Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saffron and Tarragon flavored Tortellini Soup: Weekend Herb blogging

It's been a long time I posted a proper post. Been crazily busy, nevertheless, the things in the kitchen been interesting as ever although a bit efficient :-) All this cooking should improve something, right? ;)

We could feel Fall temperatures yesterday night and a hearty soup is totally called for. It was an impromptu thing, which I made before and was not very impressed about the flavor. So, this time, after a quick search thru my spice and herb stash, found two great ingredients - saffron, tarragon - that can make any chicken dish come any season.

So, here it is. My entry for Weekend Herb Blogging # 307  brainchild of Kalyn and graciously hosted this week by Lynne from Cafe Lynnylu. I cannot believe WHB is in 300's now. Wow!! Kudos to both Kalyn and Haalo

What you need to make this satisfying and healthy soup:

1/2 lb tortellini - I used Barilla spinach and cheese
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped (remove the rough veins before chopping)
1/2 yellow squash or zucchini, roughly slices (optional)
1 Quart low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
a pinch saffron
1 tablespoon fresh  or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
Salt and freshly ground pepper as needed

How to make the soup:
  • Heat oil/butter on medium-high, add onions, carrot, celery, saffron and a little salt. Saute for a minute. Add tarragon, black pepper, saute for 30 seconds
  • Add chicken broth, bring to boil. Adjust salt if needed, add tortellini. Cook for the time mentioned on the package. Add squash, cream and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (to revive all the flavors). Simmer for 2 minutes
  • For croutons: Instead of using store-brought bread croutons, I just removed the outer layer of a jalapeno bagel, chopped into cubes, pan-fried in a tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Serve the soup topped with croutons and enjoy!
Note: This soup can be doubled, just double the ingredients. A pinch of saffron goes a long is not necessary to double that.
Also, pieces of left-over rotisserie chicken (white-meat) can be added with squash pieces.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pasta with favabeans

Found these babies among other interesting items like green almonds, various fruits & veggies that are prominent in Mideast cooking at the local specialty store. 

  • Open 2 lbs of pods to get the beans, blanch them quickly in sales boiling water, shock them in cold water, peel outer layer, keep aside
  • Cook 1 lb pasta per instructions on the package
  • Meanwhile, heat 2Tbsp evoo, add about 15 - 20 cherry tomatoes and 5 cloves of garlic, minced, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add fava beans, salt, pepper, sauté for a minute. Add cooked pasta and 1/2 cup pasta water.
  • Take out from heat, add 2 Tbsp basil pesto and mix gently.
  • Serve with shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of evoo. Enjoy!