Soups

Greek Lentil Soup

March 30 029 Edited Greek Lentil Soup

Welcome to the simplest soup recipe of all time.

I have been working my way through a page of soup recipes I tore from a magazine upwards of four years ago. I started with winter tomato soup and followed it with a carrot and sweet potato soup spiced with ginger. Savory Moroccan soup is right up there on my list.

Then there was this Greek lentil soup.

Little excited me about vegetables and lentils in broth, but I made it anyway. I can tell you I made it because I wanted to cook with something I do not typically use (the lentils). I can tell you I also wanted to use up a rogue carrot, leftover celery stalk, and a can of tomatoes I opened for some reason but then did not use in its entirety.

March 30 011 Edited Greek Lentil Soup

Both of those are true, but in all honesty, I made this soup simply because it was on the page, and I wanted to cross it off. I’m not sure what that says about my personality, but it’s probably not good.

The good news is my assumption that a soup made from leftover vegetables and lentils would taste dull was proved wrong. I was surprised by its rich, almost buttery, flavor.

Lentil soup is a far cry from cake, of course, but for a simple soup, it was deceivingly delicious. Top it with a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for a bit more deliciousness. Then enjoy.

March 30 026 Edited Greek Lentil Soup

Greek Lentil Soup
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ¾ cup diced tomatoes, including juice
  • ½ cup dried red or brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, onion, carrot and celery and saute until soft, about two to three minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot (stock through basil) and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until the lentils are tender.
  5. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
Notes
I used red lentils for this soup. The soup may require thinning with ½ cup of water or additional broth, depending on your tastes.

 

Irish Potato Soup

March 16 2014 024 Edited Irish Potato Soup

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! March 17 used to mean I embarked on an often unsuccessful quest to find something green to wear.  Over time, the quest shifted from green clothes to green beer. Today it has evolved into a search for a recipe with Irish in the title, which often involves potatoes. Last year it was Irish Mash. This year it is Irish Potato Soup.

Potato soup sounds about as exciting as my St. Patrick’s of Days Past. Imagine my pleasant surprise when this soup turned out to be magically delicious. (Sorry, I couldn’t stop myself).

I think it is the sour cream that makes this potato soup so much more enjoyable than others – which use whole milk as their base - I have tried. I can not say, given my love for mashed potatoes whipped with sour cream and my inability to eat a baked potato without a healthy dollop of the stuff, why I never thought of such a substitution before.

The most complicated thing about making this Irish potato soup is the bouquet garni. Fortunately, that is not complicated at all. A bouquet garni is simply one bay leaf, four sprigs of parsley, and four sprigs of thyme held together with a piece of string.

March 16 2014 009 Edited Irish Potato Soup

You don’t even need to peel the potatoes if you do not feel like it. I typically do not peel mine, if only because my mom always said the skin is the healthy part of the potato. Too bad we can’t say the same of a fried chicken.

In fact, the simplicity of this soup extends beyond the ingredients to the tools required to make it. I dropped the lid – which subsequently shattered – of my food processor this week, and I do not own a blender of any sort. I was not sure how I was going to make this soup smooth, but it turns out the potatoes and celery and onion are so tender after simmering for an hour, a fork would be sufficient to mash them all together.

I ended up using my hand mixer, which was perhaps not the most practical option, but it worked. Some bright green chives popped up in my tiny garden over the past week (come on spring!), so I topped my soup with those. Because bacon is the answer to anything, I think crumbling a piece of bacon over the top would be just as fine.

I’m off to find something green to wear. Enjoy!

March 16 2014 008 Edited Irish Potato Soup

Irish Potato Soup
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled if desired and diced
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bouquet garni (see Notes)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Optional: chives
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic followed by the onion, celery, and potatoes. Stir occasionally and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the broth, cayenne pepper and bouquet garni.
  4. Reduce heat to low and allow the soup to simmer for one hour.
  5. Remove the bouquet garni and puree the soup with an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor or blender to make smooth.
  6. If you removed the soup to process, return it to the pot it was cooked in. Stir in the sour cream until completely incorporated.
  7. Garnish with sour cream and chives, if desired, and serve warm.
Notes
A bouquet garni is simply one bay leaf, 4 sprigs of parsley, and 4 sprigs of thyme tied together with a piece of string. Vegetables can vary in size, so a large potato to me may be a medium potato to you. For this soup, my medium onion yielded 1 cup and my potatoes yield 4 heaping cups.

 

Chicken & Orzo Coconut Curry Soup {Secret Recipe Club}

March 2014 073 Edited Chicken & Orzo Coconut Curry Soup {Secret Recipe Club}

It’s Secret Recipe Club time again. This go-round I spent a serious amount of time debating what to make from Food Ramblings. Do I go with the chicken, spinach and almond pasta bake? Or the guacamole mac & cheese (guacamole mac & cheese!). Ultimately, I decided on a recipe that used my favorite flavor combination: coconut curry.

This coconut curry soup with chicken and orzo is basically a tricked-out version of chicken noodle soup. When it comes to soup, that classic combined with coconut curry seemed like the best of both worlds. And it was. I loved the flavor and appreciated the use of vegetables. I do not eat nearly enough vegetables, so I am always trying to find ways to incorporate them into the soup, pasta, pizza, and omelettes I tend to cook up.

March 2014 064 Edited Chicken & Orzo Coconut Curry Soup {Secret Recipe Club}

I also like that this recipe took me out of my ingredient comfort zone, requiring me to buy both curry paste and fish sauce. I do not know why I have waited so long to incorporate curry paste into my cooking. I love the heat and flavor it adds to the foods I like. The fish sauce I could take or leave, but the curry paste I will definitely keep around.

You will find plenty more unique recipes to enjoy at Food Ramblings. I always like knowing  what prompted someone to start their blog; Elizabeth started hers as a way to stay accountable to some health and cooking goals. Fortunately for us, she kept blogging so we could enjoy the recipes she shares. I have enjoyed checking in on her blog for some time now, so it was fun to finally have an opportunity to share one of her recipes via SRC. Enjoy!

March 2014 083 Edited Chicken & Orzo Coconut Curry Soup {Secret Recipe Club}

5.0 from 1 reviews

Chicken Coconut Curry Soup
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ cup orzo
  • 2 cans light coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons green Thai curry paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 frozen package frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 lime, juiced
Instructions
  1. Cook orzo according to instructions on package, and then set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, whisk together the coconut milk and the curry paste until smooth.
  3. Stir in the chicken broth, fish sauce, frozen vegetables and shredded chicken.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low until frozen vegetables are cooked through.
  5. Stir in the cooked orzo and the lime juice. Serve warm.
Notes
This recipe is a great way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken. Thai curry paste: I used green, but yellow or red would work. The 4 tablespoons of curry paste to 2 cans of coconut milk was in line with the directions on the Thai curry paste package. I thought the quantity provided a mild heat, but you may want to adjust more or less depending on your heat tolerance. Frozen vegetables: I used a stir fry variety with broccoli, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, and water chestnuts.

 

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