Sunday, September 20, 2020

Jamie Oliver's Baked Potato Soup: Giving Me Fall Feelings for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

We are channeling fall at I Heart Cooking Clubs even though it's about 82 degrees F. here today. No matter, I can eat potato soup no matter what time of year and it always outs me in a fall frame of mind. 


This Baked Potato Soup is by Jamie Oliver and you can leave it classic with sour cream and chives or gussy it up with bacon and cheese. I went in the middle with sour cream, chopped gives, black pepper and some crumbled soft blue cheese.


Baked Potato Soup
(Makes 4-6 Servings)

3 large baking potatoes
about 3 Tbsp butter
1 sweet onion
1 Parmesan rind, whatever size you have in the fridge, optional
6 cups chicken or veggie stock
sour cream, chives, blue cheese to garnish 
 
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Wash the potatoes and dry well, then prick each one with a fork and wrap in foil. Put on a rack in the middle of the oven and cook for about 1 hour 15 minutes. The exact time depends on the size of your potatoes, but to check, give them a quick squeeze, bearing in mind they’ll be hot: the potato should just give under your fingers. 
Remove from the oven then, when cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters. Leave to cool completely.

Peel and dice the onion. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and cook the onion for 10 minutes, or until soft. Cut the potatoes, skin and all, into chunks. Add the potato and Parmesan rind to the pan, season, then cook for 5 minutes. Add stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. 

Remove the rind, then purée the soup until smooth with a stick blender or in a blender. Return to the pan, check the seasoning, and thin with the remaining stock, if you like. Serve garnished with a dollop of sour cream, snipped chives and a pinch of black pepper. Delicious with crumbled Lancashire cheese and crisp, crumbled bacon on the side for the whole baked potato experience.


Notes/Results: Simple and satisfying. I think the tang of the sour cream and blue cheese are what elevate this soup, so I recommend them to garnish and stir into it. I would happily make this soup again. 


This soup gives me Fall Feelings so I am sharing it with IHCC this week.
 

Let's see who is here in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week!

Judy of Gluten Free A-Z Blog is here with a vegan Fall Potato Dill-Vegetable Soup and says, "I have used dill in potato salad before, so I decided to make a potato based soup. I just went with the flow of what I had purchased. I had potatoes, onions, garlic, zucchini, fresh dill and fresh kale- all from the organic farmers at the market!  The only vegetable I added to the soup from my refrigerator was some carrots."

Thank you to Judee 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!
 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Remedios" by Deborah Clearman, Served with Guacamole & Toasted Tortillas

It's been a couple of months since I have done a book tour review so I'm excited to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for Remedios, a new novel by Deborah Clearman. Accompanying my review is a recipe for a Guatemalan-style Guacamole, served with Toasted Flour Tortillas inspired by my reading.


Publisher's Blurb:

Fernando Granados is a university professor in financial trouble when a boyhood friend he hasn’t seen in thirty years reenters his life. Memo Galindo, now part of a notorious Mexican cartel, soon persuades Fernando to build a meth lab on his country property, just outside the ancient town of Remedios. Fernando’s strong-willed wife Sandra and their beloved 18-year-old son Félix each fall under Memo’s charismatic spell. The cascading family crisis plays out on a larger stage, from its roots in Guatemala’s civil war in the ’80s to corruption in the Guatemalan army and American DEA, in a country where even the forces of nature wreak vengeance.

Paperback: 228 pages

Publisher: New Meridian Arts (July 13, 2020)

My Review: 

I have never watched Breaking Bad, or Narcos or been that interested in television shows, movies or books about people caught up in the drug trade but I wanted to read Remedios because I was on the TLC Book Tour for Deborah Clearman's book of short stories Concepción and the Baby Brokers (see my review here). Although Remedios is a novel, like Concepción and the Baby Brokers, it is set in Guatemala and features a gritty look at people caught up in something dangerous. Fernando (Nando) Granados is a university professor with a wife (a previous student) he has never cheated on, children, and several brothers that live with them. Having overspent on a renovating and improving their large home, Nando was in bad enough financial trouble that he looks a large loan from a local loan shark and is getting desperate about how he will pay him back when a friend he hasn't seen in decades shows up. The last time Nando saw Memo Galindo, they were teenagers attending a political meeting that ended with the military shooting it up. Nando and his older brother escape but Memo is left behind and forced to become a soldier to save his life. There are rumors he is part of a dangerous Mexican drug cartel and when Nando offers him a place to stay on some rural family property, Memo soon has him looking the other way while he builds a meth lab there, disguised as a cleaning supply manufacturing business. Nando is desperate to pay off his debt and thinks he can keep himself and his family from getting their hands dirty. Memo has some ulterior motives and long-held grudges with Nando, and soon he is involved with his wife and getting his oldest son involved in the business with some disastrous consequences. 

Remedios is not a light nor happy read but it is a quick and compelling one. I found myself caught up in this story and shaking my head in dismay as the ramifications from bad decisions pile up. I also liked getting another glimpse of Guatemala over the past few decades from Clearman, who divides her time between there and New York. I look forward to her next book.

 -----

Author Notes: Deborah Clearman is the author of Remedios (New Meridian Arts Literary Press, 2020), Concepción and the Baby Brokers and Other Stories Out of Guatemala (Rain Mountain Press, 2017), and Todos Santos (Black Lawrence Press, 2010). Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals. She wrote and illustrated The Goose’s Tale for children.

Deborah is the former Program Director of the NY Writers Coalition, a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering creative writing workshops to disenfranchised populations throughout New York City. She has led writing workshops for seniors, the homeless, and adults in public housing, and since 2011 has led an ongoing weekly workshop for women and men in jail on Rikers Island. She lives in Manhattan and Guatemala.

Since her first visit to Guatemala in 1978, Deborah has been back many times, living for a year in the village of Todos Santos in 2001-2002. She continues to maintain a close connection to the country and her Guatemalan friends to this day.

Find out more about Deborah at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

-----

Food Inspiration:

There was a fair amount of food inspiration for a small book. Mentions included: soup, red wine, oranges, tortillas to wipe up sauce at mo0st every meal, fish, salad, brandy, avocado trees, fresh eggs, oranges, limes, onions, linked sausages, coffee, rice and beans, brandy, whiskey, lemon trees, chile rellenos, chicken and rice, steak, grilled shrimp, tamales, atole, mutton, fruit and Prosecco, sandwiches, candy bars, ice cream, cappuccinos, beans and tortillas, and McDonalds.

For my bookish dish, I looked up easy Guatemalan recipes and when Guatemalan guacamole appeared, I knew that's what I wanted to make. I have been craving guacamole and liked how most of the recipes I pulled up were pretty simple, most just relying on lime juice, oregano and white onion. I used the one from TasteForTravel.com for my starting point, adjusting the lime and salt to my tastes.

Guatemalan Guacamole 
Slightly Adapted from TasteForTravel.com
(Makes about 2-ish Cups)

  • 3 avocados, pits removed
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • juice of 1 lime or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste

Mash avocados in a bowl with a fork until mostly smooth. stir in onion, oregano and lime juice. Taste and add salt to taste.

Notes/Results: I like how simple this guacamole is. Oregano is not an herb I typically put in my guacamole and I liked the addition as it pairs well with the lime and makes the flavor a bit more complex. The tortillas I used were small soft "street taco" style that I toasted over my gas burner and they were tasty but tortilla chips would also perfect.


I'm 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.


Note: A review copy of "Remedios" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for my review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. 
 
You can see the other stops for this TLC Book Tour and what other bloggers thought of the book here.

 


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Quick & Easy Chickpea & Pastina Soup with Lemon & Dill for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I needed a quick no-effort soup this weekend and so I tossed together this easy Chickpea & Pasta Soup with Lemon & Dill from my pantry and fridge. 


You could easily add veggies or anything to this soup--like chicken or egg or even cheese but I was wanting a simple vegan soup that would be good for my allergy sniffles.


Chickpea & Pasta Soup with Lemon & Dill
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 6 Servings)

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp dried shallots
1 tsp celery salt
6 cups non-chicken vegan broth mix or broth of choice
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 cup dry pastina or other small pasta of choice
1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large soup pot and add celery and garlic, sautéing for 4-5 minutes until celery softens. Add dried shallots and celery salt and cook another minute. Add the broth and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes--until flavors meld and celery is tender. Add the pastina and cook according to package directions. 

Stir in dill and lemon juice, taste for seasoning and add salt and black pepper as needed. Serve and enjoy.

Notes/Results: Quick, easy and it hit the spot like a good vegan chicken noodle soup does. I love lemon and dill as they taste so fresh and light. This will make great lunches for my work week. I would happily make it again. 


Let's see who is here in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week!


Shaheen from Allotment2Kitchen brought Fresh Beans and Tomato Couscous Salad saying, "We had this Cherry Tomato Couscous Salad early on in the week when i time to extract myself away from the computer screen to potter a little longer in the kitchen to make lunch. It was not really much work, as couscous from a jar is effortless.  I am adoring the pop of colours coming from the cherry tomatoes from the garden."


Thank you to 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).

Have a happy, healthy week! 
 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Golden Summer Squash and Corn Soup (with Rice) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays

I pinned an article on "30 Soup Recipes Perfect for Summer" from an Eating Well Magazine email recently and the recipe for Golden Summer Squash and Corn Soup caught my eye this weekend. Summer squash and corn are plentiful right now and it sounded good with the lemon juice and feta cheese. 


Eating Well says, "Pureed summer squash makes a delicious base for this summery squash and corn soup. Start your meal with the soup or enjoy it as a light lunch. Fresh thyme and briny feta cheese give it fabulous flavor. For a variation, try the soup with any herb you have on hand or goat cheese in place of feta. Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2009"

I made a couple of small changes to the recipe--using one yellow crook-neck squash and one zucchini and adding an extra cup and a half of broth and a half-cup of rice to the soup. My changes are noted in red below.


Golden Summer Squash and Corn Soup 
Slightly Adapted from EatingWell.com
(Makes 4 Servings)

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 medium summer squash (about 1 lb), diced (I used 1 yellow/1 zucchini)
3 tsp chopped thyme or other herbs, divided
(I added 1/2 cup white rice)
1 (14 oz can) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (I used 4 cups non-chicken broth)
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 large ear)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add squash and 1 teaspoon herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash starts to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add broth and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the squash is soft and mostly translucent, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Return the soup to the pan and stir in corn. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice. Serve garnished with the remaining 2 teaspoons herbs and feta.


Notes/Results: I really like this simple soup with its flavors of lemon, thyme, and feta along with the sweet corn and mild squash. It's relatively quick to make and healthy too. I added extra broth and rice to make it a bit more of a meal but it would be good without--or if you want low carb you could use cauliflower rice. In any case it's tasty and satisfying and I would happily make it again.


Let's see who is in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week!

Shaheen from Allotment2Kitchen is here with Cherry Tomato Orzo Pasta Salad. She says, "We finally have some homegrown tomatoes. Here we have yellow Galina Cherry tomatoes and chocolate cherry tomatoes - no red ones yet though, they are coming though. I made this Tomato Orzo Pasta Salad."


Thank you to 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!