Tag Archives: Vegetarian

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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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

A bowl of health – broccoli soup with garlic, chile, and ginger

A bowl of health

I swear I am not becoming a vegetarian.  This weekend I attended a party devoted to drinking beer and eating foods full of bacon and beer – bacon-wrapped-artichokes, bacon mac & cheese, moist chocolate cake made with stout, etc.  Until the day I die, I will want to rip into rare steak, or tear a roasted chicken apart with my hands, and eat funky stews with oxtail and goats.  Let’s talk for a moment about chicken livers cooked with shallots and then mashed up and spread on small pieces of toast.

But I don’t need or want to eat meat every day.  I pay a premium for meat that was raised with care and kindness and devour it with joy, and the rest of the time I eat vegetables and fruits and nuts and grains and cheese.  Lots of cheese.   And in the dead of winter, when everything sucks, and my shoulders hurt from hunching them against the cold, and I dread the first step outside and the way that first breath will tear into my asthmatic lungs like a fist made of knives, the more I turn to that guru of great vegetarian cooking, Deborah Madison. I know with her recipes I won’t get scurvy and that there will be lots of bright colors and happy textures and flavors on my plate.

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Tomato soup with citrus and ginger

tomato soup with citrus and ginger

I think I got a variation of this soup recipe from Erica G. originally.  What you need to know:

  • It has few, readily available ingredients and is inexpensive and quick to make.
  • It’s a pretty color and it smells amazing.
  • It freezes well.
  • It’s perfect for right now when oranges are in season and you’re bloated from holiday feasting.

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Linguine with lemon, feta, and basil

The conversation went like this:

“Right now, here in this room, is one of your Christmas presents.”


“I mean, I plan to get you other stuff, but I saw this and thought of you so I got it, and it’s here right now.”


“So my question for you is do you want it now or do you want to wait until Christmas?”

I love when two people who like instant gratification find each other.  I’m now the proud owner of Gordon Ramsay’s Cooking for Friends.  The pictures are pretty, the recipes look really tasty, the writing is straightforward, and the author and I have similar feelings on bacon (we’re pro) but the emphasis on fresh, interesting ingredients means that the recipes don’t get weighted down.

P. made me Ramsay’s linguine with feta, lemon, and basil for dinner tonight.  It’s simple, quick, light-tasting, and really awesome.  I’d like to make it for a summer dinner party with little dishes of different kinds of olives all over the table, and a really dry cold white wine. Continue reading

Word of the day = orange

Tonight I made Anne-Catherine Bley’s recipe for carrot & cilantro soup.  Her soups are all very simple, with fewer than 10 ingredients, centered on fresh vegetables.  I make them often, because $5 or less of beautiful vegetables + water + salt + pepper + some kind of fat (olive oil + milk, yogurt, or a little cream) turn into 4-5 healthy and simple meals that take me back to Paris.  The recipes are forgiving and adaptable – a little more or a little less or a slight substitution is a-ok. It’s only soup.

Recipe after the jump.

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Tofu with Spinach and Tomatoes

I went for sushi with my friend T., and we ate miso soup and a tofu appetizer, and I said, “I like to eat tofu, but I don’t know how to cook it.”  Two days later, I met her for dim sum (it was a weekend of feasting in honor of her birthday), and she solved my problem.   I get a tofu cookbook, she gets the book out of the house so her boyfriend stops slavering  over the incredibly erotic images of the author, Christine Liu, also known as “Tofu Mee Maw.”

Saucy minx.

Tonight I tried her recipe for Tofu with Tomato and Spinach.

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