Tag Archives: vegetables

Easy Peasy

What could be more springy and inviting than the cheerful green color of peas? This quick and easy recipe uses fresh or frozen peas to capture the brightness of the season.

Easy Peasy Quick Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • ½ cup minced Vidalia onion or shallots
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 4+ cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 bags (about 2 lbs.) of frozen peas or equivalent amount of fresh, shelled peas
  • 1-2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • Tiny splash of fresh lemon juice
  • Optional: Greek yogurt; chopped scallions or chives; parsley; sliced ham, pancetta or prosciutto

Directions

  1. Sauté the onion or shallots in 1-2 TBSP of olive oil until they begin to soften.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the chicken stock and peas, 1 tsp each of salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer, add lemon juice and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add more liquid if soup is too thick. Season to taste if more salt or pepper is desired.
  5. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until creamy.

Optional garnishes:

  1. A dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of chives
  2. Fresh parsley
  3. Crispy ham, pancetta or prosciutto: Heat oven to 425°F. Roast pieces on a baking sheet for about 5 minutes until crisp, and crumble on top.

Yield: approximately 4-6 servings

Mouthing Off

Yesterday I went to the dentist to have a crown made. “Crown” sounds so elegant, like you should dress up and be all Downton Abbey-ish, rather than the disturbing reality of someone jamming their elbow into your mouth while you’re drooling and wearing a paper bib.

I started wondering what kind of person chooses a profession where no one wants to see them. Sure they make good money but you could be a podiatrist. Feet have to be more appealing than rotting teeth and bad breath. Are all dentists masochists? Personally, I’d rather have a colonoscopy than visit the dentist. At least you are asleep through the ordeal and they give you nice warm blankets and juice. At the dentist you get lidocaine and vile-tasting mouthwash, and stumble off with lipstick all over your face because you can’t feel where your lips end.

Leaving with a swollen jaw and an admonition not to eat anything hard or sticky (Nuts! Caramels!) I decided on cauliflower for dinner. It’s nice and bland and won’t stick to the temporary crown. If you’ve never puréed cauliflower, it makes an excellent substitute for mashed potatoes, which I didn’t have in the house. It won’t fool anyone but it’s quite tasty and low cal too. All you do is steam the head and mush it up in a food processor with some milk, salt and pepper, plus grated parmesan to offset all that healthiness. Go easy on the milk, adding slowly until you get the right consistency.

Still, modern dentistry is a big improvement over the “good” old days, when they didn’t have anesthetic. If you’re not squeamish, check out http://hubpages.com/health/A-Short-Painful-History-of-Dentistry, which is fascinating. Did you know that an ancient Roman toothache remedy was gargling with urine? Aren’t you glad I told you?

I’ll have the temporary for 2-3 weeks so I’m thinking about other soft foods to eat.
Since it’s chilly I’m focusing on soup. In this easy recipe for veggie soup, start with whatever’s in the fridge and add your favorites. Bon appétit!

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Veg Out Soup

INGREDIENTS
• 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
• 1 lg. onion, chopped
• 1 leek, chopped
• 2 carrots, chopped
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 1 medium zucchini, chopped
• 1 medium yellow squash, chopped
• 1 bell pepper, any color, chopped
• Trimmed green beans, cut bite size
• 1 lg. can fire roasted (or other) diced tomatoes
• 8 cups low fat chicken broth (enough to cover all veggies)
• Rind of Parmesan cheese
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Any other veggies you like, such as turnips, parsnips, chard, etc.
Optional: add a can of beans at the end of cooking

DIRECTIONS:
• Cover bottom of large, heavy soup pot with olive oil
• Turn heat to medium
• Add chopped onion to pot, stirring occasionally so it browns lightly
• Add other veggies to pot, stirring with each addition. Start with thicker, heavier vegetables, then add lighter ones
• When all fresh vegetables have been added, add can of tomatoes, Parmesan rind and enough liquid to cover veggies well
• Raise heat until soup starts to bubble, then lower to a simmer
• Simmer for several hours, until liquid has reduced and soup has thickened
• Remove rind and season with salt and pepper to taste
• Serve with crusty bread and more grated Parmesan

Makes about 8 servings