Tag Archives: soup

christmas sides: soup and popcorn

27 Dec

For Christmas I hung out with Iliya and a few other friends who were all still in Boston for the big night. So it was a jolly snowy night of fooding. I made an appetizer to hold us over while cooking, and two side dishes, one of which was popcorn mushrooms. The other real popcorn was something I learned after eating at OM in Harvard Square: white truffle oil popcorn in parmesan and herbs. And for the actual dinner I made a carrot and butternut squash soup, which even Iliya said, “For something with carrots in it (which I hate), this is really good.” Thanks, Iliya!

White Truffle Oil Popcorn in Grated Parmesan and Herbs

Ingredients

1 bag microwaveable popcorn
1 jar white truffle flavored olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
rosemary
thyme, oregano, or other herbs
salt and pepper

Pop the popcorn in a microwave. With the microwave we used, there was an automatic setting that popped all but two kernels without burning any. It was amazing.

Generously sprinkle the olive oil over the popcorn in a large serving bowl. We could only buy truffle flavored olive oil (instead of truffle oil) but that turned out to be a good thing, because you need a lot of olive oil to coat all the popcorn. With pure truffle oil, it would probably be smarter to buy popping corn, oil the unpopped kernels, then pop them with the oil already applied.

After generously sprinkling the oil, sprinkle all the parmesan cheese over the popcorn. Crush some rosemary and thyme and add to the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste as well.

Using a large spatula, mix the popcorn around in the bowl until the oil, parmesan, and herbs are more evenly coating the popcorn on the bottom. Or, take the whole bowl and toss the popcorn. The flavoring steps can be repeated after mixing or tossing once.

Time procrastinated: 5 minutes
Ways to prolong procrastination: Rent a movie.

Savory Carrot and Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

1 half butternut squash, peeled
2 large carrots or three small carrots
1 onion
Chicken Stock
1 cup milk or 1/2 cup cream
Salt
Nutmeg

Peel and slice the carrots into chunks. Cut the butternut squash into chunks. The squash I bought came peeled and halved so it was much easier to deal with than peeling a whole squash. Peel and cut an onion into chunks.

In a soup pot, heat some oil, and cook the onion for around 2 minutes until it is soft and translucent but not quite caramelized. Toss in the carrots and butternut squash, and immediately add the chicken stock. The stock I used was made a while ago from boiling chicken and herbs, so it was already very rich and flavorful. If you do not have chicken stock, you can use water, plus a good mix of salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, oregano, and other spices. Adding chicken bouillon is helpful but not necessary.

Heat the pot until the stew is boiling, then let simmer on medium to low heat for 15-30 minutes, until the carrots are easily mashed with a fork. Remove the stew from heat, and make sure to remove any bay leaves.


Pour stew into a blender, filling the blender about 1/2 way up. Add 1 cup milk or 1/2 cream for each time you fill the blender to this amount. Blend until the whole mixture is smooth. Add salt to taste and keep blending. Serve with a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon.

Time procrastinated: 45 minutes
Ways to prolong procrastination: make dipping pastries, perhaps filo dough twists?

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fall eats

12 Oct

and just like that it’s fall again. the weather’s becoming chilly and the school work is piling up. (at least for christine, not for me XD) so what else can you do but cook something warm and put off those psets!

to start, i made more hearty stew. this is still basically take what you have the the freezer, chop it up and put it in water to boil. and with the drop in temperature, having a nice rich brothy stew to drink is wonderful.

soup 12

beef and pork stew with hearty vegetables

Ingredients
1 lb of beef or pork shoulder for stewing, bone in
1/2 celery heart
1 large size potato
1 cup baby carrots
2 bay leaves
paprika
salt and pepper
garlic powder

Start 6 cups of water to heat in a wok or pot. Place lid on for faster heating. When water starts to boil, put in the meat. Make sure you have enough water to cover the meat. Toss in bay leaves and reduce to a simmer.

Cut potato, celery, and carrots to bite size chunks. After meat has been in the water for 3 minutes, toss in the vegetables. Also add in the salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder to taste.

Let the stew simmer for 20 minutes, occasionally stirring and flipping the meat. When carrots are tender, the soup is ready to serve.

Wow, I realized that the directions really didn’t teach you anything. Mostly, it’s me with a pot of water, leftovers from the fridge, and a collection of spices. I think experimentation is important, and as long as you don’t add too much of anything, a meat stew will always come out smelling and tasting great.

For christine, we also made a veggie stew and appetizer. Since she’s competing at the MIT tournament in a week. we kept it low calorie by using a lot of tofu and veggies.

Tofu slices with sesame seasoning

soup 17

Ingredients
1/2 block tofu, firm or soft
furikake (rice seasoning)
sesame oil

Slice the tofu into small, thin slices. Arrange the slices onto a plate for serving. Drizzle sesame oil lightly over the tofu, then sprinkle furikake generously.

Tofu and seaweed soup with soy noodles

Ingredients
1/2 block tofu, firm
1/2 cup baby carrots
1/2 celery heart (about 4 stalks)
1 packet seaweed soup seasoning
1 packet soy protein noodles (or rice noodles)

Bring water to a simmer in a pot. White water is heating up, slice carrots and celery heart into small chunks. Toss the vegetables into the water and let cook until celery is soft. Cut tofu into small cubes.

soup 24

Add in seaweed seasoning. (Seasoning can be made just from 1 sheet of sushi seaweed and 1 shitake mushroom, diced.) Add in the tofu cubes, and flavor with salt and pepper to taste. Add in the noodles, and let the soup simmer until the noodles are the desired softness.

soup 25

Length of procrastination: 30 minutes per soup
Ways to prolong procrastination: sit and enjoy the soup!

A stroke of genius

1 Mar

We’re all very hungry people, but we don’t always have the time or the ingredients to make exactly what we want. Improvisation is a skill and an art perfected by MacGuyver and utilized by overworked college students too busy (or too lazy) to make the trek out to the neighborhood supermarket. What do you do when you open your refrigerator for a cup of milk and realize that you’d eaten the last of it with cereal last night? Well…

(Green Tea) Tomato Soup

Ingredients
2-3 large tomatoes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp dried crushed oregano
dill weed
salt
pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 scoops green tea ice cream*

Bring enough water to submerge all tomatoes to a boil. Put the tomatoes in for about 30 seconds, until the skin starts to wrinkle or split. Take the tomatoes out and peel off the skin, and any stems that are left. Cut the tomato into quarters, and using your fingers, remove the pulp inside along with the seeds, leaving only the flesh.
tomatoesraw

tomatoflesh

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then stir the tomatoes in the hot oil for about five minutes, until juices start to come out into the pan. Take the skillet off heat and transfer the cooked tomatoes into a blender. Blend at high speed until everything is smooth, and pour it back into the skillet. Add half of the garlic, the oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for 2 minutes. In a bowl, mix the cornstarch with equal parts water until it is completely dissolved, and add to the tomato puree. Add another cup of water and stir over medium heat for another 2 minutes.

blender

Add the two scoops of green tea ice cream to the pan and stir until completely melted. Pour the soup into a bowl, sprinkle the rest of the garlic and some dill weed to garnish, and serve nom. Makes one large bowl.

greentea

* The green tea ice cream is the result of our lack of ingredients. Perhaps a cup of milk or half a cup of heavy cream would have been more appropriate. However, the green tea ice cream was the only source of dairy in my fridge, and in the end, it added a welcome sweetness that balanced out the tartness tomatoes.

soup

Grilled Cheese and Spinach Sandwiches

4 slices of whole wheat bread
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
6-7 leaves baby spinach

Arrange two slices of bread on a George Foreman grill. Alternatively, a spatula and a drop of olive oil on a hot skillet works just as well. Layer cheese thickly until slices are completely covered. Top with spinach and cover with the other slice of bread. Grill for three minutes or until you smell the toasty aroma. If using a skillet, flip the sandwiches halfway through. Dip in the tomato soup and enjoy! Makes two sandwiches.

georgeforeman

sandwich

Length of procrastination: 20-30 minutes

Ways to prolong procrastination: Complete a crossword while nomming.

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