Month: March 2012

Move Over, Minnestrone (Vegetable Soup)

I am generally not a soup person. The idea of having something that’s both liquidy and chunky at the same time on my spoon just doesn’t jive in my head, nor does it feel right in my mouth. That being said, there have always been a few exceptions: matzah ball soup, for one. And, well, who can resist clam chowdah (…in a bread bowl, in San Francisco, at that?) Otherwise, soup is rarely a headliner, neither a sidekick on my table.

However, today, while staring blankly into my fridge as I often do, I found myself staring at my box of vegetable stock and slightly craving a warm cup of broth to soothe my sore throat. Known to some as Jewish Penicillin, chicken soup has been widely known as the go-to meal for generations of cold and flu sufferers. However, my lack of wanting to eat chicken, combined with the medley of vegetables in my refrigerator that have decided to wilt in unison, inspired me to stir up a vegetable-based bouillon.
Chop. Pour. Simmer. Who knew three simple steps could release the most magical aroma into the air? 
Soon after, I sat on the couch, sipping the magical masterpiece with my roommate while discussing possible names for my most fantastic creation. His favorite part was the sweetness provided by the corn, whereas I thoroughly enjoyed the colourful combination. 
I suggested “Rainbow Soup.” 
He said, “That’s corny.”
I laughed. Hard. 

Corny Rainbow Soup
an original recipe by allison sklar

what you’ll need
1 box vegetable broth (I used Campbells)
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 can sweet corn
1 can San Marzano plum tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp red pepper (chilli) flakes (Optional)
how to do it
Toss diced vegetables into pot. Cover with broth.  Heat on medium. Once soup comes to a boil, add corn & red pepper flakes & stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. 
Serve garnished with shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese, if desired. 

Wine and Dine (Creamy Wine Sauce)

Cream sauce, I have mastered thee.

After numerous failed attempts at concocting my own alfredo, I finally hit the milky jackpot. I quickly discovered that combining mushrooms, cream and wine will result in some tasty magic on my dinner plate. Simple, smooth and satisfying, this base will be my go-to for any white sauce I’ll be craving in the near future. If you’re not a fan of funghi, don’t fret: substitute chopped spinach, onions or garlic in place of the mushrooms for an equally delicious variation.


Simple Cream Sauce with Mushrooms
an original recipe by allison sklar

what you’ll need
2 tbsp salted butter
1 tsp ground sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped mushrooms (or spinach)
2 tbsp fresh thyme (optional)
2 tbsp cooking wine (white is best, but red works fine)
1/2 cup cooking cream
1 tbsp white flour

how to do it
In a saucepan over medium-low, melt butter. Add onions and mushrooms and sauté until golden. Add cream and wine, stirring well after each addition. Once mixture is bubbling, whisk in flour, stirring until sauce begins to thicken, about one minute. Add salt to taste.
Serve hot, over pasta or vegetables.