Tag Archives: Martha Rose Shulman

Winter Tomato Soup by Martha Rose Shulman

Photo via The New York Times

Photo via The New York Times

One of my favorite writers for The New York Times is Martha Rose Shulman, who always seems to come up with something yummy in her column Recipes for Health. Check out this week’s recipe called Winter Tomato Soup with Bulgur, a simple, Mediterranean vegetarian soup that’s quick to make. Martha tells us that you can make this a day ahead and reheat.

And I suggest—if you have a wheat allergy—try substituting quinoa for bulgur. I would add it at the same point in which the bulgur would go in, and then cook the soup for about 12 minutes, which is about how long it takes to cook quinoa.

If you try it with the quinoa, let me know how it turns out!

Winter Tomato Soup with Bulgur

Serves 4 to 6

1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes in juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional if desired for drizzling

2 medium onions, preferably red onions, finely chopped

Salt to taste

2 to 4 garlic cloves, to taste, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup coarse (#3) bulgur

5 cups water (more to taste)

Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 ounces feta, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

Pulse the tomatoes to a coarse puree in a food processor. Heat the olive oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the onion and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is very soft but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the bulgur, water, and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 to 45 minutes, until the bulgur is soft and the soup thick and fragrant. Add pepper to taste and adjust salt.

Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with mint and feta. Drizzle on a little olive oil if desired. Serve hot.

Thanks to Martha Rose Shulman, I Now Eat Beets

When it comes to eating, I’m a texture girl. Always have been. I can handle pretty much any flavor of food, but if the texture is not in agreement with my tongue, it’s a no-go.

Take, for instance, shellfish. Ask anyone in my family if I’ve ever knowingly eaten a clam (unless it was well concealed in a Rhode Island clam cake, i.e., fritter) and they’ll tell you no. Scallops, mussels, and oysters are all completely off the list. It’s amazing that I’ve only recently begun to eat shrimp,  but I do actually tolerate it grilled. I once went to a party where escargot was served as an appetizer. I didn’t want to be rude, so I just swallowed it whole.

And mushrooms? I can manage to eat them raw, but put one of those slimy, sautéed things on a pizza and I’ll dig it out from underneath ten layers of mozzarella cheese to avoid its entry into my mouth. 

That’s why I’ve been baffled by beets. Texture-wise, I’ve never had a problem with them. To me, they’re kind of like carrots. However, a beet is one of the few things I have disliked because of its flavor. Until now.

Thanks to Martha Rose Shulman, I now eat beets. She’s a cookbook writer who writes Recipes for Health in The New York Times food section on Wednesdays, which is how I found her recipe for Grated Raw Beet Salad. What caught my eye was the first sentence: “People who swear they hate beets love this salad.” I’ll admit I was skeptical but I thought I’d give it a try. If anything, I was entertained by the pretty colors the beet skins made in the kitchen sink.

But Rose knows what she’s talking about. My guess is the citrus does something magical by combatting the sweet, sickly beet juice that usually makes me gag, perhaps neutralizing it, in a way.

Adding the herbs gives extra flavor to overpower the beet juice.

I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!

I am now happy to buy beets at the farmers’ market because I found a recipe I like!