When I think of Spanish food, I think of pimentón (smoked paprika) and saffron. I’m lucky to always have a pretty good stock of both because my uncle lives in Madrid. Every time he comes back to the States, he always has a new tin of pimentón and a case of saffron for me as saffron is infinitely cheaper in Spain. During my week of finals, about a month ago, I had a roasted red pepper, tomato, and saffron soup at Flour Bakery. It was unbelievable. If you are ever in Boston, I highly recommend a stop at one of their four locations in the city. Their desserts are unreal and feature a daily supply of homemade Oreos, Boston cream pie, and their famous banana bread. In addition, this bakery serves the seltzer from which I adapted my raspberry lime seltzer. Because I know saffron is expensive and not accessible to many people, I chose to add pimentón to this roasted red pepper and tomato soup to add a Spanish flair. I think it’s equally as good. Serve it with a thick slice of white crusty bread.
One of my biggest pet peeves with ordering out curry is the minimal chunk to sauce ratio. I feel like I only get a few chunks of meat and vegetables floating in an enormous sea of sauce. For those of you who avoid soups and stews due to their lack of “fillingness” (i.e. my brothers), the abundant chunks of lamb, potatoes, and rutabaga are sure to leave your stomach taut and soul warm. I know that there are a lot of spices in this recipe, but if you do any sort of ethnic cooking, you should have most of the spices on hand. I think that making your own curry sauce, instead of using a pre-made spice powder, makes it taste more authentic. Serve this curry over a bed of rice, topped with kale, cilantro, or parsley and a side of naan.
One of my favorite parts about winter in New England, is the thick hearty soups and stews that accompany it. They’re particularly inviting after a cold commute back from work or school or after a long day of snowshoeing or skiing. My Montana-bred friend suggested that I use bison instead of the traditional ground beef found in most chili recipes. If ground bison is hard to find, beef or lamb make great substitutes. I always top my chili with a sprinkle of cheese, diced jalapeños, and sliced avocado over a bed of brown rice.