Shrimp Bisque with Bourbon

This took a little bit of time to make, but it was worth it. If you don’t have a food mill, use a sifter. Make sure you press it to get all the liquid.  Serve with crusty bread. Adapted from Fresh Fish by Jennifer Trainer Thompson.

 

Shrimp Bisque with Bourbon

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (33-35) large raw shrimp, deveined and unshelled, reserving the shells
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped fennel
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium leek (white parts only), washed and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium
  • 5 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and white pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives for garnish

 

Directions

  1. Reserve 16 whole shrimp and coarsely chop the remaining.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large soup pot over high heat. Season the chopped shrimp with salt and black pepper, add to the pot. Cook until just opaque. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Add remaining oil to the pan and add the shrimp shells and stir occasionally till the shells begin to brown. Take the pot off the heat and pour the 1/4 cup of bourbon into the pot. Carefully ignite the bourbon with a long kitchen match or stick flame. Let it burn till the flame subsides and the alcohol is burned off. Return the pot to the heat and cook until the liquid has reduced, about 3 minutes. Transfer the shells and liquid to a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same pot melt 1 tablespoon of butter, over medium heat. Add the celery and fennel and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the onion , leek, and garlic, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it begins to coat the bottom of the pan and it’s somewhat carmelized, about 2 minutes. Add the additional 1 tablespoon of butter and melt. Add the flour and cook stirring constantly, to coat the vegetables, about 1 minute. Add the wine and chicken broth and stir to deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon.  Add the water, rice, thyme, bay leaf, and the reserved shrimp shells with its liquid. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cover. Cook until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. When the rice is cooked, remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Push the soup including the shells through a food mill. Discard the solids, and return to a clean pot set over low heat. Stir in the reserved chopped shrimp, cream, and 2 tablespoons of bourbon. Heat through but do not boil.
  5. Melt the remaining butter in a skillet over high heat and saute the 16 reserved shrimp. Add salt and white pepper to taste. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  6.   Divide the soup among bowls and garnish with the whole shrimp and chives.

 

 

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Chicken Soup

By adding chorizo to this recipe, chef Einat Admony calls this her “not-so-Jewish” chicken soup. The chorizo gives it a smokey flavor. I did make a couple of adjustments to her recipe. I always start with 8 to 10 cups of water to all my soups especially if I’m serving the soup on the same day,  can always add more. I also reduced the amount of salt, I always start with 1 tablespoon and add more to taste.  It didn’t say anything about serving the chicken without the bones, I just assumed so. At the end I fished out the chicken and took the meat off the bones and placed the meat back in the soup. Waited a couple of minutes to reheat through.

 

Chicken Soup

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped, about 2 cups
  • 1 1/2 leeks, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped chorizo
  • 1 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 pound of chicken pieces with skin and bones, preferably dark meat
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 8 to 10 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of 1/2-inch cubed butternut squash
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 cubes                                                                 

Directions

  1. Heat the canola oil in large pot over medium heat and add the onions, leeks, celery, and chorizo.  Saute for 10 minutes. Add the carrots, bay leaf, thyme, and chicken and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the wine and reduce for another 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the salt, pepper, cumin and turmeric. Saute for 3 minutes and then add the water. Bring to a boil and add the butternut squash and potatoes. Lower the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
  3. Fish out the chicken and let it cool to touch for a few minutes. Take the meat off the bones and place the meat back into pot. Wait a couple of minutes before serving so that it heats through.                                                                                                                            

Spicy Meatball Soup

This week I’ll be featuring recipes from an Avon cookbook I’ve had since 1983. I haven’t looked at it or a long time, almost forgot that it had some great recipes.  This recipe came from Latin America. The ingredients caught my eye, it’s not what I would typically put into meatballs. I did leave the olives out and added water to the soup using the empty can of the condensed tomato soup, for personal taste.

Spicy Meatball Soup

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

2 hard-boiled eggs

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1/4 cup soft bread crumbs

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup chopped pitted ripe olives

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

dash of ground cloves

dash of ground cinnamon

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

raisins

2 cups of beef broth

1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed tomato soup

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

coarsely chopped pitted ripe olives (optional)

chopped green onions (optional)

Directions

Separate egg yolks from the egg whites, chop each separately. In a bowl combine the egg yolks, rice, bread crumbs, the 1/4 cup green onion, the 1/4 ripe olives, rosemary, clove, and cinnamon. Add ground pork and meat, mix well. Using 1 1/2 tablespoons meat mixture for each meatball, wrap the mixture into 2 or 3 raisins and shape into a ball.

In a large saucepan combine the beef broth, tomato soup, chili powder and meatballs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the egg whites. Top with the cheese, additional olives and chopped green onions, if desired.

 

 

Minestra

This is a very hearty soup from a base of pork, beans and potato. Our weather has been perfect for making soup; cold and rainy. This base can be made and and kept in the freezer for another time. Other vegetables can be added or for those meat lovers, kielbasa and Italian sausage can be added. The recipe is from Lidia Bastianich from her Lidia’s Family Table cookbook.  I decided to serve it as is, and only added 10 cups of water instead of her 5 quarts and I still had some leftover to freeze.  You do have to set time to make this, the beans should be soaked overnight and cooking time can take about 3 hours.

Minestra

  • Servings: 4 to 6
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Ingredients

1 1/2 cup of dried cranberry beans soaked overnight in water

10 cups cold water

2 pounds russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

3 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon of hot pepper flakes or to taste

For the pestata

3 ounces smoked bacon cut into 1 inch pieces

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

8 plum garlic cloves, peeled

Meat for flavoring

1 pound bony fresh pork hock or neck

For the sofrito

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup canned San Marzano tomatoes

2 teaspoon salt and more to taste

 

Directions

Drain the soaked beans and put them in a pot with the water, potatoes, bay leaves and the hot pepper flakes. Cover and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile make the pestata using a food processor. Scrape every bit into the soup pot. Rinse the pork in hot water and add to the pot. Bring to a full boil and reduce heat for a gentle boil. Place the cover ajar and cook for about 1 hour and 1/2. The potatoes and beans should be tender. Skim any excess fat off the top.

Meanwhile make the sofrito. Heat the oil in a small skillet and cook the onions over medium heat for abut 6 minutes, till tender. Crush the tomatoes in your hand and add to the onion with it’s juices. Sir in the salt and simmer rapidly till some of the juices have reduced. Add to the soup pot when the beans and potatoes are tender.

Cook the soup for another 1 hour and 1/2, stirring occasionally. If it’s sticking to bottom lower the heat. Take out the pork and shred the meat off the bone and add to the soup. Fish out the bay leaves and taste for seasoning before serving. 

Fiddlehead and Saffron Soup

I never heard of fiddleheads  until I saw a Laura Calder episode on the Cooking Channel a few years ago. A vegetable that has omega 3 and omega 6 and high in fiber.  I’ve been seeing it a lot at the local grocery store this past month as they are in season. I remembered this soup recipe and that day happened to be a cool rainy day, so I thought, perfect, this will be for dinner tonight.  It was very easy and even though it has cream it tasted very light.

 

 

Here’s the link; http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/search-results.html?searchTerm=fiddlehead+soup

Carrot Ginger Soup with Roasted Chicpeas

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! This year I decided to cook different dishes to change it up a bit. This soup was very easy and delicious to make. The great thing about soups is that it can be made ahead. This recipe is courtesy of Ayurveda. the recipe only serves 4 so I had to double it.

For the  roasted chicpeas:

32 oz can of chicpeas

2 tbsp apple cider

2 tsp Spring Spice Mix   ( see below)

1 tsp of cumin powder

dash of salt

2 tsp sunflower oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse and drain the chicpeas well and dry with a towel. Place in a bowl and add all the ingredients. Mix well using your hands.IMG_0943

Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Stirring every 15 minutes.

Spring Spice Mix:

1  tbsp whole coriander seeds

1 tsp fenugreek seed

1 tbsp whole cumin seeds

1 tbsp tumeric powder

1 tbsp ginger powder

1 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

pinch of clove powder

For the soup:

4 cups of water

2 tsp coriander powder

1 pound of carrots, coarsely chopped

2-3 inch fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped

2 tsp ghee or sunflower oil plus for drizzling

dash of salt and pepper

roasted chicpeas

In a medium saucepan boil the 4 cups of water with the coriander powder. Add the carrots and ginger. Add all the seasonings.  Boil covered for 15 to 20 minutes till tender. Using a hand blender, blend till smooth. Serve in bowls topped with the roasted chicpeas and drizzle with oil or ghee.

Potaje de Garbanzos (Chicpea Soup)

This is a very hearty thick soup. It is a staple in many Cuban households. Growing up my mom would serve this over white rice and served with fried plantains. There is different variations of it. You can also add calabaza (squash). I don’t have an actual recipe, I made it from memory of watching my mom make it a hundred times. I will give you one as best I can.

1 bag of dried chicpeas, soaked overnight in water

1 red pepper roughly chopped

1 green pepper roughly chopped

1 yellow onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic minced

olive oil

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 pinch of bijol( a powder used often in yellow rice and found in Cuban dishes)

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

2 small red potatoes peeled and quartered

2 small chorizos, sliced in thick rounds

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup of diced ham

Drain and rinse the chicpeas. Add them to a large  pot with 6 to 8 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer covered for an hour, or till soften.

For the sofrito, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, peppers, oregano, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook  till soften. Add the sofrito to the chicpeas that have been simmering. Add the potatoes, chorizo and ham. Cover and simmer about an hour. Uncover and if you want to thicken the soup using a spoon mush the chicpeas . Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with rice.