Showing posts with label soup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soup. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cream of Mushroom Soup (for Zola)

A friend of mine is an amazing aesthetician. Sometimes when she has an appointment she leaves her 7 year old daughter with me. Zola and I have amazing chats during these visits...boys, school, friends...I am constantly amazed that she is only 7. The other day we were talking about her favorite and least favorite foods. Mushrooms made both lists. She said, "I don't like mushrooms but I love mushroom soup. Is that weird?"

Actually, it is not weird at all. Personally, I adore mushrooms. But many people, adults and kids, are put off by this item. I think it has more to do with the texture than the taste. So introducing children to mushrooms via a delicious, creamy and velvety soup seems like a perfect plan.

This recipe uses three types of mushrooms but you could use just one, feel free to swap out the ones in the ingredients list for your favorites. This almost vegan version (I use a bit of sweet butter) can be totally vegan by using all olive oil. I use coconut milk instead of cream because I like the lighter taste and I think most kids do too. The point is this is a very forgiving recipe so use what you like (or what you think your children will eat), pair with a big salad and some good bread and dinner (or lunch) is served.

Cream of Mushroom Soup (for Zola)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, cleaned
5 oz. baby bella mushrooms, cleaned
5 oz. shiitake mushrooms, cleaned
4 cups mushroom broth (or vegetable) I like the Imagine organic brand
1/2 cup sherry (or white wine)
1 cup coconut milk (from dairy case, not canned)
1 tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
sea salt
black pepper
1 tbsp white whole wheat flour
1 tbsp sweet (unsalted) butter
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Add olive oil, shallot and garlic to large stock pot set over medium high heat. Saute for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add mushroom broth, sherry, coconut milk, 1 tsp paprika, thyme and 1 tsp each salt and pepper to pot. Bring to a soft boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until very smooth. Pour back into pot and keep heat at simmer. Add flour to a small bowl. Top with a ladleful of soup and whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk flour mixture into soup and stir until combined. Stir in butter. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve in bowls topped with parsley.

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Other Kid Friendly Recipes you may like:

It is "Kid Friendly" week at Food Network's Sensational Sides roundup. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends. Do you have a favorite kid friendly recipe? Feel free to share in the comments section or link to your blog if you have one. 

Feed Me Phoebe: Mushy Pea Toasts with Mint
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan Crust
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Chocolate Milk with Homemade Chocolate Syrup
Bacon and Souffle: Kid-Friendly No-Boil Quick and Easy Mac and Cheese
Weelicious: Italian Asparagus Sticks
Devour: 5 Kid-Friendly Cupcakes
Cooking With Elise: 6 Kid-Friendly Sensational Sides
Dishin & Dishes: Mini Carrot Cake Cookie Cups 
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Cream of Mushroom Soup (for Zola)
Red or Green: Busy Mom's Chicken Tacos
Domesticate Me: Cheesy Baked Penne with Chicken and Broccoli
The Sensitive Epicure: PB&J and Apples Rice Paper Roll-Up (Gluten-Free)
FN Dish: Side Dishes Your Kids Will Love

napa farmhouse 1885

I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog "California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Thai Red Curry & Peanut Vegetable Stew

We have had such a mild winter in Taos. Many days in February and early March had temperatures in the 50s!  But Saturday was cold...wind with gusts of 35 to 40 MPH made it feel very chilly. Cloudy skies threatened snow. I craved a big fire and an even bigger pot of warm, comforting soup.

This Thai Red Curry & Peanut Vegetable Stew was exactly what I needed. Spicy, savory, chock full of vegetables, thickened with coconut milk; heat from Thai red curry paste and creamy from the peanut butter. Served with gluten-free coconut biscuits (will be shared in an upcoming post), this made a perfect Saturday night meal. Enjoy!
(oh, btw...I heated up leftover stew for lunch on Monday. Two days later and still delicious!)

Thai Red Curry & Peanut Vegetable Stew
(serves 4-6)

1 medium eggplant, cut in 1 inch cubes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1 inch slices
1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup baby bella mushrooms, washed
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen)
1 32 oz box organic vegetable broth
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup canned coconut milk
juice from 1/2 fresh lime
2 green onions, chopped (white & green parts)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
zest from one lime
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Add eggplant to large colander. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp salt and let sit 30 minutes.

Heat large stockpot over medium high heat. Add olive oil and eggplant. Saute for 15 minutes until eggplant is soft and brown on all sides.  Add onion, bell pepper, cauliflower and mushrooms. Saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and curry paste, cook for 1 minute.

Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Stir in peanut butter. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. Add coconut milk, 1/2 green onions, 1/2 of the cilantro, 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Stir and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Serve with remaining green onions, cilantro and lime zest topping each bowl of stew.

It is "most comforting peanut butter recipes" week at Food Network's Comfort Food Feast. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends.  Have a favorite peanut butter recipe of your own? Please share in the comments section of this posts. (links o.k.) 
Feed Me Phoebe: Thia Peanut Chia Pudding

napa farmhouse 1885

I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog "California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Seafood Stew (no potatoes)

Last week, over at my Red or Green? blog, I told the story of how my family serves Mexican food every Christmas eve. This has been going on for thirty years. Before that we always had Italian food. We are spending this Christmas at our home in Taos, New Mexico and...since I eat New Mexican food a couple times a week here...I am bringing back the Italian food tradition for just this year.

Italians traditionally eat seafood on Christmas eve. The Feast of the Seven Fishes, (festa dei sette pesci), as it is called is usually a huge celebration with multi-courses  featuring seafood. This is a tradition symbolizing the breaking of the fast where Roman Catholics used to "give up" meat prior to celebrations. This celebration commemorates the wait, the Vigilia di Natale, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus. (wikipedia)

This stew contains 3 types of seafood; shrimp, cod and halibut or flounder. Feel free to add or substitute your favorite fish. Lobster, mussels, clams and any type firm white fish would work well. And, because I am not a fan of potatoes in a red sauce based fish stew, I used fennel and kale instead. I really like the result.

The rest of my Christmas eve menu will include mussels and clams in garlic broth, seafood salad (this will equal my "seven" types of fish) and a vegetarian pasta dish for the non-seafood eaters. I am really looking forward to this meal. Oh, FYI, this stew is delicious year round as a first course or main dish. Serve with the toasted bread (bruschetta) & a green salad and dinner is ready. Enjoy!

Seafood Stew (no potatoes)
(serves 4)

8 oz fresh shrimp (peeled & deveined)
8 oz fresh cod fillets
8 oz fresh skinless halibut or flounder fillets
Kosher salt
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
1/2 fennel bulb (use the white bulb, the green stalks and the feathery ferny tops), chopped. Reserve 1 tbsp chopped ferny tops
4 garlic cloves, peeled. Chop 3 cloves, leave 1 whole
2 cups fish stock, homemade or excellent quality purchased
1 cup dry white wine
26.46 oz box Italian chopped plum tomatoes (I like the Pomi brand)
1/2 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped (about 2 cups)
1 tbsp sweet Spanish paprika
1/2-1 tsp dried red pepper flakes (depending on how much heat you want)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
sourdough or whole wheat baguette, sliced

Place the fish and shrimp on a rimmed dish, like a pie plate. Season with 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt.

Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tbsp olive oil and the onion and fennel. Saute, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add chopped garlic and cook an additional minute. Add fish stock, wine, tomatoes, kale, paprika, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper to pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Raise heat to medium. Add seafood to stockpot, stir and cook for 5-6 minutes or until shrimp turns pink and fish is just cooked through. Taste broth and adjust seasonings if desired.

Place bread on baking sheet and place under broiler. Cook on both sides. Remove from oven and immediately rub whole peeled garlic clove over each slice. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Serve stew in large soup/stew bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and top with a pinch of the chopped fennel tops. Pass the bread to dip in the flavorful broth.
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Merry Christmas everyone!
napa farmhouse 1885

I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog "California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Thai Pumpkin & Coconut Soup

Wow...Welcome to Fall!  In Taos, N.M. the nights have already begun to drop into the mid 30s.  I picked up a little head cold last week and have been craving soup. Warming, delicious soup.  So when I saw it was pumpkin week at Food Network's Fall Fest I knew exactly what to make.

I love using pumpkin in savory dishes.  Of course I am a big fan of sweet pumpkin dishes too...pies, cakes, cookies, pudding....but this winter squash is equally good when used in soups and stews, pasta dishes, roasted and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil...numerous options.  Today I combined pumpkin puree with coconut and spices to create the perfect Fall soup.  Just what the Doctor ordered!

Thai Pumpkin & Coconut Soup
(serves 6 as a main course)
extra virgin olive oil
1 cup white onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp cilantro plus more for garnish
2 tbsp fresh lemongrass, chopped, plus more for garnish
32 oz box organic vegetable broth
2 15 oz each cans organic pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling), or fresh
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (from the dairy case, not canned)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds

Heat large stock pot over medium high heat.  Add 2 tbsp olive oil to pot along with the onion, carrots and celery. Saute 7 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add garlic and continue cooking for an additional 30 seconds. Add 2 tbsp cilantro, 2 tbsp lemongrass and the vegetable broth. Stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender*, puree ingredients until smooth. Return pot to stove over medium low heat. Add pumpkin and coconut milk, stirring until combined. Add red pepper flakes, agave, ginger, coconut, salt and ground pepper. Use the immersion blender to puree soup to desired consistency. ( I like the texture from the coconut in my soup). Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. I think this soup tastes best the day after you make it.  Refrigerate after making. Gently warm over medium low heat until hot.

Serve in large bowls garnished with reserved cilantro, lemon grass and pumpkin seeds.
* You can use a regular blender if you don't have an immersion. Just let the soup cool down a bit before blending and be very, very careful!

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It is "pumpkin" week at Food Network's Fall fest. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends.  Have a favorite pumpkin recipe of your own? Please share in the comments section of this post. 
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Thai Pumpkin and Coconut Soup
Red or Green: Pizza with Red Chile Pumpkin Sauce, Black Beans and Fresh Corn
Devour: Easy Pumpkin Cream Sauce
Feed Me Phoebe: Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup
Virtually Homemade: Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino
Weelicious: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
The Lemon Bowl: Healthy Baked Mac and Cheese with Pumpkin
The Heritage Cook: Chile-Pumpkin Hummus
Dishing: Pumpkin Browns/ Pumpkin Hash Browns
In Jennie's Kitchen: Pumpkin Scones
Cooking With Elise: Hearty Pumpkin Pasta
And Love It Too: Paleo Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Blue Apron Blog: Baked Pumpkin Stuffed with Millet and Caponata
Dishin & Dishes: Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Cinnamon Pecan Syrup
Domesticate Me: Harvest Pumpkin Soup with Candied Bacon
The Sensitive Epicure: Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Pumpkin Seed Brittle
FN Dish: Cook Pumpkin from the Patch


I have started sharing my Taos experiences on my newest blog"California Girl in Taos". Please visit and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

roasted cauliflower soup with chile & garlic

this soup is perfect for cold winter nights.  roasting the cauliflower and garlic sweetens the vegetables. you get a bit of heat from new mexican red chile powder and spices.  creamy coconut milk balances everything out.  be sure to serve with delicious bread or rolls to dip in the bowls of soup.

roasted cauliflower soup with chile & garlic
1 large head cauliflower
extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 white onion, peeled and dices
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tbsp new mexican red chile powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 baking potato, unpeeled and diced
1 qt plus 4 oz vegetable stock
3/4 cup coconut milk, unsweetened**
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

preheat oven to 425 degrees.  prepare cauliflower by first washing and removing leaves. (chop leaves and save for later in the recipe). cut off stem and then cut cauliflower in half lengthwise and then again into quarters. place one of the cut sides down on cutting board and...with the knife at an angle...cut off stem. repeat with remaining three pieces. break cauliflower into bite sized florets. chop half of florets into small pieces.

place prepared cauliflower florets (not chopped ones) on a rimmed parchment lined baking sheet. run 4 passes of olive oil bottle over pan and, using your hands, roll cauliflower in oil ensuring evenly covered. place in preheated oven for 20 minutes. remove from oven and add garlic and another 2 passes of e.v.o.o. stir and sprinkle large pinch each salt and peppers over vegetables. return to pan and roast for another 10 minutes. keep roasting until the cauliflower is beginning to brown and caramelize.  remove from oven.

add 2 tbsp olive oil to large pot and gently heat.  add onion, jalapeno and reserved cauliflower greens and cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft. ( about 6 minutes).  add chile powder and cayenne pepper, stir and cook for an additional minute.  add potato, chopped cauliflower and quart of vegetable stock.  increase heat to high, bring to a boil, reduce heat back to medium and simmer for 25 minutes. (vegetables should be very soft.  if not continue simmering for an additional 5-10 minutes.).  add in the roasted cauliflower, stir and heat for an additional minute.

using a stick blender***, puree the soup until well mixed and fairly smooth.  (note, this soup has texture from the potato peel and greens which i like.  if you want a very smooth soup, pass through a strainer or food mill).  add the coconut milk, small pinch of salt and one of pepper and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.  add additional vegetable broth if too thick.  taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  serve in large bowls, each drizzled with a bit of olive oil , a pinch more of the red chile powder and a sprinkling of cilantro. 

** use the coconut milk in cartons in the dairy section...not the canned version
*** if you don't have a stick blender you can use a regular blender.  do this in two batches and be very careful...soup is HOT.  see amazon ad below for an example of an immersion stick blender.

it is cauliflower week at food networks' fall fest. check out the delicious sounding recipes from the all of the other participating bloggers:
Red or Green?: Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic
Devour: 6 New Ways to Use Cauliflower
Thursday Night Dinner: Quick Cauliflower Curry
Feed Me Phoebe: Roasted Cauliflower and Fennel Salad With Endive and Radicchio
FN Dish: 10 Standout Cauliflower Recipes
HGTV Gardens: Garden-to-Table: Cauliflower


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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

roasted pumpkin & black bean stew with chorizo and pepitas

it is pumpkin week at food network's fall fest and i decided to forgo a sweet recipe to share.  with cold weather and the holiday season fast approaching, i will be baking plenty of pumpkin pies, muffins, cookies and cupcakes during the next few months.  don't get me wrong i love pumpkin desserts, but for today's submission i thought i would post something savory...and spicy...and warm...and filling...and a bit different.  how does roasted pumpkin with black beans, chorizo and vegetables sound?  what about if they were stewed in a riff on mole sauce?

i am in taos, new mexico right now (more on that in another post) and there are pumpkins the farmers' market, at roadside stands, growing  in neighbors' yards...everywhere.  i bought a few large jack-o-lantern ones for decorating and a bunch of the smaller sugar pumpkins for eating.   these are the ones you want to use in cooking or baking.  the large ones are really tough and just for halloween.  but the sugar ones...sometimes called "pie" pumpkins...are sweet and tender when cooked.  this recipes calls for you to first roast the pumpkin before adding to the stew.  here is a tip....taste a few pieces of the roasted pumpkin.   you will fall in love!  i roast double the amount i need just to have some to snack on.  you can use as a side dish in place of the more typical squash whenever you like.

i used soyrizo instead of chorizo in my stew.  it is healthier, has less fat, no cholesterol and keeps the dish vegetarian as i have lots of veg friends and family members.  to be honest, no one has ever been able to tell the difference. feel free to use regular chorizo if you wish...just switch the recipe a bit to ensure you thoroughly cook the chorizo first and then drain before you sauté the onions, garlic and pepper.  one last note...the cinnamon, chocolate and chile powder may sound me, don't leave these ingredients out of the stew.  you won't be able to taste any of them individually, but together they meld  to add depth to the finished dish.  if you can't find true new mexican red chile powder skip not substitute regular chili powder.   ok...enough of the notes and tips....try this stew.  my family finds it addictive! (me too)

roasted pumpkin & black bean stew with chorizo and pepitas
4 lb sugar pumpkin (sometimes called pie pumpkin)
extra virgin olive oil
12 oz "soyrizo" or chorizo, remove casing and chop
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1 oz. dark chocolate
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp new mexican red chile powder, optional
2 15.oz cans unsalted black beans, rinsed
1 bunch cilantro
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
pepitas (from pumpkin)

preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  prepare the pumpkin:  with a sharp serrated knife, cut the pumpkin in half.  scrape out the seeds and stringy fibers. (i use a heavy metal spoon for this)  reserve the seeds for making pepitas*.  cut the pumpkin in wedges.  carefully cut the peel from the flesh following this process:  using a very sharp knife, place the blade between the flesh and the peel.  for safety, place your free hand on top of the pumpkin flesh to keep it from sliding.  run the knife between the peel and the flesh, like you were preparing cantaloupe.  cut the pumpkin into 2 inch cubes.  place on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet.  drizzle olive oil over...3-4 passes of the bottle...and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  roast in oven for 20 minutes.  remove from oven, stir and add back to oven.  roast an additional 10-15 minutes or until pumpkin is tender with a caramelized crust.  set aside.

prepare the stew:  add 2 tbsp olive oil and onion to stockpot.  sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.  add garlic, green pepper and soyrizo.  cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are soft and soyrizo is crispy on the sides.  add broth and chocolate, raise heat to high, and bring to a boil.  reduce to high simmer, add cinnamon, chile powder if using, 2 tbsp. cilantro and beans.  cook for an additional 20 minutes or until liquid has thickened and reduced by half. add roasted pumpkin and salt & pepper to taste. cook for an additional 5 minutes.  serve topped with cilantro and pepitas.

pepitas recipe
(thanks to the farmers at the taos market for providing this worked!)
add the pepitas and the pulp to a large pot.  cover with water and, using your hands, swirl the pulp around in the water.  scoop out all the loosened seeds and add to a small saucepan,  continue the swirling and scooping process until all seeds are free.  you may need to pull some directly from the pulp to get them all.  cover the seeds with water and 2 tsp salt.  bring to a boil.  boil for 5 minutes. drain and add to a small rimmed roasting pan.  roast 5 minutes at 400 degrees.  stir and roast and additional 5-15 minutes until pepitas are toasted and crunchy.  do not roast for longer than 20 minutes to preserve nutrients.  *note...for this stew i like the pepitas plain.  but for other uses you can add any kind of seasoning or spices you like during the last 5 minutes of roasting.  i particularly like the ground new mexican red chile mentioned earlier.

another pumpkin recipe you might enjoy:
pizza with spicy pumpkin sauce, black beans and fresh corn

check out the delicious sounding pumpkin recipes from the all of the other participating bloggers:
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Chez Us: Pull Apart Pumpkin-Pecan Bread With Maple Bourbon Frosting
And Love It Too: Vanilla Pumpkin Swirl Cake With Vanilla Palm Sugar Glaze
Haute Apple Pie: Creamy Pumpkin Penne With Italian Sausage
HGTV Gardens: Garden-to-Table: Pumpkins
From My Corner of Saratoga: Chocolate-Pumpkin Cake
Made By Michelle: Pumpkin Scones
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Pumpkin and Black Bean Stew With Chorizo and Pepitas
Devour: 5 Delicious Ways to Use Pumpkins After Carving
Virtually Homemade: Pumpkin Pancakes With Maple Cream and Candied Vanilla Pecans
The Heritage Cook: Gingery Pumpkin Mousse With Whipped Ginger Cream
Thursday Night Dinner: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie
Cooking With Books: Pumpkin-Bacon Brussels Sprouts
FN Dish: Primping Up Pumpkin
Feed Me Phoebe: Roasted Pumpkin Wedges With Chili, Lime and Cotija

have a good week!

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Friday, March 23, 2012

a recipe for potato soup with red chile & cheddar cheese ?

i returned last week from a month-long trip to taos, new mexico.  the weather in napa was beautiful the entire time i was gone.  i kept reading on facebook about the warm weather and the sunshine.  the person taking care of my home needed to water frequently...i had assumed it would rain so much that this would not be required (sorry brooke!)  really napa?  temperatures in the 70s and no rain in february and early march?  normally it rains from january till may.

of course the day i returned it started raining...and raining and raining.  again, really napa?  i know we need the rain, but couldn't this have happened while i was gone?  i checked out the 10 day forecast today guessed it...rain for the next 10 days. 

when the weather is cold, and dark and wet i start craving soup.  a big bowl of delicious soup and excellent bread just makes me feel better...and happier...comforted somehow.  so last sunday i made potato soup with red chile & cheddar cheese.  what a perfect choice...spicy from the red chile and chipotle, thick from the potatoes, rich from the cheese...but not too rich because the soup is made with water, no cream or milk. i loved the soup and wrote about it on facebook and asked what everyone else was making for dinner that night. immediately, my friend linda posted "homemade cabbage soup". my friend rachelle posted "black bean soup and corn bread muffins!"  two friends asked if they could have some of the leftovers the next day for lunch.   who doesn't love soup?  do you have a favorite soup recipe?  please share in the comments section below.

potato soup with red chile & cheddar cheese
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
3 pounds baking potatoes, unpeeled and cut in 2 inch dice
2 tbsp ground new mexican red chile
1 canned chipotle pepper, minced (optional, skip if you want less heat)
5 1/2 cups water
8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbsp pure balsamic vinegar
coarse grey salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
2 tbsp snipped chives

warm olive oil in a large saucepan.  add onion and sauté over love heat until just beginning to caramelize (about 10 minutes).  add the 2 tsp sea salt, potatoes, chile, chipotle and water.  increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  reduce heat back to low, cover pan and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are very tender when pierced with a knife.

remove from heat and, using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. (alternatively, process in two batches in a very careful if using this method, the soup is very hot). **note, i like my soup with a bit of texture (and the nutrients) from the potato skins so i stop at this point.  if you want a more elegant soup, strain through a fine sieve to remove skin and onion bits**

add mixture back to saucepan and place over low heat.  thin with additional water as desired.  stir in cheese until melted.  add balsamic vinegar and large pinch of pepper.  taste and, using grey salt, adjust salt if needed.  serve soup topped with cilantro leaves and chives.


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Friday, January 13, 2012

how about a recipe for roasted butternut squash & chipolte soup?

happy new year!  did you make any resolutions?  have you kept them so far?  my new tradition is to start each year following my friend laura's eat healthy challenge.  the challenge requires you to give up 6 food groups for 28 days.  the following is an excerpt from laura's blog, the healthy junkie, which explains in greater detail:

"Choose at least four of the following foods to be eliminated during the Eat Healthy Challenge and circle them. Choosing all six elements will speed up the benefits, but I also believe baby steps will eventually lead you to big steps. I will eliminate the following from my diet for the duration of my Challenge:

* No Alcohol
* No Caffeine (green tea’s okay)
* No Sugar (including cane sugar, dextrose, fructose, glucose, sucrose, corn syrup, maltodextrin, sorbitol and many more). Very little agave nectar is okay.
* No White flour
* No Dairy (including milk, cheese, cream, ice cream). Plain yogurt is okay, little butter is okay.
* No Processed Foods or Hydrogenated Foods (this one must be circled by everyone). Also, do not eat luncheon meats with nitrites and nitrates added as preservatives. These are known to react with HCL (hydrochloric acid) in the stomach and produce nitrosamines that are known carcinogens. Also, no MSG or sulfites. No Nutra-Sweet, aspartame, sucralose or Splenda.

I explain in more detail why we are omitting these food from our diets in past blog posts. Get ready and prepare. See the blog entries on Breakfast Suggestions and Lunch and Dinner Suggestions and Shopping List."
extra virgin olive oil biscuits

we do this 4 times per year and when i first started all i could think of was what i was giving up...bad mindset.  six challenges later, i have discovered how easy (and delicious) it is to eat this way.  most of the time i forget we are "cleansing"...and i challenge myself to create/find recipes that meet the criteria without anyone knowing it is "challenge friendly".  today's soup is a perfect example....i would happily eat this any month of the year (and i do).  smoky, sweet, rich...perfect for lunch or dinner.  i serve with a big salad and a basket of my extra virgin olive oil biscuits (which i tweaked using 100% white whole wheat flour, agave for the sugar and almond milk for the regular...voilà! cleanse friendly).  try it and let me know what you think.

roasted butternut squash & chipotle soup
1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
3 medium carrots, chopped into 1 inch pieces
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1 medium sweet white onion
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
1-2 tsp adobo sauce from can
5 cups vegetable broth (i like the imagine brand)
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

preheat oven to 400 degrees. line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
peel the squash (i use a vegetable peeler) and chop into 1 inch pieces.  place the squash and carrots onto the prepared baking sheet.  drizzle with olive oil (about 3 passes of the bottle).  using your hands, roll the vegetables in the oil until totally covered.  sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in preheated oven.  roast until vegetables are fork tender and beginning to caramelize. (about 1 hour...check after 45 minutes)

while squash is roasting, add 2 tablespoons e.v.o.o. to a medium saucepan.  warm over medium heat.  add onions and garlic and sauté until softened and translucent. (about 10 minutes).  add chipotles and adobo. (note, i like spicy foods so i add the adobo for heat and the delicious taste.  if you want a milder soup, use only 1 tsp or eliminate entirely).  sauté another 2 minutes.  add the vegetable broth, raise heat and bring to a boil.  reduce heat back to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.  add roasted vegetables and simmer for 15 minutes.  remove from heat and use an immersion blender to puree until smooth.  i like my soup with texture so i stop at this point.  if you want a very smooth soup, press through a sieve or strainer to remove solids.  (note, if you do not have a immersion blender, you can use a regular blender and work in careful, the soup is hot)

add soup back to saucepan and reheat until hot.  ladle into soup bowls and garnish with cilantro.

happy and healthy 2012 everyone...please visit throughout january for more healthy and delicious recipes.  interested in the challenge?  you can start anytime...check out laura's blog for all the details, tips and shopping suggestions.


diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885
"live a green life of style™ "

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