Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Russian Borscht

This hearty soup is ruby colored and delicious, with a healthy variety of vegetables...from an early Moosewood Cookbook.

-One-and-a-half cup chopped onions
-One-and-a-half cup thinly-sliced potatoes
-1 cup thinly sliced beets (2 average sized beets)
-1 large, sliced carrot
-1 stalk chopped celery
-3 cups chopped cabbage
-a scant tsp. caraway seeds
-4 cups stock or water (I use water)
-2 tsp. salt
-black pepper
-1/4 tsp. dill weed
-1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. cider vinegar
-1 Tbs. + 1 tsp honey
-1 cup tomato puree

Place potatoes, beets and water in a saucepan and cook until tender (save the water).

Meanwhile, cook the onion in olive oil in a large soup pot. Add caraway seeds and salt. Cook until onion is translucent, then add celery, carrots and cabbage. Add water from beets/potatoes, and cook, covered, until all the vegetables are tender. Add the potatoes, beets and remaining ingredients.

Cover and simmer slowly for at least 30 minutes. Taste to correct seasonings

Serve topped with a dollop of plain yogurt sprinkled with dill weed.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sweet/Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes

A few sweet potatoes (the orange ones)
Olive oil

Spiced Salt:
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp paprika

Roast the sweet potatoes however you like best. I like to cut them into 1/2" to 1" thick sticks, about 2-3 inches long, then toss them in olive oil and salt, and roast for 45-60 minutes at 350 until they're starting to get mushy.

This recipe is really about the spiced salt, which gave the sweet potatoes the best flavor I have ever tasted. Mix the spices together and sprinkle on the sweet potatoes right when they come out of the oven. For 2 sweet potatoes I used about 1/2 the salt mixture. Just keep adding more and tasting until it's right. They should not be strongly spicy like our Moroccan carrots, just a subtle sweet and spicy flavor.

The spiced salt is from the "Fast, Fresh and Green" cookbook by Susie Middleton

Spicy Cauliflower Soup

From "The Art of Simple Food" by Alice Waters...
Serves 4-6

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot

Add and cook, stirring often over medium heat:
-1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced very small, almost minced
-1 tsp coriander
-1 tsp. cumin
-1 tsp. chile powder
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric
-1/4 tsp dried chile flakes (I used red pepper flakes)
- 1 tsp. salt

When very soft, but not browned, add
-6 sprigs cilantro, coarsely chopped (I used more)
-1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed of leaves and coarsely chopped (5-6 cups)
-3 cups vegetable broth
-3 cups water

Raise the heat and bring to a boil, stir occasionally. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook about 30 minutes until the cauliflower is very tender. Stir vigorously with a spoon or whisk to coarsely puree the soup (I also put about half of it in a blender, whirled it around a bit, then returned it to the pot). Add more water or broth if the soup is too thick. Taste, adjust seasonings, add more salt if necessary. Serve hot garnished with chopped cilantro or mint and a squeeze of lime juice.