Caribbean Black Bean Soup

Curried Red Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup
* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 3 large carrots, diced
* 3 celery stalks, diced
* 1 large onion, diced
* 3 cloves garlic
* 2-inch piece fresh ginger
* 2 qts. vegetable stock
* 2 cups dried RED (they are really orange) lentils
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* Juice of 1/2 lime

Spice Mix
* 1 Tbs. mild curry powder
* 1 Tbs. paprika
* 1/2 Tbs. ground turmeric
* 1/2 Tbs. garam masala (it is a mix of spices)
* 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Top with
* Pita chips
* a dollop of plain yogurt

To make Lentil Soup:
1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. When very hot, add diced vegetables. Stir 2 to 3 minutes, or until vegetables begin to release juices and aromas. Add garlic and ginger, and stir. Reduce heat to low, and cover pot tightly. Cook vegetables for about 10 minutes, or until softened.
2. Mix spices together well. Stir into vegetables, and cook about 5 minutes more, or until fragrant.
3. Add vegetable stock and lentils, and increase heat to medium. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Season to taste, and stir in lime juice until well blended.
4. Top with Pita chips and yogurt

PER Serving: 270 CAL; 18 G PROT; 8 G TOTAL FAT (1 SAT. FAT); 33 G CARB.; 0 MG CHOL; 200 MG SOD.; 12 G FIBER; 6 G SUGAR

Mysore Rasam

(South Indian Lentil Soup) SERVES 6

• 1 cup Red Lentils
• 2- 14 oz. cans Tomatoes, chopped
• 2 T. Tamarind concentrate**
• 2 sprigs fresh Curry leaves**
• a bunch of fresh Coriander leaves (cilantro)
• 2 t. Mustard seeds
• 4 T. Ghee (clarified butter)
• Salt to taste

Roast the following ingredients separately:
• 4 Dry red chilies
• 1 tsp. Coriander seeds
• 1 tsp. Cumin seeds
• 1/4 tsp. Turmeric powder
• 1/4 tsp. Black peppercorns
• 1 tsp. dried Fenugreek leaf**
• A pinch of Asafoetida**
• Salt to taste

To make the soup:
1. Boil lentils in 8 cups of water and when cooked, add chopped tomatoes.
2. Grind all the roasted ingredients to a powder in a food processor and add to the dal-tomato mixture.
3. Add the Tamarind concentrate.
4. Let simmer for about 15 minutes.
5. Season with fresh curry and coriander leaves.
6. Fry the mustard seeds in a little ghee and when they sputter, remove and add to the rasam.

**the noted ingredients are essential to this soup and are most easily found in an ethnic Indian grocer. If you are in Pittsburgh, there is a very helpful store on Craig Street beside Luca Restaurant. Kohli’s Indian Imports – 319 S Craig St, Pittsburgh, 15213 – (412) 621-1800
adapted from


Ribollita is like minestrone but includes beans instead of pasta. In Italy, this is traditionally served ladled over bread and a rich green vegetable, although you can omit this for a lighter version.

Serves 6 to 8

3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery stalks, finely sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
2 large zucchini, finely sliced
14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons pesto
3 3/4 cups vegetable stock
14 ounce can haricot or borlotti beans, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound of young spinach
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
6-8 slices of bread
Parmesan cheese shavings

How to make the soup:
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, celery and fennel and fry slowly for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini slices and fry for 2 minutes longer.
2. Add the crushed tomatoes, pesto, stock, and beans and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
3. To serve, fry the spinach in the oil for 2 minutes, or until it wilts. Spoon over the bread in soup bowls and ladle the soup over the spinach. Serve with extra olive oil for drizzling onto the soup and Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top, if liked.

Chocolate Coffee Soup

• 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 2 cups dark chocolate chips
• 2 cups white chocolate chips
• 1 quart heavy cream
• 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
• 2 Tbsp real vanilla extract (imitation ruins it)
• 2 cups strong brewed espresso grind coffee

• super fine espresso grind coffee
• powdered chocolate

To make the soup:
In a simmering double boiler, gently warm the heavy cream, corn syrup, coffee, and vanilla. Pour in the buttons and gently finish melting the soup. Fill a shaker of larger than average holes with the fresh grind espresso coffee and another with the powdered chocolate. When the soup is melted, stirred to a uniform consistency, and hot, ladle into a small bowl or mug and top with a few good shakes of the dry coffee grounds and the powdered coffee.

Chestnut-Fennel Soup with Apple-Walnut Chutney

Chestnut-Fennel Soup with Apple-Walnut Chutney

Adapted from Vegetarian Times October 2003, Serves 6

Created by noted New York chef Terrance Brennan of Picholine and Artisanal fame, this Picholine soup brings together some favorite autumn ingredients and flavors.

Chestnut-Fennel Soup
* 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup (about 2 oz.) thinly sliced onion
* 1 Tbs. kosher salt
* 2 lb. chestnuts, roasted and shells removed
* 3/4 cup (about 5 oz.) diced fennel
* 1/2 cup (about 4 oz.) peeled and thinly sliced celery
* 3 bay leaves
* 6 cups vegetable stock
* 2 grinds black peppercorns
* Salt and additional freshly ground black pepper to taste

Apple-Walnut Chutney
* 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
* 1 Tbs. walnut oil
* 1/4 cup (about 1 1/2 oz.) minced onion
* 2 Tbs. light brown sugar
* 1 Tbs. plus 1 1/2 tsp. honey
* 3 Granny Smith apples, about 1 1/2 lb., peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
* 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
* 1/4 cup (about 1 oz.) walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1. To make Apple-Walnut Chutney: Place butter and walnut oil in a skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions, and sauté, uncovered, until lightly browned about 10 minutes. Increase heat to high, and add sugar and honey. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
2. Reduce heat to low, and add apples and sherry vinegar. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil and continue to cook until vinegar has reduced by two-thirds, about 10 minutes. Add walnuts, and cook 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, stir in salt and pepper, cover to keep warm and set aside.
3. To make Chestnut-Fennel Soup: Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a nonreactive 2-quart stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and salt, and cook until onions are transparent. Add chestnuts, fennel, celery and bay leaves. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
4. Add stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, 15 minutes. Remove cover, and cook 15 minutes more. Remove from heat, discard bay leaves and place contents in blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Strain and discard solids. Season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
5. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan on high heat, allowing butter to brown. Remove from heat, and fold browned butter into soup.
6. To serve, warm chutney and mound equal portions in the center of six warm soup plates. Ladle soup over chutney, and serve.

PER Serving: 680 CAL; 11 G PROT; 19 G TOTAL FAT (6 SAT. FAT); 119 G CARB.; 20 MG CHOL; 1670 MG SOD.; 18 G FIBER; 41 G SUGAR

Chayote Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger

Adapted from Bon Appétit | June 1999 | Serves 6

This recipe can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.

In Indonesia, the sourness in this soup would typically come from tamarind, which can be hard to find in the United States. A shot of lemon juice works well instead. Serve this hot or cold, and do use the kaffir lime leaves; they add a nice citrusy note.
click photo to enlarge

  • 7 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 3 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves (We found these at the Lotus market in the Strip District)
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 chayote squash, peeled, rinsed, quartered lengthwise, cored, thinly sliced crosswise (we found these at Whole Foods. An odd, green, mango sized squash)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Combine first 7 ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Strain liquid into bowl; return to same pot. Discard solids in strainer.

Bring liquid in the pot to boil. Add squash; reduce heat and simmer until squash is crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm over medium heat, if desired.) Stir in parsley. Serve soup hot or chilled.

Fire Soup with Cucumber Raita

South Indian, Makes 4 servings
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

• 3 cups of peeled, diced tomatoes
• 1 onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 4 green chilies, chopped
• 1 tbsp jaggery**
• 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
• 10 fresh curry leaves** (this is absolutely necessary and worth the trip to get the leaves)
• 1 red chili, broken into two
• 1 tsp coriander seeds – roasted & powdered
• 1 tsp cumin seeds – roasted & powdered
• 2 tsp peppercorns – roasted & powdered
• 1⁄2 tbsps oil
• 4 cups of vegetable stock

How to make the soup:
1. Boil the tomatoes and jaggery in 4 cups of water.
2. Heat the oil.
3. Splutter the mustard seeds.
5. Add the curry leaves, red chili, asafoetida powder, and onion and fry for a minute.
6. Add the ground spices, green chilies and garlic and toss in the pan for another minute.
6. Pour it over the tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes.
7. Serve hot.

To make the raita:
1. peel, seed, and slice 1 cucumber into thin small triangle pieces.
2. Empty a 16-ounce container of yogurt into a serving bowl, add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of roasted ground cumin seed.
3. Stir and chill. serve as a side with the Fire Soup.

**the noted ingredients are essential to this soup and are most easily found in an ethnic Indian grocer. If you are in Pittsburgh, there is a very helpful store on Craig Street beside Luca Restaurant. Kohli’s Indian Imports – 319 S Craig St, Pittsburgh, 15213 – (412) 621-1800

adapted from:

Gujarati Pepper and Black-Eyed Pea Soup

(Sukha Lobbia ka Soop)
Serve hot as a first course to 4-6 people.

Extraordinary as a first course, and pure vegetarian. Visually arresting with those white beans and red bits of pepper and tomato recumbent in a dark brown broth–tart, creamy, and smoky, fragrant with cumin and mustard and, if you can find it, a dash of asafoetida. And all that tamarind–totally stimulating to the palate.

• 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
• soaking water
• 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
• 1-3 hot green chilies (to your taste), seeded, cored, and minced
• 1 large tomato (or 4 small canned ones), peeled, seeded, and chopped
• 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 5 cups water
• 1 large red pepper
• 2 Tablespoons tamarind paste

Roast the following ingredients separately:
• 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 12 fresh curry leaves** (this is the most important ingredient)
• 2 Tablespoons chickpea flour
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida**
• 1 cup water

To make the soup:
1. Soak the beans for several hours or overnight in lots of water. Drain and rinse.
Put into a heavy pot with the ginger, chilies, tomato, turmeric, salt, and water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, seal with aluminum foil, and top with the lid.
Let cook for an hour or two.

2. While the soup is cooking, roast the red pepper under the broiler, turning to char the skin on every side.
Place in a plastic bag and let the skin steam off for 5-10 minutes.
Remove from the bag, peel away the skin, and reserve.

3. When ready to finish the soup, unseal the soup pot and check that the beans are tender.
Cut the roasted pepper into cubes and add to the soup.

4. Then Heat the oil in a wok or small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and cover the pot while they sizzle. Turn the heat to low and stir in the curry leaves, the chickpea flour, the paprika, and the asafoetida.

  • Stir for a minute or two, then whisk in the cup of water and stir into the rest of the soup.
  • Stir in the tamarind, tasting to get the right amount of sourness.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes or more.

5. Ladle into small bowls and serve immediately.

**the noted ingredients are essential to this soup and are most easily found in an ethnic Indian grocer. If you are in Pittsburgh, there is a very helpful store on Craig Street beside Luca Restaurant. Kohli’s Indian Imports – 319 S Craig St, Pittsburgh, 15213 – (412) 621-1800

Tomato, Lime, and Tortilla Soup

(Sopa de Lima)

A favorite of the Neely house.
Adapted from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic — pressed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 chiles — minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • salt — to taste

To make the soup:
In a medium soup pot, saute the onions and garlic in the oil until the
onions are translucent. Add the chiles, cumin, and oregano, and saute for
a few more minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and sprinkle with a little
salt. Cover the pot and cook gently until the tomatoes begin to release
their juices. Stir occasionally. This will take longer with winter
tomatoes than with summer ones. Add the stock and simmer, covered, for
about 15 minutes. Add the lime juice and salt to taste.

Serve topped with crumbled tortilla chips. Garnish with finely chopped
cilantro, if desired.