Seafood Stew

I can not tell you how good this was!!!  And the picture does not do it justice.  It is an absolutely beautiful dish fit for a dinner party....which is where I served it.  It is a little pricey (the fish can be expensive) but it is well worth it!!!


  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 small)
  • 2 cups large-diced small white potatoes
  • 2 cups chopped fennel (1 large bulb)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups good white wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 quart Seafood Stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined (reserve the shells for the stock)
  • 1 pound each halibut and bass fillets, cut in large chunks
  • 24 mussels, cleaned
  • 3 tablespoons Pernod - I used a cheaper Anise liquor and it was great
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • Toasted baguette slices, buttered and rubbed with garlic


Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot, add the onions, potatoes, fennel, salt, and pepper, and saute over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until the onions begin to brown. Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add the tomatoes with their juices, stock, garlic, and saffron to the pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the shrimp, fish, and mussels, bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pot to sit covered for another 5 minutes. The fish and shrimp should be cooked and the mussels opened. Discard any mussels that don't open. Stir in the Pernod, orange zest, and salt, to taste. Serve ladled over 1 or 2 slices of toasted baguette

Friday, April 01, 2011

Marinated Cheese

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 (2 oz) jar diced pimiento, draned
3 T choppped fresh parsley
3 T minced green onions
3 closves garlic, minced
1 t sugar
3/4 t dried whole basil
1/2 t slat
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
 1 (8 oz) block sharp cheddar cheese, chilled
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, chilled

combine first 10 ingredients in a jar; cover tightly and shake vigorously.  set marinade mixture aside.  cut block of cheddar cheese in half lengthwise.  cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices; set aside.  repeat with the cream cheese.  arrange cheese slices alternately in a shallow baking dish, standing slices on edge.  pour marinade over cheese slices.  cover and marinate in refrigerator at least 8 hours.  transfer cheese slices to a serving platter in the same alternating fashion, reserving marinade.  spoon marinade over cheese slices. serve with crackers

Tortilla Soup
 This is one of the best I have ever made!!

16 ounce can tomatoes
1 medium onion, cut up
2 clove garlic
4 tablespoons snipped cilantro (I double this naturally)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast cut up (shredded is best) I used leftover was amazing!
2 or 3 chipotle peppers and little adobo sauce (or less if you don't like spicy) I actually used powdered chipotle.
                  shredded Monterey jack cheese or white mexican queso
avocados cut up
Tortilla chips
Sour cream

Instructions: In blender combine undrained tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and sugar. Cover and blend till nearly smooth. Put mixture into a large pot with chicken broth, chicken and chipotle peppers. Bring to boiling; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Put crunched tortilla chips in a bowl with cheese, avocados, and sour cream (omit if desired) . Ladle soup over; serve immediately. Makes 8 or 10 servings.