Spiced Chestnut Soup

Spiced Chestnut Soup

 

 

Fall is here and certain flavors are starting to be used in everything from coffee to dish soap. Yes, I am speaking about the omnipresent Pumpkin Spice. It is everywhere.

But it is not here. Nope. Not happening on this blog.

But I know Fall is about so many other flavors.

Like chestnuts.

I love chestnuts. When I lived in NYC and the chestnut roasters would set up on the street corner, the smell would entice me like no other. Except the smell of those sugared cashews and almonds, which would bring me to my knees. But, I digress.

Chestnuts are available now already steamed and peeled, packed in jars and vacuum sealed bags. It could not be easier to use chestnuts in your everyday life, not just for that Thanksgiving stuffing. I buy them all the time, but you haven’t seen a lot of recipes using chestnuts because I tend to eat them straight out of the container. By the time I come up with a recipe to try, I have already eaten them all! sigh. . .

Chestnuts are generally a seasonal item. but if you buy the jarred or vacuum sealed bags they will last for many months. Stock up when you see them. That way, when you want to make this soup in the Spring, you are ready!

 

Spiced Chestnut Soup

 

Spiced Chestnut Soup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 13 ounces steamed and peeled chestnuts roughly chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock preferably homemade or low sodium
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  1. In a soup pot over low heat, melt the butter.

  2. Add the onion, salt, thyme, paprika, ginger, cinnamon and allspice. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened.

  3. Add the chestnuts, stirring to coat them with the spice mixture.

  4. Add the stock and water, raise the heat to high.

  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

  6. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes.

  7. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. 

  8. Adjust the seasoning as needed and serve immediately.

Hatch Chile Meatball Soup

Hatch Chile Meatball Soup

 

When it comes to soups, I love mine chunky. Sure, a velvety Potato Leek Soup, or a Spicy Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup have their place, and are welcome on my dinner table. But I do love a soup with pieces of meat and vegetable floating around in the bowl, like this Hatch Chile Meatball Soup.

My last post was a recipe for a Hatch chile infused chicken stock, which was made specifically for this soup. Fresh Hatch chiles were used to flavor the stock with a slightly spicy and herbal note, and the meatballs use Hatch chile powder for another layer of flavor.

This meatball recipe makes more than you will need for this soup, but they are really tasty on their own. I cooked up some of the batch in BBQ sauce, and baking or sautéing them in bacon fat is also a great way to cook them.  I mean, really, anything sautéed in bacon fat is wonderful.

Hatch Chile Meatballs

Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 36 meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons mild Hatch chile powder

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, using clean hands, mix together all the ingredients until combined well.

  2. Using your hands, roll the seasoned meat into golf ball sized meatballs.

  3. Cover and refrigerate the meatballs until ready to use.

 

Hatch Chile Meatball Soup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Hatch chile chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 12 Hatch chile meatballs
  • 1/2 pound pee wee Dutch yellow potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 pound baby zucchini stem end trimmed
  • juice of one lime

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot, bring the stock and water to a boil.

  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then add the meatballs.

  3. Cook the meatballs for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Add the potatoes, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and paprika. Simmer for 10 minutes 

  5. Add the zucchini, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

  6. When ready to serve, stir in the fresh lime juice.

Ramen with Choy Sum and Pork

Ramen with Choy Sum and Pork

A big bowl of ramen is such a beautiful thing.

I wax poetic, but really, how can you not love a bowl of chewy noodles, unctuous broth, healthy greens and succulent meat? Not to mention a soft boiled egg, which when opened oozes a golden yolk , the texture like that of smooth custard.

 

Ramen with Choy Sum and Pork

The list of toppings for ramen is endless, so you can choose to add what you want i your ramen. While attending an event at Melissa’s Produce, they were kind enough to let us take a variety of samples. I took some lovely petite choy sum, which is a Chinese Flowering Cabbage. Bok choy is another type of cabbage you may be familiar with. Feel free to use bok choy, or napa cabbage or even Chinese broccoli. What ever green vegetables you have on hand will be good in a bowl of ramen. Except brussels sprouts. I mean, really.

Change the broth from chicken to a long simmered pork bone broth, or a fast fish stock. Shiitake mushrooms make a lovely vegetable stock.

The only constant needed for this recipe is good ramen noodles. I like a brand of straight ramen noodles that come already portioned out for you. If you cannot find them, you may substitute with curly chuka soba ramen. Check your local Asian grocery stores if you have one in your area.

Ramen Noodles | Black Girl Chef's Whites

Ramen should be a fast and easy, a dinner that can come together in about 15 minutes. A big bowl of comfort that when eaten properly means you are making a lot of loud slurping sounds.  And don’t forget to belch.

 

Ramen with Choy Sum and Pork

 

 

 

Ramen with Choy Sum and Pork
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sweet soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon good quality fish sauce, such as Red Boat
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 ounces straight ramen noodles
  • Garnishes
  • Coked pork slices
  • Petite choy sum
  • Sno peas
  • Soft boiled eggs
Instructions
  1. In a large sauce pan, bring the stock, water, sweet soy sauce, fish sauce, salt and ginger to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a simmer, cook 10 minutes to let the flavors meld.
  3. While the stock is coming to a boil, bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil.
  4. Add the ramen noodles, cook for 4 minutes or cook according to the package directions.
  5. Drain the noodles, divide them between between two large bowls.
  6. Ladle the seasoned stock over the noodles.
  7. Garnish with your choice of meat, or vegetables.

 

I may receive compensation in either monetary or product form for my recipe development. I take pride in working with products that fit my brand and will be beneficial to my readers.  All opinions are my own.

Winter Squash Recipes Perfect for the Thanksgiving Table

So. . . good things have been coming my way lately. I feel very lucky, though I have worked long and hard to get here.  Now, along with my being a contributor to Zester Daily I have become a contributor to Mom.me!

I hear you all saying “Yeah and what does that have to do with me?” It means more original recipes and food related posts from me, and more recipes from some of the best food blogs on the web!  Win-win, if you ask me.

My first post on Mom.me is just in time for Thanksgiving and features recipes some great blogs, including this one of course.  “7 Alternatives to Pumpkin Everything or Enough with the Pumpkin Already” has recipes that will fit perfectly on your Thanksgiving table, whether you are vegetarian or an omnivore.

 

Spiced Roasted Winter Vegetables
Spiced Roasted Winter Vegetables

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Kale

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Kale | Black Girl Chef's Whites

 

 

Kabocha squash, also known as Japanese pumpkin, is my favorite winter squash. Ever since they became readily available in local supermarkets I have been enjoying them.

But as much as I love them, it took my family a minute to jump on the kabocha bandwagon.

 

One Thanksgiving, about five or six years ago, I decided to add a kabocha squash recipe to my dinner. Every year I used to cook Thanksgiving dinner for my family and extended family. This is usually very traditional fare, featuring turkey, dressing, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, green salad, maybe a Jell-O mold fixed by my mother, and rolls. My sister would always make the candied yams and sweet potato pie, and bring them over.

Interested in bringing slightly healthier fare to my Thanksgiving table, I wanted another option to balance the buttery sugary overload of the candied yams.

 

To find out my family’s reaction to my kabocha squash recipe, and to get the recipe for Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Kale please click here.

This soup would be a stand out on your holiday table, or just may become a staple on your dinner table.