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Simple Celery Soup

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I love celery!!  The taste, malady the crunch, the smell, yum!  I know nutritionally its lacking, but the flavor is undeniable.  It adds so much to most dishes that most people probably take it for granted.  We use it as an appetizer with cream cheese or peanut butter, as a garnish for color, or to stop the heat from a chicken wing, even adding that crispness to stuffing.  Just to name a few.  But a celery soup, is a great way to celebrate a sometimes through away vegetable.  It’s bursting with flavor and richness that any creamed soup could want.  Celery has an important roll in most soups so why not let it shine on its own?  I recently had some left over and decided to make my own soup, and I was glad I did.  I read up on some recipes and I didn’t have everything they were asking for, so I decided to go with my gut and make my own version.  Enjoy!

 

Celery Soup

Celery Soup

 

Simple Celery Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Cups chopped celery
  • ½ Red onion chopped
  • ½ Garlic clove chopped
  • 4 Cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Melt butter
  2. Add onions and saute for about 5 min
  3. Put in a sprinkle of salt and pepper
  4. Add celery, saute for another 5 minutes
  5. Add garlic, saute for 1 minute
  6. Add pinch of red pepper flakes
  7. Add another pinch of salt and pepper
  8. Pour in stock
  9. Bring to boil, then lower flame and simmer for 10 minutes
  10. Let cool then blend
  11. Reheat and serve

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

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We are deep in winter, remedy and for me, pharmacy soups are the cornerstone of comfort food.  Everyone has their favorites, viagra 100mg be it stew, curry, a roast or a grilled cheese sandwich.   But on a cold winter day, just the thought of a cup or bowl of hot soup is enough to warm the body, soul and mind.

This year if you noticed I amped up the soup recipes.  I make soups all winter, but always forget to post them, so this year I am making it a point to share my obsession and recipes.   I hope you have been enjoying and cooking them.  Today we are having,  Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.   It’s a very simple recipe.  Perfect for a weeknight after a busy day at work, or a lazy weekend day when you don’t want to do too much.    There’s only a couple ingredients and the hardest part is pealing the butternut squash.  But, dont let that stop you from making this amazing simple comforting soup.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped (optional)
  • Butter (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Use a potato pealer and peal squash.
  3. Peal to the orange meat of the vegetable
  4. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds like a pumpkin
  5. Cut into even chunks
  6. Toss with olive oil salt and pepper
  7. Roast for 30 minutes or till squash is soft
  8. You want a little caramelization
  9. In the last ten minutes of roasting slowly heat stock
  10. If you want add garlic and 1 tablespoon of butter
  11. Garlic can be ovewhelming so use caution, a little goes a long way.
  12. When squash is done add it to your stock.
  13. Make sure to get all of it off the roasting pan
  14. Cook for about ten minuteds on medium to high heat.
  15. Let cool and then blend to a creamy goodness.
  16. Reheat if necessary

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

 

Roasted Butternut Squash

Potato Leek Soup

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Potato leek soup is such a staple in restaurants and kitchens that it seems impossible to improve on it.  Most of the time it’s potatoes, shop leeks, stock, cream and buttermilk or just cream.  I dont use cream or buttermilk, but add a carrot, celery and garlic.  I not sure this is an improvement, but its just way I do it.  Like a lot of recipes, it comes from a mistake.  I was making a bunch of soups(winter does that to me) and they called for a carrot and celery.  So of course I addded them to my potato leek soup.   Oops!  Not normal.  But it was for a dinner party and everyone liked it, so I kept on making it that way, and still do!  Of course now I add garlic.  Always tweaking the recipe.  I can’t help it!

Potato Leek Soup

 

Potato Leek Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Large leeks, white to light green part
  • 4 Small or 2 large potatoes
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Celery rib
  • 2 Cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Olive oil
  • 4 Cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut dark green and very bottom of white off
  2. Slice in half and give a good rinse
  3. Get in between the layers
  4. Chop across
  5. Peel and chop carrots, set aside
  6. Chop celery, set aside
  7. Chop garlic and separate
  8. Peel and chop potatoes into small pieces
  9. In large stock pot add butter and a couple tablespoons of olive oil
  10. Heat until butter is melted
  11. Add leeks and sauté till they start to wilt/translucent
  12. Add some salt and pepper
  13. Add one clove of garlic while leeks are cooking
  14. When leeks start to look translucent and smell, add carrots and celery
  15. Lower heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes
  16. Add potatoes and rest of the garlic
  17. Cook for about 5 minutes
  18. Add stock
  19. Bring to boil and turn down to a simmer
  20. Cook till potatoes are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes
  21. Check to see if all veggies are soft
  22. If veggies are soft turn of heat and let cool enough to blend
  23. Blend till smooth, reheat and serve

Ham, Potato and Bean Soup

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What to do with holiday leftovers is as much a tradition as the holidays themselves.   So with that in mind, viagra I decided to go along and add a dish to the leftover tradition.   We had ham, as do a lot of people.  And like lot’s of people, we had lot’s of it left over.  After a few days of eating it I was starting to wonder what else besides sandwiches or frying it up with my morning eggs I could do with it.  I thought about for a little while and decided a soup would be good.  But what kind?  My friend said potato and ham.  I thought genius, but it needed something else.  I then thought bean with bacon!   So I thought use the ham,  instead of bacon.  And our ham, potato and bean soup was born.  This was supposed to be a cream soup, but I couldn’t decide whether to blend just the potato, or the beans, or both.  As I was cooking,  I realized that if I cut some of the potatoes small, and cooked them long enough, the potatoes would start to break down and create a creamy effect.  Thus, solving the problem of what to blend.  In the end, what I got was a brothy soup with bit of a creamy texture that is simply divine.  Enjoy!

 

Ham, Potato and Bean Soup

 

Ham, Potato and Bean Soup
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 med onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 cups chopped ham, fat and grizzle removed
  • 1 can of white cannellini beans, drained
  • 4 cups broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Chop ham to bite size pieces, fat and grizzle removed
  2. Peel and chop carrots and celery
  3. Peel and chop onion
  4. Peel and chop two of the potatoes
  5. The the third potato chop into smaller pieces
  6. Chop garlic clove.
  7. Sauté onion in olive oil till translucent
  8. Add salt and pepper
  9. Add celery and carrots and sauté for a few minutes
  10. Add potatoes and garlic, sauté for a few minutes
  11. Add ham, beans and stock
  12. Add Italian herbs and pinch of thyme
  13. Bring to boil then simmer on low till small potatoes start to disappear
  14. Salt and pepper to taste.
  15. If needed add more herbs

Chicken Soup With Rice and Thyme

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It’s deep in the fall and the weather is unusually warm.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a great soup.  And what better one then a classic?   This time I will keep it simple but very flavorful.   I had some leftover chicken broth from a previous meal and froze it.  I decided instead of taking that and making stock out of it I would use it as is to be my base for this soup.  It’s basically chicken water but it lended itself beautifully to this recipe.   But if you don’t have any lying around regular chicken sock will work.  I hope you enjoy it! I did!

 

Chicken soup with Rice and Thyme
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 4 cups chicken broth(water)
  • ½ cup of rice uncooked
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. When I say 2 chicken breasts I mean two halves.
  2. Make them good sized ones.
  3. This should still be a hearty soup.
  4. Cut chicken into bite sized chunks
  5. Chop onion
  6. Chop celery
  7. Peel and chop carrots
  8. Chop garlic and separate
  9. In a large stock pot, pilule sauté onion and half of garlic in olive oil
  10. Add celery and carrots
  11. A little thyme
  12. A pinch Salt and pepper
  13. Add chicken and cook till done
  14. While cooking the chicken, cook rice till it's almost done.
  15. When chicken is done, add stock/chicken water
  16. Add bay leaf, garlic and a generous amount of Thyme.
  17. Don't over do the thyme!
  18. It should be prominent but not over powering.
  19. Taste and smell as you add
  20. Salt and pepper to taste.
  21. When rice is almost done add it to the soup.
  22. Cook soup for another 10-15 minutes on medium till rice is fully cooked and soup is fully heated
  23. Chicken should be tender and veggies should still have a little crunch.
  24. If you like softer veggies cook a little longer

Getting Ready For Fall

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Crock and beans

 

With the weather getting chilly and Summer memories fading fast, pharm it’s time to get ready for Fall.  This means pulling out the sweaters and light jackets.  Getting  blankets and comforters out from the top shelf of the linen closet.  Watching leave turn colors.  Dusting off that slow cooker.  Washing the stock pots and digging up those wonderful fall recipes, store or discovering new ones.

Here at House of Zeta it may take us a little time to get used to fall, healing as we tend to be spring and summer people.  But once we do, we go all out.  Slow cooking pork shoulders or roasts.  Baking lasagna’s and sweet pies.  Making lots of soups and stocks.  Roasting root vegetables as they become available.  We start to discover our kitchens again and just like old friends it feels like time never passes.

With the days getting shorter and the nights longer, the farmers markets will have less and less to choose from.  The farmers will start to head back upstate and buckle down.  The weather will start to turn even colder as the days go by.  And we will find ourselves indoors more often, which can only mean one thing.  It’s time to enjoy what warm days are left, to grab that mulled wine and simmer it while you slow cook the night away.

 

Basic Black Beans
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Lb bag of black beans
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 4-6 cups water
Instructions
  1. Sort beans to get out rocks or other debris
  2. Soaking them over night or not is up to you
  3. If you soak them, discard liquid the next day and cook with new water
  4. If you don't, then give them a good rinse before cooking
  5. Place beans in slow cooker
  6. Chop onion
  7. Chop garlic
  8. Combine beans, onions, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper in slow cooker
  9. Add 4 cups of water
  10. If it covers the beans by ½ inch, don't add more
  11. If not, add till you get ½ inch of water above the beans
  12. Cover and cook for about 4-6 hours on low setting, or until done.
  13. If beans don't seem to be cooking quick enough turn cooker on high for a couple hours
  14. Keep an eye on water level.
  15. It's better to add if needed, then to have to much.
  16. Also if you want, half way through you can add a ham hock or bacon for smokey flavor

Pesto, Pesto, Pesto!

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Arugula pesto

 

This year Jason decided to get our local CSA so we could have farm fresh food. We have been getting our fresh veggies, capsule dairy and meat since early summer, and we have been loving it! So have our friends. We’ve been having what I call CSA BBQ’s and CSA dinner parties. One thing about getting all this fresh food is, it really is a lot. So you have to be very creative and eat a lot! Having friends willing to help is a blessing. One thing we’ve been getting is greens. Lots and lots of greens. We eat them for breakfast with fried or poached eggs on top, lunch and dinner. But one of my favorite things we have been doing is taking our arugula, cilantro and parsley and making pesto out of them. Not only do we use all of these tasty greens, we get to enjoy them at our leisure. You can use them as spreads, in pasta, as pizza sauce or add to soups, even rub on a chicken and roast it! The pesto will keep in the fridge for about two weeks or you can  freeze it, which is great way to to make sure it doesn’t go to waste.

 

 

Arugula and Cilantro/Parsley Pesto
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: ½ cup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups arugula tightly packed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoons pine nuts
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ lemon squeezed and separated
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Roast pine nuts
  2. Drizzle a small amount of oil on bottom of blender
  3. Add arugula, Parmesan, pine nuts, half of lemon juice, salt and pepper
  4. Start blending and slowly add oil
  5. Blend till you get a good consistency
  6. Taste and add more salt, pepper and rest of the lemon juice if needed.
Notes
I love garlic that's why I added so much. But if that is too much use one clove.
For cilantro parsley pesto you just need to switch out a few ingredients
1 cup packed cilantro leaves
1 cup packed parsley
2 tablespoons almonds(some say blanched almonds but I don't think it's necessary)
And continue as normal.

Pumpkin and Potato Soup

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Pumpkin and Potato Soup - based on Mum's yellow potatoes
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 small sugar pumpkin (3.5 - 4lbs)
  • 4-5 medium potatoes
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • House of Zeta Homewrecker Hot Sauce (or similar earthy smoked hot sauce)
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut pumpkin in quarters and de-seed
  2. Cut pumpkins one more time in half
  3. Peel potatoes and cut into chunks
  4. Steam both separately
  5. When done drain and let cool
  6. Scrape pumpkin into bowl
  7. Add potatoes, and cream, butter.
  8. Mash together adding some salt and pepper
  9. Place mash mix in blender add stock and blend until smooth
  10. Add two or three dashes of the hot sauce to taste
  11. Salt and pepper to taste of needed
  12. Reheat and serve.
Notes
Ratio of pumpkin to potato should be ⅔ pumpkin to ⅓ potato. Keep this in mind when making soup.

 

 

Pumpkin and Potato Soup

 

Is Pumpkin and Potato soup your new staple for this fall and winter? We think so, and here’s why. Jason and I received an invite to our friends annual pumpkin party this last weekend and were told to make something with pumpkin. It was requested that I make Paula Deens pumpkin gooey cake. No problem. I love it and it’s become a staple in our Thanksgiving meals. It even replaces the pumpkin pie! But we also wanted to bring a savory dish as well. Our first thought was pumpkin and potato mash. A side dish Jason grew up with. But as we cooked every thing and started to put it together we noticed that it was looking and tasting like a great soup. So we added some vegetable stock to thin it out a bit and next thing you know we had an amazing soup! Jason also added a bit of our Home Wrecker hot sauce for a little surprise. At the party people were practically licking their bowls, or was that just us?! We recreated the recipe here. It’s easy and very un-fussy. The hardest part is cutting up the pumpkin. But it’s worth it as you get to roast the seeds! With fall and winter settling in remember your new best friend, pumpkin and potato soup. It’s the perfect starter or side dish with a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich.

It’s Getting Hot in Here

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It’s hot sauce mania here at The Lab.  We have been obsessed you could say.  It all started with Christmas and has spilled over.  Our latest sauces have been gobbled up by everyone and it seems there is not stopping us or them.  I can’t believe it started with just wanting to make something nice for Christmas that wouldn’t break my bank account.  We are really honing our skills, patient and what we want out of the sauces.  From mild and smokey, order to oh my god get me a bucket of water!  Our latest is a smoked red pepper hot sauce that has that sweetness of peppers and heat from some red Jalapeño’s.   It was inspired by a restaurant in LA that makes the most amazing yellow pepper dipping sauce.   One day I will crack that recipe!  Here is one of the new ones, enjoy!  Oh and don’t forget the homemade corn chips!!!

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Red Hot Red Pepper Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauces
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 6 red peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red Jalapeño
  • ¼ white onion
  • Small handful of cilantro
Instructions
  1. Slice peppers in half lengthwise.
  2. Place on shallow pan in broiler, skin side up.
  3. Or line bottom of broiler with foil.
  4. Cook peppers til skin is black on most of the pepper.
  5. Check regularly so as not to burn peppers or housed down!
  6. When peppers are done place on plate to cool.
  7. In the meantime, Chop onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro and put in blender or food processor.
  8. Peel skin off peppers and put them with the rest of the ingredients.
  9. Blend till smooth
  10. Salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Serve warm or cold.
Notes
You can also roast peppers directly on stove tops open flame, but this is only for experienced cooks.

 

Remodeling and The Bean Soup

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Mixed Bean and Lentil Soup with Bacon
Author: 
Recipe type: Main dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
This is a very easy recipe that you can leave and get things done. Once you have done the prep all you have to do wait.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb of mixed beans and lentils
  • 2 Tbsp of butter
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 6 cups of stock(your choice)
  • 4 pieces of bacon chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 celery ribs
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • ½ box of frozen peas
  • 1 lime cut in half and separated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • dry herb mix- oregano, salve dill, medical chive, celery leaf, kale, parsley
  • (you can make your own mix)
  • Splash of red wine or beer or water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Chop up bacon
  2. Chop up onion
  3. Cut celery into ½ inch pieces
  4. Peel and cut carrots into ½ inch rounds
  5. Cut red pepper into ½ in squares
  6. Rough chop parsley and set half to the side
  7. On med to high heat put oil and butter in large soup/stock pot
  8. Add onion and cook till they get soft
  9. Make a ring on the edge of the pot with onions
  10. Add bacon in the center and let cook for a couple minutes
  11. Stir onions and bacon together and cook till bacon starts to get crisp
  12. Add stock, beans and lentils and herb mix
  13. Bring to boil and lower flame to very low
  14. Let simmer for 4-5 hours with lid on
  15. Last hour add celery, carrots and bell peppers
  16. Add beer or wine or water if soup seems too thick
  17. (this is if the soup starts to get to dry)
  18. You want some broth
  19. The last 15 minutes add the peas and half the parsley
  20. Save the other half for garnish
  21. Salt and pepper to taste
Notes
The beans and lentils can be any combo you want. Also I say 6 hours but the soup can be ready between 4- 6 hours. It just depends on how you like your beans. Adjust times accordingly

 

 

We started the remodel because Jason’s friend suggested it.  Not only suggested it, but had developed a plan.  Jason was all ears.  I heard about it second hand.  It sounded vague but promising.  So we headed to this warehouse in Greenpoint to get these colorful brackets that were the basis of this mini make over.  They were bright, but something about them and the ideas that were being talked about made sense.  We walked out with a bunch of them.  The plan was in motion. We stopped at a bar to discuss the rest of the plan as it existed at that time.  As things came together, salvaged wood shelving, the color scheme of the kitchen, things changed and evolved.  Next thing you know we are painting the ceiling terracotta/brick red and the inside of the pantry became canary yellow.

The apartment is in complete disarray.  So cooking is not easy, to say the least.  But the Lab must continue to experiment and make new food.  The latest is a mixed bean, lentil and bacon soup that could sit for hours as we continued to work on the shelving.  It’s a basic soup but with a few extras thrown in on purpose and also just for the fun of it.  We started with a bag of beans and lentils we found at our local Indian market.  You could easily replicate the of mix beans and lentils if you don’t have access to store like this.  From there it was what broth to use?  We chose a combo of beef and vegetable.  One, because it’s what we had available and two because given the chance I will always use broth over water.  For reasons that are obvious.  We also had an herb bag for soup that we found during our excavation of the pantry.  Also from the Indian store.  From there we added onion, bacon, celery, carrot and a red bell pepper. As the soup cooked and as I tasted it, it also changed. From seasoning, to consistency, to the acidity. I added half the juice and pulp of a lime.  I always have citrus around as it’s always good for such occasions.  It took the bite out the soup that I couldn’t help but wonder how it got there.  I thank my friend Regina for this trick.  She is a brilliant cook.

Four hours and a few layers of polyurethane later we were ready to eat.  The soup was amazing and though we aren’t nearly finished with the kitchen and the shelving, at least we finished another food journey that will be part of our cannon for years to come.  Now if we could just get the rest of the kitchen off the living room floor!

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