Thursday Night Nicoise Salad

Thursday Night Nicoise Salad
Allow all of your salad stars to shine on their own. Dress each component of your salad individually and pile onto a platter. Simple food is just so darn pretty. Make something like this whatever you have on hand!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

In The Soup Loop

Making Peruvian Vegetable Soup

I LOVE SOUP SEASON. Get geared up for making flavorful, healthful and beautiful soups for lunch, for dinner, or a cozy late night "snack". There are so many great soups out there and still so many I've yet to discover. If you stock a few staples (what? not those staples, silly), you can make soup in a snap anytime. It's so easy and it's so delicious! Today, I'm going to share an easy and wonderful soup recipe that's quick, versatile and sure to satisfy. This Spinach and Rice Soup is going to quickly become one of your favorite dishes. Promise. Before the recipe though, I'd like to share with you a few tips to help you cook "off the shelf". Everyone will think you're a soup afficianado and you'll earn tons of respect from your friends who simply aren't "In The Soup Loop". As you know, I just want to make you look good. So, I just spent a bunch of time thinking of all of the things that are important to have on hand..... stuff that I have in KPK at all times. While I was typing away on the keyboard, I had a flashback that told me that I wrote about this in the past. BINGO! Here's the link to my "Soup Scoop" article which contains a great list of items to stock up on so that you're ready to make a fab pot of soup when the urge strikes! That link also features a ridiculously SIMPLE and DELICIOUS recipe for another all-time favorite soup . . . Potato & Arugula. You'll love it. When you're finished reading there, simply click on the "back" button and come back to finish reading THIS article!

Try this when you have 15 minutes!

Spinach & Rice Soup
Spinach & Rice Soup
I added just one carrot and one potato to the recipe here

1 10-ounce bag of fresh spinach (I love DeJong's Spinach for use in soups because it doesn't wimp out, plus they grow it right in our backyard - what a bonus!)
3 tablespoons of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of your pot)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely, minced, grated or crushed (how's that for options?)
1 small fresh red chile, seeded and minced (or some red pepper flakes ~ no prob)
heaping 1/2 cup of risotto rice (either Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano )
1 1/2 quarts of either vegetable broth or chicken broth (your choice ~ see how easy this is : ) ~ a 48 oz. box of Swanson 100% fat free chicken broth is perfect
S & P (aka kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano for serving, if you have it on hand . . . if not,  it's still great  : )

OK - Let's keep this as simple as possible. Prep first. Wash and dry the spinach unless it's already washed. Peel and chop the onion. Peel and finely chop or mince the garlic. Prep the chile, if using. OK. That's done. Now, heat the oil over medium heat in a nice pot. Add the onion, garlic and chile. Cook for about 5 minutes until tender. Stir in the rice and coat well with the onions, garlic and oil. Pour in the stock. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, uncovered. While the soup is simmering, coarsely chop the spinach if it's the hearty, thicker spinach (I just cut it quickly into ribbons by piling it up and running the knife through it a few times. If you're using tender baby spinach - there's no need for chopping). The rice should be nearly done now. Add the spinach and cook about 5 more minutes until tender. Check for seasoning. This means add salt & pepper to please your palate. Now, I challenge you to eat the whole pot. I bet I could. Serve with grated cheese if you like. Or not.  Also, a few notes, you can use HALF the amount of spinach if you want, you could add a grated or finely chopped carrot if you like, you can add a cubed potato, if you like........ Make it your OWN. It's just a great, simple, soup and you can monkey with it, cool?

Below is a shot of a bowl of Chick Pea, Potato & Spinach Soup that was our first soup of the fall season at the Frankfort Country Market (just a few days ago on October 7th). A spicy and delicious vegetarian soup that is now an official member of the KPK soup repertoire. Freshly ground coriander and cumin add amazing aroma and flavor while cream and tahini add thick and glossy richness. I found the recipe in a book entitled "The Soup Bible" which Mark gifted to me over 10 years ago; I came across it while in search of a recipe for a classic Indian soup, Mulligatawny. Right! The one made famous by the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. Click here for a few laughs.



Chick Pea, Potato & Spinach Soup... with Indian spices 
The photo at the beginning of this post was taken while prepping for a  Peruvian Vegetable Soup which was inspired by my dear friend, Uma, who described it to me after enjoying it in many restaurants on a recent trip to Peru. Her enthusiastic description of this aromatic and healthy soup prompted me to try it out and I was so pleased that I did. Extremely healthy quinoa, a variety of vegetables like green beans, onion, squash and zucchini, flavored with freshly grated ginger, cumin and hot chile pepper. Served with fresh cilantro, some diced onion and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime. Fabulous. I'll have to make it again, keep track of the ingredients and post it here on the KPK blog for you. First, I'll need to get Uma's thumbs-up blessing on the flavor and authenticity.
Starting a pot of  Chanterelle & Barley Soup

Eat some soup and warm YOUR cockles,

Love,

Katie

I'll be posting more great and easy soup recipes as I make them, photograph them and eat them all!

2 comments:

  1. I never tried a hot soup with garlic as ingredient. I'll try this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Elena, I hope you enjoy it. Let me know! The garlic really mellows and flavors the broth nicely. You definitely won't notice a garlicky flavor. It's quite subtle and when combined with the onion and a little hot chile, it seasons the broth really nicely. You can certainly add more or less spinach also, depending on whether you like your soup to be more brothy or more "chunky". I really like to add a cubed potato as well which adds a little heft and makes the soup more of a meal. (Don't mention that to any "carbo-phobes"). LOL. Enjoy! Thanks for reading! Katie

    ReplyDelete

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MORE 4 U

From here, you can continue scrolling down to check out some of my favorite dishes and KPK highlights.

For more posts (articles), recipes, stories and pictures, you can scroll up (in the right column under "What You Missed") and click on 2008, 2009 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013. As of June, 2013, there are are total of 139 posts in KPK. You can spend more time here when you know where to look, right?! Another way to enjoy my kitchen is to click on any items of interest in the section entitled "Passion Posts", also up above in the right column.

Love, Katie ~ I am so glad you're here! Stay awhile!

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