Spectacular Sweet Potato Soup (PLUS: Win a $450 VitaMix Blender)

sweetpoatosoupdinner

A splash of this, a pinch of that: that’s the kind of cooking I’ve always wanted to do, but I’ve never been very good at it. Sure, I’ll sprinkle some cinnamon into my oatmeal and, yes, I’ll sex up a plate of pasta with some red chile flakes, but the ability to cook impulsively, to grab ingredients out of the fridge and make something scrumptious, has always eluded me. That is until I discovered soup.

Continue Reading

Michael Symon’s Spicy Tomato & Blue Cheese Soup

tomatosoup

At the end of yesterday’s video podcast with Michael Symon, you may have heard me sheepishly express doubt about adding blue cheese to tomato soup. For some reason, I thought the result would be grainy and gloppy and just kind of gross. Instead, this tomato soup was absolutely the best tomato soup I’ve ever had–and the best part about it is you’d never know that blue cheese was what was making it taste so good. It adds depth and creaminess but it doesn’t taste funky and you don’t notice the texture.

Continue Reading

Chicken Stock, 1 2 3

IMG_1.JPG

It’s cheap and easy to have homemade chicken stock on hand: all you really need is time. And thyme. But mostly time.

Sure, it can be expensive–I still can’t get over The Barefoot Contessa’s recipe which calls for not one, not two, but THREE whole chickens that you boil for three hours and discard. That seems extraordinarily wasteful, don’t you think?

I’ve played around with lots of stock recipes, but my latest foray into stock making was a pretty happy one. The recipe comes from Molly Stevens and it’s simple and straightforward and cheap, cheap, cheap.

Continue Reading

Heidi’s Lentil Soup

IMG_1.JPG

Hillary Clinton says “it takes a village,” but I think it takes a recipe.

What I mean is sometimes you think you don’t like a certain dish because you’ve had so many bad versions of that dish, but then suddenly you encounter a recipe for that dish that takes you by surprise and you find yourself–against your best instincts–loving that dish. And that’s exactly what happened last week, on a frigid, freezing day, when I made Heidi’s lentil soup.

Continue Reading

Spicy Cauliflower Soup & Braised Lobster Mushrooms

IMG_1.JPG

How does dinner happen?

It happens in many ways. We ask the person we’re with, “What are you in the mood for?” or we just pick up the phone and dial the Thai place down the street or the pizza place around the corner. Or, if we have the ingredients, we make a quick bowl of pasta and if we’re even more inspired we head to the store and buy ingredients for that recipe we’ve been meaning to try.

The best, though, is when dinner happens organically. When one event leads to another event and by the end of the chain you have a tasty, unexpected meal before you. That’s what happened Sunday night when I made the dinner you see above: a very strange pairing of cauliflower soup and braised lobster mushrooms. How did that happen? Well it all started with stock…

Continue Reading

AGTV: Stock & Soup

Sorry for the delay in getting you this week’s video. I think it’s safe to say now that I won’t be doing a video every WEDNESDAY, but I will try to do a video every week. This one, as you’re about to see, is an incredibly spontaneous document of my attempt at the chicken stock from yesterday’s interview with Michael Ruhlman. How many carcasses does it take? What do I do with the stock when I’m done? How does Karen Carpenter achieve such a melifluous tone? Watch the video and find out! [And, after the jump, I’ll give you the recipe for the soup that I make in the video’s second half.]

Continue Reading

Corngasm

IMG_1.JPG

If all of the scientists in the world got together with all of the chefs and brought a giant pile of corn to a mystical temple of food and drink, with muses and angels dancing around them, they could not produce a more rapturous dish than the dish you see above: Jasper White’s Corn Chowder (click those words for the recipe). It has bacon, it has butter, it has cream. It has tumeric, which turns it that gorgeous golden color. A pount of Yukon Gold potatoes makes it hardy, but it’s the corn (fresh from the farmer’s market) that shines in this dish. I served it with a simple tomato salad–bright red tomatoes, red onion, basil–and then a peach plum cobbler for dessert. Summer doesn’t get better than this–make it while you can!

Hey Muchacho, Make Gazpacho (and Parmesan Grilled Cheese!)

IMG_1.JPG

Hot? Hungry? Have I got a solution for you. It comes courtesy of Suzanne Goin and her “Sunday Suppers at Lucques.” It’s her recipe for Yellow Tomato Gazpacho and you can read it here. It’s INCREDIBLY easy, and INCREDIBLY rewarding. All you need are yellow tomatoes, a jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Oh, and a cucumber. I leave the cucumber for last because there’s a funny story about me buying the cucumber that involves a FOOD CELEBRITY from TV, but you’ll have to click ahead.

Continue Reading