Category Archives: dinner

Winter Vegetable Chowder

Hello!  Happy New Year!

I finally have a little time to both cook and write about cooking after a busy semester and producing a short film.  So back to it, yes?

Winter Vegetable Chowder

The cookbook is Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen, and the soup of the day is Winter Vegetable Chowder.I should probably make more recipes from this cookbook, because every one I have made has been a winner, but then when I open the cookbook I’m like “Oh, that’s your favorite soup, you should make that one” and I just keep repeating old favorites.  Part of this is because many of the recipes are time-consuming and involve a lot of peeling and chopping, and it takes a few times through to have them become second nature.  But the time spent makes a huge batch of delicious soup that is tasty and substantial enough to be the main course at a dinner party, and the techniques you pick up serve you in making other soups. Continue reading


Requiem for a soup

I’m a soup-making fiend!

This morning I made mushroom soup, also by adapting one of Anne-Catherine Bley’s recipes, to take to a brunch party along with the leftovers of the carrot-ginger soup.  These recipes are more of a method where you start with onions or shallots cooking in olive oil, add a vegetable you like and some broth or water, cook until tender, puree, and serve – sometimes you add the creamy substance (coconut milk) during the simmer, sometimes you stir it in at the end (cream or milk).  Her squash and/or pumpkin soups are served with a crisp piece of bacon to use as an edible stirrer.  If you can make one, you can make them all.  Cauliflower leek?  Broccoli puree?  Tomato ginger?  You’ll be seeing a lot of them in this space in coming weeks because they are so simple, cheap, and satisfyingly rich-but-healthy.  Keep reading for recipe and sad story.

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Mushroom soup with chicken

Years ago I had a subletter named Rula.  I remember two things about Rula.

  1. She had a cat who never, ever, ever came out of her bedroom because it was terrified of my cat.  Whatever my cat did to her cat that first day when we both went to work was terrible, swift, and decisive.
  2. This soup recipe.

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Roasted pepper soup

roasted pepper soup

Tonight’s dinner is a mash-up between this recipe and  a recipe from Alice Waters’s The Art of Simple Food, with a little twist borrowed from Deborah Madison.  It serves 4.  You will want to lick the bowl.  You may also want to garnish this soup with chopped green onions and homemade croutons that you make by heating butter and garlic in a cast-iron skillet and tossing chunks of crusty bread in.  Coat everything well and then pop the skillet in the oven for 10-15 minutes while the peppers are roasting. Continue reading

Pasta equation

Raw ingredients

+heat + time + olive oil + crushed red pepper =

Thoughts?  Questions?

Broccoli, tomato, and chickpea salad

Want a cheap, healthy, fast dinner recipe that makes good leftovers?

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s excellent Everyday Food cookbook.

You’ll need 1 lb. of broccoli, cut into florets and steamed for 5 minutes.  1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved.  1/2 a small red onion, minced.  1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained.  2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp dijon mustard.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Some chopped mint or parsley would not go awry.

Whisk together mustard, oil, and vinegar and add red onion to make the dressing.   Combine steamed broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and chickpeas in a bowl and stir in dressing.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Serve at room temperature.

I think it might be better tomorrow, as the acid of the mustard and vinegar will have a chance to work on the chickpeas.  I’d let it sit for a while before serving.

Habas alla Catalana (Bean and sausage stew with mint)

Like cassoulet, but much cheaper and faster to make

It’s still chilly out, but the sun is shining. I want winter food, but I also want to wear skirts without tights even if I get goosebumps.   This recipe combines fresh springtime flavors like lamb and mint with a hearty bean stew in a tomato base.  It’s adapted from Joyce Goldstein’s Mediterranean the Beautiful Cookbook, which looks to have adjusted in price since last we cooked a recipe from it.  Go get yourself a copy.

When I say “adapted from” I also mean “simplified.” Joyce soaks the beans overnight and cooks them from scratch.  I crack open two cans of white beans, drain, and rinse them.  Joyce suggests chorizo or butifarra (a sweet lamb sausage).  I used merguez.  Recipe below:

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