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White Bean Soup with Kale December 26, 2010

Posted by pcorcoran in Recipe, Soup.
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1 lb. dried cannellini beans
2 yellow onions, chopped
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 stick butter
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 cups chicken broth
2 qt water
2-inch cube Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb smoked chicken sausage
8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb kale, stems and center ribs discarded, leaves coarsely chopped

Time to prepare: 1 hour + overnight

Difficulty: 1/10

Serves: 6

Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and set aside.

Return pot to stove. Cook onions in oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. (Don’t let onions and garlic brown.)

Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, shaved cheese, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans become tender, about 50 minutes.

While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in butter, kale, and sausage. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Remove soup from heat. Cover and let sit overnight. Reheat covered soup slowly before serving, stirring often.

Duck Breast and Wild Mushroom Chili, con frijoles April 18, 2009

Posted by pcorcoran in Duck, Entree, Mushrooms, Recipe, Soup.
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Breasts from 4 Pekin ducks, boneless and skinless
3-1/2 lbs. tomatoes, chopped
1 lb. yellow onion, coarsely chopped
12 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. Gebhardt chili powder
3 tbsp. Hungarian paprika
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground sumac
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. sesame oil

12 oz. fresh wild mushrooms *
3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. cumin seed
1/2 tsp. coriander seed
1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1 lb. dried pinto beans
2 dried California chiles, shredded
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 habanero pepper
2 qt. chicken stock
5 tbsp. sherry vinegar
juice of 2 limes
2 cups Italian parsley, coarse chop
salt

Duck Prep:
Dice the duck breasts.  Heat sesame oil in large stock pot on medium-high heat.  Add duck and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.  Add onions and garlic, cook for another 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, chili powder, paprika, oregano, sumac, onion powder and garlic powder.  Stir, reduce heat to medium, cover.  Stir every few minutes and prepare mushrooms.

Mushroom Prep:
Clean and chop the mushrooms.  In a small skillet, toast cumin seed and coriander seed over medium flame until displaying first signs of smoking.  Remove from heat, let cool for a minute.  Grind the spices in a mortar and pestle, and set aside.

Melt butter over medium-high heat in large skillet.  Add chopped mushrooms; add dried thyme and toasted spice mix.  Cook mushrooms until they have released most of their moisture, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat; add mushrooms to duck and tomato mixture.

Chili:
Add chicken stock and 2 cups water to main stock pot.  Bring to a boil at maximum heat, stirring often.  Once boiling, add dried beans, dried chiles, black peppercorns, bay leaf, lime juice, and 2 tablespoons vinegar.  Add one cup parsley.  Mix.

Reduce heat to medium for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  For spicy chili, chop habanero pepper finely and add to stock pot.  For a milder chili, place the whole habanero pepper in a tea ball or cloth spice sack.

Reduce to very low heat, cover chili pot, and let cook for 8 hours.  Keep covered.  Stir thoroughly every 30-60 minutes.  Add water as needed if chili becomes too dry.

After 8 hours, remove the bay leaf from the chili.  Remove the habanero pepper if steeping in a tea ball, squeezing the juices back into chili and stirring well.  Salt the chili to taste.

Remove chili from heat and let cool to room temperature for a few hours or overnight.  (It’s ok to let it stand covered overnight at normal room temperatures.)

Before serving, bring chili back to a boil and stir in remaining cup chopped parlsey.  Enjoy.

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* For mushrooms, I used a combination of Hen of the Woods, King Oyster, and White Beech.  The White Beech retained their shape through the entire cook, so if you like seeing cute little mushrooms in your chili, this might be for you.  The other two varieties disappearing into the mix and therefore probably added more to the overall flavor.

Chive Oil Coulis June 28, 2008

Posted by pcorcoran in Recipe, Sauce, Soup.
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1/3 cup chopped chives
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
pinch of salt

Puree the chives and oil in a small food processor until pureed.  Add salt to taste.  Drizzle over soups, or use for general presentation.

Time to Prepare: 5 minutes

Difficulty: 1/10

Serves: 6-10 people as light garnish

Celery Root and Green Apple Soup February 22, 2008

Posted by pcorcoran in Cooking, Soup.
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1/2 stick butter (4 tbsp.)
2 whole celery root
2 Granny Smith green apples
1 large yellow onion, chopped
5 cups chicken stock
salt

Dice the celery root and apple into small cubes, about 1/2-inch. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add celery root, apple, and onion. Cook for about 15 minutes, until celery root becomes soft and semi-translucent, but don’t let it brown.

Add 4 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

In small batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Add remaining chicken stock sparingly, as necessary, to keep the blending smooth.

After blending, return the soup to its pot and heat to a boil. Stir well. Salt to taste. Remove from heat. Serve within 48 hours, refrigerating as needed.

Time to prepare: 1 hour

Difficulty: 2/10

Serves: 6

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Be careful when blending.  Hot soup is a viscous, active liquid.  Keep blender portions to about 1/3 of blender capacity or less.  (It’s kinda crazy how easily hot soup in a blender can jump out at you, and believe me, that’s not something you are going to let happen twice.)