White Bean & Chorizo Soup

_MG_7448 It's been a tough couple of weeks around here, hence the lack of posting. But things are slowly starting to feel more normal (booking flights to Paris for early next spring definitely helped), and I always find that in times of stress or heartache, cooking makes me feel better. Something about the routine of chopping onions, simmering broth and de-stemming kale lets me know that things will be all right, and that sometimes, a bowl of hot soup really can help._MG_7449

Maybe it's the definite smell of fall in the air, but I've been wanting chorizo in everything lately. Versions of this soup have been on almost weekly rotation for the past month or so, and I think it makes a perfect, hearty meal that you'll be able to make through the winter. _MG_7455

_MG_7452

White Bean & Chorizo Soup (adapted from Condé Nast Traveler)

3 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and medium diced 2 medium carrots, peeled and medium diced 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 1 tablespoon tomato paste 6 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced 1 medium Russet potato, peeled and medium diced 3 cans (15-ounce each) cannellini beans, drained

1/2 bunch kale or chard, de-stemmed and chopped 4 cups chicken stock Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Heat a medium cast-iron pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion and carrot. Add a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Add the tomato paste, chorizo, and potato and stir to incorporate all flavors. Add the drained beans, kale and chicken stock, then stir and bring liquid to a simmer over high heat. Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Peanut & Vegetable Stew

_MG_6062Despite the fact that it was officially spring last week, New York is still feeling distinctly chilly. I for one am more than ready to not wear a coat and spend a little time outside, but until the temperatures warm up a little more, I'm sticking with hearty soups and stews for dinner. This recipe came from my mom (through one of her oldest friends), and is a great way to get your fill of vegetables and protein all in one. You can also add chicken to make it a little heartier, but I like it vegetarian to feel especially virtuous._MG_6065 Meanwhile, I'll be dreaming of asparagus and strawberries and all things spring over here. Will this winter never end?_MG_6071

 

_MG_6067

Peanut & Vegetable Stew (serves 8)
1 T olive oil
1 med onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 red pepper, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 c chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced, peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1-14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 large sweet potato, peeled & cut into 1/2" pieces
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup or more of peanut butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1-5 oz bag spinach leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground pepper
Heat oil in a large soup pot.  Add onion, bell pepper, carrot & celery.  Saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, ginger, curry powder and saute until fragrant, about 1 min.  Do not brown garlic.  Add tomatoes & bay leaf.  Cook, uncovered until tomatoes are slightly reduced, about 3 min.
Add broth & sweet potato & bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer about 8 minutes.  Stir in garbanzos and peanut butter till combined.  Cook until thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes.  Stir in cilantro and spinach until spinach wilts.  Season with salt & pepper.