Showing posts with label Mollie Katzen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mollie Katzen. Show all posts

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Middle Eastern Spinach Soup with Bread & Spiced Compound Butter for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

I pulled down my copy of Mollie Katzen's Still Life Cafe with Menu Cookbook the other day and this Middle Eastern Spinach Soup caught my eye. It can be made with either potatoes or rice to thicken it and I was craving potatoes. The result is a flavorful soup that can be enjoyed hot or cold. 

To make it a meal, I served it with slices of French baguette and I made a quick compound butter, using the same spices that are in the soup.

Mollie says, “Yogurt binds everything together in this hearty, soothing, and beautifully green soup, and gives a lemony accent to the already unusual seasonings.
You can make this soup with either potatoes or rice. The potatoes may be cooked up to several days in advance. Store them in their cooking water in a closed container in the refrigerator. The rice may also be cooked a day or two in advance."

Optional Shortcut: If you are just too tired to face that big pile of raw spinach, substitute two 10-ounce packages frozen, chopped spinach. (Defrost before using.)

1 medium-sized potato or 3 cups cooked white rice (1 cup uncooked), see instructions below)
2 cups water (+ more water or broth--I used an additional 3 cups of veggie broth)
1 Tbsp butter 
2 large garlic clove -- minced
4 cups chopped onion
2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
dash of cinnamon, or more, to taste
2 lbs fresh spinach, cleaned, stemmed and chopped
1 1/2 cups firm Greek yogurt at room temperature
black pepper and cayenne, to taste

Using Potatoes:
Peel and dice the potatoes, and cook potatoes in 2 to 4 cups water, covered, until tender. (This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.) Set aside, water included.

Melt the butter or heat the oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot, and saute garlic and onion over medium heat along with the salt and spices until tender (8 to 10 minutes).

Add cooked potatoes with their water, and spinach. Cover and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes. At this point the soup can be left as is, or partially or completely pureed. Use a blender or steel blade attachment of a food processor. It's fun to experiment with various textures. A complete puree can be quite elegant.

Stir in yogurt. Add pepper and cayenne to taste. This soup is equally good served hot or cold. (I topped mine with a dollop of yogurt.)

Using Rice:
Put 2 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Sprinkle in 1 cup uncooked white rice. Lower heat to the gentlest possible simmer, cover, and cook about 20 minutes, or until all
the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Set aside.

Saute onions and garlic with spices exactly as in step 2 above. Add spinach and 2 cups additional water. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

As in the instructions above, all or some of the soup can be pureed. Stir in the rice and yogurt after pureeing. Heat very gently before serving. This variation actually tastes best neither hot nor cold, but somewhere in between.


Quick Spiced Compound Butter
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 1/4 cups

1/4 cup good unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic salt

Mix the spices into the softened butter and place into a small ramekin. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Serve with bread.

Notes/Results: This soup is flavorful, rich and satisfying and it crosses seasons as it is good served hot, room temperature or cold. I did add extra liquid (homemade veggie broth) to my soup as I wanted it somewhat brothy, and I pureed about 1/3 of it--to thicken it while still having that brothy feel. The spiced compound butter, using the cumin, turmeric and cinnamon used in the soup was delicious spread on the bread and dunked into the soup. It made the perfect light meal for a slightly rainy Sunday, I would definitely make it again.

We have some good friends in the Souper Sundays kitchen who shared some delicious dishes last week--let's have a look!

Shaheen from Allotment2Kitchen made this colorful Rainbow Carrots, Puy Lentil and Barley Salad and said, "There was a comforting chew from the barley, bite from the rainbow carrots that also made me feel rather cheery every time I tucked in to take a spoonful from my lunch box. The Puy lentils just added that soft salty poppets of flavour and a final flurry of spring onions aka scallions. I want more salads like this for winter."

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor and Novel Meals shared Pea, Potato and Bean Soup from her new The London Cookbook and said, "I went with a few of the soup recipes because it’s that time of year when I desire the tempting aromas of soup to fill the kitchen. Soup is a true comfort food, don’t you think? ... After an hour it may be tender enough and tasty enough to enjoy a bowl.  But it will be even better the next day."

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog made Hungarian Mushroom Soup from the Old Country and said, "What is it about Hungarian mushroom soup that everyone loves? Recipes from the old country are flavorful and delicious. They call for real food ingredients that are both healthy and tasty. My mother's good friend Bernice used to make a her family's recipe when I was a teenager and always shared some with us. It brings back wonderful memories of warming up with a hot bowl of this flavorful soup on a cold and damp autumn evening."

Debbie of The Friday Friends shared Broccoli Cheese Soup and said, "This is a favorite of everyone in my house. Cheesy, creamy goodness! Although the title of the recipe might indicate this to be a vegetable soup--it isn't. It's a cheese soup. The dominant flavor is cheese. It's so yummy!! I always think of making this soup as the weather starts to get cold outside. There are certain traditions to look forward to as the seasons change and this soup is a fall and winter favorite!'

Mahalo to everyone who joined in this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).

 Have a happy, healthy week!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mollie Katzen's Lablabi (Tunisian Chickpea Soup) and a Souper Sundays Note...

When I posted Ellie Krieger's Lemony Lentil Soup, I mentioned that 2016 has been declared the "Year of the Pulse" by The United Nations. Peas, lentils, dried beans, all have good nutritional benefits to offer, as well as being budget-friendly and tasting great. 

While thumbing through Mollie Katzen's The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation (I won't mention the relatively new cookbook addition if you won't...), I was immediately drawn to the Lablabi or Tunisian Chickpea Soup. It was mostly likely due to the photo with the soup topped with an egg (one of my favorite things) and then her list of "optional enhancements" to make this simple soup more of a complete meal. Being a 'more is usually better' person, I picked four from the list--the aforementioned fried egg, some harissa paste stirred in, capers (oh, how I love you), and fresh cilantro. It made for a slightly spicy and satisfying hug in a bowl.

Lablabli (Tunisian Chickpea Soup)
Adapted from Heart of the Plate by Mollie Katzen
(Makes 5-6 Servings--Depending on Enhancements Added)

2 cups (1lb) dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
8 cups water
3–4 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups minced onion (1 large)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp minced or crushed garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Black pepper

Drain and rinse the soaked chickpeas, then transfer them to a soup pot, large saucepan, or Dutch oven, along with the water and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, partially cover, and cook until the chickpeas are completely tender, an hour or longer. (You want to err on the soft side.)

Meanwhile, place a medium skillet over medium heat for about a minute, then add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onion and cumin, and cook, stirring, for 5 to 8 minutes, until the onion becomes soft. Add the minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of the salt, reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Cover and cook over the lowest possible heat for 10 minutes longer, then remove from the heat.

When the chickpeas are very tender, add the onion-garlic mixture, scraping in as much as you can of whatever adhered to the pan. Collect the remaining parts (this is flavor!) by adding the lemon juice to the skillet and stirring it around, scraping the sides and bottom (deglazing), then pouring all of this onto the chickpeas as well. 

Taste to adjust the salt (you will likely want to add up to another 1/2 teaspoon) and grind in a generous amount of black pepper to taste. At this point, if you choose, you can puree some of the chickpeas with an immersion blender.

Cover and let the soup simmer for another 10 minutes or so before serving.

Mollie's Optional Soup Enhancements: 
A few strands of saffron added to the cooking water in step 1
A spoonful of harissa
Touches of torn fresh flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, or mint
Crushed red pepper
A poached or fried egg added to each serving
A drizzle of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil (or a citrus-spiked olive oil)
Cooked diced carrot mixed in
A spoonful of thick yogurt on top
A sprinkling of capers on top
A spoonful or two of cooked brown basmati rice or couscous stirred in
Chopped, pitted olives on top—or a bowl of assorted olives on the side
Crisp, cold radishes on the side—whole or sliced
Chopped or slivered Marcona almonds
Sliced ripe tomatoes on the side

Notes/Results: One of those soups that while simple and good on its own merits, really takes on a whole new life with the add-ins and toppings. There is a wide list to choose from but I was happy with the way the egg yolk added silkiness, the capers a briny bite, the harissa's heat and the herby cilantro. Together it really made the soup sing. It made for a filling and satisfying dinner with good protein and fiber. I will happily make it again.

A Note About Souper Sundays: 

Several of you regular Kahakai Kitchen readers and Souper Sundays participants have been asking if it is ever coming back. (If you are new to the blog you can read about the event here.) The answer is... I think so! ;-) 

I took a hiatus from hosting this weekly roundup of soups, salads and sandwiches back in May when my mom passed away. It took a long time for me to be able to make or even eat soups without feeling really sad since it was such a big tie to her for me, a giant trigger you might say. Also, I have to confess that I haven't missed spending my Sunday mornings doing a full-on roundup. In healing some of my grief, I have slowly started up making soup again and enjoying the pleasant memories soup brings more than the sad ones. 

So, I am thinking I will bring it back in a couple of weeks but do it as a link-up where you (and I) can add soups to a weekly linky post and then the following week, I will roundup some of my favorites from the prior week. A little less work-intensive for me. I'll post the start up date soon and if you have any soups, salads, or sandwiches that you made over the past month or two and want to share, hopefully you'll link them up. Thanks for your patience--I have missed seeing you all and your soups, salads, and sandwiches.  


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thai Garlic Soup with Rice Noodles for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Nothing soothes and comforts more than a bowlful of flavorful noodles. I have had the Thai Garlic Soup in Molly Katzen's Still Life With Menu Cookbook tagged to make for ages now and feeling slightly stuffy on a "voggy" weekend, decided to adapt it as the base of a garlicky Thai-inspired noodle bowl.

The recipe was a great starting point for adaptation. I made several changes to the ingredients based on what I had on hand and to give more Thai flavors to the soup. My ingredient changes are in red below.

Thai Garlic Soup with Rice Noodles
Adapted from Thai Garlic Soup, Still Life With Menu by Mollie Katzen
(Yield 6 Servings with Noodles)

(1 pack rice noodles (I used Thai Kitchen Stir-Fry Rice Noodles), cooked according to package instructions and drained.)

4 to 5 Tbsp minced garlic (I used 3 Tbsp due to the garlic-ginger broth base)
(2 stalks lemongrass, peeled, sliced in 2-inch pieces and bruised)
2 Tbsp peanut oil (I used 1 Tbsp coconut oil)
6 cups light stock or water (I used this ginger-garlic broth recipe)
4 to 5 tsp soy sauce (I used 1 Tbsp low-sodium tamari)
3 cups coarsely shredded cabbage
2 medium-sized carrots, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch lengths
1 stalk celery, chopped (optional) (I used 3 smallish stalks)
a few mushrooms, sliced (optional) (I used about 8 white mushrooms)
(8-10 stalks of asparagus cut on the diagonal in 1/2-inch pieces)
(juice of 1 lime)

crushed red pepper, to taste
(chopped cilantro to garnish)
(sweet chili sauce or samba oelek to serve)

In a soup pot or Dutch oven, saute the garlic and lemongrass pieces in oil over medium heat until the garlic begins to turn golden brown, just a few minutes. Add stock, tamari, cabbage, carrots, and celery, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 1o minutes, until vegetables start to get tender. Add mushrooms and asparagus and simmer another 10 minutes. Remove lemongrass pieces with a slotted spoon, add lime juice and a few crushed red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

To serve, place rice noodles in a deep bowl and ladle soup on top. Sprinkle cilantro on top and serve with chili sauce or samba oelek for optional extra spice.

Notes/Results: Soothing, filling and delicious. In addition to getting that garlic golden and flavorful, the key to this one is a good broth with lots of flavor. Even with the homemade garlic-ginger broth I used, the garlic doesn't smack you over the head, but it is there in all its savory garlicky glory. You can use whatever veggies you have on hand for this, I had some extra asparagus in the veggie bin so I threw it in. With the mushrooms and noodles, I found it very satisfying, but if you want a little something more, you can added a protein of your choice. The lemongrass and lime juice add brightness, which I like in Thai-style dishes, the pepper flakes give it a hit of spice, and rice noodles make it gluten-free. Healthy and good, I would make this again.

This bowl of noodle goodness is headed for one of my favorite events, Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this week by its founder Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. Check out her roundup on Friday of all kinds of delicious pasta creations.

We have a few friends waiting in the Souper Sundays kitchen, let's take a look.

Margo at made this hearty "The Most Amazing Vegan Chili." Margo says, "As I prepped it, I thought about all the great things that were going into it. Black beans, cumin seeds, yellow peppers and onion are all great in combination and certainly pack a nutritional punch. I, of course, can never leave a recipe alone and added coriander because for me, cumin and coriander, if not married, are at least living together in a healthy, loving relationship. With that in mind, I have both black beans and white beans, which to me are so much prettier together. Since I have fresh oregano, gotta add some of that. The final product is beautifully colorful and amazingly flavorful. I LOVE THIS RECIPE and I love when I can get really excited about a recipe."

Rachel, The Crispy Cook recently reviewed a dairy-free and gluten-free cookbook and tried the Creamy Broccoli Soup recipe it contained saying, "I made a batch of silky Broccoli Soup, which was delicious and creamy. I am delighted to be able to share the recipe with you so that you can test drive this great cookbook for yourself with this dish." Check out her post for the recipe, a photo of the completed dish and a chance to win a copy of this cookbook for your own.

Corina of Searching for Spice says, "Usually when I put carrot in a soup I add it along with a lot of other vegetables. It’s not a carrot a soup, it just contains some carrot. Yes, I have made carrot soup, about five years ago but I found it very sweet. Too sweet and so carrot soup has been one to avoid since then. Then, a few months ago I came across this recipe for Carrot and Tahini Soup on Eats Well with Others. It got me thinking. The sweetness of the carrots would be balanced out by the bitterness of the tahini. Hmmm. Maybe carrot soup could be delicious after all, just like carrots dipped in houmous."

Janet of The Taste Space has a healthy Wild Rice and Edamame Salad with a Lemon-Miso Dressing to share this week and says, "Now about this salad. It is another salad bursting with whole foods and boasts a higher protein content. Wild rice is not rice at all, instead it is a seed. Higher in protein, with a lower glycemic index, it is a great gluten-free option for hearty salads. Coupled with edamame and tofu, loaded with carrots, sprinkled with greens and doused in a sesame-lemon-miso dressing, you have an unassuming salad that will make you anticipate lunch time."

Heather of girlichef tried April Bloomfield's Warm Bacon and Egg Salad this week and says, "I chose this salad to represent April this week because I think it showcases some of the best local ingredients it's simple and tasty. These gorgeous organic eggs are from a local farmer, the bacon, arugula, and chives were found in my local farmer's market. The golden, garlicky bread crumbs are from a loaf of bread that I made in my kitchen. Fresh, local ingredients and simplicity combine to make deliciously satisfying eating."

Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food has a sandwich this week, this Asparagus Salmon Loaf Sandwich Burger. She says, "There was something going on in my head when I baked the quiche-frittata loaf in a deep loaf pan. A purpose. To make this sandwich-burger. This is an easy and tasty idea from the Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Loaf made earlier. Grill/toast burger buns (English muffins used here), prepare some lettuce (baby spinach or arugula works too), and in goes the salmon-asparagus slice. "

Some great dishes this week--thanks to everyone who joined in! If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the sidebar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Shrimp, Tomato & Arugula Tartine with Mollie Katzen's Creamy Feta with Ground Walnuts

A tartine--the popular French sandwich made open-faced and usually with a fancy spread and artfully arranged toppings is perfect when you want a lighter lunch that feels a little special. I spent a sunny morning on the lanai the other day with the beautiful and comprehensive breakfast cookbook, "Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe." Thumbing through the book looking for millet recipes (I have a bunch of it to use up), I instead got a hankering for her Creamy Feta with Ground Walnuts and thought it would be the perfect savory spread to make this pretty Shrimp, Tomato & Arugula Tartine.

Granted with all the toasted walnuts, this spread is not the prettiest color on it's own but the feta-walnut combination is delicious and in addition to a sandwich spread, it makes an excellent partner for crackers or veggies.

You can find this recipe and three other yummy-sounding cheese spreads in "Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Cafe" on page 224.

Katzen says, "Try this on sourdough or pumpernickel toast with tomatoes or minced red bell pepper. It's also good on herb bread, topped with dates or golden raisins. Or use it to fill a hollowed out cucumber for a delicious commuter breakfast."

Creamy Feta with Ground Walnuts
Katzen's Sunlight Cafe"
(Yields 4-6 Servings)
Prep Time: 10 Minutes or Less

1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
a handful of parsley
1 cup crumbled feta
1/2 tsp minced garlic (optional)
1/2 cup milk, cream or homemade
Crème Fraîche
1 tsp mild paprika

Combine the walnuts and parsley in a food processor or blender. Buzz until nuts are finely ground and the parsley is finely minced. Add the cheese, garlic, milk, and paprika, and
purée until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add cayenne to taste.

Serve at room temperature or cold. Spread keeps for a week or longer if stored in a tightly
covered container in the refrigerator.

Notes/Results: Fresh and flavorful. I did make two small changes to the spread recipe--I used almond milk--I don't keep a lot of regular dairy milk around, and I added the juice from half a lemon for a little more zip. For the tartine I used toasted marble rye pan bread with a layer of the feta-walnut spread and topped it with local baby arugula, cooked shrimp and local baby tomatoes. The combination of the toasted bread with the cheesy, nutty spread, the peppery arugula and the sweet shrimp and tomatoes is excellent. A lovely and light lunch option.