Category Archives: Soup

Vegetarian Tofu Chili

As the Holidays come to an end and the weather turns from cool to downright frigid, a warm bowl of chili becomes all the more inviting.

While I was in Cincinnati, I made a version of that city’s namesake chili.  In that effort, I used ground turkey to thicken the chili and give it that hearty depth.

This year, Caitlin and I have been striving to eat less meat, all Continue reading

New Mexican Posole: Part II

In preparing for my move, I worked on paring down what I needed and what I did not.   I went through my closet to determine what clothes I was wearing and what clothes I was not.  I looked around my bathroom, and decided what items had outlived their utility.  And naturally, I went around my kitchen, searching for redundancies, coordinating with Caitlin to ensure that we did not arrive with two or three of every useful kitchen device.

Beyond these steps, I also worked to use up my food.  There was no need to stack my car with bags of flour and sugar.  By the same token, there was no sense in throwing away perfectly good butter or eggs.  The last few weeks saw a veritable flood of baking and cooking.

Among these items, Continue reading

Tuscan White Beans

These days there are legions of bloggers, forming a veritable army of individuals tapping dutifully on their keyboards from all around the world.  And for those who aren’t blogging, there are still brigades of those tweeting and providing regular status updates on facebook.  All of which can seem very much like overkill.

But maybe it isn’t.

I’ve been listening to Continue reading

Cincinnati Chili

Every city it seems, has its signature dish.  In Boston, it’s that eponymous Cream Pie; in Baltimore, it’s crab cakes. For Philadelphia, it’s cheese steak, and in Saint Louis, toasted ravioli.  In my home town, rich in culinary traditions, it could be any number of dishes, from gumbo to jambalaya, to po’boys and muffulettas, to beignets and pralines.

Here in Cincinnati, chili carries the day, with residents swearing their allegiance to one of two local brands.  Just as I-75 divides the city into East Cincinnati and West, chili divides the city between Gold Star and Skyline.

But after two months living here, I still had not tried either of the nearly ubiquitous chili shops.  So when Caitlin came to Cincinnati Continue reading

Blue Corn Posole

When Caitlin and I were in Santa Fe, several of the restaurants offered a bowl of posole as we waited.

Posole is a thick soup or stew, made from nixtamalized corn (corn that has been treated or soaked with lime and water, or calcium hydroxide).   The nixtamalizing process improves the flavor and aroma of the corn, increases its nutritional value, and makes the corn easier to grind.  Nixtamalized corn is also referred to as hominy.  You may be able to find it in a local grocery store, though I went to a special Latin American grocery store to find mine. (where it was called pozole).  It’s also available online.

Because corn was a sacred plant Continue reading

Lentil and Penne Soup

Some days you feel like a home-cooked meal.  But most often, that time is after a long day at work, when you least feel like spending the remaining hours of the evening waiting in a checkout line.

That was me the other day.

Walking to my car, lips chapped and cheeks red, I just wanted to head home, where I could kick my feet up and turn on the television.  I was in no mood to bundle up, break out a grocery list, and trudge through the aisles.  After all, Jon Stewart and a warm apartment were waiting.

So when I got home, I flipped on the DVR, and checked Continue reading

Ajo Blanco – White Gazpacho

White Gazpacho

Gazpacho requires a descriptor.  As I’ve noted previously, asking for plain, old “gazpacho” just won’t cut it.

There can be tomato gazpacho, watermelon gazpacho, or mango gazpacho, the cold soup characterized by its underlying fruit.  But there can also be green gazpacho and white gazpacho, the latter often referred to as ajo blanco.  Ajo blanco is made from ground almonds, combined with what makes gazpacho, gazpacho: bread, garlic, and vinegar.  Once prepared, ajo blanco is traditionally served with green grapes.

White Gazpacho

While ajo blanco remains incredibly popular in southern Spain, its tangy flavor may Continue reading

Tomato Gazpacho

Tomato Gazpacho

Tomato gazpacho is not redundant.

Gazpacho got its start in Andalusia, the southern-most province of Spain, sometime between the 8th and 12th centuries – long before the tomato arrived on European soil.  Owing to its origins and its meaning – gazpacho comes from an Arabic word meaning “soaked bread” – some food historians believe the Moors brought the dish to Spain as a sophisticated field ration.

Tomato Gazpacho

Other food historians trace the dish to the early Romans, who soaked their stale bread Continue reading

Miso Soup

miso-soup

Miso shiru, or miso soup, is a staple of Japanese cuisine.  The soup is touted for its health benefits, much the same way chicken soup or matzoh ball soup is here in the West.  The health benefits come from the active cultures contained in the miso – which is why you should look for unpasteurized miso, and avoid allowing the miso to boil.

Miso soup can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and usually Continue reading