How To: Big Batch – Thai Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup

IMG_2784

Have I told you how I won the cookbook lottery jackpot?

Just before we rang in 2017, I found out I won not one, not two, but TWELVE cookbooks! Do you know how many cookbooks twelve is? A LOT! So much that they are all still sitting in a pile on my bedroom floor as we have absolutely no room to put them anywhere else. I think an Ikea run may be in order soon.

IMG_2768

So, I have started to try to always go to one of these new cookbooks when I need some dinner inspiration, instead of relying on the easy Mr. google. One of the cookbooks I have been loving lately is the new Oh She Glows Everyday. Every recipe I’ve made so far has been spot on, and this soup is no exception. And no, this is not a sponsored post. I seriously am just crushing hard on this cookbook.

IMG_2777

IMG_2779

We already have a very delicious and creamy Thai sweet potato soup that uses coconut milk to add that richness. This version has a different approach – almond butter. The almond butter gives this soup a deep flavour and velvety texture without the use of any cream or dairy. Kind of like the peanut butter in our sweet potato, white bean, peanut butter stew. I would imagine peanut butter would also make a great substitute for the almond butter if that’s what you have on hand. Or if you need it nut free, try sunflower butter – but I would try to find the all natural unsweetened variety.

The almond butter also adds a boost of extra protein and fat to this soup, making it more filling than the average bowl. I also loved the crunchy almond topping – but you could also leave it off and go with a super smooth bowl of soup if that’s more your thing. Me, I’m all about the textures!

IMG_2998

My new favourite thing when my girls are napping is to curl up with a cup of coffee, a snack, and a cookbook, or two, or three…

Dara

IMG_2782

Thai Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 4-6
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Soup
From book Adapted From Oh She Glows Everyday

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 Tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 1/2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 Cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Cups water
  • 3 Cups carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 Cups sweet potatoes (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • cilantro (chopped)

Almonds

  • 1/2 cup almonds (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce

Note

The toasted almonds are also delicious tossed into a salad for some crunch. The soup freezes well - just portion in individual containers for a grab-and-go lunch or dinner.

Directions

1. Heat oil over medium high heat in a large pot.
2. Add onion and sauté for a couple minutes. Add garlic and ginger and continue to cook until onion is soft and translucent. Stir in the curry paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
3. Place almond butter in a small bowl with about 1/2 cup of broth and whisk to combine. Add the almond butter mixture, carrots, sweet potato, remaining broth, and water to the pot and bring to a boil.
4. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until sweet potatoes and carrots are very tender.
5. Using an immersion blender, puree soup in the pot until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with chopped cilantro and almonds.
Almonds
6. Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss almonds with soy sauce and spread out evenly on baking sheet.
7. Bake for about 10 minutes, until brown and toasted. The soy sauce will have dried up and the almonds will firm up as they cool.
8. The almonds will keep in a container on the counter for a couple weeks.

How to: Make a Chicken Soup for Cold Season

IMG_0957

Anyone else feeling like this cold and flu season has been particularly brutal?

Granted, my daughter is spending her first year daycare, too. Also known as the world’s biggest germ factory.  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised it’s been cold central around here.

IMG_0943

When my nose is raw and my throat lumpy, all I want is a magical cure for my dulled taste buds.

This soup is some seriously heartwarming shit.

Like it will satisfy your soul, people.

Ginger and lemon give it a bright, zingy flavour and turmeric, a spice that can be found on many a 2017 food trends lists, is your anti-inflammatory and antioxidant friend.  It also gives it a pretty colour.

Of note, I tried to find credible, scientific evidence supporting turmeric’s ‘super food’ status with little success. There are only a small number of human studies that exist, with an even smaller number of double-blind placebo controlled studies (the gold standard in scientific research) to support the many many MANY claims being made about its power to cure everything from acne to cancer to Alzheimer’s.

Big picture, guys: Eat a variety of whole, unprocessed foods & focus on vibrant colours (ahem…turmeric) and you’ll get plenty of anti-imflammatory goodness.  Dieititian hand to heart.

IMG_0960

Now, back to this fan-bloody-tastic soup that takes 30 minutes start to finish.

30 minutes for soul satisfaction? Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

And it might even cure your cold.

Erin

Chicken Soup for Cold Season

Serves 4-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Website Adapted from Soup Addict

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 Small onion (diced)
  • 2 celery stalks (sliced)
  • 2 Medium carrots (sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked cubed or shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken is an easy option)
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Note

I found Israeli couscous at my local bulk store, but feel free to use your favourite pasta shape in this soup.

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes until softened.
2. Add garlic, ginger and turmeric and cook, stirring for another minute.
3. Add broth, chicken and couscous and simmer for 10-12 minutes until couscous is cooked through. Add lemon juice along with salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

How to: Quickie Meal – Indian Spiced Lentil and Coconut Soup

IMG_3733

I have been cooking lots and blogging ZERO. Not OK.

While my momma’s cooking club has been amazing for getting homemade meals on the table three or four days a week, it’s also gotten me out of the habit of testing new recipes and taking photos for the blog.

BUT! I have a new tactic and starting next week I’ve decided to test and photograph on cooking club day.  Two birds. One stone. That old chestnut.

This recipe is one from this week’s club. I only managed to get a couple shots of the final product.  The recipe came by my friend’s sister-in-law who in turn got it from the amazing blog www.ohsheglows.com.  I have heard nothing but good things about the Oh She Glows Cookbook, too.

We adapted the recipe very slightly because we didn’t have enough pot space to make a double batch, but it turned out beautifully; almost a stew-like consistency.

My daughter is coming up on 9 months and is eating just about everything.  Could I be prouder? Nope.  She absolutely loved this soup.  A quick zip with a hand blender to break up the big chunks was all it needed for babyfication.

IMG_3753

This is a perfect one-bowl, 20 minute meal and while it is Indian spiced, it is not at all spicy.  It would be equally delicious with a hint of heat, though.

Enjoy!

Erin

Indian Spiced Lentil and Coconut Soup

Serves 4-5
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Website Lightly adapted from Oh She Glows - Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 1 Medium onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¾ cup red lentils (rinsed well)
  • 796ml can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock (or more for a soupier consistency)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Note

If you like a hint of heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes when you add the spices to the pot.

Try adding some green by throwing in a few handfuls of baby spinach just before you remove it from the heat.

Directions

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
2. Add turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and cardamom. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes until lentils are soft.
3. Add additional salt and pepper to taste and serve.

How to: Seasonal Cooking – Thai Sweet Potato Soup

IMG_1283

Anyone else disturbed by the amount of their grocery bill lately?

Not OK.

With the tumbling loonie, word on the street is grocery costs will continue to rise. It’s all of that fancy imported food we like. Like cauliflower, the caviar of 2016.

IMG_1251

Not to worry though, friends. I’m here to give you an insider tip on how to save some sweet cash.

IMG_1252

Buy local! Yup. Not only does Ontario still have a good variety of locally available fresh produce (check it out here), you can also buy frozen ‘product of Canada’ fruit and veg. In fact, a lot of it is on sale this time of year.  Perfect timing.

Oh, you need some incredibly well tested recipes which feature local foods? I happen to know of a cookbook that’s just the ticket.  Homegrown is selling like mad though, so you bes’ be ordering a copy STAT.

IMG_1255

This super cinch recipe makes use of Ontario roots – sweet potatoes and carrots.  I’ve added a few thai inspired ingredients because thai food kicks ass. Is there a better reason?

Serve it as a side or a starter for any of our other Thai-inspired recipes (um, it seems we’re sort of obsessed with thai food):

Thai Chicken Enchiladas

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce Pizza

Thai Kale Salad with Sesame Tofu

Shrimp and Mango Fresh Rolls

Thai Chicken Cabbage Wraps

Thai Mango Salad

Thai Turkey Meatballs

Enjoy!

Erin

IMG_1283

Thai Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1lb sweet potatoes (approximately 2 medium - peeled and chopped)
  • 1lb carrots (approximately 4 medium - peeled and chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated or minced ginger
  • 1l low sodium vegetable stock (divided)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (plus additional lime wedges for garnish)
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup roasted, chopped peanuts (for garnish)
  • parsley or cilantro (for garnish)

Directions

1. Add potatoes, carrots, ginger, 3 cups of stock and coconut milk to a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 until potatoes and carrots are very soft.
2. Remove from heat. Using a hand blender or counter top blender, puree soup until smooth. Blend in additional stock as needed to reach desired consistency and reheat in pot if necessary. Add lime juice and salt to taste.
3. Divide soup among 4 bowls and top with parsley/cilantro and peanuts. Serve with a lime wedge.

 

 

 

 

How to: Quickie Meal – Asian Beef Noodle Soup

IMG_0990

Hello, winter.

I’m not welcoming you per se, but I may be able to better handle your shenanigans when bowls of steaming deliciousness are at my disposal.

Bowls such as this one.

IMG_0974

You all like Phở? It’s a Vietnamese noodle soup and it’s basically a cure for winter.

Traditionally, Phở requires hours of simmering a rich stock with a variety of spices.  I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess you don’t have that kind of time?

This is a super short cut to a Phở-esque soup that is all kinds of heartwarming.  If you’re more of a plant-based guy or gal, you can also check out my recipe for Mushroom Phở.

IMG_0927

Anyone who reads the blog regularly knows I’m not much of a meat eater.  As a general rule, I don’t cook meat (including poultry) at home unless it’s a special occasion.  I’ll also enjoy meat when I go out to eat from time to time.  My reasoning is multifactorial, but essentially, I feel less meat is better from an environmental perspective and a health perspective.

This recipe was inspired by my first foray into making beef stock.  My brother and sister in-law decided to buy half a grass fed cow from a local farmer.  Included in their haul was a big old box of soup bones. They were going to ditch them!  I gasped in disbelief and immediately offered my freezer up!

Holy cow (get it?!), this made amazing stock. Here’s the recipe I used.

IMG_0928

Now a quick note on the difference between stock and broth.  Stock is made with bones, broth is made by simmering meat.  That’s it.  What you find in tetra packs at the grocery store is generally broth, which will absolutely work for this recipe.  I will say that roasted bone stock adds a lot of depth to this recipe if you do want to try it yourself.

If you can’t find a ‘no-added salt’ brand, don’t sweat it, just be mindful of the soy sauce and hoisin sauce you add.  You may not need as much.

IMG_0977

If you’re looking to reduce your consumption of meat at home, a good way to wean yourself and your family is to use meat as a flavouring, rather than a main dish. Along with using beef broth, this recipe only calls for one 8 oz. steak divided among 4 servings.

IMG_0983

It’s very important you add the beef at the very last minute. Sirloin is not something you want to overcook.  It will become tough very quickly.  That being said, if you have leftover pot roast or brisket, or some other slow cooked beef, it would work perfectly as a substitute here.

IMG_0990

Now then…happy slurping to you all!

Erin

Asian Beef Noodle Soup

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ lb or roughly 225gmedium thickness rice noodles
  • 6 cups beef stock (or no-salt added beef broth)
  • 225g shiitake mushrooms (stems removed and sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 8oz beef sirloin or tenderloin (thinly sliced)
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • 10 basil leaves (thinly sliced)

Note

Try freezing beef for 30 minutes before preparation.  Partially frozen beef will be much easier to slice thinly.

Directions

1. Cook rice noodles per package directions. Rinse with cool water, and set aside. While remaining ingredients are prepared, rinse with additional cool water every few minutes to ensure the cooled noodles don't stick together.
2. Bring beef stock, mushrooms, ginger, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, lime juice and sesame oil to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Divide rice noodles among 4 empty bowls.
Add beef and green onions to simmering broth and remove from heat immediately. Ladle soup over noodle bowls. Top with fresh basil.
Serve immediately.
Serve with additional hoisin sauce and Sriracha hot sauce.