Radish and Radish Green Soup with Turmeric Root

This is a ‘fresh from the market’ soup. Beautiful radish greens with lots of fresh green onions, combined with sweet potato for texture and turmeric for a distinct flavor.

Only four ingredients:

  • One bunch radish
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 fresh turmeric root

Plus a bit of olive oil for cooking and sea salt for seasoning. 

Start by cutting off the greens from the radishes. Wash and scrub the radishes. Wash the greens in a bowl of water or salad spinner and drain. 

Peel the sweet potato. Scrub the turmeric and wash the green onions. 

Slice and chop the sweet potato. 

Heat a bit of olive oil in a heavy cast iron pot. Add the sweet potatoes and reduce the heat to low. 


Slice the whitish part of the green onions and chop the turmeric. 


Add the sliced onions and turmeric to the pot of sweet potatoes and combine well. 


Slice two or three radishes to use as garnish. Cut the remaining radishes in halves or quarters. Slice the green part of the green onions. 


Add the radishes (pieces only, not slices) and mix well. 


Add water, about 4 cups. Add sea salt to taste and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. 


Add the green onions and continue to simmer another 5 minutes. 


Grossly chop the radish greens. 


Add them to the soup and mix well for one minute until wilted. 


Process with an immersion blender until smooth. 


Serve at once and garnish with radish slices. Enjoy!

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Purple Cabbage and Potato Soup with Roasted Mango

A colorful heart warming soup for autumn.

When I received a purple cabbage in my CSA delivery I decided to do something different than preparing it as a slaw or salad, or even roasting it with apples (which I love). This time I want to see how it would turn out as a puréed soup. 

  The unusual color of this soup is enhanced by the bright yellow sautéed mango which also adds a sweet note to the cabbage. 

  Ingredients:

  • 1 red/purple cabbage
  • 2 small potatoes
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1/2 mango
  • Olive oil
  • A few chives
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

  Clean, peel, slice and cube the potatoes and onion.

Clean and cut the celery lengthwise and dice it as well.  
  Place a little olive oil in a large pot. Heat on medium. When hot, add the onion and celery and reduce the heat to low.   Meanwhile, wash and cut the cabbage. 
  Add the potatoes to the onion and celery.   Add the cabbage. 
  Add enough water to come up to the level of the cabbage. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender.   Cut the mango in half above the pit. 
  Reserve the half with the pit for another use.   Peel and slice the mango. 
Heat a little olive oil in a cast iron pan.   Add the slices of mango and cook until the bottom side is roasted.   Turn them over and roast them on the other side. 
  When the vegetables are tender, use an immersion blender.   Blend until smooth. You’ll obtain a beautiful color. 
  Season with freshly ground salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Serve in bowls, top with a slice of mango and some chopped chives. 

Enjoy!
   
   

Piperade

One summer, our parents took us to Les Landes for a month, in the southwestern part of France, by the Atlantic Ocean. It was a summer of smelling the tall and dense pine forests, admiring the grounds covered with ferns, climbing the huge dunes of fine white sand and playing with the forceful rolling waves, most famous for surfing. All unfamiliar topography and vegetation compared to our Provençal surroundings. Our eyes were wide-open with curiosity and our taste buds were delighting in exciting new dishes.  In the evening we would wander by the colorful and fragrant freshly picked peppers and tomatoes at the outdoor markets and prepare the local specialty of Piperade. It was such a delicious combination of flavors as the vegetables were in their prime, we wanted to savor it every night!

 Yesterday morning, as I discovered what our weekly CSA delivery held from Tomato Mountain, these memories instantly permeated at the sight of onions, peppers, garlic and tomatoes. I couldn’t wait to recreate those scents and tastes reminiscent of a joyful childhood discovery. 

  The variety of vegetables grown in the Midwest is different from my original introduction to Piperade in Les Landes, nevertheless just as delectable. So feel free to adjust ingredients based on what’s available from your local market.

Ingredients:

  • 3 yellow Aura peppers 
  • 2 Carmen sweet peppers 
  • 5 Capperino mildly hot peppers 
  • 5 medium size tomatoes
  • 1 extra large white onion (about 500 g/ 1 lb)
  • 1 extra large garlic clove
  • 5 Tbps extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh thyme and bay leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  Wash the yellow Aura peppers, cut in half, remove the core, seeds and white flesh, and thinly slice each half. Reserve. 
  Wash the Carmen sweet peppers, cut in half, remove the core, seeds and white flesh, and thinly slice each half. Reserve.   Wash the Capperino peppers, cut in half, remove the core, seeds and white flesh, and thinly slice each half. Reserve. 
  Wash the herbs and garlic clove without peeling it.   Peel the large white onion and cut in half. Thinly slice each half by hold down the root end. Discard the roots. 
  Heat the olive oil in a cast iron French oven. Add the onions and reduce the heat.   Place the herbs and garlic on top. 
  Arrange the sliced peppers as the top layer and cover with a lid. Cook on low heat for about 10-15 minutes.   Meanwhile wash and cut the tomatoes in quarters. Remove the hard green part attached to the stem and discard. Slice each quarter into smaller pieces. 
  After the onion and peppers have cooked for about 15 minutes, add the tomatoes as the last layer. Seasson with salt and pepper and cover with a lid. Cook over low heat for another 20-25 minutes.   Then remove the lid, and the vegetables will have shrunk. 
  Take the herbs and garlic out with a fork. Discard the herbs. You may keep the garlic for spreading on bread or crackers with a little butter as it will have become creamy inside.   Mix the vegetables with a wooden spoon to combine the flavors. 
  Serve hot or cold, either immediately or let sit to further infuse the flavors. Delicious on its own or with some eggs scrambled with red pepper flakes. 

Enjoy!

Rhubarb and Asparagus Tart

This country style tart was inspired by seeing the display of freshly picked rhubarb and purple asparagus next to each other at the farmer’s stall of the Green City Market.  

 The combination of rhubarb and asparagus is enhanced by the refreshing and fragrant tastes of lemon, thyme and cardamom with a bit of honey to sweeten the tartness of the rhubarb.

The olive oil crust, gluten free, includes lemon zest to echoe the fresh balance of flavors of the filling.  

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp hot water
  • 2 pinch sea salt
  • Zest of 1 organic lemon

For the filling:

  • 250 g/9 oz fresh rhubarb
  • 250 g/9 oz purple asparagus
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp gluten free flour
  • 5 g/ 1/4 oz thyme
  • 1 pinch salt

  Preheat oven 375F 

  Start by washing the asparagus and cut the tips at an angle.  If some of the tips are larger than others, cut them in half, lengthwise. Reserve.   Cut the remaining stalks of the asparagus in small pieces.   Wash the rhubarb and cut thick slices similar in size to the asparagus. There is no need to peel the rhubarb. Be sure to discard the green leafy parts as it is toxic.   Place rhubarb and asparagus in a bowl.   Remove the thyme leaves from the stems. Discard the stems. Reserve the leaves.   When making a gluten free crust, personally I like to use Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose baking flour. Here I’ll use it for the filling as well.   Add the thyme leaves, honey, salt, ground cardamom, GF flour and olive oil to the bowl.  Zest the organic lemon with a micro plane and add to the mixture.   Add the lemon juice and toss. Set aside for the flavors to infuse.   Prepare a well with the gluten free flour and add salt and lemon zest.   Then add the olive oil and hot water.   Using one hand, slowly incorporate the flour and liquid mixture.   The final crust will be crumbly.   Form it into a flattened ball.   Using s pastry rolling pin, start to roll out the dough, rolling back and forth to elongate the crust.   Using a pastry scraper, lift the crust from the surface and turn it 1/4 turn.   Continue to roll out the dough, turning it 1/4 turn as soon as it is elongated into an oval, until you have a round shape that is large enough to fit the tart dish Bottom and sides.   Line the tart dish with the crust. The nature of the gluten free crust is to break into pieces. Simply patch it back together as it is very forgiving.   Place the rhubarb-asparagus mixture on the crust.   Arange the asparagus tips on top. And place in the oven, lowering the temperature to 350F. Bake for 45 minutes.   When the tart is baked, drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle some fleur de sel. Wait a few minutes before cutting.  Enjoy!

English Pea and Carrot Soup with Mint and Coriander

This silky smooth soup announces springtime and can be served hot or cold. Finished in an olive oil emulsion instead of cream, it gains a creamy texture while maintaining a lightness of taste and texture. The subtlety of its seasoning, carrot-coriander and English pea-mint, adds a complex yet delicate flavor.Preparing the two soups in separate batches and pouring them together just at serving time not only adds a colorful touch, it also preserves the integrity of the distinct flavors.Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 500g/1.2lbs organic carrots
  • 1 kg/2.4lbs fresh English peas in their pods (or about 500g/1.2lbs shelled)
  • 1 tsp coriander grains
  • 20g/0.7oz fresh mint (a few sprigs)
  • 12 Tbsp olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt for cooking
  • Fleur de sel

Start by grinding the coriander with a mortar and pestle. Set aside.  Wash the mint and remove the stems. Set the leaves aside.Shell the fresh English peas by pressing each pod between your fingers to release the peas.You should have about half the weight in peas and can discard the shells.Peel and slice the carrots thinly so they cook quickly and evenly preserving most nutrients.Bring two pots of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. One for  the carrots and one for the peas.Plunge the carrots in one of the pots. Return to a boil. Lower the heat and cook on medium for about 10-12 minutes.Meanwhile plunge the peas in the other pot of boiling water.When all the peas float up to the surface, about 5 minutes, they are cooked.Remove the peas from the pot with  a skimmer into a bowl, preserving the cooking liquids for adding to the soup. When the carrots are tender remove them from the pot with a skimmer in the same way as for the peas, reserving the cooking liquid. Place the peas in a tall beaker with 6 tbsp of olive oil and some of the pea cooking liquid. Process with an immersion blender, adding more liquid as needed, up to 2-2 1/4 cups of cooking liquid total.  Place back into the pot, after discarding the excess liquid, add the mint leaves and process until fully blended. You will obtain a somewhat grainy texture.Pour the pea soup in a chinois or fine mesh strainer.Over a bowl to recuperate a smooth textured soup. Press as much of the liquid as possible. You can reserve the pulp for another use (let me know if you’d like some suggestions).  Scrape the outer pulp into the soup.   Whisk until homogenous.  Adjust seasoning with some Fleur de sel. Set aside.Place the carrots in a tall beaker.   Process with an immersion blender adding 6 Tbps of olive oil and some of the cooking liquid from the carrots.   Continue processing until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl. Add the freshly ground coriander and adjust the consistency with more cooking liquid until it reaches the same texture as the pea soup. Again, about 2-2 1/4 cup of added liquid total.  Pour both soups into each serving bowl simultaneously.   This way both soups retain their separateness. Using a spoon, gently mix the two on the surface.  To make a design.  And finish with a touch of herbs, chives or mint. Enjoy!

Carrot Cappuccino

On a snowy winter day, carrots had arrived from the farm, the smells of T’s morning espresso still permeated the air in the kitchen, I had just made fresh almond milk the day before…all the perfect ingredients to make a carrot cappuccino I thought.

IMG_3050Ready to be enjoyed with some ribbon carrot chips as garnish and some cracked coriander seeds for a flavor twist.

IMG_2990Ingredients:
1 large bunch, about 1.2kg/2lbs10oz organic carrots
2 cups + 3 Tbsp homemade almond milk
4 Tbsp strong espresso
2 tsp coriander seeds
Coarse sea salt
Fleur de sel
Olive oil
Preheat oven to 350F

IMG_2993Peel the carrots. Continue peeling one of the carrots to create ribbons. Keep the center of the carrot to chop along with the bunch.

IMG_3001Place a little olive oil in a small bowl to coat the carrot ribbons. Place them on a Silpat on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.

IMG_3002Meanwhile, chop the remaining carrots. If you prefer, you can grate them-they’ll cook even faster.

IMG_3004After 10 minutes, the carrot ribbons will have started to shrink. Flip them to the other side. Lower the heat to 300 and bake for another 15 minutes approximately.

IMG_3005Once the carrot ribbons are baked into chips, set them on a wire rack to cool.

IMG_3006Bring 4 cups of water with a generous pinch of coarse salt to a boil. Place the chopped carrots in the boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes.

IMG_3016Drain the carrots over a bowl to save the cooking broth.

IMG_3023Place the carrots in the beaker of an immersion blender along with a few spoonfuls of cooking liquid.

IMG_3026Purée the carrots using an immersion blender. You might have to do this in two batches depending on the size of your beaker.

IMG_3033Place the puréed carrots back in the pot. Whisk in the almond milk and espresso. Heat gently to warm the mixture.

IMG_3015Crack the coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle.

IMG_3034Mix 1 tsp of cracked coriander seeds into the carrot mixture and reserve the other tsp for serving.

IMG_3038Pour into cappuccino serving glasses or cups.

IMG_3042Gently warm the 3 Tbsp of almond milk remaining and froth using an electric frother.

IMG_3050-0Spoon the froth on top of the carrot mixture, garnish with some carrot chips, and sprinkle with cracked coriander and fleur de sel to taste. Enjoy!

Pear and Celery Soup with Roquefort, walnuts and pomegranate

A light, colorful and delicately fragrant winter holiday soup with a well balanced combination of tart, sweet and savory flavors.

IMG_2591.JPG
The immersion blender makes this soup very smooth. By contrast, the walnuts and pomegranate seeds give it texture.

IMG_2561.JPGIngredients for the soup:
6 pears d’Anjou, ripe
1 celery bunch
1/2 sweet yellow onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 cups water

Garnish: pomegranate, Roquefort, walnuts
Serves 4

IMG_2562.JPGPeel and chop the onion finely.

IMG_2563.JPGHeat the oil on medium high heat in a large pot. Add the chopped onion and reduce to low. Cover and simmer about 8 minutes, until the onion is translucent.

IMG_2565.JPG Wash each branch of the celery carefully and absorb excess water with a kitchen towel.

IMG_2566.JPGCut the branches of the celery lengthwise, then chop them into small pieces. Reserve the leaves for garnish.

IMG_2569.JPGAdd the celery to the pot with the onions. Raise the heat to medium low and cover, cooking another 12-15 minutes.

IMG_2572.JPGCut the pears in half, then quarters. Reserve two quarters for garnish. Peel the other quarters (5 1/2 pears total) and cut them into large slices.

IMG_2574.JPGAdd the pears to the pot with the celery and onion.

IMG_2576.JPGAdd two cups of water, season with a pinch of salt, bring to a simmer and lower the heat. Keep cooking covered about 8 minutes.

IMG_2578.JPGTurn off the heat. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup.

IMG_2582.JPGThe soup should be completely smooth.

IMG_2587.JPGThinly slice the reserved pears.

IMG_2584.JPGRemove seeds from the pomegranate. Crumble some of the Roquefort.

IMG_2585.JPGServe the soup in bowls. Arrange some celery leaves, walnuts….

IMG_2588.JPG…Roquefort, pear slices and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
Serve at once and enjoy!