By Estella Tullgren | Photos by Deb Peterson
It’s fall! That means it is time for soups…glorious soups. Although I do have soup all year long, fall is the time to bring out those tasty, comfort-type soups. I have my favorites, but I have a couple new ones this season. I try to keep chicken stock on hand because it is a great way to thin out the soups after they have been refrigerated. I enjoy spending a little time on the weekends making one or two soups and then storing them in plastic pitchers—that makes it easy for weeknight dinners.
A Peach Puff
This is a versatile recipe. I have made this for breakfast/brunch as well as for a dessert, and it all depends on your taste buds!
4 peaches, skinned and cut into chunks
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
½ cup flour
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar, optional
Heat oven to 400. In a medium cast iron skillet (about 9 inches in diameter), sauté peaches in butter, cinnamon and nutmeg for 5-6 minutes.
Meanwhile, blend eggs, flour, milk, salt, sour cream and vanilla in blender until smooth. Then pour egg batter over peaches and place skillet in oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with butter and syrup. Or if this is to be served as a dessert, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream is a perfect topping. I think you will like it either way.
Hatch Green Chile Pork Stew
Several years ago, I discovered hatch green chiles and I tried to use them in as many recipes as I could. You can buy them mild or hot. I use the mild ones and add just one hot chile to the recipe. When it is hatch season, some of our local grocery stores will even char the chilies for you—what a treat!
1 pound hatch green chilies, lightly oiled
1 large onion, diced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
6 whole large tomatillos, husks removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 pounds pork shoulder, fat trimmed and cut into cubes
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chicken stock, optional
Cooked rice, flour tortillas, optional
Char hatch chilies. This is easily done on your grill. Place oiled chilies over direct medium heat and grill until nicely charred and softened. Then remove chilies and place in a plastic resealable bag letting them steam for about 10 minutes. Remove chilies from bag and peel away the charred skin, cut off the top stem and remove the seeds from the inside of the chilies. Discard seeds and then roughly chop chilies. Set aside.
In the bowl of your food processor, add cilantro, tomatillos, hatch chilies and garlic. Pulse until you have a smooth sauce.
Season cubed pork with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet on a medium-high heat and then add canola oil. You will want to sear the pork cubes on all sides. Make sure you work in batches. Once each batch is seared on all sides, remove to a bowl and do the next batch. I find that it usually takes three batches to sear all the meat. If you crowd it all at once, the meat is more steamed than seared.
When finished with searing the pork, add the pork and the mixture in the food processor to your slow cooker or large pot. Cook on low and slow until pork is tender. It will take 2 hours in a pot on top of stove (use a low heat and stir occasionally) or 6 hours on low in your slow cooker. If stew is too thick, just add some of the chicken stock, a little at a time.
Serve the stew on top of rice. Another way to serve this is to put some of the stew on a warmed flour tortilla; add some shredded cheese, chopped cilantro and wrap it all up in the tortilla.
Wild Rice and Chicken Soup
There is a great flavor to this soup. It reminds me of Thanksgiving.
¾ cup finely diced carrots
½ cup finely diced celery
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
48 ounces chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cups milk, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
½ cup flour
4.3-ounce box Rice-a-Roni Long Grain and Wild Rice with seasoning packet
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped green onions for garnish
Sauté carrots, celery and onion in olive oil in a large soup pot for about 10 minutes. Add garlic, chicken broth, water and 1 cup milk. Add pepper, oregano, bay leaf and chicken. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes.
Whisk ½ cup flour with remaining 1 cup of milk until smooth. Pour into soup pot and mix until combined. Place wild rice and seasoning packet into the soup and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. If too thick, add additional 1-2 cups chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with green onions.
Bella’s Minestrone with Orzo
This is one of my favorite soups. I love all the vegetables and it is easy to add whatever you prefer. We often have this on Meatless Monday—just add some crusty bread and voila! dinner is ready.
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup diced onion
½ cup sliced leeks (white and light green part)
½ cup diced celery
¼ cup diced red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
7 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dry)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups large dice zucchini
1 cup large dice yellow squash
1 cup fresh green beans (1-inch pieces)
2 roma tomatoes, diced
Handful of fresh spinach
1 cup small cooked white beans (optional)
½ cup dry orzo (or try ½ cup dry ditalina pasta)
Garnish: grated parmesan and chopped basil
Sauté onions, leeks, celery, red bell pepper and garlic in olive oil for 8-10 minutes. Add stock, bay leaf, thyme and salt. Bring to simmer and then add zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, tomatoes, spinach and orzo.
Heat to simmer and lower heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook 10 minutes until vegetables and pasta are cooked through. Garnish with grated parmesan and a few pieces of chopped basil. M! October/November 2016