Watercress and Spinach Soup with Cheesy Thyme Crisps

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Watercress and Spinach Soup with Cheesy Thyme Crisps

Yields: 4 to 6 servings

1 (16-ounce) bag chopped frozen spinach
8 ounces fresh watercress
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced small (2 cups)
1¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped roughly (1 tablespoon)
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
8 medium fresh mint leaves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of half a lemon)
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Crème fraîche, for serving

Fill a small pot halfway with water and bring to a boil.

Add the spinach and cook until spinach is thawed, approximately 2 minutes. Add the watercress and continue to cook an additional 2 minutes. Drain into a strainer over the sink, and cool quickly with cold running water. Continue to drain in strainer and squeeze out as much of the water from the spinach and watercress as possible.

Add the olive oil to a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon of salt to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 6 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and beginning to color.

Add the garlic, stir, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Add the chicken stock to the saucepan, raise the heat to high and bring to a simmer.

Remove from heat. Add the spinach, watercress and mint to the blender.  Pour the chicken stock mixture into the blender as well. Blend until smooth.

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, lemon juice, and butter; continue to blend until fully incorporated.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of crème fraîche and a few cheesy thyme crisp. (recipe below)

Cheesy Thyme Crisp

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated on a microplane
1/2 cup grated Gruyere, grated on a microplane
1/2 tablespoon white whole wheat flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Toss to combine in a large bowl, the cheeses, flour, thyme and pepper.

Place 6 1-tablespoon mounds of the cheesy mixture, evenly spaced apart, on a parchment lined sheet tray. Pat the mounds of mixture, using your fingers, into 3½ to 4-inch rounds.

Bake for 8 minutes until crisps are light brown in color. Remove from the oven and allow cheesy crisps to cool on the sheet tray for 5 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer crisps to a cookie rack and let cool completely.

Using a cool sheet pan, repeat the process until all crisps are cooked off.

Photo: Ronald Tsang

P.S. This recipe was recently featured in an issue of Clean Eating Magazine and my new online cooking course with Clean Eating Magazine, “Clean Cooking & Nutrition: The World’s Healthiest Proteins & Advanced Vegetable Prep” will be starting on April 3! It’s gonna be so. much. fun! Check out the course trailer/preview to see for yourself!

Honey Vanilla Ricotta with Fresh Berries

It’s summer! Make use of your stash of berries with this simple and super quick dessert. Sure to be a crowd pleaser (for kids and adults)… Enjoy! Recipe is below (and in my cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh, page 110) AND you can also watch me make this on my youtube page. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quJvHnOrIlE

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Fresh Fruit with Honey Vanilla Whipped Ricotta

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Fruit: (feel free to make your own berry combo!)

2 cups fresh sweet cherries, halved and pits removed

2 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered

1 pint blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a combination

5 large fresh mint leaves, chopped finely (2 tablespoons) plus 4 large whole mint leaves for garnish

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Vanilla Whipped Ricotta:

1 (16-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta cheese, drained

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons honey, preferably orange blossom

 

In a medium bowl, toss to combine the fruit salad ingredients.

Put the ricotta, vanilla extract, confectioners’ sugar, and honey in the bowl of a food processor or mixer. Process or whip until smooth. Refrigerate until it’s time for dessert.

To serve, divide the fruit into bowls, top with a generous spoonful of the Honey Whipped Vanilla Ricotta and garnish with a mint leaf.

Book Signing At Le Creuset at the Citadel, LA, this Sunday

So… this is happening – tomorrow, Sunday, December 7! At the Le Creuset store in the Citadel Outlets in Los Angeles. I’ll be signing my seasonal cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh, and preparing a delicious dish from the Winter chapter. 2-5pm. Come one come all! Le Creuset cookware + a signed nationally acclaimed cookbook = perfect holiday gifts for you and your loved ones!

Lyon Citadel Promo

Signed Cookbook – Black Friday and BEYOND…

THIS is happening NOW! I will personally SIGN a COOKBOOK to you. Purchase through my website – www.chefnathanlyon.com – between NOW and Friday, December 12 and I’m all yours! Makes a great holiday gift for the food lovers in your life. (PS. I’m looking at YOU!) Just enter in the recipient’s name in the “Special Instructions to the Seller” on the “Review Your Information” page and I will personally sign it to whomever you choose. Great Food Starts Fresh is a Washington Post “Top Cookbook”. Makes a great holiday gift. 135 recipes for all types of foodies: beginner to experienced, vegan and vegetarian to gluten free and paleo and more!

cookbook special

Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Before you put away your grill for the Winter, here’s a recipe that will put dinner on the table in a flash. It’s my Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri featured in this month’s Paleo Magazine – Page 16! And for those of you who have my cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh, you can find this recipe on page 180.

LyonGrilledSkirtSteakwithChimichurri

O Magazine and Superfoods

What’s that you say? Oh, it’s my recipe for Cinnamon Sweet Potato Purée from my cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh, in the latest issue of O Magazine! I teamed up with City of Hope Hospital to promote their research with superfoods and their role in fighting cancer. Grab the September issue of O and enjoy!

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Cooking for the Gastric Cancer Foundation

Tonight, I had the good fortune to cook with my brother and fellow Next Food Network Star competitor, Hans Rueffert. Hans is chef and co-owner (with his lovely wife) of the Woodbridge Inn in Jasper, Georgia, (if you are ever near – you must go – quaint, beautiful and delicious food, of course) author of the cookbook “Eat Like There’s No Tomorrow” (a steal at only $25!), father of 2 fantastic kids (and 1 more on the way) and is a gastric cancer survivor. Hard core. He is also a health and nutrition coach, chef/teacher, advisor, mentor, and inspiration/coach for others…  definitely one of the most generous people I know. He is close friend and was even there to support Super Sous’ mom when she fought cancer last year. A true genuine hearted person.

So, it was a huge honor (and a blast) for me to cook with him tonight for a Gastric Cancer Foundation private dinner in San Francisco. Here we are serving up the soup course: Summer Corn Soup with Chanterelles, Creme Fraiche and Basil Pesto.

Rueffert and Lyon

 

And my Mixed Berry Crostata – how much more summer can you get?!

mixed berry crostata

Thanks for the invite, brother Hans! Let’s cook again soon.

If you want to support kicking cancer in the ass!, you can click to donate to the Gastric Cancer Foundation.