Entries Tagged as 'soups'

Cucumber Gazpacho

August 18th, 2008 · 22 Comments

Cucumber Gazpacho from Sugarlaws

I love cucumbers, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to do with them. When I get them from the farmer’s market, a lot of the time I just slice and eat them with a little salad dressing or tomato sauce (sounds gross, but it’s really good).  But I wanted to do something a little special for this recipe.

And what’s better, in the summer, than a chilled soup?  It’s easy to prepare ahead of time, and it’s colorful, fresh and delicious.  I thought about naming this “diet soup” because it’s so low-calorie, but it’s only diet-type food by accident.  It’s really so flavorful on it’s own that extra fat wasn’t necessary.

You could make this soup a little heartier by scooping out the seeds in the cucumbers, but I like it a little bit thin.  I think this would make a great recipe for a light lunch or quick snack, since it’s really too easy to make — if I had a “5 minutes or less” category on this website, this recipe would be filed there.

So if you have a few leftover mid-summer cucumbers in your fridge and you’re wondering what to do with them, this is a fun, easy, and extremely healthy option.

Last, but not least, the winners of the Hola Fruta! giveaway are…

  • Annalise, Comment 32
  • Elizabeth, Comment 55

I’ll be emailing later today to get your addresses!

Cucumber Gazpacho from Sugarlaws

Cucumber Gazpacho

2 small shallots
1 large clove garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 large cucumber, cut into 1″ sections
1 large anaheim pepper (I found these at the farmer’s market and love them!)
2 tsp good balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sea salt, or more to your preference

Saute the shallot and garlic over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until shallots have broken down and turned translucent.  Meanwhile, cut the anaheim pepper into slices and remove all its seeds.

In a large food processor, puree the shallots, garlic, cucumber, pepper, vinegar, and salt together for about 2 minutes.  Taste and add more salt if necessary.  Pulse again, and serve.

Serves 2-3 as a side dish or first course.

Cucumber Gazpacho from Sugarlaws

Tags: food · soups

Curried Cauliflower Soup

February 13th, 2008 · 12 Comments


There is no better meal on a cold, winter day than a warm bowl of homemade soup.  And why, you might ask, is homemade soup so superior?  I’ll tell you one of the (many) reasons.  You can make any flavor you want!  You’re not stuck with “chicken noodle” or “chicken vegetable” or “chicken and beans” with tough, miniscule chicken bits that make you shudder when you guess what parts of the bird they’re from.  Or generic vegetable soups like, “tomato” or “butternut squash” or “cream of broccoli” where you wonder how a vegetable product can possibly be put into a form that is shelf-stable until 2025.

Instead, on those cold winter nights when you really want soup, I suggest this curried cauliflower soup.  I made it with golden cauliflower (which is probably quite apparent from the photo), but white would work just as well.  This made a great warm, nutritous winter lunch, and hopefully goes some of the way towards undoing the diet damage I’ve been doing lately.


Currried Cauliflower Soup

1 medium sized head of cauliflower (white or golden)
2 shallots
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
6 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
3 dried bay leaves
2 tsp fresh parsley, minced
1 cup whole milk (optional)

1. In a larce saute pan or stock pot, saute the shallots in olive oil and salt until tender but not browned.
2. Cut the florets off the cauliflower head. Remove the tough core of the head, and place any leftover pieces in a food processor. Puree leftover pieces until finely chopped.
2. Pour in vegetable stock, and add cauliflower and spices. Simmer 15 minutes, and then stir in parsey and milk. Simmer an additional 5 minutes, remove the bay leaves, and serve.

Serves four.

Last, but not least, I’m submitting this to Holler and Lisa’s No Croutons Required vegetarian soup roundup!  I’m excited to see what everyone comes up with!


Tags: food · soups

Corn and Carrot Chowder

December 9th, 2007 · 6 Comments


I fell asleep reading bon appetit the other night (it happens…) and the last recipe I remember reading was for corn and crab chowder. So it was no wonder that I woke up this morning with an inextinguishable craving for corn soup. And, after about five hours of Christmas shopping in crowded stores (you haven’t truly experienced ‘crowded’ until you’ve tried to visit the stores in Rockefeller center at Christmastime), I felt like I deserved something extra delicious.

My soups are basically salads in a bowl. I figure, you don’t have to worry about losing vitamins through boiling vegetables if you’re eating the water that they boil in (i.e., soup). Of course, I’m not a nutritionist, so I could be flat out wrong. But until someone proves otherwise, I think veggie soups are pretty darn healthy. You could finish this with some cream, if you wanted a more authentic ‘chowder’ recipe.  But I thought it was great with just veggies!


Corn and Carrot Chowder

1 pound bag of carrots, peeled and diced
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
2 tsp olive oil
2 cups corn kernels (I used frozen, no need to defrost)
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
Pinch of saffron

1. In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil.
2. Add vegetable stock, corn, carrots, salt, paprika and saffron. Simmer 20 minutes, covered.
3. Strain soup into a large serving bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup of solids. Place remaining solids into food processor and puree until smooth.
4. Add puree and reserved solids back into broth, and mix until well incorporated. Serve.

Serves 4.

Tags: food · soups

(Cold Night in) Manhattan Clam Chowder

December 5th, 2007 · 6 Comments


This weekend was the start of a major weather change in Manhattan — after a long indian summer, it finally got really, really cold.  It even snowed on Sunday!  And last night, it was frigid.  What’s a girl to do but whip up a big pot of warm, delicious, homemade soup?

I have been craving Manhattan clam chowder for a week or two, pretty much nonstop.  And ironically, even in Manhattan, it’s a hard soup to find!  There’s a canned version by progresso, but I wanted the real thing.  I spent yesterday thinking about which ingredients to use, and whether I wanted to deal with live clams (no).  I’d love to make this again for a dinner party, and use clams in their shells, but since it was just for me, I didn’t want to put in the extra effort.

I highly recommend this soup — it’s easy to make (3o minutes or so, from start to finish) and incredibly delicious.  Get some big chunks of bread to dip into the broth, because really, isn’t that the best part of eating soup?

Manhattan Clam Chowder

1 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes (san marzano, if you can find them)
1 medium-size white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tsp olive oil
1 bottle clam juice
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4″ by 1″ slices
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ rounds
1 small baking potato, peeled and cubed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 can of clams, packed in water

1. In a large saucepan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until tender and slightly browned.
2. Pour clam juice into water. Pour liquid from the canned tomatoes in with the clam juice.
3. Add potato, green pepper, carrots, salt, paprika and pepper.
4. Cut tomatoes into about 4 slices per tomato (this is messy — it works best if you cut them over the saucepan, rather than on a cutting board. Wear an apron!). Add to soup.
5. Simmer 20 minutes, covered.
6. Add clams (including juice) and simmer an additional 5-7 minutes, covered. Ladle into bowls and serve!

Serves 4.

Tags: food · soups

Butternut Squash Chowder

November 27th, 2007 · 8 Comments


My mother puts Martha Stewart to shame. Every time I go home, whether it’s for Thanksgiving dinner or for a random weekend, when my mother cooks, she goes all out. Beautiful, seasonal, organic ingredients, healthy preparations (mostly), and decorations that are almost as lovely as the food.

This soup was my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. And, frankly, I was a little troubled by the bacon ingredient, but when my mother asked me if it was ok, I wasn’t going to ruin everyone else’s soup just because I happen to be a vegetarian. BUT, you could easily make this soup without the bacon and it would still be delicious. In fact, I might just try to do a veggie-friendly version this week. But it was really, really yummy, and a perfect fall-inspired starter for a traditional Thanksgiving meal!

Butternut Squash Chowder

4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp chopped fresh sage, plus small sage
leaves for garnish
4 tsp kosher salt, plus more, to taste
1 tsp freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 jar (32 oz.) butternut squash puree
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towellined plate. Set aside.
2. Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan and return the pan to medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bay leaf, chopped sage, the 4 tsp. salt and the 1 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the vegetables are soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
3. Add the wine and simmer, stirring to scrape up the browned bits, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.
4. Add the butternut squash puree and bacon and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
5. Ladle the chowder into warmed bowls and garnish with sage leaves. Serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8.

This is a Williams Sonoma recipe — you can find the original recipe here.

Tags: food · soups