Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Greens and Ginger Soup

Greens and Ginger Soup
Adapted from Love Soup

Caramelized onions, combined with leeks, ginger, greens and a potato for thickening, make this a truly flavorful and delicious soup.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: serves 4-6


1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
4 cups of water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 large leek, white and light green part only, washed well, and sliced
1 pound of mixed greens (I used spinach, turnip, mustard, and collard)
3 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger
1 quart of vegetable stock
20 grinds of fresh pepper
2-3 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
a splash of tamari, if desired
Plain yogurt for dolloping


Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a skillet. Add onions and a large pinch of salt and cook for 30 minutes, or until they are soft and golden in color.

Meanwhile, put water, potato, salt, leek, greens and ginger in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. The greens will be huge at this point, but will boil down quickly. Simmer this mixture for 20-30 minutes, or until the potato and greens are tender.

Add the caramelized onions and vegetable stock and stir well. At this point you can either blend it in batches in your blender, or use an emulsion blender. Puree until completely smooth. Season with pepper, and add lemon juice and taste. If you want to add additional depth of flavor, add a splash of tamari. Serve hot, with a dollop of plain yogurt if desired.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder

I like my chowder to be chock full of chunky potatoes, bacon and with minimal clams. So I only added a paltry 3 cans of clams, which equals approximately 1 1/4 cups of shucked clams. But if you're really in love with them, then by all means add more! But I think there's still plenty of flavor from all that clam juice. Some folks like their chowder thick, some like it thin. I fall somewhere in between and thicken it just a bit with flour, but not too much. I also favor half and half instead of heavy cream because it's not so heavy.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: serves 6


4 slices of thick-cut, nitrate free bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
4 cups of peeled, russet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 3 large)
2 8 ounce bottles of clam juice
6 cups of half and half
1/4 cup flour
3 6.5 ounce cans of chopped clams in juice, drain and reserve juice


Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until it is crisp and fat is rendered. Remove bacon from pot and reserve and turn heat to low. Add celery and onion and cook for 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender and translucent.

Add potatoes to the pot, along with all the clam juice from the bottles and cans (except for 1/2 a cup) and raise heat to high. Bring clam juice to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining clam juice with the flour to make a slurry and set aside.

When the potatoes are tender, whisk in the slurry until thoroughly combined. Simmer for 3 minutes more to thicken soup slightly. Add the half and half and clams and heat for 5 more minutes. Do not boil. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary. Top with reserved bacon and don't forget the oyster crackers.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Peppermint Fudge

Peppermint Fudge

This easy fudge is so rich and delectable…that it is easy to make is a bonus. You can use a food processor to smash up the peppermint candies, but kids love to do the job with a wooden rolling pin. Packaged up in a pretty bowl, these candies would make a wonderful holiday gift if you have any left over to give away. You may want to double the recipe just to make sure.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes, plus chilling time
Yield: 16 squares


2 ¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup round peppermint candies
¾ cup heavy cream
3 ½ cups mini marshmallows
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Peppermint sprinkles (or more crushed candies)


Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray, then line with 2 sheets of waxed paper in both directions, leaving a 2 inch overhang on each side. Spray waxed paper with cooking spray. Set aside.

Place chocolate in a large bowl. Pulse peppermint candies in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade attachment until finely ground, or alternately, place candies in a freezer strength zip-top bag and whack with a wooden rolling pin on a firm surface until smashed. In a medium saucepan, combine candies, cream, marshmallows, butter, sugar and salt over medium-high heat. Whisk until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes.

Pour mixture over the chocolate chips and whisk until melted and smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into prepared pan, top with peppermint sprinkles, and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours. Cut fudge into squares with a sharp knife. To store, cover and refrigerate up to one week.