January 3, 2016

Recipes of the Week for January 2, 2016

With the cool weather here to stay for a bit in the usual "sunny San Diego" here are 3 soups that will keep you warm and keep your spirits up. Happy New Year!

Serves 8.
  • 1 cup tubetti pasta (also called salad macaroni)
  • 2 T. olive oil, divided
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 lb. mild pork or turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced peeled carrots
  • 1 T. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1-14 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 4 cups finely diced zucchini
  • 2 cups finely diced russet potatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup prepared pesto sauce
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain and toss with 1 T. olive oil and set aside. Cooking the pasta separately allows you to add it to the soup later, after it is reheated so that the pasta doesn’t absorb all the liquid in the soup.

2. Heat chicken broth to a simmer and keep warm. Heat 1 T. olive in a large pot. Add sausage and crumble and cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain off all but 2 T. fat from the pan. Add the onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Cook until vegetables are soft, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rosemary and then the beans, tomatoes, zucchini and potatoes.

3. Stir in the hot chicken broth; simmer until potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season generously with pepper and add salt to taste. Just a few minutes before serving add the cooked pasta and warm through, about 2 minutes. Serve topped with a dollop of pesto and a sprinkling of Parmesan.

Serves 4 to 6.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2-28 oz. cans San Marzano Tomatoes, undrained and broken up a bit
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T. chopped fresh basil

  • 4 slices dense white bread, crusts trimmed
  • 4 to 6 thick slices Fontina cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 T. chopped fresh basil

1. For soup, melt butter in a 4-quart soup pot over medium low heat. Add onions and salt and cook, covered, for about 30 minutes or until very soft but not browned.

2. Add the tomatoes, their juices and the sugar; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes over low heat. Puree soup in batches in the blender and return to the pot and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the cream and bring to a simmer. Stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. For the croutons, top 2 slices bread with the fontina cheese and then remaining bread slices. Mash together the butter, Parmesan cheese and basil. Spread 1/4 of the butter on each side of the sandwiches. Cook in a nonstick skillet until well browned and crisp and cheese melts. Cut sandwiches into small squares and serve floating in the soup.

Serves 12.
  • 3 lbs. skinless boneless chicken thighs (or breasts), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 T. flour
  • 7 T. grapeseed or vegetable oil, divided use
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 3 T. chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped Anaheim chilies
  • 2 green or yellow bell peppers, diced in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 5 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 12 tomatillos, husked, coarsely chopped
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Tortilla chips and Sour Cream for garnish

1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Coat with flour. Heat 1 T. oil in heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Add half chicken to skillet and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a large pot. Repeat with 1 T. oil and remaining chicken.

2. Heat 2 T. oil in same skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to pot with chicken.

3. Heat 1 T. oil in same skillet and sauté Anaheim chilies and green bell peppers until tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to pot. Repeat with 1 T. oil and corn.

4. Add chicken broth, tomatillos, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika and cinnamon sticks to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens and flavors blended, stirring occasionally, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Just before serving, mix in cilantro. Serve topped with tortilla chips and a dollop of sour cream.