Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sparkling Minestrone Vegetable Soup

This is cross-posted on me-ander

According to Jewish Law and Lore there are two fast days in the summer, and I love to break my fast on vegetable soup.

Usually, I make a split pea soup, but I didn't have any peas on hand. Instead I found a package of mixed beans, which, as you can see, included:

kidney beans
lima beans

I checked them for bugs and stones and then left them to soak in hot, boiling water. After it cooled, I poured out the water and added more. I've read that beans are digested better if you change the water. Whether it's true or not, I don't know.

Since the beans began to get soft, it was time for stage two of the cooking. I added more boiling water to the beans and began cooking them for real, not just soaking.

In a larger pot, I put sliced onions, carrots and squash and sauteed them in vegetable oil.

Once the vegetables were partially cooked, I poured in the beans, plus the bean liquid and cooked everything together.

Since I'm trying to cut the carbs, I added some tomato paste for extra flavor. That gave me a low carbohydrate Minestrone style vegetable soup. I added whatever seasonings smelled right to me, like salt, pepper, garlic, parsley. These are all standards I keep in my pantry.

It's funny how the soup sparkles. I guess the flash played on the oil. It really tasted good, and my husband even complimented me on it.

The best thing is that it is very easy to make.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Breakfast Better Shared...

(Cross-posted at Guess Who's Coming To Dinner....)

Some things are just better when they are shared with others. We know this to be true about Shabbos meals to be sure. The more company, the more lively the conversation, the better the zemiros harmonies, the warmer the atmosphere.

But I will tell you a little secret. I have a breakfast recipe that is better shared as well. Of course you can make it for one, but the more people you share it with, the more variety you are able to present in each individual dish.

I am talking about Birchermuesli.
It's been a while since I've posted a recipe, so I figured that rather than have you all traipse over to my house in your pajamas on Sunday morning, I'll give you the recipe here to share with your own families. It's really easy. All you have to do is remember to set it up the night before, since it "cooks" in the refrigerator overnight. (No heat + taking advantage of the bountiful July produce = the perfect summer recipe) I should mention that it makes a great brunch or lunch as well.


1/2 to 3/4 cups rolled oats per person
1/2 to 3/4 cups milk per person (equal parts ;) )
1 handful of raisins per person (craisins may be substituted Smiley Faces )
1 squirt of honey per person

Mix well and let set in refrigerator overnight where it transforms into sweet creamy perfection. In the morning add tons of cut up fruit. Now keep in mind that this is where you need the larger group of people because a whole peach and a whole plum and a few handfuls of assorted berries and a handful of grapes might be a lot for one person in a bowl of cereal for breakfast, but when divided more ways, your ability to increase the taste variety increases accordingly.

Have fun! Enjoy breakfast and let me know what you think!

Friday, July 10, 2009

They Asked For Chulent

Very rarely do I make chulent, that slow-cooking stew, a lot of people eat as part of, or the main part of, their Shabbat day meal.

My family doesn't like it, or they don't like what I used to make, so I don't cook it.

But yesterday my neighbor who arranges meals for those who need them asked me to make someone chulent. If that's what they want, that's what they'll get. Here's the new version:
  • A couple of handfuls of mixed dry beans (lima, kindney and chickpeas.) Presoak, rinse and soak again for quite a while to soften.
  • A package of turkey wings, better ratio of meat to bones than turkey drumsticks.
  • Potatoes
  • spices, peppercorns, ketchup and whatever

After the beans have gotten soft, cook them up with the turkey and water. Then add the potatoes and ketchup and more water. If my pot hadn't been so full, I would have added carrots and onions.

It smells good!