Split Pea And Ham Soup with Pumpernickel Croutons

How did February slip by so quickly? One moment I was cooking and blogging, and the next I was bombarded with gigs. I got to play two concerts with tenor Andrea Bocelli. Ever since, I slunk into a culinary funk, and hardly cooked for 3 weeks. Happily, I’ve found motivation. Maybe it was the blustery wind and rain from this weekend. The weather put me in the mood for soup, and this version of pea soup totally hit the spot. It’s not super-thick like some recipes, but hearty enough to take the chill of a cold day.

 

adapted from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen, 2012

Split Pea And Ham Soup with Pumpernickel Croutons

Split Pea And Ham Soup with Pumpernickel Croutons

Ingredients

Soup
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 lb dried, green split peas
1 ham hock
12 oz. ham steak
7 c water
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
Pumpernickel Croutons
½ loaf of pumpernickel bread, cut into cubes
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Instructions

  1. For the soup: Place a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add onion, celery and carrots, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add peas, ham hock, ham steak, water, thyme and bay leaf. Turn heat up to high and bring to a low boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 1 ½ hours. Remove ham steak from soup, and let sit for 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, dice the ham steak. Remove bay leaf and ham hock from soup and discard. Return ham to soup, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. For the croutons: Preheat oven to 400˚F. Place cubed bread in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat all pieces. Place bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and thyme. Bake until bread is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with soup.
http://kokocooks.com/2012/03/split-pea-and-ham-soup-with-pumpernickel-croutons/

 

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Pasta e Ceci Soup


Happy Halloween! I didn’t do much for this holiday food-wise – sorry about that. We are definitely taking my son trick-or-treating this evening. If the rain clears up. If you’re wondering, he is dressing up as Charlie Brown. It was an easy costume to make, and it is even easier to convince him to wear it.


On Halloween, I give you something….sorta orange? I’m normally not a fan of chickpeas (the ceci part of the soup), but I really liked them in this dish! I think having all that pasta surrounding the chickpeas helped. The original directions were rather confusing, to me at least. Hopefully, I’ve simplified them and made them easier to follow.


adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Pasta e Ceci Soup

Pasta e Ceci Soup

Ingredients

3 Tbs plus ¼ c extra-virgin olive oil
2 carros, finely diced
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
2 15-oz cans chick peas, drained
6 c vegetable stock (can substitute with chicken stock)
2 fresh thyme sprigs
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
8 oz ditalini or other small pasta, cooked to al dente
Salt and pepper to taste
Pecorino-Romano cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Heat 3 Tbs olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add carrots and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and tomato, and cook another minute. Add chick peas, chicken stock, and thyme sprigs. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Discard thyme.
  2. Chop one rosemary sprig and set aside. In a large skillet, heat remaining ¼ c olive oil over medium heat. Add remaining 2 rosemary sprigs and let fry for 2 minutes. Remove rosemary, and keep olive oil warm.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, scoop about ½ of the chick pea mixture into a bowl. Mash with a potato masher until almost smooth. Add chick pea puree to the olive oil in the pan and saute for 2 minutes. Add pasta and 1 c of soup broth, and cook until warmed through. Add back to the rest of the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with Pecorino-Romano cheese and reserved chopped rosemary
http://kokocooks.com/2011/10/pasta-e-ceci-soup/

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Vegetable Enchiladas

 

Whenever I ask Hubs what he wants for dinner for the upcoming week, more than half the time he says, “enchiladas!” Having made a few different enchilada recipes already, I hunted around for a new one. I wanted to try a meatless version, and found this one on the Martha Stewart website.


I already loved all the ingredients in the filling, so was sure they’d taste great when combined altogether. The original recipe used only 3 ingredients for the sauce. I was afraid it would be a little bland, so I added a few extra spices. And fresh spinach always tastes better than frozen, so I swapped that out as well.


Adapted from Martha Stewart

Vegetable Enchiladas

Vegetable Enchiladas

Ingredients

4 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs ground cumin, divided
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ c all purpose flour
¼ c tomato paste
3 c vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 bag fresh spinach leaves
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz) corn kernels, drained
3 c grated pepper Jack cheese (12 oz)
16 corn tortillas (6-inch)
Fresh cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 Tbs of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp of the cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, coriander, flour, and tomato paste. Cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 Tbs of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until softened. Add spinach and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Stir in the black beans, corn kernels, remaining 1 tsp of cumin, and 1 ½ c of the cheese.
  3. Preheat oven to 375⁰F. Lightly spray 2 8-inch baking pans with nonstick spray. Set aside. Spread tortillas onto a large baking sheet. Lightly spray with nonstick spray. Spread a second layer of tortillas on top of the first layer. Lightly spray the top layer with nonstick spray. Bake until warm, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven. Spoon about 1/3 c of the enchilada filling into each tortilla and roll up. Place in the baking dish, seam side down. Pack the filled tortillas tightly in the baking dishes. Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over the enchiladas. Pour sauce over them, making sure to cover the entire surface.
  4. Bake uncovered until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/03/vegetable-enchiladas/

 

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White Bean Soup with Andouille and Kale



This recipe was part of our continuing pledge to make more soup. Hubs loves beans, so he was drawn to this particular one. I had not eaten much kale in my life. I knew that this particular leafy green is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables, and was eager to try it. Because of all the pork, I made sure to skim the fat off the top once the leftovers had cooled in the fridge. There was a considerable amount. This made the soup a little more healthy.

One batch makes a ton, so we froze half for later. If you decide to do this, then cool and freeze the soup without the kale. It can be added once the soup is reheated. This is also a soup that takes a while to cook, so plan ahead. It would come together quicker if you wanted to use canned beans. Just drain and rinse two 15-oz cans of beans, skip the soaking, and the first 1 hour simmer. Throw the beans, bacon, sausage, thyme, red pepper flakes, and stock into the pot with the vegetables, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, and continue following the recipe.

Adapted from Sunday Soups
By Betty Rosbottom

White Bean Soup with Andouille and Kale

Ingredients

1 lb dried great Northern beans
3 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
5 large cloves garlic, minced
4 slices bacon
1 Tbs dried thyme
Dash of red pepper flakes, optional
Salt and pepper
10 c chicken stock
8 oz Andouille sausage, chopped
2 large handfuls fresh kale, stems removed
¾ c grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Rinse and sort through the beans to remove any pebbles. Put beans in a large pot. Cover with 8 c of boiling water. Soak beans for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic Cook until vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Transfer rinsed beans to the pot with the vegetables and add bacon. Add thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and chicken stock. Bring soup to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn heat to low and cook, covered, for 1 hour. Add the sausage and cook another 30 minutes. Remove bacon from the soup and discard.
  4. Adjust seasoning of the soup with salt and pepper if needed. Add the kale and let cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. If soup is too thick, thin with a little water or extra stock. Serve soup with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
http://kokocooks.com/2010/10/white-bean-soup-with-andouille-and-kale/

 

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