Mardi Gras Soup

Mardi Gras Soup

Mardi Gras Soup

Mardi Gras Soup

Someone asked is there really such a thing?  Is this a tradition?  Well, heck…  I thought since its Carnival Season… Why not make a soup that fits the colors of the season and call it Mardi Gras soup.  You can actually use any color combination of cabbage, onions, and peppers and just call it cabbage soup.  However, I would suggest making it this way at least one time.  It just makes for a pleasing color combination and is visually pleasing as well as tastefully pleasing.  The rough chop of the all of the vegetables make this soup feel bold and satisfying all the while being something you can eat and stay in check with a healthy, lower calorie diet.

Olive oil spray

2 heads Purple cabbage

2 heads Green cabbage

kosher salt

coarse ground black pepper

garlic powder

caraway seeds

fennel seeds

5-8 sprigs fresh thyme

1 TBS caraway seeds

1 TBs fennel seeds

cheese cloth and kitchen twine

Olive oil

1 Yellow Onions, rough chopped

1 Purple onions, rough chopped

2 Green bell peppers, rough chopped

2 Yellow bell peppers, rough chopped

3 Leeks, tough outer layer removed, trimmed, cut in half and cleaned VERY well!

Fresh garlic, smashed and and rough chopped

approximately 1/2 cup or more…White wine

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 gallons home made chicken stock (or more)

2 TBS Kosher salt

2 TBS Coarse ground black pepper

4 Chicken bullion cubes

2 TBS Garlic powder

2 TBS Onion powder

1 TBS Dried parsley

1 TBS Dried thyme

1 TBS Dried oregano

1 TBS Dried basil

1 hefty pinch Red pepper flakes, or more if you like it a little hot.

4 bay leaves

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. 

Line a baking sheet (in this recipe you may need more than one) with aluminum foil and give a light spray of olive oil spray.  Starting at the core of the cabbage, cut into flat rounds about 1/2 inches thick.  Place the rounds onto the prepared baking sheet.  Be aware that the outer layers of the cabbage are going to want to fall off.  I used the blade of my big knife and the palm of my hand to gently transfer the rounds to the baking sheet.  Spray with a light coating of olive oil, then season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Sprinkle the rounds with the caraway seeds and fennel seeds.  Be aware that these are strong flavors and a little goes a long way.  I happen to really like the flavor of both of the seeds.  Place in the preheated oven and roast until slightly golden, about 25 – 30 minutes.  Don’t be alarmed if the outer edges get a little charred.  It’s okay!  This actually adds to the bold flavor of the soup.  Set them aside long enough to cool so that you can handle them.  When they are cool enough to touch, cut them into 1 – 1 1/2 inch squares.  Notice that I didn’t tell you to core the cabbage.  This is optional….  but the cores soften during the roasting process and are not bitter at all.  However, if you don’t want the core in your soup by all means cut it out. 

Now you can start assembling the soup.  In a piece of cheese cloth, make a little bouquet garni with the fresh thyme, caraway seeds and fennel seeds.  Wrap them up tight  and tie it together with the kitchen twine.  Set aside until ready to add to the soup.  In a large stock pot, pour in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot. When the oil is hot, add the onions, peppers and leeks.  Let them saute’  until golden and fragrant.  Add the garlic, and let it continue to saute’ for about another minute.  Pour in the wine.  Next add the parsley and the bouquet garni.  Add the cut up cabbage and enough stock to cover all of the vegetables.  Add in all of the seasonings from the salt all the way down to the vinegar.  Bring this up to a slight boil.  When it reaches the boiling point, turn it down to medium and let it cook uncovered for about 45 minutes.  It’s possible that you may have to add more stock.  Remember, this is soup and so they vegetables need enough stock to be able to float freely through the pot.  At this point, taste the soup and adjust the seasonings. 

Serve and Enjoy!!!

Moroccan Chick Pea Soup

Moroccan Chick Pea Soup

Moroccan Chick Pea Soup

Moroccan Chick Pea Soup

The blend of flavors in this soup are so delicious. There is a very bold taste without being overly spicy.  Great on a day like today when it is overcast and somewhat dreary outside.   Actually just good anytime…  I don’t do it in this particular recipe but you can also make my Moroccan inspired meatballs and add them to this dish to make it a little more hearty for you meat lovers out there. 

Ingredients list:

4 Tbs olive oil

1 1lb bag of dried chick peas, cooked and drained

About 12 cups of unseasoned tomato juice 

4 onions, rough chopped

4 jalapeño peppers chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

1 whole pod garlic, finely chopped

1- 2″ node fresh ginger, finely chopped

1/2 cup white wine

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 Tbs garlic powder

1 Tbs onion powder

1 Tbs cumin

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Zest and juice of a lime

3 – 4 chicken bullion cubes

1 lg can coconut milk

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Heat the olive oil in a medium stock pot over high heat.  Add the onions, peppers and celery.  Reduce heat to medium/high and Sauté until somewhat golden, 8-10 minutes, stirring often.  Add the garlic and ginger and continue to sauté another minute, stirring constantly so garlic doesn’t burn.  Pour in the wine.  Stir for about 30 seconds the pour in the tomato liquid and the chick peas.   Add the salt,pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, bullion cubes & cumin.  Stir in the coconut milk, cilantro, and Basil.  Bring all of this back to a slow boil and make sure all of the ingredients are blended well.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover and let cook for 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.  If it is, reduce the heat to low, cover and continue cooking.  After 30 minutes, uncover and let it continue to cook on low for another 30 minutes, stirring often. 

Serve and enjoy!!!