Chilled Cumin-Spiked Tomato Soup

Recipe from “Sylvia’s Table” by Liz Neumark

Ingredients (serves 4-6):
2 tsp cumin
2 lb ripe tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup ice water (optional)

Directions:
1) Toss the cumin in a small skillet over low heat, stirring, just until fragrant, 1-2 minutes; do not let it burn.

2) Combine tomatoes, onion, and 2 tbsp cilantro in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; add the toasted cumin, 2 tbsp lime juice, and salt and stir to combine. Refrigerate the soup until it is thoroughly chilled, at least one hour.

3) Meanwhile, puree the yogurt and remaining cilantro in a blender until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, adjust the soup to taste with additional salt and lime juice; add ice water as needed if you would like a thinner texture.

4) Divide the soup among individual chilled bowls and garnish with a generous swirl of cilantro yogurt.

Rhubarb Applesauce with Toasted Oats

 
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Ingredients:

For the applesauce

1 lb rhubarb stalks cut into ½-inch pieces
½ lb apples
½ cup sugar

For the oats

½ cup rolled oats
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons olive oil

 

Directions:

1.       In a saucepan, combine rhubarb pieces with sugar over low heat. Stir frequently as it starts to cook, making sure the sugar doesn’t burn.

2.       Add apples as rhubarb begins to cook down.

3.       Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, and once shimmering, add oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cook for 5 minutes until well combined and oats become crispy.

When apples have almost cooked down, remove from heat. Taste for sweetness. Let cool and serve with toasted oats sprinkled on top.

 

Braised Fennel

Ingredients

  • 1 fennel bulb with frond attached
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of half a lemon 
  • Freshly grated Parmesan (optional)

Directions

1) Trim and discard stems of fennel bulb. Finely chop fennel fronds (green leafy tops) and place aside. Slice the fennel bulb lengthwise into ~1/2 inch pieces. 

2) Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown, not burn, fennel on all sides, about 5 minutes total. 

3) Reduce heat to low and add white wine to deglaze pan. Also add a healthy splash of water. Cover and cook until fennel is tender, about 8-10 minutes. 

4) Remove from heat. Squeeze half a lemon over fennel, season with salt and pepper. Finally, mix in some chopped raw fennel frond. If using, finish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. 

Makes a great side dish for fish. Can also use for the base of a great pasta dish by adding other fresh seasonal vegetables.