Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pantry Soup

So, as I've been talking about for the last 4 blog entries, I have moved out of Alayna's apartment. I now live 26 blocks north. Luckily, I have a very nice kitchen there. Maybe one day Alayna will want to make soup at my apartment and she will see my kitchen. But for some reason, I doubt this will ever happen.

Alayna was really excited about that pantry picture because she threw out a lot of stuff so it is less cluttered. And by throwing out a lot of stuff I mean putting it in a bag and giving me the bag to take home. Either way, no one cares about this, what you do care about is our new contest!

Alayna and I are looking for the biggest Soupie. Get it? Soupie, it's like Groupie. Brilliant bar idea, I know. If you are interested in trying to be The Official Monday Soup's Soupie please comment to this blog describing the best soup you've ever had. The more details the better.

The best-sounding soup writer will be titled Soupie of the Week. Beware Alayna and I may try to copy your recipe. You will also get a feature write-up and photograph in next week's blog post. Which basically means you'll be famous by mid-July. Be careful, with great power brings great responsibility.

Spiderman's father said that.

Okay. Ready, set, go:

Pantry Soup!

• First defrost some frozen artichokes you have laying in the freezer and set aside

• Roughly chop 6-8 cloves of garlic and a yellow onion and saute in olive oil
• Add in 3-4 regular sized carrots, sliced pinky width and halved
• Add in 2 yellow squashes and 1 large zucchini sliced into halves or quarters and cook everything together until they’re getting soft.

• Add in 2 cans of white beans (canellini, norther white, whatever is in the pantry!) and your now un-frozen artichokes and a big handful of chopped parsley
• Once everything is getting warm, add in a large can of crushed tomatoes (ours was basil etc flavored, because it came from the pantry) and fill with chicken broth
• Bring to a simmer and serve!

Bloggin', soupin', living the dream.

Monday, June 22, 2009

West African Peanut Soups OR Nuts4Nuts!

Little did Alayna and I know but this was actually the last Monday Soup we made while still living in the same apartment. Apparently there was a little miscommunication. She didn't realize when I said, "I'm renting the truck Saturday," meant "I'm moving out Saturday." And I didn't realize that "I am going to Virginia this weekend," meant "Alayna is going to Virgina this weekend."

So all of a sudden Sunday rolled around, Alayna came home and my room was empty. Meanwhile I was uptown a ways fighting off mosquitoes because screens are one of the many things I am currently lacking and for those of you who don't live in New York City it's been raining for the last 47 days straight so there are a bunch of bugs. There is that and considering what I'm supposed to do without Time Warner Cable in my life. Writing that out made me sound pathetic, I know. But I like Desperate Housewives of New Jersey. Sue me. That's my heritage.

Is it just me or have these blog posts gotten way longer? Whatev. This soup is SOOOOO good. It's hearty and wonderful. One bowl is enough for any human to feel full. So I ate two and then waddled around a bunch. So enjoy! And don't worry, as stated last week, Alayna and I have a very detailed plan how to continue Monday Soups so do not fret fans. See you next week!

West African Peanut Soup!

  • Chop 6-8 cloves of garlic, 1 yellow onion and a decent amount of peeled fresh ginger (again, I like a lot) and saute on low in peanut oil until fragrant
  • Bring up the heat and add about 3 chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces and about a half a cup of roasted unsalted peanuts and keep covered until cooked through, stirring occasionally

  • Add 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and in bite sized pieces, and cover pretty generously with chicken broth (but not too much! you still have things to add!)... bring to a boil and cook until sweet potatoes are soft
  • Cut 6-8 plum tomatoes and 3-4 big handfuls of kale and 3 dried hot peppers torn into small-ish pieces and cook another 8-10 minutes

  • Add about 3 heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter (more or less to taste, chunky or smooth is fine) and stir in
  • ... Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thai Coconut

Sorry to all our fans who have been hungry for two days because this posting is late. I am a little scatter brained as I'm moving out of the apartment where Monday Soups was born. Luckily, Alayna already asked the girl subletting the third room in our apartment if she would think it was weird if I were given spare keys and came here every Monday with groceries after work even if Alayna wasn't home yet. The girl thought that Yes, it would be weird. But that's okay because we were planning on doing it no matter what she said.

The point you need to take away from this? Monday Soup will proceed as normal. Speaking of Monday Soup being in the headlines. I know, I actually wasn't speaking about that at all. Alayna and I are happy to report that a Friday's Dinners entree has been published in Craved Magazine. Yes, Craved Magazine, the English speaking magazine in Dubai. Obviously.

Fear not, when this whole things blows up and I'm never stressed out about my rent check again, we will remember where we came from... We also might get rid of the "blogspot" in the URL. But not quite yet...

So right, the soup. It's great! And different. Surprise a friend with this fancy treat from the Far East. It reminds me of my buddies in Thailand. What up Governor of Phang Nga? Remember when your driver picked me up every morning and then we ate ice cream cones together and that was my Peace Corps experience? I do. What up Christy? Remember how you are still in Thailand? I do.

P.S. Click on that Christy link and buy that shirt. Good cause! Then pgarut it on and make this soup!

Thai Loco-Nut!

Put a large packet of cellophane noodles (6-8 ounces) into a bowl of warm water and let soak for about 15 min
while preparing other parts of soup
Dice 6 cloves of garlic, and a good sized portion of peeled fresh garlic (I love garlic, so I put in about a hand's-width... some people might find that excessive)
and saute in olive oil with 4-5 chili peppers, broken into small pieces
Add the zest from 3 limes and 1 lemon to the pan and continue sauteing until fragrant

add one (large) box of shitake mushrooms, roughly chopped and saute some more (just a few minutes)
Add about 1/2 cup of lime juice and 1/4 cup of lemon juice,
and 2 cans of coconut milk (I used one regular and one light... vague attempt at healthiness after being mocked for my appreciation of butter),
fill pot up a little more than halfway with chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
Add fish sauce sauce to taste... it sounds gross, but is delicious and I used about 8 teaspoons (confession, I cook all the time and don't own measuring implements. Awkward.)

Drain and add cellophane noodles, trying to separate them as they go in (this will make serving easier later)
In a separate pan, cook 3-4 chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces.
Once cooked through, add to the soup pot
Once everything is in the soup pot, add a few big handfuls of spinach and stir in... once they are a little wilted, add a handful of cilantro and cook another 2-3 minutes
Eat up!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Roasted Squash

squaThis recipe came from a mother so we knew it would probably be good (although we did not have such key things as "tin foil" and "the time we thought it would take to cook the squash just sliced in half and not in little pieces, even though little pieces took almost as long"). It was also exciting to roast an entire garlic. Roast a garlic when you're bored and then eat the wedges. Way better than you can imagine. Although your breath will be awkwardly bad when you go out later. Which I experienced first hand. But it's worth it. Who needs to make new friends? Not me.

So yes. New roommate. Summer is starting. Lease is ending. Or is it? New job. Uncertain future. Oohh my. I feel like I say this every other week. But this is a good comfort soup. Who doesn't want comfort? What isn't comfortable about comfort? So here we go, roasted squash (and garlic!) soup.


Peel and de-seed a medium to small sized butternut squash and an acorn squash
Cut into small wedges (bite sized)
Chop a yellow onion (coarsely)
Take a full head of garlic chop off the top (but don't de-skin it)
Put the onion and squash in a baking dish, sprinkle with olive oil and fresh thyme, salt, and black pepper
Make sure everything is lightly coated.

In the middle of the baking dish, place your head of garlic
Bake it covered with tin foil (we didn't do that- but DO it) at 375 F for 45 mins to an hour
(or until everything is soft enough to put a fork through easily)

Transfer everything to a soup pot
Add chicken broth
and a big handful of parsley and bring up the mixture to soup temperature
Blend and put in 1/2 and 1/2 and salt and pepper to taste!

There you go.
Yo Kate, you forgot your bullet! (thank god)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Veggie Detox Soup

This is the "Vitamin Water" of soups. After a heavy weekend this is a wonderful thing to make you to feel better about your life in general.

Alayna and I made this little bowl of heaven Memorial Day Monday night. It was great because after one too many meat center BBQs a bowl of light broth and veggies felt perfect to detox and recharge for Tuesday.

We used a chicken stock but if you use a veggie stock this soup could be Vegan. I think. Right? It's also good as one of those, I-have-a-lot-of-random-vegetables-in-my-kitchen soups.

Anyway, so here it is!

Cut up 2 yams/sweet potatoes into spoon sized slices and boil in a saucepan on the side
Chop 6 cloves of garlic, half a white onion
And a decent sized chunk of peeled fresh ginger (I like a lot... but I also love ginger) s
Saute in olive oil
Add in 2 slicked yellow squashes (med-small)

Once they are getting translucent, add in chopped carrots (two normal sized carrots or small carrots)
And 2 chopped broccoli heads...
Continue cooking until the broccoli turns bright green
Add 2 small cans of cannellini beans, drained and cook covered on low heat
Add the sweet potatoes once you can stick a fork through them relatively easily,
Cover the whole concoction with vegetable or chicken broth and bring to a boil
Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, adding two big handfuls of spinach for the last 5 minutes

There you have it! So easy! So healthy! So great.