It is crunch time! I did’nt realize February has but 28 days. It has been a busy month and I have missed out on posting a strawberry treat for AFAM. Reading my previous post on hot and sour soup, Asha suggested that I send my soup for Alanna’s “Soup’s on” event. I sent in the link to Alanna without even mentioning the event in my post:) hehe…stupid me. That, obviously is not acceptable. So, here is another soup that I brewed up keeping in mind the deadlines for two events: the “Soup’s on” and ……..yeah, you got that right “JFI-Potato“. This time, it is my chance to say ’Ek pathar se do shikaar‘(two prays with one stone). I mixed and matched ingredients from 4 different recipes in 3 different books (Potato, leek and pea soup, Spinach and orzo soup, spring soup with barley and leak and carrot soup). Hence, the recipe is very versatile and additions and deletion can be made according to taste…just make sure you use the potatoes and leeks though, if you want to retain the name on it. Potato gives the soup its texture and leek its fabulous flavor. Here is what you need:
Potatoes – 2 nos medium sized
Leek – 1 no
Bay leaves – 2 nos
Red onions – 1/2 medium sized
Garlic – 2 cloves
Parsley – 1/2 bunch
Celery – 1 stem
Barley – 2 tbsp uncooked
Orzo – 2 tbsp uncooked
salt to taste
pepper to taste
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Water – 5-6 cups
Chop up the potatoes, leeks and celery to 1/2 inch pieces. Heat up olive oil and saute the onions till they are translucent. Add the garlic and bay leaves and saute for a minute. Add all the veggies and cover it up with water. Add salt and let this simmer away till the veggies are cooked well. Take half the soup out, let it cool down and then puree it. To the other half that is on the stove, add uncooked orzo, barley and chopped parsley. Continue cooking till the pasta is done. Dilute it further if required. Now add the pureed half and add salt and pepper according to taste. Garnish with parsley and serve hot.
Last week when we were at our local grocery store, my husband complained that they had stopped selling his favourite sun-dried tomato ravioli that used to be one of his staple meals before marriage. I guess the store decided that since he was now married and had a wife who could cook, they didnt need to make his favourite ravioli anymore. Blame it on me or on the store, the most obvious thing to do was to make my husband say ‘I dont miss the store bought ravioli anymore’. I remembered one of the episodes of Everyday Italian on Food network, in which Giada made spinach and sausage ravioli with wonton wraps. Ah! brainwave!!! Back home with a packet of wonton wraps and my brain loaded with brilliant ideas, I opened my pantry to find I was out of sun-dried tomatoes!! I should have thought about that. The closest thing to sundried tomatoes was a bottle of sundried tomato pesto that I use in pastas. I found my imagination at work again and came up with very simple ‘can do this after work’ recipes for two kinds of raviolis – Sundried tomatoes and Spinach-mushroom. Here are the recipes:
Sundried tomatoes filling
Sundried tomatoes pesto 4 tbsp
Grated Cheese any kind (I used cheddar + mozzarella) 3/4 cup
Mix the above 2 ingredients and that’s that!
Spinach – mushroom filling
Basil pesto 3 tbsp
Spinach cooked, chopped and drained 1/2 cup
Mushroom 1/4 cup
Crumbled paneer or riccotta cheese 2 tbsp
Make sure all the water is drained from the spinach. It should be nearly dry. Mix the above ingredients.
Preparing the ravioli:
Lay a wonton wrap on a cutting board. Place a spoonful of filling in the centre. Place another wrap on top of it and press it in lightly. Make sure the filling doesnt creep out of its designated area. Add about 2 tbsp of water to 1 tbsp of all purpose flour. Use this to seal the edges (you could also use eggwash). Press edges tightly and make sure there are no gaps. You could use a ravioli cutter and trim the edges for a store made finish. I just pressed the edges down with a fork.
Boil water in a big pot and drop in the raviolis 5-6 at a time. It takes about 4 minutes to cook up a batch. Once you take them out, rub some olive oil on each of them, else they tend to stick together.
Mix this with your favourite pasta sauce and you are done!