Saturday, February 9, 2013

White Bean Soup with Roasted Cauliflower

I made this a few weeks ago and some people asked for the recipe. Sorry it took so long.  It is adapted from a Mark Bittman recipe so I have to give props for the inspiration. More winter comfort food!

1 quart vegetable stock
3 garlic gloves minced
1 onion chopped
1 can diced tomatoes chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 celery stalk chopped
1 can white beans rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 tsp or 1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 head of Cauliflower
Kosher salt
Black Pepper
Olive Oil
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for shaving

Heat 2 TBSPs of olive oil in a stock pot over medium high heat.  Add onions and sauté 8-10 minutes until they become translucent.  Season with salt and pepper and add garlic, celery and carrots. Add tomatoes, beans and 1 cup of the vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil.  At this point you can use an immersion blender and pulse a couple times to break up some of the beans. You don't have to do this but I like how it thickens up the soup. 
You can now add the rest of the vegetable stock, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil then cover and turn down to a simmer.
Preheat the oven to 400F.  Cut cauliflower into florets and toss with 2 TBSPs of olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast cauliflower in the oven for 20-30 minutes until they have nice crispy edges.
At this point you can remove the bay leaves and the thyme sprigs. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
To serve, place some of the roasted cauliflower florets on top and shave some Parmigiano over the soup.

Vegetable Soup

I posted a non vegetarian version of this hybrid tortilla soup and chili recipe before, but I wanted to do another meatless version.  This does have fish sauce because I love it but you can take it out if you want to make it totally vegetarian.  It's one of those ultimate comfort foods that warms you up and is full of flavor.  Perfect for winter nights, riding out snow storms.  The recipe is for 4 but easily doubles for more guests!

1 quart vegetable stock
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro + a little more to garnish
5 garlic gloves minced
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 red bell pepper chopped
1 can diced tomatoes chopped
2 carrot chopped
1 cup of zucchini cut up into chunks
1 cup squash cut up into chunks
1 can white beans rinsed
1 can black beans rinsed
1 small can of corn rinsed
Kosher salt
Black Pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
2 jalapenos seeded and diced
1/2 TBSP fish sauce
1 TBSP brown sugar
2 limes  (one juiced and one for serving)
1/2 Avocado 
Olive Oil

Heat 2 TBSP of olive oil in a stock pot over medium high heat.  Sauté the onions for 3-4 minutes then toss in the garlic and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.  Add carrots, cumin, salt and pepper and tomatoes.  After another minute or so add the Vegetable stock, fish sauce, and brown sugar. Stir then add 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, bell pepper, zucchini, squash, beans, corn and jalapenos.
Cover and let simmer for another 20 minutes.  Stir in lime juice and the other half (1 cup) of cilantro.
Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste.
To serve, top with a bit of fresh cilantro, a few slices of avocado and a squeeze of lime.  You can also top with a little crema if you want.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Polenta Cakes with Balsamic Onions and Brussel Sprouts

1 Pint of Brussel Sprouts
1/2 Large Spanish Onion
1 Tube of Pre-cooked Polenta
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for shaving
Olive Oil

Preheat the Oven to 400F.
Cut the stems off the Brussel Sprouts and cut them in half.  Toss the Brussel Sprouts with 2 TBSP of olive oil and salt and pepper.  Spread the Brussel Sprouts out on a sheet pan.
Cut the Onion into 1/4 inch slices and toss with 1 TBSP of Olive Oil and Salt and Pepper.  Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat, then add the onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions start to become translucent (don't forget to stir the onions or they'll burn).  Add 1/4 cup of Balsamic Vinegar, stir and turn the heat down to medium low heat.  Stir occasionally for about 30 minutes until the onions are fully softened and all the vinegar is absorbed. 
Place the Brussel Sprouts in the oven.  They should take about 30 minutes to finish. 
When the onions and brussel sprouts are almost finished (8-10 minutes left), heat up a cast iron pan over medium high heat with 1 TBSP of olive oil.  Cut the Pre-cooked Polenta into 1/2 inch slices.  When the pan is nice and hot add the slices to the pan.  Cook each side 3-4 minutes until the slices are slightly browned.
Assemble and enjoy with a bit of Parmigiano-reggiano shaved on top!