Sunday, August 9, 2020

Quick Pinto Bean Soup with Pickled Onions for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I just can't seem to get back on my well-thought-out soup making groove lately. This was a challenging week for me for reasons not worth going into and Saturday I went to the store with no inspiration to shop with and no desire to be there. Sunday I was challenged with even getting started in the kitchen until after 3:00 PM so I needed something quick. I went to the pantry and looked at my cans of beans and settled on a Quick Pinto Bean Soup inspired by a Mark Bittman article.


Bean Soups can sometimes lack the zip of acidity, so I decided to use a red onion in my veggie drawer and make a lime-pickled onion recipe from Rick Bayless to top the soup. I first made it a couple of years ago to top his mushroom tacos and I make them often ever since.


Mixed Bean Soup or Stew 
Adapted from MarkBittman.com
(Makes 2-3 Servings)

In a couple tablespoons of olive oil, cook a diced onion, carrot, and celery stalk until the vegetables soften, then add about four cups of precooked or canned beans (navy beans, cannellini beans, black beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, or chickpeas) with some of their liquid, a couple cups of water or stock, two bay leaves, and a sprig of fresh thyme. Bring to a boil and cook until the flavors blend and the beans are warmed through; add more liquid to achieve the consistency you like. Season with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaves and thyme sprig, and serve.

What I did: cooked a diced onion until softened and added two cans of low-sodium pinto beans and their liquid, one can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and their juices, one can of mild diced green chili and about 1/2 tsp each of cumin, coriander, celery seed, dried oregano, and Aleppo pepper, and two cups of vegetable stock. Brought soup to a boil and cooked it about 20 minutes until the flavors blended. I blended about two ladles of the soup in the blender and added it back to the pot, seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice to taste. Served with Fritos.

-----

Pickled Red Onions
Recipe from From RickBayless.com
(Makes about 1 cup

1 small red onion, peeled and cut in half
1/2 cups fresh lime juice
salt

With a knife or food processor, thinly slice the onions. Scoop into a non-reactive bowl. 

Pour boiling water over them, count to 10, then immediately pour the onions into a strainer. Shake off all the water, pour the onions back into the bowl, pour on the lime juice and stir in the 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. 

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The onions will last for a week or more in the refrigerator.


Notes/Results: Just simple and good, a basic bean soup but lots of flavor from he spices and lime juice. You could of course add other veggies, a protein, or anything else you like to the soup or the top of the soup--if my avocado was ripe it would go on top. Even stirring in some rice would be good. I would make it again.


I am sharing these recipe for Mark Bittman's bean soup and Rick Balyless's pickled onions at I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is Taco Night! this week. The onions are excellent on tacos!


Let's have a look in the Souper Sundays kitchen!


Shaheen from Allotment2Kitchen shared these sandwich-ish Pea, Feta and Mint Crescents, saying, "These Turkish pastries were made from scratch. The golden puffy pasty was made with some yogurt and filled with  pea, feta and mint combination. Taste of Summer indeed and it made for a lovely light lunch. I tried to find a link to the original recipe on the website to share with you, but it's not there."  



Tina of Squirrel Head Manor brought Broccoli and cheese Soup with Outback Croutons and said, "I made a broccoli and cheese soup for lunch this past week. My feeling is it's never too hot for soup. I don't want to eat it outside, on the patio in this weather, but a hearty bowl of veggie goodness is a great lunch anytime. ... There was a bit of Outback bread leftover from last week's baking and I thought it would make remarkable toasted croutons for the soup."



Debra of Eliot's Eats made tasty Grilled Banh Mi Sandwiches with Pickled Veggies, saying, "Every so often, The Hubs will put out a special request, do all the shopping and pitch in with the cooking. Most of these requests involve grilling. The most recent suggestion for dinner was a Banh Mi sandwich, but as mentioned above, he wanted to grill it.  I did some research and we came up with this recipe."


Thank you to everyone who joined in! 

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Have a happy, healthy week and be well!

 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup: Quick & Refreshing for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

This week, I bring you the soup I tossed together while waiting for Hurricane Douglas to approach Hawaii. As a mentioned in my update to last week's post, the storm bypassed the islands and we got really lucky.


This is a simple and refreshing cold soup and my attempt to use two softening cucumbers and some Greek yogurt nearing its best-by date. Onion, rice vinegar and a bottle of freeze-dried dill rounded out the flavors.


Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 4 Serving)

1 small sweet onion, chopped
2 large English cucumbers, peeled and chopped (reserved some diced cucumber reserved for serving)
8 oz plain Greek yogurt
2 Tsp dried dill or 1 Tbsp fresh dill, or to taste
1 Tbsp rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add additional vinegar, dill, salt and pepper to taste. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving and serve topped with reserved diced cucumber. Enjoy.


Notes/Results: I know that not everyone loves a cold soup or cucumbers, but they sure make for a simple cool, refreshing and really tasty soup. The vinegar and yogurt give it a brightness and the dill compliments the cucumber with its herby flavor notes. It takes all of about 10 minutes to put together and then just time to chill it. I will happily make it again.


We have some good friends in the Super Sunday kitchen this week--some that have been gathering since last week. Let's have a look at what they brought!


My friend, the lovely Tina of Squirrel Head Manor brought a salad and a sandwich this week. Her salad is one of my favorites Pea Salad, that she served with roasted chicken. Tina says, "For the life of me I can't find a recipe for the pea salad I had in mind so....I improvised.  Actually it's not like this is a hard salad to put together but I swear, think I saw one in Lee Bailey's cookbook or maybe Jacques Pépin.... No matter. ... This is a cold salad so for those us in the sweltering northern hemisphere, this is a perfect side dish. I can't call this a recipe as it's such a simple thing to toss together."



Tina also brought this delectable Avocado, Tomato & Cheese Melt. She says, "Let's talk lunch! It's an easy lunch you can make at home or on the road.  Do I post a recipe for this?  Nope - it's dead simple. ... This is vegetarian but you can obviously add any of your favorite ingredients like bacon. Oh, mushrooms would work for me too...or grilled or carmelized onions. Next time..............."



Beth Fish Reads joined us last week with these yummy-looking Faux Cubanos, saying "I did things slightly different from the recipe in the book. I don't know if our pitas were bigger than theirs, but we needed extra cheese and ham to cover the bread. So where the recipe says two slices of cheese and ham, we used three. Also, I am not a fan of mayo so we cut the ingredients in half and used the sauce on only one sandwich. Mr. BFR said the sauce was good. The photo is scanned from the cookbook because I was way too lazy and too hungry to set up a photo shoot.



Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen shared Courgette Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce last week, saying, "Food at home this week has been light and simple all this week, because of my sensitive belly. The natural flavours from the vegetables and  fresh herbs came through in this Courgette and Tomato Pasta.  I also liked that the courgettes retained a bit of crunch.  Even though I was enjoying this colourful plate, I was struggling to eat everything on the plate, so the remainder was decanted into a tub and put in the fridge, either for later in the evening if I got hungry again or for the following day for lunch.



Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog stopped by this week with Vegan Peach Caprese Salad with Cashew Basil Dressing, saying "I have my kids for dinner (on the deck) every Friday night. With the unbearable heatwave we have been having, salads are what we feel like eating. I made my salad vegan, and added a delicious sweet cashew dressing, but you could easily add mozzarella cheese balls or slices if you eat dairy.


Thank you to everyone who joined in! 

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Have a happy, healthy week!

 

Friday, July 31, 2020

Vegan Ma-Po Tofu with Tomatoes for Cook the Books June/July Pick: "Kitchen Chinese" by Ann Mah

I'm sneaking in right under the wire for today's deadline for Cook the Books. I actually had the book finished and my dish made a few days ago but life got in the way and I wasn't able to get my  personal laptop replaced until today. Better late than never! Our book this round was Kitchen Chinese: A Novel About Food, Family, and Finding Yourself by Ann Mah, selected and hosted by my fellow Hawaii-based blogger Claudia of Honey From Rock. (You can see her announcement post here).


From my Kindle:
Isabelle Lee thinks she knows everything about Chinese cuisine. After all, during her Chinese-American childhood, she ate it every day. Isabelle may speak only kitchen Chinese--the familial chatter learned at her mother's knee--but she understands the language of food. Now, in the wake of a career-ending catastrophe, she's ready for a change--so she takes off for Beijing to stay with her older sister, Claire, whom she's never really known, and finds a job writing restaurant reviews for an expat magazine. In the midst of her extreme culture shock, and the more she comes to learn about her sister's own secrets, Isabelle can't help but wonder whether coming to China was a mistake . . . or an extraordinary chance to find out who she really is.
--Patricia Wells, author of Vegetable Harvest and We'll Always Have Paris... and Provence


I was very happy that Claudia picked this book as right now with all that is going on with life and the world, I am really appreciating lighter reads. I had read and enjoyed the author's book The Lost Vintage that I reviewed as part of a blog book tour two years ago (see that review here), and in fact, I bought Kitchen Chinese after reading The Lost Vintage but with astronomically high TBR piles on my Kindle and in print, I needed the push to get it read. I think the tagline of the book describes it best, "A novel about food, family, and finding yourself." When Isabelle Lee gets fired from her fact-checking job in New York, she heads to Beijing to regroup and to stay with her estranged sister Claire, a high-powered expat attorney. Isabelle really wants to be a serious journalist but finds herself writing about restaurants, food and life styles for an expat magazine. There are new friends and a a couple of romantic entanglements for her and her attempt to crack the walls her sister has put up. Is it a little predictable, sure... but it is charming with heart and humor and had me craving Chinese food with every page. If you like lighter foodie fiction that you can escape with, it is an enjoyable way to pass the time. If you prefer wine and vinyards and dual time periods, give The Lost Vintage a try too.   

Food Inspiration:
This book is so full of food--from the descriptions of Chinese regional cuisines at the beginnings of chapters, to the many dishes Isabelle tries in restaurants and cooks at home, to the recipes the author includes in the back. Not everything consumed is Chinese--there are plenty of other cuisines and even fusion dishes mixed in.



When it came to my bookish dish, I have really been craving Ma-Po (or Mapo) Tofu but it is hard for me to get a meat-free version at many Chinese restaurants because the minced pork is such an integral part of the dish. Recently, I bought a package of plant-based ground meat alternative on sale and I thought it would be the perfect chance to use it. I could have found a more traditional recipe or used the one the author provides in the book but I wanted to cook a Mark Bittman recipe this week to take part in I Heart Cooking Clubs potluck week, and I found his version with diced tomatoes that sounded simple and good. 


Vegan Ma-Po Tofu with Tomatoes
Slightly Adapted from Mark Bittman via TheDailyMeal.com
(Yields 4 Servings)

1 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1/4 tsp red chile flakes, or to taste (I used Sriracha to taste)
4 oz ground pork (I used 12 oz Lightlife Plant-Based Ground) 
1/2 cup chopped scallions (+ extra to serve)
2 cups chopped tomatoes (canned are fine, just drain juices) (I used diced fire-roasted)
12 oz firm silken tofu, cut into small cubes
2 Tbsp soy sauce
salt, if needed
chopped fresh cilantro or scallions for garnish


Put the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the garlic, ginger, and chile flakes and cook just until they begin to sizzle, less than a minute. Add the pork and stir to break it up; cook, stirring occasionally, until it loses most of its pink color and begins to crisp, 3–5 minutes.
Add the scallions, tomatoes, and stock. Cook for a minute or two, scraping the bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits of meat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring once or twice, until the tofu is heated through, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the soy sauce; taste and season with salt and more red chile flakes if you like. Garnish with cilantro and serve.


Notes/Results: So simple and really delicious. This was my first time using the Lightlife Plant-Based Ground and it browned and crisped right up and the little bites I took tasted pretty close to cooked hamburger. The flavor and texture when it was mixed into the dish made it even more difficult to tell it was plant-based meat. I used entire package of the faux meat that I got on sale and certainly don't think the dish suffered for the extra. ;-) The tomatoes are not traditional but they are a nice touch that brightens the dish. I happily dug into my bowl and enjoyed it with the rice. My leftovers the next couple of days were equally good. I will happily make this dish again and I think it is one you could serve to vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters with equal success.



It's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs so I am linking this Mark Bittman recipe there. 

I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event  being hosted by Marg at The Adventures of An Intrepid Reader. It's a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. You can see this week's post here.


Entries are due today and Claudia will be doing her roundup on the Cook the Books site soon after. If you missed this round and you like food and books and foodie books, join us for August/September when Debra of Eliot's Eats is hosting the novel Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown.

 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

(Update--Souper Sundays Link-up is Open!) Storm Delays & Computer Issues for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

An update to my message from Sunday (see below). We got really lucky and Hurricane Douglas veered at the last hours and bypassed the islands. Thank you to all who checked in with me here and on other social media. This one was looking pretty scary. Unfortunately regarding my computer issues, I can't get my personal computer in to be looked at by Apple until tomorrow afternoon. 

I am going to add the link up to the bottom of this page and hold off rounding up the dishes from last week's round up until this coming Sunday. Please feel free to link up your new soup, salad and/or sandwich posts now, and Sunday's roundup will include both weeks' dishes.


--------
From last Sunday:

Just a quick message to my blog readers and Souper Sundays participants. We have Hurricane Douglas bearing down on us this weekend and it's probably the most nervous for a storm I have been since I moved to Oahu nineteen years ago. Keeping my fingers crossed that it continues slightly weakening and moved slightly away from the islands.

I did make a soup and as I was posting, my laptop shut down and now has a disk utility issue. When it hurricanes, it pours. Not sure when I be able to get it fixed so in light of those two challenges, the Souper Sundays post for today will be delayed until things are under control. If you contributed a recipe this week, it will be on a round up as soon as I am able and I will get a new InLinkz link up when I can this week.

Please think positive thoughts for the Hawaiian Islands this weekend. The Big Island and now Maui seem to be past the worst, hoping for the best for the rest of us. 

-----

You can link up your soup for this week here:

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy rest of your week and stay safe out there!

 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Ten Great Soups for Summer, a Round Up of Past Favorites for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Taking a little soup-making break this week because I am having a little stomach issue and nothing sounds good, not even my beloved soup. Rather than skip the post, I thought I bring you ten of my many past favorite soups for summer.

With 600-sh soup recipes on the blog, these aren't my only favorites but they are the first ones that came into my head when I was thinking of great soups for summer. There's a mix of hot and cold and a couple of fruit soups thrown in. 

Two cold soups from last year that were standouts:

Avocado Cucumber & Fennel Soup: Refreshing and great flavor, and so pretty!




Best Gazpacho: A blended gazpacho from Seville, Spain.



This fun, retro Cold & Creamy Tomato-Cucumber Soup (called a Pink Cucumber Float by the 1967 Betty Crocker Hostess Cookbook).



Not all summer soups have to be cold. Here's a few favorite warm soups and chowders that are perfect for summer. 

Thai-Flavored Corn & Potato Chowder with Crab: An oldie (2009) but a goodie that I developed to use fresh local corn.


Vegan Creole Corn Chowder: Delightfully creamy, smoky and spicy.



Farmer's Market Smoked Fish, Corn & Vegetable Chowder: Bread bowl & yum is all that needs to be said.



Nigel Slater's Summer Vegetable Laksa: Sometimes curry and noodles hit the spot in the summer.

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Soup with Basil & Lemon: Plentiful summer ingredients like zucchini and basil are delicious in this warm soup.


And back to chilled with two fruit-filled summer picks:

Chilled Watermelon & Summer Berry Soup: Sometimes you want a soup that's sweet, cold and gorgeous in the bowl and this Curtis Stone soup is a stunner.


Tomato Consommé with Cucumber and Watermelon BallsSpeaking of stunning soups and Curtis Stone, this one is a more savory fruit option and tastes and looks amazing.


I would happily make and eat any of these delicious soups again and I'll be back with a new soup next week.

Now let's see who is here in the Souper Sundays kitchen:

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen shared this Toasted Carrot, Green Pepper and Chickpea Tortilla Wrap saying, "also made this Curried Carrot, Green Pepper and chickpea recipe as a wrap filling, not that dissimilar from Coleslaw CurryBut instead of rolling it up, this time I pressed them in my panini press - Sorry I didn't get a picture, hunger pangs would not allow me to."


Judee of Gluten Free A - Z Blog shared another great summer soup, Yellow Beet Borsht, saying "The soup result was interesting. The yellow borsht didn't have the deep "earthy" beetroot flavor that I'm used to when we eat the red beets, but it had a sweet mellow flavor with a tinge of "earthy" taste that produced a very different, but delicious, soup that I enjoyed both hot and chilled."


Thank you to Judee and Shaheen for joining me this week!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Have a happy, healthy week!