Category Archives: Soups

Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup


This was a wonderfully food-filled Thanksgiving weekend.  I made the trek back to the motherland for some delicious turkey on the grill, maple-glazed brussel sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes, corn-bread stuffing, cranberry-cherry chutney, home-baked dinner roles and maple-pecan and pumpkin pie.  Earlier today, I dined on some delicious pot-au-feu (recipe to follow later this week, I hope).  Tonight, I wrapped up my incredibly relaxing holiday weekend with this carrot and sweet potato soup.

First, I have to tell you that it was not my intention to make this soup.  I was intending to make Moroccan carrot soup instead.  But alas, it turns out I didn’t have enough carrots and I wanted some leftovers to get me through the first half of this week’s lunches.  So, this slightly heartier soup was born.  Find some delicious bread to go with it, and you’ve got yourself a wonderful winter meal!

Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 c. carrot, sliced
1 medium-large sweet potato, cubed (about 3 cups)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. 33rd and Galena Penzey’s Spice Mix **
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
4 c. water
1 14oz can coconut milk

Saute onions and garlic in oil until onions are translucent.  Add carrots, sweet potatoes, ginger and dry spices, and mix until coated.  Add water, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar; bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for 20 minutes, or until carrots and sweet potatoes are soft.  Stir in peanut butter.  Transfer mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth.  Return to low heat and stir in coconut milk.  Serve with bread and enjoy!

**The 33rd and Galena spice mix was included in a very kind gift I received from my aunt this week.  As I was cooking the soup, I realized it was lacking something.  Aunt J. to the rescue with a little Penzeys!  The pepper and nutmeg in this mix gave just the warmth we were looking for!

Carrot Sweet Potato Soup

MMM Day 10: Sweet Potato Soup with Nutmeg and Maple Syrup…and Bacon.


So. The taps have been in for 10 days.  10 days.  10 recipes.  Any bets on how many more days the taps will be in?  Because I’m running out of inspiration.  Ok, not really.  I still have numerous maple recipes to try out.  I think Grandma would be proud of my dedication to this March Maple Madness project.

Grandma watching the sap

Grandma watching the sap boil, once upon a time.

Sweet Potato Soup with Nutmeg, Maple Syrup and Bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
5 cups sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (1 – 2 pounds)
4 veggie broth
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 slices bacon, cooked and cut into 1/2″ pieces.

Cook bacon until just crispy.  Drain and set aside.  Cut into 1/2″ pieces.

Melt butter in large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes. Add chopped celery stalks and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, veggie broth, cinnamon, and nutmeg and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove cinnamon stick and discard. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return to pot. Add half and half and maple syrup and stir over medium-low heat to heat through.  Ladle into bowls and sprinkle bacon on top.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Syrup and Bacon

Split Pea Soup


Whoa!  This weekend has been COLD.  Yikes!  On Friday evening, I had a broomball game and, I’ll admit, was not particularly looking forward to braving the elements.  But as usual, once I got running around / falling down on the ice, I was toasty warm.  I do like to think that in addition to the 3 layers of long underwear and running around, this split pea soup I made before the game also helped to keep me warm.  This vegetarian alternative to a traditional pork-based split pea soup really is quite flavorful.

Split Pea Soup adapted from Sundays at the Moosewood
1 c. dried split peas
3 c. water
2. chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. ground cardomom
2 c. vegetable stock
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Rinse the split peas.  Put in a soup pot with 3 c. water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 mins.
2.  While peas are cooking, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are transparent.  Mix in the spices and saute another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Set aside.
3.  When peas are cooked, add onion mixture, vegetable stock, lemon juice and parsley.  Remove approximately 1 to 2 cups of soup mixture and puree.  Mix pureed mixture in soup.  Salt and pepper to taste.
4.  Enjoy!!

 

Stout Venison Stew


School starts up tomorrow and, in preparation for another busy semester, I spent this MLK day cleaning, cleaning and cleaning.  That, and listening to MPR all day (if you didn’t hear Cory Booker’s MLK speech, take a listen.  I thought it was pretty good!).  I always feel a little bit better going into the semester with a clean slate, so to speak.

Once I got the place suitably cleaned up, I decided to make a stew to get me through the week.  After Thanksgiving, my brother sent me home with a little cooler full of venison.  One of the little packs was labeled “stew meat” and much to my delight, it was already cubed for me!  Score!  Now, for a recipe.  For Christmas, my mom made a lamb stew that inspired me to adapt a lamb recipe I found in this months’ Cooking Light for a venison version.  By far, this is the best venison I’ve ever made.  It was super tender, and the vegetables complemented it well.  Between the stew and the clean apartment, I’m ready for a new semester!

Stout Venison Stew
6 Tbsp. olive oil
2 c. chopped onion
1 Tbsp. thyme
2 tsp. rosemary
3 Tbsp. flour
2 lbs. venison, cubed (you could also use lamb or beef)
2 c. stout beer
1 c. red wine
2 c. beef or veggie broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2 c. potato, cubed
2 c. diced carrot
1 medium turnip, peeled and cubed
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp. whole grain Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add 3 Tbsp oil to pan.  Add onion, thyme, and rosemary.  Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Place onion mixture in a large bowl.  Place flour in a shallow dish.  Sprinkle venison with salt and pepper.  Dredge venison in flour, shaking off excess.  Return stockpot to medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp. oil.  Add half of venison to pan and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes.  Add venison to onion mixture.  Repeat with remaining venison.
2.  Add beer to stockpot and bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Reduce liquid to 1 cup.  Put onion and venison mixture back in pan.  Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds.  Add wine, broth and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.  Uncover and stir in potato, carrot, turnips and mushrooms.  Simmer, uncovered for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until meat and veggies are tender.  Stir in mustard and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stout Venison Stew

 

 

Moroccan Carrot Soup


My mom is addicted to magazines a magazine devotee. Whenever I go to my parents there are tons of magazines, begging to be flipped through.  Earlier this fall, I stumbled upon one I didn’t recognize – Mary Jane’s Farm.  To my brusque, “What is this one?” my mom responded, “Oh, it’s some hippie from Idaho.  You’d like it.”

As usual, my mom was right.  I do like this Mary Jane hippie woman.  A cursory glance of her website tells me she is a busy-bee hippie woman at that.  She’s got a magazine to her name, a B&B, some sort of educational farm, and all sorts of earthy-type goods. I love that!  More importantly though, her soup recipe, which I made last night was fast and easy – perfect for a weeknight meal – and delicious.

Moroccan Carrot Soup (from Mary Jane’s Farm)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
3 c. diced carrots
3 c. vegetable broth
1/4 c. minced parsley (I used an unidentified quantity of dried)
1 T. honey
1 t. lemon juice
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground allspice

Saute onion and garlic in oil.  Add carrots and vegetable broth; bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.  Add parsley.  Purée.  Stir in honey, lemon juice, and spices.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

Moroccan Carrot Soup

Slow-cooker Squash Soup


A few years ago my mom was espousing the benefits of a Crock Pot.  I’ll be honest. I didn’t really get it in part because whenever my mom broke out the Crock Pot, she usually made enough food to feed the small army that is our immediate family.  So as an adult with one other roommate and a very large, 7 qt slow cooker at our disposal, I thought, really, what can I possibly make in that thing that I will still want to eat 10 days from now?  Because in my mind, Crock Pot = obscene amount of food.

But after my family stayed with me the past couple of winters and finding my “Barbie” kitchen insufficiently equipped, a new, cuter Crock Pot arrived on the scene.  It’s red!  It’s not humongous!!  Maybe there is a future for me in slow cooking after all.

And so, last weekend, in time for the first snowfall, I decided to break out the Crock Pot to make this delightful Squash Soup.  It’s adapted from a recipe from November issue of Better Homes and Gardens that calls for butternut squash.  Not having any butternut squash on hand, but rather copious amounts of acorn squash, I substituted.  My mom warned me that using acorn squash would prove to be a hassle because it’s not easy to peel.  As with the benefits of slow-cooking, once again, she was right.  It took forever to finally get all the squash prepped, but once I did, this turned out to be a very, very good recipe.  Mom – if you’re reading this, I highly recommend getting out the Crock Pot and putting Dad to work peeling (then the peeling wouldn’t be as arduous for you!  See, I’m so smart!).  You’ll have a delicious, easy-to-make dinner in just a few short hours!

Slow Cooker Squash Soup with Thai Gremolata
2 lb. squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces.
2 c. vegetable broth
1 14oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Asian chili sauce
2 Tbsp. lime juice

Stir squash, broth, coconut milk, onion, brown sugar, soy sauce and chili sauce together in 3 – 4 quart slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high for 2 – 2/12 hours or on low for 4 – 5 hours.
Blend the soup until completely smooth using an immersion blender or food processor.  Stir in lime juice.
Serve soup and top with Thai Gremolata.

Thai Gremolata
1/2 c. chopped basil or cilantro
1/2 c. chopped peanuts (I substituted cashews here)
1 Tbsp. finely shredded lime peel (optional)

Stir together all of the above ingredients.

Squash Soup