Jan 23 2011

Tortilla Soup

This is one of my favorite soups, so full of flavor and you can add whatever garnishes you prefer to add even more depth.  I prefer to start by making my own chicken stock but you can also use a good quality stock.  You will need about 6 cups of stock.

Stock Ingredients

1-whole, free-range organic chicken
celery (about half a bunch)
2-3 carrots
2-3 small onions
6-10 cloves garlic
kosher salt
fresh parsley, with stems, not chopped

Roughly chop the vegetables and add to large dutch oven or heavy stock pot.

Add whole chicken and season with kosher salt, peppercorns and fresh parsley.

Add enough water to completely cover chicken.

Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 hour or until the chicken is done.

Remove chicken and pick the chicken meat off the bones and reserve meat for the soup.

Strain vegetables and peppercorns from stock, add chicken meat back to the stock.

Keep stock on low heat and follow these directions next:

Soup Ingredients

1 T cooking oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 large Onion, chopped finely
1 -2 T  Jalapeno, chopped finely
2 T Poblano, chopped finely
1 – 2 T Tomato Paste, to thicken
2-3 cans crushed Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. gr Cumin
1 – 2 T Chili Powder
1 jar Chipotle Salsa
1/2 t.  cayenne
8 – 10 crushed Tortillia Chips to thicken
1/4 cup frozen Fire Roasted Corn
1 can Pinto Beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can White Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed)

Saute onion and garlic in oil a  few minutes and then add peppers and saute along with the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, etc.

Then add this mixture  to the pot with chicken meat and stock and simmer 1/2 hour.

Add tomatoes and salsa after it has been simmering  about 15 min.

After it simmers for another half hour then add beans and corn along with tomato paste and crushed tortillas.

Continue to cook until its heated and as thick as you like it.

Remember when you add shredded cheese that it will thicken it more.


Really Good Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack or Mexican Cheeses
Tortilla chips
Avocado Slices
Sour Cream or Creme Fraiche
Chipotle Salsa
Fresh Cilantro
Lime Wedges

Nov 23 2010

A CSA Share dinner challenge…

We’ve been getting a produce share from our local orchard this fall and it’s wonderful to not have to decide what to buy each week.  It’s great to make soups and stocks and keep up with eating fresh veg and fruits too.  Yesterday we picked up our share and in it we were pleased and surprised to find:

1 head of purple cabbage
1 head of broccoli
1 head of cauliflower
1 head of lettuce
1 jar of pickled beets
4 Russet baking potatoes
8 apples
fresh parsley
fresh sage
1 acorn squash
two heads of garlic
three onions
four carrots
1 parsnip
1 turnip

So, the question was, what meal could we make and use as many of these ingredients in it?  We turned to my husband’s IPhone Epicurious app for this challenge. We found this recipe and luckily we had already made duck confit weeks ago and it was all set!  We were excited to try this recipe and were quite pleased with the outcome.

Potato Pancakes with Confit Duck and Red-Cabbage Beet Slaw
1 1/4 lb red cabbage (1/2 head), cored and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 (16-oz) jar pickled beets (Reserve the liquid to use later)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 (6-oz) confit duck leg*
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 russet (baking) potatoes (about 1 lb total)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying

Garnish: chopped fresh chives

Make slaw: Pulse cabbage, in batches if necessary, in a food processor until finely chopped, then transfer to a bowl and add 3/4 teaspoon salt and liquid from pickled beets. Finely chop beets (with a knife) and stir into cabbage mixture along with vinegar. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Make pancakes while slaw stands: Remove skin and fat from duck leg and finely chop them (reserve meat), then cook in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and skin is golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer duck skin with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, reserving fat in skillet. Meanwhile, remove duck meat from bone, discarding bone, and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Add onion to skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Combine onion, duck meat, and reserved skin in a large bowl.
Peel potatoes and shred using large holes of a box grater. Squeeze potatoes by handfuls to eliminate excess moisture, then add to duck mixture along with egg, pepper, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, stirring until combined.

Spread 1/2 cup bread crumbs on a sheet of wax paper (I used silpats). Using a scant 1/4 cup potato mixture for each pancake, make 12 mounds on crumbs. Coat mounds with remaining 1/2 cup crumbs and flatten into 3-inch patties.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Using a slotted spatula, gently shake off excess crumbs from each potato pancake, then fry in 2 batches, turning over once, until golden, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately, with slaw.

Cooks’ note:
Slaw can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. *Available at dartagnan.com
November 2005