Melissa D’Arabian’s Soup Recipes

Monday, June 17, 2013 · Filed Under:

Reprinted from the book Ten Dollar Dinners. Copyright © 2012 by Melissa d’Arabian. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.
Kid-friendly carrots are great to have around for after-school snacks or for turning into a quick side dish such as slaws or sautées. One of my favorite recipes for carrots is this easy soup. It’s creamy, citrusy, and fresh thanks to the little bit of orange zest I add along with garlic and oregano. Carrots marry well to many flavor profiles—instead of oregano and orange zest, try cumin and lime zest, curry powder for an Indian flavor, or a pinch of cinnamon and cloves for a perfect fall soup.
Preparation time: 20 minutes (plus 5 minutes to cool)
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 carrots (3/4 pound), chopped into ½-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sour cream
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots and onion and cook until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, orange zest, and oregano and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and stir in the wine.

2. Pour in the broth and water, bring to a boil, and reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool 5 minutes.

3. Transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth (don’t fill either a blender or food processor more than two thirds full; work in batches if necessary). Return to the saucepan and season with the salt and pepper. Serve swirled with a heaping teaspoon of sour cream.

Reprinted from the book Ten Dollar Dinners. Copyright © 2012 by Melissa d’Arabian. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.
Managing fresh produce is a huge part of any savings strategy. Once a week, I do a quick crisper and pantry check to see if there are perishables (check onions and potatoes, too) to be used right away. I turn these veggies into a creamy or chunky soup, depending on my mood. Be sure to check out the quick soup mix-ins below for ways to add an extra flavor boost to the soup in your pot.
Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme plus a squeeze of lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups vegetables, such as bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, leafy greens, and tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small potato, peeled and roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
3 tablespoons heavy cream or 2 tablespoons sour cream

1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts to soften, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper and cook until the thyme is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the vegetables, potato, broth, water, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until the vegetables easily mash against the side of the pot, 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Transfer half of the soup to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth, then pour into a clean pot. Repeat with the remaining soup (leave some vegetables unblended for texture, if you like), pouring it into the same pot. Heat the soup over low heat for 2 minutes, add heavy cream or sour cream, if using, then serve.
Quick Soup Mix-Ins
• Add a dash of curry powder or smoked paprika when sauteing the onion.
• Mix dried spices or fresh herbs, such as basil, cilantro, mint, or parsley, into the sour cream for serving.
• Add 1 or 2 cups cooked beans or lentils to the soup after blending.
• Roughly tear up stale, good-quality country-style bread, toss it with some soup, and bake it in the oven dusted with Parmesan cheese for a Tuscan-style soup and bread meal.
• Stir in cooked shredded chicken and browned sausage and serve over rice.
Reprinted from the book Ten Dollar Dinners. Copyright © 2012 by Melissa d’Arabian. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.
On my show Ten Dollar Dinners, I advise home cooks to use canned tomatoes in the winter because they are cheaper and taste better than the pale ones available. On a mission to bring gazpacho to my winter table, I took my own advice. To deepen the tomatoes’ flavors and bring out their sweetness, I oven-roast them before puréeing with the classic gazpacho assembly of cucumbers, bell peppers, and onion. The end result is remarkably delicious! What a treat to finally be able to enjoy gazpacho year-round.
Serves 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes

2 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/8 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 baguette, cut into bite-sized cubes (about 1 1/2 cups bread cubes)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, halved, seeded, and roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 cup ice cubes

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl and empty the cans of tomatoes into the sieve. To seed the tomatoes, gently open each one and use your fingers to remove the seeds, letting them fall into the sieve. Split each tomato into two halves and lay them on the prepared baking sheet. Use a rubber spatula to press on any pulp and seeds in the sieve to extract as much tomato juice as possible. Discard whatever is left in the sieve. Pour the tomato juices into a large measuring cup and add enough water (you may not have to add any) to yield 2 1/2 cups of liquid.
2. Sprinkle the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the salt on the tomatoes on the sheet pan and roast them until they are dry but not leathery, about 45 minutes, rotating the pan midway through cooking. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and set aside to cool slightly before using tongs to transfer the roasted tomatoes to a food processor.
3. Place the bread cubes in a medium bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the remaining 1⁄8 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
4. Rinse the onion in a fine-mesh sieve under cold water. Add it to the tomatoes in the food processor along with the cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, cayenne, reserved tomato juices, the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and the vinegar. Add the ice and process until smooth. Serve topped with some of the toasted bread cubes.
Reprinted from the book Ten Dollar Dinners. Copyright © 2012 by Melissa d’Arabian. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.
Roasting turns pungent garlic into a mild, sweet spread you can slather on bread like butter. The downside to roasting is that it takes a fair amount of time. To get similar results in a fraction of the time, I “roast” garlic in the microwave. It works perfectly in this hearty chili (which, by the way, won me first prize at my husband’s St. Patrick’s Day office cooking contest—long before I had a show on the Food Network). The roasted Anaheim chiles and smoked paprika lend a fantastic smoky spice to the chili, but if you’re short on time, feel free to substitute chopped canned chiles.
Serves 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
For the roasted garlic
12 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
For the chili
3 fresh Anaheim or poblano chiles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1 to 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked navy beans
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, liquid squeezed out
3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1. To roast the garlic: Place the cloves in a microwave-safe bowl and toss with the olive oil and 1 teaspoon water. Set a cover slightly askew over the bowl (or cover with plastic wrap and make a few slits in the plastic to vent) and microwave until the garlic is soft, about 1 1/2 minutes. Set aside to cool and keep covered. Once cool, remove the cover and squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and into a food processor or blender. Add the broth and process until smooth. Set aside.

2. To make the chili: Preheat the broiler to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the Anaheim chiles on it. Broil until charred on all sides, turning often, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel away the skin from the peppers and then stem, seed, and finely chop. Set aside.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until deep golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Mix in the flour and cook, while stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Raise the heat to high and pour in the wine, stirring it into the onion mixture and scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and then add the chopped roasted chiles, water, broth, cooked chicken, chili powder, cayenne, beans, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

4. Stir in the roasted garlic puree and cook until the chili has thickened slightly, about 25 minutes. Add the spinach and continue to cook for 5 minutes longer. Stir in the paprika, taste for seasoning, and serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with cheese.

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