Friday, February 25, 2011

Edamame and Arugula Soup

Went to Portland, ME last weekend. Always the best eateries around! Green Elephant, Local Sprouts Cafe, Miyake, Paciorino, One Fifty Ate. Mmmm...this time in need of a snack, we stumbled upon Kamasouptra. We had a delicious edamame and arugula soup. This is my attempt at duplication.

Edamame and Arugula Soup

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
6 cups water
1 vegan vegetable bouillion cube
1 lb potatoes, sliced 1/2 inch
10 oz frozen edamame
2 to 3 c arugula packed
salt and pepper to taste
toasted almonds, chopped
Crusty, rustic bread

Melt butter and olive oil in dutch oven. Add onion and salt once butter begins to bubble. Saute on medium high until slightly browned, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Add minced garlic and stir until fragarant, about 30 seconds. Add nutmeg. Saute 10 seconds. Add six cups water, bouillion cube, and potatoes. Bring water to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook 20 minutes.

Add edamame. Cook 10 minutes. Add 2 cups arugula. Cook 1 to 2 minutes until wilted. Blend in food processor or blender. Add 1 cup fresh arugula to soup when blending. If arugula taste is too strong, return to dutch oven and simmer 2 to 5 minutes longer. Voila. Salt and pepper to taste.

Top with toasted almonds and serve with crusty bread.

Tip: Arugula got caught in my immersion blender. No fun. Blender seemed to work better. Food processor also seems like it would do the job!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fresh Herbs and Red Sauce

I hate a love/hate relationship with fresh herbs. I love to eat them and I hate to buy them. For example, when buying dill, I feel like it either comes in a lettuce sized bunch or one so small, you have to buy two. Perhaps there is a recipe out that that calls for four cups of dill, but I haven't found it.

Part of economizing seems to be using everything in your fridge. D's mom is so good at this. Her fridge is always spotless with exactly what she needs over the next several days. I find this mystifying. After making the shrimp with herb sauce, I was left with a lot of herbs, and I successfully have used two of the three and am on my way to using all of the sage. A small victory.

This recipe has become a favorite. It is one of the ways I used the leftover basil. I post it here to share and because I know I will someday loose this beloved edition of Cooks Illustrated.

Note: C.I. recommends using Tuttorosso or Muir Glen. I have only used Muir Glen. Deviated once and regretted it.

2 tbls unsalted butter
1/4 c grated onion, from 1 med. onion
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Table salt
2 med. garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (see note)
1/4 teas sugar
2 tbls coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tbls x-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper

Heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar; increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Lower heat to medium low and simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and oil; season with salt and pepper. Serve (or freeze).

Things I change: I use 1 tbls butter. That said, this recipe has really given me an appreciation for canned tomatoes. I also love it, because I am not a fan of tomato paste. So simple and genuinely quick.