Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

White Bean and Tomato Soup

When I was a child, I was a very picky eater. One of the only things my mother could get me to eat were sliced tomatoes, coated in Italian dressing. I'm not really sure why she ever offered them like that initially, but it was literally all I would eat for dinner many a night. Perfectly ripe tomatoes are by far my favorite fruit. 
I genuinely love them more than other fruits, even the sweet ones.

I never lost my love for tomatoes. 
When I first started cooking for myself, I would buy pints of cherry tomatoes, slice them and add them raw to cooked pasta. I would saute them with vegetables, basil and garlic, and eat them over rice. 

When I was wondering around my apartment today after work, I had an overwhelming desire for tomato soup, preferably paired with a grilled cheese sandwich. I don't think there has ever been a more perfect pair. Although someone left a half quart of milk in my refrigerator after the seasonal cookie festivities, and I could have hypothetically made the cream of tomato soup that traditionally accompanies a grilled cheese, I lacked the bread to make a grilled cheese. I also had a half cup of white beans I had cooked on Sunday languishing in my refrigerator, lonely and begging to be used. 

So I did. 

1.5 cups cooked white beans, and approximately 1/2 cup cooking liquid if from scratch  
7 oz canned tomatoes with liquid (1/2 can)
1 carrot, peeled and sliced 
1/2 onion, chopped 
2 cups stock 
Water to cover 
A pinch cayenne 

Bring water, stock, tomatoes, carrot and onion to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 30 minutes, then add white beans and cayenne, and heat through. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I Think My Family Might Secretly Be Jewish

  • Reason #1:  Apparently it's a Jewish thing to go see a movie on Christmas day. 
  • Reason #2: Apparently it's a Jewish thing to eat Chinese food on Christmas. I, personally, can't imagine  Christmas without char siu bao and jin dui. 


Remember kids: 

Whatever. All I've been eating for the last 24 hours are sugar cookies and gingerbread I made. They were intended for the family, but if they're not going to participate in TRADITION I'm just going to NOT SHARE. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Curried Sweet Potato Soup

It's sad how if I eat like crap for just a bit, I feel like crap for much longer. I hung out with a few of my best female friends on Saturday, and we pretty much gorged ourselves on fried and sugary foods. I pride myself on cooking the vast majority of my own meals, and for sticking to a relatively healthy diet. However, that day, I did not eat anything that hadn't been fried. 
Someone told me recently that's a sign of getting old. I know that isn't really what it is.
I can't possibly be getting old.  
I've always been like that. 
Maybe I was born old. 
I've been told I'm old soul, on several occasions. 
Maybe that was a nice way of saying "That skirt looks like it belongs to an geriatric with dementia." 

Regardless, I felt the overpowering need to cook something with VEGETABLES. 

Due to a severe lack of unicorn steak, I opted instead for a delicious sounding stew at Everyone Likes Sandwiches. I left out the rice, since I bought some rather disappointing onion rolls from a grocery store, and added cooked adzuki beans for protein. 
And obviously, too much stock. 
And too much spicy curry paste.
So I topped it off with coconut milk to lower the heat. 

It was delicious, and just what I needed. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Split Pea Soup

The first time I experimented with split pea soup was in college. I made the decision to pursue a vegetarian lifestyle when I was a freshman, so, as one might imagine, my culinary options were vastly limited. It was great, initially.  SALAD AND CAKE FOR EVERY MEAL. CAKE IS ALWAYS VEGETARIAN! No guilt from a giant slice of cake because I ATE SALAD LIKE A BOSS. ERRYDAY WAS CAKE DAY.

Eventually, I got sick of that. I moved on to pb&j sandwiches, cereal for lunch, rice and cookies for dinner. And then I realized they had a soup section most of the time. I actually remember the day I tried split pea soup for the first time. It was raining. I was damp and miserable, worn out and worn down from a winter quarter filled with SCIENCE. My freshly minted physics notes were wet, thanks my despondent ambling back and forth across campus.  When wandering through the dining common, searching for something to warm my cold bones and keep me full enough to last until my next meal, I lingered in front of a hotel pan filled with suspiciously colored split pea soup. I decided to take the plunge.

It was satisfying, warm and deceptively delicious. I was won over.

The soup I made tonight was definitely tastier. I used a recipe from 101 Cookbooks, where it's explained far better than I could ever hope to.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Red Lentil and Squash Soup

Yet another dubiously mustard colored soup... At least when I take pictures of it. In reality, it was a nice warm gold. Light but with a creamy consistency, easily slurped while spacing out and watching terrible TV. 

Which is what I've devoted the lion's share of my free time to lately. In my defense, I've been reasonably sick, since I appear to have an immune system comparable to that of a seven year old. 

I've been obsessively watching Top Chef. I adore shows that involve making things. I used to be obsessed with Project Runway. I love Iron Chef. I'm always glued to the TV when Chopped is on. 
Top Chef has a bit more drama than I usually enjoy, but somehow I keep getting drawn in to the drama. The bitter hipster in me is really disappointed that I get into this stuff. I am perfectly fine with being interested in the food aspect of it, though. 

I'm not really sure where I was going with this, but I had half a roasted butternut squash from yesterday so I wanted to use it all up. Squash IS ridiculously cheap, but I knew if I didn't use it today, I wouldn't use it at all. 

1/2 white onion, chopped 
1/3 cup red lentils
1/2 butternut squash 
1/2 tsp tumeric, cumin, and minced fresh ginger 
1 tbsp olive oil 
2 cups stock 
2 cups water 
pinch of cayenne 
1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Feeds two absent minded Christina's 

Saute the onions in olive oil until translucent. 
Meanwhile, in a soup pot bring red lentils and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. When tender, add roasted squash, spices, and stock. Simmer for about five more minutes. Allow to cool sufficiently to blend in a blender. Blend until smooth, and top with cilantro. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Roasted Winter Squash and Turnip Soup

I'm still sick.

It's not cute anymore. No one wants to put up with my bullshit, not even me.

It wasn't cute to begin with.
Maybe it would have been cute if I was just flushed and had the vapors or something. Sinus infections aren't cute. Accidentally coughing on coworkers isn't cute. Having someone note that you "kind of sound like you're dying" isn't cute.

I'm sick of this bullshit, body. We've got some talking to do if you really think we can make this work.


1/2 Butternut Squash
1 medium turnip, peeled and quartered
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 an onion
2 cups stock
2 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil

Feeds two lethargic, whiny Christina's
Inspired by, yet again, Love Soup

The ravioli is a spinach ricotta one Fresh and Easy. It was made of disappointment. Every time I tried to scoop it up with my spoon, it would fall off and splash soup everywhere. When I finally did manage to bite it, the filling fell out and splattered across the soup, my table and my face. 
Pasta and I have a mostly hate relationship. 

Preheat oven to 400. Toss turnip, squash with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until squash starts to collapse, and turnips are browned. 40+ minutes.
MEANWHILE Sweat the onions in olive oil in a pot. Add potatoes, stock, and then STOP AND MAKE THAT MOTHER FUCKING HAMMERTIME 
Seriously get that song out of my head. It's fucking terrible.
If the potatoes become tender before the roasting is done, add the turnip and squash flesh. When adding turnip and squash, add water if the existing liquid doesn't cover everything. Allow to cool and blend until smooth.  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

White Bean and Radicchio Stew

My CSA box had a huge head of radicchio chilling in the bottom. I wasn't really sure what to do with it, since I haven't ever had it in any way other than as part of a salad. So, to Google I went! The question was, what to make? Salad didn't sound like a very good idea. I'm still super sick, and I wanted something with less... texture for dinner. Soup would have been ideal, probably, but I didn't really run into any recipes I liked the idea of... Until I saw the one for White Bean and Radicchio Stew at Nytimes.

It was pretty when it was all ripped up and being cleaned :(

I found on Nytimes this recipe, and it looked pretty good. I more or less followed it to the letter, so I'm not going to bother copying it out. The only difference is that I halved the recipe.

...Not so pretty when it's done cooking, unfortunately.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ginger Chicken Soup

I woke up last night repeatedly pretty much coughing my lungs out. I'm used to getting horrifically sick on a regular basis, but somehow this year I've been relatively healthy.
Obviously I was tempting fate.

I don't cook meat very often, but when I do, I make sure I fuck it up completely chicken soup is kind of one of those comfort foods I crave when ill. My mom used to make chicken soup for me when I was sick. I think that ginger and spice are a great way to clear out the sinuses when you're congested.

2 chicken thighs
1 bunch mustard greens
4 scallions, trimmed and sliced into 3 inch lengths
3 cloves garlic
4 nickles of ginger (probably want to lower this to three if you aren't a huge ginger fan)
4 cups stock
2 cups water

Serves 3 sickly Christinas

  • Add everything but the mustard greens to the pot and simmer for 50 minutes. 
  • Add mustard greens and simmer for 15 more minutes 

Alright, time to crawl back into bed. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I went to my general practitioner, mostly because I'm attempting to get a recommendation to see an allergist because I'm CONVINCED something in my environment is slowly killing me. The last time I went to the doctor, she said that if I felt that my allergic medication wasn't really doing anything, I should try not taking it.

So I did.

Apparently, Zrytec is all that stands between me and being completely unable to eat solid food, get out of bed, or even think coherently.

brb vomiting blood.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bell Pepper and Corn Soup

When I opened my box of vegetables this week, I was honestly confused. It's December. Why are there lettuce and bell peppers? I thought I was doing this to get seasonal vegetables?
I don't know.
Seasonality is a mystery to me. I just don't know.
Just... whatever. I'll eat it. It ain't no thang.

I wanted to use a soup recipe from the cookbook "Love Soup" but I didn't have all the ingredients, of course, so I pretty much just improvised.

1/2 white onion, diced... sort of
1 garlic clove, minced
Two Bell Peppers, diced... sort of
1 Jalapeno, minced
~1/2 sweet corn (frozen, it's all I had)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cups stock
Juice from half a lemon

Sweat the onions in olive oil over medium heat until they're translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add bell peppers, jalapeno and stock and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat until it simmers, and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Add in the corn and simmer for five more minutes. Add the lemon juice and parsley when done :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Arugula and Apple Soup, Topped with Toasted Pecans

I didn't have high hopes for this, honestly. I find arugula to be very assertive, and I was worried the soup would be bitter. I've had arugula and pear salad before, and although I didn't think it terrible, I didn't really have high hopes. However, I had the ingredients for this soup in my CSA box, so I thought, eh why not?
My worries were completely unfounded. This was utterly, and somehow surprisingly, delicious. Lemony, bright, and pleasantly spicy.
The recipe is from Love Soup, which is an absolutely adorable vegetarian cookbook. The quantities are a bit varied from hers, though.

1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 apple, peeled and cored (gala I think maybe in my case? I'm not sure)
5 oz Arugula
1 boiling potato
3 scallions, chopped
1/4 Parsley, chopped
1/2 lemon
2 cups broth
1/4 tsp cayenne
pinch nutmeg
1/4 c chopped pecans
1 tbsp olive oil

Serves two greedy Christina's

  • Spread pecans on a baking sheet and cook in the oven at 300 degrees for 10 minutes 
  • Sweat onion in a soup pot on medium with the olive oil until translucent 
  • Roughly chop the potato, arugula, and apple. 
  • Pour 2 cups water and two cups stock in a pot with the apples and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook for 10 minutes.
  •  Add the scallion and simmer for five more minutes. 
  • Add arugula and parsley, and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice, cayenne, and a pinch of nutmeg 
  • Puree in a blender to a consistency you like. Mine was hella hella chunky cause I like biting stuff . 
  • top with pecans 
  • Nom