Tag Archives: soup

Vegan Vegetable Masala Soup

IMG_13762 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion; diced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 celery stalk; diced
1 carrot; diced
1″ piece fresh ginger; minced
2 cloves garlic; crushed
1 Tablespoon garam masala
2 cups crushed tomatoes (in season use fresh tomatoes; diced)
2 cups water

Preheat a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium-low heat. Add coconut oil, onion and sea salt. Cover and saute 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, stir, cover and saute an additional 5 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and garam masala, stir, cover and saute another 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Add water, increase heat to boil, reduce heat and simmer an additional 30 minutes.

While the soup is cooking/simmering prepare the rest of the meal. I served vegan baked potatoes and salad but a sandwich would be wonderful too.

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Creamy Spinach (a.k.a. Popeye) Soup (vegan)

Pictured here with arugula topped with pear and pomegranate and tuna salad.
IMG_11462 Tablespoons canola oil
1/2 onion; chopped
2 celery stalks; chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 small clove garlic; crushed
1 lb frozen spinach
pinch fresh ground black pepper
pinch cumin
1/2 cup raw cashews
3 1/2 cups water

Preheat a soup pot to medium low, add canola oil, onion, celery and sea salt and simmer for 5 minutes with lid on. Stir occasionally and add 1 Tablespoon of water as needed to prevent burning. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Puree the ingredients with a handheld immersion blender OR allow to cool, puree in countertop blender, return to pot and reheat. Add more water as needed for the consistency and salt and pepper to taste.

Vegan Winter Squash Soup with Apples and Ginger

IMG_11471 large winter squash; halved and seeds removed (I used buttercup)
4 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion; chopped
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 carrots; chopped
2 celery stalks; chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger; peeled and minced
1 small clove garlic; crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/8-1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 apples; cored and cut into 1 inch chunks
5 cups water (add more for consistency)
salt and pepper to taste
ground nutmeg to garnish
ground cinnamon to garnish

Preheat oven to 375° F. Oil a baking sheet/pan. Prepare winter squash, place cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and bake till soft, about 45 minutes. Test for tenderness by pressing with a sturdy wooden spoon, when it gives the squash is done. When the baked squash has cooled enough to handle scrape out the squash from the skins with a spoon.

Preheat a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add coconut oil and onion, sprinkle with salt and saute with lid on for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary to prevent burning. Add carrots and celery, stir and continue to saute an additional 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and saute an additional minute then add spices and 1/2 cup water, stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Add apples, baked squash and enough water to cover all the vegetables with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Puree the ingredients with a handheld immersion blender OR allow to cool, puree in countertop blender, return to pot and reheat. Add more water as needed for the consistency and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon if desired.

Detox Dinner

My son and fiancé are following Jennifer Schonborn‘s detox diet this week. This meal aligns with her guidelines so when they joined us for dinner we could all enjoy.
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We started the meal with CREAM OF BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP (prepared with extra virgin olive oil) and then on to the main meal.

ARUGULA, BEET AND SUNFLOWER SEED SALAD
1 5 oz package arugula
4-5 beets
raw sunflower seeds for sprinkling

Cut off stems and the thin root tail and scrub the beets. Place in a medium sized pot, fill with enough water to cover and sprinkle with sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer over medium low to medium heat. Simmer with lid on for 20 to 40 minutes until the beets are tender. Test with a toothpick, if it inserts easily they are done. Remove from heat, pour off hot water and pour cold water into the pot and let sit 10 minutes to cool. Repeat until the beets are cool enough to handle. The skin will slide right off with a little bit of pressure. Remove skins, slice in half and slice to 1/4 inch thickness. Chill the beets completely in the refrigerator. Assemble the salads just before serving; place beets on a bed of arugula, sprinkle with sunflower seeds and drizzle with lemon garlic dressing.

LEMON AND GARLIC DRESSING
3 cloves garlic; crushed
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch black pepper
1/4 cup fresh pressed lemon juice
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine ingredients in a glass jar, tighten the lid and shake. Serve with a spoon or mini-ladle.

BLACK (aka forbidden) RICE
1 cup black rice; soak 1-8 hours and rinse
1 1/2 cups water

Bring rice and water to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes then reduce heat to low and continue to simmer 5 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Check by tipping the pot sideways carefully to see if any water remains.

GREEN GARLIC AND GINGER SAUCE
1 clove garlic; coarsely chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger; coarsely chopped
3/4 cup fresh parsley; coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch black pepper
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine garlic, ginger, parsley, sea salt and pepper in food processor. Process until finely ground, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.

BROILED SALMON
2 lbs wild (Alaskan) salmon
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Place the salmon on a lightly oiled broiling pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn Broiler on high and place salmon under flame for 10 minutes.

Gingered Carrot and Beet Soup

DSC_0002Gingered carrot and beet soup pictured above with a marinated and roasted mushroom cap on a bed of baby spinach for my gluten free meal. My husband had his on a fresh baked roll (see image below and click for a mushroom cap recipe).

3 Tablespoons canola oil
1/2 onion; diced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 inch piece of ginger; pealed and sliced thin
1 large (2 small) pieces of garlic; pealed and sliced thin
2 cups carrots; scrubbed and sliced to 1/4 inch
2 cups beets; pealed and sliced to roughly 1/4 inch x 1 inch pieces
3 cups water
fresh ground black pepper to taste
optional parsley to garnish

Heat a 3 quart pot over medium heat, add oil, onion and salt, stir and cover to sauté for 2 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic, stir, cover and sauté an additional 2 minutes. Add the carrots and beets and 2 cups water (or enough to just cover the vegetables) bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer with lid on for1 hour. In the meantime, prepare a salad or sandwich or simple dish to serve along with the soup. Add the last cup of water and blend. I use an immersion blender but a countertop will work as well. I found the soup plenty hot and did not reheat but you can test it to your liking. Taste and add fresh ground black pepper to taste.

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Thanksgiving Recipes

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CREAM OF BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

DINNER ROLLS or FRESH BAKED BREAD with cheese platter

SALAD GREENS served with
MAMMA’S HOUSE VINAIGRETTES  (red wine and balsamic)
1 clove garlic; crushed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup vinegar of choice or fresh pressed lemon juice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients together. Mix or shake before each use. Store at room temperature.

GRANDMA PIETRI’S TURKEY
Per 1 lb of turkey

1 clove garlic; crushed
3/4 teaspoon oregano
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red wine (or more to achieve the paste consistency)

The night before roasting the turkey- Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and rinse inside and out then pat dry. Make a paste with the above ingredients. Rub the paste all over the turkey, inside and out, place in a basin/container, cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 300-325. An 8-12 lb turkey will take 2 ¾ to 3 hours to cook; plan accordingly. Place the turkey on a rack in a broiling pan and pour 1 cup water into the pan. **if making Rik’s gravy read the recipe below to put vegetables in the pan as well** Place a lid over the pan -or- loosely “tent” the turkey with aluminum foil. Do not baste the turkey and do not open the oven door. Remove the lid/foil for the last hour so the turkey browns. The meat thermometer should read 165°F when inserted in the breast meat it is good practice to double check the turkey timer. When the turkey is done remove from the oven and pan and place on the cutting board and cover with the foil for 20 minutes before carving.

Note- Grandma Pietri roasts the turkey without a rack, allowing it to sit in its own juices and keeps it covered the whole time. She bastes the turkey every couple of hours for the duration of the bake time. My brother Rik, cook extraordinaire, gave me the “rack don’t baste” recommendation.

RIK’S GRAVY
neck and giblets (excluding liver) from the turkey
1 celery stalk; coarsely chopped
1 carrot; coarsely chopped
1 onion; pealed and quartered

3 tablespoons fat from oven-roasted turkey drippings
1 cup giblet broth/water
3 tablespoons all purpose flour (rice flour for gluten free)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt; more to taste
freshly ground black pepper

Place the giblets (minus the liver), celery, carrot and onion into the pan under the turkey with water to keep it from burning. After the turkey is finished baking strain the vegetables and poultry drippings through a sieve into a large (at least 4 cups) measuring cup. Deglaze the roasting pan with 1 cup broth/water, stirring until the crusty brown bits are loosened and pour the liquid through the sieve with the other pan drippings. Over medium heat, spoon 3 tablespoons fat from the poultry drippings (floats to the top of the measuring cup) into a 2-quart saucepan. Whisk flour and sea salt into the heated fat and continue to cook and stir until the flour turns golden brown. Meanwhile, skim and discard any fat remaining on top of the poultry drippings. Add the remaining broth and enough water to the poultry drippings to equal 3 1/2 cups. Gradually whisk in warm poultry drippings and broth mixture. Cook and stir until the gravy simmers and is slightly thick. Season with more salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

STUFFING STRAIGHT FROM “THE JOY OF COOKING”
1 lb sliced firm white sandwich, French or Italian bread including crusts cut into 1/2″ pieces (*gluten free bread works great too)
4-8 Tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/4-1/2 cup fresh parsley; minced
1 teaspoon dried sage (1 Tablespoon fresh; minced)
1 teaspoon dried thyme (1Tablespoon fresh; minced)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3-1 cup stock (I use vegetarian so all can enjoy but the original recipe calls for chicken)
1-2 large eggs; well beaten

Preheat oven to 400, prepare bread, arrange on baking sheet in a single layer and toast until golden brown. Remove toasted bread cubes from oven and pour into a large bowl.

Preheat a large skillet to medium-low and sauté onions and celery in butter until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in herbs and spices. Pour over the bread cubes and stir to combine well. Add stock and egg a little at a time so the stuffing is moist but not packed together.

Turn mixture into a shallow butters baking dish and bake at 350 until the top has formed a crust and the stuffing is heated through, 25-40 minutes.

MAMMA’S SWEET POTATO BAKE
3 fresh sweet potatoes; pealed and boiled till tender
17 oz can apricot halves with syrup drained and reserved
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon grated orange peel (be sure to stub skin well and use organic if possible)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Slice cooked sweet potatoes into 3/4 “ thick rounds. Arrange sliced sweet potatoes in a buttered 10x6x3/4” pan in an even layer. Cook and simmer reserved syrup, brown sugar, cornstarch, orange peel, salt, and cinnamon for 3 minutes. Add the apricot halves and pecans and simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes and bake for 25 minutes.

MASHED POTATOES (with skins if organic)
Scrub 8-10 organic potatoes (otherwise peel), place in a large pot, add water to just cover the potatoes and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a slow simmer. Cook till the potatoes are tender, almost falling apart (about 30 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes). Drain potatoes and return to pot, coarsely break apart and allow to cool slightly (this will help the potatoes to dehydrate so they can absorb butter and milk/cream). Add 6 tablespoons butter,  1/2 cup milk/cream, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. Turn heat to low and using a hand beater whip the potatoes with the butter and milk/cream and sugar till creamy. Add more milk/cream as needed for consistency. Season with more salt to taste.

Love garlic? Add crushed 1-2 cloves garlic to the pot or simply serve with garlic butter on the side.

MAMMA’S WILD RICE
1 cup wild rice; cooked
4 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup onion; minced
1/4 cup carrots; minced
1/4 cup celery; minced
1/4-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
pinch-1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Bring water and wild rice to a boil, reduce heat and simmer till the grains split (you will see with seems) and are tender, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté the vegetables in butter on low heat till tender. Drain the water from the wild rice, add the sautéd vegetables and salt and pepper to taste. I have also tossed in cooked white or brown rice so it is more of a pilaf.

SWEDISH BRAISED RED CABBAGE (recipe from “Hemmets Kokbok”)
1 small head of red cabbage
1 onion; chopped
2 sour apples (granny smith); quartered and seeds removed
2 Tablespoons butter (or canola oil)
1 teaspoon sea salt
4-5 whole cloves
1 Tablespoon sugar (brown sugar or honey)
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
3/4 cup water

Remove outer leaves of red cabbage, cut in to quarters and remove the thick stem inside. Cut into think strips or chop into small chunks.sauté cabbage, onion and apples in canola oil. Add the salt, cloves, sweetener, vinegar and water and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer over low heat with lid on until the cabbage is tender, about 1 hour. Stir occasionally and taste to adjust seasoning.

Fresh Orange Cranberry Relish
I believe this recipe was originally on an “Ocean Spray” package.

1 12 oz bag fresh cranberries; rinsed and picked through
1 orange; diced and seeded if needed
1 cup sugar

Process the above ingredients in a food processor at least 4 days and up to 2 weeks prior to Thanksgiving.

Puerto Rican Style Shrimp Soup

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This recipe was inspired by a delicious stew, “asopao con camarones”, that we had many years ago at a Taino Restaurant in Puerto Rico. Pictured with an arugula, carrot and tomato salad dressed in a simple vinaigrette and plantain chips on the side.

serves 4

1 lb raw shrimp
1 1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2-3/4 cup recaito *see below for modification
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
dash turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3/4 cups tomato sauce
3 cups water

*modification for recaito
1/2 onion; finely chopped
1/2 small pepper; finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro; chopped
1 clove garlic; crushed

Peal, de-vein and set aside shrimp.

In a large pot over low heat sauté the recaito (OR modification -onion, pepper, cilantro and garlic) in olive oil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spices and tomato sauce, stir, bring to simmering and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp, return to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.

If serving this in the traditional style, over rice- start the meal by cooking the rice so it is done once this quick stew is prepared.