Pecan Mexican Inspired Soup With Corn As A Party Crasher!

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I am always on a hunt for unique soup recipes and this is one. While I was housesitting in San Jose looking after a loving adorable cat named Sylve back in March, I had the opportunity to peruse a wonderful Mexican Cookbook with her snuggled up to me.

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Above: Awe, Sylvie is so cute!

Pecans, leeks and tomatos…sounded very interesting especially so with a smokey chile.

The Verdict:

This soup seemed creamy to me even before I added the cashew cream! Must have been the cashews meets leaks pureed. I used two chipotle chiles that were in adobe sauce and it had a nice spicey bite. The soup is very earthy and warm to my tummy.  It would be a perfect starter to a Mexican Fiesta dinner. The original recipe did not call for corn, but I added it at the very last minute (after the puree part) because both myself and my husband thought the end product needed some nice morsels after our first spoonfuls. We are not both fans of a soup that is 100% pureed. I was making vegetarian tacos with corn and zuchinni so at the very last minute I threw in corn into our bowls and voila – it finished the soup off perfectly! What an inpromtu adjustment can do to a dish! Love this soup now and would not make it without the corn.

Also, for the next time I make this soup, I am going to modify it 100% to Vegan, since I substituted cream for cashew cream – I was already half way there. So the next time, I am going to use olive oil instead of butter.

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Note: Picture above is missing a cup of corn, which I added in at the end.

Ingredients (serves six) :

  • 2 tbsp butter (sub with olive oil if you want a vegan version)
  • 1 leek, white part only , sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 dried chipotle or other smoked chilies ( I used two chipotles that were in Adobo Sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 clove (I used 3 cloves, just because I love cloves)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled , seeded and finely chopped
  • 8 3/4 veggie stock ( I used only 7 cups of stock, it seemed like if I was to use 8.75, it would have been too watery for myself)
  • 1 cup cashew cream (This is made with blending cashews, lemon, water, olive oil and garlic in a vitamix blender)
  • pinch grated nutmeg
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of corn (This was added in at the last minute and not n the picture above)

To Garnish:

  • 18 pecans , roasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped

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Who would guess that these ingredients above would be the base of a soup? :)

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Add the leek and celery and cook, stirring gently, for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the pecans, chiles, sugar, clove, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and tomatoes and continue stirring gently until fragrant.
  3. Add the stock and continue to stir gently until the mixture comes to a boil. SImmer for 20 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool.
  4. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Pour the mixture into a food processor until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into a clean pan and set over low heat, stirring gently until warmed through.
  6. Add the cream and corn  and simmer, stirring constantly for another 5 minutes, then stir in the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediatly with toasted pecans and sprinkled with parsely

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Above: Simmer for 20 minutes.

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Above: This is what the soup looks like after pureed and before adding in the cashew cream – looks creamy without the cream at that point!

The original recipe is from: Mexico The Cookbook, by Margarita Carrillo Arronte

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What I Changed From Original Recipe:

  • Substituted cream with cashew cream
  • Added corn
  • Used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Also only used 7 cups
  • Will use olive oil in future instead of butter.
Soup Mistress Rating For Pecan Corn Soup:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5) fourheart
Presentation: (4.25/5 )
Taste: (4.25/5) 

Arugula Soup with Poached Egg and Truffle Oil

Arugula Soup

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The Completed Arugula Soup with Poached Egg and Truffle Oil

I love arugula and poached eggs, but I would have never thought of them together in a soup. When I saw this recipe in one of my cook books, it intrigued me. Hmmn, a poached egg with truffle oil is a nice touch indeed! I decided to give the recipe a whirl with few modifications.

The Verdict of Arugula Soup with Poached Egg and Truffle Oil? I found the original recipe a little bland, so the second time around I added garlic. Also, this is one soup that lends itself to a fair bit of pepper – it goes well with the potato/arugula base. I really love the idea of the egg, but there is no room for a poached egg on the hard side – a very soft and runny egg makes this soup very good indeed. I would even put two eggs in one large bowl of soup if that is all I was to have for my meal.

Arugula Soup with Poached Egg and Truffle Oil Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups leeks, chopped
  • 3 – 1/2 cup new potatoes, chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves, finely chopped (additional adjustment the second time I attempted this soup)
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 5 oz arugula
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons goat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons white truffle oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Arugula Soup with Poached Egg and Truffle Oil Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy based saucepan.
  2. Saute leeks for about 5 minutes on medium heat, until soft and glistening.
  3. Add potatoes, garlic and saute for a further 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add vegetable stock, bring to a boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are really tender.
  5. Remove from heat and add the arugula, let it wilt for about 10 minutes.
  6. While arugula is wilting in soup, bring a deep skillet of water to a boil; add the vinegar, and then turn down to a gentle simmer. After soup is blended (step 8), crack the eggs in each corner and turn off the heat. Let sit for 3 minutes or until the eggs start to float up.
  7. Transfer the soup to a blender and pure until smooth (I usually count to 25 seconds).
  8. Return soup to pan, stir in yogurt, and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. If soup is to thick at this stage, add more vegetable stock to your liking.
  9. Heat soup up, but do not boil.
  10. Divide the soup between 4 bowls, top each with a poached egg, and serve with fresh grinding of black pepper and drizzles of truffle oil.

The Original Recipe: Soups no-fuss recipes for Hearty Soups, author Tonia George (Hard cover book, page 50)

What I changed from original recipe:

  • Replaced butter with olive oil
  • Replaced chicken stock with low sodium vegetable stock
  • Replaced heavy cream with goat yogurt
  • Adjusted and converted ingredients to measurement in cups
  • Added garlic

Soup Mistress Rating for Arugula Soup with Poached Egg and Truffle Oil:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (3.5/5) 
Taste: (3.5/5)