Carrot Ginger Soup

The sun will be starting it’s journey back our way today.  This makes me happy.  I’m not a fan of the shorter days.  After getting tired of not being seen walking the dogs we bought them LED lights to hang from their collars.  They are super bright so that should help with the close calls trying to get across the roads. Luckily they don’t seem to bother the dogs and they have an added benefit of lighting up the area they are sniffing so I can see if they are about to eat something they shouldn’t!

With all that has been going on the past few weeks I lost track what was in the fridge.  I have a bad habit of buying ingredients when we already have them because I don’t see them in there!  At some point we bought a bunch of carrots and I needed to use them up.  I have been wanting to try a carrot soup.  It’s funny growing up the only way I liked carrots was raw.  But tastes change.

I should say I only liked organic ones.  I don’t know what it is but conventional carrots are always dry to me and not as sweet.  I know for most things the taste difference isn’t huge between organic and conventional but things like tomatoes and carrots I find a big difference.  Organic carrots seem to have more water and sweetness to them.

I found this carrot soup recipe that looked really good and adjusted it to the number of servings we needed.  Their recipe said it would be 8 servings but I made what I thought was enough for 4 but it was really closer to 8 so who knows how much soup the original recipe would have made.

Carrot ginger soup 1 2014

Finely chop a 1/4 of a large red onion and saute in about 2 tablespoons of butter.

Carrot ginger soup 2 2014

While the onion is cooking peel and slice 3-4 medium sized carrots.  You want at least two cups of sliced carrots.  I think I ended up with nearly 3 cups.  Add them to the onion and stir well then add 2 cups of homemade chicken stock.  As it is coming to a boil grate about 2 inches of fresh ginger into the soup, season with salt and pepper, then stir well.  Simmer until the carrots are tender and cooked.  This took about 45 minutes for the carrots I had.  Then use an immersion blender or a regular blender to blend all the ingredients.  Put back on the heat and add 1/2 a cup of heavy cream.

Carrot ginger soup 3 2014

Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed and warm up as needed.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Carrot ginger soup 4 2014

Full of flavour without much difficulty.  I discovered a few days later that it was very good cold as well so I will be having this in the summer as a light meal or a first course.  If I had some I would have garnished this dish with chives and the chive flowers.  Another thing to add in the summer when the garden is flourishing.  6 more months!  Not that we’re counting or anything.  🙂

Roasted Butternut Squash Curry Soup

Squash is another group of food I don’t like.  I know, I have a long list!  But a few weeks ago we had a family get together and my sister made a curry squash soup.  I tried  it and liked it!  But she didn’t really have a recipe.  I swear it’s genetic.  We are lucky my Grammy wrote her recipes down because the rest of us have trouble making the same thing twice.  In fact my blog has ended up being a great thing for me.  When my family asks me to make something I’ve made before I bring it up on my iPad and away I go.

I know the soup I made is different from my sister’s because the soup she made was green and mine isn’t.  So I used hers as an inspiration.

Butternut squash soup 1 2014

I thought roasting it would be fabulous so I sliced it in half, drizzled it with olive oil, and seasoned it with sea salt and pepper.

Butternut squash soup 2 2014

Roast in the oven at 350F/175C until it has softened and turned a nice golden colour.

Butternut squash 3 2014

In a saucepan saute finely chopped garlic and scallions in olive oil.  I used about 3 large garlic cloves and a cup or so of the scallion.

Butternut squash soup 3 2014

Once the garlic and scallions have softened scoop out the squash and add it to the saucepan.

Butternut squash soup 4 2014

I added 2 cups of chicken stock.  Add more or less depending on the consistency you prefer.  Add 6-8 ounces of coconut milk. The rest of this recipe completely depends on the taste you want.  Some prefer to have a lot of squash flavour.  Me?  Not so much.  🙂  We really enjoy red thai curry flavour so I added several spoonfuls as a start.

Butternut squash soup 6 2014

I continued by adding a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes, a couple of teaspoons of cumin, and a healthy portion of hot curry powder.  Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.  I wanted to keep this rustic so I didn’t blend the soup.

Butternut squash 7 2014

It was very warming and now I can say I have one squash dish I like!  Question is, am I bold enough to try another?  🙂

Roasted Mushroom and Parsnip Soup

The gluten free experiment is going well.  I’m starting to feel better with a few bumps along the way but I figure that is normal.  I am discovering there are some missed opportunities  when searching out gluten free snacks and the like.  It is not a guarantee that you will get something that tastes good.  I tried a breakfast wrap at a local bagel place and the gluten free wrap could be best described as wet cardboard.  Some of the tortilla chips aren’t much better.  I tried one type of cracker that said right on the box how important taste was.  My husband said I made quite the face trying to eat those!

I have found a couple of things I like and fortunately we’re having success at home.  Otherwise I’d starve or at the very least be very cranky.  And that just won’t do!

With the cooler weather settling in I was in the mood for a quick soup with a lot of flavour.  Roasted mushrooms and parsnips fit the bill.

Roasted mushroom and parsnip soup 1 2014

Slice up mushrooms of your choice and a few parsnips, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in an oven at 350F/175C until parsnips are cooked and golden.

Roasted mushroom and parsnip soup 2 2014

Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and add 3-5 cloves of garlic chopped and some fresh thyme.

Roasted mushroom and parsnip soup 3 2014

Once the garlic has softened add the mushrooms and parsnips.

Roasted mushroom and parsnip 4 2014

As I was only making this for two I added 2 cups of veg bouillon and 1/2 cup of dry white wine.  Bring to a simmer.  Add salt and pepper if needed.  Serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Roasted mushroom and parsnip soup 5 2014

Of course if you aren’t doing gluten free then cheesy toast would be perfect with this.  🙂

 

Roasted Mushroom Tarragon Soup

It has been a gorgeous weekend.  The weather is perfect and we’re getting loads of fresh air.  Though it was on the nippy side yesterday morning it was just warm enough with our winter coats and hats to have breakfast outside downtown.  We enjoy walking the dogs down and grabbing a bagel and do some people watching.

Yesterday afternoon I started tackling the garden.  Today we’ll be bold and plant a few things.  We need to thin out the jungle in the house and the brussel sprouts should be fine outside now.

Friday was chilly and I needed to use up some mushrooms so I came up with a mushroom tarragon soup.  It’s that time of year where you never know what the temperature will be so we can’t shake off the comfort food just yet.  This soup has a lot of flavour but isn’t heavy.

I find taking the step to roast the mushrooms really elevates the flavour of this soup.  I made enough for two people with a little leftover for one lunch.  I sliced about 1 1/2 cups of mushrooms and tossed in olive oil with salt and pepper.

Mushroom tarragon soup 1 2014

Roast at 400F/200C for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Mushroom tarragon soup 2 2014

In a sauce pan saute 1/2 a cup of chopped onions and a couple of chopped cloves of garlic for a few minutes.  Add the mushrooms and saute for a few more minutes.

Mushroom tarragon soup 3 2014

Add 2 cups of veg bouillon and 1/2 a cup of marsala wine.  Bring to a simmer and then add a few teaspoons of fresh chopped tarragon.

Mushroom tarragon soup 4 2014

When it is time to serve add about 3/4 cup of cream and heat through.  Don’t let it boil!  Just simmer until it’s hot.  At this point add salt and pepper to taste.  While you are doing this do up some cheesy toast with parmesan cheese.  The pairing of the parmesan with the soup was very good.

Mushroom tarragon soup 5 2014

We both liked this a lot.  It’s a shame our son doesn’t like mushrooms as I’d like to make this for the kids.

Now on to a day of making cupcakes and gardening!  It’s gorgeous out so enjoy the day!

Warming Parsnip Curry Soup

It’s been a wonderful weekend.  The sun has been shining and the temps above freezing.  What a treat!  Even though it’s not our week for the kids we had to help our son get supplies for a water project he has to do for school.  His experiment has to do with hydroponics which we are very curious about.  It gave us a chance to take him to lunch and hang out with him a bit.

I like being able to do one on one with the kids.  Gives them a chance to natter on about whatever they would like and get our full attention.  After we dropped him off we puttered about downtown.  Loads of people were about enjoying the good weather.  It was good for the shops as well.  It’s hard on Main St with the cold weather.  I did more research on tablets and decided on an ipad.  It was my early birthday present and I love it.  And there is a solution to getting my photos off of my slr onto the ipad when I travel.  Now I just need to find the photo editing apps and I’m good to go!  Last night was topped off by seeing a show of Dueling Pianos where they took requests for songs.  Like I said it’s been a fabulous weekend.  🙂

We had the kids for supper on Thursday and with it still being chilly I made parsnip curry soup.  My husband has made this soup several times and it’s wonderfully warming when you are sick.  I thought it would give it a try.  A very simple quick soup full of flavour.  We got the recipe of American’s Best Recipes.  I did change it a bit.

Parsnip curry soup 1 2014

Peel and dice a pound of parsnips.  Do this first as this takes a bit of time.  Set aside.  Chop half a red onion and coarsely chop a couple of garlic.  In a saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of butter.  Cook the onion until softened.  Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.

Parsnip curry soup 2 2014

Add about 2 tsps of cilantro and 2 tsp of cumin.  Stir well then add the parsnips to coat and cook for a few minutes more.  Add two heaping spoonfuls of the curry paste of your choice.  Here you can make it as spicy or mild as you would like.

Parsnip curry soup 3 2014 Parsnip curry soup 4 2014

Add two cups of chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Cook until the parsnips are cooked and softened.

Parsnip curry 5 2014

Add 2 cups of milk, 2 spoonfuls of sour cream, and a few squirts of lemon juice.

Parsnip curry soup 7 2014

Remove from the heat and blend the soup.  We use the immersion blender and we are ok with it not being 100% smooth but blend to the smoothness you like.

Parsnip curry soup 6 2014

Heat through and it is ready to serve.  Add a dollop of sour cream and a bit of chive.

Parsnip curry soup 8 2014

It was enjoyed by all and having fresh bread and butter with it didn’t hurt.  🙂

Now off to play with my new tablet and finish setting it up.  I’m such a geek when it comes to gadgets and tech stuff.  Just wish I knew more about it!

Mushroom Barley Soup, No a Stew Actually….

There is a joke that goes round the intertubes about the dog that says everything is his favourite while the cat stews and schemes counting the days of captivity.  I’m starting to feel like the cat counting the days hanging out in bed or the on the couch due to this stubborn cold.  Our two dogs and cat are enjoying it as they get to keep me company curled up beside me with the occasional belly rub.

My husband has been wonderful taking care of me.  On Sunday he made me a delicious parsnip curry soup to help with my sore throat.  For dinner he made us his mac n cheese with fresh bread.

We’ve been trying all sorts of remedies with our dishes.  Even though the spicy thai curry was delicious the cold stuck.  So on Friday I thought I’d try mushroom barley soup.  When I was a child we would pass through Connecticut for our various road trips.  Off of exit 65 on the I84 was Rein’s New York Style Deli.  The best cheesecake for miles around.  We would stop there no matter the time for a snack or a meal.  My dad would order the mushroom barley soup.  A very tasty soup.

I’ve never made this before and didn’t have a recipe but I knew the flavours I wanted.  I have also never cooked with barley so I was winging it a bit.

Because this was for just the two of us I didn’t make a ton so the measurements are for about 3 portions.  To prep I sliced several mushrooms and chopped a couple of cloves of garlic and half an onion.  In a saucepan melt a couple of tablespoons of butter and then toss in the mushrooms to brown.

Mushroom barley 1 2014

Add the garlic and onion as well as some fresh thyme to saute with the mushrooms.

Mushroom barley 2 2014

Here is where the experiment with the barley came into play.  I knew as it cooked it would soak up the liquid like risotto but wasn’t sure how much.  I did up 4 cups of veg bouillon to 3/4 cups of barley.  In hindsight I probably should have done 7 or 8 cups.  It was at this point the dish went from being a soup to a stew.

Mushroom barley 3 2014 Mushroom barley 4 2014

Bring to a boil then simmer for about 40 minutes.  While simmering I added a splash of sherry and salt and pepper to taste.

Mushroom barley 5 2014

Serve with cheesy toast.  In this case I used jarlsberg.  Even though it wasn’t a soup it was a very tasty dish.  And while it didn’t evict the cold I will definitely make this again.  🙂

Roasted Garlic Soup – A Slight Adventure

The other day I really wanted to try out the garlic soup in the Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  I mean it’s Julia Child, how can you go wrong?  A lot wrong apparently.  I followed the recipe and ended up with a soup that tasted like boiled water with a bitter aftertaste of parsley.  I tried fixing it by adding some stock, dry wine, more garlic.  Just couldn’t get it to taste right.

But I still wanted garlic soup!  On Sunday night it was our daughter’s turn to have a sleepover so we did up roasted garlic and bacon for homemade pizza.  An excellent combo!  But we had plenty of roasted garlic left over and some bacon so I thought I would give the soup a go.

Because some of the ingredients were already prepped it was very easy to throw this soup together.

Roasted garlic soup 8 2013

I had about a half a cup of bacon leftover but I think I would want at least a cup next time.

Roasted garlic soup 2 2013

In a pot heat up about 3 cups of poultry stock with a couple of potatoes.   I used our turkey stock.  Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes.  In the meantime, chop up the roasted garlic.  I used about 2 heads worth.  Add that and the bacon to the stock.  Boil until the potatoes are soft.   Add a couple of teaspoons of fresh thyme and reduce to a simmer.

Roasted garlic soup 4 2013

About 15 minutes or so before it is ready to serve add 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and bring to a simmer but do not boil.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and it is ready to serve.

Roasted garlic soup 7 2013

I did up some cheesy toast with parmasean cheese and also grated a bit of the cheese over the soup.  A nice stick to your ribs sort of soup.

Have a wonderful New Year!

Leftover Roast Chicken? Soup Is On Of Course!

I know it’s not very original to make homemade chicken soup after doing a roast chicken but it tastes so good!  My husband has conference calls every Tuesday evening and we usually do pizza but I wanted to do something different.  Soup was perfect because I could make it early then it was ready when he was done.  I’m usually very hungry by then!  So is he to be honest.

Over the weekend I made an Apple Sage Roast Chicken and there is still quite a bit of chicken on it.  I need to use more of the chicken so I can use the bones to make stock.  As it is a local farmed chicken it is a little more expensive than store bought so I use everything.  Which you should do anyway but the motivation is a bit higher!  And with the USDA stating China can muck about with our chicken and not label it as such I am more grateful than ever I can get local meats!  Honestly what were they thinking?

Chicken soup is one of those super easy meals to make and if you have leftover gravy from the roast even better.  Half your work is done for you.  During the week that is perfect.

I prepped the ingredients first as it only takes a few minutes to get everything in the pot.  I cut off the chicken from the roast and chopped up 4 cloves of garlic, half an onion, a carrot, and some pearl mushrooms.  The mushrooms are local and I hadn’t seen them until recently but they have a light flavour.

Chicken soup 1 2013 Chicken soup 2 2013

Heat up some olive oil in a pan and saute the garlic and onions for a few minutes then add the chicken.  Cube some potatoes.  Ours came from one of the small bins of potatoes growing in our garden.  It’s funny how small some will come out but I still use them.

Chicken soup 3 2013 Chicken soup 4 2013 Chicken soup 5 2013

Add in the potatoes and carrots and saute for a couple of minutes then add just over a cup of leftover gravy.  Add water until the veg is covered.

Chicken soup 6 2013

Bring to a boil and simmer til the potatoes are cooked through.  This takes less than 15 minutes to throw together.  And because the gravy was full of flavour so was the soup.

Chicken soup 7 2013

We served it with my husband’s homemade rosemary bread.  It was so good.  I love it when he makes bread.  🙂

 

Coconut Curry Soup

Once in awhile as a treat for my husband I tell him I would like to make a special meal of his choice for him.  Whatever he wants.  This time he picked out a Thai soup.  I found this on pinterest here Coconut Curry Noodles. The base of it looked good but as I saw in the comments it was a bit bland for some so I decided to make it my own to make sure it had some zip to it.  It isn’t hard to make and you have control with the level of heat.

For the rice noodles, I just follow the directions on the box.  Boil for 4-6 minutes then drain.

To start I chopped up some carrot and scallion from our garden and chopped up a few cloves of garlic.

Coconut Curry Soup 1 2012

I saute these for a few minutes in olive oil then I add a few tablespoons of Thai red curry paste.

Coconut Curry Soup 2 2012

Next I add a bunch of peppers.  I got to use our frozen peppers from the garden for the first time and I have to say I was pleased with the result.  I don’t like mushy veg and I didn’t get that with this soup.

Coconut Curry Soup 3 2012

Next I add about 1 1/2 cup of veg broth and bring to a simmer.

Coconut Curry Soup 4 2012

Then I add a can of coconut milk.  I have to say, as this was the first time I used this, it was weird!  It separates in the can so the solids are at the top.  So much so I could turn the open can upside down.  I wasn’t expecting that.  I mix in the coconut milk and a handful of chopped cilantro.

Coconut Curry Soup 5 2012

It was at this point I had to get creative as it was bland.  I added a bit of salt, more curry paste as we like the heat, and a bit of soy sauce.  It still needed more.  So I added a few splashes of lime juice then grated a good amount of fresh ginger.

Coconut Curry Soup 6 2012

I have to say the ginger was the right way to go.  It really added a great dimension to the flavours.  I chopped up a bunch of peanuts and threw half into the soup while cooking.  To serve put the rice noodles into the bowl.

Coconut Curry Soup 7 2012

Then pour the soup over the noodles.  Top with peanuts.

Coconut Curry Soup 8 2012

I will definitely be making this again.  I loved how it turned out.  A few days later we had a little for leftovers so I sauteed up some chicken and then reheated the soup to have together.  That worked really well and this would be perfect with prawns.

Tuscan Potato Kale Soup

I used to subscribe to Cooking Light magazine and clip recipes.  I have a ton of them.  There was one that looked really good but boy were there a lot of steps!  Not only were there a lot of steps but it required a food processor, a blender, and several pots and pans.  I hate doing dishes.  So I retooled the recipe, so to speak.  I wanted something tasty and simple to make.  My daughter loves what I came up with.  🙂

To begin with I roast two bulbs of garlic.  This should be done earlier and allowed to cool so it is easier to work with.

Dice about a cup of onions and saute about 3/4 of that in olive oil in a large saucepan.  I use the olive oil from the roasted garlic.  Cube about 6 cups of potatoes and saute for a few minutes with the onions.  Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Add 4 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Then simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add a cup or so of chopped kale and cook another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

In the meantime, take two Italian sausages out of their casings and place in a hot skillet to begin browning.  Also add 1-2 oz of pancetta to the pan.  Once the fat begins to render add the rest of the onion to the skillet.

As this begins to brown I turn my attention back to the saucepan and add a cup of milk.  This can be cream, fat free milk, chef’s choice basically.  I add in the roast garlic and then bring it back to a simmer.

We have an immersion blender and it’s a great tool to have for soups and things.  I remove the soup from the heat and blend the ingredients together.

Once it is completely blended I add in the meat and a cup or so of grated pecorino cheese.  At this point I check the seasonings as the cheese and pancetta can be quite salty.  Add more salt if needed but not before you check at this point.  The consistency should look like this:

At this point it is ready to serve!  I always make sure there is plenty of pecorino on the table for people to grate the cheese over the soup.

While not difficult to make this soup does require a bit of time to bring it all together but it is worth the effort.  A very healthy and tasty meal!