Tag Archives: soup

It’s Not Easy Being Green

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It’s an Open-Up-Your-Taste-Buds-to-New-and-Exciting-Tastes Day at BigLittleMeals.com.  And it’s also an Isn’t-Spring-Wonderful Day.  The fires which devastated Sonoma in October are still a part of almost every conversation around here.  It’s mind-boggling how many people we meet who lost their homes.  The massive re-building has barely begun.  But re-birth in nature is already evident, as you can see in this gorgeous green field just above our little neighborhood.

While green seems to be just right in that field, green in food can be tricky.  Or as Kermit sang, “green is the color of spring.”  Yet, “it’s not easy being green.”  Actually, Andy looked a little green recently – while we were eating grilled oysters….see Andy’s Corner.

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 8.30.20 AMMoss (how apropos his name is for this topic 🙂 ) and Silas, our grandsons, have always liked Odwalla’s “Original Superfood Fruit Smoothie” and I’ve always winced at its color.  But when we went to Ixtapa, Mexico, for the first time a number of years ago, I fell in love with the new and different green drink we were served on the beach.  Well…maybe it was being on that beautiful Pacific beach, but I think I’d have loved the drink no matter what.  Jugo Verde – a name so much prettier than Original Superfood – and way more delicious too.

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Our version of Jugo Verde

Moss also loves Snickerdoodles and I’ve made them frequently in his honor.  Since I already had a tin of ground green tea (Matcha), when I saw a recipe for Matcha Snickerdoodles I was intrigued.  Even more intriguing was the fact that the recipe came from a patisserie in San Francisco which is in the same building as the office for Tacolicious.  The patisserie’s name? Craftsman & Wolves.

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The cookies, after baking, looked….well, kind of weird, to put it nicely.  But I’m now wondering whether there is something slightly addictive about matcha.  I’ve been sneaking these amazing and unusual cookies all morning long – and still haven’t gotten my fill.  They’re like perfect.  Not too sweet.  Kind of delicate.  And the flavor doesn’t resemble anything you’ve had before – in a very good way.

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Craftsman & Wolves’ Matcha Snickerdoodles

Ras el hanout may not be a spice mixture that you routinely have in your cupboard but it’s what makes the Watercress, Spinach and Chickpea Soup, a riff on a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe, unique.  And if you don’t want to bother to make it (I actually did – a combination of at least 13 spices!) or buy it (Amazon, of course), you can substitute the easily-found Garam Masala spice mixture, making it more Indian than North African, but still delicious.

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Watercress, Spinach, and Chickpea Soup – before adding the yogurt

And one final green-ish new-ish thing to try: freekeh.  It’s a young, green wheat, high in protein and fiber – those things we want and need – that has been roasted.  Freekeh, which dates back to around the 13th century Middle East, is delicious…better than barley or quinoa IMHO.  I combined some cooked freekeh with slivered red and green cabbage and mango for a delicious, healthy salad, using one of Ottolenghi’s dressings.

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Cooked freekeh

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I got this from Amazon but some Whole Foods carry it

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Carrot Ginger Soup

So it’s going to be just us here for Easter, and we’ve been thinking about what we’ll have for dinner that will be properly celebratory, isn’t a pain in the butt to fix or clean up, serves just the two of us, and tastes great.  It’ll be a big little meal!
Andy first suggested that we have rabbit for dinner, but I managed to convince him of the impropriety of that.  But I thought that maybe something with carrots seemed appropriate.  Carrots and dip?   Too much work for just us. Carrot cake? Yum!  I have a fabulous recipe for that, should you ever want to try it, but it’s time-consuming to make.  Maybe carrot soup?  Yes!  It’s beautiful, it’s easy; it’s light, healthy, and delicious.  You can make it vegetarian (or not) by your choice of broth.  It’s gluten free (I think). The ingredients are easy to find.  Note: don’t think that you’ll just make half of it, cause it’s just you eating.  Fix the full recipe and you’ll have soup left for a lunch next week and some to freeze for another time.

Carrot Ginger Soup

  • Servings: 4
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adapted from Sara Deseran’s Asian Vegetables


  • 1/4 c butter (4 T)
  • 1 T minced fresh ginger
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 or 2 serrano chilies, seeds and membrane removed and chopped
  • 3 c vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into chunks – about 10 big (not little) ones
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 c half and half.


Using a medium-sized pot over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the ginger, garlic, and chili and cook and stir until the garlic and chili have softened and are fragrant – maybe a minute.  Add the broth and chunks of carrot, coriander, and salt; bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook until the carrots are very soft – about 25 minutes.  Now is the time to use your hand blender, if you have one.  We don’t – so we’ll put the carrot mixture into our food processor (a regular blender works here too) and puree it until it’s almost smooth.
At this point take note: if you’re freezing some, put it in your freezer dish now, because it will reheat better if you add the half & half after you defrost it.
Put the rest of the carrot mixture back in the pot, add the half and half, decreasing the amount a little, if you’ve frozen some. Return the soup to a simmer.  Put it into bowls and have a HAPPPY EASTER!
Recipe provided by Big Little Meals and Andy and Ann

Potato Soup That Happens to Have Broccoli In It


It’s a chilly spring day in Glen Ellen, CA, and nothing sounds better than soup. Here’s the perfect recipe: a broccoli chowder loaded with big flavors and beautiful colors. It’s vegetarian; it’s nutritious; it’s easy. I’ve eliminated the pureeing of the ingredients, which results in an easier, faster clean-up – and I think makes for a more attractive dish. The only caveat – don’t let the broccoli cook too long, or the green beauty of it all is lost….though the great taste remains

Potato Soup That Happens to Have Broccoli In It

  • Servings: 4
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I miss the old Epicurious. This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found at Epicurious online in 2003!


  • 3 small heads broccoli (about 1#)
  • 2 large yellow or red potatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 T butter
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard (may be omitted; I didn’t have any and the soup was still great
  • 3 c water (or depending upon your food preferences, chicken or vegetable broth)
  • 1 c cream – or half & half
  • 2 c coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 oz)
  • touch of hot sauce or chili powder, optional.


Separate the broccoli stems from the florets, then chop each into about 1″ pieces. Reserve about 2 c of the broccoli florets to add at the very end.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the broccoli (except the reserved florets), potatoes, onion, bell pepper, carrots, garlic, cumin and mustard in the butter until the onion is softened, stirring occasionally. Add the 4 cups of water and simmer, partially covered, for about 10 minutes.

Add the remaining broccoli florets, cream and grated cheese, bring back to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cheese melts and the florets are soft but still very green. Taste – and add salt and pepper accordingly and a sprinkling of hot sauce, if you so desire.

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