Monday, December 6, 2010

Comfort 102

So a very good friend came over for dinner after WEEKS of scheduling conflicts, and the only thing she really requested of me was that it be low-to-no carb as she had been rather indulgent of late.
(Who hasn't lately?)
I aimed to please.
And also, it is FREEZING out there, so this soup is just right.

(No really, the first day of December was 65 and pouring rain. The 3rd of December was 35-feels-like-24º and it remains as such all week. Major Suckage.
Major Suckage
At least it could have the decency to snow...)

For starters: Silken Vegetable Soup
For main: Shrimp Fra Diavolo

For the soup:
Not unlike my Comfort 101 Chicken Vegetable Soup, this one includes:
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 large leek, cleaned and chopped
1 small yellow onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 zucchini, chopped
1 medium yukon gold potato, mostly peeled and cubed
roughly 1 TBSP chopped fresh dill
roughly 1 TBSP chopped fresh thyme
roughly 2 tsps ground savory
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup white wine
3 1/2 cups chicken stock

Start by dicing all your veg and properly cleaning your leek in a bowl of water to remove any grit. Then dry it in a kitchen towel and decide how you'd like this to play out.

I either roast or pan sauté the zucchini and leeks until just beginning to brown while dealing with the soffritto/mirepoix trifecta. However, you could also roast the carrots so they got a bit of color as well.
I highly suggest this when making winter soups full of root vegetables and squash. It lends a lovely depth of flavor and added richness.

Once the onion, celery, & carrot are all softened, add the lightly browned leek and zucchini into the pot, as well as the garlic and halfof the dill, some salt, and the ground savory, fresh thyme,  & cayenne pepper. Cook another minute or so for the garlic, stirring occasionally.

At this point add the white wine and allow to cook 3-5 minutes.
Then add the chicken stock, potato, bay leaf, and remaining herbs, and allow to simmer, lid-on, for another 30-40 minutes.
(Optional addition of a parmigiano rind before the simmer, for richness.)

Remove the bay leaf and purée soup, preferably with an immersion blender. Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

I toasted up some crusty bread with a bit of olive oil, garlic salt, and grated pecorino to serve alongside the soup.
(I mean, I needed SOME carbs in my meal...)

Garnish with fresh dill, and enjoy a very guilt-free soup.

Little did I realize that I make "Fra Diavolo" sauce all the time!
It is basically just tomatoes, red pepper flakes, white wine, garlic, and onion.
I make that ALL the time.
Sauté onion, add garlic, add red pepper flakes, add crushed tomatoes, white wine, salt, basil, reduce.

Before making the sauce I cooked up some shrimp with salt and a pinch of old bay seasoning, quick in a skillet with olive oil, then set aside.
Add the cooked shrimp back into the sauce when you like the consistency.

Garnish with fresh basil.

The perk of serving this low-carb meal is that the soup keeps, and the shrimp fra diavolo leftovers make a lovely dinner over linguine the next evening!

Note: The soup would also be delicious spruced up with some fresh cilantro and smoked chipotle peppers. Another option for the cold months to come.


Chuck said...

I am liking me some soup and shrimp right about now...I think I can smell it through my monitor, wait, no that's my peppercorn pork loin burning...aghhhhh!

RocknRollGourmet said...

Don't burn your dinner! Read my blog before or AFTER you have already cooked your meal.