Mulligatawny Soup

February 2015.  Here is a heart warming whole soup with warming Indian spices and a lot of love.

Mulligatawny Spices

At solstice, with the coming of the new year, I set an intention to embrace whatever weather (and opportunity) this year brought. Already, I can say the weather is mighty fine.  I made this recipe a few times already this year – the first, for a final gathering of lovely ladies in my little downtown apartment before I move to greener pastures (literally, I am moving to my friends farm).

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. peeled and minced ginger root (I always add more!)
  • 2 small firm apples, peeled, cored and diced**
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom
  • ¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ c. red lentils (uncooked)
  • 4 c. vegetable broth
  • ⅔ canned coconut milk
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ c. roasted cashews
  • cilantro
  • jasmine rice

Instructions

  1. Take all of those beautiful spices and grind them together with a mortar and pestle. This isn`t absolutely necessary, but this creates such a warming and fragrant beginning to cooking this beautiful dish that I really recommend it.
  2. Melt coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion & carrot, then sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onions have softened.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, apples, and diced tomatoes to the pot. Sauté for another 3 minutes, then add in all of the spices and toss to coat.
  4. OPTIONAL COOKING METHODS: Add in the lentils and broth to a slow cooker and let the contents cook on high for 4-6 hours if you are using whole red lentils and approximately 3 hours if you are using split – See note below). If you don’t want to go the slow cooker route – add the lentils and broth to the pot and bring it to a boil. Then turn down the heat and let cook for approximately 40 minutes (until lentils are done.) MORE OPTIONS: Many recipes call for you to whip out your immersion blender and go to town at this point. I prefer having some bit of veggie texture for this soup (again, your call!)
  5. Stir in the coconut milk. Taste, and adjust salt and black pepper as/if needed.
  6. Serve topped with cashew and cilantro. I prefer to serve this beauty with some coconut and saffron jasmine rice.

कृपया भोजन का आनंद लीजिये ! (kripyā bhojan kā ānnaṅd lijīyai) – please enjoy your meal (Hindi)

A note on red lentils:

Recently, while making this I used whole red lentils. These are the only organic red lentils that were available when I went to the market. Usually I do prefer split red lentils. So, what is the difference? Well, there isn`t much when it comes to measurements but the difference lies in cooking time and texture. Split lentils cook MUCH faster. Most whole lentils still have their outer skin on (usually why their red color is slightly muted compared to split lentils). I find split lentils usually almost melt into whatever you’re cooking. While whole red lentils can maintain their natural shape a bit more (in particular those that still have their skin on).

Hot & Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup

Recently, when the sun goes down here in Victoria, there has been a chill in the air  (if the sun decides to come out at all). I have been craving the warmness that comes with a good Hot & Sour soup. I’ve taken everything I like about Hot & Sour soups (and other tasty Asian soups) and well, this is what I’ve come up with!  Enjoy!!

  • Avocado Oil
  • 1 c. shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2c. chopped leek
  • 2 Tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1 block of cubed Organic Super-Firm Tofu
  • 1/2 tsp. Sambal Olek
  • 1/4 c. Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 c. Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 6 c. Chicken (or Veggie) stock
  • 1/2 serving of Brown Rice Pasta
  • 4 baby bok choy
  • 8 baby tomatoes, halved

Heat avocado and sesame oils in a large pot over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, leek, ginger, chili paste, and tofu; cook and stir for 3 minute to infuse the flavors. Combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce and pepper in a bowl, add this to the pot. Stir for a few minutes.  Add the Chicken Stock, bring the soup to a boil, and add rice noodles (I used Fettuccini Style Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta, broken into 1″ pieces).  Simmer for 10 minutes (or until pasta is cooked).  Add baby bok choy and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Garnish the hot and sour soup with chopped green onion and/or cilantro before serving.

A few notes: Often folks use a thickener in this soup.  If this is your style, simply take out 1/4c. of broth and whisk 3/4c. of cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) until dissolved.  Slowly add this to the soup and stir until the soup thickens.

Egg is also added to this soup, I am not a huge egg fan but if you’d like to do this you can add 1 beaten egg to the soup before the baby bok choy.  Make sure the soup is hot. Stir the soup until the liquid is moving in one direction. Remove spoon and slowly pour in the egg mix. It should cook almost immediately. Feather the egg mix with a fork to break up.

Voila!  Enjoy!!

Organic Chicken Quinoa Chili

My dear and lovely, wonderful pal Bronwen gave me this recipe and I love it. It’s simple and so tasty. I brought this to another soup swap that I had with pals today. Please note that this makes a lot of chili!

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  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 x 540mL cans of organic diced tomatos
  • 1 x 540mL can of organic black beans
  • ½ cups organic corn
  • 2 ½ cups of veggie or chicken stock
  • 2 organic / hormone free chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, cubed
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine and mix all ingredients together in a slow cooker, set on low and cook for 5-7 hours.

African Peanut and Red Quinoa Soup

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This past weekend I was invited to a soup exchange. My fridge is now stocked with jars of amazing soups which I planned on freezing and saving but now can’t wait to try.

For the swap, everyone brought 6-8 jars of their soup and for every jar you bring, you can take home another jar! At the swap we had the ingredients listed for each soup (to avoid allergies and such.)

I made African Peanut and Red Quinoa Soup to bring. It is a large batch recipe so it worked perfectly (Yields 8 servings). This recipe came from Nourishing Meals cookbook. Enjoy!

2 Tbsp EVOO

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbsp ginger, grated

4 carrots, cut into 4″ strips

2 red bell peppers, chopped

8 cups of vegetable, chicken stock or water (I used two Harvest Sun Vegetable Bouillon cubes)

7 Tbsp creamy organic peanut butter

1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes

2 cups thinly sliced savoy cabbage

3 to 4 cups cooked red quinoa (I didn’t have enough so I used red and white)

2 tsp Herbamare

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, add oil and then onions and saute until onions are softened (5-10 mins). Add garlic and ginger; saute for another minute. Add carrots and red bell pepper; saute for 3 – 5 minutes.

Add water or stock, peanut butter and red chili flakes. Cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in savoy cabbage, cilantro, and cooked quinoa. Add herbamare (or salt) to taste.

Simmer for a few more minutes, or until cabbage is tender. Serve with a sprinkle of extra crushed chili flakes.