Dill Pickle Soup

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I make a lot of dill pickles, but they don’t always turn out perfectly – sometimes they aren’t as crisp as I’d like when grown out of season, and so I have to find ways to repurpose them! While I do love a good bloody mary, pickle soup is another fantastic solution for ways to use any pickles! Make this soup on a cold winter night, it contains lots of flavor and hearty vegetables to warm you up.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 3 small russet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • Quart sized jar brined dill pickles and their juice
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 sticks celery
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Spices including dill, Old Bay, smoked paprika, ground black pepper, and salt to taste
  • grated cheese, celery leaves, and green onions for garnish

Instructions

Roughly chop the onion.  In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, combine the onions and butter. Cook over medium heat until the onions are starting to become translucent, about five minutes. Peel, rinse, and chop the potatoes. Peel and mince the garlic, then add the potatoes and garlic to the pot. Stir for about two minutes, until the garlic is fragrant and potatoes are just starting to soften.

Pour in the stock, as well as approximately 2 cups of pickle juice. If you are using a full quart of brine pickles, pour in all of the juice in the jar. Bring to a low boil and cook until the potatoes are soft. Turn off the heat, and using an immersion blender or working in batches in a blender, puree the soup until smooth. Turn the heat back on to low and bring the soup to a simmer. Now, whisk in the sour cream.

While the potatoes cook, dice the carrots, celery, and pickle spears to whatever size you’d like to eat. Add these to the soup after it has been pureed.

Taste the broth and add spices to your liking – if you are using brine pickles it’s unlikely you’ll need any more salt! I added 1/2 tsp Old Bay, 1/4 tsp smoked paprika, and a few shakes of black pepper.

Garnish with celery leaves, green onion slices, and cheddar cheese (optional) and serve with a big wedge of good bread!

Jalepeños and Serranos in Escabeche

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Escabeche is a Spanish term for pickles or preserves, and it also refers to this tasty pickled condiment. Make this chiles in small batches, and pull them out to dice up as a condiment on tacos, enchiladas, and nachos or an additive to sauces and salsas. 

Ingredients

  • 12 oz serrano and/or jalepeño chiles, left whole
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 white onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, scraped and thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cup white or rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves 
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar

Instructions

Wash the chiles, leaving the stems intact. Cut a cross in the tip end of each chile so the vinegar can penetrate.

heat the oil in a large, deep skillet, then add the chiles, onions, carrots, and garlic, and fry over medium hat for about 10 minutes, turning them every few minutes.

Add the vinegar, salt, and sugar, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Pack a quart jar with the herbs, then chiles and vegetables and pour the vinegar over top. Seal and keep in the refrigerator for about a month. 

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