Category Archives: Soup

Kale and White Bean Soup

Real Simple, January 2010

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 15.5-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed
1 cup small soup pasta (4 ounces; such as tubettini, ditalini, or orzo – I used orzo)
1 bunch kale, thick stems discarded and leaves torn into 2-inch pieces (8 cups)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan (2 ounces), plus 1 piece of Parmesan rind (optional)
1 loaf of country bread, warmed

Heat the oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, celery, onion, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the beans, pasta, kale, rosemary, 8 cups of water, and the Parmesan rind (if using – I used); cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the pasta and kale are tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove the Parmesan rind. Stir in the lemon juice and sprinkle with the shaved Parmesan before serving. Serve with the bread.

My Favorite Mussels Recipe (So Far)

I recall the time, waaaay back in the days of this past June, that I first tried to make mussels at home. Gosh, it seems just like yesterday doesn’t it? 


While I loved that first recipe, this delicious Mussels with Chorizo and Spicy Charmoula Broth concoction from Bon Appetit is light years (pun intended) ahead of all of the mussel recipes I’ve tried in the past (this one doesn’t count as one of my mussel recipes because it’s not just mussels, gosh I loved this recipe). According to the magazine, “Charmoula is a North African mixture of herbs, oil, lemon and cumin. The spicy charmoula broth needs to chill overnight so be sure to begin one day ahead.” I’ve seen charmoula-inspired sauces, broths and what have you used a lot recently and have tried it a few times, however it was most delicious on the mussels and once you mixed with the chorizo, whoa, it was perfect. If you do decide to try this, do yourself a favor and go ahead and cut yourself plenty of crusty bread. If you think you are going to eat two slices, make four. I’ll be the first to admit that I ate five pretty good-size slices of crusty bread with the broth and there may have been some slurpage even after that.
They don’t have the recipe online so here you go. If you are a mussels fan give this a try, it’s your density :). On one note, if you can’t find harissa paste which I luckily did at Central Market, in ten minutes you can make your own and let me tell you this would be good on LOTS of other food items (sandwiches, olives, roasted meats) so give her a try!



 Mussels with Chorizo and Spicy Charmoula Broth
Bon Appetit
, December 2009

1 cup of fresh cilantro sprigs 

1/4 cup paprika 

3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 

4 garlic cloves, chopped 

1 tablespoon tomato paste 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 

2 teaspoons harissa paste 

1 teaspoon ground cumin 

3 cups of vegetable broth 

3 ounces fresh Spanish chorizo. casing reomved, broken into pieces

3 pounds of mussels, scrubbed, debearded

Chopped fresh Italian parsley

Crusty bread

Puree first 8 ingredients in processor until smooth paste forms. Transfer to a large saucepan. Whisk in vegetable broth. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer about 20 minutes to blend flavors. Season charmoula broth to taste with salt and pepper. Cool broth slightly; cover and chill overnight to develop flavor.

Heat large pot over medium heat. Add chorizo and cook until browned, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 3 minutes. Add mussels; stir to coat. Add 1 1/2 cups of charmoula broth. Cover pot; cook until mussels open, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes (discard any mussels that do not open).

Transfer cooked mussels to large bowl. Season charmoula broth to taste with salt and pepper. Pour broth over mussels. Sprinkle with parsley and serve dish with crusty bread.

My Super Slow-Roasted Sunday

Austin’s weather today was soupy, cold and gray or the perfect weather to slow-roast the heck out of my entire dinner! Cooking Light did a whole slow-roasting recipe smorgasbord and you can just tell the test kitchen staff had fun with these recipes. It makes me wonder if they slow-roasted a lot of things and if so what didn’t make it to the magazine pages? I have to say whatever fun they were having translated into some amazingly delicious recipes. Let’s go through this slowly shall we lambs?

Now it has been written on Cooking Inside the Lines before that I hate salmon. Not dislike or despise, hate, so what compelled me to try this Slow-Roasted Brown Sugar and Dill Cured Salmon recipe? Well, it is in an instant favorite amongst Cooking Light staff, which I always trust, and the flavors of dill and brown sugar made me think it would cover up the salmony flavor that I’m not a fan of. Also, it mentioned that slow-roasting the fish gives it a velvety texture which is definitely what I need if I’m going to try salmon. The result? We have a winner! Now I’m not going to join the salmon cha-cha line but I might be intrigued to shake my hips with this recipe. The brown sugar and dill lended a beautiful flavor to the salmon and they were right, the texture was velvety and made it so much more enjoyable.

To accompany the salmon, I also made the Aromatic Slow-Roasted Tomatoes which, as they mention, brings out the natural sweetness of the plum tomatoes. As I was eating these on top of fresh watercress I thought these would be amazing on top of a pizza or food processed and used for a tomato sauce on top of pasta with Parmesan. I ate them on top of salad and they were delicious, delicious, delicous.

Finally, for dessert, I made the Slow-Roasted Grape and Yogurt Parfaits. Through roasting, the grapes still retained their burst-y (yes that’s a word) texture and it does sweeten them overall. With this recipe they had me at Greek yogurt and honey which is one of my favorite combinations. With the crunchy, toasted walnuts in the layers of parfait you’ve got a perfect, crunchy, creamy, sweet, good-for-you dessert.

On a cooking note if you should desire to recreate this entire meal, I started curing the salmon this morning and then cooked the grapes and tomatoes at the same time and then simply removed when they were complete. Once the salmon was ready I cooked per the time instructed and placed the tomatoes and grapes in around 20 minutes or so at the end with the salmon to warm them up.
As a final side note (sorry for the long post but hey at least it’s about food and not calculus right?), I made a delicious Thai Coconut Lime-Soup with Chicken from Bon Appetit. Now I didn’t have kaffir lime leaves (who does?) or sake (gosh, but I should have that on standby always – tee hee hee) but I made this soup anyway to enjoy for lunch today and tomorrow and it was still awesome. I couldn’t find the recipe online so here you go. Enjoy!
Thai Coconut-Lime Soup with Chicken
Bon Appetit, December 2009
8 First-Course Servings
2 stalks fresh lemongrass
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
4 red Thai chilis or 2 red jalapeno chiles, thinly sliced into rings, seeded (I used jalapenos)
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup sake
4 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk (I used the low-fat version)
8 kaffir lime leaves
3 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves plus sprigs for garnish
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
8 ounces skinless boneless chicken breast halves cut crosswise into thin strips (y’all I used a store-bought rotisserie chicken)
Chopped green onions
Discard all but bottom 4 inches of lemongrass stalks. Peel off tough outer layers. Mince lemongrass. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and ginger; cook until onion beings to soften, about 3 minutes. Add chilis and lemongrass; stir 1 minute. Add broth and sake; simmer 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, lime leaves, fish sauce, cilantro leaves, lime juice and sugar; simmer 30 minutes. Add chicken and simmer just until cooked through about 4 minutes.

Divide soup among bowls. Garnish with green onions and cilantro sprigs.

Two New Favorites

Yesterday was a whirlwind cooking day for me. Not only did I make two soups so I could enjoy them for the week, but I made my morning smoothies and froze them, snack pack trail mix to aid in my mid-afternoon snack attack where I tend to reach for chocolate, a granola and my dinner which was a recipe from Gourmet that I didn’t like very much.

Two new favorites from my test kitchen are both from Cooking Light – hello Molasses-Almond Granola and Two-Bean Soup with Kale. I had the granola for a snack, or should I say meal almost, because it was that delicious. I also know a few lovely ladies in my office enjoyed it too!

The Two-Bean Soup with Kale is perfect. As you can tell from this blog, kale is my new obsession and as my dietitian friend and co-worker Allison said, “that’s a really great thing to be obsessed with!”. I seriously do love the stuff and it really sings in this dish. I didn’t add black beans because for my other soup option I made a black bean soup, otherwise I followed this to the tee and it is excellent. Here is a handy dandy video to demonstrate how to make the recipe, if only I looked this good when cooking!

Go try these two now, I think you will enjoy them as much as I did.

R.I.P. Mr. Lobster

I decided to go on an East Coast journey with two dishes from Cooking Light which were the Lobster Rolls and the Roasted Corn, Pepper and Tomato Chowder recipes.
SO I make the lobster filling and chill it for an hour as suggested and then proceed to dedicate my evening to making the chowder. The chowder was very, very good. It had a nice sweetness to it and the bleu cheese and chives really made this dish sing.
As I was finishing up my chowda I pulled out my lobster roll filling and set it on the counter. As I was walking away I heard a loud crash, and at that moment realized that my entire lobster filling had crashed to the floor. Of course my funny little cat, known as Gabriel, smelling lobster ran straight towards the kitchen where I squealed and scooted him out. Look at that face, can’t let my little one get hurt!

Although I was seriously disappointed in my complete idiocy, I did get to taste the filling before it chilled and it was so, so, so good…sigh. Maybe y’all should try it and let me know how it really turns out. :(
I highly recommend the chowder recipe and I have plenty of leftovers for the next few days!

Day Two: Tomato-Pepper Soup with Ham and Arugula Wraps

As I mentioned, I’m taking on the 1 bag, 5 Meals idea proposed in the new Everyday Food magazine and here is day two. Let’s start with the not-so-good shall we? I’ve proclaimed my love for tomatoes before so I was pretty pumped about this soup. It was super simple to make, just cut up a bell pepper and throw it in with some cherry tomatoes under the broiler. Puree roasted ingredients with remaining tomatoes, tomato juice and some olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and there you have it…or not. This soup was too tomato-y even for my taste and felt like an acid or some kind of herb really would have helped round out the flavor a bit more.

Moving on to the wraps, I have to say this simple blend of arugula, ham and goat cheese that has been mixed with lemon zest and a little bit of olive oil was very satisfying and delicious. I couldn’t find lavash bread at the store like the recipe calls for so I used a warm pita pocket instead. Make two at the same time and save one for lunch the next day!

I couldn’t find the recipes online so here you go. Try the soup and let me know if I just wasn’t bringing my soup A-game last night? It’s highly likely.
Tomato-Pepper Soup with Ham and Arugula Wraps
Everyday Food, June 2009
Serves 4
1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed)
3 pints of cherry tomatoes
1 cup of tomato juice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
3 ounces of fresh goat cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
4 lavash bread wraps
1 pound thinly sliced ham
1 bunch of arugula (7 ounces) thick ends trimmed
(1) Heat broiler, with rack 4 inches from heat. Place red pepper, skin side up, on one end of a large rimmed baking sheet; place half the tomatoes on the other. Broil until pepper is charred, 8-10 minutes. Let cool slightly, then peel pepper with a paring knife.
(2) In two batches, puree broiled pepper and tomatoes, remaining tomatoes, tomato juice, and 1 tablespoon oul in a blender until very smooth, about three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
(3) In a small bowl, combine goat cheese, 1 tablespoon oil, and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper. Spread wraps with goat cheese mciture, then top with ham and arugula. Roll up wraps.

You Say Tomato, I Say Tasty!

I love tomatoes, love, love, love them and I was so happy to find this delicious Fresh Tomato Soup in Cooking Light a while back that I decided to make it on my day off yesterday. Not only was it perfect for dinner last night with a simple grilled cheese sandwich, it was great for lunch the next day.

What I really liked about this soup was how simple it was to make. Cut tomatoes into wedges, chop the onion and celery and throw all that in a saucepan with some tomato paste, thinly sliced basil and chicken broth and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Then you simply puree the soup in two batches and serve. I tasted this without the plain low-fat yogurt and I have to say don’t skimp on this ingredient because it end really rounded out the soup and made it silkier in texture.


Say it with me now – Al-bon-digas

Ivette, my co-worker/bestie/fellow blogger is from originally from Mexico and my go-to source for all things “authentic” Mexico. So when I told her I had proudly made albon-digas (insert thick Texas accent here) she goes “No Emily it’s al-bone-digas!” So even though I can’t say it correctly, Cooking Light sure knows how to make this traditional Mexican meatball and vegetable soup and it’s good for you too!

As one of the finalist in the “Family Dinners” category in the magazine’s Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest, Emily Almaguer’s Hidden Rainbow Albondigas recipe is all sorts of vegetable, brothy, good-for-you goodness. This recipe is chock-full of red and green bell peppers, tomatoes, squash, carrots and onions, and I appreciated the fact that her kids do not like chunky vegetables so she pureed them for a smoother texture. I sometimes feel the same way about soups and I’m not even a kid!

Since things are pureed you can imagine that this might be a smidge more labor intensive than just chunking everything in a pot and letting it simmer. But I didn’t mind since it proved better for my texture preferences and it was a Sunday afternoon so I had some time on my hands. Also, what turned out amazingly well were the meatballs. Putting the meatball ingredients into the food processor made it so easy to scoop them out and place in the broth mixture.

Warning, this makes a lot of soup! I had enough for the rest of the week and shared with my coworkers Allison and Ivette. This is definitely a recipe I will make again. Al-bone-digas!