Tag Archives: soup

Monthly Review: February 2013

This past month has flown by for us, check out what photos I have captured on my iPhone!

Interested in what we’ve done in past months?
2012: May June July August November December
2013: January

February 2013: Birthday Cards

The month of February started off with my birthday on Groundhog’s Day!  Sam made me a delicious Birthday Fruit Tart (just like last year!).  Do you have friend’s birthdays coming up?  Check out the Cherry-Chocolate Birthday Cake or this delicious steak meal!

February 2013: running race

With other Back on My Feet members I ran the Love the Run You’re with 5K, sponsored by Pacers!  Although it was a little cold, we had sunny weather that was perfect for a morning run.  In March, I’m running the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in DC.  This Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole is a perfect post-run breakfast!  What races did you run, or are planning on running?

February 2013: Mia

Our friends Stephanie and Jack were out of town, so we got a chance to spend time with their dog Mia!  Isn’t she adorable?  Do any readers out there have dogs?

February 2013: Matchbox

For my birthday lunch, my friend Jess took me to the new Matchbox on 14th.  The restaurant has an open feel, and very well lit- it was great to try some new things on their menu.  I know the sliders and pizzas are the most popular, but do any of you have any favorites?  I’d love to hear suggestions.

February 2013: Valentine's Day

Jess and I also made these fun cookies for our husbands for Valentine’s Day!

If you’d like try a new cookie recipe, try the Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies I made!

February 2013: new house

The most exciting news for us this month: we bought a new house!!!  Our 1 bedroom condo sold and we’ve moved to a bigger house!  Yay for extra space!  Still in DC, just a different neighborhood (which means, more adventures)!

February 2013: old kitchen

With the move, we had to say good-bye to our fifth floor kitchen.  This is where the blog started, but don’t worry, we’ll be sticking to the original blog name.  The last food we made there were the Sesame Seed & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

February 2013: organization

As we’re slowly unpacking all of our boxes, we also got some new housewarming gifts!  Thanks Aunt Kate for these awesome OXO containers- a perfect gift for a new pantry!

February 2013: pizza

We’ve already had some visitors this past week, our new kitchen and living room layout is perfect for entertaining.  Need some ideas for foods to make when you have visitors?  (Above is the Apple & Smoked Cheese Pizza.)

Appetizers: Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey; Fig & Arugula Flatbread; Fresh Corn Salsa; Roasted Mushrooms with Parsley; Spinach & Artichoke Dip;

Entrees: Beef & Rice Stuffed Zucchini; Vegetable Coq au Vin; Baingan Bharta; Bok Choy & Mushroom Bulgur; Lamb, Carrot & Turnip Stuffed Cabbage;

Brunch: Mushroom Shallot Frittata; Smokey Quiche; Zucchini Bread;

Dessert: Baklava; Blueberry-Rhubarb Crumble; Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate; Rum Raisin Ice Cream; Tart Cherry Pie;

February 2013: soup

I finished off the month by checking out a new restaurant in Chinatown- Daikaya (the new ramen spot).  The downstairs opened up on February 14th, and currently they are serving 4 different types of traditional ramen soup.

Over the last 5 years I have learned that DC is a small city.  Turns out my new friend Carol, who I met at Back on My Feet, knows a fellow DC blogger who has been participating in the Food Matters Project.  Also a runner, Meg has her own food blog, Fledgling Foodie.  It was wonderful to finally meet her, and it’s always nice to have more foodie friends!

Can’t wait for all new things in March!  Do any of you have any fun plans?

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Creamy Winter Veg Soup

It’s the week before Christmas, and in light of what happened this past Friday in Connecticut I think everyone is slowing down and enjoying time with their loved ones.  I don’t really talk about politics on this blog, but I will mention that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the grieving families who have lost a loved one.

Whenever I feel melancholy or overwhelmed, I do like a warm bowl of soup.  It’s comforting, and a perfect way to end a cold winter day.  This one is extremely easy, and does not take too much time, or many ingredients to make.  As each of you hurry to get all of your Christmas shopping done, plan your holiday meals, and decorate your homes- also take the time to make some warm soup (such as this one!) and enjoy it with your family and friends.

Also, a note on the new bowls.  We received these as a wedding present (all different colors) from our friends- Ben & Brittany- from Anthropologie, a colorful bowl for a gloomy evening!

Winter Veg Soup

Creamy Winter Veg Soup
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 leeks, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 bulb fennel, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
4-5 turnips, peeled & chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 large potatoes, cooked OR 3 cups mashed potatoes
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups of water
1/4 cup of parsley, chopped

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Then add in the onion, sauté them until they are translucent, for about 5 minutes.  Then add in the leeks, bulb fennel, turnips, salt and pepper.  Cook while stirring for about 10 minutes, or until the fennel is soft.  Then add in the potatoes, broth and water, cook for another 15 minutes.

Puree the soup using a blender.  Pour back into the large pot, cook for another 10 minutes, feel free to add more salt or pepper.

Ladle soup into bowl, sprinkle with parsley & enjoy with a slice of fresh bread!

Honeymoon in Phuket, Thailand Pt 1

As I mentioned, Sam and I recently got married…and then we went on the best honeymoon ever!

Having traveled extensively for work, I had a gazillion miles on my United account, which led to us purchasing tickets to Phuket, Thailand– paradise!

Since this is a food blog, I’ll start with the food aspect of the trip, I hope you all enjoy! (and get a chance to visit one day)

Thailand 2

Our first layover (I know, sounds crazy!) was in Narita Airport in Japan- since it was a bit of a wait, we opted for a mid-night snack of some veggie sushi.

Thailnd 3

Our second layover was in Bangkok, Thailand.  We landed at 11:30pm there, and it was a 12 hour difference from DC.  So this delicious Spicy Beef Noodle Soup was either an early lunch, or an amazing midnight snack!  After that we got to spend a fun 4 hours on very hard benches- the joys of international travel?

Thailand 1

Part of our flight itinerary was on Thai Airways– which we loved!  This was breakfast- small and delicious (food even on a 1 hour flight- crazy!).  On the return flights we got to experience lunch and dinner, and we were given real silverware, so I guess not all airlines use plastic!

Thailand 9

Of course the first night we got to our hotel, I had to have Thai Curry.  It is my absolute favorite dish in any Thai restaurant- so I had to have the authentic version.  It was delicious!  The dish was light, but had all the flavors of curry, coconut and seared vegetables.

Thailand 14

One day we visited the city of Phuket, and wanted some lunch- we found this diner, and loved the food!  I ordered some curry tofu, fried spinach, rice and a fried egg.  It was simple, but light and tasty.

Thailand 13

Sam ordered Beef and Lettuce.  We thought it’d be more like lettuce wraps, but it was chopped lettuce, cabbage and carrots- with the beef on top.  Cilantro garnished this dish.

Thailand 12

This was actually the appetizer, but it got there at the end- veggie spring rolls!

Thailand 11

As we meandered the streets of Phuket, we came across a bar (this is a story in itself), and also tried a new beer which we had never seen sold in the US.  Thai beers are typically lagers- the oldest and most known is Singha, and recently Chang has become more well known.  A local beer was Phuket– it had a slight sweet honey flavor.

Thailand 7

There was a breakfast buffet in our hotel which we indulged in every morning.  One of our favorite ways to finish breakfast was with passion fruit.  We had first tried it on a trip to Dominican Republic about 2 years ago- there it was tart, the Thai version was slightly sweet.

Thailand 6

Walking distance from our hotel, there were some smaller huts which sold food.  Towards the end of our trip we wanted to remember the real Thai cooking: Spicy Vegetable and Shrimp (red Thai peppers, onion, green onions, shrimp, bok choy).

Thailand 5

I had to have one last curry dish (they were so great!).  This was a Yellow Curry with onions, green peppers and basil.

Thailand 8    We spent one day biking in the villages of Thailand, but when we stopped for lunch we had this amazing Shrimp Laksa.  Our bike tour guide told us how this is definitely a favorite with the locals, especially when it’s extra spicy!

Thailand 4

And this is us- happy married, flying back to the U.S. via Bangkok.  Although at this point we only made it 6 out of the 24 hours of travel time, we had an amazing stay in Phuket!

I’d love to tell you all more about our trip, what would you like to hear?  I will have a post about the Thai Market we visited, and our scuba diving adventures!  Anything else?

Chilled Carrot Soup

Although July has almost passed (how quickly!), we still have August to face here in DC.  August comes in with more heat and humidity, and by its end everyone cannot wait for fall.  I’m sure others also have to deal with this heat- and this soup is perfect for it.

None of us want to stand in the kitchen, so this is a great soup to make over a weekend (less than 30 minutes), and then be able to pull it out for lunch or dinner throughout the week!  If you have an overabundance of tomatoes, feel free to add those it- it’ll change the flavor profile a bit, but it’ll add a great taste!

Need other ideas for cold soups?  Try these: cucumber gazpacho, shrimp gazpacho, or a tomato soup with basil.

Chilled Carrot Soup
Fifth Floor Kitchen original

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, halved
2 lbs carrots, peeled, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp curry powder
4 cups water
1 cup almond milk
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

In a large pot heat olive oil, then add the onion.  Sauté the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Then add in the garlic and carrots, cook for another 5-8 minutes.  Next, stir in the water and curry powder.  Bring to a boil, and then simmer for another 15 minutes.

Finally, pour all of this into a blender (or food processor), and blend until the consistency is to your liking.  Then pour it back into a pot, add in the almond milk, salt and pepper.  Cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve this warm, or you can keep it in the fridge and serve this chilled.

Food Matters Project #13: Asparagus & White Bean Soup

Yes, it’s another Monday and a new Food Matter Project recipe!  Since we were visiting friends in Boston this weekend (check out our Sam Adams Brewery tour), we actually made this soup last week.  It was easy to make and very delicious!

This weeks recipe was chosen by Adrienne, of Adrienneats.  She chose the Roasted Asparagus and White Bean Soup with Parmesan from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out what others did here, scroll down to the comments.

This was a great soup- the beans made it very filling and gave this soup lots of flavor.  Since I was trying to use up some other produce in our fridge, I added extra veggies- so definitely feel free to swap or add more.

I can’t seems to stop buying asparagus at our Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market– this last week I walked away with 3 bunches!  The farmer selling it was wondering what I was going to do with so much (but that’s for another post)!

Remember: when buying asparagus look for firm stalks with purple tinge tips.  The ends of the stems should be fresh and moist.  It should be used soon after buying, but if it needs to stay in the fridge for a couple of days then cut off about 1 inch from the base and set the asparagus bunch upright in a container filled with some water (up to 4 days).

Asparagus and White Bean Soup
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 110)

Mark Bittman suggests puréeing the soup, to make it smoother- if you prefer chunkier soups, feel free to omit this step.  I soaked and cooked dry beans, but canned beans will also work great.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 oz pancetta, chopped
3 carrots, peeled & chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine (recommend: Bogle Chardonnay)
2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & chopped
6 cups chicken or veggie stock
2 cups of water
1 1/2 cups of cooked cannellini beans
1 1/2 cups of cooked navy beans
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 lb asparagus
2 oz Parmesan cheese, shredded

Heat up the olive oil in a large soup pot.  Once the olive oil is warm, add the onion.  Sauté for up to 5 minutes, when the onions become translucent.  Then add the pancetta, sauté until the meat starts to brown.  Add the carrot, garlic and thyme, allow to cook for another 2 minutes.  Then add the white wine, stir to loosen the vegetable and pancetta pieces.

While stirring add the potatoes, stock and water.  Bring the soup to a boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Stir infrequently until the potatoes have cooked (should be soft when you stick a fork into them).

Add in the beans, and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Season the soup with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper.  Finally, puree about half of the soup in a food processor, mix both halves together.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Meanwhile, put the asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper.  Roast for about 15 minutes, or when the asparagus begins to brown.

Pour soup into a bowl, dress it with pieces of asparagus and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.