Posts tagged ‘soup’

Corn chowder


A recipe for all the beautiful corn available right now. I have dill, chives and jalepeno peppers growing in my garden so I used those to flavour the chowder, and I couldn’t resist garnishing with the pretty flowers starting to form on my dill plants.

Corn chowder
Serves 6

4 cobs of corn, cooked and cut from the cob (save the water you boil the corn in to use as broth in the soup)
6-8 new potatoes (about golf ball sized)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 can coconut milk
1 red pepper, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

In separate pots, boil the potatoes and corn until cooked. The potatoes should be a bit overcooked (you want them nice and soft for blending in the soup). The corn should be a bit undercooked to make sure it keeps a fresh taste to it when you heat it up in the soup. Save the corn water for blending into the soup – like a corn-flavoured broth.

Saute the onion, celery and carrots (I used the big pot the corn was in to save on washing). Add potatoes and half the corn. Puree the potato mixture in a blender using the corn water until it’s the consistency of a very thick soup. Add back into the pot and stir in coconut milk, red pepper, shallots, jalepeno and the remaining corn. Season with salt and pepper to taste and heat until the soup is warmed through – about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the dill and chives just before serving. We ate ours for lunch with a slice of quiche.


July 30, 2015 at 11:34 am Leave a comment

Pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans, Italian peasant-style)

It has been almost 6 weeks since our little boy was born, and thanks to an army of generous and thoughtful family members, neighbours and friends, I haven’t cooked a single meal in all that time. Warm, fresh from the oven muffins, frozen lasagna, chili and soup, ziplock bags of homemade granola, boxes of organic oranges, macaroni and cheese, fish pie, even lobster (a Christmas Day treat)…the list goes on and on. Suffice to say we have been thoroughly spoiled.

Maybe it’s a sign that things are getting a bit easier, or just that I am adjusting to life without sleep, but for the past few days I’ve been itching to cook something. It took me all day to make this soup (babies create a lot of interruptions!), and I sacrificed my afternoon nap for it, but it was worth it. Tasty, hearty, healthy, easy!

This is a slightly tweaked version of a recipe my in laws made while they were here. I doubled the recipe so I could freeze a batch for a day when I am feeling less ambitious in the kitchen.

Pasta e fagioi
Serves 4

1 medium onion, 2 carrots, 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup dried lentils (I used French du puys lentils but any kind will do)
1 can each of chickpeas and white Canellini beans
1 cup chopped canned tomatoes
2 tablespoons each of fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano (or 1 teaspoon each of dried herbs)
3 bay leaves
6-8 cups vegetable stock or water
3/4 cup dried pasta (small shape like elbow macaroni or ziti)
Grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese to garnish (optional – leave out for a vegan dish)
Extra olive oil for garnish (I used some fancy Arbequina oil that a lovely friend of mine gave me – thanks Laurel!)

Sauté carrots, onion garlic and celery in oil until vegetables are softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper, then white wine. Stir for a few minutes until wine reduces. Add lentils, chickpeas, beans, tomatoes and stock/water and cook over low-medium heat for 15-30 minutes until lentils are soft. Then add pasta and cook for another 10 minutes until pasta is soft. Garnish with olive oil, more fresh pepper and Asiago cheese if desired. Serve with a salad. Yummy warm winter comfort food!

January 25, 2015 at 11:09 pm Leave a comment

Roasted yam and garlic soup

yam and garlic soup

More soup! After last week’s farmer’s market I spent about an hour chopping and cooking the root veggies and squash I bought. Since then I’ve made beet salad, spaghetti squash casserole and now this soup. All took less than 15 minutes to make since the veggies were all cooked and waiting in the fridge.

Truly a feeling of healthy wholesome-ness, even domestic goddess-ness. 🙂

I know, I know…this will only last a little while longer with baby on the way, so I am trying to enjoy it now before the chaos hits!

Roasted yam and garlic soup
Makes 1 big pot of soup

3-4 medium sized yams, roughly chopped (wash and remove any blemishes, but leave skins on for nutrients and flavour)
6-8 garlic cloves (whole, peeled)
Fresh ground pepper
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water, plus more for later when blending the soup
1 can white beans
1/4 cup basil pesto (I used Golda’s, which comes in a vegan version if you want to avoid dairy. Or make your own, of course!)

Place yams and garlic cloves in large shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and fennel seeds, drizzle with olive oil and pour water over top. Bake in a 350F oven for 45 minutes or until yams are tender. Puree with beans in a blender or food processor – just add enough water to reach the consistency of soup you like. Heat in a saucepan and adjust seasoning as necessary. Pour into bowls and add a swirl of pesto to the top of each.

Delicious with grilled cheese sandwiches.

November 2, 2014 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment

Celery root, leek and white bean soup

celery root
The return of soup – this is one of the reasons I love fall. I found this lovely, gnarly celery root at the Moss Street Market last weekend and was very excited to turn it into soup. I was also keen to try out this very simple soup-making method that uses just olive oil, veggies and water. It works great, especially for a soup like this where I think what you want most is to taste that fresh celery flavour.

In my quest for protein, I’ve discovered that white beans are a brilliant substitute for any recipe like this where you would normally use cream. They add a neutral, creamy texture and of course are so much better for you.


Celery root, leek and white bean soup
Serves 4

1 medium celery root, peeled and chopped
1 large leek, sliced (white and light green parts)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can white cannellini beans, drained
6 cups cups water
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Saute celery root, leek and salt and pepper in olive oil over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until leeks are soft but not brown. Add 1 cup of water, cover the pot and cook on medium-low for about 15-20 minutes or until celery root is soft. Add beans and remaining water and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest for about 15 minutes to let the soup cool before blending (and allow flavours to combine). Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor and simmer until hot. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and more fresh pepper. We ate it with cheese and crackers and a veggie plate with carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes from the farmer’s market for a simple dinner in front of the fire last weekend and that was just perfect.

celery root soup

October 29, 2014 at 3:46 pm Leave a comment

Mushroom barley risotto with spinach & lentils

mushroom barley2
Edmonton, Victoria, Ottawa, Kamloops, Nanaimo. I’ve been travelling a ton over the past couple of months. Not always to the most exotic places, but each has its own merits and it is always fun to travel for work. There are always moments of discovery – a great bookshop, an unexpected side journey, conversations with seldom-seen colleagues, a perfect cafe.

The latter is what I found in Kamloops at Hello Toast. Everything about it was great – the service, the food, the cozy, funky atmosphere. I  had a thick mushroom barley soup with buttered toast and salad. It was exactly what I wanted for lunch on a chilly day. As soon as I had my first spoonful of soup, I thought, I have to make this at home! The recipe below is my version of those flavours, with lentils and spinach added in for extra protein and vitamins.

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups chopped mushrooms (I used baby portobello mushrooms)
1/2 cup du Puy lentils (French lentils)
3/4 cup barley
1 tablespoon each thyme and oregano
2 bay leaves
Fresh ground pepper
4-5 cups vegetable stock or water
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

Saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms in vegetable oil until the onions are soft and starting to carmelize. Add in the lentils, barley, herbs and vegetable stock or water. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the lentils are soft, about 15 minutes. If you want a “soupier” dish, add more water at this stage. Remove from heat and stir in the spinach. Serve with salad and toast for a delicious, warming lunch or dinner.

December 19, 2013 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

Autumn cup squash (risotto + soup)

Autumn cup – isn’t that a perfect name for a squash? Also known as buttercup, kabocha or turban squash, it tastes similar to butternut squash, but with a smoother, sweeter, and in my opinion, more delicious flavour. Dark green on the outside, bright yellowy-orange flesh inside – it is as gorgeous thing to look at as it is to eat.

Here are two recipes that will take you through one squash: a risotto flavoured with kale, caramelized onions, and fresh chives, and a soup made from roasted squash, ginger, and paprika. Warm and yum!

Autumn Cup Squash Risotto (inspired by the Acorn Squash Risotto in my favourite Italian cookbook, Mario Batali’s Molto Italiano)

Serves 6

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 of a autumn cup / kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
1-1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated*
1 cup kale, finely chopped
1 small bunch of chives, finely minced (about 1/4 cup)
fresh ground pepper

This first, all-important step is so often missing from risotto recipes: Put a chair/stool beside the stove, turn on the music, pour a glass of wine and bring a book. You have an hour of occasional stirring in front of you.

In a large saute pan (large!), cook onions in oil over low-medium heat – let them turn brown slowly so they caramelize. Then add the squash and stir until it softens and starts to break down. Add in arborio rice and cook it for a few minutes so it toasts, and then add in the wine. Have the vegetable stock warming in a pot beside your risotto pan. Add a couple of ladle-fuls of stock to the risotto and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until you’ve used up all the stock. Stir in the cheese, kale, and chives, and sprinkle with pepper. I made this recently and served it with a spinach, pear and walnut salad and that was a nice match.

*Vegans, omit the cheese.

Autumn Cup Squash Soup
If you make the risotto above, you’ll be left with half a squash – the perfect amount for a pot of soup that provides a generous serving for two people. Cut the squash into wedges, toss with olive oil and cracked pepper and roast it in the oven until soft. Blend with water or vegetable stock, season with ginger and paprika and you’ll have a cozy lunch.

October 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm 1 comment

Broccoli soup

This was my first attempt at making broccoli soup from scratch. I did a bit of poking around on the internet for recipes, but wasn’t able to find one without lots of cream. And you’d be surprised at how many broccoli cheddar soups contain big dollops of processed cheese spread as the magic ingredient. No thank you! So instead of using a recipe, I just cooked the way I usually do – with a general idea of how to make the basic dish – here, a soup – and then taste testing along the way until it’s something worth eating. (more…)

February 20, 2010 at 12:42 pm 2 comments

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