Avocado Soup

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Avocado Soup

Avocado Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 2 cups sparkling water
  • 1 tbsp. chopped shallot
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1/2 tsp. Merken chile powder (or ancho)
  • fried shallots for garnish (optional)

STEPS

Cut and remove the flesh of the avocados. Place all but 1/2 an avocado into a blender. Cut the remaining half into chunks to use for garnish. Add the sparkling water, chopped shallot, olive oil, salt, pepper, cilantro, and crushed ice to the blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into 4 bowls and garnish with avocado chunks, fried shallots (if using), and Merken. Serve quickly since oxidation will cause green color to fade.

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BLENDER SOUP

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BLENDER SOUP

Blender Soup

Simple soups can be made by taking your main ingredient, simmering it in liquid, and blending it until smooth. This could be carrots, squash, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, potatoes.

1. Cook your main ingredient and prepare it by peeling (if necessary) and cutting into chunks. Place in a deep pan and simmer in the liquid of your choice. You can add more flavor by roasting the main ingredient.

To roast, peel the ingredient (if necessary), cut into large chunks, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and set on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook in a 375 degree oven until tender. Then add the roasted vegetables to your chosen liquid. This could be chicken stock, vegetable stock, beef stock, dairy, coconut milk, vegetable juice, water, or a combination. Just don’t use too much! You can always add more liquid if the soup is too thick. If the main ingredient is raw, simmer in the liquid until tender. If it is roasted, just heat in the liquid.

2. Choose the aromatics you want to flavor the soup, and cook them in a separate pan in butter, olive oil, or coconut oil. These can be onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, carrots, peppers, fennel, lemongrass, and ginger.

3. Add additional aromatics such as spices, tomato paste, harissa, curry powder, chile powder. Add them just as the first aromatics have cooked in the oil.

4. Put the aromatics into the main ingredient in its liquid.

5. Ladle the soup into a blender, hold down the lid with a towel, and blend until smooth. If making a large amount of soup you may need to blend in two batches.

6. Return the soup to the pot and taste for seasoning. Add more liquid, if necessary.

7. Adding acid to the soup will intensify the flavor, and should be added just before serving. Lemon or lime juice are good options. Others are balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar.

8. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with herbs, nuts, oil, sauteed vegetables, cream, or chiles, if desired.

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BLACK BEAN SOUP

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BLACK BEAN SOUP

Black Bean Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 1/2 pound fresh chorizo link sausages, casings removed
  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into .-inch-wide strips
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 4 cups (or more) chicken broth
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream

STEPS

Place beans in heavy large pot. Add enough cold water to cover beans by 2 inches. Let sit 5-6 hours, and drain beans. Return to same pot and add 8 cups cold water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until beans are tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Drain beans. Heat same pot over medium heat. Add chorizo and bacon and cook until chorizo is brown and bacon is crisp. Add onions and next 4 ingredients. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, tomatoes with juice, and beans. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 20 minutes for flavors to blend. Cool slightly. Working in batches, coarsely puree half the soup in processor (or blender) using on/off turns. Return puree to pot and add more broth, if needed.

Bring soup to boil and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with sour cream.


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Potato Leak Soup

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Potato Leak Soup

Potato Leek Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • * 3 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds white or gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

STEPS

In a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the chicken broth and potatoes. Cover and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool a bit. Ladle half of the warm soup into a blender. Blend the soup until smooth.

Put back into the pot with the remaining soup. Bring the heat up and get the soup hot again. Add the cheese and salt and pepper. Stir until cheese melts. Serve and sprinkle with parsley.

* Note: Leeks are grown in sand, and often have sand throughout the layers. After you slice them, put them in a bowl of water and swirl them around so the sand will fall to the bottom of the bowl. Remove leeks and dry on towel.


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Chicken & Dumplings Soup

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Chicken & Dumplings Soup

Chicken & Dumplings

(adapted from The food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 quarts Chicken Stock
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • Dumpling Dough:
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. cold butter, cut into 1/4” cubes
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper, to taste

STEPS

Combine the chicken stock, carrots, celery, and onion in a large Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dumpling dough. Whisk together the buttermilk and egg in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter bits and pulse about 20 times. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add the buttermilk and egg. Stir with a large spoon until just combined. Form dough into a disk and put on a floured board. Flatten with a rolling pin to 1/2-inch thick. Using a knife, cut dough into 1” squares.

When vegetables are tender in the broth, add the chicken and parsley. Taste to determine if you need to add salt and pepper; bring to a simmer. Carefully drop the dough into the broth, leaving a little space between them. You may have some dough leftover. Don’t over-crowd. Cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Cook until dumplings are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

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