Celery Soup with Horseradish Cream and Ham Chips

Servings: 6
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 1 hour
Source: My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

The recipe calls for crème fraîche because its sturdy richness stands up well to to the soup, but you can use heavy cream instead. If you do use heavy cream, whip it very stiff, to the point where it just about turns to butter.

Ingredients: 

Horseradish Cream
1 1/2 cups crème fraîche
Generous pinch of sea or Kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons prepared horseradish

Ham Chips
6 slices prosciutto

Soup
4 large leeks, cleaned
6 Tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or Kosher salt, plus additional if needed
1 1/2 pounds celery root
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs thyme
6 cups water
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
Minced fresh chives, for garnish

Directions: 

Prepare the horseradish cream. Whip the crème fraîche in a metal bowl with a whisk until it thickens. It should hold it’s shape when you remove the whisk from the bowl. Whisk in the salt and lemon juice. Stir in the horseradish. Let the mixture chill for an hour to allow the flavors to meld. (It is best make 3 to 4 hours in advance.)

Prepare the ham chips. Preheat the oven: 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the slices of prosciutto on the paper, evenly spaced. Bake for 5 minutes. Turn the slices midway through. Watch the ham carefully as the thickness determines how quickly they crisp up. When they feel dry and firm, remove from the oven and let them cool until crisp. Store the chips in an airtight container until ready to use.

Prepare the soup. Slice the leeks into 1/4-inch slices, white and light green parts, only. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and cook for 10 minutes until the leeks are completely soft. Add salt midway through cooking.

As the leeks are cooking, peel the celery root. To peel the celery root, cut off the top and bottom ends of the root and set it on a cutting board, flat side down. Cut away the coarse skin, slicking it with a curved motion to match the curvature of the root. Conserve as much flesh as possible. Slice the root into 3/4-inch thick slices. Cut the slices into cubes. Add the cubes to the pot along with the water, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat so that the mixture is at a simmer. Cover with the lid askew. Cook the mixture for 30 to 40 minutes until the celery root is tender. Pierce some cubes to check for tenderness.

Remove the bay leaf and the thyme. Let the soup cool to tepid. Add the white pepper. Blend the soup until completely smooth. A hand blender or processor may also be used. If using a blender and the soup is still warm, only fill the container halfway. At this point the soup may be stored covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

To serve the soup, reheat and ladle into serving bowls. Add a generous dollop of horseradish cream and then crumble the ham chips over the top. Sprinkle chives over the top and serve.

Fried Water

Servings: 0
Preheat: 425
Prep Time: 1 hour
Source: Fertile imagination

This is a homeopathic approach to food. The water is slowly heated until it all evaporates, leaving only the essence.

This dish usually is served by itself, but it can be served with frozen water.

Ingredients: 

1C Water

Directions: 

Place water in a saucepan. Slowly bring to a simmer, and stir occasionally. If water adheres to the sides of the pan, swirl slowly taking care not to slosh over the sides of the pan (caution! water is hot!).

Continue heating until the water has completely evaporated. Ladle essence into demitasse cups, and serve immediately.

Tuscan Peasant Soup with Rosemary & Pancetta

Servings: Serves six to eight
Preheat: 0
Prep Time: 
Source: Fine Cooking editors from Fine Cooking Issue 83

Ingredients: 

5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/4 cups small-diced pancetta (about 6 oz. or 6 thick slices)
4 cups large-diced Savoy cabbage (about ½ small head)
2 cups medium-diced onion (10 to 12 oz. or 2 small)
1-1/2 cups medium-diced carrot (about 4 medium carrots)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt; more as needed
2 Tbs. minced garlic
1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
7 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
2 15-1/2-oz. cans small white beans, rinsed and drained (about 2-1/2 cups, drained)
1 to 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, toasted
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions: 

Heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a 4- to 5-qt. Dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until quite shrunken, golden brown, and crisp (the oil will also be golden brown), about 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and with a slotted spoon or strainer carefully transfer the pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off and discard all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pan.

Return the pot to medium-high heat and add the chopped cabbage. Cook the cabbage, stirring occasionally, until limp and browned around the edges, about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat again and transfer the cabbage to another plate.

Put the pot back over medium heat and add 2 Tbs. more of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, carrots, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and the vegetables are browned around the edges and beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan, 8 to 9 minutes. Add the last 1 Tbs. of olive oil, the garlic, 1 Tbs. of the fresh rosemary, and the ground coriander and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, stir together, and cook the mixture 2 to 3 more minutes.

Return the cabbage to the pan and add the chicken broth. Stir well, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes to infuse the broth with the flavor of the vegetables. Add the beans, bring back to a simmer, and cook for a minute or two. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the remaining 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, and let rest a few minutes.

Taste the soup and add lemon juice to brighten it—you’ll want at least 1 tsp. Season with more salt if necessary and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Serve the soup hot, garnished with the reserved pancetta crisps, the toasted breadcrumbs, and the grated Parmigiano.

San Francisco Cioppino

Servings: 4-6
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 1 1/4 hrs
Source: Food Network Kitchens
recipeNotes: Easy to double
served New Years Eve 2011

Ingredients
STEW BASE
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups sliced onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 red bell pepper, trimmed, seeded, and diced
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
3 cups fish stock or 1 cup bottled clam broth mixed with 2 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
1/4 cup julienned fresh basil leaves

SEAFOOD
12 little neck clams
1 cooked Dungeness crab, chopped into large pieces, or 2 Alaskan king crab claws, cracked and quartered
12 mussels
1 pound large shrimp, butterflied in the shell, and deveined
1/2 pound cleaned squid, cut into rings, and tentacles halved
1/2 pound sea scallops, trimmed, or firm fleshed fish, like halibut, cut into 1-inch cubes
Serving suggestion: hot crusty sourdough bread

Directions
Make the stew base. Heat a large stew pot or Dutch oven over medium heat with the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits in the pot. Simmer the wine until reduced by about half. Add the tomatoes, peppers, parsley, thyme, and bay leaf and cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock or broths; bring to a boil, then adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook the base, with a cover slightly ajar, for 30 minutes. (The base may be prepared ahead up to this point, refrigerated for 1 day or frozen for 1 month).

Finish the Cioppino. Bring the base to a simmer. Add the basil and the clams, and cook covered, over high heat, for 5 minutes, or just until the clams open. Add the crab and cook for 1 minute. Add the mussels, shrimp, squid, and scallops. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mussels open, the shrimp curl, and squid and scallops are just firm, about 3 minutes. Serve in large heated bowls with plenty of crusty bread.

Cranberry Bean Soup

Servings: 6
Source: Saveur in Issue #21
If fresh cranberry beans are available, omit overnight soaking.

Ingredients
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 small yellow onions, peeled and chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 lbs. plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 cups dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight
1 bay leaf
3 fresh sage leaves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until vegetables are soft, 15 minutes. Add garlic and 1 tbsp. each of parsley and basil; cook for 10 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes, cook 10 minutes more, then add beans, 4 cups water, bay leaf, and sage. Simmer soup over medium heat (adding water if necessary) until beans are very tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add remaining parsley and basil, season with salt and pepper, and serve.”

Sancocho – Fish and Potato Stew

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 min
recipeNotes: From Jose’ Andres “”Made in Spain””

Ingredients
For the mojo sauce

3 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon sweet pimenton (spanish smoked paprika)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon spanish extra-virgin olive oil

For the stew

1 bay leaf
1 small spanish onion, peeled and quartered
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2- inch strips
6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 pound yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 fennel bulb – sliced in quarters (optional)
sea salt to taste
4 6-ounce sea bass fillets

Directions
Prepare the sauce: Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic, guindilla pepper, pimenton, and salt into a paste, Keep turning the mortar clockwise while mashing and scrape down the paste from the sides of the mortar with the pestle, Slowly pour in the olive oil and continue mashing until the oil is well incorporated, then set the sauce aside,
Prepare the stew: Put the bay leaf, onion, bell pepper, parsley, potatoes, and sweet potatoes into a medium saucepan, add 4 cups of water, and bring to a boil over high heat, Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until tender, about 20 minutes, Stir 1 teaspoon of the cooking liquid into the sauce in the mortar, Season to taste with more salt.
Season the sea bass with salt and add the fillets to the pan. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes or until the fillets are cooked through. Don’t let the liquid come to a boil once the fish is added.
The stew should cook low and slow so the fish doesn’t break apart in the broth. Transfer the fillets to serving bowls and ladle several ounces of broth over each. Place some potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, parsley, and red pepper around the fillets and top the fillets with a spoonful of the mojo sauce.

Yellow Split Pea Soup with Spiced Yogurt

Servings: —
This smooth yellow soup is seasoned with fresh ginger, cumin, and lemon.

The peas benefit from being soaked at least 2 hours – they will break down more quickly and absorb less liquid when cooked.

Ingredients
THE STOCK

Use water or the Stock for Curried Soups and Dishes (page 67).

THE SOUP

2 tablespoons clarified butter or 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced into 1¼ -inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cumin seeds or ground cumin
3 cloves
1 2/3 cups yellow split peas, soaked 2 hours or longer
1 celery heart or 2 outer stalks, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small squares
7 cups water or stock
Grated peel and juice of lemon
Spiced Yogurt (see below)
Cilantro or parsley, chopped, for garnish

Directions
Warm the clarified butter, or butter and oil, in a soup pot and add the onion, garlic, ginger, bay leaf, and salt. Grind the cumin seeds and the cloves in a spice min, and add them to the onion. Stir everything together and cook over medium-low heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the peas, and add them to the onions along with the celery, carrots, and 7 cups water or stock. Bring to a boil; then simmer until the peas have completely fallen apart, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Pass the soup through a food mill or purée it in a blender; then return it to the stove. Add more water or stock, as needed, to achieve the consistency you like. Season to taste with additional salt, the lemon peel, and the lemon juice. Serve the soup in warm bowls with a spoonful of spiced yogurt and a sprinkling of cilantro or parsley.

White Bean Soup with Pasta and Potatoes

Servings: 6
recipeNotes: This soup always reminds me of a trip I made with some friends to Carrara to see the marble mines. It was winter, the sky was white and gray with fog and clouds, and the mountains of exposed marble were also white. None of us felt thrilled by all this cold and damp paleness; we were chilled and hungry, and there didn’t seem to be a place to eat. Finally we found a restaurant where some men were eating. There were no lights on, which should have told us it wasn’t open to the public, but we went in. In fact it wasn’t open, except to the mine workers, but we were graciously taken care of and served bowls of soup something like this one. Green Tuscan oil and crusty bread were placed on the table, as well as a bottle of Chianti, and it was one of those meals for which you are grateful from the bottom of your heart. It was exactly what we needed-warmth and nourishment, served with kindness and without pretension. When we returned to the street, we all suddenly became excited by the layers of whites and grays and the immense presence of the marble mountains.
The beans in this soup remain whole, the potatoes thicken the broth, and the herbs and vegetables contribute a splash of color. The vegetables can be prepared while the beans are cooking. This is the kind of soup that tastes better as it ages, and a bowlful can make a meal.

Ingredients
1 cup cannellini or other dried white beans, soaked 6 hours or overnight
2 quarts cold water
2 medium-sized white or red potatoes
8 large sage leaves or I teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons rosemary leaves or I teaspoon dried
3 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks
2 medium-sized carrots
1 small onion
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 cup dried pasta, a short tubular variety
salt
freshly ground pepper
extra-virgin olive oil, to finish the soup

Directions
Drain the beans, put them in a soup pot, and cover them with the water. Slowly bring to a boil; then boil vigorously for 5 minutes. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface; then lower the heat to a simmer.
While the beans are cooking, scrub the potatoes and cut them into cubes. They need’nt all be the same size-smaller pieces will break down to provide a creamy background, while large ones, say ½ inch square, will hold their shape. Chop the sage, rosemary, and garlic together. Dice the celery, carrots, and onion into small squares, no larger than ¼ inch.

Warm the olive oil in a small skillet and add the herbs, and vegetables, then salt lightly. Cook them over gentle heat for 3 or 4 minutes. After the beans have cooked for 30 minutes, add the herb-vegetable mixture to the pot. As the soup cooks, add more water in small amounts to keep it as thick or thin as you like.

Bring some water to boil for the pasta. Add salt and the pasta and cook until the pasta is barely done. Drain and set aside. When the beans are tender, stir in the pasta. Serve the soup with a cruet of extra-virgin olive oil to stir into each bowl and, if you like, a piece of hard cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, to grate over the top.

Tomato, Fennel, and Potato Stew with Saffron

Servings: 2-3
Source: The Savory Way by Deborah Madison
You could call this a failed fisherman’s soup; it has all the elements of bouillabaisse except, of course, the fish. It was Joseph Wechsberg’s chapter on bouillabaisse from his delightful gastronomic memoir, Blue Trout and Black Truffles, that prompted this recipe. His listing of ingredients before you get to the fish-fennel, potatoes, saffron, orange, and tomato-sounded absolutely delicious on their own, strong and aromatic. And they are. The classic accompaniment to fish soups, the bold rouille (a garlic mayonnaise with the fiery addition of crushed cayenne) is equally good here.

This stew can be cooked entirely on top of the stove, or it can be started on the stove and finished in the oven. This is the kind of food that cooks beautifully in earthenware and looks wonderful served directly from the baking dish. Make this just before dinner or hours before. The flavors will merge as the stew sits, but it’s delicious both ways.

Ingredients
THE STEW

1 ½ pounds red oryellow-fleshed potatoes
2 fennel bulbs
1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded, juice reserved or 2 cups whole canned tomatoes salt
3 to 4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 large leek, white part only, finely diced
1 large yellow onion, cut into wedges 1½ inch thick
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
2 to 3 pinches of saffron threads
a large strip of orange zest, about 2 inches long
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
12 Nicoise, Gaeta or oil-cured black olives, pitted

THE ROUILLE

3 to 5 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 to 2 teaspoons ground red chili or cayenne pepper
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
½ cup light olive oil
virgin olive oil

Directions
Peel the potatoes and slice them lengthwise into quarters or, if large, into sixths. Trim the fennel, remove the outer leaves if they’re scarred, and cut into wedges ½ inch thick or a little wider. Leave some of the core so that the pieces stay intact. Cut the tomatoes into large, neat pieces.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt to taste and the potatoes, and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the potatoes, but save the water.

While the potatoes are cooking, warm the olive oil in a wide pan. When hot, add the leek, onion, garlic, herbs, a little salt, saffron, orange zest, and bay leaves. Cook slowly over medium heat until the onions have begun to soften, after 6 or 7 minutes; then add the wine. Let it reduce by approximately half, then add the tomatoes and their juices, the potatoes, fennel, half the parsley, and the olives. Pour in enough of the reserved potato water to cover, bring to a boil, and lower the heat. the stew aside and finish it later, either in the oven or

At this point you can set the stew aside and finish it later, either in the oven or on cook top of the stove. If cooking on top of the stove, cover the pan and cook slowly until the vegetables are tender, about 35 minutes. If cooking, in the oven, preheat it to 375ºF, cover loosely, and bake for about 1 hour or until done. Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve with a bowl of garlic mayonnaise or the rouille below

The Rouille

Pound the garlic in a mortar with salt until it is broken down into a smooth paste; then work in the ground chili and egg yolk. Gradually add the light olive oil, drop by drop at first and eventually in a small stream. Stir in the virgin olive oil to taste and add a few spoonfuls of hot water to thin the sauce to the consistency of thick cream.