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Lentil and Mint Soup


  • 1c red lentils, rinsed
  • 2qts vegetable broth
  • 1 medium to large onion, grated
  • 1/2c quinoa
  • 1/4c butter
  • 1tbsp tomato paste, diluted in 1/4c water
  • salt to taste
  • 1tsp hot paprika
  • 1tbsp dried mint


In a large pot, add lentils, broth, onion, quinoa, butter, tomato paste, and salt.  Bring to a gentle boil over high heat, about 5 minutes. Reduce to low heat and cook until lentils and quinoa are tender, about one hour.

Stir in paprika and mint. Cook an additional five minutes. Serve.

This is a wonderful soup for cold weather. With the frigid wind chills we’re experiencing here in Prince Edward Island, this recipe will satisfy your soul and banish the chill.  Red lentils are the perfect soup lentil – they disintegrate nicely, offering up a soothing soup texture. This chill buster is easy easy and tasty tasty. Make lots for lunch take alongs.


Last week, along with the leg of lamb we picked up for our holiday meal, we picked up some stewing lamb. So, when I made the Veloute, I also  made a lamb stew. It was savoury and made a fantastic take along to work during the week. If you’re into crusty breads, insert here.

Savoury Lamb Stew


  • 2lbs local stewing lamb, cut into cubes
  • 1tbsp Emeril’s Essence (I made a bit to have around, recipe below)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2c onion, chopped
  • 1/2c sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2c carrot, chopped
  • 1tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2c tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1tbsp herbes de Provence (modified recipe below)
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp black pepper
  • 1c dry red wine
  • 3c lamb or beef stock


Toss the lamb with Emeril’s Essence, using your hands to press the spice mix onto the meat.  Heat the oil in a large sauce pan, add the meat and cook until brown, stirring; about 5 minutes. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add onion, potato and carrot to the pan.  Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.

Add tomatoes, herbes de Provence, salt, pepper and red wine to the pan. Bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, stirring to deglaze the pan.

Add lamb and stock to the pan and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer at medium low for about 35 minutes, until the meat is tender.

Emeril’s Essence

  • 1 1/4 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp dried thyme

Combine ingredients. Store in airtight container.

Herbes de Provence


  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp dried marjoram
  • 2 tbsp dried savoury
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried lavender blossoms (I was lacking this and so added 2 scants drops of agave nectar to the stock)


On Saturday morning, after a wickedly fun Kettlebell Circuit Class, we visited the Charlottetown Farmers Market. We picked up a leg of lamb for our christmas meal and, as we wandered, came across lovely samples of cultivated chowder mussels.  With tidily fluted edges, these mussels were compact, meaty and extremely tasty, and we needed to buy a few pounds.

I thought a sunday soup would make perfect use of these bivalves, and after some searching settled on this simple but rich and elegant velouté joinville.


  • 16 mussels
  • 4c fish broth (I was lacking and so concocted clam juice and vegetable stock which worked very well)
  • 4tbsp creamery butter
  • 1/2lb shrimp
  • salt to taste
  • 3/4c mini portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4c leek (white part only), thinly sliced
  • 3tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1c cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • fresh parsley for garnish


Place mussels in a large saucepan with 1/2c fish broth. Cover. Bring to a boil and allow mussels to steam about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels which have not opened during cooking.

Remove the shells from the pan, dig out those tasty mussels, set aside.  Strain the liquid in the pan and add to the rest of the fish broth.

In large saucepan melt 2 tbsp butter, add shrimp and cook about 2 minutes, until orange-pink. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside with the mussels.

Add mushroom and leeks to the pan. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and hold in reserve with mussels and shrimp.

Melt remaining 2tbsp butter in saucepan. Stir in flour to form a roux and cook while stirring for about 2 minutes, until it turns golden brown.

Add the fish broth to the roux and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking to prevent lumping.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Combine egg yolk and cream. Add to broth, stirring vigorously. Simmer an additional 3 minutes.  Do not allow it to boil.

Add the reserved shrimp, mussels, mushrooms and leek. Stir in the lemon juice and add white pepper to taste.

Serve immediately.

Simple to make but velvety rich and complex in taste. Beautiful textures. A great soup for lovers.

In late December of 2008 I embarked on my first season of Sunday Soups.  I had never been one for cooking and did not have a particular penchant for soup.  However, the two new affinities somehow grew together, opening my gustatory world that much more, enriching the gastronomical me ( to borrow a title from one of my favourite foodie authors, MFK Fisher).

This weekend began my third season of Sunday Soups, though the stock for this one was begun on Friday evening and the soup was prepared and underwent a first consumption on Saturday. Such are the vicissitudes of a wilde wendy let loose in the kitchen.

The premiere soup of season iii is a Georgian soup known as yaini.  Served in the Trans-Caucasian area of the former Soviet Union, it is also served in neighbouring Armenia.

In a previous career I participated in multiple international training workshops in central Europe with colleagues from Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Romania and other parts of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.  Prepping the soup made me a bit nostalgic and sent me into an on line search, where I was able to find most of these former colleagues. Sappy soup.

Georgian Beef and Apricot Soup


  • 2lbs beef chuck or brisket (I picked up a brisket at Queen Street Meat Market)
  • 3 onions quartered
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • 15 sprigs fresh dill
  • 15 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 15 sprigs fresh parsley
  • salt to taste
  • 2tbsp ghee
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1lb island potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 2oz dried organic apricots
  • fresh ground pepper to taste


fresh herbs added

Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in a large pot.  Add beef, quartered onions, carrots, dill, cilantro and parsley.  Return to a boil, skimming any foam from surface.  Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for one hour.

Remove the beef, cube and return to pot. Keep at a simmer, partially covered for another 4 hours.

Remove the beef and set aside.  Strain the broth and add water, if necessary, to top up to 6 cups.  Add salt and set aside.

onion & tomato is ghee

In a large soup pot melt ghee over high heat.  Add chopped onion and cook, stirring until softened and translucent.

Add chopped tomato.  Cook and stir several minutes until moisture evaporates.

Add reserved broth and beef. Add potatoes and apricots.

Season to taste with black pepper and additional salt if desired.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender

Serve garnished with fresh chopped cilantro.

This soup is delicious.  The apricots give a hint of sweetness and the broth has richly nuanced flavours.  It would be sad and pointless to make this soup with a shortcut purchased broth.

It is a gorgeous day in Prince Edward Island today.  Sunny, warm and alive with the sounds of people enjoying an unusual late October day.

I don’t regret working today.  The sun is streaming through the studio windows, which are all thrown open, and I can imagine myself on a patio.

I’m enjoying a bowl of soup from the batch I made last weekend.  Fall vegetables seem a bit out of place today, but they still warm my soul and add to the general euphoria of the day.

Coconut Pumpkin Soup


  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • about 15oz mashed pumpkin
  • 14oz coconut milk
  • 2c vegan stock
  • 1 finely chopped chili pepper
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
Cook carrots, bell pepper and onion in coconut oil until nearly tender.
Mix pumpkin, coconut milk and stock in a bowl. Stir in chili pepper, salt and ginger.
Add pumpkin mixture to carrot mixture and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.

Top with cilantro upon serving.

libyan lamb stew

Winter weather is letting go, not that we had much winter to speak of here on this wee island in the cold Atlantic waters.  As winter wanes, so too does my soup craving.  My partner picked this recipe and I stirred the pot.

Libyan Lamb Stew


  • 50ml olive oil
  • 2 – 7+ml ground red pepper (I used an Indian pepper powder living in my pantry)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 175ml tomato paste
  • .5 – 1L cubed lamb (or beef)
  • 2.5L water
  • 15ml turmeric
  • 10ml salt
  • 625ml prepared chickpeas
  • 2 bunches parsley, chopped
  • 90ml soup pasta (I used orzo)

Add oil, tomato paste, ground pepper and onion to large saucepan and cook over medium high heat for 2 minutes.  Add meat, water, turmeric and salt.  Bring to a rapid boil, reduce heat and cook slowly 1.5 – 2 hours, until meat is tender.

Add chickpeas, parsley and more water if the stew is too thick.  Shortly before serving add the pasta; cook until the pasta is tender.

This is a flavourful stew; a great way to end the season!

Thai Tomato Soup

Thai Tomato Soup

  • 2oz cellophane or thin rice noodles
  • 7 c rich chicken stock, simmered with shrimp shells for 5 – 10 minutes
  • 2tbsp or to taste fish sauce
  • 1tbsp or to taste chili garlic sauce
  • 3c canned diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1c green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp or to taste hot pepper sesame oil (I soaked some birdseye chilis in sesame oil)
  • 1lb medium shrimp
  • 1/2c loosely packed cilantro, chopped
  • 3tbsp finely sliced garlic, crisp fried (in ¼ inch oil over moderate heat until golden brown)

    crisp garlic

    raw garlic

Place noodles in a bowl and cover with hot water; soak until softened, 20 – 25 minutes.  Drain and place on cutting board.  Cut to form roughly 4 inch lengths.

Strain shrimp shells from stock.  Stir in fish sauce, chili garlic sauce, tomatoes with their juice, green onions and sesame oil.  Add noodles and shrimp, simmer for 3 minutes.

Serve topped with cilantro and crisp garlic.  Easy and so very, very tasty.

My partner has been making split pea soup for many years from a recipe in  Joy Of Cooking, a book given to him by my dad in the early ’90’s.  He grew up next to a large french community in Winnipeg and learned to love the French Canadian tradition of split pea soup.  This weekend he had a hankering.

split pea soup

Split Pea Soup

  • 2c split peas
  • turkey carcass or ham bone (he added a smoked leg of turkey today)
  • 1/2c onions, chopped
  • 1c celery with leaves, chopped
  • 1/2c carrots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4tsp thyme
  • dried scotch bonnets (or a dash of cayenne or a pod of red pepper)
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 2tbsp flour

goodness goes in

Cover split peas with 10c water, add turkey carcass or ham, cover and cook about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Add onions, celery, carrot, garlic, bay leaf, dried pepper.  Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour or until tender.

Remove meat bones.

Melt butter and stir in flour until blended.  Add a little of the soup mixture slowly.  Cook and stir until it boils, then stir into the rest of the (reheated) soup.

Adjust seasonings.

Big yum!  What a fabulous soup for an end of winter (fingers crossed) day.

asparagus & sesame chicken soup

Asparagus And Sesame Chicken Soup


  • 2lbs chicken
  • 2c vegetable stock
  • 4c warm water
  • 3tbsp sesame oil
  • 2tsp sugar 10 – 12 slices ginger root, peeled, sliced, and minced
  • 1c dry sherry
  • 1c button mushrooms
  • 16 fresh asparagus Spears, rinse, trim off woody ends, break into 1-inch pieces
  • 1tsp salt


Add sesame oil to heavy skillet. Heat over medium heat.  Braise chicken pieces, a few batches at a time. Add additional oil, if necessary. Remove browned chicken with slotted spoon and drain.

Add ginger slices, sherry and salt to skillet. Stir with wooden spoon, and bring to a gentle boil.

Stir in stock, water and sugar. Increase heat to medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer 30 minutes.

Stir in mushrooms and asparagus pieces. Simmer 15 minutes.  Serve.

polenta soup w/ besan croutons & smoked cheddar

Polenta Soup with Chickpea Croutons

Ingredients for soup

  • ¾c organic polenta
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 3c chicken stock
  • 3.5c water
  • ¼ lb dark leafy greens, roughly chopped (I used kale and some baby bok choy)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh thyme

Ingredients for croutons

besan batter - to the fridge!

  • 1c besan (chickpea flour aka gram flour)
  • 2c water
  • smoked paprika
  • olive oil
  • sea salt

First prepare the croutons. Combine water, boiled, with flour, sea salt and a generous sprinkle of paprika. Whisk until smooth and thick.

Spread besan batter on a greased baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 450F. Cut chilled batter into squares, and toss on baking sheet with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Broil for one minute until golden.

waiting for a simmer

Heat up a large soup pot, cook onions in oil for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Stir in chicken broth and water; bring to a boil. Slowly add polenta while stirring. When fully incorporated, add chopped greens, salt, pepper and a few pinches of thyme. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Serve with chickpea croutons and garnish with a freshly grated nutty or smoky cheese.  I used a local applewood smoked cheddar but a pecorino would be fabulous too.

We enjoyed this filling, very satisfying soup.  The croutons were a lovely flavour.

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