Sunday, January 4, 2009

Milestone Post #200! Spanish Potato Garlic Soup for Souper Sunday and Fighting World Hunger with BloggerAid

I just noticed as I went to type this that this is my Post #200!  It has been a wonderful 8 months of blogging for me.  I have met so many great people, made new friends and increased my food and cooking knowledge enormously. It is a warm, welcoming community of food bloggers out there and I have learned so much from all of you.  I appreciate everyone who comes and visits my little blog and love all the comments and feedback you leave--they really make my day.  

2009 will be an interesting year for me as I have left my current career in Human Resources as of last month and I am taking some savings and some time to figure out what I want to do and be when I grow up.  As much as I loved the people I worked with, the job itself was no longer fueling my passion and to be honest the creative outlet of this blog is what got me through the year with (most of) my sanity intact.  I have traded it all in for less security (Read: I have no job at the moment!) but hopefully more passion and happiness.  So you may see less saffron and more beans and rice for awhile but hopefully a happier and healthier me.  

With my love of all things soup and comfort food, it seems fitting that the 200th post is about Soup and Souper Sundays.  I have a simple but delicious, low-fat, economical soup to share today. This soup is from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat FavoritesAfter consuming a lot of heavy lamb shanks this week, it seemed like a perfect brighter, lighter meal for the cooler, gray days we have been having.

Spanish Potato Garlic Soup
Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites
Serves 4-6

The Moosewood Collective says:  "What could be better than potatoes and onions in a steaming hot, garlicky red broth?  Serve it in earthenware bowls. Let there be classical guitar music. Discuss passion and death."

1 large onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 large potatoes, cut into thin slices
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried thyme
6 cups Garlic Broth (recipe below)

Saute the onions, potatoes, and paprika in the oil, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, until the onions have softened.  

Add the tomatoes and thyme and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic broth and simmer gently for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.  

Per 11.50 oz serving: 141 calories, 3.8 g protein, 2.6 g fat, 27.6 g carbs

Garlic Broth
1 large whole head garlic (about 20 cloves)
1/4 cup miso (see note)
3 cups water
3 cups vegetable stock or broth

Preheat a toaster oven, or if you don't have one, a conventional oven to 400 degrees F.  The toaster oven works fine and saves energy.  Cut off the stem end of the garlic head, break it into cloves and peel. Bake the garlic on an unoiled pie plate for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden but not browned.  in a blender on high speed, puree the roasted garlic, miso,  and water until smooth.  Combine with the stock or broth and gently heat.  

Note:  The color of the broth will vary depending upon the miso you use.  For a light, golden broth; good for a risotto, use a light, beige-colored miso.  For a dark broth that mimics the color of beef broth; good for stews, use red barley or dark soy miso.

Notes/Results:  Easy to put together even with the added garlic broth, this is a very good soup and a great example of how simple ingredients can make something delicious.  I used a white miso for the garlic broth because it was what I had on hand.  I actually like it best for soups anyway, unless you are going for something really hearty.  If you don't have access to miso, you could make the garlic broth without it but it does add some nice flavor complexity to the broth.  I served the soup with some bread, my favorite manchego cheese, salami, cornichons and some marcona almonds.  A great dinner for a night in, although Max was so not into the discussions of passion and death that Moosewood recommends. ;-)  A great soup that I would make again.

I have a few terrific guests in the Souper Sunday kitchen this week and the theme seems to be all about BEANS with a delicious bean soup and a couple of unique chilis to showcase.  

First up is my Souper Sunday regular, Natashya from Living In the Kitchen With Puppies who brought along a warming Rosemary White Bean Soup by one of our favorite chefs, Ina Garten. Nothing like a bowl of this rich, delicious brew to warm you up and the fact that this is one of Ina's healthier recipes (no cream!) makes this a perfect choice.

The wonderful and talented Gloria from Cookbook Cuisine has come back for a visit with the perfect way to kick off the New Year, her Hoppin' John Kickin' Chili. Full of black eyed peas, this quick and easy chili is a great way to ensure good luck and good fortune for the year ahead. Sign me up for two bowls please!

And a new blogging friend has stopped by, Ivy from Greek Hospitality who has some yummy looking Chili Con Chorizo and Red Kidney Beans.  Ivy stepped out of her comfort zone with ingredients that she doesn't normally see or use much in Greece, chorizo and kidney beans, and the result was a delicious spicy chili that is baked with cheese and breadcrumbs on top.  

Thanks to Natashya, Gloria and Ivy for stopping by and sharing some soup and chili goodness. If you have a soup, stew, chili or other soup-like creation you want to share on Souper Sunday, send me an email or leave a comment sometime before Sunday and I'll add you to that weeks round up.

I feel very fortunate, as I know all of you fellow bloggers do, that I am able to make, eat and enjoy a warming bowl of soup but it is heartbreaking that not everyone can; in fact over 850 million people in the world go hungry each day. I actually recently got acquainted with Ivy through a wonderful group called BloggerAid, started by three food bloggers, Val of More than Burnt Toast, Ivy of Kopiaste, and Giz of Equal Opportunity Kitchen, to band food bloggers together and help eradicate world hunger.  They have created a social network at BloggerAid to spread awareness, raise funds and find ways to help solve this worldwide issue, including their latest and largest project to date; the plan to publish a cookbook.  Gloria of Cookbook Cuisine came up with the idea and offered up her expertise in writing and publishing the book. More details and a call out for recipes will be coming soon.  I just signed up as a BloggerAid member this weekend (thanks to a suggestion and invitation from my friend and fellow Cook The Books host, Rachel at The Crispy Cook), so I will be figuring out the ways that I can be involved and best help and I will post more about that.  I encourage and invite you to check out the BloggerAid website here and join this worthy cause.  

Happy Sunday!


  1. I give you credit for taking that step! Not many people will jump out from that comfort zone. I know everything will work out for the best for you :)

    Your soups always sound so comforting and delicious, look forward to more of your posts in 2009!

  2. Congratulations on hitting 200!
    A great array of soups, to be sure. I love the thought of a garlicky broth. And the atmoshere suggestions. Very cool.
    Good work joining BloggerAid, a very good cause.

  3. I would like to do the Souper Sundays. Can you give me more info?
    Also, can I like your soups to my soup blog?

  4. Congrats on your 200th post! I wish you lots of luck in whatever direction life takes you. These soups and chili's look so good, especially since it's so cold here. Thanks for bringing attention to such a great cause.

  5. Kat--thanks so much! I appreciate the supports and all your great positive comments!

    Natashya--I knew you would love the garlic. ;-) Hope to see you over at BloggerAid (hint). You know we just don't get to do enough together lol!

    Debbie--Thanks for stopping by. I just sent you an email re: Souper Sundays. Would love to have you participate and link if you like. I am excited to see your soup blog too!

    Reeni--Thanks! I really appreciate the support and your positive thoughts and comments!

  6. The details for the cookbook will be up on our sites soon. We are glad that so many thoughtful bloggers are as excited about this project for BloggerAid as we are.All of these soups look so comforting!!!!

  7. My first visit to your blog - beautiful blog. Soups, stews, chilis, how fitting for these cooler days.
    I spent most of my corporate career working with HR folks and the job can get overwhelming - I mean dealing with people complaining most of the time is just not fun. These economic times seem to tear your guts out so I do get losing the passion. Good luck on the job search.

    Thanks for the wonderful shout out for BloggerAid. We're looking forward to seeing more of you around.

  8. Hi Deb, sorry for being so late to visit but I was out all day today. Congrats for posting your 200th post and look forward to many more. That was a brave thing you did and hope you'll find what you are looking for there in Hawaii. Your soup sounds perfect for these cold days and your cat is so cute.
    Thanks for the lovely words.

  9. Your soup looks glorious; just the thing to celebrate the big 200! All good wishes for the next 200, and for the job search.

  10. Val--thanks! you guys are doing such a great job! I hope many others get involved.

    Giz--thank you so much! Parts of the job are very rewarding but it does take a lot out of you. Thanks for your positive thoughts. I look forward to helping with BloggerAid.

    Ivy--thank you! I appreciate you participating this week and can't thank you enough for the wonderful new logo we will show off next week! Max thanks you for saying he is cute too ;-)

    Nancy--thank you for the good wishes! I am excited about the future--job and blog! ;-)


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