I was asked to bring a soup for a group of friends getting together for a casual, coastal overnight in beautiful west Marin. There were a number of recipes that were contenders, but a spicy chickpea soup from Yotam Ottolenghi's upcoming cookbook, Plenty More, caught my attention. It features a seductive, red harissa broth fragrant with cumin, coriander, and caraway, and enough chickpeas and bulgur to make it work as a main course. An herb-whipped feta is the crowning dollop.
There is an wonderful Sopa Verde de Elote (green corn soup) in Diana Kennedy's Recipes from the Regional Cooks of Mexico published in 1978, I used it as inspiration for this variation - sweet corn and peas are off-set by a spike of green chile, a finishing dollop of creme fraiche, and generous squeeze of lime.
A soup built on a monster white pepper broth. White pepper with jolts of ginger, and stabs of garlic - clear and strong topped with tofu, mushrooms, watermelon radish, and lots of green onions.
The miso tahini soup we had for lunch as we prepped for the Remodelista Holiday Market last weekend - it was simple, hearty, and restorative with brown rice, winter squash, and a creamy miso-tahini broth. Avocado, lemon zest, toasted nori, and chives kept things lively and beautiful up top.
Traditional and tasty, this soup is a test of patience and restraint. If you're easily distracted, skip it. If you can mind a pot, stirring, singularly-focused, for a half hour, perhaps longer, you'll be rewarded with a beautiful, vegetarian version of the herbed, Persian yogurt soup, Ashe Mast.
A summer vegetable curry punctuated with the citrusy pop of fresh coriander seeds.
I posted a picture of my lunch the other day, and a few of you requested specifics - it was a spring soup made with a ginger & shallot coconut milk broth, spring vegetables, served over egg noodles.
A round-up of a my favorite soups from the archives - the ones that really stood out, the ones I love to revisit.
Posole for the new year - it has a vegetable broth base, lots of blossoming corn kernels, avocado and mung beans. Topped with chopped olives and toasted almonds it's A+...
The pumpkin soup I made as soon as I got home from India - with an herby butter drizzle and lemon ginger pulp. And some pictures of a photo session on the street in Jaipur.
A simple tomato soup recipe inspired by a Melissa Clark recipe - pureed, warmly spiced, and perfect topped with everything from toasted almonds and herbs, to coconut cream or a poached egg.
A few outtakes from the winter Kinfolk magazine shoot/article I worked on with Wayne. Plus the Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter featured in the photos.
An earthy, turmeric and mustard-spiked lentil soup served over brown rice with spinach and thick yogurt.
A simple corn soup topped with an electric harissa-yogurt swirl + photos from a walk around North Beach on the Fourth of July.
A simple Indian-spiced green pea soup, and a few snapshots of things I'm bringing with me in a move up the street.
A thick, cumin and coriander-spiced root vegetable stew. It's a free-wheeling one-pot dinner that attempts to use up whatever winter vegetables I have lingering about.
A rustic leek soup topped with an electric green drizzle of dill oil and crunchy toasted almonds.
An amazing New Year Noodle Soup from Greg & Lucy Malouf's beautiful book, Saraban. It's a bean and noodle soup at its core featuring thin egg noodles swimming in a fragrant broth spiced with turmeric, cumin, chiles, and black pepper. You use a medley of lentils, chickpeas, and borlotti beans which makes the soup heart and filling without being heavy. You add spinach, dill, and cilantro. You add lime juice for a bit of sour at the end. And then you've got a number of toppings to add when you serve the soup - chopped walnuts, caramelized onions, and sour cream. Amazing.
The soup I've cooked most this year. There is so much going on here despite a modest list of ingredients. Celery, crushed caraway, and garlic are cooked together alongside big hearty beans and chopped tomatoes in what becomes an olive-oil dappled broth. You serve each bowl with chopped oily, black olives and fresh lemon wedges. This is a version made with Christmas Lima beans, but you can substitute cannellini or giant corona beans.
A clean, simple carrot and shaved fennel soup. The vegetables are rounded out with wild rice, and the finished soup is dusted generously with Parmesan cheese.
A big, hearty mushroom soup made with a mish-mash of market mushrooms, pearled barley, toasted sesame oil, and onions.
Easily one of the best, most interesting soups I've cooked in years. Adapted from a recipe in Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen - a dried fava bean and roasted tomato base topped with a fascinating cider-kissed tangy/sweet quick-pickled chile topping.
A beautiful, thin green curry broth, fragrant with garlic, lemongrass, and ginger. It gets heat from serrano chiles, and zings of tanginess from fresh lime juice. Cumin and coriander seeds keep things grounded, and a flurry of freshly chopped herbs make the sky open up.
A nice way to use up a good amount of summer squash. This soup is a soft, pastel shade of yellow, and aside from a hint of tang from the buttermilk, is quite mild in flavor. I finish it with a cumin brown butter drizzle that punches right through the creaminess, and plenty of chopped chives.
A soup I made for a camping trip to the Sonoma coast - lots of beans, vegetables, and stellette pasta. Tiny stars under the stars, with a good dollop of pistou for each bowl.
Inspired by an Ayurvedic dal recipe in the Esalen Cookbook, this is a light-bodied, curry-spiced coconut broth thickened with cooked red lentils and structured with yellow split peas. The back notes of ginger, slivered green onions sauteed in butter, and curry-plumped raisins make this a new favorite of mine.
I made a big pot of farro & bean stew for my mom and dad the other night - simple, hearty, and straightforward. The stew has farro, beans, lots of vegetables, and a generous dusting of cheese to top each bowl.
An anise and ginger-spiked French lentil soup, from a charming little cookbook I stumbled on titled SoupLove. The broth is thickened by lots of roasted winter squash, and it's great with lots of garlicky croutons.
A palak daal recipe from Kasa's Anamika Khanna - a hearty pot of spinach, lentils, and spices. Kasa is a favorite Indian restaurant of mine here in San Francisco.
Ribollita, a thick Tuscan stew made with dark greens, lots of beans, vegetables, olive oil, and thickened with day-old bread. One of my favorites.
A simple, everyday broccoli soup made special with crusty, mustardy croutons. Perfect for those days when I need some extra nutritional punch.
A single-pot lentil soup with brown rice. Made by browning some onions, adding the rest of the ingredients, and simmering until the whole lot until its done.
In the realm of garlic soup recipes, this is a favorite of mine. From Richard Olney's The French Menu Cookbook, it is made by simmering a dozen or so cloves of garlic in water with a few herbs, then thickening it with a mixture of egg and shredded cheese. It's hard to beat a ladleful poured over some crusty day-old chunks of walnut baguette.
From the new Anna Thomas cookbook, Love Soup - a soup cramming more spinach, leeks, sweet potatoes and chard into each bowl than I ever thought possible.
A simple, weeknight carrot soup recipe finished with a thread of toasted sesame oil. You can leave it slightly chunky, or puree it until smooth - whatever your preference.
A hearty adzuki and butternut squash soup recipe adapted from Jae Steele's Get It Ripe cookbook. The soup has a bit of chipotle flavor and is made even better with a drizzle of cilantro olive oil prior to serving.
A simple, everyday approach to miso soup - it yields me a bowl of soup in five or ten minutes. You can keep it simple if you like, but in this version I add soba noodles and tofu, and a few garnishes.
A porcini mushroom soup recipe made from seven ingredients including potatoes and porcini mushrooms in an intensely flavorful broth peppered with rosemary and tiny pools of golden olive oil. Great with a big chunk of garlic bread.
A chunky celery soup perfect for a winter day - celery, carrots, a potato, an onion, a bit of garlic, and some leftover wild rice.
Made from just five ingredients, this is a vibrant, chipotle-spiked, brothy soup that requires minimal babysitting. The dainty baby lima beans soften up in about an hour without any pre-soaking or fuss.
a pot of quick-cooking, beautiful, brothy couscous soup topped with a bit of melted goat cheese and bright broccoli and cauliflower florets. It is all punctuated with a spoonful of finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
Charlotte's edamame soup recipe was a big hit with Wayne - a bit of olive oil, potato, frozen edamame beans, and vegetable stock come together to make a satisfying, protein packed bowl, of pale green tastiness.
My tortilla soup recipe - a full-bodied, spicy vegetarian broth envelops a nest of baked tortilla matchsticks. Tiny roasted tomatoes along with a bit of goat cheese lend tang and texture, and flecks of sun-dried tomatoes bring depth and richness to each bowl.
Itty-bitty pasta plays the lead role in this simple orzo soup recipe with an egg drop soup style broth that has been boosted with flecks of chard and topped with vibrant, fire-roasted tomatoes. It's finished with an all-important thread of golden olive oil and a flurry of grated cheese.
A quick and delicious green curry recipe - peas, asparagus, and tofu swimming in a fragrant, not-overly-rich Thai green chile broth.
A quick and delicious dumpling soup - tender, translucent pasta pillows, pale green from their pea-stuffed bellies, are buoyed by yellow lentils in a simple clear broth. Golden puddles of olive oil are suspended across the surface, pooling in various cracks and crevices.
Healthy, beautifully textured, and colorful this split yellow pea soup makes for a terrific lunch. The yellow split pea soup base is topped with a tzatziki-inspired yogurt dollop, a touch of mint, a spoonful of finely chopped black olives, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Not a traditional hotpot recipe, instead...a fast-cooking bulgur cooks in a light orange-juice accented broth. Plenty of chickpeas, tiny cauliflower pieces, onions, and greens add texture and substance to the hearty pot.
A delicious, healthy, textured split pea soup recipe made from an impossibly short list of ingredients. Vegetarian, no ham hocks in this version.
Hearty, healthy, and satistfying - this cabbage soup recipe is super simple to make. Slice a cabbage into thin ribbons and cook it down in a simple pot of sauteed potatoes, onions, beans, garlic and flavorful broth. Finished each bowl with a generous drizzle of great olive oil and a dusting of shredded cheese.
Healthy, quick, and satisfying this lentil soup recipe delivers layer after layer of flavor. The tang of the tomatoes plays off the earthiness of the lentils, and the fragrant bolt of saffron yogurt brightens each bowl.
Simple and delicious, vibrant green spinach and zucchini soup recipe. Light-and-healthy, but still creamy textured and plenty tasty.
From Skye Gyngell's cookbook A Year in my Kitchen this simple, satisfying cauliflower soup recipe is perfect served up with a bit of cold winter weather.
The ultimate noodle soup recipe - imagine garbanzo beans bobbing about in a rich broth with thick ribbons of pasta noodles weaving in between them, droplets of olive oil suspended on the surface of the broth, and the whole thing punctuated with crisped fresh pasta that had been fried in olive oil.
This Thai-spiced Pumpkin Soup couldn't be easier to make - roasted winter squash, coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, and sea salt come together in a pot of vibrant, rich, flavorful soup. A total crowd pleaser.
Rajasthani buttermilk curry recipe from the award-winning cookbook Mangoes & Curry Leaves, by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid.
Turn to this miraculously delicious soup when you are feeling sick - beans, water, garlic, shallots, chiles. Total active prep time was under five minutes, the rest is just waiting and anticipating.
A twist on a classic onion soup recipe adapted for cry-babies (like me). Caramelized onions, white wine, butter, vegetable stock, and grated cheese.
This crema de guacamole recipe makes the ultimate chilled summertime soup.
A soup inspired by a visit to Delfina restaurant.