Un Bacio in Cucina

a photographic exploration of Italian food, culture & wine

Tag: winter

Pea Shoot Soup

How many times have you bought pea shoots for garnish or a sandwich and ended up having them go bad in the refrigerator? I’m guilty of that. I bought a bunch recently to use as a garnish for a styled image I was working on and didn’t want them to go to waste. It was cold outside, a bit snowy, and thought a soup would be nice. What harm could pea shoots do in a soup? Well, let me tell you, some broth, veggies and pea shoots created an incredibly delicious soup that warmed the body and soul.  Since they can be stringy and not very easy to eat in a soup it made sense to blend everything together to make a puree. I also had a lot of radishes leftover from a shoot. I wanted to use them as garnish and put a bowl in the styled set up but the bright red color just didn’t resonate with my vision. I decided to roast the radishes. Contrary to what people believe, they can be roasted. The peppery flavor is more subtle and a hint of sweetness comes through. The roasting ended up muting the red color giving it exactly what I was envisioning. The perfect understated pop of color to compliment the rest of the image.
Here is a quick and easy recipe you can make any day of the week with a few simple and healthy ingredients.

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Pea Shoot Soup
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups organic low sodium chicken broth
  2. 1 red potato, cut in quarters
  3. 1/4 t salt, optional
  4. 1/2 vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
  5. 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  6. 2 T olive oil (not high quality)
  7. 2 cups pea shoots, reserving some for garnish
  8. 10 radishes
  9. Extra virgin olive oil, good quality
Instructions
  1. Bring to a boil in a medium saucepan the chicken broth, potato and salt.
  2. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover almost completely, until potato is tender.
  3. In a small frying pan, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until onion is translucent and a bit browned. Set aside.
  4. While potato is cooking turn on oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Cut stems off of radishes, rinse and toss with some olive oil.
  6. Arrange on cookie sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
  7. Once potato is tender, add pea shoots and onion mixture to saucepan and simmer for ten minutes.
  8. Pour mixture into a blender and puree, leaving the blender lid slightly off to allow steam to escape.
  9. Pour mixture in bowl, garnish with sliced radishes and pea shoots and drizzle with good quality extra virgin olive oil.
  10. Serve with brown rice in soup or on the side.
Notes
  1. Take care when pureeing mixture in blender as contents is very hot and can splash out if not careful.
Un Bacio in Cucina http://www.unbacioincucina.com/

Butternut Squash, Speck and Carnaroli Rice Soup

This recipe came about as I was preparing for the infamous Blizzard of 2015 here in New York. I wanted a roasted squash but was also craving a comfort soup. Melding the two ideas together, adding some salty flavor in the way of speck and apple for sweetness this soup turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever had. I hope you enjoy it on a cold and snowy day, or any other day for that matter!

Butternut Squash, Speck and Rice Soup

Butternut Squash, Speck and Carnaroli Rice Soup. Photo by Leslie Brienza

Butternut Squash, Speck and Rice Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium sized butternut squash
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 4 slices speck or other prosciutto, cut in small pieces
  4. 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  5. 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  6. 3/4 cup carnaroli rice
  7. 1 apple, Honey Crisp or similarly sweet, peeled and cubed
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds
  3. Rub olive oil on the squash and place cut size down on cookie sheet
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until skin is browned and flesh is soft
  5. Remove squash from oven and let cool
  6. Remove skin from squash and cut into cubes
  7. Heat olive oil in 5 qt. saucepan and sauté onions until soft and translucent
  8. Add the speck and apple and saute for 2-3 minutes over medium high heat until browned
  9. Add squash to pan and brown for two minutes
  10. Add chicken broth and rice and bring to a boil
  11. Reduce heat to low, and cook covered for 25-30 minutes or until rice is done
  12. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and cracked pepper
  13. Drizzle good quality olive oil over the top and serve
Notes
  1. This recipe doesn't have added salt. The salt in the speck, cheese and broth gave it enough flavor
  2. Use a good quality peppery olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano for the ultimate flavor combination
Un Bacio in Cucina http://www.unbacioincucina.com/
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