Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Soup

Classic Manhattan Clam Chowder

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 onion, diced
1 medium bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 sprig of thyme
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 bay leaves
15 oz can chopped tomatoes
2 cups of seafood broth or clam juice
2 10-ounce cans of diced clams, drained with juice reserved
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped parsley
Saltine crackers for serving

Directions

Heat the oil in a dutch Oven, Add vegetables and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft but not brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Add drained clam broth, seafood broth, thyme and celery seed, and bay leaves.

Partly cover the pot, and simmer gently until potatoes are tender approximately 10 minutes.

When potatoes are tender, stir in tomatoes, and heat them through. Add chopped clams, stirring to combine. Add black pepper to taste. Let chowder come to a simmer, and remove from heat. Fish out the thyme and the bay leaf, and discard. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

The chowder should be allowed to sit for a while to develop flavor. Reheat it before serving, then garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with oyster crackers.

Homemade Shrimp Po-Boy Sandwiches

3 servings
You can buy the creole seasoning or make your own. See recipe.

Shrimp Seasoning
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
1tablespoon olive oil

Rémoulade Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon capers, drained and minced
1 Tablespoonsweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
1 tsp. tarragon or Champagne vinegar
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
A good sprinkle of paprika

Sandwich
½ lb medium shrimp shells removed and deveined
1 tablespoon olive oil
Creole seasoning
Sliced tomato
Shredded lettuce

3 French bread rolls, about 6 inches long, warmed

Directions

Make the creole seasoning and the Remoulade sauce and set them aside. Preheat the broiler to high.

Place the shrimp and creole seasoning in a ziplock bag. shake and then add the oil. shake again. Cover a sheet pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place the shrimp in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side until curled and light pink. Remove to plate.

To make the sandwiches

Spread some of the Remoulade sauce on both sides of the inside of the rolls. Add sliced tomato and shredded lettuce. Top with 1/3 of the shrimp. serve with a cup of soup.


Ingredients

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sesame oil, divided
1/4 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 large garlic clove, grated
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 oz shiitake, mushrooms, sliced
1 packager frozen dumplings { I used pork and ginger soup dumplings from Trader Joe’s)
3 green onions, sliced
If you like it little spice in the broth, add a pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a large saucepan. Add in the onion. Sauté 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Add garlic and ginger. Sauté for 30 seconds. Add in the chicken broth, soy sauce, and mushrooms.

Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 5-6 minutes.
Add the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil and green onions. Simmer another 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Heat the dumplings in the microwave
Cut the corner of the soup dumpling bag open to allow steam to escape.
Place the soup dumplings on a microwave-safe tray.
Heat on high for 2 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked through.
Let it sit for 1 minute before removing it from the microwave.

Place 3 dumplings in two separate soup bowls and pour the broth over the dumplings.

Chinese Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground pork
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons Thai chili sauce
1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Large lettuce leaves

Directions

In a large skillet, cook pork and onion over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until pork is no longer pink and onion is tender, breaking up pork into crumbles.
Stir in hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, and chili sauce until blended. Add water chestnuts, green onions, and sesame oil; heat through.

To serve, place pork mixture in lettuce leaves; fold lettuce over the filling.


 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (15 ounces) can of diced tomatoes
1-28 oz can of Fire Roasted Red Pepper strips
1 cup of corn
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 corn tortillas, cut into strips

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno peppers and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes, red peppers chili powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Toss the tortilla strips with 1 tablespoon oil and place on a sheet pan. Toast the strips in a 425-degree F oven until crispy, about 10 minutes.

Add chicken. Remove from heat. Add cheese and tortilla strips. Stir well. Return the pot to medium heat and cook until hot, 1 to 2 minutes.

 


 

Escarole, Bean, and Sausage Soup

Ingredients

1 lb hot Italian sausage, slice4d into thin rounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 heads of escarole, chopped
Salt
4 cups low-salt chicken broth for homemade broth see my recipe
2 cups home-cooked cannellini beans or 1 (15-ounce) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (1-ounce) piece Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Crusty bread for serving

Directions
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add sausage and garlic until the sausage is lightly brown. Add the escarole and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt. Add the chicken broth, beans, and Parmesan cheese. Cover and simmer until the beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Ladle the soup into 6 bowls. Drizzle 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil over each. Serve with crusty bread.


Ingredients

8 ounces of short pasta
3 cups fresh broccoli florets (about 1-2 heads)
3 tablespoons butter
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cups cooked chicken cut into bite-size pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup flour
1 cup chicken broth, homemade recipe below, or use store-bought
2 cups milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the pasta. Once the pasta is about 4 minutes from al dente, add the broccoli and cook another 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to baking dish.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and onion. Cook until the chicken is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Mix in the flour and cook for another minute. While mixing, slowly pour in the chicken broth and then milk. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, until thickened to gravy consistency.

Remove the skillet from the heat and mix in the chicken, salt, pepper, parmesan, 1/2 cup cheddar, and ½ cup mozzarella cheese. Pour the pasta and broccoli into the baking dish and mix them together. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is lightly golden brown and the sauce bubbles around the edges.

 

Homemade Chicken Broth

This recipe gives you plenty of chicken and broth for several recipes.

Ingredients

1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) whole chicken
1 onion, halved across the equator
2 carrots, washed and cut in thirds
2 stalks of celery, washed and cut in thirds
1 head of garlic, cut in half across the equator
1 bay leaf
10 sprigs thyme
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

Directions
To a large pot add the chicken, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, and water to cover about 14 cups. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Skim the top of the broth of any impurities that rises to the surface. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer the broth, uncovered, for 1 hour, skimming as needed.

Remove the chicken to a plate. Continue to simmer the broth. Use tongs to handle and shred the meat of the chicken and set it aside for another use. Return the bones and skin to the broth and continue to simmer for an additional hour.
Remove from the heat and strain the broth. Discard the bones and vegetables and allow the broth to cool. Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


Ingredients

5 cups (1/2-inch-diced) peeled eggplant (1 pound)
2 large chopped leeks, white and light green portions
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
4 cups vegetable stock, preferably homemade
2 (28-ounce) cans of crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
2 tablespoons sundried tomato paste
2 teaspoons whole dried fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh basil leaves
Freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Spread eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet, and toss with 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until soft.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a Dutch Oven, add the leeks, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the onion is tender but not browned.

Add the garlic and cook for one minute, stirring often. Add the stock, roasted eggplant, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, fennel seeds, oregano, red pepper flakes, honey, salt, and black pepper.

Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 1-hour stirring occasionally. Puree the soup with a hand blender.

Stir in basil and taste for seasonings.

Serve hot in large bowls sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.


 

Servings: 2

Ingredients

2 (6 ounces) boneless cod fillets
2 ( 6ouncws) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
Half a medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream divided
2 thyme sprigs, chopped, divided
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons salted butter, divided

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in each of two ramekin baking dishes.

Layer one sliced potato on each of the ramekins and top with sliced onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake the potatoes for 30

minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F.

Male a well in the center of each baking dish and place a fillet in the center. Sprinkle with thyme,  salt, and pepper. Pour ¼ cup of cream over each fillet.

Return the baking dishes to the oven and cook for 25 minutes. Serve with sauteed greens.


Chinese Dumpling Soup

Ingredients

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup Shaoxing rice cooking wine or pale dry sherry
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
½ cup Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, and caps s
sliced julienne
½ cup carrot, thinly sliced, and each sliced julienne
6 Trader’ Joe’s frozen Chinese pork and ginger dumplings
3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
½ cup of snow peas, sliced julienne

Asian hot sauce

Directions

Put the broth, ginger, garlic, soy, wine, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar in a soup pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust the heat so the broth simmers and cooks to lightly flavor with ginger, about 10-15-minutes.


Add the carrots, snow peas, and mushroom and simmer until tender and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Just before serving, add the dumplings, cook for 3 minutes, stir in the scallions and cook for about 1 minute. Divide among warm bowls and serve.


Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

8 oz skinless, boneless chicken cut into small pieces
1tablespoon peanut oil
4oz can water chestnuts, drained and sliced
½ cup sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms, caps removed
2 thinly sliced celery stalks
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
8 lettuce leaves
2 diced scallions

Stir Fry Sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
1⁄2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the Spicy Hoisin Dipping Sauces:

4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon Asian chili sauce, I used Sriracha
1 tablespoon warm water

Directions

 

Combine the stir fry sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Combine the dipping sauce ingredients in a serving bowl and set aside.

Heat peanut oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add garlic; cook until golden, about 10 seconds. Add the chicken and ginger; stir fry until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Add mushrooms and water chestnuts. Cool 3 minutes. Add bean sprouts. Cook one minute. Add stir fry sauce and cook until the mixture is slightly thickened.

To serve, spoon 1/4 cup of the chicken into each lettuce leaf. Garnish with scallions and a spoon with a little Spicy Hoisin Dipping Sauce

 


Chef’s Salad

Ingredients

Any combination of vegetables and deli meats that you like can be used for this salad. The attractive arrangement of the salad ingredients makes it eye-pleasing.

I used the following to make two salad plates.

2 hat boiled eggs, quartered

10 olives

1/4of an onion, sliced thin

1/4 of red bell pepper, sliced thin

1’3 of a cucumber, sliced thin

1 celery stalk, chopped

12 grape tomatoes

1/2 an avocado, sliced

2 slices of deli turkey, cut into thin strips

2 slices deli ham, cut into thin strips

2 slices of Swiss or cheddar cheese

Lettuce

Ranch dressing

Directions

Arrange lettuce leaves over the bottoms of two dinner plates. Add the remaking ingredients in small groups around the plates. See photo. Drizzle each plate with dressing and serve.

Ham and Bean Soup

For this recipe, I used a ham bone I had in the freezer from my Easter ham. If you do not have a ham bone, use two ham hocks

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 cups water
1 large ham bone
1 pound dried navy beans, soaked overnight (see below}
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

The day before
Soak the beans in cold water for at least 8 hours (or up to 24 hours) before cooking.

Directions

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Stir in broth, water, hocks, and beans. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beans are completely tender and soup is slightly thickened, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the ham bone from the pot to cool, then shred the meat and add to the soup.
Stir in thyme, pepper, and vinegar. Serve for lunch or dinner.

Ham Salad

4 servings

Ingredients

2 cups finely diced baked ham
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Half medium onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
Half a bell pepper, finely diced
Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, and pickle relish in a large bowl. Add the ham, vegetables, salt, and black pepper to taste. Stir well and refrigerate until serving time.

This salad is also tasty mixed into cooked elbow macaroni for a ham and macaroni salad or as a sandwich filling.


French Onion Soup

8 servings

Ingredients

3 large sweet onions, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
64 ounces (8 cups) beef broth {see homemade version below}
1 tablespoon dry sherry or cognac
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Topping

8 tablespoons freshly grated/shredded parmesan cheese
16 slices thin swiss cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
8 (1-ounce) slices French bread,1/2-inch thick, toasted

Directions

Cut onions in half, then thinly slice.
In a large soup pot, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat and add the onions.
Saute onions for about 20 minutes, until limp and golden brown in color.


Add the beef broth and thyme and heat to boiling, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the sherry and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the oven to broil.

Place soup crocks (the number will depend on servings) in a baking pan and ladle onion soup evenly among the soup crocks filling each ¾ quarters of the way.

Add one tablespoon of grated cheese to each crock and stir gently.

Place a slice of toasted bread and two slices of swiss cheese on top of each bread slice.

Carefully transport the baking pan with the crocks to the broiler and broil the crocks until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly, anywhere from 5-10 minutes.

Serve the crocks on separate plates.

Homemade Beef Broth

Ingredients

3 -4 lbs beef bones, meaty
3 carrots, scraped, broken in several pieces
2 medium onions, peeled, quartered
3 stalks celery, broken into several pieces
2leeks, cleaned and cut into chunks
1 sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
6 -8 peppercorns

Directions

Place the beef bones in a large heavy pot and cover with cold water by about two inches.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat and skim the sum which rises to the top–this should take about five minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and more cold water so that everything is covered by at least an inch or two.
Bring the stock to a simmer again, skimming as necessary.
When the stock is simmering (Do NOT allow it to boil), partially cover and maintain at a very slow simmer for four to five hours.
If the water level gets too low, add boiling water to the pot.
Skim as necessary.
When the vegetables and the bones have given their all to the broth, strain the broth and discard the solids.
Set the stock, uncovered in the refrigerator until the fat has risen to the top and solidified.
Remove and discard the fat.
Taste the degreased stock (remembering it contains no salt) and if it is not strong enough, reduce it over medium heat.
When the stock is cold, store it in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer.



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