Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mexican Cold Soup

For some reason, that statement has always seemed wrong to me. I think of soup and I think steamy, hearty, belly-warming soup. "Cold soup" means you didn't heat it up in the microwave long enough!

Boy, was I wrong! A friend of mine made some Mexican Cold Soup this weekend and it looked and smelled AH-MAZING. I knew that I had to make some. This soup is 1. Perfect for summer (and it's still warm in New Mexico!) 2. Easy easy easy to make! 3. Doesn't require any cooking whatsoever. Anyone can make this soup!

Mexican Cold Soup
Prep time: 5 minutes

2 10-1/4 oz cans tomato soup, plus 2 10-1/4 oz cans water (like you're making tomato soup!)
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 - 1 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper (I used 1 1/2 tbsp and it's spiiiiicy!)
1 1/2 tbsp cumin
1 cucumber, peeled and diced (I cut around the seeds as well, but that's optional)
1 avocado, diced
24 oz corn
3-5 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish

1. In a large bowl, mix the tomato soup with water, lime juice, and spices. Add the vegetables and cilantro. Let soup get chilled in the fridge for at least an hour. Stir and serve!

*I know the sodium is through the roof here. Don't add any extra salt! There are also plenty of tomato soups that are low sodium now. I didn't have any in my pantry, so I just used regular soup. There are ways to lower that number! All in all, this soup is great for you. And the cayenne pepper? That's belly-warming. :)

This soup is hearty, filling, spicy, and yes...cold. So easy to make, so easy to eat. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Potato Cakes

'Ello, blogosphere!
What has it been now...a month since my last post? For those of you who I'm close to in real life, not just the wonderful world wide web, you know about all the craziness that has gone down the last few months. Everyone else, just know that I'm back. I'm cooking again, I'm baking again, and I'm sharing again!

My best best BEST friend, Marissa (teacup tattoo!), has a wonderful man in her life who happens to be from England. The three of us chat quite a bit (thank you, Blackberry...) and Mr. England talks about British food all the time. I don't know if it's because he's aware I'm a fat kid at heart or if he wants to show off all the tasty treats England has to offer. Either way, you won't hear me complaining!

Last week, I was home in New Hampshire when he mentioned Potato Cakes with Mushy Peas. I'm not going to lie: if I read that on a menu somewhere, I wouldn't order it. Maybe just the Mushy Peas part of it. I do love a good Latke, though, so after he went on about Potato Cakes, I decided I was going to whip up a batch for my mother and I.


Even the Mushy Peas! So good, in fact, I brought some to my sister and she wanted the recipe. Then I brought one into work this week and forks were coming in from all angles. My boss started expanding on the idea: Sweet Potato Cakes, anyone? Adding scallions? Sour cream?

The possibilities are endless. And inexpensive. My kinda dish!

Potato Cakes with Mushy Peas
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes

3 large potatoes, peeled, diced, and boiled
2 tbsp Earth Balance soy butter, plus 2 tbsp for frying
2 tbsp - 1/4 cup unsweetened, full-fat soy milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 tbsp parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 - 1/2 cup unbleached flour

*I know the measurements aren't really exact. Since potatoes come in different sizes and starch levels, each batch might use a different measurement.

1. After you boil the potatoes, mash together the soy butter, milk, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. You're basically making mashed potatoes here! Add the flour, starting with 1/4 cup. You're looking for a doughy consistency. It shouldn't stick to your hands but it shouldn't be too dense.

2. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining soy butter. Form pancakes with 1/2 cup of the dough. You want them to be about 1/4-inch thick. Fry till a dark, golden, crispy brown and flip. When the other side is crispy, remove from heat and serve immediately.

Mushy Peas
Prep time: 2 minutes

2 cups frozen peas
2 tbsp soy butter
2 tbsp unsweetened soy milk
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Duh! Mush everything together! :) Serve with the freshly made Potato Cakes. I like my Mushy Peas right on top so each bite gets an equal amount of deliciousness.

Please promise me you'll try to make these! I'm a girl on a budget now and these are inexpensive, delicious, and you can make the dough and stick it in the fridge! You can eat them just like this, or maybe make them for breakfast like a hashbrown, or even a late night snack! Enjoy, ladies and gents!