Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Potato Spinach Soup and Soup Week!

It all started over a cup of carrot-ginger soup at Three Angels Diner. G2 and I stopped in for a bite to eat on our way to a Christmas party. It went something like this: Me: "This is so good. I could eat soup every single day." G2: "No kidding. You make it all the time. Why not just make it for a week straight?" Okay, he might have been being a tiny bit sarcastic, but I took it as a challenge, regardless. And with the high being around 30 the last few days, I think he's pretty happy to slurp down some deliciously nutritious warming soup. (Have I mentioned how much I love soup?).

This potato soup (which was actually night #2) was a slight variation on a Moosewood recipe:
olive oil
2 cups onion, diced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
couple sprigs of thyme
4 cups or so russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups vegetable stock
5 oz of chopped baby spinach
3 oz light cream cheese
2 cups milk

Warm the olive oil on medium in a large pot and add the onions and rosemary. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes stirring often. Add the potatoes, salt and broth and lower the heat. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove about half the potatoes and add the blender with 2 cups of milk and cream cheese, or give a whir with an immersion blender (a must have if you are making soup for a week). Back to the soup pot, add the spinach and cover and cook another minute or two. Stir the pureed potatoes back into the pot. Garnish with a good sprinkling of parmesan cheese and tomato parsley garnish. (Seeded, chopped tomatoes, chopped parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper).

The soup is just the right consistency...not to thick (I don't like it when potato soup is really just a big bowl of mashed potatoes) and not too thin. The spinach helps alleviate the guilt of eating just starch for dinner and makes it look kind of pretty, too. We also had some wheat French bread with it.

Night #1 was a veggie chili. My pretty basic go to chili, but I added some vietnamese cinnamon that my sister-in-law gave me and it really added a unique and great flavor.

1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ancho chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2-3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can stewed sliced tomatoes
1 can each:black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, drained
1 cup of TVP re-hydrated with 1 cup boiling water
1 can sliced stewed tomaoes

Saute the veggies in some olive oil. Add spices and cook until fragant. Add tomatoes and scrape all the good spices off the bottom of the pan. Add TVP and beans. Cook for about 30 minutes or until it all comes together. Serve with a of sprinkling cheese and corn bread.

My favorite corn bread recipe is also from the Moosewood cook book. Go figure. But seriously, this is good stuff:
1 cup of cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup brown sugar (I lean towards the latter)
1 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk (I usually have yogurt on hand)

Sift dry ingredients together. Make a well in the middle. Mix all the ingredients up in a different bowl. Pour wet ingredients into the well and mix until moistened. Pour into 9 inch square greased or oiled baking pan and pop in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. I make this all the time. It's virtually impossible to screw up and it's super moist.

Tonight was night #3....but I think that will have to wait until tomorrow. For now, I might have to go eat some leftover soup.

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