The Polar Votex Returns February 26, 2014

Filed Under: Cassoulet seasoning,rosemary roasting blend - Sue Fuirst @ 12:56 pm

This week is a recipe repost because winter is still here, the polar vortex is back and this is what I’m craving.

 White Bean and Escarole Soup

3 Tb olive oil

½ lb sweet Italian sausage, turkey or pork, removed from casings, optional

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 carrot, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp Basics Fuirst Rosemary Roasting Blend or Cassoulet Seasoning

1 head escarole, chopped

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

1 19-oz cans white beans, rinsed

4 cups chicken stock

1 inch piece of Parmesan rind

Kosher salt and pepper


Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven.  Add sausage and sauté until cooked through.  Remove to a plate and chop into small pieces. Add onion and carrot to the pot and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, one to two minutes. Mix in red pepper flakes and Basics Fuirst Spice Blend.

Return sausage to pan if using.  Add escarole and cook to wilt. Add tomatoes with their juice, white beans and chicken stock.  Tuck Parmesan rind into soup.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve with grated fresh Parmesan sprinkled on top and crusty bread.


Serves 6.

Snow Day Snack February 13, 2014

Filed Under: Tandoori spice blend - Sue Fuirst @ 5:12 pm

Like everyone, I’m kind of losing my patience with all of this snow.  Even my favorite slow comfort cooking is feeling like a chore. So, here’s a quick, easy, healthy, delicious snack to lessen the boredom of, yet, another home bound snow day.

Roasted Chickpeas


Preheat oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with foil or Silpat.


2 15-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3 Tb olive oil

2 tsp Basics Fuirst Tandoori Seasoning

Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste



Let chickpeas sit in colander to dry or use a salad spinner.  Place dry chickpeas in bowl.  Toss with olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper.  Spread evenly in a single layer on baking pan.  Roast for 25-30 minutes shaking pan midway for even cooking.


Let cool slightly.  Transfer to serving bowl and enjoy.