Posts Tagged ‘Soup’

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B is for Beets; and Borscht, Coincidentally

December 2, 2010

The second ingredient of the recipe exchange is beets! Oddly enough, we’re two for two in terms of ingredient+recipe alliteration. First annatto+Andean potato stew and now this. Wonder how long it will continue on? Regardless, the colorful red root veggie was Josie’s choice for us and it was actually really interesting to work with.

I know what you are thinking. Eww. Gross. No. I was thinking that too. I’ve always seen beets as those sweet and sour red things at the salad bar. I tried them when I was little, but never really developed a taste for them. I just remember them being slightly sour and that they were bleeding into the mushrooms and boiled eggs lying adjacent to them on my salad plate.

So yesterday I went to the nearby Harris Teeter to procure some of these crimson orbs. I had seen them before in the produce section but never paid too much attention. When picking my bunch, I was shocked by how large the beet plus all the greens were. They barely fit in the bag. Fast forward to me in the kitchen. I had heard tales of the staining power of beets, but thought to myself “meh, I got this. I’m pretty graceful.” Haha. Good joke…hopefully those red droplets wash out from my orange Piggly Wiggly T-shirt. <(-_-)>

So the recipe that went along with the beets was for a vegetarian borscht soup. I liked where it was going, but of course changed everything around a bit. The ingredients are about the same, just changed the cooking method.

Thoughts:

-Roasted vegetables are always amazing to use in soups, IMHO.

-Next time I would try using extra seasonings in the soup to spice it up such as caraway seeds. While tasty, it could definitely use something extra/I wish I had some caraway…

-Potatoes would be a much-welcomed addition.

-I love mushrooms. ❤

Such a wonderfully deep red. Be careful, it stains!

Roasted Vegetable Borscht

  • 1 lb fresh beets (no canned junk)
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 1 lb cabbage, shredded finely
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 large portabella caps
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • lemon juice
  • chives
  • sour cream

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Clean the beets well to remove any dirt and grit. Chop off the leafy stems and set aside (you can cook these later). Using a peeler, remove the tougher outer layer from the beets. Set one smaller beet aside. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Peel carrots and cut in half, then dice. Cut the onion into half moons and slice thinly. Toss all the root vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

While the veggies are roasting, heat the broth until boiling. Add in the roasted vegetables and shredded cabbage. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. While soup is simmering, roast the portabella caps upside down with olive oil, salt, and pepper until tender.

When soup has simmered, take the reserved beet and grate it into the soup. This will brighten up the color even further. At this point add the juice of ½ a lemon or a tablespoon or two. You want just enough to balance the sweetness from the beets. Let simmer for 5 more minutes. Adjust flavor to you liking with additional salt, pepper, and or lemon juice.

To serve, top with a dollop of sour cream, some slices of the roasted portabella, and a sprinkle of chives. Enjoy this deliciously sweet n’ sour warming winter nom.

~Erik <(^_^)>

P.S.

In case you were wondering about how to prep the beet greens:

Clean the stems and leaves to get rid of all the dirt and grit. Chop up the greens and put in a medium sauté pan and fill with about ½” of liquid be it broth or water. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add a few teaspoons of lemon juice. Cook on high uncovered until the greens have cooked down to about nothing. Season as desired and enjoy. (Note be careful with the lemon juice…I may have gone overboard with my first attempt and the sourness was overpowering and couldn’t be overcome…wamp wamp<(>_<)>).

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A is for Annatto

November 6, 2010

Josie and I have been doing a recipe correspondence a la alphabet exchange style. We thought it would be an interesting way to explore more in the culinary world especially in terms of exotic ingredients. Also, just in case we can’t find an ingredient that works for a letter, it could also be a recipe. I’m just glad I don’t have letters “X” and “Z”, good luck with those Josie.

Obviously, since I am writing this, I decided to pick the first ingredient. For the amazing letter “A” I decided to pick Annatto. It was really intriguing to me as it is more of a coloring than a flavoring. I’m a sucker for natural colors when it comes to art or food. Anyways, getting back to annatto…

They kinda look like triangular pieces of dehydrated strawberries that come from this crazy spikey venus fly-trap looking plant. Browsing around trying to find ways of using this amazing red seed. I found an amazing recipe on Epicurious for Andean Potato Stew.

I ended up tweaking it a bit though. Here were my additions:

-I traded out the whole milk for soy milk

-I also topped my stew with fresh tortilla strips

-I love love love queso fresco and may have been a little more generous with it <(>.>)>

I need a real camera...this was taken with my iPhone

Andean Potato Stew

  • 2 teaspoons annatto seeds
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 lb russet potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 5 1/2 oz queso fresco, plus extra to top
  • 2 medium firm-ripe avocados
  • Crispy tortilla strips

Heat annatto seeds and oil in a very small saucepan over low heat, swirling pan frequently, until oil is bright red-orange and starts to simmer, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into 3/4-inch pieces.

Pour annatto oil through a fine-mesh sieve into a wide 7- to 8-quart heavy pot, discarding solids. Cook onion and half of potatoes (reserve remaining potatoes in a bowl of cold water) in annatto oil over moderately high heat, stirring, until onion is softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add cumin, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add water (7 cups) and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are very tender, 25 to 30 minutes, then mash into broth. Drain remaining potatoes and add to stew, then simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in milk and cheese and increase heat to high, then bring to a simmer, stirring. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, quarter avocados lengthwise, then pit, peel, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Serve stew in large soup bowls, topped with avocado, queso fresco, and tortilla strips.

Enjoy the creamy rich golden goodness. NOM!

~Erik <(^_^)>