I’m about to say something incredibly controversial. Are you ready?
Pumpkin spice lattes are fucking gross. They taste like chemicals. They taste like fake syrup. They taste like fake pumpkin. And while they usually don’t make me all that mad, they’re kinda irking me right now because it’s hot in Los Angeles and I’m sort of not ready for fall just yet. Too much pumpkin spice latte advertisement–calm down!!!
(If you like pumpkin lattes just know that we are still friends. I like you.)
During this strange seasonal transitional period, I like to make things that are flexible in terms of time spent in the kitchen and actual temperature. This soup is cold. The broth is cold, the noodles are cold, but if you’re feeling a bit chilly or want to make this in a few months, then eat it warm! It’s delightful piping hot.
Like, it was so good that it made me want to make batches of it now and then freeze it, so I can eat it when it’s cold(ish) out. I am not at all a freezer person. I know people who have whole meals in their freezers. Nope, not me. There’s something about piles of freezer-burned food that just grosses me out. But I’m contemplating doing this before the summer is over because this soup is THAT good.
For the recipe and more photos, go to PBS Food. I’ll be back next week with…popsicles!!! YAY!
Gazpacho has a special place in my heart. It reminds me of being a kid, sitting on our brown flower sofas, watching Pedro Almodovar movies with my parents and them laughing hysterically. I probably got about thirty percent of the jokes in his movies—I was way too young!
There’s a famous scene in Women on The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown when the main character finally recites the ingredients in her ex-lovers famous gazpacho: tomates, pepino, pimiento, ceboillia, una puntita de ago, sal, vinegar, pan duro y agua. I remember my parents being like whaaaa, pan duro?! Translation: stale bread. The secret ingredient to any gazpacho, green or red is bread. Always.
That movie inspired my parent’s journey to making the best gazpacho ever. They did it. We had gazpacho every summer because of that movie. Today, I bring you a different version.
I made this green gazpacho in my new . I’m not gonna lie, I’ve always been a bit shy about pulling the trigger on investing in a Vitamix. I could always justify the cost because I cook so much, but the space was tough for me. My kitchen is small and some sizes are super large. But not this one! It’s smaller, can easily fit in my cabinets, has a container for smoothies, which I use daily, and the power behind this machine means my soups and sauces are super smooth! Since this machine has entered my kitchen, I’ve actually stopped using my food processor. I just use this Vitamix for everything: pesto, hummus, pulsing dry ingredients like freeze-dried strawberries. It’s my go-to.
We’re so deep into May. How did we get here? How is it Monday? How did Mother’s Day go by already?! Ahhhhh! Also, it’s peony season in case you didn’t know.
Ok, we’re gonna put my anxiety about time moving too quickly to the side because today we’re making the most carrot-y carrot soup on da planet. Ready?
It’s been a lil’ brisk in LA, which I am not complaining about one bit because I just know this summer is going to be ratchet. I’m taking full advantage of the cool temperatures and rainy weather while I can and that means soup. HOT SOUP!
A few days ago it was cloudy and drizzling. Amelia was all bummed out because when it rains I make her wear her raincoat. And I had a few bunches of carrots in the fridge with no plan so I sliced them up and cooked them slowly in butter and a strip of kombu. HEAVEN.
Lately I’ve been in search of warmth of all kinds. I’ll call my mom and listen to her ramble on about her day because I like the sound of her voice regardless of what she’s actually saying.
I’m currently obsessed with Amelia’s warm chubby paws. She has soft hair growing in between the pads of them hat sometimes the groomer trims down, but I sort of like when he forgets and it grows super long. The warmest of places is the corner of Josh’s shoulder where I retreat after a particularly terrible day. No place feels warmer.
And the thing I want to eat when it’s cold and damp and sucky is this bowl of green pozole. It comes from Ashley Rodriguez’s new book, Date Night In, which is a super pretty book all about my favorite day of the week: DATE NITE.
December is for cookies and pies and appetizers, specifically meatballs. I love meatballs.
January is for recovery. Honestly, I always feel a little silly and cliche posting healthy recipes at the beginning of the year, but right now I’m actually craving vegetables and broth and nourishing foods. December wrecked my body. I ate and drank a lot and thoroughly enjoyed it (no regrets!), but this state of recover is really necessary.
Enter: this potlikker (pot liquor?) soup.
I first learned about potlikker while watching PBS’s A Chef’s Life with Vivian Howard. Have you seen it? Oh man, she’s my new obsession. Every show ends and I’m so inspired to make the stuff she’s making. She’s fun to watch, too. Vivan strikes this perfect balance of being knowledgeable, relatable, and vulnerable. And all her ideas are really smart and interesting…even if she doesn’t think they are at first.
You know when you’re hungry but the idea of cooking and actually having to deal with yourself and said hunger seems like SO much work that you feel like you might die? Not actually die, but being super hungry makes everyone melodramatic. You know what I mean. You feel me!
This dish is perfect for the moment I’m describing. It is the simplest of simple dishes. It’s cheap, CHEAP to make. Every poor college student should have this recipe in their repertoire. And it’s COZY. It’s sweater-weather soup.
If you’ve never heard of this soup, let’s discuss. Let’s gossip about this soup.
It’s an Italian egg-drop soup. Stracciatella is what you’d consider peasant food, only requiring a few ingredients in its purest form: water, Parmesan, spinach and egg. Of course, I think adding a bit of chicken broth, lemon juice and a teeny bit of pasta make it a bit more interesting and filling.
But really even this version you see is only slightly more complicated than the original. There’s nothing fussy about this soup, which is exactly what you want when you feel like you’re on your ‘hangry deathbed’.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serving Size: 4
*1/2 cup mini fussili pasta
1 cup water
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Juice from 1/4 lemon
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
Bring a medium saucepan filled with salted water to a boil. Add the fussilli and cook until very al dente, about 5-7 minutes. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
To the same (empty) saucepan (no need to clean it out), set over medium heat, combine the water, chicken broth and lemon juice. Bring the broth mixture to a simmer. Salt and pepper the broth to taste. I used very low-sodium broth so I had to add a pretty generous amount. Also, take note that Parmesan is salty so keep that in mind.
Turn the heat to low. Just a heads up: the next few steps go very quickly so be sure to get ready. Mix in the finely grated Parmesan. Next, create whirlpool with a spoon in the broth. In one slow and steady stream, pour in the beaten egg. Mix in the fresh baby spinach and give it a good mix. You should see the eggs in little cooked bits. Add the reserved fussili pasta. Give it one last taste and adjust the salt according to taste.
Divide amongst bowls. Garnish each serving with more black pepper and additional strips of Parmesan.
*Use whatever pasta you like! For this dish, I prefer pasta that's small in size. Just a personal preference.
*Use other greens besides baby spinach, if you like. I've thought about playing around with dandelion greens, mustard greens and kale. I bet they'd all be amazing!
I despise talking about the weather, but excuse me while I talk about the weather. This past weekend it was a cool, brisk and a very perfect temperature of 65 during the day and in the 50s at night. This is the kind of spring weather that inspires one to wear shorts with a sweater. It’ll inspire you to make a big batch of soup and eat it outside with a blanket draped over your shoulders. It’s dreamy weather, really.
Los Angeles is currently experiencing some freakish heatwave at this very second and if only I could go back to the dreamy blanket-over-shoulder-while-eating-soup-weather. I’m not going to complain about Los Angeles weather because that’d be silly. Instead, I’m going to wait for it to pass, so I can revisit his soup which is oh so perfect.
The weather right now in Los Angeles is cool and drafty and every pink bush, tree and flower has decided it’s time for its debut (evidence here). I’m headed to New York at the end of this week and decided to take a gaze over at the ol’ weather channel, thinking, hoping, expecting for temperatures to be very Spring-like. You know, 50s and 60s. Umm…New York is gonna be crazy cold. (Not polar vortex cold but you know…) I’m staying with my friend Tre, and I have plans to make him a big pot of soup in his barely-stocked kitchen. This recipe doesn’t require much. Just a pot and a blender, warm socks and some hope that Spring is so very close.
This recipe is a part of McCormick’s Go4Gourmet challenge. It goes like this: McCormick sent me a box of three ingredients (in this case it was their California garlic powder, chicken stock, and basmati rice) and I used these ingredients, plus any root vegetable of my choosing to create a recipe. These are the results!
Yesterday I ate 1/2 of gigantic big bowl of guacamole, pet a bird, ate 1/4 of this spinach dip and then had a gigantic plate of Feijoada. (The Feijoada was beyond epic and it’s now my goal to make it for this here space.)
Basically what I’m saying is that I overate. Probably more than Thanksgiving. A dinner of just appetizers is like a dream for me. It reminds me of My-So-Called-Life when Rayenne complains about always having frozen appetizers for dinner and her mother has no idea what she’s talking about.
Eating just appetizers reminds me of afterschool snacks and tapas in Spain and my favorite television series of all time.