CREAMY CARROT-GINGER SOUP Serves 8 as starter
1T unsalted butter
1T extra-virgin olive oil
Onion, Celery, Leeks, 1 ¼ c total combination
1T fresh ginger, minced
2t fresh garlic, minced
1 ½ t curry powder, if desired
1 ½ lb carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced ¼-inch thick
5 c vegetable broth
3T Orange Juice, fresh is best
¼ c thick whole yogurt
1 ½ t fresh lime juice
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Snipped chives for garnish
In a 4-5 quart Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. When hot, add the onion, celery, leeks, garlic and ginger, stirring occasionally until soft, 8-10 minutes. Stir in 1t sea salt.
Add the carrots, stock, and orange juice. Stir well and simmer over medium heat, Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and soup is full flavored, about 10-20 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Puree, using a blender (in batches) or in the pan using an immersion blender until smooth.
Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste add whisk in the yogurt until incorporated. Stir in the lime juice ½ t at a time until you reach the desired flavor.
Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with fresh chives.
TORTILLA SOUP with CHICKEN and LIME Serves 6
Sopa de Tortilla
5 corn tortillas, 5-6 inches in diameter
¼ – ½ c peanut oil
4 c chicken stock
2 c water
1 can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes with juice
1 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
½ t ground cumin
¼ t dried crushed red pepper
1 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs
2-3 T white rice, uncooked
4 scallions, sliced (including greens)
½ c cilantro, chopped
2-4 T fresh lime juice
1 c cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot combine stock, water, tomatoes, bay leaf, garlic, cumin and red pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Wash and dry chicken and add to liquid. Simmer for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove, allow to cool.
Add rice and cook until tender about 15 minutes.
Shred chicken and return to pot. Turn heat to low.
Meanwhile heat oil in a skillet. Stack tortillas and cut in half. Stack halves and cut into ½ inch strips. Place tortillas into hot oil and fry until golden. Work in appropriate sized batches so as to not overcrowd pan. Drain on paper towels.
Add scallions, cilantro and lime juice to the soup. Stir well.
To serve, place a few tortilla chips into the bottom of a bowl. Ladle hot soup over chips. Place a few more on top and sprinkle with cheddar cheese and or avocado.
WEST AFRICAN SPICY PEANUT STEW w/ CHICKEN
4 Main Course Servings
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ¾-1 inch cubes
1 T hot sauce (I like Trader Joe’s jalapeno hot sauce)
4 c chicken broth
1/3 c creamy peanut butter (do not use natural or old fashioned as it will separate)
2 T tomato paste
5 T butter
1 ½ c onion, chopped
2 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut into ½ inch cubes
2 T all-purpose flour
1 c drained canned diced tomatoes in juice
Combine chicken and hot sauce in medium bowl and toss to coat well. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss again.
Whisk chicken broth, peanut butter and tomato paste in a medium bowl until well blended.
Melt butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add chopped onion and zucchini, sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add chicken and sauté until no longer pink on the outside, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
Add broth mixture and tomatoes to pot. Simmer until chicken is cooked through and flavors blend, about 5 minutes.
Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
NOTE: Soup can be made a day ahead and reheated. I think it is even better the next day as the flavors have a chance to marry.