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Posole’ with Italian Sausage and Kale

Posole' with an Italian twist - Fresh posole', Italian sausage, tomatoes, and Kale | mjskitchen.com #posole #kale #recipe

 

Accepting the end of summer is very hard for me, but last week when the night time temperatures dropped into the 40s, I had to relent. Visions of soup started popping into my head and pictures of posole’ started popping up on the internet.  With every picture my craving for posole’ increased and finally increased to the point where I succumbed to the craving.  I knew I had some posole’ in the freezer, so using other ingredients on hand, I threw together this soup which we’ll call a Mexican-Italian fusion of posole’, Italian sausage and kale.  I wasn’t quite sure if it was going to work, but it did.  Bobby, who is as picky about his posole’ as I am, loved it! The depth of flavor in this soup keeps going and going and going, and the richness of the soup stock … well, just look at it.  I could drink the stock and make a meal out it.

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Fenugreek Fish and Clam Bisque

A light and delightful bisque of white fish, clams and fenugreek mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen

 

She’s back! My sister Nadalyn is sharing another one of her mouth-watering recipes with us today – a Fish and Clam Bisque with Fenugreek.  To see all of Nadalyn’s recipes here in MJ’s Kitchen, check out the links at the end of this post.

Nadalyn

You may remember that MJ introduced us to the amazing spice shop, Season With Spice, last fall. One of the spices there that intrigued me was fenugreek. Not only had I never used it, I had never heard of it. It seems that fenugreek, besides in cooking, is used in folk medicine for a little bit of everything, including but not limited to stomach and digestive ailments both constipation and IBS, cardiac conditions of all kinds, lowering cholesterol, increasing the production of milk during breast-feeding and even ED. If you don’t know what ED is then you don’t watch TV ads. :)

MJ told me that she had dared to experiment with fenugreek, in cooking of course, so I decided to give it a go as well. This Indian inspired dish is a result of that daring do. If you like curry dishes, this should appeal to you.

Oh, and you may want to grab a loaf of French bread to sop up the yummy broth.
 
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Green Chile Chicken Mushroom Soup

Green chile chicken soup with mushrooms and corn mjskitchen.com

 

A while back a friend asked me to come up with a relatively healthy recipe for a Green Chile Chicken and Mushroom Soup.  She had just had a it at a local restaurant and loved it.  However, when she asked how they made it, she was told that they used Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup as the base.  Being a very healthy eater, she was a little disappointed.  Not that there is anything really wrong with canned Cream of Mushroom soup (I’ve eaten enough of it in my lifetime), but fats make up 50% of the calories in one serving and the sodium content @ 870 mg/serving is pretty high. This is based on the FDA recommendation of no more than 2400 mg of salt / day and the American Heart Association recommendation of 1500 mg/day.  But getting back to my friend’s request, did I accept it?  You betcha! And last week everything came together to make it happen.

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Chorizo, Mushroom and Posole (Hominy) Soup

A hearty soup with chorizo, hominy (posole), mushrooms and Swiss chard. mjskitchen.com

 

During December and January the Costco in my area sells 5 pound bags of fresh posole – corn soaking in slaked lime water.  Every year, I buy a bag, make a couple of posole dishes, then divide the rest into freezer bags and freeze.  One of this year’s dishes was this hearty bowl of soup made with Mexican chorizo, posole, mushrooms and Swiss chard. It’s a bit lighter than the traditional posole stew made in New Mexico which is mostly posole, pork and red or green chile.  With this soup, the posole is just one of several vegetables and the chorizo is used more to add flavor than to add bulk.

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Corn Chowder with Smoked Ham

A spicy corn chowder with smoked ham and chile powders mjskitchen.com

 

A friend of mine hosted a girlfriends’ potluck the other day for which she made a delicious vegetarian corn chowder.  I ate only one bowl, but could easily have eaten two. (It was a potluck – too many other good things to eat. :) ) Still thinking about the chowder a few days later I decided to make one using some smoked ham left over from New Year’s day. It turned out so good, that I made it twice in one week.

This Corn Chowder with Smoked Ham uses the standard ingredients of a corn chowder – potatoes, corn and some type of stock – but smoked ham is used in placed of bacon.  A variety of ground peppers and mustard powder are used for the seasoning which makes it a little spicy, but more as a finish than a dominating flavor.  A small amount of cream is used as a thickener along with a touch of cornstarch.  One could always add cheese, but we didn’t see the need for it.  The chowder was creamy enough without it, but actually a lighter chowder in comparison.  Bobby’s response – “This is a keeper!”

Note:  My friend’s chowder was inspired by Ina Garden’s Cheddar Corn Chowder.

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Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Red Chile

A mildly spicy soup with butternut squash, apples and red chile powder

 

It used to be that I loved the onset of cooler weather, and winters – I relished them!  Cross-country skiing in the winter, especially under a full moon was pure joy and COLD.  Now, just thinking about it makes me shiver.  The only thing I relish about cold weather now a days are comfort foods, afternoon Chai lattes, my winter blankets, and hot soups.  This Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Red Chile is one of my favorites and just screams FALL and cold nights. It’s hot, it’s spicy, it’s a touch sweet (determined by the sweetness of the apples), it’s savory, and it’s hearty.  It’s a great soup to serve in a cup and sit by a warm fire.

For this butternut squash soup I used the same process that I used with my Calabacitas Chowder – created a soup base with puréed squash.  It’s a thinner purée than most butternut squash soups, because this isn’t a traditional butternut soup.  This soup uses a generous amount of diced onion and apple, some finely grated cheese and select toppings to create a crunchy, cheesy, comforting dish.  For a little kick, I added some red chile powder, but you already knew that.

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Spicy Sweet Red Pepper Soup

A spicy soup make with sweet peppers and spicy red chile peppers

 

For several weeks now I’ve been buying these beautiful organic sweet peppers from the growers’ market and putting them in just about everything along with roasting them and freezing for winter. In addition to these sweet peppers, fresh red chile peppers are now available, and the organic red bell peppers are so abundant that prices have dropped considerably.  Therefore, when the rains came a couple of weeks ago and brought cooler weather, it was a perfect time to make this Spicy Sweet Red Pepper Soup.

This soup is best made with fresh, roasted peppers.  You can use a mix of sweet peppers and red chile peppers, or, if you can’t find fresh red chile, then substitute with a red chile sauce, or red chile powder.  Throw in a nice, big, meaty brandywine tomato, and you have a a comforting soup bursting with flavor.  Make a grilled cheese sandwich as a side and you’ve got a complete meal.
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Calabacitas Chowder (Summer Squash, Corn, and Green Chile)

Chowder made with New Mexico green chile, squash and sweet corn

 

It’s hard to believe that it was two years ago when I first talked about calabacitas and introduced you to my Calabacitas Enchiladas.  As much as I make calabacitas in one form or another, I’m surprised I don’t have this website full of squash, corn and green chile recipes.  Well, let’s fix that shall we.  The other day on my weekly visit to the Nob Hill Growers’ Market I picked up some beautiful young leeks, a few yellow squash and some sweet corn (the first I’ve seen this season).  All I needed now was some green chile; however, July is still a little early for fresh green chile, but I did have some in the freezer.  Therefore, because the cooler weather and rain (finally!), it just felt right to turn such a beautiful bounty into a fresh Calabacitas Chowder.

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A Cold Curried Green Vegetable Soup

A cold summer made with green summer vegetables

 

The other day I was craving a cold soup, but I didn’t have enough ingredients for either of my favorites -  Cold Cucumber Soup and Cold Asparagus Soup. However, I knew I had a little asparagus and half a cucumber and some other “green” vegetables. So I preceded to empty the crispers of anything fresh and green.  Once everything was laid out on the countertop, I saw that I had plenty of ingredients for a cold soup.  Everything that was green or white got chopped and thrown into a pot with a little spicy curry powder. For lunch the next day, Bobby and I had this delicious cold green vegetable soup!

If you don’t have all of the ingredients listed in the recipe, that’s not a problem.  This soup can be made with just about any green or white vegetable.  Be sure to check out the Kitchen Notes for ways to change it up to best fit your tastes and what you have on hand.

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