I love my family. My mom, my sisters, we are all food fanatics.
On second though, fanatic doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Page long emails in October to discuss the menu for Christmas? Crazy if you don’t do it!
Hours of conversation about what food we made that weekend or new places to eat? Check, Check, Check.
Don’t mind that we are 3,000 miles apart- my mother and I talk about food almost daily.
In some ways, I remind myself how lucky I am to have people who GET it like I do. BL rolls his eyes about 3 minutes in to any conversation I start about dinners for the week. If he had his way, I would cook the same 6 meals every week on repeat. I have to remind him constantly that this is NEVER going to happen. Sorry charlie, experimenting in the kitchen is in my blood.
When his eyes start glazing over, that’s about the time I pick up the phone and call my mom. She will easily entertain my gazillion thoughts on what dessert I should make for my co-workers, the best wheat bread recipe, the new products at Whole Foods.
Last week, in the midst of some heavy food convo, she brought up the idea for this soup. Creamy coconut base, green curry paste, vegetables; I think I ran to the store while we were still on the phone.
I did have to make a few simple swaps to hers: tofu for chicken, added mushrooms that I had laying around, and upping the spice a bit.
Ladies and Gentleman, we have a winner!
This soup is the perfect thing for people who are over soup. I get it. By this point in the year, I really don’t want another vegetable & grain stew, but this one is different. You just have to make it!
I honestly cannot believe it’s December let alone the end of December. I’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on our new place and working non-stop. Thanks to everyone who has supported DK this year, 2011 has been wonderful!
The 21st of the month also means it’s time for my favorite challenge, the Recipe ReDux. This months theme has to do with feeding for a crowd. December is full of holiday gatherings so all recipes featured are healthy, delicious, and designed to feed a lot on a little. The star of this months theme? One of my favorite ingredients, the legume!
Obviously I love soups, especially during the winter months. I say this often but I really try to make some type of one dish meal at the beginning of the week to get me through weekday lunches. Soups are perfect for this and they are a great canvas for experimenting with new vegetables. I used Trader Joe’s 17 Bean and Barley soup package for this but feel free to use any dried bean you like.
Winter Bean Soup
1 package Trader Joe’s Bean and Barley mix
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 package Field Roast (or other brand) sausage, cut lengthwise and then into 1/2 moons
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 bay leaf
1 lb kale, center rib removed, chopped
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. dried sage
6 cup vegetable broth
1 qt. water
Soak beans either overnight or quick soak method. Drain beans and set aside.
Like most my soups I start off sweating my onion and garlic; heat olive oil in large stock pan. Add onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook until onion is translucent. Add carrots and celery and cook an additional 5-10 minutes until tender.
Add all ingredients except the kale. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for about an hour, until beans are tender. Check liquid during this time, depending on how you soaked the beans you may need more liquids than described above. The last 15 minutes of cooking time, add the kale. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
I served with kale salad and roasted garlic bread. A perfect, hearty, inexpensive winter meal.
Per serving (8): 453 calories, 13g fat, 54g CHO, 18g fiber, 30g protein
I completely forgot how useful the crock-pot was until recently. Tucked away in my kitchen closet, my crock-pot usually gets used for the Superbowl to hold chili dip and that’s about it. We were out searching for a new home this weekend and I made this soup to come home to. It was so easy, healthy and delicious. To make a quick weeknight meal, try it over quinoa instead of brown rice, which cooks in just 15 minutes.
4 large carrots (about 1/2 cup chopped)
4 squash (about 1/2 cup chopped)
1 medium onion
1 red pepper
8 celery stalks (about 1/2 cup chopped)
3-4 potatoes, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or less if you like it less spicy)
1/2 tsp. chili powder
large pinch of salt/pepper
Stove top directions: Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Add chopped onion, minced garlic, pinch of salt and sweat until translucent. Add vegetables and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Add spices and broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Serve over cooked quinoa.
Crock pot directions: Turn power to high. Add olive oil, onion, garlic and spices. Stir a few times to combine and cook for 5 minutes. Stir the vegetables in and add the broth. Turn down to low until ready to serve.
*If you have more time, cook the vegetables in a sauce pan like the stove top directions and add to the crockpot with the broth on low heat until ready to serve.
Per serving 8: 209 calories, 8g fat, 6g fiber, 6g protein
I know soup isn’t a typical summer meal but this was really light and perfect with the grilled romaine heart salad. I always have tons of squash this time of the year and am always looking for new ideas. This soup is a keeper!
½ cup cashews
2 cups vegetable broth
3 cups summer squash, sliced, I used zucchini, crookneck and Lebanese
1 onion, chopped
1 cup potatoes, chopped
1 small handful basil
1 tbsp. dill, dried or fresh
4 cloves garlic
Soak cashews in 1 cup broth for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Heat 1 tsp. oil in a large stock pan. Add the onion and garlic, sauté until fragrant with 1 pinch salt. Add the squash, potatoes, and remaining broth. Cook for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are soft.
Puree the cashews with broth until thick and creamy; add to the zucchini and potato mixture along with the basil, dill, and more salt/pepper if needed. Puree with an emulsion blender or transfer to a blender and puree for 5 minutes. Top with croutons, recipe below.
1 loaf multi-grain French bread
1 tbsp. oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cube bread and toss with 1 tbsp. oil, salt, pepper. Transfer to a sheet pan and lay out in a single row. Heat for 5-7 minutes until crisp.