Curried Pumpkin Coconut and Shrimp Soup

There are so many layers of flavor here from the mirepoix, to the curry, to the coconut, to the potent shrimp stock and of course, the pumpkin. This is a hearty, homey soup perfect for Autumn!

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There are quite a few steps but don’t let this intimidate you. Organize your ingredients, your tools and get to work! I always say, work smarter not harder. Tackle one thing at a time in the order that you will be working. If you are roasting your fresh pumpkin, get that out of the way first. While that’s happening, you can get your shrimp stock simmering. Once you have everything lines up, just bang it on out!

 

Ingredients:

8 cup fresh chopped, roasted pumpkin (3-4 C canned pumpkin)

1 large onion

3 celery stalks

2 large carrots, or 3-5 smaller carrots

4-6 garlic cloves

1-2 lbs shrimp, deveined (save shells)

1- 13.5 oz can of coconut milk

6 tbsp preferred curry powder

5 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp black pepper

Worcestershire sauce

kosher salt, to taste

 

  1. If you are using fresh pumpkin, roast this first. You can follow the steps here. pumpsoup7
  2. Peel your shrimp and place the shells in a pot, cover with waterpumpsouppumpsoup2
  3. Prepare your mirepoix
    1. Roughly chop celery, carrot, onionpumpsoup3
  4. Throw any peels, tops, etc. in the pot with the shrimp, stir.
    1. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, this will be your shrimp stock

      pumpsoup4

      Shrimp shells, onion peel, celery stumps, carrot peel and heads

  5. Over medium heat, soften the mirepoix. Season with salt and pepper.pumpsoup8
  6. Add the pumpkin, add your spices plus salt and pepperpumpsoup9pumpsoup10pumpsoup12
  7. Drain the shells and peels from the stockpumpsoup5pumpsoup6
  8. Add 3-4 cups of shrimp stock, stir
  9. Reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutespumpsoup13
  10. Using an immersion blender, food processor or regular blenderpumpsoup14pumpsoup15
  11. Return to your pot, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer
  12. Add the coconut milk and 1-2 splashes of Worcestershire saucepumpsoup16
  13. Taste, taste, taste! Adjust your spices as needed. My family likes bold spice and flavor, you may want a little less or a little more. This is where you taste and adjust.
  14. Add your shrimp, stir and close the lid. Your shrimp will gently poach in the soup liquid.soup102
  15. Allow to simmer for another 20-30 minutes

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Optional:

Top with pepitas, drizzle of coconut milk or chopped mint or cilantro!

 

 

 

© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

 

Curry Chicken and Veggie Noodle Stir Fry

A few people have requested the walk through to this dinner. I winged that meal. I posted about the dumplings. I knew that I needed a side that incorporated vegetables. I did not measure most of these ingredients. It’s a very quick dish. Just taste as you go and keep adjusting. You can start with what I have below, but adjust to suit your preferences.

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Ingredient:

1 box of angel hair pasta

Sliced boneless skinless chicken thigh

Shredded cabbage

Shredded carrots

Scallions

Sliced onion

2 tbsp Curry powder

1/8 c Low sodium soy sauce

2 tsp Oyster sauce

½ tsp Fish sauce

Lower sodium chicken stock, as needed

 

 

  1. Salt and bring water to a boil, cook your pasta and drain
  2. In a very large skillet or wok, on high heat cook your chicken
  3. Cook your veg (minus scallions)
  4. Throw the noodles in the pan
  5. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce and curry powder.nood
  6. Using tongs, toss the noodles, the veg and the chicken all together to incorporate the ingredientsnood2
  7. Taste, taste, taste and adjust as necessary
  8. If the noodles start to stick, splash in some chicken stock and continue to toss
  9. Top with fresh scallions, whites and greens. Boom!

 

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© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Zucchini Ricotta Pizza with Shaved Brussel Sprouts, Tomato and Feta

This pizza is packed with veggies, herbs and several different kinds of cheeses. You can find a simple pizza dough recipe here. If you have a pizza stone, by all means use that. I do not have one so I tend to just use my cast iron griddle and cast iron pans to make my pizzas.

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Please be careful as there is a lot of putting in and taking out of the oven. You need to move pretty fast once you start the baking process so I strongly recommend prepping everything before you begin.

 

Balsamic reduction is a favorite of mine when it comes to tomatoes and Brussel sprouts, so I whipped up a small amount to drizzle over the pizza. That seriously took the whole dish to the next level. You can adapt this to use up whatever veg you have on hand. Season and adjust ingredients to suit your taste! At the base, it’s a simple dough and a simple ricotta mixture, feel free to customize and build upon it.

 

Ingredients:

 

Simple Pizza Dough

Ricotta Cheese

Milk

Parmesan

Italian Cheese Blend

Feta Cheese

Garlic cloves

Mint

Basil

Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

Thinly sliced, or shaved Brussel sprouts

Shaved zuchinni

Sliced tomato

Balsamic vinaigrette

Sugar

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat your cast iron (or pizza stone) in the oven at 500 degrees
  2. Slice and shave your vegetables
  3. In a small bowl, mix the shaved brussels with a little bit of oil (and s&p)
  4. In another small bowl, toss the zuchinni with a little bit of oil (and s&p)
  5. Slice tomatoes, set aside.pizza4

  6. In a small bowl, mix ricotta, herbs, salt, pepper, parmesan and grate fresh garlic into the mixture.pizzapizza2
  7. Slowly add milk a bit at a time and whisk until it is smooth and spreadable
  • Taste and adjust seasonings (including herbs) to suit your taste.
  • I used a fair amount of dried herbs in this. You can absolutely use fresh if you have them on hand.
    • Set aside.pizza3

  1. Prepare your dough.pizzadough4pizza5
  2. Roll out the dough to suit your baking vehicle (cast iron skillet, griddle, pizza stone, etc).
  3. Carefully remove baking vehicle from the oven, sprinkle with flour or corn meal.
  4. Carefully place your dough onto it.
  5. If you have ‘extra’ dough hanging, carefully roll it up and make a ‘border’ and brush it with oil
  6. Gently pierce the bottom of the dough with a fork to ensure it doesn’t bubble up too much when in the oven.pizza6
  7. Pre-bake the dough for about 3-4 minutes.

  1. Remove from oven.
  2. Spread ricotta mixture and make sure you leave about ½” space
  3. Sprinkle a bit of the shredded cheese
  4. Arrange the zucchinipizza17pizza15
  5. Bake for about 5 minutes

  1. Remove from oven.
  2. Sprinkle more cheese.
  3. Arrange tomatoes and distribute the shredded Brussel sproutspizza16
  4. Bake for about 5-10 minutes.

For simple balsamic reduction:

  • Pour about a quarter cup of balsamic vinegar into a pot over medium heat
  • Add about 2 tsp of sugar
  • Whisk to combine
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat
  • The liquid will reduce and coat the back of a spoon)

  1. Remove from the oven, sprinkle feta.pizza13pizza12
  2. Turn on broiler and broil until crust browns a bit. Be careful. Your pizza will burn. And you will cry.2pizza11pizza10

  1. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  2. Drizzle with reduction and enjoy!

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1

© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

The Only Crispy Oven-Baked Wings Recipe You’ll Ever Need

 

The people who know me best know that I have a “thing” about chicken with bones. My partner likes to credit himself with “changing my life” [emoji eyeroll]. Truthfully, he did expose me to the greatness that is the Popeye’s fried chicken breast. The truth is, I still adamantly refused to eat wings when out with friends. They’re just never crispy enough for me. The worst thing in the world is a plate of wings that look and smell delicious and then…..chewy, gummy skin. Wing. Ruined.

 

Several years ago he requested that I make him wings. As a person who didn’t eat wings, at the time, it was quite a challenge. I was grossed out every step of the way. I just tossed them in the oven and then threw some sauce on them. Quite shameful, really. Fast forward a few years, I decided to play around with this whole wing-thing again.

 

This time, I had a bit more cooking experience under my belt and the following recipe is the recipe that you never knew you needed. These are the easiest, crispiest wings you’ve ever had without added oil or frying! The secret? PARBOILING!

 

I have never attempted this recipe with “party wings” or frozen wingettes. I simply buy a family pack of wings and cut them into flats and drums. It’s a little added labor but it’s worth it (and it’s cheaper, to be honest).

 

This recipe works for a few wings or a helluva lot of wings. Just watch the clock!

 

Ingredients:

Chicken wings

Salt

Water

 

(Seriously. Dassit!)

 

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Cut your chicken into wings and flatssw1

You’re going to boil water like you’re making pasta aka heavily salted and a rolling boil.

Boil the chicken for 8-10 minutes.

Drain thoroughly.

Pat dry with paper towel.sw2

Place the chicken pieces directly onto a cookie sheet (no added oil, no foil)***sw3

Bake for about 30 minutes.

The wings will begin to turn golden brown.sw4

Flip the wings and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

 

Voila. They’re done.

 

At this point, you can toss them in your favorite sauce. Tonight, we had ginger lime sticky wings. Or you can eat them as is, but believe me, these are the perfect vehicle for some yummy sauces.

***If you’re going to eat these without a sauce, season them well with your favorite blend of herbs and spices before putting on the cookie sheet.

 

© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Chicken Parm Burgers with Homemade Brioche-Roasted Garlic Buns

Scrolling the Book of Face and a friend of mine shared one of those Not-to-be-named Food Videos. I swear, either I’m repulsed, confused or just….left hanging. This recipe video had so much promise but where they could have really amped up the flavor, they fell flat. I told my friend, I am re-doing this recipe and it is happening SOON.

 

And boy, did I.

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For over a week, I thought about this. Where can I up the flavor? How can I make this not boring?

Well, for one, I made my own brioche buns. This isn’t absolutely necessary but if you do it? You will not regret it. These buns are so intoxicating without any help. Just fresh out the oven and all you taste is yummy, buttery, soft, crispy heaven. So, allow me to channel Ina Garten- you do not need freshly baked brioche buns, you can use store bought. [insert judgement and friendly smile].cpb7cpb8

I actually just used this recipe from one of my favorite yeast brands. It’s a plan ahead recipe, though there are “lighter” recipes out there that allow you to bake within a couple of hours if you do your Googles. However, because of the way these buns came on? I will dedicate the time to get this result over and over again.

Major note: if you are going to make this recipe with homemade buns, allow yourself time! You need to start the buns either very, very early the morning before dinner or start them the previous night. You need to allow time for the dough to properly rise.

Now, this Video Recipe missed another prime opportunity to step the recipe up. Why put a chicken parm burger on a plain bun? Why not make it garlic bread? I took it a step further and roasted garlic to add to the buttery-herby mixture that topped the buns. Listen, Linda. Honey…Listen. Y-E-S! Brilliant, if I do say so myself. So, boom, right there. Two ways to boost the flavor.

So…. I must admit that I also ground my own meat. Wait, don’t go. This time I just opted for a food processor! Easy-peasy! I ditched the chicken skin, I deboned about 8 chicken thighs and had my sous-chef, Mason, pulse the meat until it was smooth. Any left over carcass? Freeze it in a freezer bag and toss it in your soup! Or use it to make a broth! Waste not, want not!cpb2

In my experience, chicken burgers are not known for tremendous texture. I wanted to focus on a moderate fat content and boosting flavor. When you grind your own meat, not only is it usually cheaper but you control what parts are used and how much fat. Ground chicken is known for being lean, AKA easy to dry out. These burgers were super moist, super flavorful and super easy. If you are not willing to grind your own meat, this I will not judge you for. I promise. Half the time I grind meat because I forgot to buy ground meat from the store. Other times, most of the time, it’s because it is truly cheaper.

With that said, aside from the buns, it’s a very straight forward recipe. A good one for eager, little hands to help with too!


Ingredients:

Burger (yields 6 decent sized burgers):

8 chicken thighs, deboned and cut into 2” pieces and ground until smooth

1 tbsp panko bread crumbs

2 tbsp of cheese (parm, romano, asiago- whatever you have)

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ tbsp granulated garlic (more to taste)

tsp Italian seasoning

pinch crushed red peppers

2 cups of tomato sauce (your favorite kind or season up some canned crushed tomatoes)

6 slices of mozzarella

Garlic Bread Buns:

6 brioche buns

½ stick of unsalted butter

pinch of kosher salt

3-4 cloves of roasted garlic

dash of granulated garlic

½ tsp of Italian seasoning


  1. Put garlic cloves in foil with a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper. Seal and bake in the oven on 400 for about 20-30m. They should be soft and aromatic.cpb4
  2. Melt butter and add ingredients. Stir to combine.
  3. Debone your chicken thighs and cut into 1-2” pieces. I trimmed most of the fat but I allowed a few bits to remain. This absolutely contributed to the moistness of the burger without any added moisture. Add to food processor and pulse until smooth. (IF you are using pre-ground chicken, skip to next step.)cpbcpb3
  4. Transfer meat to a bowl, add ingredients up to and including crushed red pepper. Mix well with a spatula, or your best tool- your hands. You do not want overmix; you just want to mix until the spices are well combined.
  5. Form your meat into decent sized patties. I was able to make six that were nearly ½” thick.cpb5
  6. Heat a heavy bottomed skillet with a neutral oil (if you are unsure about your seasoning, this is the time to add a small bit of meat and cook it through. Taste it and adjust your seasoning if you feel it is necessary.)
  7. Sear three burgers at a time, make sure to get some good color on each side.cpb11
  8. Cook your burgers for 4 minutes on each side.
  9. Remove the first batch and repeat with the remaining.
  10. Remove the second batch and drain any oil.
  11. Turn the heat down to prevent a lot of splatter and add your tomato sauce. (If you’re using canned crushed, make sure you season it up some.)
  12. Bring the sauce to boil then reduce to a simmer.
  13. Your garlic should be ready by now, if not, give it a few minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool. The garlic should pop right out of it’s skin. Mash it up with the side of your knife and add to your butter mixture.cpb9
  14. Cut your buns in half and spread the butter mixture onto them.cpb10
  15. Add the burgers to sauce. Flip the burgers over a few times to coat, spoon some sauce on top and put a lid on. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes. Remember; the burgers are mostly cooked through.cpb12
  16. Turn on your broiler; Put your buttery buns under the broiler until just golden brown. Keep your eye on them so they do not burn.
  17. After about 2-3 minutes, place the slices of mozzarella onto the burgers in the pan. Place the lid on the pan and allow the steam to melt the mozzarella.cpb13cpb14
  18. Put the burgers on the buttery buns. Add some zucchini fries as a side. Please, go prosper!

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Note: You can freeze the formed patties! Separate them with parchment, wrap with plastic wrap and stick them in a freezer bag. They will be ready to go next time you are craving burgers!

 

 

© 2017 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Chili Lime Peanut Noodle Salad

I love a flavor-packed dish with these flavors. You really can’t go wrong with garlic, ginger, cilantro, soy, sesame, etc. Tossing these ingredients together with brown rice noodles and veggie noodles (carrot and zuchinni), you’ve got a super light salad that can be eaten hot or cold.

It’s delicious as part of an entree, a side or a light lunch!

 

Chili Lime Peanut Noodle Salad

 

Noodle Salad

1 package of brown rice noodles, cook as directed

1 large zuchinni julienned, (invest in a mandolin slicer w/ attachments or vegetable spiralizer)

2 carrots, julienned

 

Sauce

3 tsp sesame oil

4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

3 garlic cloves, grated

1-2 inch ginger, grated

2 tbsp water

juice and zest of 1 large lime

3-4 tbsp of peanut butter, creamy or chunky

2 tsp of sambal

1 tsp of fish sauce

½ tsp of oyster sauce

1 tbsp of rice vinegar

½ tsp of sesame oil

2 tbsp of light brown sugar

 

¼ cup chopped cilantro, to finish

 

 

  • Cook rice noodles following package directions.
  • In a large bowl combine the sauce ingredients and whisk vigorously until well combined. Taste and add ingredients as needed (I wound up adding a bit more ginger and crushed red pepper).peanutpeanut3
  • Using a mandolin slicer (or vegetable spiralizer), shred your zucchini and your carrots.peanut2
  • Drain noodles and reserve ¼ cup of cooking liquid.
  • Put noodles back into pot, add shredded vegetables and sauce
  • Using tongs, toss to combine
  • This can be served hot, warm or cold.mealmeal2meal3

 

Leftover sauce can be loosened with more lime juice or water and used as a salad dressing! Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated.

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

#TT: Shrimp and Avocado Plantain Cups

As much as I love a quick and simple recipe, I generally loathe the videos that circulate on a certain social networking site. I saw a recipe similar to this and I was inspired. I changed a lot, for instance, baked cups as opposed to twice baked….something-or-others. I added a lot more flavor (and seasoning, ofc.) and upped the health-factor with more veg and some beans.

These can be eaten as a snack, an appetizer (great accompaniment for my simple black bean dip) or as a meal, just load up your plate and dive in.

 


(12 qty)

You will need: a mandolin slicer, cupcake pan and a microplane

 

3-4 large green plantains

Kosher salt

Pepper

Red onion

One large, ripe avocado

Can of black beans, rinsed

2 limes, 1 zested, 1 for garnish

½ lb to 1 lbs of deveined and peeled shrimp

Medium tomato, chopped

Olive oil

Smoked paprika

Chili powder

Cumin

Onion powder

Garlic powder

Bunch of cilantro

Seeded and chopped serrano pepper (optional)

Cooking spray

 


 

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

 

Peel your plantains and cut in half, across.

(PLEASE BE CAREFUL, USE YOUR GUIDE, DO NOT CUT YOUR FINGER TIP OFF. IT’S NOT FUN. TRUST ME)Using your mandolin slicer on the lowest setting (thinnest), slice your plantain as many times as possible.

 

In your cupcake pan, spray with cooking spray.

Layer your plantains inside the pan, cut into pieces as needed (pictured below). Spray with cooking spray, salt and pepper.

cup

Bake 15-30 minutes, begin checking for crisp, golden brownness around 15 minutes and every couple of minutes after until ready to be pulled.

In a small bowl, add your shrimp and a couple of tbsp of olive oil. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Season liberally with smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, onion powder and garlic powder. Sauté on med-high heat until cooked through.

Reserve 12 whole shrimp and chop up the remainder.

In a large bowl, combine your chopped red onion, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, lime zest, chopped tomato and chopped cooked shrimp. Squeeze the juice of your lime and toss gently to combine.

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After allowing your cups to cool, remove them from the pan.

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Fill your cups with your mixture and top with whole shrimp.

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The filling can be served warm or cold. If there is any leftover, toss it with some baby greens and have a quick, NOM-worthy salad.

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© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

 

Homemade Roti

Roti is a flat bread that originates in India. It can also be found in parts of Africa and the West Indies. It’s such a simple side but it adds to any dish, especially a flavorful curry.

The dough seems like it might be complicated to make but it’s honestly pretty easy. I have made Thai Curry Puffs before and it reminds me of the laminating process. If you take your time, you’ll definitely be able to pull this off and impress your friends and family.

 

Requiring only a few ingredients, this is something that you can easily throw together using kitchen staples.

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ to 2 cups of flour

¼  tsp baking soda

½  tsp salt

¾  cups water

Melted butter or olive oil

 

  1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and create a well. Pour in the water and slowly incorporate until a ball forms.rotii
  2. On a floured surface knead the ball until no longer sticky and pliable.
  3. Cover dough and let it rest for 20-30 minutes
  4. Divide dough into four balls
  5. Roll one ball out until it forms a thin circle.rotii2
  6. Brush with melted butter or olive oilrotii3
  7. Make a small slit and slowly roll (follow pictures) up the dough until it forms a “cone”rotii4rotii5rotii6
  8. Holding the cone, poke the top of the “cone” into itself; you’ll be sort of poking the dough into your hand (again, follow pictures).rotii7rotii8
  9. Do this to the remaining ballsrotii9
  10. Heat a large ungreased pan on medium heat
  11. Roll out one of the balls as thinly as you canrotii10
  12. Brush with butter and put in the hot pan, brush the other side
  13. Flip it as soon as it begins to bubblerotii11
  14. Using your spatula be sure to gently press the dough to eliminate any trapped air
  15. Flip from side to side for 1-2 minutes, you will have browned spots on the dough
  16. Remove from heat, fold up and cover with a tea cloth
  17. Repeat
  18. Best served warm

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Veggie-Packed Spicy Sausage Lasagna Rolls

Lasagna is one of those meals that you whip up and you know you won’t have to worry about dinner for a couple of nights. It’s also one of those meals that allow you to load up on veggies! If you punch up the flavor, even the most anti-veg person will devour a serving or few.

 

Yields 15 lasagna rolls

 

Ingredients:

Box of lasagna noodles

5 Spicy Italian sausage

small yellow onion

half of a green bell pepper

1 large zucchini

3 large carrots

1 pack of frozen chopped spinach

pint of reduced fat ricotta

4 cloves of garlic

Garlic powder

Italian seasoning

Kosher salt

Crushed pepper

Your favorite tomato sauce

Your preferred shredded cheese

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 375
  2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
  3. Boil the lasagna noodles.
  4. Using a mandolin slicer, create zucchini ribbons and carrot ribbonsrolls2
  5. Defrost spinach
  6. Brown your sausage or other ground meat (this could be a omitted for a completely vegetarian recipe)rolls1
  7. Add chopped garlic, onion and pepper, cook until just softened, season with salt and pepper.
  8. Drain your noodles, should be al denterolls3
  9. Remove the meat and veg from the pan and drain in a strainer or a paper towel
  10. Drain spinach, season with salt, pepper and about 1 tsp garlic powder.
  11. Season ricotta with 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp kosher salt and a pinch of crushed pepper, mix to combine
  12. Take one noodle and “paint” ricotta mixture using a spoon or a spatula
  13. Lay carrot ribbons, sprinkle spinach, sprinkle meat mixture and top with cheeserolls4
  14. Tightly roll the noodles uprolls5-copy
  15. Nestle a zucchini ribbon overtop, repeat until your pan is full. My pan was 13×9 and that fit 15 rolls. Lightly sprinkle kosher salt over your ribbon-wrapped rolls. rolls6
  16. Top with your favorite tomato sauce (I used 2 parts canned diced tomato and 1 part canned crushed tomato that I seasoned it up using my go-to’s: kosher salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, Italian seasoning, pinch of sugar and a dash of fish sauce).
  17. Generously top with your preferred shredded cheeserolls8
  18. Bake covered with foil for 45 minutes then uncovered until bubbling and the edges start to brown.

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rolls11

 

 

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Spicy Chicken & Sausage Soup

Autumn is my favorite season. Sweaters, boots, cider, stretch pants….. Okay, stretch pants are year-round over here, sue me. But still, autumn is easily the greatest season for food. It’s September but here in DC, it’s still brutally hot. We cranked up the air today and brought in the new season with a super hearty, flavorful and filling soup.

When it comes to my comfort foods measurements are never exact. You go with the flow, you taste and adjust. You wiggle when you get it perfect. Well, I wiggle. I don’t know what you do.

I love any excuse to pull out Big Red, my large Le Creuset dutch oven (thanks Trina!). You want to use a large, heavy bottomed pot for this dish because it is a one-pot wonder. Everything is happening in that pot. Everything.

Ingredients:

Two large chicken breasts

3 spicy Italian sausages

4 garlic cloves

2 large carrots

3 celery stalks

1 small onion, or ½ of a large onion

½ green bell pepper

1 can of black beans

1-16 oz can of crushed tomato

1 carton of low-sodium chicken broth (always, always low-sodium)

Few tbsp of your preferred cooking oil

1 tsp of fish oil (don’t ask, just do it. Trust me. MAJOR NOM FACTOR)

Spices & such:

Kosher salt, pepper.

Garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, paprika, crushed red pepper, oregano, parsley- thyme would work really well, too.

This is an example of measurem-who!? I just eyeball, but you can start with about a tsp of the first three spices, ½ tsp for the remaining ingredients, and adjust as you taste. Always taste, taste, taste!

 

Prepping is the name of the game. Chop up your veg right away. Just get it over with, when it’s go-time you can just dump it right in the pot and keep on moving.

soup1

In your heavy-bottom pot over med heat, add about 2 tbsp of cooking oil. Add your sausage, I made little sausage balls. Allow the sausage to caramelize and brown, the bottom of the pan may start to change color. That is nothing but food’s way of saying, “hey, you. here’s some love”. Seriously, this is a good sign. You do not want the sausage to cook through. Transfer to a paper towel lined bowl.

If the pot is beginning to dry, add another tbsp of oil. Add your chopped chicken breast to the pan. Season with kosher salt and pepper. You want the chicken to brown up and add to the brown love marks on the pan. Once the chicken is mostly cooked, carefully transfer to a bowl.

In the very same pot, right on top of all of that #BrownLove, you’re going to add your holy trinity (onions, bell pepper and celery) and your carrot. Sprinkle a bit of kosher salt and stir. Allow the vegetables to sweat, they will become very aromatic. It’s intoxicating, really. When you smell the trinity you know major NOMS are about to occur.

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As the veg starts to sweat, you’ll notice the brown bits start to loosen up. Now, this is where magic happens.

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Once the vegetables start to soften,  you’re going to add your spices. Stir it up really well and just keep moving the veg around the pot. We don’t want to burn the spices, we just want to toast them a bit. Bring out some of that aroma and flavor.

 

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The veg will be releasing some moisture, which is why this doesn’t look dry. And, would you look at that!? The #BrownLove is mostly off of the pot and incorporated in the veg. FLAVOR! Now, you’re going to add a capful of red wine vinegar and a tsp of fish oil to this. You want to stir to incorporate. I will admit. This part is a bit funky, but it is adding some major nuance and umami.

(Umami. The sophisticated sister to Nom. You’re welcome for that useless and totally made up bit of information).

Now, you’re going to add your chicken broth and your crushed tomato. Stir well to incorporate. Bring the soup to a boil and then turn down low. Allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes, then you’re going to add your chicken and sausage back into the mix. The sausage and the chicken are going to finish cooking gently in the simmering soup. After about 5 minutes you can go on and add your beans. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

 

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That line of soup residue? That means the soup has reduced. That means the flavors are more concentrated. That means….Yes, you guessed it: NOM. At this point, you really just want to taste and tinker. More salt? More garlic? (The answer to more garlic is always “yes” in this house.) This is your dish, adjust as your tastebuds demand. I wound up adding a smidge more fish sauce and another pinch of salt.

Mason demanded a taste and told me it was “deeeeelicious.”

So, clearly it’s amazing.

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(Notice the darker color. Reduced -> concentrated flavor -> NOM)

 

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At the last minute I decided to serve it with some cornbread so I whipped some of that up. I’ll do a post on that another day. But just know this is some sweet, salty and moist conrbread. It’ll make you wanna cuss.

 

Wait. This is my blog.

This cornbread is good as shit. So is the soup. Trust me.

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© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved