Cauliflower Velvet Soup, Jazzy Garnish

Cauliflower Velvet SoupCauliflower Velvet Soup
Cheddar, Crispy Rice, Chili Oil, and Chive Garnish

The silky smooth texture is achieved by the addition of cannelini beans and the action of a high-performance blender. Tasty, oh yes, but it is that velvety texture that makes the soup so extraordinary. It could easily be served naked…

…but the cream-colored blank canvas begs for something jazzy, cheesy, toasty, spicy, crunchy, and green. Queue up cheddar, crispy rice, toasted sesame chili oil, and chives.

Cauliflower Velvet Soup Recipe

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Sour and Spicy Kimchi Soup with Soba and Swordfish

Sour and Spicy Kimchi Soup with Soba and Swordfish

Sour and Spicy Kimchi Soup
Beef Broth, Buckwheat Noodles, Swordfish, Seaweed

It’s not the elegant soup I would serve at a dinner party, but rather a rustic soup I absolutely crave on a winter night. This soup is kimchi guk on steroids.

Kimchi guk is a simple Korean soup where chopped napa cabbage kimchi is simmered in beef broth. Sometimes daikon, meat, or tofu are added. It is usually garnished with scallions.

This version with ground beef, buckwheat noodles, seaweed, and swordfish is much more hearty, and served as a meal. The broth is sour, spicy, savory, salty with a hint of sweetness, and really explodes with flavor.

There are a few non-traditional foods that I like to pair with napa cabbage kimchi such as cheddar cheese, mashed potatoes, and BBQ oysters. Swordfish is another, with its mildly sweet flavor and a juicy meaty texture with a good balance of fat, it just goes well with sour and spicy kimchi.

Sour and Spicy Kimchi Soup Recipe

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Super Tasty Green Soup with Spinach, Zucchini, Potato

Green Soup - Spinach, Zucchini, Potato with Pine Nuts, Crema, Chili Oil

Green Velvet Soup
Spinach, Zucchini, Potato with Herbs & Spices
Toasted Pine Nuts, Crema, Chili Oil Garnish

It’s a soup with a luxurious deep green color and velvety texture. Spinach, zucchini, and potatoes are the base for this satisfying and healthful potage. A zippy garnish makes it anything but boring.

Fresh cilantro and toasted dried spices give this green soup a wonderful depth of flavor. Dried cumin seed, coriander seed, and fennel seed are added at the beginning of the cooking process to unlock their intense flavors. Fresh cilantro is added at the end of the process to preserve its essence and verdant aromas.

Where the chili oil adds a fiery touch, the Mexican crema add a cool richness. Unlike a “cream” soup, there is less than a tablespoon of cream per serving. Pine nuts add texture and that toasty note, which is mirrored in the toasted spices.

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Fun Little Baked Potato Shooters

Baked Potato Shooters with Bacon, Crema, Cheese, and Chives

Baked Potato Shooters
Bacon, Mexican Crema, Cheese, and Chives
Chive Blossoms Too

I credit Graham Elliot with this idea. A couple weeks ago, we had a wonderful meal at his eponymous bistro in Chicago. On the menu – baked potato soup / traditional accompaniments, untraditional ways.

At a recent party, I served liquid baked potato untraditionally in 2 oz. shot glasses with traditional accompaniments of bacon, sour cream, cheese, and chives. They were a big hit. Thanks, Graham.

And with their savory garlic-oniony flavor and pretty lavender color, chive blossoms from my garden added a charming untraditional finishing touch.

Baked Potato Shooters! Bacon, Mexican Crema, Cheese, and Chives, Chive Blossoms Too

Baked Potato Shooters Recipe

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Wintery French Lentil Soup with Beef, Carrots, Sherry Vinegar

Wintery French Lentil Soup with Beef, Carrots, Sherry Vinegar, Parmesan, Cilantro

Wintery French Lentil Soup with Beef and Carrots
Sherry Vinegar, Parmesan, Cilantro

Chase away those winter blues with a hearty healthy cold-weather soup. Quick and easy preparation plus wholesome ingredients make this soup a shining star. And as a bonus, eating lentils in the new year is said to bring luck and prosperity.

This lentil soup is a bit different from the traditional, as ground beef, French lentils, and carrots share the stage equally. A drizzle of sherry vinegar adds that bright sharp counter-balance to the rich soup and earthy lentils. Cilantro brings fresh herbal notes while cumin and chile powder add warm spice overtones. A generous dusting of grated Parmesan adds the nutty components. This simple, humble soup actually has a complex flavor profile.

Wintery French Lentil Soup Recipe

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Roasted Broccolini Soup, Creme Fraiche, Meyer Lemon

Roasted Broccolini Soup, Creme Fraiche, Meyer Lemon
Roasted Broccolini Soup, Creme Fraiche, Meyer Lemon
Grana Padano Black Pepper Cheese Straws

It’s holiday party time! And when old friends from the restaurant industry get together, there is bound to be a feast. This year was no exception. We started cooking together around 5 pm, and the party and multiple courses lasted well into the night. Today I’m sharing the soup course… be sure to stop by here for more recipes from this over-the-top meal!

menu

cheese platter

pan-seared sea scallops, champagne truffle cream,
wilted butter lettuce, pink-veined italian white truffle

roasted broccolini soup, creme fraiche, meyer lemon,
grana padano black pepper cheese straws

rack of lamb, mint agave vinegar

brussels sprouts, pancetta, balsamic

mushroom risotto with white truffle

pavlova, lemon curd, berries and pomegranate arils

wines

schramsberg mirabelle brut rosé nv

roederer estate brut rosé nv

purple angel carmenere 2010

villa antinori chianti classico riserva 2010

e. guigal châteauneuf du pape 2007

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