Friday, February 12, 2010

Two Soups for a Cozy Weekend

Bags are packed, skis are in the car, and the short ribs are seasoned on ice. Cabin weekend, the winter version is here at last! Soon I will be in the car on a 6 hour journey to spend a weekend up in Wisconsin with my best friends and their significant others. We will be making a feast on Saturday night, a cozy Italian winter meal with Cabernet braised short ribs, wild mushroom risotto, and roasted carrots. How good does that sound after a long day of skiing in the cold Wisconsin air?

Yeah I know, I would be jealous if I were you too. But fret not, I leave you with two hearty, soul warming soups to get you through the chilly weekend. I won't wax on yet again on how much I love soup, because I have done that a few times already on this blog, but trust me when I say, these soups will be made again and again in my house, and I hope you find the time to try them for yourselves.

Curried Ginger-Lentil Soup
adapted slightly from Hungry Cravings

2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup minced garlic
¼ cup minced ginger
4 carrots, diced
3-4 tablespoons hot curry powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 bay leaves
2 quarts water
2 quarts chicken stock
1 ¼ pounds lentils, picked over
2 limes, juiced
Kosher salt
½ cup minced cilantro

Place olive oil in large heavy pot and heat over medium-high heat until oil is hot. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for a few minutes, just until softened. Add the carrots and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add the curry powder, cumin, and bay leaves, stir to combine, and saute for 1-2 minutes.

Add the water, chicken stock, and lentils, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 40-45 minutes, until lentils are soft, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard bay leaves, stir in cilantro and lime juice.

Serve with some extra cilantro on top and some sour cream if you are feeling naughty. This makes a LOT of soup, but fear not, it freezes beautifully.

Black Bean Chorizo Soup
recipe by Rick Bayless

3/4 pound (1 1/2 cups) dried black beans, picked over
6 cups water
6 cups chicken stock
6 ounces (about 1 link) Mexican-style chorizo, casing removed and crumbled
1 stalk fennel, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped
4 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place beans in large stock pot and cover with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil then remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour until beans are soft. Drain the beans return them to the pot.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the chorizo, fennel, onion, and chipotle peppers. Cover, leaving the lid open a crack, and simmer for about 2 hours, until all veggies are tender to the point of falling apart.

In batches, transfer soup to food processor or blender and pulse until you have a smooth, thick puree. Return puree to pot over medium-low heat and stir in salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with queso fresco, avocados, crushed tortilla chips, sour cream and basically anything else you fancy.

Hope you have a lovely weekend, and stay warm!


Hungry Dog said...

Both of these sound fabulous, and nice photos too, Hollow Peas! But I'm already dreaming of your cabernet-braised short ribs and wild mushroom risotto...hope you plan to post about those!

Have a great weekend!

HollowPeas said...

Hungry Dog,

Yes I will definitely be posting about the short ribs and risotto, they were JUST what we needed after a long day of skiing. Hopefully I got some decent pictures, it was pretty dark in the cabin in the woods :-)

Kevin said...

Two really nice looking soups!

HollowPeas said...

Kevin -

Thanks for stopping by! I follow your blog and love your recipes!

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