Tag Archives: soup

Birthday dinner

Well, the birthday dinner was a big success. The table was covered with candles, bright colors and little toys. I hung old pics (mostly Polaroids) from the chandelier and got these great balloons that say “Happy Dumb Birthday.”

It all started off with my spicy acorn squash soup, topped with some crispy caramelized shallots:

You can see the carrot cake in the foreground, but here’s a better picture of its insane deliciousness:

In between those scrumptious bookends, I serves roasted asparagus (I should add that recipe) and this Tuscan chicken dish I made up a million years ago. Basically, you serve chicken cutlets with crisped prosciutto and a mushroom Madeira sauce on creamed spinach.  I came up with it when I was on that Devil Atkins diet. It was a keeper, though. Here’s a pic…

Quick gazpacho

I don’t have a picture, but (as a friend pointed out) it’s a good time to post this recipe. We’re finally getting to that point of the year, in Texas at least, where we can get great tomatoes. My little tomatoes aren’t quite there yet, but they’re getting closer every day…check it out:

Anyway, this a great easy recipe that you can make in the food processor. Even though I’m letting a machine do most of the work, it looks much prettier at the end if you mince a small portion of the veggies by hand.  That’s not officially in the recipe, but it really is better.

3 ripe medium beefsteak tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into rough 1-inch pieces
2 small cucumbers, one peeled and the other with skin on, both seeded and cut into rough 1-inch pieces
1/2 small sweet onion, peeled and chopped
2 medium toes garlic,  pressed through
2 teaspoons table salt
1/3 cup vinegar (sherry is best, but red wine vinegar works too)
ground black pepper
5 cups tomato juice
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1 Cup ice cubes
EVOO for serving
  1. Process tomatoes in food processor fitted with steel blade until broken down into 1/4- to 1-inch pieces, about twelve 1-second pulses; transfer to large bowl.
  2. Process peppers until broken down into 1/4- to 1-inch pieces, about twelve 1-second pulses; add to bowl with tomatoes. Repeat with cucs.
  3. Process onions until broken down into 1/4- to 1-inch pieces, about twelve 1-second pulses. Set onions aside in a separate bowl and add the garlic, salt, vinegar, and ground pepper to taste. Let sit 15 minutes, then stir in tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers and let stand 5 more minutes, until vegetables just begin to release their juices.
  4. Stir in tomato juice, hot pepper sauce, if using, and ice cubes; cover tightly and refrigerate to blend flavors, at least 4 hours.
  5. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, remove and discard any unmelted ice cubes, and serve cold, drizzling each portion with about 1 teaspoon EVOO. (Can be covered and refrigerated up to 5 days

Acorn Squash Soup

I’ve revised this recipe a few times since I first made it and think I have it pretty nailed down. This is absolutely one of the best dishes I make. Seriously Sick Delicious.

  • 1   Acorn squash
  • 2  Tablespoons butter
  • 1  teaspoon sweet curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1-2 teaspoon dark brown sugar (will vary depending on how sweet your squash is)
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • Salt & white pepper to taste
  1. Split squash and remove seeds & fiber. Set aside the junk. Cut each half into ~4 even pieces. It’s easiest to do wedges.
  2. Heat butter in pot with a steamer basket (you’ll use the basket later) until foaming subsides. Add fiber/seeds and cook for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Cover with 1-2 cups water (enough to cover seeds and provide steam, but not so much that it touches the bottom of the steamer basket).
  3. Place steamer basket over simmering squash broth and nestle cut pieces in. Simmer until tender- about 20 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat and set aside squash pieces. Strain broth into measuring cup, pressing on solids. Once cool enough to handle, remove rind from squash and place 1/2 to 1/3 of squash in a blender with a similar portion of squash stock. Puree until smooth and add to no clean pot. Repeat until all batches are pureed and smooth. NOTE: There is no need to use all of the stock. You still have 1/2 & 1/2 to add, so you’re looking for a nice, thick creamy soup. You can always add in more squash broth later, but you can never take it out.
  5. Bring soup back to low simmer and add seasonings and sugar. Let simmer on low for about 5 minutes. NOTE: Your seasonings bloom in the heat, so will taste stronger after they have warmed up thoroughly. Make sure you give the soup a few minutes to warm up with the seasonings before adjusting.
  6. Add 1/2 and 1/2 and season to taste with salt & white pepper. Serve plain, with fried shallots or a dollop of greek yogurt mixed with lime and cilantro.

I would like to note that I almost threw the whole mess away after pureeing/ before adding the seasoning, it was that gross. A few dashes later and Sick Delicious. Don’t give up. I’ll get more specific with the measurements next time.