• Tante Marie's Sorrel Soup
    Soups,  Vegetable,  Vegetarian

    Tante Marie’s French Sorrel Soup from Charlotte Turgeon

    If you could cross baby spinach with lemon, you’d get something like sorrel. It brightens salads, sauces and omelets, but best of all makes a marvel of a soup. And nothing captures the flavor and simple pleasures of the French countryside like this dish: French Sorrel Soup. Remarkably fast and easy to make, this elegant, tangy soup goes from zero to the table in less than 15 minutes. No potatoes, no aromatics, no cream. An egg yolk swirled in at the end adds a bit of richness, and some toasted bread served in the bowl gives it depth. The hardest part might be finding the main ingredient. Popular throughout Europe, sorrel is rarely seen…

  • Indian,  Soups,  Vegan,  Vegetables

    Red Lentil Soup with Indian Spices

    Sometimes we just need the happy kick of richly spiced, ready-to-ladle Indian food. Why wait? Red Lentil Soup with Indian Spices takes less than an hour to whip up using pantry and fridge staples—and surprisingly few spices. The name says “spices” as if it’s a lot, but it’s really only two. This version of India’s spiced red lentil soup, Masoor Dal, has full-on flavor with just cumin and chili powder. Lots of onions and umami-rich tomato paste also blend with the sweet, nutty red lentils to satisfy your Indian food craving and, as my mom used to say, warm your kishkas. Red lentils have no skins, so they cook very quickly and self-pureé. It’s…

  • Recipephany ingredient,  Soups,  Vegan,  Vegetables

    Haymarket Asparagus Soup

    It’s hard to cook asparagus to its elegant best. If you leave spears in too long, they go from vibrant and crisp to drab and droopy. Take them out too soon, and you’ll get a raw crunch instead of a tender, tasty bite. But it’s easy to cook asparagus perfectly in this soup. There’s no peeling or fussy prep. No matter how long the asparagus simmers, it doesn’t lose its sweet, earthy flavor. A touch of thyme and savory add garden brightness, and golden potatoes make it creamy. Crispy, salty prosciutto bits on top give contrasting crunch and color to the green smoothness. Best of all, you don’t need pristine spears if you’re just…

  • Beef,  Dumplings,  Main Dish,  Soups

    Sally Birke’s Kreplach

    First, there was wonton soup. Then came tortellini in brodo. Now, thanks to Szifra Birke, I’ve found kreplach. Years ago, Szifra produced the poignant documentary “Browsing Through Birke’s” (now out on DVD). It’s the story of her parents, Nathan and Sally, who emigrated from Poland and founded Birke’s clothing store, a Lowell, Massachusetts, institution. This documentary had me laughing, blubbering, and feeling instant affection for these extraordinary people. Always looking to connect through food, I asked Szifra if her mother had a signature recipe. She wasted no time in sharing Sally’s prized kreplach and the deeper story behind it. Born Sura Dymantsztajn in Lodz, Poland, Sally no doubt learned to make kreplach as a…

  • Potato Leek Soup
    Recipes,  Soups,  Vegan

    Sunny With a Chance of Leeks (for Potato Leek Soup)

    Leeks remind me of that squintingly-bright Sunday morning we spent on the paradise of Coronado Island, San Diego, four years ago. My daughter led us on a run past the regal Hotel Del Coronado (where Marilyn Monroe sizzled in “Some Like it Hot”), past magnificent Mission-style clay-roofed homes, and along pristine, underused sidewalks. About half way around the loop, my daughter spied a bundle of plump, fresh, organic leeks demurely lying on a strip of grass beside the sidewalk. Had there been a gentle leek sunshower? My daughter picked them up. Upon closer examination, we surmised that they had more likely arrived by limo. These were the Gisele Bündchen of leeks, long and alluring,…