Category Archives: Soups

Creamy Curry Lime Cauliflower Soup

I found this recipe on 101 Cooks and it is FANTASTIC. Not only that, it’s every bit as easy as it claims to be. I didn’t have yellow curry paste so I used a good heaping tablespoon of curry powder. It gives you the option of coconut milk or cashew milk. I used coconut and squeezed two limes into after it was done with salt to taste. My topping was crushed raw cashews and finely chopped green onions and it was deeeeeeee-licious. There are some great recipes on 101 Cooks so hurry over and check them out. I’m definitely going to be going back for more!

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101 COOKS PHOTO CREDIT

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons yellow curry paste, or more to taste
3 small new potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large head of cauliflower florets (~1 1/2 lb)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
, plus more to taste
1/2 – 1 cup cashew milk or coconut milk
1 lime

to serve: croutons, or (as pictured) toasted pine nuts, fried shallots, hemp seeds, and more of the yellow curry paste whisked with a bit of shallot oil

Pour the olive oil into a large pot over medium-high heat. When hot, stir in the onion, and garlic. Sauté for a couple minutes, just long enough for things to soften up. Stir in the curry paste, potatoes, cauliflower, and salt, and allow to cook for another 5 minutes or so. Add 4 1/2 cups of water, and bring just to a boil. Dial back the heat and simmer just long enough for the cauliflower and potatoes to get tender throughout, another 5-10 minutes. Immediately remove the soup from heat, and transfer to a high-speed blender (in batches, if necessary). Alternately, you can use a hand blender directly in the pot. Stir in the cashew milk. And here’s the make or break step – add more salt if needed, and a good amount of fresh lime juice. Adjust until the seasoning is balanced and just right. It should taste bright and sharp, and delicious. Serve sprinkled with any/all of the suggested toppings.

Serves 8.

PREP TIME: 10 MIN – COOK TIME: 15 MIN

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Jamie Oliver’s Asian Noodle Soup

Jamie_HealthierHappierYou_JanFeb16_20841_AsianStyleChickenNoodleSoupI made a vegetarian version of Jamie Oliver’s Asian Chicken and Tofu Noodle soup  and it was fantastic. It was easy to make and it is now competing with laksa, my other favourite rice noodle soup.

For those of you interested in the original chicken version here is the recipe.

For a veggie or pescatarian version (I added prawns to the one I made last night) here is the recipe:

I litre organic vegetable broth

2 shallots

1 3/4-inch (2-centimetre) piece of ginger

4 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon peanut oil

2 tablespoons sesame oil

5 star anise

½ bunch fresh coriander

I bunch fresh basil

100 grams (4 ounces) tofu

2 cups spinach

5 large mushrooms (thinly sliced – (I added this to the recipe)

1 lb prawns peeled – to serve 4 people

4 green onions – finely chopped

½ fresh red chili

3/4 cup fine uncooked rice noodles

2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce

Black pepper

1 lime cut in 4

Peel and finely slice the shallot, ginger and garlic.

Heat the peanut oil in a large saucepan over a medium–low heat, then add the shallot, ginger and garlic. Fry for 5 minutes, or until softened.

Add sesame oil and fry for a few more minutes.

Add star anise and cover with 1 litre of bouillon. Gently bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover the pan with a lid. Add mushroom and prawns. Add a dash of soy sauce to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add spinach to heated broth before you’re ready to serve.

Pick the herb leaves, chop the tofu into ½ inch (1.25-centimetre) cubes. Cook rice noodles.

Place rice noodles in serving bowls, add herbs and tofu and then ladle broth with spinach, prawns and mushrooms and serve.

I gave everyone a small ramekin with hot pepper, a slice of lime and herbs and green onions so they could garnish their soup to taste. A big bottle of sriracha was on the table ready and waiting. Serve and sigh with satisfaction. So easy, so delicious. Thanks Jamie Oliver!

 

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Carrot Lemongrass Coconut Soup via Shiny Tomato

My friend Bonnie and her sister are the beauty and the brains behind Shiny Tomato recipes. Visiting their web site is almost as good as being in Bonnie’s house which has this fantastic, warm, fuzzy, Mad Men feel to it. So much so you almost never want to leave especially after having one or more of her delicious cocktails:) Last year she hosted a cheese fondue extravaganza – be still my beating heart. Cheese fondue, you say? 

But this post isn’t about cheese fondue. This is about a fabulous Carrot Lemongrass Soup she posted which I tried and which I can now attest to its amaze-a-ball-ness (a word borrowed from Pearlie which I am now going to own). 

 

 

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Carrot Lemongrass Coconut Soup

  • 8 cups stock
  • 6 lime leaves (fresh, dried or frozen)
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 TBSP coarse salt
  • 3 lemongrass stalks (I have used the stuff you can buy in a tube)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 TBSP Thai red curry paste
  • 1 TBSP coriander seeds, ground
  • 2 lbs carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp sambal oelek (or some hot chili sauce)
  • 1 tsp minced lime zest
  • Juice 1 lime
  • Chopped cilantro leaves
  • Plain yogurt (if desired)
  1. Heat the stock while you prepare the soup ingredients. Add the lime leaves & keep warm.
  2. Prepare the lemongrass by cutting the stalk 4” from the root end. Get rid of the top and peel the outer layer from the bottom piece. Using a broad bladed knife, smash the lemongrass. Mince & set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion & 1 tsp salt. Cook onions until translucent.
  4. Add minced garlic, ginger, lemongrass, curry paste & coriander; sauté & stir for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chopped carrots & remaining salt (2 tsps). Sauté for several minutes, then pour in hot stock.
  6. Bring to a boil & simmer until the carrots are soft (about 15 min).
  7. Remove lime leaves & puree with hand blender/food processor until smooth. Whisk in coconut milk, sambal oelek &simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  8. Just before serving, add lime zest, juice & season to taste with salt or more sambal.
  9. Garnish each bowl with freshly chopped cilantro leaves & a spoonful of yogurt.

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Indian Spiced Lentils with Yogurt – Yotam Ottolenghi

My friend Janet posted this recipe so I tested it right away and wow, it was fantastic. The spices come together to give this simple vegetarian dish a complex beautiful taste. If you don’t already stock the usual array of Indian spices it’s worth going out and getting them including the more unusual ones required in this recipe. The original recipe comes from the Guardian web site and was shared by Yotam Ottolenghi. So thanks Yotam! Amazing veggie treat.

Food-Vegetarian Spiced Red Lentils with Cumcumber Yogurt
Yotam Ottolenghi’s favourite way to stave off the cold Photograph: Colin Campbell

This chill breaker is the ultimate antidote to any seasonal malady; I could eat mountains of it. Serve as a thick soup, or alongside plain rice or roti. Serves two to four.

200g split red lentils (I used 1.5 cups)
1 bunch fresh coriander
1 small onion, peeled
40g ginger, peeled 
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 mild green chilli
1½ tsp black mustard seeds
4 tbsp sunflower oil
1½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp paprika
10 curry leaves
300g ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (1.5 cups chopped)
2 tsp caster sugar
½ tsp fenugreek (optional)
1 pinch asafoetida (optional)
Salt
150g Greek yogurt
75g finely diced cucumber
1½ tbsp olive oil
70g unsalted butter
1½ tbsp lime juice

Wash the lentils in plenty of water, drain and soak in 350ml of fresh water for 30 minutes. Cut the coriander bunch somewhere around its centre to get a leafy top half and a stem/root bottom half. Roughly chop the leaves. Put the stem half in the bowl of a food processor, add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli – all roughly broken – and pulse a few times to chop up without turning into a paste.

Put the mustard seeds in a heavy-based pot and place over medium heat. When they begin to pop, add the onion mix and sunflower oil, stir and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Add the spices and curry leaves, and continue cooking and stirring for five minutes longer. Now add the lentils and their soaking water, the tomatoes, sugar, fenugreek, asafoetida and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are fully cooked.

Before serving, whisk together the yogurt, cucumber, oil and some salt. Stir into the lentils the butter, lime juice and chopped coriander leaves, taste and season generously with salt. Divide into bowls, spoon yogurt on top and garnish with coriander.

• Yotam Ottolenghi is chef/patron of Ottolenghi in London

 

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Kale and Butternut Squash Soup – vegetarian, gluten-free

Oh my. This is so good. So good. Did I say good? Yes, it’s delicious.  I am having a love affair with kale this year which is likely one of the reasons I love this so much. Anyways, it’s easy and fabulous. Try it right away!
Ingredients
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and quartered lenthwise
  • 1 large leek, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • I can finely diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups of finely chopped kale
  • 3 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 15 oz can of cannelli white beans, drained
  • 1 tsps Better than Bouillon vegetarian bouillon
  • salt and pepper to taste (I’m on a bit of a white pepper kick
  • 4 cups water

METHOD

Cut all the vegetables. Heat a large soup pot with olive oil. Add leeks, garlic and carrots. Stir until softened over medium heat for a approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Add one can of finely diced tomatoes. Add Better than Bouillon and thyme. Add squash and 4 cups of water. Bring to high simmer until squash is tender (but not overcooked!!) Add kale. Simmer for 3 minutes. If you want to thicken the soup with tomato paste to make it more stew- like you can ( I  was tempted but in the end I didn’t!)

 

 

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Tortilla Soup (My Way) Which Means Not Authentic in Any Way – Just Damn Delicious

I’ve had the recent good fortune of discovering Tortilla Soup. My first encounter with it was quite improbably here at Earls which is a mid-range trendy local chain. We did a “chef’s” table with some friends and this was the introductory course. My second and subsequent encounters with Tortilla Soup all happened in northern California where virtually every restaurant serves it. So I feel I can say with some low level authority that every Tortilla Soup I had the pleasure of tasting was very different.

My own version is completely different then the ones I had and I must say it was the best that I’ve tasted. Not very humble but the truth:) One thing I can say for those of us with particular diets – you can definitely adjust this recipe at will. For example, vegetarians can just leave out the chicken and for you lactose intolerant folks – just skip the cheese – for those of us who can eat dairy but only goat just use goat cheddar/feta.

And so without further ado – Tortilla Soup (My Way)

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium jalapeño chile, seeded, veins removed and finely chopped. (I actually used peppers I had from an El Paso jar of pickled chilis – I used about 4 and it was fantastic.
You can use 4 cups chicken broth or homemade chicken stock but I used a good heaping teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon (Vegetarion) -as an aside – this bouillon is amazing.
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes undrained
salt to taste
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (optional)
1/2 cup of fabulous white wine (or more if you like)
2 tbs of tomato paste to thicken

Garnish with
1 ripe avocado sliced
1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or mild cheddar)
A handful of crushed tortilla chips per serving
Chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges

METHOD
Heat oil in a large pan and add garlic and onions, cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped chile and cook for 2-3 minutes more, until the onions and chiles have softened. Add the broth (or water and bouillon), tomatoes, and salt. Increase the heat to high, heat until the soup begins to boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add wine and simmer for a few minutes. Then add tomato paste to thicken. If you are doing the chicken version add shredded chicken now and cook until heated its heated through.

To serve ladle in soup. Peel avocado and slice into 1 inch slices and garnish side of bowl. Crush tortilla chips (I used Que Pasa black corn) over top of soup, then add grated cheddar over top. (I used goat yogurt for my own). Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges and a glass of Sterling Pinot Gris.

Enjoy! This is my new fave! Sorry no pictures. I’m the worst photographer but next time I make it I’ll add it.

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Shiitake Hot & Sour Soup – Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian (if you want:) and Delicious!

Finally! The mystery is out of this delicious Asian soup! I love it. For years I stopped going to Chinese restaurants because of my finicky stomach and not knowing enough of what was in the food. But Hot & Sour is definitely one of my favourite things to eat. I just never thought of cooking it because it seemed so exotic and mysterious and well – inaccessible. Well guess what? It’s not. The truth is that this is the easiest recipe ever and it adapts well to either a veggie or meat eating diet.

1 tbsp grapeseed oil

1 jalapeño, minced with seeds

1 tbsp minced ginger

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 bunches scallions, green and white parts sliced, 2 tbsp greens reserved

1 lb shiitakes, stems removed and tops 1/4-in sliced

2 1/2 quarts vegetarian stock (unless you want to use chicken stock)
2 tbsp naturally brewed soy sauce

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

1 block silken tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 cups shredded carrots

I also added a small can of bamboo shoots (thinly sliced, I also thickened the soup with corn starch/water paste, and I added some prawns)

Freshly cracked black pepper.

Directions

In a stockpot over medium-high heat, add oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add jalapeño, ginger, garlic and scallions. Sauté until aromatic, about a minute. Add shiitakes and sauté 2 minutes, until softened.

Add stock and soy sauce, bring to a simmer and reduce by 20%, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, tofu and carrots and cook gently for 2 more minutes to heat tofu through. Season with black pepper.
Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with reserved scallion greens and lemon zest.

I got this excellent recipe from Dr. Oz.

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