|Soups from round the world: Mexican tortilla soup.|
While this blog is dedicated to Spanish cooking, Spanish is not the only food from my kitchen. So, this month, I’m taking my soup pot right around the world.
It started with a Facebook link to Saveur for a recipe for Mulligatawny, a spicy soup from India, by cookbook author Madhur Jaffrey (see the recipe here). The soup with red lentils, spices and coconut milk is topped with a sauce of more spices fried in butter. Except, I replaced the butter in the recipe with olive oil.
Not authentic! you say. Well, no. But, authenticity was never my criteria for a good soup, whatever it’s origin. I´m after big flavor, plenty of vegetables, and stick-to-the-ribs satisfaction. In my humble opinion, olive oil is an improvement on butter!
Red lentils are flavored with ginger, garlic, onion, chilies, coriander, cumin and turmeric and finished with coconut milk. The red sauce on top is made with olive oil, Aleppo pepper, cumin, coriander and black mustard seeds. Made with vegetable stock, this is a hearty vegetarian soup.
Mediterranean-New England Fish Chowder
For this chowder, saute onions, celery and carrots in olive oil, add potatoes, zucchini and corn kernels and simmer in (homemade) chicken broth. Enrich the soup with evaporated milk. Add chunks of white fish and cook them until flaky. Serve with crisped bits of bacon or serrano ham.
Middle Eastern Meatball Soup
This recipe by Faye Levy, author of Feast from the Mideast, recently appeared in the Jerusalem Post (about Faye here ). I like that the meatball mixture includes chickpea flour. Poaching the meatballs in soup makes it unnecessary to fry them. The only tweaking to Faye’s recipe was to add some olive oil to the soup and to make the meatballs with ground chicken thighs instead of beef.
Middle Eastern Meatball and Vegetable Soup, by Faye Levy (used with permission).
Makes 6 to 8 servings
7 cups water, more if needed
Salt to taste
2 medium potatoes, peeled if desired, cut into chunks
½ to 1 cauliflower, divided in medium florets
4 carrots – 2 sliced and 2 diced
2 squash, green or yellow, halved and sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 or 2 small celery ribs, diced
1 or 2 Tbsp. chopped ginger root (optional)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
A few parsley stems (optional)
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. ground pepper
Beef and Chickpea Flour Meatballs:
350 gr. (¾ pound) lean ground beef
¼ cup chickpea flour
1 fairly small onion, coarsely grated (about ½ cup)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground pepper
½ tsp. turmeric
2 cups baby spinach leaves, or coarsely chopped large spinach, stems removed (to finish)
3 or 4 Tbsp. chopped green onion (to finish)
Bring 7 cups water to a boil with a pinch of salt in a stew pan. Add potato chunks and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Add cauliflower and sliced carrots, return to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes.
Add squash slices, return to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon.
Add onion, diced carrots, celery, ginger root, garlic and parsley stems to vegetable cooking liquid.
Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add cumin, turmeric and pepper. Discard parsley stems.
To make meatballs: In a medium bowl combine the beef, chickpea flour, grated onion, parsley, salt, pepper and turmeric. Knead until thoroughly mixed. Shape mixture in meatballs, using about 1 tablespoon of mixture for each one. Add them one by one to the simmering soup.
If there is not enough broth to cover the meatballs, add ½ to 1 cup hot water, pouring it near the side of the pan, not over the meatballs. Cover and cook the meatballs over low heat for 45 minutes, or until soup is well-flavored. If soup is too thin, uncover for the last 15 minutes of cooking; if it is too thick, gradually add ¼ to ½ cup hot water.
Just before serving, add spinach to soup and heat for 1 minute or until wilted. Return cooked vegetables to soup and heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve soup sprinkled with chopped green onion.
Chunky Ukrainian Borscht
With the news from Ukraine this week, I have been thinking about Mila, who was from a small village in Ukraine. Mila smuggled herself into Spain to work for two years to earn enough money to help pay for a son’s wedding. (Yes, we have illegal immigrants in Spain, too.) She worked as a caregiver for a dear friend of mine. I learned to make this hearty version of borscht from Mila. (A similar recipe can be found here .)
Tender chunks of beef go into the soup with beets, carrots, turnips, onions and cabbage cooked in beef broth. I used olive oil instead of butter and substituted Greek yogurt for the sour cream garnish.
Chinese-Style Hot-and-Sour Soup
My favorite Asian grocery store closed up shop recently, so I was without the sesame oil, tree-ear mushrooms, bamboo shoots and lily buds that usually go into this soul-satisfying soup. No problem. I added broccoli and chard stems and a drizzle of olive oil. Olive oil is surprisingly good in Chinese cooking. I use it in stir-fries as well. (A recipe for hot-and-sour soup is here .)
Strips of pork, cubes of tofu and beaten eggs go into a peppery soup with mushrooms. Here, it’s served with white rice and bean sprouts on the side.
Spanish-Mexican Tortilla Soup
Serves 4 to 6.
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
12 ounces boneless chicken thighs
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 or 2 fresh jalapeño chilies
3 cloves garlic
1 can (14-ounce) whole tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup sliced zucchini
½ teaspoon salt
6 corn tortillas
Olive oil for frying
2 avocados, sliced
Sour cream or Greek yogurt
Chopped green onions
In a soup pot combine the broth and water. Bring to a boil, add the chicken thighs, cover and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. Skim the chicken out of the broth and let it cool.
In a food processor combine the onion, chilies, garlic and tomatoes. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet and add the onion mixture. Fry on high heat until mixture is reduced and beginning to stick to the pan, about 12 minutes. Add ½ cup of broth to the skillet and stir. Add the skillet mixture to the soup pot with the zucchini and simmer the soup 15 minutes.
Shred or chop the chicken and return it to the soup.
Cut the tortillas in half and into crosswise strips. Heat the oil in a small skillet and fry the strips, a few at a time, until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels.
Serve the soup garnished with fried tortilla strips, sliced avocado, a dollop of yogurt and cilantro. Serve limes, radishes, onions and chilies on the side.
Here are links to just a few of the Spanish soups that have previously appeared in this blog.
Cream of Pumpkin Soup http://mykitcheninspain.blogspot.com.es/2013/11/pumpkin-soup-fit-for-marques.html
Lentil Pot with Sausage http://mykitcheninspain.blogspot.com.es/2012/02/turn-up-heat-with-pot-of-lentils.html
Galician Soup with Beans and Greens (caldo gallego) http://mykitcheninspain.blogspot.com.es/2011/01/soup-garden.html
Chicken Soup (Sopa de picadillo) http://mykitcheninspain.blogspot.com.es/2012/09/soothing-chicken-soup.html
Basque Leek Soup (porrusalda) http://mykitcheninspain.blogspot.com.es/2012/03/like-leeks.html
|Spain's garlic soup (http://mykitcheninspain.blogspot.com.es/2010/01/garlic-soup-for-morning-after.html)|