Broccoli, Sweet Potato and Cheddar Soup

I thought I had blogged broccoli soup before but I don’t see a post on my timeline about this particular version so I am blogging it now.  This is super easy to make and tastes great.  Can be a meal, a side or even served as an appetizer in a small shooter style glass. I have been seeing this from time to time served at dinner parties where you don’t want to fill up on soup.  A small amount of soup is served in a shooter or other style of small glass, it is literally just a mouthful or two – that way the guest gets a taste. It is something different and they don’t get full on soup before the meal).

IMG_1159

 

Here is the recipe for this easy and versatile soup.

Ingredients:

2 small onions diced

1 large or two small sweet potatoes cut into small pieces

6-8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth (if made with vegetable broth it can be vegetarian and or gluten free)

1 head of broccoli cut into small pieces

1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese

Dash of oregano

Salt and pepper to taste ( I don’t add salt but you can if you like)

 

Directions:

Sauté onions in a pot with some olive oil. When softened add the small pieces of broccoli and sweet potato and the oregano. Stir and cover for a minute or two then add the broth.  Stir everything, cover and let cook with a slight boil but not a strong boil for about 15 minutes until the potato and broccoli are soft.

Using a blender put small batches in the blender and add some cheddar to each batch.  Mix until puréed but still slightly thickened.  Pour into a large bowl and keep the process going until all the soup has been blended.  Serve with a nice crusty bread and there you have lunch, dinner, appetizer or side dish!

Enjoy!

 

Advertisements

100 Mile Cassoulet Meal in the Country

I spent the other weekend at my friend Victoria’s place in the country.  It was a wonderful weekend full of art shows and country town drives.  We hit the farmers market on Saturday morning to get ingredients for dinner that night, still not totally sure what we were going to make but wanting to be inspired by the local produce.  We decided on a version of a cassoulet.  I had brought up smoked turkey and smoked chicken sausages from my local butcher shop that were already cooked but just needed a bit of grilling to brown them.  It was so delicious!!!!!

We got two meals for us and then another three meals to freeze out of the recipe which when we worked it out came to about $2.50 – $3.00 per serving at the most.  Full of great vegetables and flavours.  (As an aside – I added leftover cooked quinoa with vegetables to a serving I brought home and it was great).

Victoria also made a Caprese style salad on skewers for us – it was so good and so unusual. The secret is to soak the cubes of mozzarella cheese in balsamic vinegar for several minutes or longer before putting on the skewer. The cheese along with fresh basil from the garden and small grape tomatoes from the garden made for a wonder “salad”

Caprese salad sticks

Cassoulet 1

Casoulette 2

Ingredients:

1 onion

1 leek

2 medium carrots sliced

2 celery stalks sliced

2 garlic cloves – minced or chopped

1 can white kidney beans

2 bay leaves

1 large red pepper

1 small can diced tomatoes (we used Victorias homemade roasted tomatoes which gave an even smokier flavour)

Pepper to taste

2 large cooked smoked sausages (turkey or chicken) sliced (1/4″ thick max.)

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

8-10 large mushroom (large pieces)

Pinch of cumin

1-2 tsp of chilli garlic hot sauce – quantity depends on how spicy you like your food)

Parmesan cheese to top it with

Directions:

Sauté onions and leeks. Add all ingredients and simmer for 1 hour. When you plate it – add some grated or shredded parmesan cheese to the top and serve with a baguette to absorb any liquid

Serves 6

Lemony Lentil Soup

Recently I visited my friend Victoria and in between all our wonderful conversations she cooked some of the most amazing food.  For lunch when I got there we had this lemony lentil soup – the recipe for which comes from the Whitewater Cooks cookbook written by Shelley Adams. (I recommend this book as it was chock a block full of great recipes and beautiful imagery.)

lemony lentil soup 2

lemony lentil soup 1

Here is the recipe – I made it as soon as I got home and froze half for later.

Ingredients

2 cups red lentils

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion

2 tsp salt (I didn’t add salt as the feta cheese is salty)

6 cloves minced garlic

3 carrots diced

1 tsp pepper

.25 tsp red chilli flakes

1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (I used half this as dried rosemary – didn’t have fresh on hand)

2 bay leaves

8 cups vegetable or chicken stock

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tsp lemon zest

1 cup feta cheese (or enough to put on top of soup to your liking when served)

2 tbsp fresh dill chopped

Directions

Rinse lentils and drain. Heat olive oil in large pot and add onion to sauté. Add carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, chilli, rosemary, oregano and bay leaves.

Stir well and sauté till carrots are tender. Add stock and lentils and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes till lentils are soft.

Remove bay leaves and add lemon juice and zest.

Serve with feta and dill.

Minestrone Soup

This is another recipe I got after twisting my aunts arm (Kidding – but she didn’t always give up recipes easily until she thought you really wanted them). I had this for lunch one day at her house and thought it was a perfect lunch or light dinner on a cold day (since it hasn’t yet completely warmed up here in Ontario I am posting this now). (Image courtesy of photobucket)

minestrone_soup

 

Ingredients (slightly altered for my tastes)

2  onions sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped celery and leaves

1 carrot, sliced

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2 handfuls of kale chopped (her recipe called for escarole but I use kale instead (healthier)

1 cup shredded cabbage

6  cups broth – I use chicken or vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups cooked beans-or use canned white beans

1 can (10 ounces) tomatoes

1/2 cup canned chick peas

1/2 tsp. dried basil

Pinch of salt (optional – I have cut most salt from my cooking)

1/2  cup macaroni

Pinch of cayenne

 

Directions

Brown onion in large pot.  Add remaining raw vegetables; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add broth, beans tomatoes, chick peas, herbs, add 2 tsps. salt.  Bring to boil; cover and simmer 30 minutes.  Add macaroni, and cook ten minutes or until tender.  Add salt and cayenne to taste.  I like to serve the soup with grated parmesan on top (but then I like to put parmesan on pretty much anything!)

Comfort Vegetable Soup (with pasta or without)

I came across a recipe for a chunky vegetable soup with pasta as I included it on my menu list for my side food business…Now I hadn’t actually made this type of soup before but thought how hard can it be???  Well I was right – easy peasy and delicious to boot.  I have changed enough of the found recipe that I can call it my own so here it goes. You can make this with or without pasta.  What a great fall or winter dish! I love it almost as a stew but you can add as much liquid as you like.

Ingredients

2 medium onions

2 cloves of minced garlic

3 celery stalks

1 large or 1.5 medium carrots sliced on the diagonal

1 can of diced tomatoes (I use the low sodium variety)

4 cups of chicken stock (again I use low sodium) – you can also use vegetable broth if you like. If the soup is too thick for your liking then just add more stock.

A pinch of dried oregano and basil – pinch of ground pepper (you can get creative here and add any spices you feel work well with vegetables)

SECRET INGREDIENT – A tbsp of brown sugar – this helps to cut the acidity of the tomato and gives a subtle sweet note to the soup.

Parmesan cheese (to finish with)

Directions

Sauté onions till soft and then add garlic.  Add celery and carrots and sauté all till slightly softened.  Add diced tomato, chicken stock, oregano and basil and cook until all vegetables have softened.  While it is hot, sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and watch it melt – then dig in! Really good the next day too.