Jamaican Pumpkin + Red Pea Soup

Jamaican Pumpkin + Red Pea Soup

This soup is a delicious amalgamation of common Jamaican flavors and ingredients: collards, to stand in for the ubiquitous calloo greens; red beans, their most common; pumpkin, a surprising staple on the island I hear grows readily there; a homemade flavor base lifted from Jerk chicken and finished with coconut cream and lime. Since I was basically raised in an Olive Garden, the result feels similar to a bowl of Zuppa Toscana as seen through a funhouse mirror—that is to say, creamy and cozy,...

Minestrone Invernale

Minestrone Invernale

Happy New Year, everyone! Hard not to be hopeful these days, excited for a fresh start. Perhaps one in which we all become better versions of ourselves and the world changes for the better. Or maybe one in which we all get haircuts and start wearing real pants again (who knows, didn’t happen last year). I consider this soup, which translates to “Winter Minestrone,” a casting of intention for the new year. Full of nourishment and health, shared with my family and friends, this soup is full of...

Hoppin’ John

Hoppin’ John

I grew up in the “South,” by which I mean Florida. It wasn’t until I married Garth, who somehow grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, that I learned of this tradition of eating Hoppin’ John over rice on New Years’ Day to bring you luck in the coming year. Basically, black-eyed peas are meant to represent coins, collard greens are meant to represent money (which is somehow different to coins?), tomatoes are meant to represent health. Seems pretty much like a voodoo wish to win the lottery if you ask...

Greek Soup Mashup

Greek Soup Mashup

This soup is a fantasy blend of three classic Greek soups— avgolemono, fasolada and tahinosoupa— to create a kind of Greek soup unicorn. It would probably offend someone somewhere, but I don’t care because it’s totally delicious and full of things I like to eat. I stole the lemon and rice from the avgolemono (the best parts!) and wanted a creaminess that wasn’t egg-based, so stole the tahini and herbs from the tahinosoupa, and lifted the beans and classic flavor base from the fasolada. And...

Fennel Farinata

Fennel Farinata

A bowl of farinata is one of those cold-weather comfort staples that I look forward to every year, like wrapping myself in a down jacket or wool socks. Farinata is a porridge-style soup in which polenta is whisked into simmering broth, a revelation to chilly eaters everywhere. Since I don’t eat corn anymore (kind of a hassle, I know, which you may remember from the Kinda Tortilla), I fell in love with millet as a replacement for polenta and haven’t looked back. This recipe is inspired by one I...

Chunky Garden Vegetable Stew

Chunky Garden Vegetable Stew

When I was growing up, we ate canned soup sometimes—something I honestly can’t imagine ever doing today unless a threat of death was involved. Nonetheless, it was an occasional tool my dad relied on to keep our family fed. I remember savoring the sort that came from a large blue can (so fancy) that boasted chunky garden vegetables. I had no idea what any of it meant, of course, which was part of its appeal. (What is a “garden vegetable”, I wondered.) So I decided to harness that same...

Ethiopian Lentil Soup

Ethiopian Lentil Soup

There are a lot of cultures that take the simplest ingredients – here, lentils – and add a few signature twists that make them special. The signature twists in Ethiopian cuisine, which is always based on humble ingredients, are the warmly spiced clarified butter called nit’r qibe (never ask me to say this, I have no idea) at the beginning of the dish and a sprinkling of berbere, a mix of dried spices, at the end. This one is a classic called Misir Wot, part of the standard rotation of...

Thanksgiving Soup

Thanksgiving Soup

This was a new soup two years ago when I developed the recipes for the cookbook; it’s such an obvious one in my estimation. (I can’t believe it only occurred to me the second year of soup club!) Basically, it’s all of my favorite festive flavors crammed into one big brothy bowl. It is engineered as a kind of Turkey Day detox, all of the flavors of the feast but without the lethargic after-effects of eating my face off. It also works quite well as a Thanksgiving leftover receptacle, I...

White Bean Chili with Tomatillo

White Bean Chili with Tomatillo

I grew tomatillos again this year (though none took off like my crop from last year, which bore enough fruit to make an entire batch of soup for that week), which is what inspired me to make this soup again! To me, tomatillos are one of those ingredients that seem like they should poison you, like they spring from a garden from outer space or something, but I love them. (I just found out they are also called “jamberries,” what?) All I know for sure is that they lend a brightness to rich foods...

Catalan Chickpea Stew

Catalan Chickpea Stew

This is a classic recipe passed down by old-school Spanish grandmas in the Catalan countryside. Lore has it that these amazing peasant women used to collect rainwater to soak beans and make dishes just like this to serve to their families. This particular one is called "cigrons amb espinacs"— "chickpeas with spinach" in Catalan—and is one of my very favorites. This recipe contains what I came to consider a somewhat unexpected signature of Catalan cuisine, pine nuts and currants, and a...


 

 

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