German Potato and Leek Soup with Shrimp

This creamy, comforting potato and leek soup topped with shrimp starts with German soup greens, or suppengrün!

German Potato and Leek Soup with Shrimp Recipe (kartoffelsuppe mit krabben) | National Onion Association www.usa-onions.org

German suppengrün, soup greens, or suppengemüse, soup vegetables, is the base for kartoffelsuppe, a creamy potato soup. We’ve chosen a version of the soup mit krabben, with shrimp. Once the soup is blended, it is topped with small shrimp for serving. It adds a delicious twist on a classic comfort food.

We’ve mentioned that traditional bundles of suppengrün contain carrots, leeks, and celery. Onions and herbs are often found along with these core ingredients so we’ve expanded our base to include yellow onion, parsley, and thyme increasing the depth of flavor. This soup is simple to prepare and it is perfect for serving at lunch, dinner, or even as a starter for brunch.

German Potato and Leek Soup with Shrimp Recipe (kartoffelsuppe mit krabben)

German Potato and Leek Soup with Shrimp

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 leek, white and light green portion sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
3 medium gold potatoes, chopped
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 cup water
2 teaspoons fine sea salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
¾ cup small cooked salad shrimp, thawed if frozen

Preparation

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and leek. Cook for 2 minutes until the vegetables glisten with the oil and barely begin to soften. Stir in the parsley and thyme, and then the potatoes. Cook for 5 more minutes.

Add the stock and water. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer partially covered for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender. Remove from the heat. Transfer the soup in batches to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot over low heat. Alternatively, you can puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.

Stir in the salt and pepper. Add more to taste if desired. Ladle the warm soup into serving bowls and top each with an equal amount of shrimp before serving.

 

Recipe and images by Lori Rice for the National Onion Association.

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German Suppengrün

The next stop on our tour of Onions Around the World is Germany and suppengrün!

How to cook with German suppengrün | Onions Around the World | From the National Onion Association

The best soups start with a delicious foundation of aromatic vegetables and Germany’s interpretation of this mix is no exception. As we continue to explore onion cooking bases around the world, German suppengrün, or soup greens, is the next delicious set of ingredients we are sharing to expand your experimentation with onions in the kitchen.

Also sometimes called suppengemüse, or soup vegetables, these vegetables are often found conveniently bundled together at markets. Traditionally the mix includes carrots, celery root, and leeks. It is not uncommon to find the addition of onions, parsnips, and herbs such as parsley in the bundles as well, and celery sometimes serves as a substitute for celery root.

Much like the French Mirepoix, suppengrün serves as a cooking base for soups and stews. The vegetables are sautéed in oil or butter until softened and then other soup ingredients are added that continue to build upon this base of flavors.

Like other similar cooking bases that we’ve explored, consistency in chopping is important when preparing recipes. All the pieces of vegetables should be similar in size to ensure even cooking so that when you are ready to add more ingredients or puree the base, everything is flavorful and tender.

Cooking with Onions Around the World | German Suppengrün | www.onions-usa.org

It’s probably no surprise that we expanded our suppengrün to include yellow onions. We also added flat leaf parsley and thyme. While celery root is more traditional, it’s not always the easiest to work with as the tough skin of the large round root needs to be peeled and then the dense root chopped. Celery stalks and leaves make an ideal substitute.

These vegetables are especially delicious when blended into a creamy, comforting soup. In the coming weeks, we will be using them to make a potato and leek soup called kartoffelsuppe and we will recreate a traditional version that is topped with small shrimp. Stay tuned for the tasty recipe!

 

Images by Lori Rice for the National Onion Association.

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Beef and Onion Empanadas

These empanadas use Puerto Rican recaito. It is a blend of onions, herbs, garlic, and peppers that adds a burst of delicious flavor to the filling.

Beef and Onion Empanadas from The National Onion Association

These tender and delicious empanadas can be used in so many ways! They make great party snacks and appetizers, or you can pair them with a salad for a full meal.

Our version uses a simple homemade crust. Feel free to substitute your favorite recipe, or take a shortcut and use a pre-made dough for pie crust from the store. The filling combines lean ground beef and chopped onions. Then recaito is stirred in to add a deeper flavor with more sweet onion and bright cilantro.

These empanadas have a generous amount of filling so you’ll need to stretch the dough around it and pinch to seal them well for baking. Also be sure not to roll your dough too thin so that there is plenty to work with as you stretch and shape your empanadas.

Beef and Onion Empanadas

Makes:  10

Ingredients

Dough
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
6 to 7 tablespoons ice cold water

Filling
1 pound lean ground beef
¼ cup diced yellow onion
¾ cup recaito
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

Preparation

To make the crust, place the flour, salt, and butter in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts, 5 to 6 times, until the butter is distributed throughout the flour in small pieces.

With the processor on low add the water 1 tablespoon at a time. Pause at 5 tablespoons and allow the dough to begin to come together in the center of the bowl. Continue to add water until the dough forms a ball. Remove the lid, gather the dough into a ball and transfer to a flat surface. Form into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While the dough rests, make the filling. Brown the beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. Add the onion. Continue to cook until the beef is no longer pink, about 3 more minutes. Drain any grease if necessary.

Stir in the recaito and salt and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll the dough on a floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a 4 ½-inch biscuit cutter to cut the dough into circles. Re-roll the dough until you get 10 circles. Place them all on a flat surface and transfer an equal scoop of the cooled filling onto each circle. It will be approximately ¼ cup filling for each. Fold the dough around the filling to create a half-moon. Pinch the ends together to seal each empanada.

Place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, or on a non-stick baking sheet. Whisk together the egg and water in a small dish. Brush each empanada with the egg wash.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. All to cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.

 

Recipe and images by Lori Rice for the National Onion Association

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Puerto Rican Recaito 

A puree of onions, peppers, garlic, and cilantro, Puerto Rican recaito can be used to start a recipe or it can be mixed in at the end to add a burst of delicious, fresh flavor!

Puerto Rican Recaito Recipe from The National Onion Association | Find it at onions-usa.org

A staple in Puerto Rican cooking, recaito is full of onions and serves as a base of flavor for all kinds of recipes from beans and rice to stews and empanadas. There are a few things that make recaito different from the onion cooking bases we’ve discussed so far, such as the Cajun Holy Trinity and the French mirepoix.

First, it uses a larger variety of ingredients, and some ingredients that might be harder to find. Don’t worry, though. We have substitutes! Second, it isn’t cooked first. It is pureed into a thick sauce that is added to the recipe. This turns out to be a great thing for planning ahead and future meals. A standard recipe makes more than you will likely use in one dish so it can be refrigerated or frozen for later.

Ingredients for Puerto Rican Recaito Recipe

There are different versions of recaito, but the main ingredients are most often onions, cilantro, culantro, garlic, green bell pepper, and ajies dulces (a small sweet chile pepper). Culantro is an herb with long, wide, flat leaves that is similar to cilantro. You can often find it in international supermarkets, but if not, you can double the cilantro in the recipe.

Ajies dulces might be hard to find as well, depending on the season and where you are located. They sometimes look like habanero peppers, but they are sweet, not hot. You can substitute any type of sweet pepper. Since some ajies dulces are orange, we substitute part of an orange bell pepper in our recipe.

To make the recaito, everything is roughly chopped, placed in a food processor or blender, and pureed until smooth, almost like a pesto. From this point, a scoop or two of the recaito can be cooked in oil in a hot skillet to start a recipe, or it can be stirred into ground meats or stews as the dish nears the end of cooking.

Puerto Rican Recaito Recipe

You will notice the vibrant flavor as soon as you take a bite of something that uses this cooking base. The onions blend well with the herbs, garlic, and peppers. We like to use recaito in the filling for Beef and Onion Empanadas and we’ll have our favorite recipe to share with you soon. For now, mix up a batch of recaito so that you can have it on hand to flavor all kinds of dishes.

Puerto Rican Recaito 

Makes:  About 2 ½ cups

Ingredients

1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 head garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 bunch culantro, chopped (about 1 cup packed)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1 cup packed)
½ medium orange bell pepper, chopped (or 3 small ajies dulces)

 Preparation

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Turn on low for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the container as needed. Process on high for 15 seconds, until a thick sauce forms. Refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

 

Recipe and images by Lori Rice for the National Onion Association

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French Ham and Vegetable Stew

This comforting, hearty ham and vegetable stew is a twist on the French dish called Garbure. It starts with a mirepoix, a flavorful mix of onions, carrots, and celery.

French Ham and Vegetable Stew recipe from The National Onion Association and the Onionista Blog!

Recipes for Garbure have a few things in common. They are thick soups or stews with a mirepoix base that is built upon with root vegetables and cabbage, herbs, ham, rich stock, and often beans. There are many variations to this slow-simmered dish. For our recipe, we wanted to create the same delicious flavor using onions, carrots, and celery, but as an approachable weeknight meal for the whole family.

We don’t include slow cooking a ham hock with dried beans, but that is certainly an option. Here we’ve opted to add cooked diced ham making this an ideal meal to make with leftovers.

It comes together in as little as 30 minutes allowing you to quickly warm up with a hearty meal for lunch or dinner on any day of the week.

This French Ham and Vegetable Stew starts with a mirepoix, a flavorful mix of onions, carrots, and celery! | Get the recipe at onions-usa.org!

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large rib celery, chopped
2 medium gold potatoes, chopped
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 (3-to-4-inch) sprig each of fresh rosemary and thyme
1 dried bay leaf
1 (15-ounce) can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
8 ounces diced cooked ham
1 cup thinly sliced napa or savoy cabbage
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Preparation

Heat the olive oil over medium-high in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the potatoes and cook for 3 more minutes.

Pour in the stock and add the sprig of rosemary and thyme and the bay leaf. Increase the heat to bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat slightly, and allow the soup to simmer for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the beans and ham. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, salt, and pepper. Discard the sprigs of rosemary and thyme and the bay leaf. Serve warm sprinkled with parsley.

Recipe and images by Lori Rice for the National Onion Association

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