This dish created for a cooking game where the ingredients are restricted from a selected list came out very tasty and delighted my family very much. I made a selection of the ingredients, which I had on hand and picked some winter savory (satureja montana) from the garden. For the cooking way I decided to create a new dish inspired by a vegetables stew with cheese, we got in Gran Canaria called “pisto”. Usually this dish is served with eggs, but in this case the cheese took the most important part and a so simple dish turned out in a great stew!
I’ve served this recipe as single portions in clay pots, but you can also place this is only one bigger oven proof mold. Serve with croutons or with a slice of rustic bread.
Cheesy Vegetable Stew
You need (for 4 potions):
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 big onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 cup champignons mushrooms, diced (I used only stems as I used the caps for another recipe)
- 4 cups diced tomatoes
- 1 cups chicken broth, more if you prefer
- 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (quantity to taste)
- 2-4 tablespoons fresh herbs to taste (I used winter savoury but also thyme, oregano or marjoram would work as well)
- Salt and pepper to tater
- 1 cup grated gruyere cheese (or another cheddar cheese)
- 4 savory spring, or thyme or rosemary (optional)
- Fry in a saucepot the onions and the garlic for a few minutes just until translucent.
- Add the mushrooms and fry until they begin to change the color and they smell “roasted”.
- Add tomatoes, broth and Worcestershire sauce, bring to boil and reduce the heat, simmer for about 15 minutes or until the most of the liquid is adsorbed.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F).
- Add herbs, pepper and if needed salt to taste. Add more Worcestershire sauce if you like.
- Transfer in the molds for the oven, top with cheese and insert as savory spring.
- Bake in the oven at 220°C (430°F) for about 5-10 minutes until the cheese begins to change the color.
Comforting and tasty soup, easy to prepare and to adjust to your taste.
Roasting the veggies makes a big difference and the flavor will be improved.
You may change the spices and herbs to taste, you may also use pumpkin instead of carrots and why not perhaps beet roots, tomatoes and red peppers!
For an Asian taste you may replace the broth with a mixture of water, coconut milk and light soy sauce.
Create your own soup and enjoy!
Roasted Carrot Soup with Ginger and Nutmeg
- 600 g carrots, cleaned and diced in big pieces
- 1 potato, peeled and diced
- 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 cups broth, any kind (quantity to taste, it depends how thick you like)
- 2 tablespoons ginger, peeled grated
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg ground, to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Green onion, sliced (alternative: fresh cilantro or parsley)
- Place carrots, potato and onions in a baking mold, toss with olive oil and bake at 220°C until veggies turn soft and roasted.
- Transfer the veggies in a big pot, bot reserve some for the topping
- Add garlic, broth, ginger and nutmeg.
- Blend with your hand blender until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to boil.
- In the meantime slice the reserved veggies.
- Serve topped with the sliced veggies and green onion.
Ww 7 smart points per portion (calculated as 4 portions in total)
This year the summer seems still far away, rain and low temperature inspired me to prepare a soup for dinner. Since years I wanted to prepare a tortilla soup and finally today I made it, we loved its strong and wonderful taste. It’s simply, rustic and very comforting recipe, exactly as need during these bad weather days!
To prepare a real special soup I decided to roast the veggies in the oven before preparing this soup and used those for the base of the soup. I did not add chicken and avocado as I did not have them on hand but I certainly would do it next time if available.
Tortilla Soup – Sopa de tortillas
- 500 g tomatoes,
- 2 red peppers
- 1 small Green pepper, or red pepper
- 1 small onion,diced
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 tablespoon or 1 tablespoon cilantro
- 1 cup wáter
- 1 teaspoon of bouillon paste (broth paste concentrate, chicken, beef or vegetables), to taste
- Salt, pepper, lime juice and chili flakes to taste
- 1/2 cup cooked chicken, bone, skin and fat removed, diced (optional)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4-8 corn or wheat tortillas, cut into thin strips
- 1/2 avocado, diced (optional)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese, to taste
- 2-4 tablespoons cream cheese softened with 1-2 tablespoons cream or milk, optional, to taste
- Place tomatoes and peppers to roast under the broiler or roast in non-sticky skillet (use an old one!). Roast on all sides. Place the veggies in a bowl, cover and let for 15 minutes. After this time it’s easier to remove the skin. Save their liquids.
- Blend the veggies together with onion, garlic, cilantro, water and bouillon until smooth.
- Pour mixture in a pot and bring slowly to simmer, adjust with salt, pepper, lime juice and chili flakes to taste.
- Add chicken if desired. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering roast the tortillas in a non-sticky skillet stirring constantly with the oil until crisp as desired.
- Serve the soup in the single plates, top with avocado pieces, hot tortillas and the cheese. Dot with the cream cheese mixture. Serve immediately.
The French “soupe de poisson” is very famous and popular not only in France since in Italy, Spain and Croatia.
The original fish soup was prepared should be prepared with different kind of fish and seafood using the head, shells and fish bones for the fish stock first.
In our case I used what I had in the freezer: calamari, shrimps and fish filets; please free to change the kind and the quantities of the fish/seafood.
The shrimps were already deveined, but shell on: I remove the shell and used it for the basic fish broth.
The stomach of the calamari had been removed, I used the body and the tentacles for the soup but I used the other part of the head (I removed the eyes first! for the basic fish broth as well.
No fish heads were available, but I found that it could work without them.
I used vegetables give flavor and thickness to the soup.
We enjoyed this soup with homemade bread and skordalia (Greek potatoes and garlic spread).
Note: if you don’t have fish bones… use a fish stock, you will need to cook the veggies (step 8) for only about 20 minutes or until done.
Zuppa di Pesce allo Zafferano - Soupe de Poisson with Saffron
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- Shells, heads …
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled whole
- 1 glass white wine
- 4 cups of water
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small spring thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pinch saffron
- 250-500 g squid, used small ones
- 500-700 g fish filets
- 250-500 g shrimps
- Parley for topping
- First of all prepare the shells, heads or other parts of fish which would be suitable for the basic broth.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a deep pot and fry the shells, heads … until fragrant. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Heat other 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add onion as well as whole garlic cloves and cook until translucent.
- Add wine and let boil for a few minutes.
- Add water and bring to boil.
- Add water, carrot, tomato, potato, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to boil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the fried shells, heads, fish bones… in small kitchen towel, close this with a knot or cord. And place this in the pot as well.
- Cover and let simmer for one hour, but remove bay after 10 minutes or so.
- During this thyme slice the squid, but fish in bite sized pieces and refrigerate until needed.
- Remove the bag with the fish and pressing out the precious juices.
- Blend the vegetables in the fish stock, if necessary sieve them to get a smoother base.
- Add saffron, fish and calamari. Cook for about 30 minutes more without stirring. Add more water if necessary to taste: you would like a creamy but not too heavy soup.
- Add shrimps, season again if necessary.
- Serve immediately topped with parsley.
- To go with this toasted bread, croutons or simply rustic bread.
The winter is approaching and I needed something easy, tasty and comforting.
The inspiration came from Marion’s recipe http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/soup/other-soup/soup-de-chalet.html and I prepared it with the vegetables suggested in her recipes.
The main change was using a fondue mix I had in the fridge that needed to be used. Well, this mixture is not simply grated cheese for fondue, since a combination of cheese, liquids (I’m not sure it was wine) and cornstarch. If you don’t have this mixture I suggest to combine 100 g cheese (as Gruyere), 50 g cream-cheese and 50 ml white wine.
Serve with bread.
Cheese Fondue Soup
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
- 1 small leek, finely sliced (about 100 g)
- 1/2 onion, finely sliced
- 1 big or 2 small carrots, finely sliced (about 100 g)
- 1 small potato finely sliced (about 150 g)
- 50 g spinach, chopped (about one cup)
- 300 ml broth
- 100 ml white wine
- 200 g ready cheese fondue mixture (read the introduction for substitution)
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- grated cheese to serve (I used gratin cheese), optional
- Heat butter in a pot and sauté leek, onion, carrots and potatoes until the border of the vegetables begins to brown.
- Add spinach and sauté stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.
- Add broth and wine. Let simmer for about minutes until potatoes are soft.
- Add the cheese mixture and stir until cheese is dissolved.
- Season with nutmeg and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately and add grated cheese if desired.
Today inspiration were beets. These wonderful reddish roots are available fresh or already boiled. With a handful of ingredients I created an exotic dish and I found a way to use the same ingredients for different steps.
For examples the beets and roots, were used for the soup but also to create crispy chips as addition to the soup. The coconut milk gives to the soup a delicious taste but I also used some to fry the onion and finally also for the topping.
So we are, here my recipe suggestion.
Beet Soup with Veggie Chips
- 500 g beets, peeled eventually already cooked
- 300 g potatoes
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 big onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
- 2 cups concentrated broth
- Cut 1/3 of the roots (beets and potatoes) into thin (about 2 mm) slices and place in the oven at 200°C/400°F on a single layer on a parchment paper. Bake turning from time to time to dry. Remove the dried sliced and set aside. Note: you may also dry a few slices of onion.
- In the meanwhile pour 3 tablespoons coconut milk in a non-sticky skillet, heat to reduce the water content and add the diced onions and ginger to “fry” turning frequently until light browned.
- Dice rest of beets and potatoes and place them into a pot along with the broth and bring to simmer. As soon as the onions are done add them to the pot.
- Simmer at low temperature until potatoes are soft.
- Puree using the hand blender.
- Reserve about 2 tablespoons coconut milk and add this to the soup, stir gently and serve immediately.
- Decorate the dishes with the reserved coconut milk and roots chips
This tasty, fragrant and light soup is so good that you will make this again!
The first time we had this delicious soup was in Sihanoukville in Cambodia in a small restaurant called “Rose’s place” and where it is called Somlaw/Somlor Machu Youn.Similar versions of this soup are known in Vietnam where this is called Canh Chua Thom Nau Ca.
Notes of a simplified version of this soup taken during our vacation in 2004: Heat chicken stock, add pineapples chunks and sliced cabbage. Let boil for 5 minutes, add fish and season with sweet Asian basil, fresh cilantro and sawtooth cilantro.
Guide to Cambodian/Khmer herbs: http://www.asian-recipe.com/cambodia/cambodian-khmer-ingredients.html
This is the version I would like to propose you now!
Cambodian Fish and Pineapple Soup
- 6-8 cups water
- 5-10 Asian basil leaves, or to taste
- 3 kaffir leaves, optional
- 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves chopped,
- Saw leaf herb, optional if you can find it!
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 lemon grass stick, trimmed and make cuts lengthways (alternative some leaves of lemon verbena)
- 1/2 tablespoon galanga, thinly sliced (substitute 1/2 tablespoon ginger thinly sliced), optional
- 2 tablespoon tamarind paste dissolved with hot water (substitute 1 lime juice)
- 2 tablespoons vegetal oil
- 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 500-700 g cat fish or other white fish fillets such as ling, blue eye or snapper, diced in 2 cm pieces
- 12 shrimps (about 250 g), optional or more fish
- 3 cups pineapple, diced (about ½ small ripe sweet pineapple)
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- Fish sauce to taste (light soy sauce)
- chili peppers and ground black peppers, to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon palm sugar or to taste (substitute brown sugar)
- Bring water with chicken stock concentrate to boil, add kaffir leaves, cilantro, saw leaf herb, green onion, lemon grass, galanga and tamarind to boil. Simmer for at least 10 mnutes
- In the meantime heat the oil and fry garlic as well as fish and shrimps.
- Add to the stock the stir fried fish and shrimps.
- Add pineapple and tomatoes.
- Season with fish sauce, chili peppers, pepper and sugar.
- Cook covered for 2 minutes.
- Ladle into individual serving bowls or soup dishes and serve garnished with herbs.