French Onion Style White Bean Soup

DSC_0047

Today is a cold and damp day where I live. What could be better than some homemade soup! I’ve been dying to try this recipe I found online at the Food and Wine website. The soup recipe was contributed by actress, Gwyneth Paltrow, and it is a wonderful take on the traditional French onion soup! It’s full of thinly sliced fennel, onion and garlic. Some red pepper flakes give it some heat! Perfect to warm some chilled bones on a cold day!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ (or less) teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon organic dried oregano
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans organic cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (32 ounce) box organic vegetable broth
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 slices of sourdough bread
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Organic butter (optional)

Directions:

  1. Using a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over low heat. Add the fennel, onion and garlic, cover and cook over low heat, until softened, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Uncover and cook, while stirring occasionally, until onion and fennel are slightly brown, for about 15 minutes.
  2. Add crush red pepper flakes and oregano and cook for another minute. Pour in vegetable broth and add beans. Bring to a boil. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, until broth is reduced slightly.
  3. Preheat broiler and place rack approximate 8″ from the heat. Place bread slices on a tray and toast them 1 to 2 minutes, until golden. Then flip slices over and toast the other side for one minute, then spread a little butter on each piece and sprinkle with the cheese. Toast for another minute, until golden brown. Serve bread on the side. 6 servings.

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/french-onion-style-white-bean-soup

Advertisements

Tortilla Soup

IMG_2004

My husband and I had a soup weekend, but nothing is better than tortilla soup, especially for a Mexican food lover! My inspiration comes from Wolfgang Puck’s “Tortilla Soup,” Pizza, Pasta & More!, Random House, 2000. As usual, I did modify it just a bit, but it is wonderful! You won’t be disappointed!!!

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups frozen organic corn, thawed
  • 4 or 5 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 4 large Roma tomatoes (1 pound), coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons organic tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 (32 ounces) boxes organic chicken broth
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Garnish:

  • 3 corn tortillas
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 8  cooked chicken breast tenderloins (or 1 large chicken breast)
  • 1 cup frozen organic corn, thawed
  • ½ cup Trader Joe’s Lite Mexican Blend Cheese
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil over low heat in a large pot. Add the tortilla squares and cook until they are slightly crisp. Add garlic, onion, jalapeno pepper and corn. Stir ingredients until they are coated with oil and simmer.
  2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and 2 teaspoons of cumin. Cover and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Slowly pour stock into pot over low heat and cook until soup is reduced a little. (The recipe recommended by one-third, but I thought that was too much).
  3. Wait for soup to cool before putting a blender. Puree ingredients and then pour back into pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more cumin, if needed.
  4. Prepare the garnish: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tortillas in half and in thin strips. Place on baking sheet and bake until strips are crisp. Peel and dice the avocado. Slice chicken into thin strips.
  5. Add avocado, corn, and chicken into pot. Keep warm until ready to serve. Place soup into bowls, add cheese, cilantro and tortilla strips. 6 to 8 servings.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tortilla-soup-recipe.html

Organic Broccoli and Potato Soup

IMG_1985

This is a delicious and “creamy” soup without the cream and the calories! It is gluten-free and organic and can be made vegetarian by replacing the chicken broth with vegetable broth!

Ingredients:

  • 1½ tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 organic onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1¾ pounds organic broccoli, stems peeled and diced, tops cut into small florets
  • 1½ pounds organic russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ cubes
  • 4 cups organic chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, season to taste
  • Garnish with parsley (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, broccoli stems, potatoes, broth water, salt and pepper. Bring liquid to a boil. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Finally, add broccoli florets and cook for about 7 minutes, until tender.
  2. In a blender, puree soup. Return to pot and warm until ready to serve. Garnish with parsley. Serves 6.

Wonton Soup

IMG_1892

I have been making this wonderful and delicious soup for years! My inspiration came from Martin Yan’s “Wonton Soup,” A Wok for All Seasons, Doubleday, 1988. The next time I make this soup, I hope to use ingredients that are entirely organic. The ingredients in this soup can either be made gluten-free or bought gluten-free. At the bottom of this blog is a link of a recipe to make gluten-free wonton wrappers.

Wonton filling:

  • 1/4 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon water chestnut, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, including top, minced
  • 1 organic egg white
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Combine filling ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Wonton:

  • 25 wonton wrappers
  • 1 organic egg white, lightly beaten (to “seal” wonton wrappers)

Put a damp paper towel over the wonton wrappers to prevent them from drying out. Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of a wrapper. Using your index finger “brush” the edges of wrapper with egg white. Fold in half over filling to form a triangle. Press edges of wrapper firmly to seal. Place filled wonton on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel, while filling the remaining wrappers.

Cook wontons in a large pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes, until filling is no longer pink. Drain and place wontons in a bowl of cold water to prevent them from sticking to each other.

Soup:

  • 6 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 cup water chestnuts, sliced*
  • 1/4 cup bamboo shoots, sliced*
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced on the diagonal for garnish

In a large pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add sesame seed oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Add vegetables and cook until slightly tender. Drain the wontons and add to the broth. Garnish with green onion. Serves 6 to 8.

Blogger’s notes:

*I used 1/2 cup sliced organic carrots, celery and mushrooms, instead of water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. I also added about 3 ounces of snow peas. This is personal preference, but I like having healthy vegetables in my soup.

You can freeze uncooked wontons by placing them on a cookie sheet in the freezer until firm. Put frozen wontons in a plastic bag and return to the freezer. Boil frozen wontons for 4 minutes and add to broth.

http://myglutenfreefoods.com/gluten-free-egg-roll-wrappers-or-won-tons/

Potato Leek Soup

IMG_1873

I had some leftover leeks, so I decided to make potato leek soup. Not only is this soup delicious and so easy to make, it is gluten-free and vegetarian! The yellow-orange color comes from the vegetable broth I used.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound leeks, cut crosswise and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound organic russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups organic Trader Joe’s Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4-inch long pieces of chives for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan (3.5 quart with lid). Add leeks and stir occasionally for 3 to 4 minutes, until leeks get soft. Stir in potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes. Add broth and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
  2. Transfer to a blender and liquefy. Add salt and pepper to taste. You may want to reheat soup in microwave or in large saucepan on cooktop.
  3. When ready to serve, sprinkle with chives. Serves 4.