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Carrot Mango Soup

Carrot Mango Soup

In Soups and Stews On June 29, 2011 0 Comments

On any given afternoon, I’ll do anything to avoid going to the supermarket. To avoid rush hour traffic, I’ll create a quick meal with whatever I find in my refrigerator. In one such instance, all I had were a few carrots, a mango and a piece of fresh ginger. These ingredients were enough to surprise my family with a sweet, tangy soup. But when I finally got to the dinner table, the soup had already cooled down. What a great mishap! I realized that the tropical flavors make this soup exquisite whether it’s served hot or lukewarm. Serve my carrot mango soup – a perfect light meal or first course for a summer lunch or dinner!

Active prep time: 20 to 25 minutes
Inactive prep time: 30 to 35 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
6 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (to measure 4 cups)
1 cup diced mango (peel first)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon finely chopped brown onion
3 to 3½ cups cold water
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a 6-quart saucepot, combine carrots, mango, ginger, garlic, onion, 3 cups of the water and salt.

2. Bring to a boil and cook on high heat, uncovered, 6 to 7 minutes, or until carrot is tender when pierced with a fork.

3. Transfer pot to a cold burner and set aside, uncovered, to cool, 30 to 35 minutes.

4. Purée the cooled soup in blender, in batches, transferring each puréed batch to a large glass or porcelain bowl.

5. Return puréed soup to saucepot and bring to a boil.

6. Stir and add a little more water, until you reach the desired consistency.

7. Add black pepper and taste. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Serve hot, garnished with sour cream and a sprig of parsley.

Text & Photograph ©2011 Nancy DeLucia Real

Back-On-Track Soup

Back-On-Track Soup

In Soups and Stews On January 6, 2011 2 Comments

As soon as my sweet tooth took over last month, my conscience immediately started dreaming up some lean menus for January 2011. Returning to the Santa Monica Canyon steps, telepathy has restored my dieting power (I know I’m not the only one who chowed down chocolates and gingerbread cookies). Once more, healthy and tasty soups are high on my recipe list. For this one, all you have to do is cut up a fresh carrot, a yam and some chard. Sit down, enjoy your home cooked meal and get right back on track!

Prep time: 20 to 25 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
3 quarts (12 cups) vegetarian or chicken broth
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 medium yam, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 bunch fresh chard (green, red or Rainbow variety), coarsely chopped
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a 5 or 6-quart saucepot, bring the broth to a boil.

2. Add the carrot and yam pieces and cook on medium-high heat for 3 minutes.

3. Stir in the chard; cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

4. Serve as a chunky, leafy soup.

5. Alternatively, cool soup to warm and purée in batches. Return to pot and heat through.

Serve immediately with cheese toasts, bagel toasts or bread.

Wine pairing: Chilled Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio (white).

Text and Photographs ©2011 Nancy DeLucia Real

Stewed Okra

Stewed Okra

In Soups and Stews, Vegetables On September 11, 2010 0 Comments

A few weeks ago, at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market I heard someone ask, “How do you make okra?” This recipe is a wonderful response to that question. While all the vegetables marry well in the stewing, the sauce is the best part and should be picked up with some good Italian bread.

Prep time: 20 to 25 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound fresh okra, tops cut off and discarded
2 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pasilla pepper, stem and seeds discarded and flesh cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds discarded and flesh cut into thin strips
1 medium brown onion, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup vegetable broth
1 pound cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat the oil in a 4-quart stockpot. Add the okra, eggplant, pasilla and bell pepper strips and stir fry on high heat, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the onion and cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes.

3. Stir in the vegetable broth and cook on medium-high heat, 1 to 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve with fresh Italian bread or steamed rice.

Note: This is a vegan recipe.

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real

Jiffy Soup for May and June Weather in LA

Jiffy Soup for May and June Weather in LA

In Soups and Stews On May 18, 2010 1 Comment

Before moving to LA I thought I was coming to the tropics. I arrived in the month of May and asked, “Where is all the sunshine?” Somebody answered, “Here in LA, this is sort of our winter.”

These days, while waiting for the May and June fog to burn off in the City of the Angels, I’m soooo cold and need some soup to warm up. I don’t want to be in the kitchen for hours either. I just want to eat my hot delicious soup now – it’s easy, quick and vegan, too!

Prep time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 celery stalk, peeled
1 small carrot, peeled
1/2 brown or white onion
4 tablespoons extra virgin or vegetable oil
3 cups vegetable broth combined with 4 cups cold water
1 zucchini, julienned
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
2 to 3 yellow sunburst squash, julienned
1 potato, peeled and julienned
1 vegetable bouillon cube
Salt, to taste

1. In a food processor, grind together the celery stalk, small carrot and onion; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a 5 or 6-quart saucepot, heat the oil. Saute the ground vegetables in the oil until onion is translucent, about 1 minute. Add the broth-water mixture and bring to a boil.

3. Stir in the remaining vegetables. Bring to a boil and stir in the vegetable bouillon cube.

4. Let bouillon cube dissolve and taste the soup. If needed, add a little salt.

5. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are crunchy-tender.

Serve immediately with any type of warm bread: Italian or French; flour or corn tortilla; lavash, naan or pita.

Variation: Add other favorite vegetables such as a thinly sliced leek (white parts only), 2 cups shredded cabbage and/or 1 cup cooked beans (kidney, white or garbanzos). You may also add 1 cup frozen corn, peas, fava beans or edamame.

Additionally, you may add cooked pasta (small variety) or cooked rice (brown, white or wild).

Note: To julienne veggies, see the Tips and Tricks page.

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy Real