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Have you ever discovered something that everyone else knows about, but it’s new to you? On a recent trip to Santa Barbara, from the back seat of a friend’s car, I just happened to spot a towering sign that read “Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn“. Andersen’s is actually in Buellton, just a few miles from Santa Barbara, and it’s a well-known landmark. News to me! We ate breakfast at a popular diner across the street, and as soon as the bill was settled, I walked over to the inn. There was a market inside, and I scurried through folks waiting to dine to peek at the goods on the shelves. Thanks to Andersen’s peas, this recipe was born.
Continue reading “Saffron Split Pea, Potato and Bacon Soup”
Peter is a co-worker of Amir’s who loves a healthy meal. Today he shares with you a simple, no-fuss soup that showcases one of our most beloved leafy greens–kale! This recipe would serve well as a course during a holiday meal, or even made with leftover collards from Thanksgiving dinner. Here’s Peter with the low-down. Continue reading “Peter’s Test Kitchen”
Have you ever heard of the spice mace? Even better, have you ever cooked something with it? Well, don’t feel bad if you’ve answered no to one or more of these questions. Last Christmas, we made an obscure turkey stuffing recipe which called for many spices that had us scratching our heads—the stuffing was a disaster in of itself, but that’s another story. One of those spices was mace. For the last few months, it has been pushed aside, knocked down, and flat out forsaken to the back of the cupboard. It seemed time to blow the dust off the lid and find another use for it. It may still be the summertime, but sweet potatoes are available year round. When you get a craving for them and the spices that make a perfect match, follow your instincts. Continue reading “Give It Another Chance”
It is perfectly chilly here in Los Angeles. But we are wimps about it. We are wimps about weather in general. During the summer, we’ll tell you it’s blazing hot, the air is dry, and we can barely go outside. Let the first and only drops of spring rain hit the ground, and we turn into maniac drivers and complain about getting wet. Come fall, the cool breeze that forces us into wearing a light jacket is rather upsetting. And don’t get started on winter. Once the temperatures reach the 40s at night, you’ll hear our teeth chattering, and folks are wrapped snug as bugs in a rug when it’s time to go to bed. We are weather wimps, and it’s time everyone admitted it. One of the best ways to stay warm right about now is with soup. Soup is healthy, comforting, nutritious and, well, it’s warming. Especially if you make it spicy.
Continue reading “Ready to Spice It Up”
During every holiday season, it’s almost a given that one has lots and lots of leftovers, especially turkey (unless you’re Chrystal and do not consume turkey during such a festive time of the year). For Amir, however, his family always made a pot of soup with the leftover bird each Thanksgiving and Christmas. It seemed like a magical event–one day there was a whole carcass of meat and bones, and the next day, a wonderful bowl of homemade soup made by mom. Well today, this is all demystified, and it actually couldn’t be easier. To help ring in the New Year, we each had our own special meal amongst friends–Amir in sunny SoCal and Chrystal in NYC. To keep this childhood Thomas-tradition alive, Amir made sure there was a turkey at his dinner for the only reason to make soup with the leftovers. And it was perfection!
Continue reading “Waste Not, Want Not”
We’re past Christmas, and the days leading up to jolly St. Nick’s arrival have come and gone. Now we’re just about to jump into a new year. It’s a beautiful thing. The holidays are closing shop, but we can still say ’tis the season–the season for soup. The season for soup actually started once fall hit, but now we’re well into winter. There’s no better time than now. Depending on where you are, it’s most likely quite chilly. Maybe you have snow or freezing rain. Here in LA, we do get our share of ‘winter’. It’s a strange type of winter for anyone who hails from the East coast, but it is possible for this ‘cold’ to set in your bones. Rather than hiding under your Snuggie, there are ways to warm your spirit. Soup does that. Make one big vat of soup, and you’ll never pick up the canned version again.
Continue reading “‘Tis the Season”
We took another class at Hipcooks a while ago–a class all about soup. We made seven soups in just over three hours, and it was a very mind and gut filling experience. Although we’ve made soups and stews on our own, we don’t normally fix them just on a whim. This class, like every other Hipcooks class before it, always sends us into a tizzy about what we can make in our own kitchens. It’s an addiction, you know. Once we start the brain a-moving, we can’t stop. It goes without saying that we are very excited by food. When we start talking about food and recipes, it is clear that we are in our own world. It was evident to others in the class because we spent a third of the session whispering to each other different soup ideas, substitutions and additions that were coming to mind at the time. We were paying attention to our lovely teacher, really we were, but so many thoughts were running through our heads, we had to let them out. This one came to mind somewhere between the preparation of a chunky butternut squash and white bean soup, rich cream of mushroom and thyme and the anise-flavored corn, tarragon and sun-dried tomato chowder.
Continue reading “The Product of Inspiration”