. Seriously Soupy: 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We Moved!

Seriously Soupy can now be found at http://seriouslysoupy.com/

Please redirect your browsers! 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rainbow Soup Month: Creamy Asparagus and White Bean Soup

Creamy Asparagus and White Bean Soup by Cathy Elton of What Would Cathy Eat
This delicious green soup was provided to Seriously Soupy by Cathy Elton of What Would Cathy Eat. A fellow-Brooklynite, Cathy created a savory green soup for Rainbow Soup Month. For additional recipes by Cathy - not to mention a place to look at gorgeous food photography, please visit www.whatwouldcathyeat.com.

Guest Post by Cathy Elton

I wanted to make a creamy asparagus soup, but health issues prevent me from using cream. Nonfat Greek yogurt was a great alternative, but wanted to add another layer of flavor, so I tossed in some white beans on a whim. A brilliant idea, if I don’t say so myself! The beans make the soup more substantial, and add fiber and protein – taking this beyond your run-of-the-mill cream of asparagus soup.

Recipe Notes:
  • Be sure to use a blender rather than a food processor. You’ll get a much more velvety texture.
  • Instead of thyme, you could use another fresh herb. I think tarragon would be particularly nice in this soup.   
      Creamy Asparagus and White Bean Soup
      2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
      1 medium onion, chopped
      3 cloves garlic, minced
      1 pound asparagus, (tough ends broken off and discarded), cut into ½-inch pieces
      ½ cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
      5 cups vegetable broth
      1 15-ounce can navy or cannellini beans, drained
      1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
      ¼ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
      ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
      2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
      Pinch of white pepper (or substitute black pepper)
      Salt to taste

      Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot or dutch oven. Add the onion and garlic and sautée until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

      Add the wine, broth, beans, thyme and parsley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

      Puree in a blender until very smooth. Return to the pot, reheat and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and whisk in the yogurt, followed by the lemon juice.

      Serves 3-4 

      Wednesday, May 25, 2011

      Rainbow Soup Month: Corn and Crab Bisque

      Corn and Crab Bisque - Seriously Soupy
      For this weeks Rainbow Soup, I created a yellowish soup using corn, a yellow pepper, and some yellow squash. I wanted this one to be more than vegetables so I added in some crab cakes from Trader Joe's (but any light fish would work) as well as various herbs (tarragon, garlic, red pepper flakes and bay leaves). For the base, I used garlic broth (also used in this recipe from Food 2), which really gave this yellowish soupy a nice and silky taste. Since there was no cream, I used a small amount of water and finished it with some lemon juice - creating quite the delicious (and easy) spring soup. Enjoy!

      Garlic Broth
      5 cups water
      10 cloves of garlic, peeled
      6-8 leaves fresh basil
      6-8 leaves fresh sage
      6-8 sprigs lemon thyme
      6-8 sprigs fresh rosemary
      3-5 bay leaves
      Salt and pepper, to taste

      Pour the water into a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Add garlic cloves and fresh herbs. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, tasting occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Drain solids from the broth, and discard or save for another use. 

      Rainbow Soup Month: Corn and Crab Bisque
      2-3 cups of garlic broth (or vegetable broth) 
      2 ears of corn, shucked 
      1/2 yellow squash, cut up 
      1 yellow onion, cut up 
      1/2 yellow pepper, cut up 
      drizzle of olive oil 
      1/4 teaspoon of tarragon 
      2-3 cloves of garlic minced  

      3-4 dried bay leaves  
      1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes  
      2 crab cakes - I used the Maryland crab cakes from Trader Joe's   
      1 tablespoon of lemon juice or whole lemon 

      Cut up the onions, pepper, squash and shuck the corn. Place them in a oil and let them marinade with olive oil, salt, pepper, bay leaves and lemon. Bring broth to a low boil and add the ingredients from the bowl to the pot. Add some tarragon, garlic, red pepper flakes and cover. Let cook for 20 minutes - checking on the soup periodically. Add the crab meat (or fish) and cover. Cook for another 15 minutes. Turn off the flame and blend the ingredients - (I made my soup semi-chunky). Taste with some salt and pepper and enjoy!

      Seriously Soupy Serena

      Tuesday, May 24, 2011

      MyCityCuisine.org is Looking for Contributors

      MyCityCuisine.org, a Wiki project, is currently looking for contributors for its new site. The project is designed  to create a free, reliable and up-to-date guide of the most original and tasty traditional foods from different countries of the world. This will help travelers discover local foods from all over the world, raise cultural awareness and preserve traditions in a world that's constantly changing.

      Contributors should have basic knowledge of the dish that they are writing about in order to help readers make an intelligent decision on whether they want to try it or not, but they don't necessarily want to know how the dish can be prepared. MyCityCuisine.org is not a recipe website so recipe writing is not necessary.

      Interested applicants should follow the guidelines on the MyCityCuisine page, http://www.mycitycuisine.org/wiki/Find_out_how#Which_Dishes_To_Add

      For additional information about this exciting project, please visit: http://www.mycitycuisine.org/index.php/Main_Page

      Sunday, May 22, 2011

      Review and a Giveaway of Tabatchnick's Soup Singles

      Tabatchnick's Vegetable Soup

      As you can tell, I love making my own soups and testing out new recipes. But there are times when it's nice to not to plan, chop or cook where I can sit back and simply enjoy other people's soup recipes. I recently had the opportunity to take a brief break from my soup-making adventures to test out Tabatchnick's unique line of convenient Soup Singles.

      A family-owned company since 1905, all soups made by Tabatchnick are created in small batches using high-quality ingredients and filtered water that are also Kosher and BPA-free. After quickly heating up the soup (I used the stove top method - but the soups can also be microwaved or heated in an oven), my vegetable soup single, made with lima beans, green beans, corn, onions, tomatoes, peas, carrots and barley, was ready in less than 10 minutes and smelled pretty incredible. As an alternative to cooking at home, the soup had a fresh and creamy taste (although there was no cream) with a rich and hearty vegetable broth. This was something completely different from canned and other frozen soups that I have tried in the past, but rather, the Tabatchnick line was enjoyable and provided a perfect portion-size for my lunch. After further inspecting the nutritional information, I was also happy to see that the line wasn't high in sodium and sugar (which many commercial soups are) and contained water and vegetables as the primary ingredients - as opposed to artificial additives, salt, and sugar.

      Soup Singles also includes Minestrone Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup, Split Pea, Barley and Mushroom, Vegetarian Chili, Southwest Bean, and Tomato and Rice that are available in most grocers.

      The Giveaway:
      Want to try these soups for yourself?

      1. Fan Seriously Soupy on Twitter.

      2. Tell me in the comments section what soups from the Tabatchnick-line you would like to try.

      One winner will receive 3 coupons for Soup Singles by Tabatchnick (in the NY-NJ metro area) or coupons for general Tabatchnick products (winners outside of those areas) and an apron.

      The winner will be chosen randomly on June 2nd! Good Luck!

      Saturday, May 21, 2011

      Seriously Soupy on Food 2

      Garlic Broth and Spring Vegetable Soup - Seriously Soupy

      I recently had the pleasure having my Garlic Broth and Spring Vegetable Soup featured on Food 2. In case you missed it, check out the post and some photos of this tasty and healthy homemade soup recipe. Happy Spring!

      Wednesday, May 18, 2011

      Rainbow Soup Month: Carrot Ginger, Cauliflower and Orange Pepper Soup

      Carrot Ginger, Cauliflower and Orange Pepper Soup - Seriously Soupy
      Last week I mentioned that it was Rainbow Soup Month on Soupy to celebrate the wide selection of fruits and vegetables during the spring. I started with a Roasted Red Pepper, Cucumber and Avocado soup for my red-themed soupy that was a refreshing and fun way to kick-off this colorful soup month. For this week, I made an orange soup using carrots and orange peppers. To enhance the flavors I added in some cinnamon, cloves, onions and garlic as well as some cauliflower to thicken the base (I didn't want to use cream). I also used some orange juice and ginger to enhance some of the soups natural sweetness. Next week we go further up the rainbow with a yellow soup. Until then...Enjoy!

      Rainbow Soup Month: Carrot Ginger, Cauliflower and Orange Pepper Soup
      2 cups of vegetable broth of water
      1/2 cup of orange juice
      4-5 stalks of carrots, cut up
      1 orange pepper, de-pitted and cut up
      2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
      1 yellow onion, de-peeled and finely chopped
      1/2 head of cauliflower, cut up
      1/4 teaspoon of cloves
      1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
      1/4 teaspoon of ginger - or you can use fresh
      salt and pepper, to taste

      Add water or broth to a pot and bring to a slight boil. Cut up the garlic and onions and add them to the pot. Cut up the carrots, cauliflower, and orange pepper and add them to the pot, along with the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt and pepper. Cover and let cook for 20-30 minutes. Add the orange juice and puree the ingredients in a blender. Top with some cinnamon. Enjoy!

      What orange soups will you be making this spring?

      Seriously Soupy Serena

      Tuesday, May 17, 2011

      The Bed-Stuy Farm Share: A Community Supported Agriculture Project in Brooklyn

      Now that it's spring, there is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available to us from the city from local farms. I love this for soup making where I try to use local and fresh ingredients as much as possible. One way to regularly obtain fresh fruits and veggies without breaking the bank is to join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  I recently had the opportunity to learn about local CSA right in Brooklyn called The Bed-Stuy Farm Share. This share, whose dues are based on household income, allows members to receive fresh and seasonal fruits, vegetables, coffee, and eggs through a weekly or bi-weekly option for 22 weeks out of the year.

      Avaiable in "full shares" (members pick up their shares every week) or "half shares" (members pick up their shares every other week), those who join have flexible payment options - cash, food stamps, WIC checks, credit cards or a combination payment - making it very easy to afford and enjoy local produce throughout part of the year.

      Starting in June, members of the CSA pick up their shares whose contributions help to provide a stable, financial base for the farm, and in particular, local farmers of color. Some local farms that are participating in the share include African Zion Organic Roots Farm, Circle Mountain Farm, Conuco Farm, and Guerilla Grown Farm (for vegetables) and Wilkow Orchards (for fruit). Each week members can look forward to receiving 6-10 different vegetables such as beets, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, squash, turnips and fruits such as plums, apples and sometimes even raspberries and blackberries.

      All farmers involved in the share only use organic growing methods and provide chemical- and pesticide-free vegetables as well as cage-free and hormone-free eggs.

      How to become a member? Members sign up and pay for a Farmshare in the early Spring. Money received is given to the farmer to purchase seeds, hire labor and start the season without taking out high interest loans. Also, the Farmshare is run completely by volunteers, in which members are required to donate four hours of their time over the course of the harvest season to help the Farm-Share keep running. Additionally, Members of the Bed-Stuy Farm Share pick up their farm shares on Saturdays at the Bed-Stuy YMCA (Bedford & Monroe) or Wednesday evenings at a house on Quincy Street & Throop.

      To learn more, contact (646) 389-1793 or bedstuycsa@gmail.com or visit www.bedstuyfarmshare.org to sign up online.

      Sunday, May 15, 2011

      Bite Hunter: A Real-Time Solution to Locate Soup Restaurants

      I obviously love making my own soups and sharing my recipes, but there are those times when cooking is way too tiring or I want to try a soup recipe in a restaurant. With the abundance of choices in NYC, it can be overwhelming to decide on the best restaurant as well as to know where the best deals are. Luckily, now you don't have to go blindly into a restaurant anymore thanks to a new real-time restaurant deal website called BiteHunter.

      I recently had the opportunity to learn more about this interesting start-up (over vegan cupcakes, no less) who told me all about their real-time search and dine website. Founded in 2010, Bite Hunter allows users to search for deals and offers 24 hours a day - so if you are looking for a Chicken Soup for dinner or if you are craving Lentil Soup at midnight, you locate information the best restaurants that offer these soups as well as deals in real-time. How it works is also very simple, all you have to do is type in what food you are looking for (soup) and what city you are (New York) and presto: a listing of thousands of restaurants that feature soups appeared. Within each restaurant review, you will find rating from users, the address and a map, a brief write-up, a picture gallery, reviews and whether the restaurant has any deals or offers.

      As a new company, Bite Hunter wants to expand their market, but you can currently locate deals in New York, Chicago and San Francisco who collects their information about deals and discounts through e-newsletters, daily deals websites, Open Table, and a restaurant's Facebook Page or Twitter account. This is an incredible feature for the soup lover who can search for the best restaurants based on daily deals as well as discover new restaurants that they never heard of.

      To learn more about Bite Hunter, please visit: http://www.bitehunter.com/

      Friday, May 13, 2011

      Rainbow Soup Month: Roasted Red Pepper, Cucumber and Avocado Soup

      Roasted Red Pepper, Cucumber and Avocado Soup - Seriously Soupy
      I love this time of year when all of a sudden it is beautiful out and there is an abundance of colorful fruits and vegetables. For this month on Soupy, I am going to be waking up my winter palate and  featuring color-themed soup recipes every week in Rainbow Soup month. For the first installation, I started with the color red by using red peppers that were roasted with olive oil, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. To enhance the flavors a bit, I also added in a light mix of avocado and cucumber and various fresh herbs. As a simple semi-warm soup for the spring, the ingredients were blended together and topped with some cucumbers. I hope you enjoy this one and join me next week when I create an orange-based soup. Enjoy!

      Roasted Red Pepper, Cucumber and Avocado Soup
      2 cups of water
      2 red peppers, de-seeded and cut up
      1 cucumber, cut up (I used the skins)
      2 ripe avocados, de-pitted and quartered
      drizzle of olive oil
      2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
      bunch of basil - about 3-5 sprigs
      bunch of thyme - about 3-5 sprigs
      bunch of rosemary - about 3-5 sprigs
      salt and pepper

      Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut up the red pepper and place it in some aluminum foil. Drizzle it with some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add some basil on top and cover it with aluminum foil. While the peppers are baking (about 20 minutes), add the water to a pot and let boil. Cut up the avocados and cucumber. Mash them together with the garlic and fresh herbs (basil, thyme, and rosemary). Add them to the pot and let cook on a low flame (about 10 minutes). Turn off the oven and add the red peppers to the pot. Cook for another 5 minutes or so. Turn off the flame and mash the ingredients together using a hand blender. Top with some cucumbers and enjoy!

      What red soups will you make this spring?

      Seriously Soupy Serena

      Sunday, May 8, 2011

      White Summer Gazpacho Soup by Stonyfield Farms

      I recently had the pleasure of attending a luncheon at Counter, a vegetarian bistro/organic wine bar that was sponsored by organic dairy pioneer, Stonyfield Farms. The event, hosted by Robyn O'Brien, founder of Allergy Kids, highlighted numerous horrifying facts about our food production system such as how there are chemicals and hormones placed into our food that have been shown to attribute to a host of problems such as allergies, ADHD, autism, and asthma. As consumers, the only thing we can do is to become informed, purchase organic food products (as much as possible) and to incorporate organic eating into our homes. O'Brien, author of The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It, suggested some simple and realistic tips like buying in bulk, starting small, and going meatless on Monday's. She also offered a refreshing takeaway tip when embarking on a new eating plan: "It's not about perfection, but progress."

      Being sponsored by Stonyfield Farm, we were also given the opportunity to try the brands creamy Oikos Greek yogurt as well as receive a sample of the Stonyfield Yogurt Cookbook featuring delicious soup recipes like Arabic Cold Yogurt Soup, Minted Strawberry Chilled Soup, Salmon Chowder, a Blueberry Bisque and a recipe that I am intrigued to try: a White Summer Gazpacho. 

      As O'Brien ended her session she stated, "eating organic doesn't happen overnight but making small changes every day will impact your health, and in turn change the overall way our food is produced." With that I hope you enjoy this delicious White Summer Gazpacho by Stonyfield.

      White Summer Gazpacho - Recipe by MegCadoux Hirshberg 
      from the Stonyfield Organic Yogurt Cookbook

      9 cucumbers
      1 green bell pepper
      1 red bell pepper
      1 yellow bell pepper
      1 medium zucchini
      21/2 cups plain lowfat yogurt
      1 tablespoon of white wine
      Tabasco sauce, to taste
      1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
      Freshly ground black pepper and garlic salt, to taste
      Chopped fresh parsley and chives for garnish 

      Peel and seed 8 of the 9 cucumbers; cut them in large chunks. Puree the cucumber chunks in a food processor or blender, and place the puree in a large bowl. Core and seed the peppers and seed the zucchini; cut them all into small dice. Add the vegetables to the cucumber puree. Peel and seed the remaining cucumber and cut it into 1/4-inch slices. Add to the mixture. 

      Mix the yogurt with the white wine and stir into the vegetables mixture. Season with Tabasco sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Chill several hours or overnight.  

      Ladle the chilled gazapacho into soup bowls. Garnish each with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and chives.

      Seriously Soupy Serena

      I received a gift bag and a complimentary luncheon for attending this event.

      Wednesday, May 4, 2011

      Cinco de Mayo Soup Recipe: Spicy Pork, Bean and Vegetable Soup

      Spicy Pork, Bean and Vegetable Soup - Seriously Soupy
      Today is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that celebrates Mexico's Independence in the Battle of Puebla over the French as well a day that celebrates Mexican heritage and pride. During Cinco de Mayo, Mexicans generally celebrate with music, bright costumes and delicious food. Some food that is enjoyed on this day is a Mexican soup called Menudo that is cooked for hours with tripe, hominy and chili, garlic and various spices. There are also soups like Chili Verde, stew made with green chili sauce and Posole, a soup that is made with pork or chicken and hominy in a light broth. For my Cinco de Mayo soup, I wanted to create a variation of some of these classic recipes and with my own recipe for the holiday. I decided to use pork as the base that I let cook for over 4 hours (I really wanted it to be tender) and some spices (jalapeno, chilies). I also tried to make it semi-healthy by adding in black beans, carrots, celery, corn and red peppers. As the soup/stew was cooking, the aromatic creation was delightfully filling up my kitchen with the most amazing smells and I loved tasting this soup as I went and adjusting the flavors by adding in various spices. I made the soup pretty hot, but the recipe can be easily adjusted by adding less chili powder and using half of the jalapeno. I hope you celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some new soup recipes or try some of the classics that Mexicans have been loving for years. Enjoy!

      Pork, Bean and Vegetable Soup
      1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
      3-4 cups of water
      1 pound of pork loin - should shred off as it cooks
      1 yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
      2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
      1 red pepper, seeded and cut up
      2 stalks of celery, cut up
      4-5 baby carrots, cut up
      1 teaspoon ground cumin
      1 jalapeno, seeded and cut up
      1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
      1 can of black beans
      1 lime, cut and squeezed
      1 can of corn
      salt and pepper

      Cut up the onions and garlic and add them to the pan with the oil. Let cook and get slightly brown. Add the pork and the cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and the jalapeno and let cook for about 20 minutes, flipping the pork when needed. Add some water, about 2 cups, and cover. Check on the pork periodically but I let it cook for about 3 hours. When ready, shred the pork with a knife and add the beans, corn, carrots, celery and some more water to the pan. Cover and let cook for another hour. Squeeze some lime in the soup and taste. Enjoy!

      What soup recipes are you making on Cinco de Mayo?

      Seriously Soupy Serena

      Sunday, May 1, 2011

      Pesto Cauliflower and Carrot Soup

      Pesto Cauliflower and Carrot Soup - Seriously Soupy
      My family and I recently started planting some herbs on our porch/urban garden since it is finally warm outside. I was thrilled to have a more economical way to use fresh ingredients in my soups as well as the opportunity to test them out this weekend in this Pesto Cauliflower and Carrot Soup. I added in some fresh lemon thyme, rosemary, and sage as well as some samples of Garlic Gold that I had, minced garlic, onions and a small amount of salt and pepper. I also added in some pesto (pre-made) that we had around the house to create a peppery and distinct flavor to this minimal but super tasty spring soup. Note: In general, I would use this homemade pesto recipe.

      Pesto Cauliflower and Carrot Soup

      2 cups of water or vegetable broth 
      1/2 yellow onion, peeled and cut up 
      2-3 cloves of garlic, minced and cut up 
      1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Gold 
      1 head of cauliflower 
      2-3 carrots, cut up 
      2 tablespoons of pesto  
      2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary 
      2-3 sprigs of fresh lemon thyme 
      2-3 sprigs of fresh sage 
      salt and pepper, to taste

      Pour water into a medium-sized pot and let boil on a low flame. Cut up the onions and garlic and add them to the pot, along with the fresh herbs and Garlic Gold. Let boil. Cut up the cauliflower and carrots and add them to the pot. Cover and let cook for 20 minutes. Add the pesto, salt and pepper and stir. Turn off the flame and blend the ingredients together with a hand blender until you reach desired consistency. Taste and enjoy!

      What ways have you enjoyed cauliflower in a soup?
      Seriously Soupy Serena

      Monday, April 25, 2011

      Healthy Sisters’ Soup and Bean Works

      Helping Women go from Dependence to Independence through Soup Making
      Soup making is fostering a new life for the women in upstate New York and it is all thanks an amazing non-profit work experience program that I recently learned about called Sisters’ Soup & Bean Works. As a program of the Catholic Family Center's Workforce Development Department, Sisters’ Soup & Bean Works is designed to allow women to change their lives as they go from 'dependence to independence' as they become a part of a soup making company. This includes being involved in all aspects of the business such as the production, quality assurance, marketing and inventory control of the soups. Through this program women in need have the opportunity to "earn steady paycheck, develop self-confidence and learn job skills needed to enter or re-enter the workforce and achieve self-sufficiency," according to the organization.

      Rita's Ragin' Cajun Bean Soup
      As a soup-based non-profit, the company produces some dips and several soup mixes such as a Six-Bean Organic Bean Soup, a Curried Lentil Soup, an Old-Fashioned Chili, Max’s Tuscan Bean, Golisano’s Bountiful Bean Soup, June's Split Pea Soup, and Rita's Ragin' Cajun Bean Soup, which I had the opportunity to test out. All of the soups mixes contain the beans, various dried herbs and dehydrated vegetables, but require additional ingredients such as onions, garlic, bay leaves, peppers or tomatoes - as in the case of the Ragin' Cajun mix. Since I make soups all the time, it was nice to have a "break" from the rigors of chopping and planning as most of the ingredients were already prepared and packaged. Chopping a few onions and adding salt and pepper felt like a vacation and the result wasn't your typical over-the-counter soup mix. After following a few simple directions, my Healthy Sisters Soup was ready and was loving the rich and flavorful spices that also included some tips on how to make the soup more authentic such as by adding spicy andouille sausage or broth. It tasted fresh and homemade - much like a gourmet soup without having to put a lot of work and effort into it.

      Providing delicious-tasting soups, Soup Sisters' is fostering a unique community of soup making and business while also nourishing and supporting women in need.

      A collection of soup mixes from the Healthy Sisters’ Soup and Bean Works

      All of the soups are available for sale online and at most Wegmans stores in the Northeast.  There are also plans for the soups to be available in NYC at various retailers.
      To learn more about the Healthy Sisters' Soup and Bean Works, please visit: http://www.healthysisters.org/

      Saturday, April 23, 2011

      Easter Soup Recipes

      Happy Easter! Whether you celebrate the holiday for religious reasons or enjoy it for the act of exchanging colorful baskets and coloring eggs with your kids, this spring holiday is also a great way to test out and sample some new soup recipes. I recently found several inspiring recipes that concentrate on the use of eggs and egg yolks as well as those that use meat stocks and even some that use various parts of a lamb. Whether you are feeling adventurous or seeking something a little simpler this Easter, I hope you try out something new on this short, but sweet Easter Soup recipe list.

      Roman Easter Soup - Image Credit: Serious Eats
      Roman Easter Soup - Created by Chef Gina DePalma (pastry chef at Babbo), this two-part Roman Easter Soup first involves the making a beef and lamb broth and then the actual soup that is made with egg yolks, herbs, grated cheese, bread, and lemon. DePalma describes the soup as "balanced" thanks to the rich combination of the eggs and the meaty broth. Definitely one to try this Easter.

      Easter Soup - Featured on Food.com, this interesting soup by Lorac features the quintessential Easter food - eggs - and pairs it with kielbasa, heavy cream, vinegar and horseradish. Finished in about an hour, this rich soup would be a create way to start any Easter meal.

      Mageiritsa Easter Soup - Image Credit: Santorini.com
      Mageiritsa Easter Soup - An Easter Soup for the adventurous eater, this soup by Santorini.com includes some basic components of a soup (dill, onions, olive oil, lemon, white wine and thyme) along with the liver, lungs and intestines of a lamb. If you can manage to find all of those parts, Santorini.com provides a very detailed explanation of how to prepare the organs and then the Avgolemoni sauce. Designed to feed six people, this can be a very interesting experience for your Easter dinner - if you are up for the challenge.

      What soups are making on Easter?
      Seriously Soupy Serena

      Thursday, April 21, 2011

      Spring Nettle Soup

      Spring Nettle Soup - Image Credit An Irish Village Pantry
      I first learned about nettles from Do Chara in my Soup Recipes from the UK post, and most recently when I conducted a link rundown for St. Patrick's Day on The Huffington Post. Stinging nettles, as they are traditionally called, are a weed that is grown throughout Ireland that is also enjoyed in numerous dishes such as in soup. An Irish Village Pantry, who was also featured on Huff Post for her Ancient Irish Leek and Oatmeal Soup, recently shared with me this unique spring soup recipe that was created as an act of revenge of sorts after the wild-growing nettle plants took over her rose garden. In her post, she also recounts how her Great-Grandmother used to make this soup all the time who told the family about its rich nutritional properties like vitamins A and C, iron and even some protein. 

      Sheelagh's recipe is a great addition to try a new soup this spring, which includes onions, potatoes, stock, milk, creme fraiche, and of course the stinging nettles. Sheelagh also notes that those concerned about the nettles should take note the formic acid (what gives the nettles its sting) is killed through the cooking process but you should also wear gloves through out the preparation of the soup to avoid being stung. Enjoy!

      (serves 2)
      1 medium onion chopped
      1 medium potato chopped
      250ml chicken / vegetable stock
      150ml milk
      60g young nettle tops
      50ml cream / creme fraiche
      2 tablespoons chopped parsley
      1 tsp butter
      1 tsp rapeseed or olive oil
      salt and pepper


      Peel and chop the onion and potato. Put a small to medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat with the oil and butter. Add the chopped onion and potato and gently cook without color for 3 minutes.
      In the meantime, wash the nettles in a colander using a fork - or wear gloves! Add the milk and stock to the onion and potato and cook for another five minutes or until soft. Add the nettles and parsley and cook for another two to three minutes until the nettles are wilted but still retaining a green color. Puree in a blender or food processor and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve and garnish with cream or creme fraiche and crispy bacon bits or lardons.

      To read more Irish recipes, please visit: An Village Pantry

      Monday, April 18, 2011

      Passover Soup Ideas

      Passover, a Jewish holy day, begins today and there are many interesting soup recipes out there to celebrate this eight-day holiday. I discovered a modern take on the matzo ball soup on Food 2, a cold beet soup, and even a gluten-free version using almond and flax seed meal. I also created a matzo ball soup using three different types of matzo balls - a traditional matzo ball, a beet/dill matzo ball, and a parsnip and sweet potato matzo ball. I hope you enjoy some of these recipes and try one for yourself this Passover.


      Passover Soup Ideas


      Passover Soup with Chicken Dumplings - Featured on AllRecipes.com, this soup is made using matzo meal, eggs, and ground chicken to fuse the idea of matzo balls and chicken meatballs into one. Created by Umyum, this simple soup also uses cinnamon, rice, and chicken broth. 


      Mezzaluna Matzo Sweet Potato Soup - This two-part recipe by Food 2 involves the creation of the mezzaluna matzo with matzo meal, garlic, ginger, chicken fat and various herbs (rosemary and parsley) and the soup part, which is composed of apples, onions, sweet potatoes, sugar, and cumin. I love the interesting combination of flavors and the new way to enjoy both a matzo ball and a sweet potato soup.  

      Cold Beet Soup - Image Credit: Baby Boomer Advisor Club
      Cold Beet Soup - This cold beet soup or borscht is essentially just beets, lemon juice, onion, and some ice. Not only great for Passover, this soup, created by Baby Boomer Advisor Club, is an exciting recipe to try as the weather gets nicer out.

      Matzo Ball Soup with a Traditional Matzo Ball and a Beet/Dill Matzo
      Matzo Ball Soup - One of my favorite soup recipes, I wanted to vary the recipe a bit by creating flavored matzo balls. I started by making a rich chicken broth with chicken, carrots, parsnips, onions, dill and parsley where I then created a traditional matzo ball, a matzo ball with beets and dill, and one with sweet potatoes and parsnip. I loved how easy it was to vary and my new favorite, the beet matzo, made for a rich and savory addition to the soup. 

      Gluten-Free Matzo Ball Soup - Those of you who have allergies to gluten will love this gluten-free matzoh ball soup that according to What's Cooking (creator of the recipe) "comes closer to capturing the texture than any recipe I have tried." Instead of matzo meal, this recipe uses blanched almond meal, potato starch, flax seed meal, and eggs to create the matzo balls and a combination of chicken fat, dill, white pepper and salt for the broth.

      What soups are making for passover?

      Seriously Soupy Serena


      Wednesday, April 13, 2011

      AllRecipes.com Menu Planner

      A majority of my soup recipes are created on a whim. It all depends - some days I'll think of an idea a day or two before a post and decide that is the soup I want to try or I'll be inspired by a picture or an ingredient and take it from there. Not the most organized system and thankfully there are websites out there like AllRecipes.com that can help me get it together. 

      I recently learned more about getting organized and planning of my soups (and meals, in general) at an event sponsored by AllRecipes.com featuring tips from Deb of The Make-Ahead Mamas. The event also included tips on how to use the new Menu Planner on AllRecipes.com, an online tool is designed to help users create their own personalized meal plan through a unique search that is catered to their needs. The feature acts likes like an app where users can simply drop and drag various recipes into their personal database that is saved into a weekly menu plan. This allows users to create meals for up to 10 days that also creates a personalized shopping list for you based on your recipes. The tool also allows home cooks to sort by dish type (appetizer, beverage, bread, side dish, etc), cuisine (African, American, French, German, etc), ingredient type, and how quick a dish can be prepared. Users can also locate pre-made menus such as 'Three Courses in Thirty Minutes' or 'Low Cal and Loving It' or by creating creative themed meals such as those for holidays, parties, or those based on the season.

      Screen shot of the AllRecipes.com Menu Planner
      I tested this concept out for a potential spring soup swap that I hope to have next month. Choosing unique soups that I have never worked with I found a Lettuce and Tarragon Soup, a rich Brie Soup, a Classic Vichyssoie, a Ratatouille, and a French Spring Soup that I am excited to learn more about and eventually create. The planner then gave me my personalized grocery list for these soups and allowed me to save the recipes for a future date.

      After only using the planner once, I was excited to have my organized soup list and menu options planned and ready to go. With a personalized search featuring over 1,300 menu options, getting organized in the kitchen just got a lot easier.

      Monday, April 11, 2011

      Lettuce Soup

      Lettuce Soup - Seriously Soupy
      With the temperatures almost reaching 80 degrees today I was really excited to try out a lighter soup recipe - that was both easy to prepare and quick. Not quite ready for chilled soups, I decided to make a crisp Lettuce Soup after reading various recipes on Epicurious.com, The Nourishing Gourmet, and in this months issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray. For my variation, I used a simple combination of onions, garlic, leeks, celery, peas, rosemary, thyme, lemon, and of course a thick head of lettuce to complete this earthy soup. A soup I never tried before, I was pleasantly surprised by its interesting flavors that I found really worked with the subtle use of thyme and rosemary and tart from the lemon. This soup can also easily be varied to include various types of lettuce leaves and herbs as well as the addition of cream or potatoes - depending on your preferences. For With the warmer days ahead, I am definitely inspired to test out and enjoy more soups like this!

      Lettuce Soup
      3 cups vegetable stock
      1 yellow onion, chopped
      3 garlic cloves, minced and chopped
      1/2 cup of frozen peas
      2 celery ribs, chopped
      3 tablespoons olive oil
      2 leeks, chopped - white part only
      1/2 head of lettuce, cut into slices
      Bunch of fresh rosemary - about 2-3 sprigs
      Bunch of fresh thyme - about 2-3 sprigs
      3 cups vegetable stock
      1/2 lemon, squeezed into the soup
      salt and pepper 

      Drizzle the olive oil into a medium-sized pot. Cut up the leeks, garlic, and onion and let saute. Add the vegetable stock (or water) and let boil. Add the peas, celery, rosemary and thyme and cover. Let cook for 15 minutes. Break apart the lettuce leaves and add them to the pot. Let cook for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and blend. Drizzle with some lemon juice and top with some lettuce leaves for a garnish. Enjoy!

      How do you make your lettuce soup?
      Seriously Soupy Serena

      Thursday, April 7, 2011

      Vegetarian Moroccan Stew with the Make Ahead Mamas and AllRecipes.com

      Vegetarian Moroccan Stew - Recipe by the Make-Ahead Mamas
      Spice blend
      This week I had the opportunity to attend an interactive cooking event at Rachael Ray's test kitchen in NYC. Sponsored by AllRecipes.com, the go-to online recipe resource (unless you want a soup recipe and then you know where to go), allowed us to learn about their exciting interactive menu planner (more on that in a future post) and about an exciting cooking community called the Make-Ahead Mamas.

      Deb of the Make-Ahead Mamas
      Lentils for the stew
      Make-Ahead Vegetarian Moroccan Stew

      Deb Kapsner (or Busy Spoons) of Make-Ahead Mamas was on-hand to teach us how to cook delicious and healthy meals through their model of variety, community, and organization. The group is made up of 8 Seattle mamas who get together every 8 weeks to prepare 8-10 meals for their families. Not only a great concept to get out of the boring dinner rut, the Make-Ahead Mamas is a community whose members get together to share the ups and downs of parenting as they cook, enjoy wine, and try to make their lives easier by planning ahead.

      At the interactive event, I was able to test out a delicious Beef Bulgogi with lettuce leaves and noodles, the flaky and savory Spinach Spanakopita, and Deb's flavorful Make-Ahead Vegetarian Moroccan Stew. All of the recipes were fantastic that also made me realize dinner doesn't have to be dull.

      Being all about soups and stews, I instantly fell in love with the rich blend of flavors (cumin, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, and cinnamon) used in this stew, along with blend of kale, sweet potatoes, lentils and chickpeas for protein. Being a hands-on event, we were all given stations to start chopping, packing and scooping up spices so that we could create our own Moroccan Stew at home. Still thinking about the delicious and easy-to-prepare recipes a day later, I decided to make the stew with my daughter Little Soupy. Since all of the ingredients were cut up at the event, this was one of the easiest stews I have ever made. We loved adding the layers of ingredient - not to mention how amazing it made my kitchen smell. An inspiring and fun afternoon, the Make-Ahead Mamas is a great way to combine varied eating within a fun and supportive community.

      The Vegetarian Moroccan Stew cooking
      Little Soupy cooking the Vegetarian Moroccan Stew
       Make-Ahead Vegetarian Moroccan Stew as Featured on AllRecipes.com
          •    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
          •    1 teaspoon ground cumin
          •    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
          •    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
          •    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
          •    1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
          •    1/8 teaspoon curry powder
          •    1 teaspoon kosher salt
          •    1 tablespoon butter
          •    1 sweet onion, chopped
          •    2 cups finely shredded kale
          •    4 (14 ounce) cans organic vegetable broth
          •    1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
          •    1 tablespoon honey
          •    4 large carrots, chopped
          •    2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
          •    3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
          •    1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
          •    1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
          •    1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
          •    1 teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
          •    1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
          •    1 tablespoon water (optional)

          1.    Combine cinnamon, cumin, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, curry powder, and salt in a large bowl, reserve.
          2.    Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook the onion in the butter until soft and just beginning to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the shredded kale and reserved spice mixture. Cook for 2 minutes or until kale begins to wilt and spices are fragrant.
          3.    Pour the vegetable broth into the pot. Stir in the tomatoes, honey, carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, garbanzo beans, dried apricots, and lentils. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low.
          4.    Simmer stew for 30 minutes or until the vegetables and lentils are cooked and tender. Season with black pepper to taste. If desired, combine optional cornstarch and water; stir into stew. Simmer until stew has thickened, about 5 minutes.

      To learn more about the Make-Ahead Mamas, please like them on Facebook.