Tag Archives: soup

Sausage & Tortellini Soup

14 Jul

This dish is a total home run. Adapted from a Kitchn recipe, it takes about 30 minutes to cook, holds really well over a few days and is devoured by everyone who’s eaten it. I make mine with mild Italian sausage to keep it edible for the foodNURDling but it would be tasty with a spicy sausage, too! Another bonus: it freezes well so you can toss some in the freezer for another meal down the road.*

Serves 2-3 with leftovers.

Ingredients

Splash of canola oil
3-4 hot or mild Italian sausages
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2c dry red wine or chicken stock
1 28oz can whole, peeled tomatoes
2c low-sodium chicken stock
1tb balsamic vinegar
1ts brown sugar
Parmesan rind or a few heaping tablespoons of grated parm
1 package fresh or frozen tortellini
2 cups roughly chopped spinach
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Red pepper flakes, optional

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pan to medium high. Add in the sausages and sear, 3-4 minutes. Flip the sausages over sear the other side for 3-4 minutes. Once the sausages have browned a bit, start breaking them up with a wooden spoon into small pieces. This allows the sausages to caramelize instead of steam. Once broken up and cooked a bit more, remove the sausages with a slotted spoon to another bowl, leaving behind the fat.

2. Reduce the heat and add in the onions and generous pinch of salt, sauteing until soft, roughly 6-8 minutes. Toss in the garlic and cook til fragrant, 15-20 seconds. Add the red wine (or chicken stock), turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Scrape up the delicious little bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot.

3. Add in the canned tomatoes and their liquid. Using kitchen scissors, cut up the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Toss in the stock, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and parm. Stir all together and then add a pinch of salt and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper. Bring the whole thing to a boil and add in the tortellini. Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the spinach to the pot and stir. Once the spinach has wilted, taste your soup and add any salt and/or pepper to taste. (If you’re using the parm rind, you can remove it at this point.) Serve with a bit more parm and a drizzle of olive oil.

*if you find that the leftovers are a bit thick, you can add a bit of water when you are reheating.

Lunch in a Jar, Pt. 1: Noodles!

12 Jan

Always on the hunt for tasty lunches to bring to work, I’d bookmarked a few recipes for meals in a jar. They are so appealing! They’re contained, they’re colourful and they’re endlessly adaptable. I could have soup with noodles just about every day in winter so I opted to make that first. I based it on a Michael Smith recipe but made a bunch of alterations to suit my tastes.

soup-prep

Makes 2 meals

Ingredients

1 chicken breast, poached and cubed
1 carrot, shredded
2 large handfuls bean sprouts
3 tb cilantro, chopped
2 tb peanuts chopped (optional)
1 package ramen noodles
2 tb ketchup
2 tb smooth peanut butter
2 tb grated frozen ginger
1 tb soy sauce
1 tb fish sauce
1 ts hot sauce
1 ts lime juice

Directions

1. Mix together the ketchup, peanut butter, ginger, soy, fish sauce, hot sauce and lime juice making a flavour base. Taste and adjust as necessary, keeping in mind you’ll be adding water that will dilute the flavour. Spoon half into the bottom of each mason jar.
2. Layer in the shredded carrot, chicken, bean sprouts, cilantro and peanuts (if you’re using them). Place in the fridge til you’re ready to eat.
3. Two options for cooking the noodles. Just pick based on the size of your mason jar!

a) Place the noodles in a bowl (for the love of all that’s good, discard the sodium-laced flavour packet that comes with them) and pour boiling water over. Cover and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Pour off some of the water into the mason jar, cover and shake then pour everything out into the bowl.

OR

b)Break up the noodles in the package and pour them into the mason jar. Pour hot water into the jar, cover and wrap up in a towel. Give the jar a gentle shake and let sit 6-7 minutes.

soup

Beef & Udon Noodle Soup

7 Apr

A little late getting this post up, but I’ve been doing my best to stick to my “make two new recipes every month” resolution. Last month, I made straight-ahead dense chocolate brownies for the first time (and homigad. So good.) and this fragrant, healthy, simply made soup. I got a great piece of blade roast from our butcher that was juicy and tender after 8 hours in the slow cooker. The lemongrass and ginger were fantastically aromatic, lending a lot of flavour to the broth. As always, I added hot sauce to my own bowl which rounded out the dish beautifully. It’s cold and dreary in Toronto this week – this recipe is perfect to ward off the fake-spring blues!

Ingredients

1.5lbs of blade pot roast
3c low-sodium beef broth
5 thin slices of fresh ginger
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, bruised and sliced crosswise
1 ts each, salt and pepper
3 packages udon noodles
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 sweet pepper, cut into matchsticks
1tb fish sauce
1 lime, juiced

Directions

1. Place the broth, 4 cups of water, ginger, lemongrass and salt and pepper into the slow cooker. Submerge the roast, cover and set the slow cooker to low for 8 hours.
2. When ready, remove the beef with a slotted spoon, place in a bowl and shred with two forks.
3. Skim as much of the fat off the top of the soup as possible, then add the carrots, peppers and noodles into the broth. Replace the lid and set the slow cooker to high for 10 minutes.
4. After the 10 minutes are up, return the shredded beef to the broth. Add the fish sauce and lime juice and give it a stir. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

soup

Picture credit to Canadian Living.

Crazy Healthy Quinoa and White Bean Soup

10 Feb

It’s cold out there in the big city. There’s snow on the ground, icicles hanging from eavestroughs and lots of grumpy, bundled up people. By the time you get home from a long day and maybe long commute, you want to get warm and eat something good. And quickly. I came across something perfect for just this scenario that has the added bonus of being really healthy. Vegan, even! It only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish and is full of flavour, textures and fantastic ingredients. Give it a try and I think you’ll quite enjoy it.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1b vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 ts cumin
1 ts coriander
1 ts salt
1 ts pepper
1/3 c quinoa, rinsed
2c vegetable broth (you could use chicken broth if that’s what you’ve got)
2c water
1 can white kidneybeans, drained and rinsed
2c baby spinach or 1c frozen spinach (thawed and drained)

Directions

1. In a medium pot, heat the oil to medium. Add in the onion and carrot, cooking til the onion becomes translucent (3-4 minutes).
2. Add in the garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and quinoa. Stir to combine, cooking for 2 minutes. Pour in the broth and water, bringing everything to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook partially covered for 15 minutes.
3. Stir in beans and spinach until heated through, just a couple more minutes and you’re done!

soup

Carrot & Coconut Soup

3 Dec

Baby, it’s getting cold outside. What’s better than warming up with a spicy, sweet, comforting bowl of soup (perhaps accompanied by a glass of wine a cheese muffin)? This recipe is courtesy of Bon Appétit and it was a cinch to make. Chop, sauté, stir, blend. Ta da!

Serves 2.

Ingredients

1/4 c butter
1lb carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
kosher salt and black pepper
2 c low-sodium chicken/vegetable broth
1 13oz can coconut milk
2 tb Thai chile sauce
handful cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots and onions and season with salt and pepper. Stirring often, cook until the carrots have softened, roughly 15-20 minutes.
2. Add the coconut milk, broth and chile sauce. Bring the whole concoction to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. The liquid should have reduced some and the vegetables should be quite soft.
3. Let the soup cool a bit, then pureé until smooth. (You can use a standing blender, but I just used my hand blender…carefully.) Add a little water if you feel the soup needs to be thinned out.
4. Season with more salt, pepper and/or chile sauce if you like. Split into the bowls and top with cilantro if you’re using it.

Carrot Coconut Soup

Carrot Coconut Soup

Sweet Potato and Smoked Turkey Soup

26 Nov

Soup, soup. I love soup. And when it’s this tasty, basic and healthy, it’s hard not to love it. We added a few drops of hot sauce to our bowls post-cooking as we are wont to do. I thought it was much better with it, but spice is certainly subjective.

Additionally, the original recipe calls for Cajun seasoning. If you have it, wonderful. If not, just mix up the ingredients I listed below: there’s a good chance you already have them in your pantry.

Ingredients

1 smoked turkey thigh/leg (1lb)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 onions, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 ts salt
1 ts pepper
1 ts cayenne
2 ts paprika
1 ts oregano
6c water
1 tb cider vinegar

Directions

1. Trim and discard any excess fat from the turkey leg/thigh (but keep the skin).
2. Place the turkey, garlic, onions, celery, potatoes, spices and water in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. Remove the turkey from the soup and allow to cool. Remove and discard the skin. Shred or roughly chop the meat.
4. Place 4 cups of the soup in a blender and purée. Place the puréed soup and the turkey back into the slow cooker.
5. Add in the cider vinegar and stir. Season to taste and serve!

Moroccan Tomato Soup

12 Nov

It’s November in Toronto. No offense to the November babies out there, but it’s kind of a miserable month. It’s cold. It’s rainy. It’s generally kinda dreary. So what’s one to do to combat this downer of a month? Get in the kitchen and cook up something warming and delicious to make you forget about the blah-itude outside! This Moroccan tomato soup fits the bill and then some: it’s finished with creamy peanut butter that lends it a lovely richness.

This is a very balanced recipe, with no ingredient overwhelming another. If you like your food on the spicier side, add a little more cayenne than what’s called for here.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 280z can crushed tomatoes
1 pinch of cinnamon
2 tb brown sugar
2 tb chili powder
1 ts cumin
1/2 ts black pepper
1/2 ts salt
1/2 ts cayenne pepper
1/4c tomato paste
1 tb red wine vinegar
3/4 c creamy peanut butter

Directions

1. Toss the onions, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste and 2 cups of water into a slow cooker. (Or a big pot set on low on the stove. Whatever you’ve got!)
2. Stir in the cinnamon, sugar, chile powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.


3. Cook on low for 5 – 8 hours.
4. Add in the peanut butter and, using an immersion blender, purée until smooth. (If it’s a bit thick, add in a little water and purée again.)

Simple New England Clam Chowder

16 Apr

For my dad’s birthday this year, J and I decided to cook him up a birthday seafood feast. The first thing he requested was New England clam chowder. He threw out a few more ideas but I already had a pretty good idea that we’d make scallops as a main. He almost always orders scallops when we go out, I was pretty sure they would go over well. Okay then! To the cookbook shelf!

I ended up making a slightly modified version of Martha Stewart’s New England clam chowder. I went with beautiful pre-cooked clams from St. Lawrence Market and some clam juice instead of fresh clams. There was a fair bit of work to be done for dinner in a small kitchen and, quite frankly, I was able to add a ton of flavour- and clams – to the soup while being able to spend more time with my guests. I’ll try ’em one day, but not that day. The recipe below, however, uses fresh clams and has a few of my own adjustments.

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

25 fresh clams
3 c water
2 oz pancetta, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
1/2 c heavy cream

Directions

1. Combine clams and water in a medium stockpot.Cover and bring to a boil. Cook until clams have opened, 5 to 6 minutes. Discard any that don’t open.
2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the clams. Strain the broth through a fine sieve lined with a coffee filter, which should result in about 4 cups of liquid. You can always add a little more if you need it. When the clams are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from their shells and coarsely chop.
3. Clean the stockpot you used and put it back on the heat at medium. Add the pancetta and cook 3-4 minutes. Some fat should render out and coat the bottom of the pot. (If there isn’t enough, add a little bit of butter.) Toss in the onions and sweat them til translucent, another 3-4 minutes.

Potatoes & onions & pancetta! Oh my!

4. Add the liquid, potatoes, thyme and bay leaves into the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook til the potatoes are tender, roughly 8-10 minutes. (If you like a thicker chowder, you can mash some of the potatoes in the pot.)
5. Add in the clams and the cream: DO NOT BOIL. The cream will separate.  Cook for just another minute and season to taste.
6. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves and serve immediately.

Chow-dah!

Belize 2012: Day Three – Adventurin’!

8 Mar

Finally! It’s climbin’ ruins day! Time to clamber over history…in a good way. We got up at a reasonable hour so we could have some breakfast. After a rather large breakfast the day before, I thought I’d go for something a little lighter. I had a look at the menu and decided on the continental breakfast: a fruit plate with toast, butter & jam. Seeing as I don’t generally eat all that much in the morning, especially earlier in the morning, this sounded about right. The waiter explained that each breakfast came with a fruit bowl – even the continental option. Did I still want the continental, he asked. Sure, I responded. No one else at the table was going to have as much fruit as I would, so I figured we could just share.

Our small fruit plates arrived, with pineapple, orange segments and bananas. Lovely way to start. As we sipped our coffee, the larger plates arrived one after the other: eggs with refried beans, pancakes and then mine. This was, without hyperbole, the largest plate of fruit for one in existence. Ever. None will be larger. It was filled with papaya, bananas, pineapple, kiwi, starfruit, oranges, apple slices, grapes…it was endless. I wish I had thought to bring my camera to breakfast so I could take a picture of the absurdly portioned plate; alas, my brain does not engage until I’ve had some coffee. By the time everyone was finished their breakfast, I was only halfway through. Don’t get me wrong: the fruit was fresh and delicious. No human could eat it all, though. Maybe a little less fruit, a little more toast. Live and learn.

My in-laws dropped us off at the hand-cranked ferry that takes you the short distance across the river and we began our long, steep, hot climb that would take us to Xunantunich. We were under the impression (okay..I was. J was totally right on this one) that you had to walk up the hill to get there – an impression that was shattered as several cars whizzed past us in all their air conditioned glory.

Just the beginning.

Fortunately for us, we have young legs and a lot of determination. We paused briefly to pay the inexpensive entrance fee and were mildly horrified to find out there was more hill to climb before reaching our final destination. The man in the booth looked amused at our horror and clarified that we only had a few more minutes of walking to do and sent us on our way. As unexpectedly tough as that initial walk was, it was completely worth it when we came around a corner and saw this:

Temple at Xunantunich.

Folks, it is a long way up there. Once you reach the summit, however, the view is absolutely breathtaking. It feels like you can see the entire country. It’s nothing but rolling green hills dotted with the occasional house. Spectacular.

The view from on high.

We hung out at the top of the temple for quite some time, soaking in the view and imagining what it would have been like to have lived as the Mayans had (what if you were a Mayan ruler afraid of heights?), we decided to make the trip back down. My friends, the descent was far more frightening than the ascent, I must tell you. Deciding that my life was more important than my dignity, I took a few of the steps on my butt. I think J found this a little ridiculous considering I’d been swinging my legs over the ledge at the top a few moments earlier…

We spent the rest of the day scrounging up some lunch of tamales stuffed with chicken, swimming at the infinity pool…and eating dinner. It’s a tough life on vacation. J and I both opted to have the black lentil soup with sausage and fry jack and the shrimp & fish combo served with a jalapeno cream sauce. To. Die. For:

After a long day of climbin’ and eatin’ we headed off to bed to dream of ancient civilizations and their fish. My dreams are a little weird.

Josh’s Delicious Thai Chicken Soup

13 Oct

The weather here in Toronto has been pretty spectacularly crappy the last couple of days.  It’s grey, it’s gloomy, it’s rainy: the kind of weather that makes you want to hunker down under a blanket with a big bowl of comfort food. Enter: Josh. He took a pic of this fantastic-looking soup and I knew I wanted to make it – that it was perfect for this kind of week. You can make the entire thing in about 20 minutes, including prep time.

Happily, he posted the recipe within a day or so and I made it last night.  I added shredded carrots, mushrooms and a little more hot sauce than it calls for, but that’s just me. The base recipe is great. You could also make it a vegetarian dish by substituting the chicken bouillon cubes for vegetable stock/cubes and not adding any protein.

Josh's Thai Chicken Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

425g (15 oz) tinned corn kernels, undrained
2 chicken stock (bouillon) cubes, crumbled
8 spring onions (scallions), sliced
1 tb finely chopped fresh ginger
500g (alb 2oz) skinless chicken breast, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 ts sweet chilli sauce
1 tb fish sauce
200g (7oz) fresh thin rice noodles
2 large handfuls cilantro leaves, chopped
2 ts grated lime zest
2 tb lime juice

Directions

1. Bring 1 litre of water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Add corn kernels and their juice, the stock cubes, spring onion and ginger, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute.
2. Add the chicken, sweet chilli sauce and fish sauce and simmer for 3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, put the noodles in a large bowl heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 5 minutes, or until softened. Separate gently and drain.
4. Add noodles, cilantro, lime zest and lime juice to the soup and serve immediately.

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