Gazpacho is one of our family favorites in the summer time. My Nona is famous for her recipe she picked up while living in Seville, Spain, along with my Popa and their 6 kids! The secret trick (according to the Sevillians) is to chill the gazpacho in a ceramic pitcher for hours.
My cousin Laney was in town this weekend which calls for a great reason to get together for family dinners.
Family Dinner Menu: Gazpacho with Grilled Quesidellas and BBQ Flank Steak Salad Photo From Laney’s Blog
The secret to Gazpacho… besides for chilling in a ceramic pitcher:
Roasting Tomatoes and Bell Peppers add Depth
Balsamic Vinegar or Rice Wine Vinegar is a must
My Recipe HERE
I love making fresh vegetable soup with a mix of beautiful seasonal veggies. I had no idea that the product of my mornings trip to the farmer’s market is a specialty in Nice, France. You see, I belong in France!
You can get creative with the ingredients and ratios. Do not make this so technical. If you want more of one veggie than the other, go for.
I didn’t use a recipe, becaue like i said, it’s usually just a random combination of seasonal market finds, but here is one I found that is very similar and will work lovely
Cookbook: Mediterranean, a taste of the sun in 150 recipes
1 small shallot, chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 boiling potato chopped
8 oz can of chopped tomatoes
5 cup vegetable stock
1 zucchini chopped
8 oz can of white beans (optional)
1 cup green beans, cut into 1/2 ince pieces
1/2 cup peas
4-6 T Pesto
1 T sun dried tomatoes
sea salt and fresh pepper
Fresh parmesan (optional)
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large pot
Bring to a boil and simmer, covered for 20 minutes
Meanwhile chop up the sun dried tomatoes and combine with the pesto, set aside
Add the green beans, peas, beans and zucchini
Season with salt and pepper
Cook until the beans and zucchini are just tender
Cruncher is better than soggy, in my opinion
Ladle the soup into individual bowls
Top with pesto and fresh parmesan
Pasta shells or rice is nice here too. If using rice add it in the first step. For pasta add it with the beans.
I am currently obsessed with Thai Curry! What’s better than a big bowl of warmth with a bit of a kick!?
I have started making curry daily for lunch AND/or dinner. I have discovered that using almond milk, as oppose to coconut milk, gives the nice creamy texture without all the fat that comes with coconut milk.
The vegetable, grain and protein combinations here are endless. Really, once you get the hang of making it, you can pretty much use a combination of whatever is in your fridge and pantry to make a wonderful curry.
I will give the recipe for this combo because I happened to photograph it, but I’ve made many and will list other possible combinations below
3/4 – 1 cup of a cooked grain (use your Basic Grain recipe that you should always have ready and on hand)
2 T Thai Curry Paste (red or green)
Handful of edamame beans
Handful of Snap Peas, cut crosswise
Handful of Cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 Baby Bok Choy, roughly chopped
2 Cups Almond Milk or one can Coconut milk
In a sauce pan, combine your grain, beans and peas, curry paste and about 2 T milk.
Saute for awhile so the vegetables really get a chance to cook in the curry and absorb the flavors
Add the remaining milk and bok choy
Simmer partial covered for a few minutes or until vegetables have reached desired tenderness
If you are making your grain at the same time, do not add it to the curry. Simply pour your warm curry over your warm garin. I mixed my grain into my curry because it had been in the fridge and needed to be warmed.
If you are using a meat, add it to the pan during the first step with the curry paste.
My Other Favorite Ingredients:
Any type of beans
Can easily be doubles, tripled… You really can not mess up here… So simple and delicious!
As my cousin said, “very flavorful and not too rich”
A soup before a meal really does not, and should not, have to be heavy and rich. You want to finish your soup feeling satisfied and ready for your main entree.
I made this soup for a private dinner party that I catered. My ABSOLUTE favorite part of catering is working with clients to come up with a wonderful, creative, seasonal menu.
This party’s menu was particularly lovely.
Buckwheat blini with smoked trout and creme fraiche (recipe)
Baked dates filled with cevre and wrapped in bacon (recipe
Crostini with Grilled Radicchio in a balsamic dressing topped with shaved Parmigiano
Potato leek soup
New York Steaks (from Prather Ranch)
Point Reyes Blue Cheese Butter
Steamed Artichoke with lemon and thyme
Flourless Chocolate Cake
(I’ll work on posting the wonderful recipes)
I chose this soup because it does not call for cream, unlike a lot of potato leek soups. I think cream can make recipes too rich and fillling, not what i was looking to do here.
This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled…
3 Large Leeks, cut lengthwise, white and light green parts only, chopped
2 T butter
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth (I used vegetarian, hey, why not!?)
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 t fresh thyme, chopped
salt and pepper
Cook leeks in the butter with salt and pepper
(funny side note, I forgot I added pepper and thought that it was dirt from the leeks not being washed well enough! duh!)
Cook until nice and tender- About 10 minutes- DO NOT brown the leeks. Browning will give the leeks a burnt flavor.
In a stockpot add the water and broth. I then added the potatoes as I was peeling and chopping- keeping them from turning brown.
Scrape all the leeks and their juices into the stockpot of broth and potatoes
Bring to a low simmer and cok for 20 minutes.
I used a hand blender to puree the soup. You can control the chunkyness… I pureed it completely because I didn’t want any chunks… up to you though.
Add the parsley and thyme and some fresh pepper (not dirt) and salt to taste.
Find the hearty-est bread you can
Cut into even cubes
toss with olive oil, garlic oil and salt and pepper
Bake on a cookie sheet, tossing frequently, 15 minutes
Everything you love about guacamole… in a hearty healthy soup!
This is just a simple quinoa and black bean soup with a little mexican spizzaz to it.
The fresh avocado, cilantro and lime are the key ingredients here…you’re gonna love it!
Refreshing and not too heavy, you can enjoy this soup on a warm summer night
Yields soup for 2 hungry bellies, or 4 small appetizers
Drizzle of Walnut Oil (I recommend using nut oils for cooking)
1/2 onion chopped
Clove of garlic chopped
1 cup of Quinoa
Organic Vegetable Broth
Jalapeno, seeded and chopped
Black Beans (I used a can of organic)
1 Tomato chopped
Organic Sour Cream
(sprinkled pumpkin seeds would be nice too- get creative)
In a heavy sauce pan heat the oil
Sauté the onion until almost translucent
Add the garlic and quinoa, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds
Pour in Broth and bring to a boil- reduce to a simmer
Add jalapeno, beans and chopped tomato
Simmer, partial cover, until the quinoa is cooked. About 12 minutes
Garnish with the remaining ingredients and enjoy!
Today’s lunch was inspired by nothing else other than the bad weather…
San Francisco is known as the “Fog City,” which actually is not fair to say because we usually have very mild, beautiful weather 🙂
But I willl admit, today was a particularly grey day.
By the time I had my coffee and was hungry for breakfast it was nearly noon- Time to get cookin!
I decided to use barley as my grain because I think it adds a really nice hearty flavor and texture to soups.
As for the vegetable I chose, they had been in my fridge waiting to be eaten.
I really liked the way all the flavors came together
1 cup of Barley (soak for a bit if you have time)
1 onion chopped
2 T olive oil
8 button mushrooms chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 leeks slices
2 cloves of crushed garlic
3 cups of water with vegetarian bouillon
In a heavy bottomed pot combine the oil, barley and chopped onion.
Cook for a few minutes over low heat.
Add about 3 cups of hot water and the vegetarian bouillon
Bring to a simmer
Add the remaining ingredients and cook for about 20 minutes
This soup honestly tasted better the second and third days!