A collection of my favourite daily moments in the last 1-2 weeks.
Now that we have a lactose-intolerant child in the family, I have had to revamp our menu quite a bit, obviously. Soup is still my favourite way to get kids to eat their vegetables, and here is a family favourite that has shown up a few times on the menu.
Coconut Vegetable Soup
Makes about 12 cups.
3 c. chicken stock
1 can (13 oz.) lite coconut milk
1 med. onion, chopped
3-4 celery sticks, chopped
3-4 lg. carrots, chopped
2 med. potatoes, diced in ½” cubes
½ pkg. (4 patties) instant noodles
2 tsp. celtic sea salt
½ tsp. oregano
pepper, to taste
shredded cheddar or cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)
In a large pot, place stock, coconut milk, vegetables, 1 ½ tsp. salt and oregano. Cook on MEDIUM until vegetables are crisp-tender.
Meanwhile, prepare noodles by boiling enough water to cover them (don’t put them in yet!; about 4-6 cups) with ½ tsp. salt in medium saucepan. Add noodles and cook for approximately 1-2 minutes. Move to soup pot with slotted pasta spoon.
Pepper to taste, ladle into bowls and add garnish.
Optional Variation: Add 1 c. cooked diced chicken into the soup for an even heartier meal.
Chunky and nutritious. Great way to use up leftover wild rice, or make some just for this soup.
A smooth Red Lentil Soup with instructions for the crock pot or stove top method.
The ultimate "comfort food" soup. Slightly sweet with a smooth texture and plenty of flavour.
Try this fruity sweet-and-savoury twist on a holiday classic.
You guys have been wanting a recipe, haven't you? C'mon, even a little?
I've been promising this recipe to my friend Ingrid for about a month, now. She graciously gave me some delicious beets from her garden, so I immediately set about finding a creative combination of flavours for my soup cookbook. And, I figured I would share it with not only her, but all of you. (I know you've been missing my recipes--you can admit it.)
Minted Coconut Beet Soup
Makes about 10 cups
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. butter (raw organic is best)
2 lg. yellow onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp. ground ginger (or 4" piece fresh, peeled and minced)
3 c. homemade chicken stock
2 14-oz. cans coconut milk (or equivalent volume fresh)
6 lg. beets, peeled and diced into about 1-sq. cm. pieces
juice from one lime (about 2 tbsp.)
2 tsp. celtic sea salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried mint (or 2 tbsp. fresh, snipped)
crème fraiche for serving
- Heat olive oil and butter together gently in a large pot. Sauté onions on med-low heat until soft.
- Add minced garlic. Turn up heat to medium and sauté for another minute or so. Add ginger.
- Add chicken stock, coconut milk, beets, lime juice, salt, and cumin (and mint, if using dried) and and bring to a gentle boil. Turn heat back down to medium-low and cook until beets are tender, about twenty minutes or so.
- Remove from heat and blend in pot with hand-held blender (or run through a blender in batches, then return to pot.) Add mint now, if using fresh. Serve immediately with a dollop of crème fraiche. (Fresh mint may also be used as garnish.)
Variation: Fresh cilantro may be used in place of mint.
Tip: Crushing garlic cloves with the flat of a large knife makes peeling them a cinch--and releases more of the flavourful juices.
I haven't shared any soups with you for a while, have I? I've been experimenting with a few new ones, lately--some worth sharing, some not. Today, I've decided to post one of the "sharing" ones.
Believe it or not, I had never made Mulligatawny Soup before a few weeks ago, although my memory of Chef Richard's version (at the Black Knight Inn in Red Deer) was mouth-watering.
Although I started with the recipe from the Company's Coming cookbook Soups & Sandwiches, I have altered it significantly to adjust for personal tastes, as well as to disguise onions from picky eaters amongst my children. I took out the flour and decided to blend it to thicken the soup, instead. I am not sure if the "true-blue" version is supposed to be thicker than this or not--but this tastes delicious, anyway.
Makes about 8 cups.
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. raw, organic butter
2 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. curry paste (I used 1 tbsp. each mild and hot to make medium)
3 medium apples, washed and diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. fresh-ground pepper
6 cups homemade chicken stock
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 cups cooked Basic Brown Rice
1/2 cup heavy cream (preferably raw & organic)
In a large saucepan, melt butter and olive oil together, then add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are soft and clear, then add curry paste, apples, carrots, sea salt, and pepper. Stir-fry for another minute or two, until apples soften, then add chicken stock. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until carrots are soft. Remove from heat and blend right in pot with a hand-held blender (or allow to cool slightly and run through a blender in batches, then return to pot).
Add cooked chicken, cooked rice, and cream. Heat through on low and serve immediately.
Goes well with sprouted-grain toast and butter or salad.
As a kid, I had the Hoyt Axton song "Fearless the Wonder Dog" memorized, thinking it was one of the funniest things ever. Thanks to the line from the song that made up this post's title, every time I think about this soup the song becomes lodged in my brain, somewhere right behind my left ear, for about 2.5 days. I was unable to find the lyrics on the internet anywhere, so here, to the best of my memory, they are.
Fearless the Wonder Dog
Fearless the Wonder Dog is a very friend of mine.
He can't dance, he can't sing, but he will eat most anything.
Peanuts and popcorn and cracker jacks
and candy apples, too
Cinnamon toast and celery
and good ol' Mulligan stew,
Oh! Fearless the wonder dog is a very friend of mine!
Fearless the Wonder Dog is an elephant or bat
He can be a honey bee, or Honey, he can be a cat!
Lion or black bear or kangaroo,
Unicorn or deer
If you want to see him change
Just step over here.
Oh! Fearless the Wonder Dog is a very friend of mine!
*bows* Thank you, thank you!
A vegetables-only beet soup that draws its inspiration from traditional borscht.
This is the soup I made for lunch today. It was inspired by a recipe I got from Chatelaine a few years ago. This is also the perfect time of year for this soup--the flavours and aromas just say "Autumn." Hot, homemade, aromatic soup--the ultimate comfort food.
3 med. butternut squash (or 1 large pumpkin)
2 med. onions
3 heads garlic, unpeeled
celtic sea salt
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
4 med. apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. mild curry paste
7-8 cups homemade chicken stock
1 tsp. celtic sea salt
crème fraiche (or sour cream)
Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Score in a criss-cross pattern. Arrange on stoneware baking pan, cut side up. Peel and wedge onions and arrange around squash. Chop off the tops of the heads of garlic and arrange on pan. Drizzle all with olive oil, and use a pastry brush to make sure everything is well covered. Sprinkle with ground salt and pepper. Roast in 375 degree F oven for about 45 minutes, until squash is soft. Let cool until able to be handled.
Prep apples. Melt butter and olive oil in large pot. Add apples, spices, and curry paste and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until aromatic. Add chicken stock. Scoop out pulp from squash and add along with onions. Squish garlic directly out of papery skins into soup. Add salt. Cook on med-low for about 10 minutes, until apples are tender. Remove from heat, and mix right in the pot using a hand-held blender.
Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche.
Makes about 10 cups.
I do not enjoy curry powders. I find the combination of spices that some non-partisan or inexperienced factory owner chose to be quite acrid and unpleasant. So, when I make something "curry," I combine spices to my own taste.
You may feel free to adjust percentages to your own taste as well. Also, raw cow's milk may be substituted for coconut milk if it is not available, but you must then be very careful to not let the soup boil while the carrots are cooking. This recipe is not spicy at all--very mild. For a spicier version, double or triple the chile powder, or add a 1/4 tsp. dried chile flakes to the onion mixture. (Warning: substituting cow's milk for coconut milk will make the spiciness much more noticable, so take that into account.)
Curried Carrot Soup
Makes about 6 cups.
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, pressed
½ tsp ginger powder (or 2” piece, pressed)
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp anise seed
Sauté in large saucepan until onions are soft and clear. Then add:
4 c. carrots, finely chopped (a coarser chop will just result in a longer cook time.)
2 c. coconut milk
2 c. homemade chicken stock
Heat over medium-low until carrots are soft—about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Run through the blender in batches & return to saucepan, or blend in pot with a hand-held blender. Add:
½ c. whipping cream
1 tsp. unrefined sea salt
¼ tsp fresh-ground black pepper
Heat through. Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs, if desired.
We had this for supper tonight, and it is always a hit in my house. Also, I usually double this recipe and freeze the leftovers.
You will want to make sure your carrots are peeled and chopped before starting the recipe, otherwise your onions will be charred little crisps in the bottom of your pan--and the idea is to contribute as few carcinogens as possible, not create them!
Tip for moms: If your little guy/gal has a hard time eating soup, blend it up and let them drink it through a straw. I was shocked the amount of soup my kids could consume this way!
Today, I had Naomi and her youngest daughter, Mikayla, over for lunch. (Hi, Naomi!) Lots of fun. It was short, but it was nice to have someone to visit with, even for an hour. Now that Jason is working at DMI, it means that I am vehicle-less during the day again, and it is easy to feel house-bound. It hasn't been too bad, since it has been summer and we can still get outside to play and go for walks, etc., but come winter it could get interesting. Hopefully we will be able to either afford a second vehicle by then, or find someone for Jason to carpool with a few days a week.
I have also been busy getting class outlines together for the scrapbooking classes I will be teaching at Scrap Away this fall. Scrap Away is the weekend event the Baptist Church puts on, which I was able to attend this spring. They have decided to move it to the fall, and Amanda and I are teaching classes at it. I am really looking forward to it, although I was a bit stressed trying to get all my information in, since I thought I had more time than I actually did. However, it's done, it's in, and I can breathe easier now. The Scrap Away link is where Amanda and I will be posting our class information and projects, so if it's not working yet when you try it, try again a little later to see what we'll be up to.
Anyhoo, as a final bonus (before I go get to work on the Scrap Away site), I'd like to post the soup recipe I made at lunch today. This is a super-yummy soup that everyone I've served it to likes--even my vegetarian grandparents! (Although I'm not sure if it dampened their enjoyment or not when I told them it was made with chicken stock. Homemade stock is really key for great-tasting soups. I'll post a recipe for that another time.)
Cream of Potato Soup
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 med. onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin seeds
8 med. potatoes, peeled and diced into small chunks
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
8 cups homemade chicken stock
1 tbsp. Celtic sea salt
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
In a large pot, sauté onions in butter and olive oil over medium-low heat until soft. Add garlic and cumin seeds and sauté for another minute or two, then add potatoes, carrots, stock, and sea salt. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and blend in pot using hand-held blender, or run through a blender in batches and return to pot. Add cream and pepper, and serve immediately.