A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.

Month: January 2017

One-Pan Roasted Tomatoes and Chicken with White Beans

One-Pan Roasted Tomatoes and Chicken with White Beans

I had some boneless skinless chicken breasts I needed to use, a pint of grape cherry tomatoes on the counter, and I remembered a recipe that I had bookmarked awhile back.  You can find it here. I didn’t follow exactly, but it was close, and […]

My Clay-Pot Roasted Chicken

My Clay-Pot Roasted Chicken

I love my simple roast chicken, but long before I started making that I was making this clay-pot roasted chicken.  I had drifted away from it because the chicken in cast iron is so completely easy to do, but I had an urge this weekend […]

Dishing up the Dirt’s Broccoli Soup with Za’atar and Tahini Lemon Cream.

Dishing up the Dirt’s Broccoli Soup with Za’atar and Tahini Lemon Cream.

The other day a broccoli soup showed up on Instagram and it caught my eye.  It used Za’atar, one of the food challenge ingredients from a few months ago for a cooking group I belong to.  I wasn’t able to participate in the challenge at the time, so I thought I might try to catch up now.
The recipe came from the Dishing Up the Dirt site.  I had to start following it, because a heck of a lot of the recipes look good besides the broccoli soup I wanted to try.
http://dishingupthedirt.com/recipes/broccoli-zaatar-soup-tahini-cream/
I had everything in my fridge for the recipe.  I didn’t have any potatoes, but I’m doing a low-carb thing at the moment, so I wasn’t going to use them anyway.  I didn’t have any veggie broth either, but I did have chicken broth (although I have run out of my own stock so I need to get on that soon).
I had mentioned in my cooking group that I was going to try the soup, and another member got to it first.  She felt that the soup needed boosts of flavor, so the first effort I made to do that included using 4 instead of 3 cloves of garlic.
The soup started with slowly cooking the onions and cloves of garlic in olive oil over medium heat.  The recipe called for medium high, and maybe it was my pot or stove top, but it was cooking them faster than I wanted so I lowered the heat to medium, and cooked them for five minutes.
The broccoli went in next.  Most of the broccoli was broccoli from my CSA that I had blanched and frozen this fall.  I also had a bag of broccoli rabe from the CSA that I had blanched and frozen.  A small amount of raw leftover broccoli rounded it out.  It’s so nice to reach into the freezer and use produce from our CSA.
The Za’atar is added at this point, and the vegetables stirred to coat.  My second effort to boost the flavor was to add an additional teaspoon of za’atar. If I make this again, I will add a teaspoon of sumac as well, and a teaspoon of salt.
I used chicken broth instead of veggie broth (not only did I not have any vegetable broth, this was yet another effort to boost the flavor).  Brought it to a boil, and lowered to a simmer for 25 minutes.
I gathered up garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, pepper, and Aleppo pepper.
I used a small blender to make the sauce.  This sauce was critical for the soup, and I would double the amount of sauce next time.  And I would add a second clove of garlic.
During those 25 minutes I toasted pine nuts for the garnish.
Once the soup was done, it was time for the handy dandy immersion blender.
Green soup just doesn’t look that appealing to me!
The soup really needed a lot of seasoning at this point.  I added 1 teaspoon of salt, and some sumac.
Finally, I added some cream since I had not used potatoes and was worried about the creaminess of the soup.  But, I don’t think the cream really made a difference, and wouldn’t bother with it next time.  It was creamy enough without it.
Here’s the final product where the soup is topped with the tahini cream, pine nuts, and Za’atar.  Along with my friend who had made it this week, I would say this is a good, not great, soup.  I might make it again with some tinkering.
Avocado, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

Avocado, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

AKA What is in my fridge salad? I had bought a bag of avocados at Sam’s club, and needed to use them.  I also wanted something to eat with the chili I was heating up for dinner. I nosed around in my produce drawer and […]

Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed Cauliflower

I wanted to make my braised chicken tonight with a lemony sauce. And I wanted something to soak up the sauce, but I didn’t have any potatoes.  I did have Cauliflower however. I nosed around online and on Pinterest, and the method I decided on […]