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curried carrot and apple soup

ingredients

  • 15 ml coconut oil
  • 10 ml hot curry powder
  • 1.25 kg carrots, chopped (i have a ton of these right now, so this was the perfect soup for my fridge’s sanity)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 1.5 l water
  • 5 ml sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

method

heat the coconut oil in a large pot. stir in the curry powder and let cook for a minute.

add carrots, onion and apples. stir to coat with curry powder. cover pot and cook for 15 minutes over low heat, until the vegetables are almost tender. stir occasionally while cooking.

add the water, salt and pepper.

bring to a boil. reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are fully tender.

puree in the pot with a stick blender or in batches in a food processor.

serve and enjoy this flavourful soup with just the right amount of heat for wintry days.

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On the weekend passed, I attended a program on Contentment In Everyday Life at Dorje Denma Ling.  The opportunity to explore and deepen my sitting practice was appreciated and the richness of experience shared by other program participants was an important part of the weekend.  The program instructors were wise and helpful and humourous. It was good.

doing dishes at ddl

The kitchen at DDL fascinates me and I find myself drawn to rota duties which allow me to prep meals or do dishes. I most prefer the meal preparation and appreciate how I can be of service by washing, peeling, dicing, slicing, wiping, storing, fetching, rinsing. Mindfully. Appreciative of the small human symphony conducted sweetly by Lucy, the kitchen manager, and which produces delicious, nutritious, colourful, bountiful, earth-inspired compassion-filled meals. What a truly authentic and meaningful way to practice.

So, while I sat on my cushion, munched on sour chickpeas and chocolates, performed contemplations, and explored experiences of gentleness, nowness and inquisitiveness, Udo provided a lovely stand-in at home in the sunday soup department.  When I walked into the house late Sunday evening, he was dishing up single serving portions of Split Pea Soup. Love.

Split Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 2c split peas, rinsed
  • smoked pork hock (the smokey flavour is important, so if you are vegetarian substitute in some liquid smoke or…simply enjoy the soup with a glass of Bowmore)
  • 1/2c onions, chopped
  • 1c celery, chopped
  • 1/2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1tsp sugar
  • dash cayenne
  • 1/4tsp thyme
  • 2tbsp ghee
  • 2tbsp flour

Method

In a large pot of water (about 10c) cook split peas and pork hock for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until tender.

Add onion, celery and carrots, simmer an additional half hour.

Add to pot garlic, bay leaf, sugar, cayenne and thyme (and liquid smoke if substituting).

Chill soup and remove fat.

Melt butter in a small sauce pan and stir in flour until well blended.  Slowly add a small amount of the soup to the mixture. Cook and stir until it comes to a boil and then add it to the rest of the soup, stirring until incorporated.

This is another wonderful winter soup and I’d have to add that this is an exceptionally delicious batch he has wrought.

along the road to ddl

Rock n’ roll in dream soup, what’s your brand? ~ Patti Smith

Spinach & Mini Meatball Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2lb ground lamb
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tbsp clarified butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 6 c beef or lamb broth (The day before, I used commercial beef broth which I embodied further with oxtail pieces as I was pressed and could not quickly locate lamb bones – the beagle later enjoyed these and I skimmed the fat from the cooled broth )
  • 6 green cardamom pods, shelled and seeds slightly crushed
  • 1 lb spinach

Method

Combine lamb, parsley, cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt & pepper in bowl. Mix until well blended.

Form mixture in to small balls, about the size of a nutmeg seed.

In a saucepan that can accommodate all the mini meatballs in one layer, melt the clarified butter/ghee.  Cook the meatballs until all over brown, about 3 minutes.  Remove meatballs and set aside.

Add flour to saucepan and cook over med. heat, stirring until it is browned.

Pour 1c of broth into saucepan and stir, scraping the bottom of the saucepan to loosen and incorporate any bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add the contents of the saucepan and the crushed cardamom seeds to the remaining stock in a large saucepan, stirring to combine.

Heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil, about 12 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Add spinach and meatballs, additional salt if needed, and allow to heat through until the spinach is wilted.

The cardamom in the rich broth is a slightly camphorous and lemony delight with every sip and the ever-so-gentle bitterness of cinnamon in the meatballs builds on the delight.  This is a lovely soup….great during weeks when the cold weather promises to break, when a bit of  spice can warm you enough to match the trickles running in delicate rivulets along the laneway.

Eat soup. You won’t regret it.

Squash & Edamame Zosui

Ingredients

  • 2tsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/4c leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 butternut squash, diced
  • 2c precooked rice (I used basmati, but brown rice would be appropriate)
  • 1 1/2c edamame
  • 2c vegetable broth
  • 1 4 inch piece kombu
  • 3tbsp miso

Topping

  • 1tbsp oil
  • 3tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1c onion, finely diced (green would be best, I had red on hand)
  • 1/4tsp white pepper

Method

Heat sesame oil in large sauce pan. Add leeks and cook until tender. Stir in squash, rice, edamame broth, kombu and 2 1/4c water.

Cook until squash softens.

Remove kombu, thinly slice into strips and return to soup.

Ladle one cup of soup into a bowl, stir in miso, then return mixture to soup pot.

Topping: Heat oil in small pan. Add ginger and onions. cook for 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add pepper. Stir 1tbsp into each serving of soup.

This soup is densely packed with vitamins and rich in mineral elements.  But you don’t have to think about that while sipping this comfort on a cold winter day.

asparagus & sesame chicken soup

Asparagus And Sesame Chicken Soup

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

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.

sopa de lima with jack cheese

Simple Sopa de Lima

The cold snap seems to have ended. Thankfully. But, this weather has me thinking of sunshine, beaches, long sunsets, less clothes and moonlight dancing.
The Mayan Riviera came to mind and I thought a bowl of Sopa de Lima would be satisfying.

There are many different sopa de lima recipes. This one is easy, healthy and relatively inexpensive to make.

Ingredients
3tbsp olive oil
2 med onions, chopped coarsely
4-6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1tsp ground cumin
1/2tsp oregano
black pepper to taste
1-2 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped finely

lime juice

4 med tomatoes, chopped (roughly 4 cups)
3c vegetable stock (see here for a stock recipe)
1-2 limes
turkey sausage, diced
Grated Monterey Jack cheese and parsley or cilantro (optional).

Method
1) In a large pot, saute the onions, garlic and spices in the olive oil for 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Add the jalapenos and saute for another 5 minutes or so.

2) Add the chopped tomatoes, cover the pot and cook on medium, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes begin to release their juices, perhaps 10 minutes or so (depending on the tomatoes).

3) Add the stock and turkey sausage, bring everything to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the lime juice and serve immediately. Garnish with optional Monterey Jack cheese and parsley or cilantro.

* If you want to add even more heat: you can add the jalapenos to the pot when you first start sauteing (sauteing them longer in oil will release more of their heat). You can also use a hotter chili instead of the jalapenos (say Serrano peppers, or if you’re completely insane, bhut jolokia peppers). Of course the easiest option is to leave a bottle of Tabasco on the table and let people choose their own heat.

You can also add other meat to this soup. Chorizo or other sausages, chicken or leftover roast turkey. Or, leave the meat out all together.

squash soup w/ coconut milk

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger, Basil and Coconut

Ingredients

  • about 3 pounds butternut squash
  • 1tbsp olive oil + 2tsp for brushing squash
  • 1 lrg onion, chopped
  • 2 – 3tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1tbsp ground coriander
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp smoked paprika (or throw in a pinch of red chili flakes)
  • 6c vegetable stock or water
  • 1tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4c fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4c fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1c coconut milk

Method

cut squash

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds, brush cut side with oil and place cut side down on an oiled baking sheet.  Bake until soft – about 45 – 60 minutes.  Scoop out squash when cool enough to handle and set aside.

baked squash

Heat oil in large pot.  Add onion and ginger, cook until soft, about 5 – 8 minutes.  Add coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and smoked paprika and cook an additional 2 minutes while stirring.

Add the squash, vegetable stock or water, salt and pepper.  Bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.

Add lime juice, herbs and coconut milk.  Blend until smooth with an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor.  Add water if needed to reach desired consistency.

this soup is Good!

Garnish in bowls with additional coconut milk, herbs or anything which inspires you.

adding the veggies to the pot

Normally, my sunday soups begin in late december, but due to travels did not begin until today.  Sunday soup has to be the best part of my winter.

Masoor Dal & Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 3/4c masoor dal/red lentils
  • 1/4c yellow eyed beans (or white beans, or black eyed peas, or any other dried yummy you wish to substitute)
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chaopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large tomato, finely diced
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2tsp turmeric
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1c zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2c green beans, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (or to taste)
  • 1 green hot chili
  • 1/2c parsley, chopped (or cilantro) for garnish

Method

masoor dal & veggie soup

Rinse the lentil and beans, drain.  Setting them to soak while you prepare the other vegetables will allow them to cook faster once the soup is assembled.

In a pot, heat the olive oil; add onion and garlic, and sauté until light golden. Stir in tomato, cumin, salt, turmeric, black pepper and green chili, carrots, zucchini, beans and sauté for about 3-4 minutes.

Add  3.5 to 5 cups water (more or less, as per the desired consistency of the soup), lentils and yellow eyed beans. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft & mushy, about 30 minutes (or more if needed). Add hot water as needed to maintain desired consistency.

Once the lentils are soft,  stir in lemon juice and garnish, if desired.

Tucking into a lovely soup – flavourful, fragrant and filling – is particularly satisfying on a wintry sunday.

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