Lazy Spring Cooking & New Music

I have to admit, I’ve been a little lazy in the cooking department lately. Not sure why and luckily, Grant has been on a cooking tare. I’m preparing to post some more of his Korean inspired recipes real soon but in the mean time, I have two more soups to post that I made in the last cold weeks before spring finally broke through.

dogwood

Both of these two soups were tasty and super easy to make. This first soup was inspired by our dear friend Catherine Oliva. Catherine is one of the first friends we made when we moved to Nashville. She has a perfect combination of southern (North Carolina) charm and modern day business sense. She always says the right thing and handles herself with grace. I have occasionally found myself in a social situation where I have thought, “What would Catherine Oliva do?” Thank God for friends like that, who you can channel to help you in times of need. Several times she has made us this wonderful Italian sausage soup with garbonzo beans and zucchini. I was craving it lately and made up this version of my own. It wasn’t nearly as yummy as hers but it was good and easy. I used spicy Italian sausage from our neighborhood local butcher and it was delicious. You can vary it, too, depending on what you have on hand. You can add peppers or tomatoes. Her’s doesn’t have kale but I wanted a one-pot meal with some greens and it turned out great. It went something like this…

Italian Soup-1

Italian Sausage Garbanzo Soup
Serves 6

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 medium Zucchini, cut in rounds and then each round, halved
  • 1 25oz can Garbanzo Beans
  • 1 bunch Lacanato Kale, washed and cut in small strips
  • ½ lb Ground Sausage
  • Fresh Parsley (I use lots but not everyone loves it as much as we do. I also added in some dried Italian herbs.)
  • 3 cups Vegetable Stock

Italian Soup-2

Saute the onion in olive oil. Add the loose sausage (or if you have links, squeeze the sausage out of the casings and into the pan) and stir to break it up. Add the zucchini and stir. Cook for a couple minutes. Add the garbanzo beans and herbs. Cook for a few minutes. Add the stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for about half an hour or so. Salt and pepper to taste if necessary.

Italian Soup-3

Last summer I had a devil of a time finding any organic fresh corn (and I was trying so hard to avoid any of that Monsanto corn that is taking over the world) but I kept craving corn because it was summer so I bought a few bags of frozen organic corn and apparently we didn’t eat them all because I realized we had a couple still in the freezer. I wanted to make a chicken corn chowder but didn’t want it to be too rich or heavy. Here’s what I came up with. Being lazy, I bought a rotisserie chicken from our neighborhood natural foods store but you can easily use any leftover roast chicken you have or even boil up a breast or two and then shred them.

Corn Chowder

Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder
Makes 6 large servings

  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Ghee
  • 1 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cups frozen organic Corn (I used 1 cup white shoepeg and 3 cups yellow sweet.)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno, chopped (I used the seeds, too, to make it spicy!)
  • 2 cups Chicken (Roasted or Rotisserie), chopped
  • 1 14 oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste
  • Sliced Avocado and Chopped Cilantro to garnish

Chowder

Saute the onion in the ghee until it gets nice and soft. Remove it from the stovetop. In a blender, blend 1 cup of the corn with the onion and 1 cup of the broth. This makes a nice creamy broth. Set aside. Saute the peppers and then add the remaining ingredients. Cook for a few minutes to combine all the flavors and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for a few minutes. Add the blended onion and corn broth which gives the soup a nice creamy texture. Cook for 15 or so more minutes. Top with avocado and cilantro and enjoy!

And speaking of lazy… because I was being so lazy, I figured out I could make homemade granola in less than 30 minutes and I never even turned the oven on. I made it in an iron skillet, just as I’ve been making my spiced nuts.

Granola-3

Simply mix these ingredients together in a medium bowl (too lazy to measure any of the ingredients but just mix together whatever you have and enough to fill whatever size iron skillet you have without crowding it too much)- roughly chopped raw nuts, raw seeds, raw oats, chopped dried apricots, and currants.

Granola-4

Pour the mix into your iron skillet (dry- no oil necessary). Stir them periodically and watch closely so they don’t get too toasty. Once they begin to brown very slightly and you can start to smell the nuts, add 2-3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like your granola) and a sprinkle of salt (optional). Keep stirring until lightly toasty. Remove from heat. Pour back into the bowl to cool. We enjoyed ours with some plain Greek yogurt.

Granola-1

While kicking back and relaxing with all that extra time I had from being so lazy in the kitchen, I have been enjoying some new music. Our friend Robby Hecht is a wonderful songwriter and he has a beautiful new album out. I have been listening to it all week.

Robby-1

This is Robby’s third album and is simply titled, Robby Hecht. You can purchase it here (along with other awesome Robby Hecht merch) and he has a new video for the song, Soon I Was Sleeping, which was brilliantly made by Ryan Newman and features the lovely voice of Canadian songbird, Rose Cousins.

Happy Spring, Y’all!

 

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