A Week of Soup, Day 3 (and the last day of soup week apparently)

On this day I had grand plans for a vichyssoise. A cold, creamy potato leak soup that I’d top with radishes and chives. I had yet to come up with the accompanying meal when Ryan called to say we had been invited over for dinner at a friends. So naturally I offered to bring a vat of soup and set about cooking it. I cut up about 6 leeks, finely slicing a fair amount of the white parts, then reserving 3″ chuncks of the pale to medium green. I threw the slices into a pot with olive oil and butter … Continue reading

    A Week of Soup, Day 2

    All day long I considered the cantaloupe. It was going to be the star player in a soup that night and never having made cantaloupe soup before I was weighing my options. Prosciutto or pancetta seemed like natural pairings in some sort of crispy state, though I didn’t have any so I’d have to buy it if I went that direction. I thought about smoked paprika, shrimp, maybe even a cotija sprinkle. On the way home I stopped to get some pancetta and decided I’d grill some giant shrimp and have them lounging on the edge of the soup bowl. … Continue reading

      A Week of Soup, Day 1

      With an usual amount of social activities last week (thanks to my high school reunion…no really, thanks) I had a ton of uneaten veggies in the fridge from our weekly basket. Cucumbers, cantaloupe, corn, radishes, potatoes….all crying to become soup. Cold soup. And so I started with the cucumbers. I peeled and chopped three cucumbers, adding them to a blender with half a jalapeno, a bunch of lime juice, some greek yoghurt, some chicken broth and garlic chives. I let it sit for a while to develop flavors and pondered the rest of the veggies. Although corn soup has been … Continue reading

        No Summer is Complete Without Ribs

        We used to eat a lot more ribs than we do now, possibly because we used to camp a lot more than we do now. This has also been a super hot and buggy summer so any sort of al fresco cooking and dining has been limited (in our yard anyway). It’s depressing, but so is the giant pit that used to be a swimming pool and has still not been converted to a fabulous vegetable garden. And so, it was time for ribs. My typical method involves rubbing the ribs with a mixture of brown sugar, salt, pepper and … Continue reading

          Umami Squared

          My weekly basket included a bag of baby shiitakes and some okra. Looking in the pantry I saw a can of butter beans and the freezer gave up a fat rib eye. The okra was my biggest challenge, having only fried it in the past and I was determined to find a different method that would produce a non-slimy side dish. I found a couple recipes that recommended cutting them in half and cooking them in a hot, cast iron skillet with a variety of different spices. That sounded simple and good so I started to ponder the rest of … Continue reading

            Another of My Favorite Things Wrapped in Things

            I feel pretty sure that I had an extraordinary amount of ground pork in various forms over the last month. As I catch up on old posts, I feel surprised by it, though it’s not that crazy around here.  I had made a big vat of homemade thai sausage and had not only the raw sausage left over which I froze, but also some extra ground pork shoulder. On this particular night I made a pretty simple meal seasoning the pork with a bit of sugar, fish sauce, lime, soy, jalapeno and shallot. I wrapped it up in lettuce leaves … Continue reading

              A Slightly Less Nice Presentation Than the First

              Not long ago we had friends over for dinner and I was determined to make this chilled corn soup. It’s just a beautiful summer essence in a bowl and pondering other fabulous things to go with it I considered lobster and crab (too pricey), some dumpling bonanza (too time consuming right at the time we should all be socializing) and settled on some homemade thai sausage. I am not really sure I knew that right away- I just figured I’d make a pork sausage with lots of crazy flavorings like lemongrass, ginger, cilantro, chiles, form it on some skewers, grill … Continue reading

                Meatball Soup with Summer Squash Noodles

                Here is yet another partially mysterious meal. I know that the soup included savory meatballs made with ground pork, water chestnuts, shallots, ginger, swiss chard, garlic and soy. The broth was a homemade chicken stock spiked with more ginger. The noodles were simply julienned zucchini and yellow squash and the whole mess floated about with some spinach and broccoli. It was soulful and cooling on an August night the same way it is in ridiculously hot climates where eating hot soup doesn’t make sense…but does. The springrolls, though, are a bit of a mystery. I remember liking them a lot. … Continue reading

                  Eric’s Birthday Lamb (without Eric Present)

                  My brother-in-law loves lamb. And not just any lamb. A very specific cumin-y grilled lamb he remembers from years ago in some small village in China. Ever since he told me this, I had tried making a version of this lamb for him feeling sadly aware that I might never get it. This was never made easier by the fact that my sister hates lamb, thus slimming our chances for hunting it down. But then last month they were all coming for a visit and my sister asked me to make Eric some lamb. I decided to look around again … Continue reading

                    Fresh Corn & Grilled Salmon Salad

                    Yesterday I wrote about how often I struggle with good lunches, but maybe I’m on a roll. Today I sauteed up some fresh corn that I just got in the weekly veggie box, tossed it with last night’s sticky, soy glazed grilled salmon, some cucumber and lettuce and a light rice vinegar dressing. I hope I can keep it up. It tasted amazing (there’s just nothing like sweet summer corn) and I felt great afterwards.