Soups and Salads
Recipes from our Tuesday mailings. Click on a recipe to see it.
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Quick and easy recipes are indicated by hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)

Apple and Parsnip Soup
Black Bean Soup
Borsch Muskovskaia (Moscow style beet soup)
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Chick Pea Soup
Chicken Breast and Almond Soup (Sopa de Pechuga de Pollo y Almendras)
Cock-a-Leekie Soup

Cold Cream of Squash Soup
Cold Cucumber Soup with Dill
Cold Split Pea Soup with Mint

Cold Yogurt Soup
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Cream of Sorrel Soup
Cream Vichyssoise Glacée
Dilled Carrot Bisque heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Easy Garlic Tomato Soup hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Endive and Walnut Salad hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Gazpacho heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Henri Charpentier's Creme de France Soup
Leek and Potato Soup
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Mushroom-Spinach Salad
Orange and Olive Salad
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Pear and Cucumber Salad heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Pear, Cucumber and Walnut Salad
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Soupe a L'Oignon (French Onion Soup)
Soupe au Pistou
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Spinach and Orange Salad
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Szechwan Cucumber Salad
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Tomato and Squash Salad heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Tomato Consommé
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Wilted Cucumber Salad heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)

Tomato Consommé

2 cups tomato juice
2 cups beef or chicken broth
1 small shallot, chopped fine
1 inch strip lemon rind
Salt and pepper to taste
Dry sherry to taste
4 Tbsp. sour cream (optional)
Chopped fresh chives

Heat the tomato juice, broth, shallot and lemon rind to boiling and then strain. Season with salt, pepper and sherry. Garnish with sour cream and chives. Serve hot or cold. Serves 4.
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  Henri Charpentier's Creme de France Soup

1 cup lima beans*
1 cup green peas*
2 quarts (2 l) spring water**
1/2 pint (250 ml) heavy cream

1/2 pint (250 ml) milk (plus more to adjust consistency)
4 to 6 shallots, depending on size, chopped fine
1/4 lb. (112 g) butter
Salt to taste

Boil limas and peas in spring water until tender. Drain, discarding the water, and add the cream and milk. Heat the peas, beans and cream mixture until just below a boil (scald). Sauté the shallots in the butter until soft and add to the pea/bean mixture. Put mixture through a fine sieve (we have pureed ours in a blender and it works fine, though maybe not quite as smooth). Adjust consistency to your liking with additional milk, and add salt to taste. Serve hot or cold. Serves 8.

* M. Charpentier grew his own. Use fresh if possible, but frozen work well.
** This is a very delicate soup, and M. Charpentier insisted that to use anything other than spring water would "pollute" the vegetables.
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  Pear, Cucumber and Walnut Salad

2 ripe pears (variety of your choice)
2 cucumbers
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped in large pieces
Small bunch Italian flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup vinaigrette dressing* or low fat salad dressing of your choice

Remove core and stem from pears and cut into bite size pieces. Peel cucumbers and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop seeds out with a spoon and discard. Slice cucumber into 1/4 in. (1/2 cm) slices. In a bowl combine the pears, cucumbers, walnuts, leaves of Italian parsley, and the vinaigrette, gently tossing to mix ingredients. Serves 4 to 6.

*Visit the Pantry for our version of this classic.
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  Szechwan Cucumber Salad

2 cucumbers
1 tsp salt
3 scallions
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-1/2 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground, roasted Szechwan peppercorns*(optional)
1/4 tsp (or to taste) hot red pepper flakes (optional)

Peel the cucumbers, cut in half crosswise and then in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Cut into strips about 2 in (5 cm) long and 1/2 in (1 cm) wide. Sprinkle cucumber strips with salt and mix thoroughly. Set aside for at least 10 minutes at room temperature. Drain the cucumbers and squeeze out all the excess liquid with your hands. Clean the scallions and cut them into 2 in (5 cm) lengths, cut these into thin strips, and add to the cucumbers. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Serves 4 to 6.
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  Borsch Muskovskaia (Moscow style beet soup)
This is a meatless version of the classic Russian soup, which usually includes ham and beef. If you want to make it truly vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth or water for the beef stock.


2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
5 cups beets, peeled and cut into strips 1/8 inch (5mm) wide and 2 in. (5 cm) long
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped*
2 tsp salt or to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
2 quarts (2 l) beef stock (may substitute vegetable broth or water)
2 cups white cabbage, quartered, cored and coarsely shredded
4 sprigs parsley, tied together with 1 bay leaf
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill or parsley
1 cup sour cream (optional)

In a large soup pot melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onions and cook 3 to 5 minutes until they are soft but not brown. Add the beets, vinegar, sugar, tomatoes, the salt and some black pepper. Add 1/2 cup of the stock and simmer covered for 45 minutes.
Add the remaining stock and the shredded cabbage, and submerge the tied parsley and bay leaf. Simmer partially covered for an additional 30 minutes. Sprinkle with dill or parsley after serving, and serve the sour cream in a bowl to be added by each diner. Serves 6 to 8.

* To peel tomatoes, make a small x shaped incision in the skin at the bottom of the tomato. Plunge into boiling water for 15 to 20 seconds, then immediately into cold water. The skin should slide off the tomato easily.
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  Tomato and Squash Salad

1 lb (450 g) small yellow squash, or zucchini (courgettes), or combination of both, sliced diagonally
1 lb (450 g) small, ripe tomatoes, cut in wedges
1/2 cup purple onion, sliced into narrow strips
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1+1/2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Arrange squash in a steamer over boiling water. Cover and steam 1 minute, then plunge into cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well. Combine squash, tomatoes, onion, and basil in salad bowl. In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Pour over the vegetables and toss gently. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Serves 4 to 6.
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  Dilled Carrot Bisque

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups sliced carrots
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbs chopped shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/4 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
1/2 cup skim milk

Combine all ingredients except milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until carrots are tender. In a blender or food processor at medium speed, blend about 1/4 of the mixture at a time until smooth. Return to saucepan, add milk, and heat about 1 minute. Serves 4.
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  Orange and Olive Salad

3 oranges, peeled and cut into sections, or sliced crosswise into rounds
1 small red onion, sliced into thin rings
12 to 24 black oil cured or brine cured olives (not canned black olives)
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper

Arrange the orange sections or slices on a chilled salad plate. Scatter the onion slices over the orange, then the black olives. Add a grinding of fresh black pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Serves 4 to 6.
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  Leek and Potato Soup

4 large leeks (white and tender green parts) thickly sliced and well cleaned
4 large baking potatoes (about 2 lbs, 1 kg) peeled and cut into large chunks
4 cups low-fat chicken broth
1 cup non-fat milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the leeks, potatoes, chicken broth, and 3 cups water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are very soft. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to the pot and stir in the milk. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve hot or cold. If serving cold, taste and adjust the seasoning after it is chilled. Serves 6 to 8.
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  Apple and Parsnip Soup

4 Tbs margarine (or butter*)
1 1/2 lb (700 g) parsnip, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb (225 g) Rome apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 qt (1 L) vegetable stock (or chicken stock*)
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 egg yolks, beaten

Melt the margarine in a medium saucepan, and cook the parsnips and apples, tossing well until coated. Cover and cook gently over low heat 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apple juices start to run. Pour in the stock and add the sage, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently 30-40 minutes or until parsnips are soft.
Pass through a food mill or puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to pan and reheat gently. Add a little hot soup to the egg yolks, stirring well, then add the eggs to the soup. Do not allow to boil. Serves 8.

* Not kosher
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  Chick Pea Soup

4 cups dried chick peas (garbanzos) or 4-15 oz (425 g) cans, drained
Water or chicken stock (about 4 cups, 1L)
2 Tbs baking soda
2-3 onions, chopped
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
lemon slices

Soak the beans overnight in warm water. Strain and dust with baking soda. Let stand for 15 minutes. Rinse with hot water and rub a few at a time between your fingers to remove the skins (discard the skins). Place in strainer and rinse thoroughly for several minutes. Put into a large pot along with enough water or chicken stock to cover and bring to a boil, skimming off the foam as it rises. Add the onions, oil, salt and pepper and simmer covered until the beans split; about 90 min. to 2 hours. Serve hot with lemon slices. Serves 6 to 8.
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  Spinach and Orange Salad

6 large oranges
4 cups trimmed spinach
2 cups watercress
1/4 cup pine nuts (pignoli) toasted lightly in a sauté pan over low heat
3 large shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
6 Tbs balsamic or red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Peel the oranges with a sharp knife, removing all the white pith, and holding them over a bowl to collect the juice. Cut the individual segments out of the membrane, and squeeze the membrane to collect the juice. Add the shallots, garlic, vinegar, black pepper, and the orange juice to a pan and bring it to a boil. Place the spinach and watercress in a large bowl and pour the dressing over them, tossing to coat evenly. Place this mixture on salad plates and place the orange segments and pine nuts on top. Serves 4 to 6.
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  Endive and Walnut Salad
(The exact proportions of this recipe are not important. Use your own judgment in determining exact quantities.)

2 to 3 Belgian endives (known as chicory in the UK), washed, dried, and cut crosswise into 1/2 in (1 cm) pieces
12 to 16 walnut halves, coarsely chopped
2 to 4 Tbs walnut oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the walnuts in a saute pan over medium heat for 1 or 2 minutes, just until they are warm and aromatic. Combine the endive, walnut oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl and toss to coat the endive with the oil. Go easy on the salt and pepper, as they tend to mask the flavor of the walnut oil. Place on individual salad plates, and sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top. Serves 4 to 6.
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  Cold Cucumber Soup with Dill

6 Tbs butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 large cucumbers, peeled and finely chopped (2 cups)
3 cups chicken stock
2 Tbs flour
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 medium-sized cucumber, peeled and diced into 1/4 in (1/2 cm) pieces
Salt and white pepper to taste
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh dill (may substitute fresh parsley or chives)
4 tsp sour cream (optional)

In a heavy 2 to 3 quart (2-3 L) saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat. Add the chopped onions and the 2 cups chopped cucumbers and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until transparent but not brown. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Pour the soup into a sieve set over a large bowl and force the vegetables through with the back of a wooden spoon.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, until all lumps have been dissolved. Add the pureed soup, beating vigorously with a wire whisk. Cook over moderate heat for 3 to 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until the soup has thickened slightly.
In a small bowl combine the egg yolks and heavy cream. Beating constantly with a whisk, add one cup of the hot soup to it. Slowly pour this warmed mixture into the remaining soup, whisking constantly. Simmer over very low heat for 5 minutes. DO NOT LET THE SOUP BOIL. Let the soup cool for 1 to 2 hours, then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Add the diced raw cucumber, adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper, and add the chopped herbs just before serving. Serve with an optional teaspoon of sour cream. Serves 4.
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  Pear and Cucumber Salad

2 ripe pears (any variety)
2 medium-sized cucumbers
1 tsp sesame oil*
2 Tbs rice wine vinegar*
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Lettuce leaves (optional)
*Available in finer supermarkets and Asian specialty shops

Core the pears and cut into small bite-sized pieces. Split the cucumbers in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Slice the cucumber into thin slices. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss. Serve on bed of lettuce leaves. Serves 4 to 6.
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  Chicken Breast and Almond Soup
(Sopa de Pechuga de Pollo y Almendras)

1/2 cup blanched almonds
2 Tbs butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
2 qt (2 L) chicken stock or canned chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cumin seed
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)
1 Tbs chopped parsley

Cook the chicken breasts by simmering them in the chicken stock for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove them and set them aside. Saute the almonds in the butter over moderate heat until golden. Place the almonds, onion, and one of the chicken breasts in an electric blender or food processor, along with a little of the stock, and blend until pureed. Add this mixture to the remaining stock, along with the nutmeg, cumin, and cayenne. Add the second chicken breast, cut into small pieces, and heat over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Add the optional sherry just prior to serving. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with the chopped parsley. Serves 6. top.gif (2813 bytes)

  Soupe a L'Oignon (French Onion Soup)

4 Tbs butter
2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 lbs (900 g) onions, thinly sliced (about 7 cups)
1 tsp salt
3 Tbs flour
2 quarts (2 L) beef, chicken, or vegetable stock (fresh or canned)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the croutes
12 to 16 one inch (2.5 cm) slices French bread
2 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
1 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese (Parmesan may be substituted)

Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and the salt, stirring occasionally over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the onions are golden brown. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Cook an additional 30 minutes, partially covered over very low heat. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. Meanwhile make the croutes by placing the slices of bread on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake at 325F (160C) for 15 minutes. Lightly brush both sides of each slice with the olive oil, turn over, and bake an additional 15 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Rub each slice with the garlic clove. To serve place float the croutes on the soup in a tureen or individual soup bowls. Serve the cheese on the side, to be added by the diners. Serves 6 to 8. top.gif (2813 bytes)

  Cold Split Pea Soup with Mint

2 cups (500 ml) dry green split peas
2 qts (2 L) chicken or vegetable stock, fresh or canned
1 cup (250 ml) coarsely chopped onion
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) cumin seed
1/8 tsp (1/2 ml) ground cloves
1 bay leaf
1 cup (250 ml) coarsely chopped fresh mint
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream (optional)
Fresh mint for garnish

Wash and pick over the peas. Bring the stock to a boil in a large heavy saucepan or soup kettle. Add the peas, onion, celery, garlic, cumin seed, cloves, bay leaf, and mint. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 hours, until the peas are soft and easily mashed. Remove the bay leaf. Pass the soup through a fine sieve or food mill, mashing the peas and onion through the strainer and leaving the bulk of the mint and celery behind. Chill the soup in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Add the heavy cream and salt and pepper to taste. Note if you adjusted the seasoning prior to refrigerating the soup, you will probably have to add more salt and pepper after it has chilled. Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint. Serves 6 to 8. top.gif (2813 bytes)

  Wilted Cucumber Salad

2 large cucumbers, peeled, sliced in two lengthwise, seeds removed
4 tsp (20 ml) salt
1/2 cup (125 ml) canned consomme
2 Tbs (30 ml) red wine vinegar
2 tsp (10 ml) honey or sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) vegetable or olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Slice the peeled and seeded cucumbers very thinly, either by hand or with a food processor. Place the slices in a sieve or colander and sprinkle with the salt. Allow to drain 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse the cucumber slices thoroughly and dry with paper towels. While the cucumber is draining combine the consomme, vinegar, honey and oil in a small saucepan and boil over high heat until reduced to about 1/4 cup (60 ml). Pour this over the cucumber slices in a small bowl, season with pepper, toss to coat the cucumbers, and chill at least 30 minutes. Serves 4. top.gif (2813 bytes)

  Cream Vichyssoise Glacée

4 leeks, white part
1 medium onion
4 Tbs (60 ml) sweet butter
5 medium potatoes
1 qt (1 L) water or chicken broth
1 Tbs (15 ml) salt
2 cups (500 ml) milk
2 cups (500 ml) medium cream
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream

Finely slice the white parts of the leeks and the onion, and brown very lightly in the sweet butter, then add the potatoes, also sliced finely. Add the water or broth and salt. Boil from 35 to 40 minutes. Crush and rub through a fine strainer. Return to fire and add the milk and medium cream. Season to taste and bring to a boil. Cool and then rub through a very fine strainer. When soup is cold add the heavy cream. Chill thoroughly before serving. Finely chopped chives may be added before serving. Serves 8. top.gif (2813 bytes)

  Cold Cream of Squash Soup

4 Tbs (60 ml) butter or margarine
1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped onion
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1+1/2 lbs (750 g) yellow crookneck squash (vegetable marrow), seeds removed and cut into 1/2 in (1 cm) dice (zucchini
(courgettes) or other soft fleshy summer squash may be substituted)
1 medium-sized potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 in (1 cm) dice
6 cups (1.5 L) fresh or canned beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped fresh dill leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream

Melt the butter or margarine in a heavy saucepan and cook the diced onion, carrot, and celery for about 5 minutes over moderate heat, until soft but not browned. Add the diced squash and potato, and the stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the squash and potato are soft. Allow to cool before pureeing in a blender or food processor, or by straining through a fine sieve and pressing the vegetables through the sieve with the back of a spoon. Stir in the dill leaves and the heavy cream and adjust the seasoning. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Serves 4 to 6. top.gif (2813 bytes)

  Gazpacho

For the soup
2 medium-sized cucumbers, peeled and coarsely chopped
5 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium-sized green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 tsp (10 ml) finely chopped garlic
4 cups (1 L) coarsely crumbled French or Italian bread, trimmed of crusts
4 cups cold water
1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar
4 tsp (20 ml) salt
4 Tbs (60 ml) olive oil
1 Tbs (15 ml) tomato paste

For the garnish
1 cup (250 ml) croutons (fried bread cubes, approx. 1/4 in (1 cm) square)1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped onions
1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped cucumbers
1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped green bell peppers

Combine all the soup ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. Ladle this mixture, about 2 cups (500 ml) at a time into a blender or food processor and blend at high speed until reduced to a smooth puree. Place in a jug or covered bowl and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours. Stir immediately before serving. Serve with the garnishes in small bowls for the diners to help themselves from. Serves 6 to 8. top.gif (2813 bytes)

  Easy Garlic Tomato Soup

3 Tbs (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
2 Tbs (30 ml) paprika
2-1 lb. (450 g) cans (OR 2 lbs.(900 g) fresh) chopped or crushed tomatoes
6 cups (1.5L) water (OR 3 cups (750 ml) water AND 3 cups (750 ml) chicken broth)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste
Butter
6 slices French bread
1/2 cup (125 ml) grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a stew pot. Saute garlic until oil is infused. Raise heat slightly, add paprika. Saute until paprika just begins to sizzle. Add tomatoes (you can puree some of them for a smoother soup), water or broth, and salt; simmer 20 minutes. If using fresh tomatoes, add additional salt. Add a few dashes of black pepper if you like. Butter slices of bread liberally. Press one side of each piece into the grated parmesan. Broil until toasty, watching to make sure the parmesan doesn't crisp. Reduce heat on the soup. Add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce--it's generally three to five dashes in my house--and serve by placing one crouton in each bowl and covering with soup. Serves 6. top.gif (2813 bytes)

  Cold Yogurt Soup

4 cups (1 L) yogurt
4 tsp (20 ml) distilled white vinegar
2 tsp (10 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 large cucumber, peeled and seeded, chopped (about 1 cup, 250 ml)
2 large tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped (about 1 cup, 250 ml)
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup, 125 ml)
1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cumin seed
4 tsp (20 ml) finely chopped fresh mint leaves, or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried mint
1 tsp (5 ml) finely chopped fresh dill leaves, or 1/2 tsp (2 ml) dried dill weed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the yogurt, vinegar, and olive oil in a large bowl and, using a whisk or wooden spoon, stir until it is completely smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients and chill for at least 2 hours. Serves 6 to 8. top.gif (2813 bytes)

  Black Bean Soup

1 lb (450 g) dried black beans
1 Tbs (15 ml) Salt
2 to 4 cups (500 ml to 1 L) chicken broth (fresh or canned)
2 Tbs (30 ml) olive oil
1 cup (250 ml) finely chopped onion
2 tsp (10 ml) finely chopped garlic
8 oz (250 g) finely chopped lean, cooked ham (about 2 cups, 500 ml)
1 large, firm, ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped (or 1/2 cup, 125 ml, chopped drained canned tomatoes)
2 Tbs malt or balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Rinse and pick over the beans until they are clean and free of debris. Put them in a large pot and add enough water to cover by at least 2 inches (5 cm). Add the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer partially covered for 2 to 3 hours, or until the beans are tender. Drain the beans in a large colander or sieve set over a bowl to collect the cooking liquid. Set the beans aside to cool. Add enough chicken broth to the bean-cooking liquid to make 6 cups (1.5 L). When the beans have cooled, remove approximately 1/4 of the beans and set aside. Combine the remaining beans, one cup at a time, with one cup of the liquid at a time in an electric blender, and blend at high speed until the beans are broken up, but not completely smooth. You may press the beans through a fine meshed sieve if you do not have an electric blender. In a large pot heat the olive oil until it shimmers and add the onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are soft and transparent but not brown. Stir in the ham, tomatoes, vinegar, cumin, and a few grindings of black pepper. Bring this mixture to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Add the bean puree and the reserved whole beans and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, until heated through. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serves 6 to 8. top.gif (2813 bytes)

  Soupe au Pistou

For the soup
1 Tbs (15 ml) olive oil
2 medium onions, cut into 1/2 in (1 cm) dice
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 in (1 cm) dice
2 medium zucchini (courgettes), cut into 1/2 in (1 cm) dice
1/4 lb (125 g) green beans (haricots) cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 in (1 cm) dice
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 lb (250 g) potatoes, cut into 1/2 in (1 cm) dice
3 cups (750 ml) low-fat chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
1 cup (250 ml) chick peas (garbanzos) or canned bean of your choice, rinsed and drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Pistou
1 cup (250 ml) packed fresh basil leaves
1 Tbs (15 ml) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup low-fat chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the garnish
2 Tbs (30 ml) grated Parmesan cheese

Begin by making the soup. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over moderate heat, and cook the onions and carrots for 5 to 10 minutes, until soft but not brown. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. For the pistou, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of pistou and one (15 ml) of grated cheese. Serves 4 to 6. top.gif (2813 bytes)

  Cock-a-Leekie Soup

1 fowl (whole chicken, cut into parts)
1 doz. leeks (about 6 lbs, 3 kg)
1 lb shin of beef (use 1 lb (900 g) beef stew meat)
3 quarts water (3 L)
1 doz. prunes
Salt and pepper

After removing the marrow from the bone (you may omit this step if using stew meat), put the beef on to boil in the water. Let it boil for 1 hour; then take 2 of the leeks, cut them up rather finely (make sure they are thoroughly rinsed first), and add them, using only the white of the leeks, and rejecting the green tails. Also add the fowl trussed (skip the trussing if using chicken parts) for boiling. Let this boil for 1 hour longer; then cut up the remainder of the dozen leeks into nice pieces, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long; cut the leeks right down the middle, and then across in inch pieces. See that they are thoroughly washed. Add those and the prunes, and boil for another hour. The fowl may be taken out when ready, and probably it will take 11/2 hours to boil (ours should be done in 1 hour). Add the salt and pepper to taste, and serve the soup. The fowl is sometimes cut up and served along with the soup in the tureen (recommended), or it may be served separately. Serves 10 to 12. top.gif (2813 bytes)

  Cream of Sorrel Soup

2 cups (500 ml) (packed) sorrel leaves*, stems removed
4 cups (1 L) chicken stock, fresh or canned
2 cups heavy cream, milk, or fat-free milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

*Watercress, spinach, or escarole may be substituted

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a 2 quart (2 L) stainless steel or enameled pot. Add the sorrel leaves and boil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sorrel changes color. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. Puree the soup in an electric blender and pour through a fine sieve to remove any pieces of stem. Add the cream or milk, stirring to combine. Serve the soup hot or cold. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper after it reaches the temperature you are going to serve it. Serves 4 to 6. top.gif (2813 bytes)

  Mushroom-Spinach Salad
Note: If salmonella contamination is a concern in your area, please omit the egg yolk from the recipe, or substitute 1 tablespoon (15 ml) egg substitute.

10 oz (300 g) fresh spinach, washed and dried
1 bunch (5 or 6) green onions (scallions), chopped (including green parts)
1 lb (450 g) fresh mushrooms, sliced
7 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

For the dressing
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
6 Tbs (90 ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs (30 ml) lemon juice
1/8 tsp (1/2 ml) dry mustard
1/2 tsp (2 ml) sugar
3/4 tsp (4 ml) salt
1/8 tsp (1/2 ml) freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk (optional)

Tear the spinach into bite-sized pieces. Put the ingredients for the dressing in a jar, cover and shake well, making sure the egg yolk is mixed well. Pour over the salad ingredients just before serving. Serves 6 to 8. top.gif (2813 bytes)