BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘soup

Chicken Feet

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It's so carnal to chop the claws off the parboiled human-like feet. And use a paring knife to cut off the black claw pads.

Leg of lamb apparently isn’t kosher. I learned so much while bragging to my husband’s grandmother that I was making her grandson lamb for a seder. I thought the whole lamb was fair game for Passover. Apparently, the leg is too close to the hoof. But chicken feet are sound? I’ll never understand that logic. Don’t even get me started on the prohibitions against bugs on organic produce.

I wanted to make from-scratch chicken stock for matzo ball soup, so what better time to finally try making stock from chicken feet. I turned to a local source of pastured poultry, Afton Field Farm. They only had one bag of the feet left from last year’s processing. Restaurants buy them up for chicken broth. Unfortunately, the feet were freezer-burned because their claws ripped through their plastic bag. That’s why they’re hard to store. I’ll have to go back for fresh ones when chicken slaughtering begins end of May.Prepping the feet is a bit of a potschke. You must par-boil them, chop off the claws at the joint and, with a paring knife, remove any blackish remaining claw pad. The process gets you in touch with your carnivorous–almost cannibal-like–side, given that peeled chicken feet somehow resemble human hands.

But the collagen-rich broth was delicious and as gelatinous as Jello when refrigerated (is that Manischevitz suspends its jarred gefilte in?). I diluted it with peppery chicken-back stock so nothing tasted out of the ordinary. Chicken backs are another great cheap source of stock.

Simmer the prepared feet for several hours.

Strain the stock, and snack on the feet if that's your pleasure. Apparently, babies like them.










The chicken feet stock reminded me so much of wonton soup broth. I had always thought that broth got its richness from  the pork wontons. But now I know it must be from the chicken feet many Chinese restaurants use for broth. If you are eating chicken feet stock out already at restaurants, shouldn’t you try this frugal culinary secret at home? The process does infuse one’s kitchen, hands and clothes with chicken essence, as if you’d doused yourself with chicken oil. Just how braised a ham hock makes one feel you’re sweating pork. It’s all about becoming one with your food.

See, Mikey likes it.

Written by baltimoregon

April 10, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Soupah’ (Could a Been a Chowdah’) Bowl

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Better get my BlogtimOregon on again already. One meager post in January–here’s to keeping up with New Year’s resolutions. We made the Silver Palate’s ever-reliable “Chili for a Crowd” for the game. This is not your everyday chili. It’s got a unique Dijon mustard-olive-dill-Italian sausage-enhanced tang. We served it with two versions of cornbread: a maple syrup-enhanced one and another with whole kernels, inspired by the Baltimore food blog Coconut & Lime. Added some polenta to the mix to amp up its texture. And we chased it down with Oregon Trail Brown Ale, fresh from the 2.5-gallon beer pig.

Too bad I didn’t realize how appropriate chowder would be this year. Food52 had a cute Manhattan vs. New England Clam Chowder breakdown. Ironic that Manhattan wins hands down in my book. With a coughing baby needing attention, I barely watched a minute of the game. I don’t pretend to care about football, or any professional sports for that matter, but it’s hard to ignore America’s second biggest food holiday, worts (spelling intentional, prounced “wert” my KLCC editor reminds me) and all.

Written by baltimoregon

February 6, 2012 at 1:06 am

Kale and White Kidney Beans Two Easy Ways

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Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup in a Vegetarian Tomato Broth.

But first, earlier in the week, enjoy a hearty appetizer of kale and cannellini beans on garlicky bruschetta.










I had forgotten to blog about these two  delicious, easy, economical and healthy (vegetarian) kale and cannellini bean recipes. You won’t be surprised to learn the recipes come from my friend Ivy Manning, cookbook author extraordinaire who is known to work wonders with kale.

First, make Ivy’s soul-satisfying kale and cannellini beans bruschetta. You’ll be asking yourself why you don’t make bruschetta, on fresh garlic-rubbed sliced baguette more often. It’s easy. For this recipe, I used local Lacinato kale from Beene Farm in Southtown Corvallis and beans from Matt-Cyn Farm in Albany.

Just be sure to reserve the cooking liquid and leftovers for this Italian kale and white bean soup you can then make later in the week. It’s a simple formula that easy allows for improvisation. I went heavy on the tomatoes and stirred in Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Israeli couscous-and-quinoa blend before serving. Effortless weeknight dinner!

Speaking of kale, check out Ivy’s slightly more indulgent recipe for colcannon-like Twice-Baked Irish Potatoes with Stout Onions and, of course, Kale.

Written by baltimoregon

December 29, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Greek Avgolemono (Egg and Lemon) Soup with Sorrel and Morels

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Creamy, lemony goodness, with some sauteed earthy rings of morels.

Some random seasonal ingredients I sprang for through Corvallis Local Foods came together in my souped up version of the Greek avgolemono (Lemon and Egg) soup Monday night. I fell in love with this simple soup while waiting tables the summer after my sophomore year of college at the now defunct Konsta’s Restaurant in Richmond. That soup was the one thing we were allowed to eat on the house.

Purchasing some tart sorrel leaves inspired my recipe. I had never heard of this cool weather spring green until chancing upon it at the market last year. Related to astringent rhubarb, sorrel is high in potassium and Vitamin C, but also oxalic acid, so it should be eaten in moderation, especially if you’re prone to kidney stones. I also just put one scrappy sorrel plant in my garden and look forward to harvesting the perennial next spring. Chefs seem to use it in salads, sauces and pestos and soups. It seems my impulse to pair lemony sorrel with creamy eggs was right.

What "moral" mushrooms.

Then I had homemade chicken stock in the fridge, after roasting a whole bird. Plus farm fresh eggs and plenty of lemons. So avgolemono, or to be exact, an adaptation of Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood “Mediterranean Lemon Soup” it would be. In a separate pan, I caramelized onions and then sauteed some cross-section circles of the morels I finally got my hands on from the Mushroomery and added that to the finished soup. I had plenty of mint and other herbs in the garden for garnish. Instead of rice, I added my favorite “Harvest Grains” blend of Israeli couscous, quinoa, orzo and split baby garbanzo beans to the mix.

The resulting soup was creamy and light but still heartier than such lemon-egg soups usually are. We had stuffed artichokes to round out the meal. More on artichokes TK in another post.

Written by baltimoregon

May 6, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Chocolate Chili, with Local Beans, Local Grain

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Kronis Purple and Moon Beam chili beans from nearby Matt-Cyn Farms.

Plus Stahlford Seed's Wheat berries

It’s been wicked cold, windy and usually dry (until today) in Oregon this week. You want to stay huddled under the covers, wear a hat and gloves even in the house when you emerge and eat steamy soup for dinner. So a hearty batch of refreshingly vegetarian soup we cooked up this week. I first made this Wheat Berry Chili recipe from the Ten Rivers Food Web last year. It’s not the most flavorful or unusual chili I’ve ever had, but it’s a great canvas on which I could showcase the locally grown wheat from Stalford Seed Farms and for the first time, locally grown dried beans lovingly raised by the husband-wife team behind Matt-Cyn Farms.

Matt and Cyndie grow a rainbow of 20-plus varieties of  heirloom beans, including the Moon Beam chili ones and Kronis Purple kidney shaped ones that I used in the soup. Another secret ingredient: I substituted some spoonfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips for the cocoa power the soup’s recipe called for. It’s not that far-fetched when you think of spicy chocolate mole sauces and the fact that most chili recipes feature a tiny bit of cocoa. But I can’t claim credit for the idea. I conveniently heard Nigella Lawson talking up such a recipe on NPR. The chips imbued the soup with creamy flavor that remained subtle, not in your face. Things did get a bit too spicy with the addition of jalapeno peppers I didn’t de-seed enough. It’s amazing how much pepper to pepper varies in heat.

I’ll post the simple recipe here tomorrow, as I’m now nodding off to sleep. But considering the warming pleasure of barley-like wheat berries and dried beans, especially if local farms are selling these crops in your area.

The chocolatey chili.

Written by baltimoregon

December 12, 2009 at 2:30 am

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The Simplicity of Soup: Pea Season

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Chilled fresh pea soup

Chilled fresh pea soup


Be sure to spring for some fresh shelled peas before it is too late! I grabbed some from Gathering Together Farm last week to make my favorite tangy “Chilled Fresh Pea Soup.” It’s a great recipe that says goodbye to spring. For a lighter touch, I substituted yogurt for the heavy cream. And I topped the soup with those purple pansies growing like weeds up through the cracks in the patio and throughout the garden.

I tried my hand at growing peas this year but got them in the ground a tad too late. Mid-to-late February seems ideal here. I also mixed up snow pea and shelling pea varieties. They must have cross-pollinated, or something, because I got some strange hybrid looking pods. But they still taste good. I folded a few of the peas into fresh wonton wrappers I needed to get rid up tonight. I also love them raw. And I feel like there’s a recipe from James Beard’s Delights and Prejudices — maybe creamed peas and potatoes? –that I wanted to try. Speaking of Beard, check out the great, albeit brief, OPB documentary of his life: A Cuisine of Our Own. It’s also a larger culinary history of Oregon. What riches there are here.

Peas in the garden.

Peas in the garden.

My pea harvest Sunday.

My pea harvest Sunday.

Written by baltimoregon

June 23, 2009 at 12:30 am

The Simplicity of Soup: Broccoli Soup with Lemon-Chive Cream

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As much as I cook, sometimes the day-in and day-out preparation and clean-up involved seems like a chore. That’s why this post from Orangette, and the accompanying recipe for broccoli soup, spoke to me. The broth-based soup is light and sweet, from the sauteed leeks, with an umami bite from the simmering with the Parmesan rinds. Before serving, you pick the now tough chewing gum-textured rinds out (nibbling the last morsels of cheese off, if you lust for Parmesan Reggiano, as I do.) I always save those rinds with the best intentions but had never gotten around to cook with them before. What a yummy way to squeeze some flavor out before discarding. Can’t wait to try them in a Ribollita soup soon. Overall, this dish is a refreshing change from gloppy, sometimes sickeningly rich, broccoli cheese soup. The lemon cream (I made with plain yogurt and without the chives) mellows and flavors the soup.

For dessert? Simple baked apples. Satisfying, yet far less memorable than this soup.

Written by baltimoregon

March 3, 2009 at 12:23 am

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The Simplicity of Soup: A Meaty, Tangy Chili for the Ages

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I have nothing but praise for this “Chili For a Crowd Recipe” from the venerable Silver Palate cookbook. We had it at an inauguration party, and I couldn’t wait to recreate it. Ah, The Silver Palate, that bible-like tome for those nouvelle foodies coming up in the 1980s. Fond memories of my parents peering over its sauce-splattered, dog-eared pages. I think I made our host feel old, referring to it as “my parent’s cookbook.” What will be our generation’s Silver Palate? Let’s hope it’s more Mark Bittman, and less Rachael Ray.

Chili demands cornbread: I made this rosemary/olive oil one from the Baltimore food blog Coconut & Lime. I halved the chili recipe and substituted brined kalamata olives, per our host’s directive. No need to drain the tomatoes– you’ll want that broth. The Italian sausage adds bite, but it did call for too much ground chuck, and not enough beans, for my taste. I might do ground turkey (or lamb and white beans!) next time. I can’t believe we’ve had beef two weeks in a row. Sinners, repent! At least tomorrow we are going to a soup lunch, sponsored by the statistics department, that’s a fundraiser for the Oregon State University Food Bank. Let’s hope they have vegetarian options:)

Written by baltimoregon

February 10, 2009 at 1:34 am

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The Simplicity of Soup: Wild Mushroom, Spinach & Barley from Atlanta

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I finally had the chance to attempt a recipe from Souper Jenny Cooks, the cookbook from the Atlanta soup diva whose cafe my sister Elaine loves. I just happened to try the “Wild Mushroom, Spinach & Barley Soup” recipe (see below), which Elaine says is one of her favorites.

This is a soup for the peak of fall mushroom season. But I still found the shiitake and oyster mushrooms I needed at the food co-op (mushrooms ain’t cheap, though). Luckily, cremini mushrooms were on sale so I used them too. I added a combo of homemade chicken stock and prepared vegetable broth, and tossed in wild rice because I didn’t have enough barley. Through in some celeriac and chopped cabbage, too. And I’m probably the only person who would have Chinese Shaoxing wine in the house but not dry sherry, so I made that substitution too (the two can be used pretty interchangeably).

It was a healthy, hearty soup. Can’t wait to try more of the recipes. Thanks for the great cookbook, sis! Can’t wait to visit the soup cafeteria in person with you.

Wild Mushroom, Spinach & Barley Soup (Serves 8-10)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

4 cups shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

4 cups oyster mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

8 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 cup dry sherry

16 cups low sodium vegetable broth

2 cups fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped

2 1/2 cups dry barley

salt and pepper

Heat a heavy duty stock pot and add olive oil. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Add all mushrooms and sherry and saute over medium heat until mushrooms are soft (about 15 minutes). Add vegetable broth and spinach and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in barley and simmer for another 25 to 30 minutes. Add more broth if soup is thicker than you like. Add salt and pepper to taste.

A Note on Cleaning Mushrooms

For this soup, I am very careful about how I clean my mushrooms. First put mushrooms in a colander and shake out any loose dirt or grit. Then, with a damp cloth, wipe down the mushrooms individually. Rinsing mushrooms causes them to absorb excess liquid, which makes them rubbery.

From Souper Jenny Cooks by Jennifer Levison

Written by baltimoregon

January 28, 2009 at 11:52 pm

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Turkey Tortilla Soup: Thankful that I Froze Thanksgiving Leftovers

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No offense, Dad, but we’re tired of the same savory turkey-vegetable-rice soup we make every year with Thanksgiving leftovers. We wanted to make a soup we would actually make in its own right this year. And I had the stock and shredded turkey meat all ready to go in the freezer. If this bird had to die, at least we are using every inch of its meat.

Then I found the perfect tortilla soup recipe that has the wearied post-Thanksgiving cook in mind. It’s from the Baltimore-based food blog Coconut & Lime. Fire-roasted tomatoes and green chiles gave the soup a smokey tang. Grated cheddar, avocado and tortilla chip toppings cooled the heat of the mildy spicy soup. Man, is this recipe a keeper! I might add black beans next time to make more of a turkey chili.

Any other notable turkey soup recipes out there?

Written by baltimoregon

December 9, 2008 at 1:34 am

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