Posts Tagged ‘celery’

Back to this space after a couple months of forced hiatus, thanks to a hectic work schedule that sucked the creativity out of my kitchen time.  And to kick off fall, wanted to share this amazing soup that packs a spicy punch with hearty, autumnal ingredients.  Italian sausage, red new potatoes, kale, and kidney beans dance together in this pot-o-goodness.

Portuguese Kale Soup

4 ounces spicy turkey or Italian sausage

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped (3/4 cup)

4 cups chicken stock + 4 cups water

8 ounces kale, thick stems removed and leaves sliced (8 cups)

1 clove garlic, minced

12 ounces red potatoes, halved and sliced (2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 can cooked red kidney beans, drained

(1) Remove casing from sausage, crumble and brown in a 5-quart stock pot. Drain on paper towel when cooked through, leaving 1 tablespoon of oil in the pot.

(2) Cook onion, celery and garlic over medium-low heat in the oil til softened. Return sausage to pot, and add stock and kale.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes.

(3) Stir in potatoes, red pepper sauce, salt and simmer covered, 20 minutes or until potatoes and kale are tender. Then add the beans and cook until heated through.

Not quite sure what makes it ‘Portuguese,’ to be honest. (I take my Aunt Karron for her word that it’s inspired by the folks from Lisbon.)  All that matters is that it’s unique, addictively delicious and pretty healthy too.


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‘Tis the season for soups and chilis! I’ve been experimenting with a bunch of new recipes this winter, and this one turned out great.  Lots of hearty “stuff” in here to make a big bowl a satisfying meal for lunch or light weeknight dinner. And, it’s super healthy.  The red pepper flakes give this a bit of a kick, so be sure to sprinkle those in to your taste.

Minestrone Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 onion minced

2 cloves garlic minced

2 celery stalks, plus celery leaves, chopped

1 large carrot diced

1 cup each, diced yellow squash/diced zucchini

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon marjoram

dried red pepper flakes to taste

1 10-oz package frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans)

4 cups chicken broth

1 can diced tomatoes

2 oz whole-wheat linguini broken into small pieces

1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

(1) Saute onion, garlic, celery, carrot in the olive oil over medium heat  for 3-5 minutes; then, add zucchini and squash and cook until slightly softened.

(2) Add basil and marjoram plus the frozen mixed vegetables and cook until thawed, about 3 minutes.  Then add broth and bring to simmer.

(3) After 20 minutes, toss in linguine and beans and cook until al dente.


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When it comes to summer side salads, I’m a big fan of the tangy vinegar-based dressings over their creamy mayonnaise-based counterparts.  The bite and bitterness of the vinegar offers a great counterpoint to homemade grilled pork sausages or hamburgers, salty fried chicken, or sweet barbecue ribs.  You also don’t have to worry about the mayo spoiling easily in the heat at your outdoor picnic.

For the cuke salad, thinly slice a seedless English hothouse cucumber and half a dozen medium-sized red radishes. Then, in a small bowl, mix together a fourth cup of rice wine vinegar, two teaspoons of sugar, teaspoon each of onion powder and garlic powder, fresh cracked black pepper, and sea salt to taste.  Mix the dressing and sliced veggies together and let stand in the fridge for an hour before serving cold.

And, here’s my twist on classic German potato salad using pickled okra:

German Potato Salad

1 1/2 pounds red baby potatoes

5 slices of bacon

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped picked okra

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

salt/pepper to taste

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

(1) Cut the baby potatoes in halves or quarters and boil in salted water. Meanwhile, fry the 5 slices of bacon until crispy and dice.

(2) Saute the onion, garlic and celery in some olive oil until tender. Set aside.

(3) Combine the broth, vinegar and spices in a small pan and bring to a boil.

(4) Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, tossing the potatoes with the bacon, onion mixture, diced pickled okra and vinegar dressing.  Add salt/pepper to taste, topping with fresh parsley.

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Maybe its the “Minnesota” in me, but in the midst of a winter deep freeze there’s nothing I like more than a hot bowl of homemade chili or soup. But in this latest plunge of cold air, I’ve decided to deviate from my old standby’s of a tomato-based chili or a variation on chicken vegetable soup and instead decided to Go Green.   Enter fresh tomatillos, poblano peppers, cilantro, celery…. and a frozen leftover half of Thanksgiving turkey (no, it wasn’t green).

The recipe is an adaptation of Joy of Cooking’s “Chicken Chili Verde” with homemade diced, roasted poblano peppers and homemade turkey stock/diced turkey meat instead of chicken. The result is a zesty and flavorful chili packing a little heat from the jalepeno and poblano peppers.  The medley of cilantro, lime, tomatillos, garlic and cumin cries out for some salty tortilla chips or a bed of steamy white rice. Incredibly delicious and healthy too.

Turkey Chili Verde

1 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

6 medium fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed and diced

1 bunch of cilantro chopped

3 poblano peppers roasted, peeled and diced

1 finely chopped jalepeno pepper

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 cups turkey or chicken stock

3 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey

(1) Saute onion, celery and garlic in olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven or soup pot until tender. Add dry spices and cook an additional minute.

(2) Add tomatillos, peppers and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes uncovered.

(3) Add chicken, cilantro leaves and fresh lime juice. Simmer for 5 to 10 more minutes until heated through.  Add salt to taste.

(4) Serve over tortilla chips or white rice or eat alone.

If you want to get extra fancy, try making your own chicken/turkey stock at the outset using the carcass of your frozen or freshly leftover bird.  And also try roasting your poblano peppers directly over open flame on your gas range if you have one!

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If you’re a fan of hearty and healthy soups, here’s one to try. It also happens to be an incredibly easy recipe and perfect for any leftover holiday ham still in the freezer.

I love the tender texture of the peas after they’ve stewed for hours with the smokey, salty bits of ham. The fresh parsley, chopped celery and celery leaves and garlic add complexity to the flavor.

Split Pea and Ham Soup

1 16 oz. package dried green split peas, rinsed

2 cups diced ham

1 1/2 cups diced carrots

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 cups diced celery with leaves

2 cloves minced garlic

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsely

4 cups chicken broth / 2 cups water

(1) Add ingredients to a soup pot in the order above. Do not stir.

(2) Simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring periodically after 30 minutes.

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After a week of rich holiday eating – beef roasts, honey hams, and stuffed turkeys – there’s nothing like a simple piece of pan-roasted fish complemented with light, citrusy sides dishes. These fresh cod fillets were lightly floured, seasoned and browned in olive oil creating a crispy outer layer around the moist, mild and flaky fish.


A warm medley of wilted raddichio, white beans and sautèed celery, leeks and garlic is tossed with a delicious lemon-herb vinaigrette full of fresh chopped parsley.  Finish off your presentation with a drizzle of the vinaigrette on top of the crispy cod.  Delightful!


The lemon-herb sauce is adapted from New York’s Union Square Cafè cookbook.

Union Square Cafè lemon vinaigrette for cod, raddichio and white bean entrèe
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped parsley


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These shrimp, leftover from a holiday cocktail platter, were crying out for creative employment. So shrimp bisque it was!  This preparation also made use of some leftover poaching liquid we had in the fridge – a mix of clam juice, white wine, herbs, pink peppercorns, leeks, and salmon juices. It all made for an incredibly flavorful soup that is light on the cream but no less tasty.


Begin by sauteing a diced carrot, two celery ribs, a small onion, garlic and olive oil over medium heat, about 8 minutes. Then add a cup of dry white wine and a quarter cup of brandy while bringing the mixture to a boil. After a couple minutes, add 3 cups of clam juice, stock or poaching liquid and a cup of cream or milk. While stirring, add a quarter cup of rice, a can of tomato paste, fresh tarragon, and finely grated lemon peel before covering to simmer for 20 minutes.

makingbisqueWhen the rice is tender, puree the soup in batches using a traditional or immersion blender, as I did here. You can blend to your desired thickness/chunkiness. Then pour it back into a pot to simmer on the stove before serving. Garnish with some fresh shrimp.


Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 1995.

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