30 July 2011

Dining Advice for a First Trip to New York - NYTimes.com

This article genre, "New York at First Bite: Oh, the Places You’ll Go", by Sam Sifton, for neophyte NYC visitors is always an enjoyable exploration of new, different and/or unknown restaurants. My favorite (for decades, now) is the Oyster Bar, in Grand Central Terminal. And yours?

Image: Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times

"Dead of summer, but still the postman trudges forth to the mountaintop with questions for Mr. Critic, meditating on his zafu pillow. This week brought queries about a first-time trip to New York City, about where to feed a world-weary New Yorker and about where to hold a rehearsal dinner for American expatriates in from London and seeking British food. You may add your own voices to the choir at the Diner’s Journal blog. And feel free to send your questions about restaurants in New York City to dinejournal@nytimes.com."

Dining Advice for a First Trip to New York - NYTimes.com

19 July 2011

Chilled Pea, Lettuce and Herb Soup

Image: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Summer. Heat. Chilled soups.

Everyone knows of gazpacho (I think). But what about 'Chilled Pea, Lettuce and Herb Soup' in this artiicle from The New York Times.

"...some of these blended soups were elegant enough to serve not only as meals but also as dinner party aperitifs. I poured them into shot glasses and espresso cups and passed them on a tray."

Chilled Pea, Lettuce and Herb Soup

This elegant soup is sweet and heavenly. The texture is silky and the consistency thick -- but only because there are lots of peas in it. I used water rather than stock when I tested this recipe, and it worked just fine.


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 leeks, white and light green part only, cleaned and sliced

Salt to taste

5 cups frozen or fresh peas (1 1/2 pounds, or 2 12-ounce bags frozen)

3 cups, tightly packed, coarsely chopped Boston or bibb lettuce

5 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water

1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh tarragon leaves

1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup chopped chives, plus additional for garnish

Chopped fresh tarragon, chives and/or mint for garnish


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the peas, lettuce and stock or water, and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste, reduce the heat, cover and simmer five minutes. Remove from the heat. Drain through a strainer set over a bowl, and allow the vegetables and the broth to cool for 15 minutes. Taste the broth, and season as desired.

2. Working in batches, purée the vegetables and herbs in a blender with the broth and additional olive oil for two minutes until frothy and smooth. Pour into a bowl, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Chill for several hours.

3. Serve, garnishing with additional chives, tarragon and/or mint.

Yield: Six regular servings or 12 aperitifs.

Advance preparation: You can make this dish a day ahead.

Nutritional information per serving (six servings): 183 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 22 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 155 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 9 grams protein