Asparagus Soup

On May 7, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This is simple, quick recipe that only takes about 20 minutes to prep and make. Add a salad with some cut apples and red onions and some crusty bread to make it a meal.

Asparagus Soup
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 bunch asparagus, tips and mid section cut into 2 inch pieces
1 quart vegetable broth
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained
Lemony Pesto (recipe follows)

In a large pot saute onion in olive oil over medium-high heat until the onion begins to brown. Then add the asparagus, reserve the tips.  Cook for another minute.  Add the vegetable broth and let the pot come to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes at a simmer.

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Add the beans and blend the soup with a immersion blender to get a creamy texture.

When ready to serve, add the asparagus tips and lemony pesto. Cook for about 2 minutes and then serve.

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Lemony Pesto

1 tablespoon garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon black crushed pepper
1/2 cup fresh italian parsley

Grind all ingredients together in a food processor or using a mortar and pestle.

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Mexican Vegetarian Rice Bake

On April 13, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Casseroles are a great way to make being a vegetarian more flavorful and interesting. Granted, I’m not a vegetarian.  However, we try to eat vegetarian or vegan for most of our dinners at home, doing about four or five a week without any meat.  What I like about casseroles is that they create flavor meals that feel more like meals and less like a side dish.  Plus baking something is usually easy and since there is no meat in the dish, the cooking time is pretty fast too.

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A few weeks ago I made a recipe I found that uses rice and a kale black bean soup from Pacific Foods. My post isn’t sponsored like the blogger who did the recipe for the brand’s website, but that’s fine. I really didn’t mind spending $3 for the soup and trying it out.  The recipe seemed foolproof and the cost to make this dish is pretty low, if you care about that.

What I enjoyed about this dish is the crunchiness rice gets when you bake it. Baked rice dishes enhance the texture of the rice and the soup added to the recipe gives the rice even more flavor.

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If you are looking for an easy, after work vegetarian meal you should give this one a try.  I’m sure I’ll make it again soon.

Full Recipe: [Mexican Vegetarian Rice Bake]

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Mediterranean Spicy Spinach Lentil Soup

On April 12, 2016, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I love when I find something easy and new to make.  Pinterest has been a goldmine.  I ran across this easy to make lentil soup recipe last weekend before heading to the market. It only took about 40 minutes to make, making it a good recipe for a busy weekday meal after work.

You can add additional vegetables too. I went with a couple carrots I added some color and more flavor to the dish.

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The recipe has some kick that mostly comes from the crushed red pepper. So go easy on that if you want less punch.  The rest of the recipe is pretty straight forward.  I found the flavors meld better over time as the soup tasted even better a day or two after I made it and used the leftovers for some lunches at work.

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Thanks to The Mediterranean Dish for the delicious recipe! I’ll definitely have to try some more from her blog.

Full Recipe: [Mediterranean Spicy Spinach Lentil Soup]

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Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup

On January 4, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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My wife bought me a new wood cutting board for Christmas and I found the perfect recipe to break it in.  It does make the vegetables more delectable than my bright green plastic cutting boards.  And while I don’t think I can attribute the new cutting board to this, but this recipe turned out amazing and maybe, just maybe, slicing the vegetables and chorizo on the new cutting surface may have played a small role.

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Besides exchanging gifts, the whole family exchanged germs too. The whole Christmas break was spent with a family of four sick people and what better way to get over an illness than a hearty warm soup.  Plus the addition of some spicy chorizo sausage in for good measure.

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Kale is helpful too and the starch in the potatoes helped to fill stomaches that weren’t feeling all too good to enjoy a large meal.  This dish also doesn’t use a lot of  ingredients but you wouldn’t know it with the abundant flavor it provides.

I found a simple recipe that at first I found too simple, but gave it a try and stuck to the recipe word for word. I’m glad I did.

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The soup doesn’t need any tweaking.  It has plenty of flavor and while I fought the desire to add some carrots or more onions, I decided to see how it went without my modifications.

My advice: Don’t mess with it.  Just make the recipe as is and enjoy a delicious soup.

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Full Recipe: [Portuguese Kale and Potato Soup]

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Red Lentil Coconut Curry Soup

On June 8, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Lentil soups are very hit or miss in my experience.  They are often too watery, lack flavor, or get too complex where the soup has too much going on to enjoy it.  Fortunately, this evening was a hit or as my wife said “this one’s a keeper.”

I love coconut milk based curry and with this recipe you could go 5 cups vegetable broth to 1 cup coconut milk, just make sure you eliminate the tomatoes.

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The richness of flavor starts early. Using coconut oil the onion, garlic and ginger are cooked for a few minutes to give the soup a strong, flavorful base. Combining the curry powder, tomato paste for some additional time before adding the liquid helps make this soup deep in its flavor profile.  I only added 1 tablespoon of curry powder, the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons. I also used a yellow curry powder that is of medium spice.

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The lentils are added with the carrots.  Everything cooks for only 20 minutes once all is combined. This time is recommended as you do not want the lentils to get too mushy.  Plus the flavors combine plenty in this short simmer.  I added some cilantro near the end and then topped each bowl with bean sprouts and chopped cilantro.

Full Recipe: [Coconut Curry Lentil Soup]

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Vegan Moroccan Swiss Chard and White Bean Soup

On April 28, 2013, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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After a couple weekends of back-to-back smoked meats, I was due for a Saturday and Sunday of vegetarian meals. Last night was some great Asparagus Risotto. Following up last night’s meal, I had some beautiful swiss chard from the La Canada Farmers’ Market that needed to get used.  This dish was a perfect way to end the weekend.

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Swiss chard is one of my favorite greens in soups.  It has such a wonderful bitterness that when coupled with some spices – and this dish is full of complex spices – it really shines a wonderful green choice.

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The addition of cinnamon and allspice in this soup really comes through in the final produce. Couple the dish with a hearty sourdough bread.  Also the quinoa is optional and best to use if you are making this soup as a main course.

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Vegan Moroccan Swiss Chard and White Bean Soup

Prep Time: 10 Mins Cooking Time: 45 Hours

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard, rough bite size cut
  • 2 cans of cannellini beans
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch moons
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook the carrots, onions, and garlic in oil for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat in a dutch oven or soup pot. Add the spices except the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Let it cook and combine for about 2 minutes. Add the beans and coat the beans with the spices too letting it cook for another minute.
  2. Add the vegetable broth, quinoa, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Heat the pot to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes.
  3. After the 20 minute simmer, add the swiss chard then again cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  4. Serve with a good sourdough bread.
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German Lentil Soup

On January 14, 2013, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I lived in Portland, Oregon for 12 years growing up and one of my favorite places was The Rheinlander.  Our family would often do their Sunday Brunch, which is still the best brunch I’ve ever had. The restaurant also has an amazing cheese fondue that was reason number one to go there.  With so many great things, it was easy to overlook one of their best dishes – Lentil Soup.

Fortunately, chef Horst Mager published a cookbook years ago and I was sure to buy one last time I was in town.

Someone posted the recipe for the Lentil Soup on AllRecipes.com.  I highly recommend cooking this one and put up against your favorite lentil soup. If you have found better, please share. Otherwise, enjoy this wonderful German version then make some Wiener Schnitzel and Cheese Fondue.

Full Recipe: Rheinlander Lentil Soup.

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Kale, White Bean and Sausage Soup

On January 13, 2013, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I was definitely coming down with something and knew a good hearty soup would help get me through a couple days of sickness. Sadly by the following day when I finally made it to the doctor I found out the flu that has become an epidemic was what I had. This soup definitely helped; though, the Tamiflu medicine is pretty helpful too.

Whether you are healthy or sick this soup makes for a hearty dish during the winter months. It can also easily be made vegan by removing the sausage.

Kale, White Bean and Sausage Soup
Serves 4

2 medium onions, diced
8 cloves garlic, slivers
1 tsp paprika
4 bay leaves
pinch chili flakes
2 cans cannelini beans
1 bunch dinosaur kale, chopped
1 25 oz chopped Pomi tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
3 spicy italian sausages, bite-size cut
olive oil
pepper and salt to taste

Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-high heat stockpot and add the onions with a pinch of salt, chili, bay leaves and paprika.  Let that cook for a 5 minutes until the onions become translucent, then add the garlic.  Cook for another 2 minutes.

Add everything else except the sausage and kale.  Bring everything to a boil and season with your liking of pepper and salt.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

While everything else is cooking, heat the sausage in a saute pan and brown it with some olive oil turning and cooking on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes for precooked sausage. Add to the soup. When you are about 10 minutes away from serving, add the kale to the soup.

Serve with some sourdough bread and some shaved parmesan cheese.

 

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Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

On November 11, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I love participating in the group #SundaySupper where over 50 fellow food bloggers get together every weekend to share our recipes with each other and anyone else on the web.

Last week’s Soul Warming theme netted a handful of recipes I couldn’t wait to try.  On top of that list was Hezzi-D’s Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili.  The combination of jalapenos, cream cheese, bacon, and chicken sounded so good.

The recipe is quite simple and only takes about a hour to make start to finish.  My wife who wasn’t all too happy when she heard the title of the recipe ended up praising the meal once we sat down to eat.  It’s not as hot as it sounds, so feel free to up the chili powder another tablespoon if you prefer a spicy bowl of chili.

I served the dish with some oven cooked biscuits from Trader Joe’s. For dessert we had some individual pies – pecan and salted caramel apple – from the Studio City Farmers’ Market vendor Pi Bake Shop.

For the Recipe: Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili #SundaySupper

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Corn Chowder

On August 26, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s been awhile since I’ve spent some time on one of my favorite blogs: Emily Levenson. Perhaps it has a lot to do with all the change around here after leaving AT&T and Texas then getting our family settled here in Southern California, not that we are quite settled yet. I write this as we are about to get ready to go the beach instead of unpacking.

We did do some unpacking yesterday. It also gave me some time to do some cooking.

I love chowder, especially corn chowder, so when I saw Emily had a recipe for it that received some great comments.

Plus I had some sweet white corn and japanese sweet potatoes from the farmers market.

My version here looks less orange due to the white corn and lightly inside of the Japanese sweet potatoes. The flavor was really sweet and flavorful. I think next time though I’ll use a more traditional sweet potato which is not as sugary as the type I went with this time.

For the Full Recipe: Corn Chowder.

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