Monday, February 25, 2008

Carrot-Ginger Soup

Carrot-Ginger Soup

2 lbs fresh carrots
6 stalks celery
2 sweet potato/yam, peeled
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
4 cups chicken stock

* Clean carrots, celery and sweet potato/yam. Chop all into 1-2 inch pieces. Place in 8-quart stock pot and cover with water. Place on stove and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Check periodically to make sure there is sufficient water in the pot.

* Add chicken stock and cook until soup is hot. Reduce heat to low. Add spices, salt and pepper.

* Remove from heat.

* Puree one to two cups at a time in blender. Soup should be thick and smooth.

* Serve with a dollop of cream, plain yogurt or half-n-half.

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup

1 1lb bag of dried black beans
4 bay leaves
2 large carrots, peeled
3 celery stalks or 2 stalks with leaves plus hearts with leaves
1 red pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 lb frozen corn

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Follow directions on back of bean bag for soaking and cooking beans.
While beans soak, chop carrots, celery and red pepper into 2" chunks.
Cook beans with the bay leaves, carrots, celery and red pepper.
Cool to room temp. Puree in in small batches until smooth.
Return to pan, add seasonings and corn. Heat through.
Adjust seasonings (more salt, pepper, etc).
If lemon juice is desired, add 1 Tbsp. Taste again, then add more.

To serve: ladle soup into bowls. Top with chopped cilantro. (for those who can indulge, add 1 tbsp sour cream or yogurt then cilantro.)