I thought I was the only one still making soup! I have two winners for the first two Sundays in January (OK, one is a chili but I think I'm allowed to post it).
Hammster posted this one elsewhere, from the Top Chef Qickfire cookbook. Sadly, I had to deliver it my friends before it was puréed, so I didn't get to sample the finished product, much less finished with the two awesome garnishes (which I did sample and love). But it got very positive reviews, so I'll call it a success.
Jamie's Chickpea Soup
1 jalapeño or Serrano chile, cut into very thin rounds
Grated zest and juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp vadouvan or Madras curry [per Mike, I used ONE tablespoon curry powder]
1 Fresno chile, seeded and minced
Two 15 oz cans salt-free
32 oz low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
1/2 bunch mint, stemmed and chopped
In a small bowl, stir together the chile rounds, two-thirds of the lemon zest and juice (that would be one lemon of the 1 1/2 lemons), and the sugar, macerate for at least 30 minutes.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic, stir for 15 seconds, then add the onion and cook until softened. Season with salt. Increase heat to medium:
add the vadouvan and heat, stirring, until the spice becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the Fresno chile and stir for 1 minute. Add the beans and broth and bring the liquid to a simmer. Simmer until the onion is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the liquid to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Thin with cream, season to taste and return to the pan over medium-low heat.
Combine the yogurt, cilantro, mint and the remaining zest and juice in a small bowl and mix well.
To serve, pour the soup into warmed bowls. Garnish with the cilantro yogurt and a sprinkle of pickled chile rounds.
And this from the RG cookbook. I thought it was very good and it was also fun to make - always important for the Sunday soup session! I had some on Monday and brought the rest to the same friends who got the Chickpea soup - they really liked this one, too . Of course, it's cold and gray and they have a sick baby, so the bar is probably not set all that high
Anasazi Cowboy Chili with Buffalo and Nopales
"Heirloom Beans" by Steve Sando and Vanessa Barrington
1 pound Anasazi beans [book recommends any type of pinto, or Vallarta, yellow Indian woman, or black beans as alternatives. I used sangre de toro because I had a bag on hand]
1-1/2 medium white onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground buffalo
1 jalapeño chile, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground [I used one tsp ground]
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon good-quality hot chile powder, such as chipotle
1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes [used MG fire-roasted]
1 cup lager beer
Freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp masa harina (optional) [I skipped because I learned I was out - and the stew didn't need thickening anyhow]
2 nopales paddles (about 3/4 pound), prepared and cooked
Grated cheddar cheese
Sliced green onions
Chopped fresh cilantro
Put the beans in a large pot with their soaking water and enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Add one-third of the onions and half of the chopped garlic. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are nearly done, about 1 hour. Season with salt.
Meanwhile, in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the meat, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until the meat loses all of its pink color and begins to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour off most of the fat [what fat?]. Add the remaining oinions and garlic and the chile, and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes, scraping up any browned bits clinging to the bottom of the pot. Add the cumin, oregano chile powder, tomatoes with their juice, and beer and return the meat to the pot. Add the beans and their broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until the flavors are blended and the beans are tender, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt and pepper and more chile powder if needed.
If you'd like a thicker chile, dissolve the masa harina in 1/2 cup water, stirring well eliminate lumps. Stir the paste into the chili, add the nopales, adjust the seasonings, and cook for 10 minutes. Ladle the chili into warmed bowls. Pass the sour cream, grated cheese, green onions, and cilantro at the table.
Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt