Spinach and Leek Soup

          This is a great big bowl of smooth green freshness.  Half an hour from start to finish, and you will have before you a soup that is perfect whatever the season.  Hot in winter, chilled in summer, or room temperature anytime, preferably consumed with big hunks of bread.

          I’ve been making this soup for years.  It combines two of my favorite veggies.  This time, given the winter scape and frost glazing the windows, Paulo and I were craving the steaming hot version, poured into mugs around which we could wrap our hands.  We set the oil and butter to heating, the leeks to sauteing, and in no time Paulo was wielding the immersion blender with a hint of tool addict’s glee.  He pureed the bubbling mixture without spattering a drop.  We had no bread in the house, but found some good crackers in the cupboard, and proceeded to eat half the soup in one sitting.  The remainder vanished at lunch the next day.  Its disappearance remains a mystery. 

Creamy Spinach and Leek Soup

2T oil

1 T butter (or oil)

2 lbs leeks, sliced crosswise

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup dry white wine

5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 lb fresh spinach

1/2 cup heavy cream (or coconut milk)

          In a deep, wide pan, heat the oil and butter over medium heat.  Saute the leeks, stirring frequently, until they are quite soft, about 10 minutes, adding the salt halfway through.  Add the wine and simmer until it has nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Pour in the broth, and bring to a boil.  Add 3/4 of the spinach and stir until just wilted, a minute or two.

          Remove the pan from the burner.  Stir in the remaining 1/4 of the spinach and immediately puree the soup with an immersion blender (or a regular blender).  Return the pan to the burner.  Stir in the cream.  Season with pepper, as well as with more salt if needed.  Heat through.  Serve hot, warm, or cold, preferably with big hunks of good bread.

Eggs Stuffed with Olives and Peppers

          When it comes to stuffed eggs, I’ve always been a purist.  Mash the yolk with a little mayonnaise, a hint of salt and pepper, and maybe, maybe, add a dusting of paprika or cayenne over top to lend a hint of color.  Stuffed eggs have never seemed to require any further embellishment.  Eaten as is, they are perfect.  The Read entire post

Creamed Irish Cabbage, with Salmon

          It is 16oF outside, wind blows through bare branches, while a murky gray sky looms overhead.  Dead leaves skitter across dried brown grass.  Time for comfort food!  But not just any comfort food.  Paulo and I are hungry, now, and as much as we love our slow-cooking, long-simmering, bubbling-on-the-stove-all-day kind of meals, sometimes we want a warmly delicious dish Read entire post

Split Pea Hambone Soup

            Does one have to be genetically programmed, or perhaps imbued with ancestral memory, to truly appreciate a bowl of split pea soup?  I have been pondering this highly philosophical question recently, for this reason.  Many people who grew up eating split pea soup absolutely adore it, as I do.  For us, it is a most richly comforting soup to consume on coldly blustering days.  Read entire post

Olive and Cheese Tapa

           Some food items seem bland, even boring.  Not the kind of comestibles a person reaches for when she wishes to nibble on something delicious.  Cottage cheese always has been one of those foods for me.  Not bad by any means, but not particularly yummy either.  Nearly a non-entity that makes essentially no impression.  But then….  Then I threw together this tapa with Read entire post

Spiced Orange Pecans

          First, I want to wish you all a very happy New Year!!  The day is a bit chilly here, but the sun shines high in a clear blue sky, while the crisp air scented with wood smoke seems alive with possibility.  A lovely beginning to 2012.  Second, I want to convey how thrilled I am that my website host finally has fixed Read entire post

Turkey Wild Rice Soup

             Ever wonder what to do with the leftover holiday turkey?  This is my favorite recipe.  First, because it tastes fantastic.  And second, because it uses remnants that most people throw away, transforming them into something spectacular.  A bit of holiday culinary magic.           I’ve been making this recipe for years, ever since I formulated it on whim.  I knew I Read entire post

Shrimp and Scallop Meatballs

           This is one of the most succulently decadent dishes I’ve ever made.  No kidding.  As mentioned in my previous post, sometimes a photo can’t do a plate of food justice, not even close.  I find myself using strings of superlatives in a feeble attempt to convey the flavor experience, and even then the descriptions aren’t adequate.  All I can say, sufficient words Read entire post

Butternut Squash and Spinach Gratin

          The photo does not do this gratin justice.  Try as I might, I could not capture visually the buttery smoothness of this dish.  It looks so healthful, which it is, but it is also an unusually luxurious vegetable concoction.  And it is so naturally sweet that it tastes almost like candy.           When it comes to holiday meals, I’ve Read entire post

Shrimp and Sausage with Creole Mustard Sauce

          On cold, gray, blustery days we love to stay inside sipping cups of freshly brewed tea, while the scent of simmering food fills the house with fragrant heat.  Chill winds may gust, dried leaves may skitter, but indoors is as warmly enveloping as a soft fleecy blanket.  This meal is perfect for such a day.  It is delicious, with myriad flavors and spices mingling Read entire post

Purple Sticky Rice Pudding

          First, I must say that I’m thrilled my internet service provider has fixed its connectivity problems.  Able to post again, finally!  Second, I am very happy to share this wonderful rice pudding with you.  As mentioned previously, in quite a few posts, I’m always amazed when a few simple ingredients produce a dish that is so good that it seems Read entire post

Warm Pomegranate-Glazed Chickpeas

          Plump, creamy chickpeas.  A pomegranate-onion reduction.  Accented with herbal cilantro and the sweet crunch of ruby red seeds.  This warm salad hits many disparate notes, which somehow all combine to form a tasty coherent whole, one that can be thrown together in about 20 minutes.           This is one of those experimental recipes.  The kind that sounds interesting while I devise it in my Read entire post

Mole Verde Braised White Beans and Cabbage

           This tale begins with a humble little green cabbage, and ends with a richly flavored stew that is as healthful as it is delicious.  That little cabbage had been sitting in my refrigerator for a while, patiently waiting to be noticed amidst its more colorful and exciting veggie brethren.  I finally remembered it the other day and decided to ignore it no longer.  Cabbage, after Read entire post

Oct 052011
Pesto Egg Pie

          You know how the joke goes.  Real men don’t eat quiche, but they sure do like a good egg pie.  Well this, my friends, is an excellent egg pie.  Ridiculously simple to make, luscious to eat, it is comfort food at its most decadently soothing.  Smoky ham, nutty cheese, deeply verdant spinach, all held together with velvety eggs, and topped with a Read entire post

Sep 292011
Faux Pho

           We love pho.  There is little better than this big bowl of broth and noodles.  Fragrant, steaming, and spicy, accented with the tang of lime, the heat of jalapeno, the herbal burst of basil and cilantro, all underscored with the heady punch of Sriracha, pho is happy, messy goodness.  Soup, yes, but almost performance art as well.  We spend several Read entire post

Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.