Sweet Pea Soup with Cumin-Mint Coulis
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Sweet Pea Soup with Cumin-Mint Coulis
Sweet peas are some of the vegetable kingdom's greatest little gifts. They're perfectly sized, vibrant, and sweet — and they possess an irresistible "green" flavor. Come spring, they’re also one of the first vegetables to show up at farmers' markets or bearing fruit in your garden.
I love to eat sweet peas in many different ways: sautéed with basil and mint, or in a wholesome-yet-delicious bowl of farro, or sometimes even in a salad. But now I’m excited to share a recipe with you that I think makes the sweet pea even more enticing.
Not only is this soup full of that addictive green-pea essence, it's also a perfect canvas for the exotic flavors of the coulis. The pan-roasted cumin, the fresh herbs, and the hint of heat in the coulis, paired with the sweetness of the peas, deliver a truly unique taste experience.
Needless to say, the soup is superb with fresh peas, but you can use frozen ones, too. They work just as well.
*Note: If using frozen peas, do not thaw.
For the cumin-mint coulis
- 2 Teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 Teaspoons sea salt
- 1 small bunch mint, stemmed
- 8 sprigs cilantro, tough stems trimmed
- 1 Teaspoon lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
- 1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 Teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the soup
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Vidalia onion, chopped finely
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped finely
- 1 Cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 Pound fresh or frozen shelled peas*
- 2 Cups vegetable stock
- 2 1/2 -3 cups water
- 1 1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 Tablespoon crème fraîche
Calories Per Serving548
Folate equivalent (total)121µg30%
Quick Sweet Pea Soup
Homemade pea soup is less than 30 minutes away, with canned sweet peas, bagged spinach and chicken broth as time savers. Blending early in the preparation so the soup purees all at once in only one batch, keeps it simple too.
Prep time 10 min.
Cook time 15 min.
2 Tbsp. butter or vegetable oil
2 cans (15 oz. each) Del Monte® Sweet Peas, drained
4 tsp. fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
3 ½ cups chicken broth, divided
¼ cup heavy cream, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook onion about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and soft, stirring frequently.
Blend onion, peas, spinach, lemon juice, thyme and 2 cups chicken broth in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Return to same saucepan. Stir in remaining broth. Gently heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in cream, if desired. Heat over low heat about 1 minute. DO NOT BOIL. Garnish with garlic croutons, if desired.
VARIATIONS: Prepare recipe as directed, except:
•For Minted Sweet Pea Soup, use ½ cup fresh mint leaves instead of thyme in Step 2.
•For Tuscan Pea Soup, add ½ cup fresh basil instead of thyme in Step 2. Garnish with Parmesan cheese with garlic croutons in Step 3.
- ½ red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can sweet potatoes, drained and cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pinch dried thyme
- 1 pinch dried basil
- 1 pinch dried oregano
- 1 pinch dried rosemary
- 1 pinch garlic powder
- 1 pinch onion powder
- 1 pinch mustard powder
- 1 pinch cumin
- 1 pinch coriander
- salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Set oven to broil. Brush red bell pepper lightly with olive oil, and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Place sheet under broiler, and broil until pepper is blackened and blistered. Remove from broiler, and when cool enough to touch, peel skin. Chop pepper into bite-size pieces.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, celery, and garlic cook until onion is soft and translucent.
Mix in water, vegetable broth, tomatoes, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, and chopped bell pepper. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and red pepper flakes. Add bay leaf, thyme, basil, oregano, and rosemary. Mix in garlic, onion, and mustard powders. Stir in cumin and coriander.
Bring contents to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low simmer, covered, until sweet potatoes begin to disintegrate, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and cracked pepper to taste. Stir in fresh parsley, and serve.
10 Things to Do with Frozen Peas
In a food processor, combine a bag of thawed frozen peas, a handful each of mint leaves and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a garlic clove or two, and generous grindings of black pepper. With the machine on, add olive oil through the feed tube until the pesto is smooth, combined and thickened to the desired consistency. Thin with lemon juice, if needed. (Try this as a crostini spread topped with ricotta and chopped fresh herbs or fried prosciutto.)
Fry cubes of paneer (or firm tofu) in vegetable oil until browned drain on paper towels. In a large pot, sauté a generous pinch of cumin seed and a palmful of garam masala or curry powder until fragrant, then add a chopped onion and cook until the onion is softened and infused with the spices. Add a can of chopped tomatoes, 2 to 3 canfuls of water and bring to a simmer. Add the paneer back to the pot, simmer for a few minutes, then add a bag of frozen peas. Cook until thickened and heated through, at least 15 minutes. Serve over rice and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
Line a dutch oven with lettuce leaves, top with a layer of frozen peas no more than an inch deep and sprinkle with a generous pinch of sugar, season with salt and pepper and dot with butter repeat with more layers of lettuce and seasoned peas, ending with a layer of lettuce. Cook over low heat until the peas are heated through and the lettuce is wilted, adding water to the pan as needed. Stir together before serving, seasoning with more salt, pepper, and butter to taste.
Cook orecchiette until al dente drain, reserving a cupful of cooking water. Cook bacon in a large skillet drain and crumble the bacon, reserving a few spoonfuls of fat in the pan. Add a handful of chopped onion to the skillet and cook until softened, then add a cupful of frozen peas and cook until heated through. Stir in the pasta, then sprinkle with the crumbled bacon, a few handfuls each of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and chopped leafy herbs, such as parsley and chives. Stir to combine, adding some reserved pasta cooking water to loosen, as needed.
Combine frozen peas with a splash or two of water in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until heated through. Stir in diced tomatoes, a thinly sliced scallion, a generous handful of chopped parsley, and season with olive oil, lemon juice or white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
Soften a few tablespoons of butter in the microwave, then stir in some lemon juice, grated lemon zest, and chopped tarragon, and season with salt and pepper. Prepare couscous according to package directions, adding a cupful of frozen peas. Before fluffing the couscous and peas, add the seasoned butter, then fluff with a fork to combine. Cover and let sit a few minutes more.
Combine equal parts mashed potatoes and peas season with olive oil, salt, and coarsely ground fresh black pepper.
Melt a knob of butter in a saucepan, then add a chopped onion and cook until softened. Add a bag of frozen peas and enough chicken broth to cover by about 1/2 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly reduced. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add a generous handful of finely chopped leafy herbs, such as dill or chives, and finish with a splash of heavy cream or a generous spoonful of sour cream.
Saute thinly sliced scallion whites in butter, then stir in frozen peas and deglaze with white wine, using just enough so that the peas are steamed through. Turn off the heat, then stir in a generous pat of butter and season generously with freshly ground black pepper.
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven, then add a chopped onion and a few minced garlic cloves and cook until the onion is softened. Add a thinly sliced cured chorizo sausage and cook until heated through and the onions are tinted orange. Add a can of chopped tomatoes and a generous pinch of smoked paprika bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add a bag of frozen peas and cook until the peas are heated through. Bring the stew back to a simmer, then use a spoon to carve 4 to 6 wells on the surface. Crack an egg into each well, then cover and cook until the egg whites are set. Serve with crusty bread.
Economy-size bags of frozen peas are the station wagons of the frozen vegetable aisle: They're dependable and efficient, in that they're always ready to go when your pantry-pulled supper needs something green, and they're done cooking in 2 to 3 minutes, tops. Here are 10 recipes that will leave you asking for "more peas, please!"
Minty Sweet Pea and Zucchini Soup with Garlic Shrimp
“One of Ovid’s tales of godsend goddesses, written years ago, was inspired by mint-symbol of hospitality. Philemon and Baucis, man and wife, were living in Phrygia, a country in Asia Minor. The land was so poor, this couple had scarcely sufficient food to keep them alive. One day two strangers knocked at their door, asking to be fed. Despite their poverty, Philemon and Baucis were delighted to have guests and prepared the best meal possible from their meager supplies. Wanting to fill their humble home with an inviting fragrance, they rubbed their table with mint leaves. At that point their anxieties were passed – the guests proved to be Zeus and Hermes, incognito. The hovel was soon transformed into a temple, and priests ministered to all the needs of Philemon and Baucis for the duration of their lives.
Mint, plant historians claim, came originally from the Mediterranean shores. Mythology offers a far more romantic story: mint was once the nymph Mentha, unfortunate to have attracted the eye of Pluto. Persephone, his jealous wife, pursued Mentha and trod her ferociously underfoot. Pluto, unable to control his wife’s fury, changed Mentha into a delightful herb, ever after sacred to this god of the underworld.
Mint was well known and highly esteemed in the ancient world. We read in the Bible that the Pharisees paid tithes of mint, anise, and cumin. In Greece, crushed mint leaves were used as a perfume for the arms and to scent the bath”.
The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook
Here is the Birchwood Cafe’s lighthearted, innovative menu: hearty hand pies and multigrain salads, decadent pastries, and award-winning desserts. Organized by eight seasons, these dishes are inspired by the way weather affects our appetites and determines what comes from our land.
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to have Birchwood Cafe's delectable 'good real food' at home, the answer is here in this book. It will rejuvenate our commitment to healthier cooking with the best of Minnesota!
Creating a better world starts at home—in the kitchen—and for twenty years the Birchwood Cafe has guided diners to live and eat sustainably and joyfully. Now you can sample Birchwood’s recipes—adapted for home cooks—and fill your own table with some of the irresistible fare that has made the cafe one of the region’s best-loved restaurants.
In these pages, find Birchwood’s light-hearted, innovative menu: hearty hand pies and multigrain salads, decadent pastries, and award-winning desserts. Organized by eight seasons, these dishes are inspired by the way weather affects our appetites and determines what comes from our land. With Spring, we celebrate beginnings, tossing up fragrant herbs, tender greens, and tart rhubarb. Come Summer, we fire up the grill and get outside when Scorch hits and those dog days dampen appetites, we whip up cool soups and refreshing salads. Then Autumn, with its collision of apples, pears, pumpkins, and kale and as Dusk falls, we get cozy with bowls of savory soup. Frost tempts us back to the stove with nourishing roots. Ready for Winter, we gather close with friends near the hearth, ladling up warming stews. Come Thaw, look to the first food of the season as the maple syrup runs and we anticipate a new year. The pantry chapter features Chef Marshall Paulsen’s condiments—chutney, jam, preserves, and vinaigrettes—which can transform the simplest dish into a spectacular plate.
Owner Tracy Singleton and Chef Marshall share Birchwood stories and memories, plus practical tips and insights. Just as Birchwood Cafe is more than a restaurant, this is more than a cookbook. The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook shows you what it takes to make a sustainable kitchen and a joyful table, to prepare “good real food” that really does more than a little good.
$29.95 paper ISBN 978-0-8166-7986-7
200 pages, 70 color plates, 8 x 9,
Tracy Singleton is the founder and owner of the Birchwood Cafe, where Marshall Paulsen is chef. A longtime writer on local foods, Beth Dooley’s books include The Northern Heartland Kitchen and Minnesota’s Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook, a collaboration with photographer Mette Nielsen, whose work includes The Spoonriver Cookbook and The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper.
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to have Birchwood Cafe's delectable 'good real food' at home, the answer is here in this book. It will rejuvenate our commitment to healthier cooking with the best of Minnesota!
Birchwood is more than a cafe—it is a community. For close to seventy-five years this little corner has become a vibrant gathering place where neighbors, farmers, families, and friends come together around food. The stories, recipes, and the people who make it all happen are embodied in this beautiful book, bringing the Birchwood experience into our homes and kitchens and onto our tables.
Michael Ableman, farmer and author of From the Good Earth, On Good Land, and Fields of Plenty*
Fresh organic food with purpose and right tribe the Birchwood Cafe is the Blue Zone of Minneapolis! This gracious and simple cafe has a big presence in our lives—Marshall’s tasty food and Tracy’s social activism have led the way for many healthy and sustainable initiatives and have us all thinking about where our food comes from. Now, you can bring this delicious, conscious, and healthful way of life into your own kitchen.
Dan Buettner, National Geographic Fellow and New York Times bestselling author of Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People
I had no problem slotting the recipes into our lives. These were all foods that we wanted to eat together, as a family, after a busy day. They
Clear and concise recipes for fresh and healthy foods paired with profiles of the farmers Paulsen and Singleton make this a great gift for the healthy eater or vegetarian.
Locavores will love The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook. . . The seasonal chapters of this new tome show home cooks how to use the freshest ingredients in their cooking.
Introduction: An Invitation to Cook from Birchwood Cafe Owner Tracy Singleton
Chef Marshall Paulsen
What Is Good Real Food?
Using This Cookbook
Herby Radmann, Bullfrog Fish Farm (Menomonie, Wisconsin)
Gail and Maurice Smith, DragSmith Farms (Barron, Wisconsin)
Asparagus, Cheddar, and Quinoa Savory Waffle (GF)
Spring Egg Scramble (GF)
Smoked Trout Quiche
Basic Pastry Crust
Carrot Ginger Soup (V) (GF)
Potato Beet Salad (V) (GF)
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (GF)
Arugula Basil Pesto (GF)
Cilantro Cashew Pesto (V) (GF)
Mint Jalapeño Pesto (GF)
Watercress Mint Chermoula (Moroccan Pesto) (V) (GF)
Spring Vegetable Pizza
Turkey Salad with Avocado Puree (GF)
Millet-Crusted Trout (GF)
Red Pepper Chickpea Puree (GF)
Rhubarb Pecan Bars
Rhubarb Brown Sugar Scones
Greg and Mary Reynolds, Riverbend Farm (Delano, Minnesota)
Steven Read and Jodi Ohlsen Read, Shepherd’s Way Farms (Nerstrand, Minnesota)
Egg and Bacon Sandwich
Vive la France French Toast with Macerated Berries and Honey-Roasted Almonds
Chilled Sweet Pea and Mint Soup (V) (GF)
Strawberry Salad with Garlic Chèvre Mousse (GF)
Honey-Roasted Almonds (V) (GF)
Tour de France Turkey Burger
Sesame Green Bean and Quinoa Salad (V) (GF)
Summer Vegetable Flatbread
Grilled Pork Chop with Polenta (GF)
Strawberry and Rhubarb Cornmeal Cobbler
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Tim Fischer, Fischer Family Farms Pork (Waseca, Minnesota)
Konstantin Berkovski (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Sweet Corn Chipotle Coulis (GF)
Sweet Corn Wheat Berry Savory Waffle
Stone Fruit Salsa (V) (GF)
Breakfast Black Beans and Rice with Avocado Puree (GF)
Cucumber Basil Gazpacho (V) (GF)
Heirloom Tomato Plate (GF)
Spicy Peanut Penne Salad (V)
Three Bean Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette (V) (GF)
Veggie Baba Ghanoush Pizza (V)
Black Bean Quinoa Burger (V) (GF)
Avocado Chèvre Mousse (GF)
Heirloom Tomato Sweet Corn BLT
Sweet Corn Risotto (GF)
Grilled Corn with Crème Fraîche (GF)
Seed Crackers (V)
Stone Fruit Maple Quinoa Crisp (V) (GF)
Blueberry Muffins (V)
Peterson Limousin Farms (Osceola, Wisconsin)
Jack Hedin, Featherstone Farm (Rushford, Minnesota)
Cinnamon Apple Farro Pancakes
Seasoned Butter (GF)
Apple Cinnamon Butter
Lemon Pepita Butter
Mint Honey Butter
Autumn Vegetable Quiche
Chicken Spaetzle Soup
Maple Squash Soup (V) (GF)
Apple and Bent River Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette (GF)
Cherry Hazelnut Turkey Salad (GF)
Limousin Beef Brisket with Maple Squash Mash and Aronia Berry Coulis (GF)
Braised Beef Pizza
Limousin Beef Sandwich with Roasted Pear Mayo
Apple Walnut Scones
Jim Riddle, Blue Fruit Farm (Winona, Minnesota)
John Peterson, Ferndale Market (Cannon Falls, Minnesota)
Bacon Blueberry Black Currant Oatmeal (GF)
Squash Parsnip Tofu Scramble (V) (GF)
Chili Bean Chili! (V) (GF)
Spicy Tofu and Quinoa Salad (V) (GF)
Beet Chèvre Terrine (GF)
Chicken Confit (GF)
Chicken Confit Mushroom Pizza
Cranberry Gastrique (V) (GF)
Parsnip Pear Sandwich (V)
Birchwood Burger with Duxelles
Lemon Hazelnut Sea Salt Cookies
Sweet Potato Pie with Oatmeal Walnut Crust (GF)
Tarragon Cornbread (GF)
Castle Rock Organic Farms (Osseo, Wisconsin)
Bruce Bacon, Garden Farme (Ramsey, Minnesota)
Buttermilk Sweet Waffles with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Tofu Breakfast Scramble (V) (GF)
Coconut, Turkey, and Lime Wild Rice Soup (GF)
Chipotle and Sweet Potato Salad (GF)
Birchwood Broccoli Salad (V) (GF)
Maple Ham Pizza
Birchwood Pizza and Flatbread Dough (V)
Turkey Burgers with Creamed Kale (GF)
Sweet Potato Cakes (V) (GF)
Indonesian Chicken Stew (GF)
Pumpkin Hand Pie
Birchwood Hand Pie Dough
Sweet and Spicy Beets (V) (GF)
Grapefruit Bran Muffins
Pumpkin Cheesecake (GF)
Doug Hilgendorf, Whole Grain Milling (Welcome, Minnesota)
Eric and Lisa Klein, Hidden Stream Farm (Elgin, Minnesota)
Maple Oatmeal Crème Brûlée (GF)
Apple Turnip Quiche
Smoked Turkey and Citrus Wild Rice Salad (GF)
Blue Cheese, Walnut, Roasted Pear Puree, and Pickled Onion Pizza
French Fries! (V) (GF)
Winter Vegetable Hand Pie
Blood Orange Gastrique
Winter Veggie and Tofu Sauté with Gingered Garlic Sauce (V) (GF)
Mushroom Mac and Cheese
Brandied Turkey Stew with Cauliflower Sweet Potato Puree (GF)
Cream Cheese Pumpkin Brownies
Tangelo Thyme Mini Donuts (V) (GF)
Joe and Rebecca Schwen, Heartbeet Farm (Zumbro Falls, Minnesota)
Steven and Dawn Wood, Woods Maple Orchard (Elmwood, Wisconsin)
Surly Maple Braised Pork Belly Benedict
Sweet Potato, Brown Rice, and Kale Savory Waffle
Poached Garlic and Cauliflower Soup (V) (GF)
Tomato Fennel Ragout (V) (GF)
Birchwood Turkey Burger with Rosemary-Lemon Mascarpone
Blue Cheese Ranch Mayo (GF)
Sunny Day Sandwich (V)
Green Curry with Tofu (V) (GF) or Fish (GF)
Glazed Grapefruit Bread
Honey Almond Bars
The Birchwood Pantry
Cranberry Tangelo Jam
Blueberry Black Currant Jam
Rhubarb Strawberry Jam
Rhubarb Jalapeño Marmalade
Kumquat Honey Preserves
Cranberry Quince Chutney
Pear Cranberry Chutney
Meyer Lemon Syrup
Pickles, Condiments, and Oils
Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Pickled Red Onions
Roasted Meyer Lemon Oil
Horseradish Mustard Oil
Vinaigrettes, Salad Dressings, and Sauces
Roasted Pear Vinaigrette
Orange Honey Vinaigrette
Green Tea Vinaigrette
Strawberry White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Sesame Tamari Vinaigrette
Poached Garlic and Honey Vinaigrette
Birchwood Aioli (with variations)
Anaheim Chili Sauce
Italian wedding soup is classic and often, a crowd favorite too. It can now be prepared effortlessly with the help of a slow cooker. This recipe does require homemade meatballs, however, the time and effort that go into preparing them will be well worth the effort.
Both the homemade meatballs and the soup are infused with fragrant seasonings. It’s also important to note that the pasta is not added to the slow cooker until 20 minutes prior to dinnertime. This is because if the pasta is added in too early, you’ll be left with soggy, overcooked pasta!
Buckwheat flour gives this gnocchi weightiness and an earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with a spring mix of peas and spinach. Get the recipe for Buckwheat and Ricotta Gnocchi with Cream, Peas, and Spinach » Con Poulos
Bacon, parmesan, and pine nuts combine with a medley of cooked and raw vegetables to make a satisfying salad from The Canal House’s Christopher Hirsheimer. Get the recipe for Cooked and Raw Winter Salad » Ingalls Photography
GOOD EATINGFor Stylish Dining In the East 60's
Aureole, in a towering town-house space, has plaster reliefs of wildlife along its cream-color walls. Swans, fish and turtles can be seen from the street through the restaurant's two-story window. Top-notch service and the enthralling cuisine of Charlie Palmer complete the picture. For starters, there are duck preparations, including roulade of foie gras, smoked sausage and leg confit with chickory poached artichokes in a balsamic-flavor broth on a bed of greens with fried shallots and golden tomato coulis, or warm lobster vichyssoise, enriched by melted leeks and potato crisps. Main courses include grilled scaloppine of duck with a preserved fig sauce peppered venison steak, accompanied by caramelized parsnips, mushroom spatzle and butternut squash flan, and seared tuna steak coated with a sesame glaze and served with roasted fennel, potato-onion cake and braised bok choy. (Review: 5/10/91 article: 4/18/93)
JO JO*** (212) 223-5656 160 East 64th Street $(c) all major credit cards
A setting with a congenial Parisian feel is the perfect match for Jean-Georges Vongerichten's refined cooking. Jo Jo's limited menu includes appetizers of goat cheese and potato terrine with baby lettuces and arugula juice broiled scallops and celeriac remoulade, topped with osetra caviar, and a ragout of 27 vegetables simmered in their own juice with a drizzle of parsley-flavor oil. Among main courses are roasted monkfish with a nutmeg-flavor caper-raisin emulsion slow-baked salmon, served with truffled potato puree, and ginger-roasted chicken with coriander juice and chickpea fries. (Review: 7/12/91) LE CIRQUE*** (212) 794-9292 58 East 65th Street $$(c) all major credit cards
To celebrate its 22d anniversary, this acclaimed institution is offering a $22 prix-fixe lunch the week of April 15, with dishes and prices reflecting those of 22 years ago. Diners might begin with artichoke filled with lump crabmeat seafood crepe -- holding shrimp, scallops and lobster in a light cream sauce, or omelette chasseur, made with wild mushrooms and potatoes. Featured entrees will include lamb curry served with basmati rice and a sprightly melange of spring vegetables roast loin of pork with rosemary and an accompaniment of broccoli rabe, sweet garlic and sauteed potatoes, and grilled fillet of flounder. For dessert there will be bread pudding, coffee-flavor frozen souffle and Le Cirque's renowned creme brulee . (Review: 10/29/93)
MAD 61** (212) 833-2200 10 East 61st Street $(c) all major credit cards
In this upbeat, stylish spot in Barney's uptown store, a solid kitchen team turns out savory Italian fare. On the current menu are appetizers of grilled calamari combined with tomato confit and fine herb salad seared sea scallops paired with watercress, turnips, leeks and caramelized ginger, and braised vegetables in an herbaceous lemon-grass broth. Another good way to begin is with thin-crust pizzas, topped, for instance, by tomato, mozzarella and basil or tomato, prosciutto, arugula and mozzarella. Pastas and main courses include cavatelli, tossed with sausage and broccoli rape garganelli with zucchini and smoked mozzarella basil-marinated tournedos of salmon accompanied by sweet-and-sour onions, braised cabbage and mashed potatoes grilled tuna garnished with wilted greens, chickpea ragout and caramelized onions, and wild mushroom fricassee, served over soft polenta with creamy spinach. (Review: 11/5/93)
MATCH UPTOWN* (212) 906-9173 33 East 60th Street $(c) all major credit cards
At Match Uptown, dining is as much about ambiance as it is about food. The bar is hot the lounge is cool, with a sushi bar. You can begin with an unconventional split pea soup, made with smoked shiitake mushrooms, celeriac and potato grilled shrimp combined with soba noodles and vegetables in a ginger, sesame and wild mushroom broth salmon tartare on potato-rye blini, or sushi or sashimi from the sushi bar. Among main courses, steamed salmon is braised with Asian greens in a cinnamon-and-carrot-infusion, monkfish is sauteed and complemented by gingered vegetables and roasted acorn squash and finished with a tangy lemon-grass broth, filet mignon is seared and topped with a red wine sauce and paired with a potato strudel, and fettuccine is tossed with shrimp, mussels and purple basil. (Review: 7/14/95)
MATTHEW'S** (212) 838-4343 1030 Third Avenue, at 61st Street $(c) all major credit cards
Matthew's, with its rattan chairs, baskets of fruit and ceiling fans lazily cutting through the air, looks like a coffeetable book come to life. The appealing American menu has a spring selection of appetizers like sweet pea soup scented with cardamom, roasted mussels in a clay pot with garlic bread, a lettuce medley studded with roasted almonds and green olives and topped with manchego cheese, and exotic calamari fricassee, blending curry leaves, chili and avocado. Entrees include pan-roasted red snapper, garnished with onions coated with a pomegranate glaze duck Sicilian style, in a sauce of almonds, olives and dates baked trout in a walnut crust, served with mushrooms and finished with a parsley sauce, and rabbit in a coriander crust, matched with a green herb risotto. (Review: 11/26/93)
SIGN OF THE DOVE*** (212) 861-8080 1110 Third Avenue, at 65th Street $$(c) all major credit cards
The romantic ambiance and Andrew Dɺmico's excellent cooking make it easy to understand the popularity of this dining establishment. From the spring menu, try the bright sweet pea soup with crawfish tails and pea shoots, seared skate and wilted mesclun greens drizzled with a peppery pancetta vinaigrette, or crab salad topped with a Malpeque oyster and garnished with pickled golden beets and Asian pears. Main courses include pan-roasted salmon in a potent jus of lemon, tomato and artichoke lasagna made with layers of morel mushrooms, ramps and fava beans and scented with truffle juice and fresh tarragon, and sauteed breast of duck with a coriander seed sauce and accompaniments of a fennel-and-leek napoleon and scallion crepes. (Review: 3/1/91 article: 1/17/92)
Classy Basics THE POST HOUSE* (212) 935-2888 28 East 63d Street $$(c) all major credit cards
This classy East Side steakhouse has a warm dining room with an Americana theme. Popular starters include Maryland crabcakes, grilled barbecued shrimp, and fried calamari with sweet or hot dipping sauce. Recommended main courses are triple-thick lamb chops, prime rib, sirloin steaks and filet mignon in a zesty peppercorn sauce. Also on the menu are lobster sauteed chicken with lemon-pepper sauce, and broiled sole. Side dishes, like hash browns, steak fries and fried zucchini, are terrific. (Review: 5/29/92 article: 1/21/94)
Summaries of reviews use the star system others are culled from articles (indicated by +), the $25 and Under column (++) and Diner's Journal (
The Star System The New York Times's star system rates restaurants on the following scale.
**** Extraordinary *** Excellent ** Very Good * Good None Poor to Satisfactory
Price Range The price symbols are based on the cost of a three-course dinner with tax and a 15 percent tip (drinks not included).
$ $25 and under $ $25 to $40 $$ $40 to $55 $$ $55 and over
Past reviews. Hundreds of Times restaurant reviews are available from @times, an arts and entertainment guide on America Online. Software and information: (800) 548-5201.
Indian Kabocha & Lentil Soup
As with many of my recipes on the blog, this Indian Kabocha & Lentil Soup was the result of a happy accident at the grocery store. As I absentmindedly picked through the gourds in the produce section, I grabbed what I had thought to be an acorn squash. When I got home, I realized that the acorn squash looked… off. I really wasn’t sure what I had purchased and I placed the odd gourd on our kitchen counter. I had no idea what to do with it! Days passed and the next time I went to the store, I browsed by the same section in the produce department. I found that I had actually bought a kabocha squash and when I got home, decided to do some research.
A quick Google search taught me that kabocha tastes like a cross between a sweet potato and a pumpkin… perfect for fall soup! After learning how to cut, roast, and peel a kabocha squash, I set to work on creating this recipe for lunch! Jason is a huge fan of this dish and topped his bowl with spicy Sriracha sauce. Yum!