BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

The Simplicity of Soup

with 7 comments

Sesame-Eggdrop (Veggie) Soup by Mollie Katzen

Sesame-Eggdrop (Veggie) Soup by Mollie Katzen

When it’s gray and I don’t feel like an inspired cook, I turn to soup. Tonight, it was a gingery Sesame Eggdrop Soup, with tofu, veggies and a cider vinegary bite. Citrusy Brazilian Black Bean Soup fed us the other night. Both are from the cute little Mollie Katzen’s Soups (a la Moosewood Cookbook) easel book from my friend Ann.

Katzen loves stirring eggs into her vegetarian soup for protein (as in her Mediterranean Lemon, like the Greek avgolemono), which I’ve also made.

Have you turned to soup lately? It’s hard to mess up. Any recipes you’ve made to pass along?

Written by baltimoregon

November 13, 2008 at 12:57 am

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  1. Laura – I love to read about your culinary adventures. Last winter, Melissa Clark published a recipe for Red Lentil Soup that is delicious, easy, fast and nutritious. Giada deLaurentis has a recipe for Ribollita which uses up the rinds of the parmesan reggiano cheese that we always have in the house. Again, a quick, easy nutritious recipe (I don’t do the croutons and I omit the pancetta). Both are displayed below. Judy

    Recipe: Red Lentil Soup With Lemon

    Published: January 9, 2008

    Time: 45 minutes

    3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling

    1 large onion, chopped

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    1 tablespoon tomato paste

    1 teaspoon ground cumin

    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste

    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

    Pinch of ground chili powder or cayenne, more to taste

    1 quart chicken or vegetable broth

    1 cup red lentils

    1 large carrot, peeled and diced

    Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste

    3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro.

    1. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.

    2. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.

    3. Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.

    4. Using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.

    5. Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted lightly with chili powder if desired.

    Yield: 4 servings.

    Giada’s Ribollita


    * 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling on bread
    * 1 onion, chopped
    * 1 carrot, chopped
    * 4 ounces pancetta, chopped
    * 2 cloves garlic, 1 minced and 1 whole
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    * 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
    * 1 pound frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
    * 1 (15-ounce) can cannelloni beans, drained
    * 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
    * 3 cups chicken stock
    * 1 bay leaf
    * 1 (3-inch) piece Parmesan rind
    * 4 to 6 ciabatta rolls, halved lengthwise or 1 loaf, sliced
    * Grated Parmesan, for serving


    Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, pancetta, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onion is golden brown and the pancetta is crisp, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir until dissolved. Add tomatoes and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the brown bits. Add the spinach, beans, herbs, stock, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Drizzle the ciabatta halves with olive oil. Toast until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and rub the top of the toasts with the whole garlic clove. Place the toasts in the serving bowls and ladle the soup over the toasts. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.


    November 13, 2008 at 7:13 am

  2. Thanks Judy! Red lentil sounds great. Lemon works wonders for a broth. And I have been intrigued to try cooking with parmesan rinds. I know they mention doing so on “The Splendid Table” radio show.


    November 13, 2008 at 1:15 pm

  3. Hi Laura! Love your blog. If its not too complicated, would be great if you added an RSS feed option 🙂


    November 13, 2008 at 3:22 pm

  4. What yummy-sounding soups! I’m inspired….


    November 13, 2008 at 5:36 pm

  5. Sounds like it’s gray and you feel uninspired pretty often ..


    November 13, 2008 at 7:01 pm

  6. Glad the soup book has come in handy! Looks delicious.


    November 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm

  7. Thanks! I love those little books. I’m actually in a soup shop right now. I had a great wild mushroom one for lunch.


    November 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm

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