Soup Recipes

The Best Gazpacho Ever!

by Anne Maxfield on August 29, 2016

Accidental Locavore Drinking GazpachoIf you’re in an area where it’s peak tomato season, you need to try this gazpacho recipe.

It’s become our go-to gazpacho, it’s so good!

After the Accidental Locavore read the description of this gazpacho in the NY Times and remembered how good it was when Chef Jose Garces made it at his house a couple of years ago,  I needed to give it a try.Use the best tomatoes and olive oil you can.Accidental Locavore Gazpacho IngredientsBest Gazpacho recipe:

  • 2 pounds of red tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 Italian or Anaheim pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • Part of a Serrano chile, seeded and thinly sliced (optional, if you like a little heat)
  • 2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
  • ¼ cup good olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Accidental Locavore Straining GazpachoCombine the tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion and garlic in a blender.

Blend at high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes.

With the motor running, add the vinegar and 2 teaspoons of salt, taste and add the Serrano chile if you’re using.

The next part you might want to do in batches unless you have a big blender.

Very slowly pour in the olive oil, so the gazpacho can emulsify. It will thicken and change color, becoming more orange.

If it seems thin, keep slowly pouring in the olive oil and it will thicken up. Taste and adjust the vinegar, salt and oil as needed.

Strain and discard the solids.

Pour into a pitcher and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight. Serve in glasses with a drizzle of olive oil on the top and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Gazpacho Close UpMy verdict: Fabulous! It took a few minutes, but the color did change and the texture and taste was perfect. You really need a blender for this – sadly, a food processor won’t give you a fine enough puree.

I didn’t have the right kind of peppers, so I seeded and chopped a couple of pepperoncini, and they worked fine.

My friend Jean is working for a local olive oil importer and for the oil I used their Delavignes Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which has a lovely buttery flavor. Since you really taste the oil, be sure to use something delicious. If you wanted, a shot of vodka might be interesting.

The original recipe suggests pouring the gazpacho over ice, which I think is a good idea; even though ours had chilled all afternoon, it never tasted really cold.

And forget Christmas in July, I’m thinking about making a batch and freezing it, so it can be August in the middle of January!Accidental Locavore Gazpacho Gone




Better Broccoli Soup

by Anne Maxfield on January 8, 2015

Accidental Locavore Better Broccoli SoupAfter the disappointing batch of roasted broccoli soup, the Accidental Locavore was on a quest to find a better recipe. This one from the New York Times definitely fit the bill with broccoli and potatoes. And you think you’re being healthy, no milk or cream, but there is a good bit of butter and oil. Serves 4-6.

  • ½ cup olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 heads broccoli (about 2 pounds), separated into small florets
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt, more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ teaspoons black pepper, more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ pound potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
  • Grated Parmesan, to finish

Accidental Locavore Seared BroccoliIn a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add about a third of the broccoli, just enough so that it covers the bottom of the pan in a single layer without overcrowding. Cook broccoli without moving it for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until dark brown on 1 side only (leave the other side bright green). Transfer to a big bowl and repeat with more oil and the remaining broccoli. When all the broccoli has been browned, season with 1 teaspoon salt and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add butter and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to pan. Add onions and garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add potato to the pot with 1 quart water and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, cover pot and cook until potato is just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add broccoli, cover again and cook until tender, another 5 to 10 minutes.

Add lemon zest and purée soup with an immersion or regular blender, to your desired texture. Stir in lemon juice. Finish with grated Parmesan, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: Oh so much better than the roasted broccoli soup, that I couldn’t stop tasting it! I ended up running it through a blender because I was afraid the stick blender would leave soup all over the kitchen. I wish I’d kept a few small pieces of broccoli aside to give it a little more texture, but that’s a small thing. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you might want to taste it before you (cautiously) add the red pepper flakes. Mine were pretty fresh and gave it a nice kick, but I probably added more that ¼ teaspoon to the pot. I’ve made it a couple of times and it’s definitely a keeper!


Roasted Broccoli Soup

by Anne Maxfield on December 4, 2014

Accidental Locavore Roasted Broccoli SoupWhen the Accidental Locavore saw this recipe, it looked like a no-brainer and then when my cousin offered me the pumpkin seeds (they’re the garnish) from her Halloween effort, it became a must-try. This made about a quart of soup. The list looks long, but half of it is for the pumpkin seeds which can be made in advance.Accidental Locavore Roasted Broccoli


For the soup:

  • 2 pounds broccoli, stalks cut into ½” slices and quartered, and heads cut into florets
  • 10 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, run through a garlic press
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
  • Salt

Accidental Locavore Pumpkin SeedsFor the pumpkin seeds:

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt


Preheat oven to 375°. Spread the broccoli on a large baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast until broccoli is tender and browned, about 25 minutes.

In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the coriander and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add roasted broccoli, buttermilk, and just enough stock to barely cover vegetables. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat. Working in batches if necessary, transfer vegetables and liquid to a blender. Blend broccoli until a smooth puree forms (be careful and don’t over-fill the blender). Slowly add 4 tablespoons of the olive oil while blender is running. Return the soup to the pot and add as much of the remaining stock as necessary to thin to your desired consistency. Season with salt to taste. Serve with pumpkin seed garnish and enjoy!

Pumpkin Seeds:

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a mixing bowl, toss the pumpkin seeds with 2 tablespoons olive oil, coriander, cumin, mustard seeds and turmeric. Season with salt. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Taste and add more salt to taste.

My verdict: There are things that work and things that don’t. In this case, the pumpkin seeds are definitely worth doing (although I added a lot more salt than the recipe called for), and make a great snack! Any kind of winter squash seeds will work as well. The soup on the other hand was a big disappointment. Even with multiple blending, it still had little tough bits of broccoli – probably from the stems – that were annoying. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a big broccoli taste either. I would have thought that roasting it would have given it a lot of flavor. Frank thought there was too much oil in it and I thought it badly needed seasoning, but even salt, cumin and lemon zest didn’t go far enough.



Turkey Leftovers? 4-Chile Turkey Chili!

by Anne Maxfield on November 27, 2014

Accidental Locavore Turkey ChiliAfter the first round of sandwiches, the Accidental Locavore is always looking for interesting uses for turkey leftovers. Since there was an early influx of leftovers from making gravy with a bunch of wings, I shredded the meat and used it for a (not-very-authentic) version of chili. This was pretty free-form, so use it as a starting point (and don’t let all the ingredients scare you, I just used what was in the house). Made about 3 big bowls.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 poblano chile, diced
  • 1 serrano chile, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ancho chile
  • 1 chipotle chile
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup dark beer (Guinness)
  • 1 small can tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded turkey
  • 1 small can kidney or black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder or 1 tablespoon grated unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano (Mexican if you have it)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped cilantro and grated cheddar for garnish

In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions, poblano, serrano chile and garlic and stir to coat with the oil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until the onions are translucent. Remove the cover and sauté until they are well caramelized and reduced by about ½.

While the onions are cooking, briefly toast the ancho and chipotle chiles in a small fry pan over medium heat, about a minute on each side. Remove from heat and rehydrate in a small bowl of boiling water for 20 minutes. Slice into 1/8” strips.

Add the chile powder, cumin and coriander to the onion mix and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the beer and deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom. Cook for about 5 minutes until the alcohol has cooked out.

Add the tomatoes (breaking them up if you use whole tomatoes), turkey, beans, brown sugar, chocolate and oregano. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Bring to a boil, then to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro and grated cheddar and enjoy!

My verdict: Not at all authentic, but tasted great and satisfied my craving for chili! As I said in the introduction, this looks like a lot of ingredients, but it was all stuff I had in the house, so I just tossed it in. I think it was a little sweet with the brown sugar, so I added about a tablespoon of cider vinegar to cut some of the sweetness. The chocolate and beer add a nice depth of flavor, but, again, you can leave them out—although I’d probably add a little chicken broth to replace the beer.