I love soup. It’s warm, it’s filling, it’s delicious, and every culture has their own take on what you can do with a bowl and a spoon.
As you can imagine, my Seamless soup delivery man and I are very close. We even sing each other Christmas carols in December as he walks the three flights up to my apartment.
Frankly, though, soup in the summer is just inappropriate.
But Beth, you say, there’s gazpacho! There’s vichyssoise!
Well, gazpacho is not a soup. Gazpacho is a bloody mary without the vodka.
Vichyssoise? Don’t lie to me and tell me that thick ass puree of potatoes, leeks, cream and chicken stock wouldn’t taste a gazpachillion times better hot.
Most recently, I was craving a bowl of hot and bubbly cold-weather soup but I simply couldn’t muster a crock of French Onion in 100% humidity. Forced to work with the elements (i.e. on a hot summer day when the desire to move and/or make anything lengthy in the kitchen is minimal), my Summer Onion Soup was born.
It is the yin to winter’s cheesy and rich French Onion yang. With three different types of seasonal onion/garlic-related vegetables, plus some chicken, zucchini and potato to round out the dish, this soup is bright, light and flavorful and totally appropriate for summer. It’s like the white jeans of soup.
Summer Onion Soup
- 1 small, whole Chicken
- 16 oz. unsalted Vegetable or Chicken Stock
- 1 bunch fresh Scallions, cleaned and sliced into 3-4″ long pieces
- 5 sprigs Thyme
- 1 head fresh Garlic, cloves separated and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch Garlic Scapes, ends removed and sliced into 3-4″ long pieces
- 5 small Potatoes with a fancy name, quartered (I prefer Augusta potatoes because Augustus was the heir to Caesar and I love Caesar salad. I mean, who doesn’t? And August is my birth month so it works in so many ways. Just make sure the reason you choose your potato has a great story behind it – it’ll make the soup taste better.)
- 2 medium Green Zucchini, cut into 2-3″ chunks
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Maldon Salt
- Generously season the chicken on all sides with salt. Coat the bottom a large dutch oven or soup pot with a thin layer of olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Place chicken in the pot breast-side-up and cook until the bottom is golden brown, around 3-5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and pour in stock. Add enough water to the pot so the chicken is almost covered (you want the top 1/8th exposed but that seemed a little anal to state given my naturally lackadaisical demeanor. Important to note that this soup was also invented on a day where I attempted to minimize dishes and knife work – hence, the whole chicken).
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot except the zucchini. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
- Remove the chicken and thyme sprigs from the pot. Discard thyme and place the chicken on a cutting board. Turn off the heat, add the zucchini to the pot and put the cover back on.
- Depending on how hungry you are, at this point you can either brave the scalding hot chicken and start tearing the meat off with your mighty heat resistant talons you call hands, or you can stick the chicken in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes until that bird has cooled the eff down. Either way, pick the meat off the bird, tearing or cutting the meat into large pieces (around 3″ long) and placing back in the pot.
- Stir the soup around a bit so the chicken can get reacquainted with its old friends and taste for seasoning, adjusting if necessary. Serve HOT.
Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits but most strawberry desserts are pretty miserable.
Chocolate dipped strawberries are the most overrated dessert of all time. Strawberry ice cream can be pretty hit-or-miss, most often a miss. Strawberry rhubarb stuff… that’s pretty good I guess (but it needs the rhubarb to make it great!).
When making a dessert with strawberries, I always veer simple and make sure to purchase my fruit in-season and from the green market (versus just munching on them raw where it could be December and I really could care less just give me my gawd damn berries mmkay). Green market strawberries have a sweetness and depth of flavor no supermarket berry has ever come close to.
A great, super simple dessert that anyone can do – even if they live in a studio with a hot plate for a kitchen and a shared bathroom – is macerated strawberries. I always gravitate towards a simple flavor profile of vodka/vanilla/lemon combo with a bit of aged balsamic for added depth, inspired by April Bloomfield’s recipe in A Girl and Her Pig. Using my recipe below as a guide, you can sub in your favorite strawberry flavorings – adding in herbs or switching up the sugar, alcohol or spices.
I prefer to spoon these strawberries over vanilla gelato for the perfect summer dessert but they’re are also great over angel food or cheesecake, yogurt, pancakes or oatmeal. (NOTE: if you have these in the morning, remember the vodka is still quite active).
with Vodka & Vanilla
- 2 pints Tristar Strawberries (or other green market variety), hulled & halved
- 1/3 cup good quality Vodka
- ¼ Granulated Sugar
- 2 Vanilla Beans, halved & insides scraped out (discard beans)
- Zest & Juice of ½ Lemon
- ¼ cup Aged Balsamic Vinegar (that syrupy ish)
- 2T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Large pinch of Maldon Salt
- 2t Black Pepper
- Using your hands, mix together all ingredients except for the strawberries in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add the strawberries and toss to combine, smooshing around 1/3 of the strawberries into a pulp with your hands as you do it. Taste for sweetness and acidity and adjust if necessary.
- Cover and chill until ready to serve.
In my marginally humble opinion, radishes are just about the most rad vegetable ever. Radishes are delicious, beautiful and – dare I say it – adorable. They’re even more adorable than baby corn.
In fact, in Japan, radishes are seen as so adorable that people carve them into cute little edible art pieces.
(Nevermind that these a more reminiscent of bad taxidermy than actual food…)
Behind the dainty, tickled pink hue of a radish lies a crisp and peppery vegetable with a taste that ranges from mildly spicy to horseradish hot.
(”All it comes down to is this. I taste like a spicy crunchy wasabi jicama guy but look great.” – Patrick Bateman, radish spokesperson)
Radishes can be eaten in a variety of ways: straight up Frenchie with butter and sea salt, in a crudite, roasted, pickled, or – one of my personal favorites – in a salad as the star ingredient.
When making a radish salad, the secret to making it not just a good radish salad but a great radish salad is all in the massage.
Deep tissue that radish.
You literally want to feel like you are trying to push the other ingredients into the radish. Radishes have a high water content and are pretty porous on the inside so by massaging the radish with the other ingredients, you are imparting the maximum amount of flavor into the vegetable.
Even though radishes taste pretty strong solo, they easily take on other flavors. Richer salad ingredients – like aged vinegars and cheeses – are perfect in a radish salad because the light and crunchy radish balances the heavier components with its signature, palate-cleansing bite.
So, without further ado, here is one of my go-to recipes for a tasty radish salad.
Radish Salad with
Aged Balsamic, Basil & Parm
- 2 bunches of Radishes (whatever color or type strikes your fancy, just make sure they’re firm and pretty blemish-free)
- 5 leaves of Basil
- 5oz Parmigiano Reggiano
- Handful of Sunflower Shoots
- Handful of Micro Russian Red Kale (substitute with small bits of torn Lacinato Kale if this is unavailable)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Good quality, aged Balsamic Vinegar (break out the good ish for this recipe)
- Maldon Salt & Black Pepper
- Clean the radishes, removing the greens and saving for another use if you wish. Halve the small radishes and quarter the large guys so all the pieces of radish are around the same size. Place in a large bowl.
- Tear the basil into medium-sized bits and add to the bowl. Break off small chunks of the parm with your hand (sometimes it helps to use a fork or paring knife to get the cheese going) into the bowl.
- Add a large pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper and start massaging the radish, basil and parm together in the bowl, pressing the cheese and herb bits into the radish chunks with your hands. Add lemon juice, a drizzle of balsamic and continue to massage until the ingredients have incorporated themselves around each radish chunk
- Add sunflower shoots, micro kale, and a drizzle of olive oil to the bowl. Gently toss to combine (the greens are delicate!). Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Serve immediately with a little more balsamic drizzled on top.
More vintage goodness from the archives! Below is a throwback post from Beth Food Ever 1.0 circa 2013 for your reading pleasure.
We’ve discussed my trendiness and its tendency to make me want to vomit. I’m not sure why it keeps coming up but I believe it may have something to do with that recent week I spent in suburbia…
I’m glad we don’t have to discuss it again.
Moving along, I’m now going to broach on a topic that is the epitome of trendiness: kale.
When you, as in you I mean kale: the food, are being made into puns (see title), it means you’ve hit the big time buddy.
Obviously, people who “know food” have “known kale” (not biblically speaking, but I have heard in some sects of co-op groceries…) for a very long-time.
It is only recently that the people who frequent Applebee’s two or more times per week (statistically speaking),
drive a P.T. Cruiser (again, the statistics don’t lie),
and consider Domino’s their “local” pizza joint have discovered this superfood…
Not to generalize and/or stereotype or anything.
Moving along, part deux: kale edition.
I have loved kale before kale was kale so I’m just going to ignore all the haters a la Gwynny-P and show you some dank ass kale shnit.
Preach, my kale loving soul sister from another mister.
One of the most convenient and crunchy ways to eat kale is kale chips.
But, kale chips in the grocery store are so gross (like SO gross) and so expensive (like SO expensive) that I literally want to scream at everyone who picks them up with their smug faces being all smug “DO YOU LIKE DRIED BABY VOMIT THAT COSTS $15 FOR .25 OUNCES, DO YOU???”
With the current pricing structure – strictly speaking on a pound-for-pound basis – kale chips sold at grocery stores are more valuable than gold, cocaine, white truffles from Alba, doll hairs, and this girl’s virginity.
Believe it or not, even though grocery store kale chips are the epitome of grossness, homemade kale chips are flipping delicious and actually super easy to make so you can whip a batch up on the reg for reals.
The recipe I’m going to present right now will change your life forever. You’re welcome.
KALE CHIPS DONE RIGHT
- 1 bunch Lacinato/Dinosaur/Tuscan Kale
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 baking sheets
- 1 large bowl
- Kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Derib your kale, discarding the ribs and stems. The stems and ribs get woody and gross when you bake them so just trust me on this one.
You should end up with nice big strips of kale.
2. Place the prepared kale in a large bowl and toss with extra virgin olive oil until each kale leaf is coated and lightly slicked with the oil.
3. Divide the kale evenly among the two baking sheets, arranging them in a single layer. No double stacking! Sprinkle the kale with kosher salt. Bake them at 250°F for 50 minutes to 1 hour until done.
You know the kale chips are done because they’ll be super crispy, wafer thin, and tasty tasty nom nom.
* * * HOSTRESS TIP * * *
I like to arrange the finished kale chips in a vase or tall glass so they maintain their crispy, long shape. It’s a great edible centerpiece alternative to fleurs.
ALSO I’d like to address the seasoning options you have with homemade kale chips ie beyond the obvious salt. The seasoning possibilities are utterly maddening!
Mix your flavors up by simply buying one of those handy-dandy one-time-use-only pre-made spice mixes at the grocery store.
Some flavors to try:
- French Onion
Expand your mind. There’s a world of possibilities out there.
* * * 20-SOMETHING TIP * * *
Make a batch before a night out on the town with your gal pals
so you have some low-cal drunchie food to come home to.
It’s crunchy, salty, and you can eat a ton of it.
(Should’ve made the kale chips)
AND you can still hit up that bloody mary brunch the next day with said gal pals and not be forced to order the shitty fruit plate sans Greek yogurt, sans honey, sans organic flax chia acai granola out of post-drunchie guilt.
We’ve all been there.
From all walks of life (and/or walks of shame).
But we don’t have to go back.
Thanks to kale chips.
Below is a vintage post from Beth Food Ever 1.0 circa 2013 for your reading pleasure.
Sometimes I’m so trendy it makes me want to vomit. This is true.
But eff all the haters.
I’m gonna embrace my god-given foodily trendiness.
That’s right…. bring on the mason jars, bitch.
However, unlike other Pinterest hos, I’m actually quite proud of my original mason jar creation. In fact, I’m not even going to Google it to see if someone else has done it before. That would merely depress me.
(Update: I have since Googled it. Ex-nay on the riginal-ay.)
I mean, all in all, mason jars are actually pretty great and easy to find too. You can purchase them at your local hardware store, Target, Sur la Table, etc.
Walmart does not sell mason jars. Actually, I didn’t check. But just like don’t go there because that would be gross.
ANYWAYS back to the mason jars. People (and by people I mean me, and by me I mean you and me) love for the following reasons:
1. They’re cheap as fuck.
2. You can drink out of them.
Mason jar margs! (Would this actually work though on a blender….? Someone try it and let me know.)
(But I imagine something like this would happen.)
3. You can eat out of them.
I’m sorry that just looks stupid and pointless.
4. You can get crafty with them.
This could actually work and be efficient…
5. You can actually do what their original purpose was and can with them.
But that would be too simple.
6. And you can COOK and EAT out of them.
Genius (I know).
Which brings us to our recipe, courtesy of moi. It is really quite simple, quite delicious, and clean-up is a febreeze. Also it’s totally seasonal which everyone loves. Le duh.
Candied Ginger Apple Jar Tart with Oat Crisp Topping
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples; peeled, cored, and cut into 1” chunks
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 2 tablespoons candied ginger, finely chopped
- ¼ cup flour, divided
- ½ cup oats (not quick cooking)
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, diced into ¼” bits
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup prepared or purchased sugar cookie dough
- ½ cup fresh whipped cream, lightly sweetened
- Non-stick cooking spray
Special Equipment: 4 half-pint mason jars
- ) Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray each mason jar with the non-stick cooking spray. Divide the cookie dough into four 2-tablespoon balls. Flatten the balls to ¼”-thick disks and lightly press the dough into the bottom of each mason jar, letting the dough go slightly up the side of the jar.
- ) Place chunked Granny Smith apples in a medium bowl. Add fresh lemon juice, apple pie spice, finely chopped candied ginger, ¼ teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons flour. Toss ingredients together until the apples are evenly coated. Divide the mixture equally between the four mason jars.
- ) In a small bowl, mix together the oats, vegetable oil, and the rest of the light brown sugar, flour, and salt. Add the diced butter and with your hands, gently incorporate the butter. Divide the oat crisp mixture equally amongst the four fruit-filled mason jars, lightly packing the topping down.
- ) Place the mason jars on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the topping has set and is golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes and serve with fresh whipped cream.
Just make it. It’s so good.
And you’ll have leftover cookie dough nomnomnom.