For those of us who don't measure well, who don't make fancy or fussy food, or who don't like to cook every single day, there is stew. Whether it's vegetable based, or built around meat and potatoes like this gorgeous Irish stew from Recipe Girl, a well-constructed stew never fails to satisfy. It's almost a requirement that when you cook stew, you make a big pot of it, either on the stovetop or in the slow cooker. Most stews taste even better on the second day as the flavors have a chance to meld, so you can prepare a stew today, have some for dinner tonight, enjoy the rest tomorrow, or portion it out for easy worknight dinners after a quick reheat.
Continue reading "The Saturday Simmer: Stew recipes for stovetop or slow cooker" »
'Tis the season. Cold and flu season. My mother told me chicken soup would cure everything, and she was right. When I was young, we loved chicken noodle soup from a can. (Oh, so salty.) These days, I'm more likely to make my own chicken soups spicy. Either way, noodly or peppery, like this chicken fajita soup from Two Peas & Their Pod, chicken soup does the trick. I have no proof of this, but I believe that there's just as much magic healing power in the pieces of chicken as there is in the broth.
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Of all the winter (hard-shell) squash in all the world, I love the simple and ubiquitous butternut squash most and use it most often. Like pumpkin, but easier to crack, butternut turns creamy when it meets low and slow heat, which makes it perfect in soups like this coconut curry butternut squash soup, from Skinnytaste. Butternut squash has a light orange-ish skin, a long end and a bulbous end, and it's available everywhere, at supermarkets and farm stands. In some places, you can buy it already peeled and cubed and ready to cook, especially between now and Thanksgiving. Low in calories and high in Vitamin A, butternut squash has a mild, slightly nutty flavor that embraces many different spices with equal joy.
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