Showing posts with label soup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soup. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Gillis

Todd Schulte, our very own Happy Soup Eater, was kind enough to let me come in and take photos at Happy Gillis last week. I went right after the breakfast rush, and right before the lunch one, and got to just enjoy the atmosphere and snap a few shots. We had been in for lunch their first week in operation and fell in love with the place. You will, too.
To see my photos, click here for the Present Magazine piece.
While you are there, be sure to enjoy the awesome hot pink bathrooms.

Happy Gillis Cafe & Hangout
549 Gillis St. in Columbus Park

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tienda Casa Paloma

They have received their fair share of awards - Best Breakfast, Best Mexican, 10 Best in KC - but I'm going to add my voice to the choir in case you haven't made your way out to Tienda Casa Paloma in Overland Park. When I walked in the door Monday I was kicking myself for not making it more often, and the kicks became a little more insistent once I sat down with a big bowl of their Tortilla Soup. It's Monday's special and it beats the hell out of any other tortilla soup I've ever had. Big chunks of moist and tender chicken, really fresh-tasting stock, little bits of veggies, and a big wedge of avocado on the top; it is perfect in its simplicity, and after a big squeeze of fresh lime juice from the salsa bar, it is nothing short of a cure all. I felt better immediately after eating it, and annoyed that I hadn't been eating it every single Monday. They have daily specials that will make you feel this way, too. Save the beating on your legs and just go.

Tienda Casa Paloma

8220 Metcalf Ave in OP

Friday, February 08, 2008

Tomato Soup

The most delicious tomato soup I've had recently was from Souperman. It was creamy, slightly smoky, had a good solid tomato flavor, and didn't even need a grilled cheese accompaniment. It stood on its own.

But the most beautiful tomato soup I've had recently was from my own kitchen, though I will have to admit that it is not difficult to make a beautiful tomato soup. I used canned whole peeled tomatoes and fresh basil and pureed half of it to create what ended up looking like a warm gazpacho, but tasted like heaven. With little parmesan toasts on top, the whole meal only took about 30 minutes. This is another one of those recipes that can be made a million different ways - add different herbs, more veggies, fresh tomatoes, elbow macaroni, or a cup of half-and-half (for a creamier version) to make it into an entirely different soup.

Tomato Soup

1 med onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled & diced
2 cloves garlic, pushed through a garlic press
1 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
6 c. vegetable stock
1 T. olive oil
handful of fresh basil
salt & pepper to taste

Saute onion & carrot in olive oil 8-10 minutes over medium heat, or until onions are translucent. Add garlic and salt and pepper - cook for 1 minute more. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut tomatoes (while in the can) into smaller pieces. Add can of tomatoes, juice and all, along with stock. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add chiffonade of fresh basil and check soup for seasonings. All or part of soup can be pureed in batches in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Serve hot with additional fresh basil and fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sundays Are For Cooking

Sunday we had a little help - Nana came down to entertain the Gus while we cleaned bags and bags worth of stuff out of my husband's studio. It was a great feeling, getting all that stuff out of the house, very cleansing and weight-off-the-shoulders and all that good stuff. And then afterwards, to celebrate, we made soup. Sundays are sometimes the very best days.

On Sundays you can make time for cooking. You don't have to be in a hurry - you can take your time chopping and dicing and browning and simmering and all the while the house fills with the most amazing smells. When you're done you can put a big container of leftover soup in the fridge and you have that to look forward to for days. I was so enthralled with the end result of our efforts - a clean room in our basement, and a big pot of the most beautifully colored soup - that I didn't remember to take a photo. Here is a picture of a butternut squash, though, for your enjoyment.

Butternut Squash Soup

2 med butternut squash - peeled, seeds removed, and cubed
2 sm yellow onion, diced
4 med potatoes, peeled & cubed
3 garlic cloves, crushed and diced
1 T curry powder, or to taste
4 T butter
salt & pepper
64 oz chicken stock

Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large stock pot - add garlic & cook for one minute, then add the rest of the vegetables. Cook for 5-10 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste and 1 T of curry powder. When vegetables have softened slightly, add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until vegetables pierce easily with a fork.
In batches, blend half the soup in a food processor or blender (or all the soup if you prefer a creamier texture). Pour the soup back into the pot, adjust the seasonings to taste, and serve hot.

(This recipe is easily adapted to your tastes, or halved to make a smaller batch. Omit the curry powder if you like and add fresh herbs, or serve with a dollop of sour cream.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Roasted Potato Fennel Soup

I know I should be better about eating leftovers, and yet I'm not. Lots of things just aren't as good heated up the next day, and I'm not one of those people who can eat things cold when they should be hot. I just had it hot yesterday and it was awesome and you want me to eat it cold today? No, thank you.

Soup, though, is different. Soup is good the next day and it's easy to heat up and it's perfect for me now because I just don't have the wherewithal to make a fresh hot meal every single night that is both somewhat nutritious but also incredibly awesome-tasting. (Whew! I was glad to get that off of my chest.) This Roasted Potato Fennel Soup is from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. It is delicious, will last you an entire week, and makes use of fennel, which I like to just smell and smell and smell. Come over to my house and I'll shove a big fennel bulb in your face and make you smell it. It's intoxicating, isn't it?? Like licorice celery.

Roasted-Potato Fennel Soup

4 lbs red potatoes, scrubbed & quartered
1/4 c plus 2 T good olive oil
1 T minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 T kosher salt
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
4 c chopped yellow onions (4 onions)
4 c chopped fennel bulb (appx 2 lbs)
3 quarts chicken stock
1 c heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss potatoes with 1/4 c. olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until cooked through.
Saute onions & fennel in large stockpot with 2 T. olive oil for 10-15 minutes. Add roasted potatoes (including any scrapings from the pan) and the chicken stock. Cover & bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for one hour. Add the heavy cream and cool the soup slightly. Chop coarsely in batches in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Taste for salt & pepper - reheat & serve hot.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pasta Fagiole Soup

I have a little spiral-bound black book where I copy down recipes I don't want to lose. About half of these recipes I've never even made, but I was so excited about them I copied them down. The ones I've made and love get stars or other distinguishing marks on their pages - or you can just tell that they were good because their pages look worn and used, with maybe a little flour around the edges or smudges that could be butter or splashes of olive oil or who knows what. I make notations, cross out ingredients or add them - occasionally I even write insightful things like "MMMMM" at the bottom.

This recipe for Pasta Fagiole Soup is on one of those well-worn pages with stars at the top.

Pasta Fagiole
2 cans navy beans, drained
6 c veg broth

1 T. olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and 1/4" diced
1 small spanish onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 celery stalks, 1/4" diced
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed & cut
3-4 roma tomatoes, diced

2 T tomato paste
1 c elbow macaroni

1/2 c parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil; add onion & garlic and cook until softened. Stir in the rest of the vegetables, cook 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste, cook until bright red (about 30 seconds or so) & add broth.
Bring mixture to a full simmer, add macaroni & cook for 10 minutes. Add drained beans, season with salt & pepper.
Serve with a dollop of pesto and a sprinkling of cheese.

(Sometimes, when I'm feeling it, I throw a little bit of parmigiano regianno rind in while the broth is simmering for extra flavor. Just remember to fish it out before serving.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


When I heard that there would be a place named Souperman opening downtown, I was a bit overly excited. I absolutely love cleverly-named places. I'm a sucker for a good name or a good advertising campaign - clever or witty or just plain weird goes a really long way with me.

Other favorable elements included the owner, Rob Dalzell, who has completely won over my husband with his restaurant 1924 Main. And then they had to put it in such a good location, next to the Barkley Building with the rocket on top. And the interior is stylishly industrial; it's a space in the bottom level of a parking garage that manages to be comfortable and hip at the same time. I've heard grumblings about the utilitarian presentation of the food - that the plastic spoons and very "to-go" looking soup cups aren't nice enough for the food that they make portable. Really, when the food is this good, I can't say that I care. Why be a snob when the food itself is enough to make you happy?

The food is unbelievably fast, it is always fresh, and the soups are hearty and good. The Boulevard Cheddar Potato Chowder was creamy with large chunks of potato and really potent cheddar ale flavor, while smelling the Moroccan Lamb and Lentil soup was almost as intoxicating as eating it. The sandittos (a sandwich wrapped in a tortilla, burrito-style) are served hot or cold and are well-made and filling. The roast beef with swiss, horseradish aioli, and grilled onions was absolutely loaded with tender roast beef. When the weather heats up too much for soup, they serve several salads, including a Chinese Chicken Salad with crunchy noodles & almonds, dressed in a ginger vinaigrette.

1724 Main in Downtown KCMO
Monday-Friday 10am - 3pm

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Chicken Chili

I made this chicken chili recipe for the first time many a year ago. We had a large group of our friends over for an informal gathering and I made a big pot of veggie chili as well as a big pot of this chicken chili which I had been salivating over in my Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook for too long. The pot of chicken chili was empty in record time, which stung a little, as I've always thought that I make the best vegetarian chili in the universe. (Stupid meat-eaters.) With the roasted chicken and the addition of fresh basil, this is a special chili treat which doesn't take much longer to prepare than your usual chili recipe. Unless you eat chili out of a can. In which case, I can't help you.

Chicken Chili
(adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties! by Ina Garten)
serves six

4 c. chopped yellow onions
1/8 c. good olive oil (plus more for chicken)
4 cloves minced garlic
2 orange (or red) bell peppers, large-diced
2 yellow bell peppers, large-diced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
2 tsp kosher salt (plus more for chicken)
2 28 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes, in puree
1/4 c minced fresh basil
4 split bone in, skin on chicken breasts
freshly ground black pepper

Cook the onions in the olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent (about 15 minutes). Add garlic, cook for one minute. Add bell peppers and all the spices and cook for another minute. Crush the tomatoes by hand and add to the pot with the fresh basil. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place chicken on a large baking sheet. Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Roast chicken for 40 minutes, until just cooked. Let cool enough until easy to handle and separate the meat from the bones and skin and cut into bite-sized chunks. Add to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with chopped onion, shredded white cheddar cheese, and sour cream.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I'm fighting a big fat cold. Yesterday, when just getting out of bed was a victory, I had carryout Ginger Basil Chicken from Blue Koi. When I'm sick, this is my go-to meal. That and a pot of really hot tea with honey.

Today I made it to work for about 3 hours. On my way home, before crawling into bed, I decided that soup was in order, and made my way to Pangea on 39th. After a Creamy Humita Empanada (with potato, corn, broccoli, and garlic) and a bowl of Soup au Cerefuil (a delicious puree of potato and chervil), I started to feel pretty human.

When I can really enjoy it, I'm going back for a Banana and Nutella crepe.

Pangea Cafe and Market
900 West 39th