Monday, December 12, 2011

Cauliflower Bread Soup

From: A Tuscan In the Kitchen
This is considered one of the great soups from the Montalcino area of Italy. It has very little broth, looking almost like a sloppy bread pudding. Serve right away.

-olive oil
-black pepper
-parmesan cheese
-Italian bread

Remove the outside leaves from the head of the cauliflower and boil them in a large quantity of salted water for about 10 minutes. Coarsely chop the cauliflower into florets and add them to the pot. Cook at a low boil until completely tender.

Drain the leaves and florets and keep the water they were cooked in.

Slice the bread, toast it, and rub both sides with garlic. Soak the bread in the cauliflower water.

Now start to build the soup. In a large bowl, or individual bowls, make a layer of bread. Sprinkle it with olive oil, salt, papper, and Parmesan. The spread a layer of cauliflower florets and leaves over the bread. Make another bread layer an dkeep building until you run out, working quickly so the soup stays hot. Serve it right away when it's hot.

Monday, December 5, 2011

VEGETARIAN CHILI with Corn and Avocado

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 to 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced, depending upon taste
  • 1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespooon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cups cooked black beans, or canned beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable stock, or water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Cooked brown rice, accompaniment
  • Sour cream or strained plain yogurt, garnish
  • Diced avocado, garnish
  • Chopped green onions, garnish
  • Creole seasoning mix, below:


In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.

To serve, place 1/4 cup of brown rice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the chili into the bowls over the rice. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and spoonful of avocado. Sprinkle with Seasoning Mix and green onions and serve.

Serves 6-8

Creole Seasoning Mix:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Saturday, December 3, 2011


From The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters:

Warm a heavy-bottomed pan. Add:
-3 T. olive oil
-1 medium onion, thinly sliced
-1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced
-pinch of salt

Cover and cook until soft but not brown. Add water to keep from browning if necessary.

-2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced or crushed

Cook for about two minutes, then add:
-2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, washed, cored and sliced.. or two cans of good quality diced tomatoes.
-1 scant T. white rice
-large pinch of salt
-1/2 bay leaf
-1 small sprig of savory, thyme or basil

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes fall apart. Add:
-1 cup water or broth
-1 T. olive oil or butter

Continue cooking for another ten minutes, until the rice is tender. Remove the herb sprig. Blend until smooth. Taste for salt. Add more water if the soup is too thick.

-Garnish with mint or croutons, or with torn basil or finely cut chives and olive oil