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Roasted Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

31 Jan

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This soup is slightly sweet, savoury and very filling. The texture is very thick and creamy with a nice smooth buttery finish. Need I say more? Oh, well I could say that this soup gives you a substantial dose of your daily vegetables while making you feel like you’re having a treat.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium or one large squash like Kabocha or Butternut (not Spaghetti squash)
  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 large onions
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 1.5-2 Ltrs of broth (Chicken/Turkey/Pork/Vegetable)
  • 1-2 Tbs salt
  • 1-2 Tsp dried ginger
  • Coconut Aminos to taste (optional, can use soy sauce but be careful with the amount of salt you use)
  • Dash Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter (use coconut oil if vegan/dairy free)
  • Olive oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel and roughly chop all of the vegetables and place in baking pans. Keep the carrots separate as they may take slightly longer to cook. Drizzle with olive oil and roast until tender and slightly browned.*

Put all vegetables in a soup pot (at lest 13 ltr capacity), add 1.5 ltrs of broth, bring up to a boil over medium heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.*

Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. *

If the soup is too thick add the remaining broth.

Add spices and seasoning to taste, then add butter and enjoy!

Notes:

* If you are using Kabocha squash it may be difficult to peel. I usually wash thoroughly, cut in half, remove seeds, drizzle with olive oil and roast. Done this way, the flesh easily separates from the peel afterwards.

*This soup is very thick and may spit while you’re cooking it. You will need to stir frequently and be cautious of molten lava like soup splattering you! Keep your heat to medium and do not cook on high heat to prevent scalding yourself and burning the soup.

*You can also use a blender to blend this in batches but do not overfill and be cautious as the soup will be very hot. It is a good idea to have the vent open in the lid a crack to vent steam. Place a towel over the blender to prevent hot soup from spraying when blending and opening the lid.

 

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Beef Stroganoff Soup

8 Feb

This week has been a strange week for leftovers. For some reason, the other person that shares this house and all its food didn’t take many lunches. This left me with a rather large hunk of roast beef (meant to be used for roast beef sandwiches). Needless to say, there’s only so many roast beef sandwiches or roast beef reheats a girl can do. Today the limit was reached and when my special someone announced that there was another work lunch today, I realized that all that expensive grass fed, non-medicated blah blah blah roast beef was going to go to waste! Nooooooo!

It seemed to me that this was an occasion to call on the resident superhero (also known as a  the crock pot) to whip me up some lunch. I looked in the fridge and realized that I hadn’t roasted my veggies this week and that my portobello mushrooms were teetering on the edge of wasteland too. Then the idea formed, mushrooms, beef, noodles, in soup form is Beef Stroganoff but with less fat. Not that I’m against fat but sometimes it’s just, you know, a bit too much. This soup gives that Stroganoff taste but is a much lighter meal while being quite substantially heavier on the veggie portions side – gotta get your 7-10 a day!

Ingredients:

  • Beef – I used about 2-3 cups of cubed roast beef, but I’m sure you could use just about any lean cut (other than ground beef).
  • 3-4 large Portobello mushrooms
  • 1-2 medium onions
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 2 tsp tarragon
  • bay leaves
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • GF beef bouillon – the amount will depend on your tastes and the type you have. Start low and work your way up, especially if your brand is high in sodium.
  • 1 package of GoGo Quinoa brand Penne pasta (Lower on GI index & higher in protein than most rice pastas)
  • Sour cream for garnish
  • Optional: GF onion bouillon, GF herb bouillon, GF veggie bouillon. I used quite a bit because I like a very robust flavored broth.

Directions:

  • Cube the beef, onions, mushrooms and place in a crock pot.
  • Throw in the bouillon and spices.
  • Cover with hot water to almost the top of the pot, leaving room for the pasta.
  • Cook on high for 2.5 hours or until the onions and mushrooms are tender, stirring once or twice to make sure the spices etc. are mixing up nicely.
  • Add pasta and continue to cook until the pasta is just al dante. The pasta will continue to cook as the soup cools so keep your eye on it so it does not overcook.
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Notes:

  • You could probably use stew meat for this soup and it would be great. Some people prefer to brown the meat first. I have never had success with that method as my meat comes out tough every time. I find that it is much more tender if I just let the crock pot do the work.
  • You can get a more caramelized flavor by  browning the onions and mushrooms first. This is certainly not necessary but would give more depth of flavor.
  • I use a tea ball for the bay leaves so that I don’t have to go fishing them out or serving them to people.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Chick Pea Soup

9 Jan

This recipe came from one of those happy accidents that can happen in the kitchen. It all started when I stumbled across a recipe for “Aftermath Health Drink” in Vista magazine. The drink is meant to help you get over the indulgences of the holidays. I could see the detoxifying qualities of the drink so I whipped up a batch. A drank a cup of it and decided that I really wouldn’t like another. But I’d made the broth and I do not like to waste. Besides, the flavors seemed to call for a creamy, coconut, sweet potato mix. So I went for it and the results were beautiful!

You could make this all in one go or you could roast your veggies and make the broth ahead of time, earlier in the week while doing other meals. I believe that will be my approach as otherwise, this recipe would be quite a time commitment.

Ingredients:

Broth:
2 Litres of water
2 garlic cloves
1 med chopped onion
Ginger root about 2″ chopped
1-2 Tsp caraway cracked
1-2 Tsp cardamom seeds cracked
3/4 Tsp red chilli peppers

Vegetables & Chickpeas:
2 large sweet potatoes
1 head of cauliflower
1 large can of chickpeas (796 ml)

Final Ingredients:
1 can coconut milk (296 ml)
1 Tbs coconut oil**
1 Tbs salt
1-2 Tsp ground cumin

Instructions:

Combine broth ingredients and simmer for 2 hours. I recommend using a tea ball/herb ball for the red pepper flakes, cardamom and caraway seeds so that your soup will be creamer after it’s blended.

At the one hour mark, begin prepping your vegetables.

Clean cauliflower and sweet potatoes and place in roasting pan. You can peel the sweet potatoes either before or after roasting. Drizzle cauliflower with olive oil before roasting. Roast vegetables at 400°F until soft about 40 minutes.

Drain the chickpeas, drizzle with olive oil and spices – if desired. I used chilli pepper flakes, salt, cardamom and ground cumin. Roast for about 20 minutes. Be sure not to over cook the chickpeas or they will become too hard. They should be cooked enough to get a roasted flavor but not roasted until crunchy.

Combine the broth with vegetables and the final ingredients in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.*  You may need to do this in batches as this makes a lot of soup.

Return to pot and simmer for another 1/2 hour, adding additional seasoning as necessary.

Notes:

* If you would like a really smooth, restaurant style soup, you will need to strain the soup. I do not bother as I don’t mind that it’s not perfectly smooth.

** I added coconut oil to improve the mouth feel and to slow digestion and therefore feel full longer. This is probably not necessary if using full fat coconut milk.

Yield: About 12-14 cups

Time: 2.5 hours