Spicy Chick Pea Soup

This is my new favorite soup! Have you ever had collards? Today, I am featurIng this neglected super food: collard greens!

If you are a Southerner (U.S.), you probably have ‘traditional’ collard greens and black-eyed peas on New Years day to bring abundance and good fortune 🍀 to your New Year! 🎉 Join me for a visit to Flavor Town in the soup factory!

COLLARD GREENS: Full of Energy! “Super Food”

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-2 bunches of collard greens ( You decide how much you want – more is good)
  • 3-4 red onions
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika (heaping)
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds (smash, do not grind)
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon (heaping)
  • 10-15 green or white cardamon pods*
  • 2-3 cans chick peas (drained: 14-16 fl oz)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes** with 2 (tomato) cans of water
  • 3 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • A handful of chopped cilantro ( or parsley) about 1/2 cup

DIRECTIONS

  • Assemble and mix your dry spices in one bowl Rinse and chop collards (Rip or cut out the hard center stem)
  • Add oil to your dutch oven (or heavy pot). Then add chopped onions, heat until translucent. Add chopped garlic and blend quickly.
  • Add spices and mix well with onions and garlic [ add more oil if ingredients start to dry up ]. You want to mix the spices with the onion for optimal flavor.
  • Add 2 cans of drained chick peas
  • Add chopped collards
  • Add 1 can of tomatoes + 2 cans of water. (more water if soup looks more like a stew)
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add pink salt and chopped cilantro in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • Optional: Add about 1 tsp. of fresh thyme, rosemary and/or 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes for added heat Add these additional spices in the beginning with sauteed onions.
Chick Pea Soup With Collard Greens (Topped With Toasted Black & White Sesame Seeds). I sometimes sprinkle chia seeds.

VARIATIONS

  • More Vegetables:- Add 1, 2 carrots and/or a handful of mushrooms. I do add extra veggies (If they are in the house).
  • Chick pea substitute:- Use white navy beans, cannellini beans, lentils, or black-eyed peas or a blend of various beans.
  • Collard substitute:- Swiss chard or kale, (or spinach).
  • FLAVOR BOOST: 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of Maggi chicken powder, or 1 cup of homemade stock! I do add Maggi powder – I call it Maggi Magic!

Chick peas (garbanzo beans) are very high in protein. Good choice to reduce high blood pressure, reduce wrinkles, weight loss and much more.

Green Cardamom – Mild, Aromatic Spice. A Perennial Plant In The Ginger Family
  • * TIP1: Gently pound dry cardamom with a mortar and pestle. Then, remove most of the pod casing with a sieve or by hand. Keep pod casings for stock or when boiling rice.
    ** TIP2: Use POMI tomatoes (or San Marzano tomatoes). Order online or check at Costco, your supermarket or Italian grocery stores.

PRECAUTION: Eating chick peas, may make you bloat or get a stomach ache. Instead, use white navy beans or broad (fava) beans. Fava beans are good for the immune system and improves bone density. (Info provided by my biologist neighbor)

SALT TIP: When salt is added to food early in the cooking process, it tends to break out the water in the vegetables being cooked. To retain moisture and flavour from the spices, salt is added at the end. Also, adding salt early tends to make the chick peas hard.

If you like this recipe and make it, snap a photo send it to me, or, share it on your social media. I can check it out and leave a comment! 😀

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Goulash Soup ~ A Taste of Hungary

Hungarian Goulash (Gulyás) is easy to make! A few simple ingredients are transformed into an incredibly flavored soup.
The word Gulyás means Herdsman or COWBOY. Simmering soup over the camp fire became a standard herdsman’s dinner in Hungary.
This authentic recipe is from my Hungarian neighbor. It was handed down to her from her grandmother.
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 lbs stewing beef, cut into bite size 1 inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large cooking onions chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic cut in half – remove inside stem
  • 2 table spoons of caraway seed (dissolves in the soup)
  • 2 big ripe Roma tomatoes halved
  • 2 red bell peppers quartered
  • 1.5 inch tomato paste from tube, OR 1 teaspoon of canned tomatoes paste
  • 2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Chilli pepper flakes
  • optional 6 carrots: 2 yellow, 2 orange 2 purple. Cut into cubes.
Red carrots contain lycopene (another form of carotene), a pigment also found in tomatoes and watermelon.
INSTRUCTIONS
  • In a cast iron pot brown onion ‘half way’ in the oil (lightly limp). Then add 4 garlic halves. Brown until golden colored.
  • Add caraway seeds (a must have!) and stir.
  • Add beef cubes. Stir until beef is brown and caraway seeds are nicely distributed.
  • Add 2 cups of water
  • Add: tomatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes paste, Hungarian paprika, salt, black pepper, and or chilli pepper.
  • Add water so that it covers the beef by 2 inches. Cover the pot and cook at medium heat (barely boiling) for 2 hours. (Note: You can place the dutch oven directly in the oven at low heat: 325°F, 160°C.)
  • Check after 1 hour and stir. Cook until beef is tender. Approx. 1 more hour.
  • Add water if the level of the liquid falls an inch.
  • Put in carrots and cook for 20 mins. 2.5 hours cooking time in total.
Tri-Coloured Carrots (The Yellow Carrots Look Like Potatoes)
Grass Fed Veal Makes A Difference In Flavour

Food Tips

Alternative cooking methods:
(1) Pressure cooker: Time: 1 hour 10 min.
(2) Slow cooker: Cook Time: 8 hours.
Storage: Frig. : 5 days, Freezer: 3 months.
OPTIONS: Serve over noodles, mashed potatoes, rice or spatzle.

Hungarian herdsmen enjoying their gulyás soup (left side). Added to the soup were wild onions and caraway that grew on the fields. Paprika was added in the 1800’s.
This makes a very large pot of soup!
If you’d like to freeze some of it,
do it before adding the carrots (vegetables)!

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

THE STORY BEHIND THE SOUP
The origins of this Indian inspired soup comes from SRI LANKA (formerly Ceylon). Peasants would eat this soup with water and pepper. Decades later, more spices were added to what you see today. The name originates from the Tamil words millagai / milagu and thanni (மிளகாய்த்தண்ணி / மிளகுத்தண்ணி) and can be translated as “pepper-water”. Today, mulligatawny bears little resemblance to the original.


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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup butter (or olive oil for vegan)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 1 red jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and minced ginger root
  • small firm apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup red lentils (uncooked)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cooked shredded chicken or 1 skinless boneless chicken breast cut into cubes
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream or canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • and black pepper to taste

GARNISH
Roasted cashews
Chopped parsley, cilantro and/or scallions

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2. Add the onion, carrot, celery and jalapeno, then saute for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onions have softened.
3. Add the garlic, ginger, apples, chicken and diced tomatoes to the pot. Saute for another 3 minutes, then add in all of the spices and toss to coat.
4. Add in the lentils and broth and let the contents come to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
5. Puree about 75% of the ingredients using either an immersion blender or by transferring a portion of the contents to the bowl of a standard blender.
6. Leave some of the chunks whole, as it adds a nice texture and consistency to the soup.
7. Return the soup to the pot if needed, then stir in the coconut milk.
8. Taste, and adjust salt and black pepper as needed.
9. Serve topped with cashews and scallions along with naan bread for dipping.


Elaine orders Mulligatawny soup at the Soup Natzi “No soup for you!

This is a soup with many variations.  A spicy, soup with huge flavor and usually includes beef, chicken or lamb.  My version of Mulligatawny reminds me of the wonderful colours of Autumn.

VARIATIONS
Apples and the lovely Indian blend of spices is heart warming. I use lentils for my soup.  No lentils today? Use barley, rice, sweet potatoes or more onions.  BTW,  gram-for-gram, lentils have more protein than beef. You can add the chicken or not. It is optional. Tastes as good without it. A great soup for leftover chicken or turkey! You can add the cooked ‘hot’ chicken to some bowls as requested and leave other bows as vegan -style. We don’t have to follow the recipe verbatim.

Manhattan Clam Chowder -20 Minutes!

Diet Soup ~ Nutrient Rich Seafood

The Shanty Bar owner finally gave me his secret recipe to Manhattan Clam Chowder with mussels This recipe uses a combination of clams and muscles. I call it a “MOCK” clam chowder. You had to get to the Shanty early in the day since they would always run out of the soup by 3:00 pm. The Shanty is gone now. But, the soup lives on! An original recipe from S.S.F. and The Shanty. A salute and a cheer to Dick, Shanty owner! 🍻 🍺 . If you are suffering from anemia. This is the soup for you! [6 oz clams= 132% daily iron] 

It’s so easy to make and  s-o-o-o-o-o delicious. My Kids gobble up this soup!

musselsandclams
Clams Are Small, Round and Light Colored.  Mussels are Darker and Long Shaped
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INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
8 oz. slices mushrooms
1/2  of a 750 ml bottle of white wine
1 28 oz can of plum tomatoes
1 8oz. bottle clam juice
1  5 oz. can baby clams
2 lbs. mussels
5 leaves fresh basil
1/4  tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (to taste) or 1 tiny red pepper 🌶️
1 tablespoon chopped flat leafed parsley
3 mild Italian sausages (optional – instead use 1/4 to 1/2  tsp of fresh ground fennel or anise)

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Heat oil in heavy soup pot or cast iron pot.
2. Slice onions and add to pan.  Heat until translucent.
3. Slice and add garlic and hot pepper.  Saute for a few minutes.
4. Add mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes.
5. Remove sausages from casings and fry them breaking up with a wooden spoon.  Fry about 5 minutes. If you skip the sausages – add a dash of ground fennel or anise. The way they do at the restaurants. (You will know where that great flavour comes from)
6. Add wine and cook for 20 minutes.
7. Add the can of plum tomatoes roughly breaking up the tomatoes with your hands or a spoon.
Add the bottled clam juice and canned clams (or fresh de-bearded clams) .  Bring to a boil.  Add the basil leaves along with the chopped parsley.
8.  Add the mussels which have been rinsed,  and the opened ones discarded.   Cover and cook for 3 minutes  until all the mussels have opened.
9. If any of the mussels will not open discard them.

Cook for 3 minutes - until the mussels open
Cook for 3 minutes – until  all the  mussels open
Serve
Serve “Mussel Soup Supreme” with garlic bread.
HAT2

FOOD TIP:  When your raw mussels are open, tap them on a hard counter.  If they do not close then discard them as they are dead and can make you sick.  If they close then they are fine to cook and enjoy. Check your clams for a beard. Simply pull them out and discard any broken clams.  The Italian sausage gives a pleasant mild fennel flavour to the soup.  If you don’t add  sausage then add a dash of fennel, if you have it around. The spices are up to you, if you want to experiment. A bit of oregano might be nice.

mussels_soup_basil

VARIATIONS  You can add lobster, shrimps, scallops or any other seafood you have on hand to make this into a seafood soup.  If you are adding raw lobster to the soup then add that first as it takes longer to cook.  It will turn pink and then add any shrimp or scallops last since they require only a few minutes of cooking or they will become tough and rubbery.  If you add canned lobster include the liquid from the can for more flavour.  You can add almost any fish except salmon. It has too much of a strong flavour for this dish. Sherry can also be added while you are cooking these last bits of seafood. Sherry complements the flavour of the seafood.. . .
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Mussels and Pork
Portuguese classically make dishes which combine mussels and clams in beautiful copper cataplanas like this one.
didyouknow

NUTRIENT-RICH
Mussels and clams are a rich source of many essential vitamins and minerals, such as the B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, iron, phosphorus, manganese, selenium and zinc. They outshine most other foods when it comes to their vitamin B-12, selenium and manganese content. A 3 ounce portion of moist-heat cooked blue mussels provides 20.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12, protein 40%, cholesterol 16% [far less than clams 40%, yet protein is 100%] according to NutrientFacts.com. Vitamin B-12 is essential for a healthy nervous system, the formation of red blood cells and proper growth and development. The same amount meets 108 percent of the DV for selenium and 288 percent for manganese. Selenium is important for immune system function and supports the thyroid gland, while manganese is involved in bone health and energy metabolism.  Mussels are rich in sodium as well which is why this soup did not need any salt added.