Tag Archives: soup

Back in the saddle

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Ok, the first step is admitting you have a problem. I haven’t posted to this blog in…a while. It started off innocently enough – I was still cooking, but just didn’t have time to post and also had a brief lapse without a Photoshop license. Then that thing happened that always happens to me – where it’s so hard to come to terms with being behind that I ignore the issue and get way, way more behind. And then there’s no point in coming back from being way, way behind if you’re not going to have some perfectly epic comeback, right? Well, that doesn’t exist, so more time passes. This phenomenon is how I managed to not pay for a physical therapy appointment for a year and also part of my tortured relationship with guitar playing. Anyway, another confession I’ve avoided is that I get 3 meals a day at work. So, yeah. I’m not one of the people anymore. I’m a weekend cook. There, I said it.

Anyway, coming to terms with all this, I’m back. And I have lots of cooking to write about. Here’s one I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I actually made it while feeding a recently wisdom tooth-less boyfriend. It’s healthy, and filling, and yes, easy to chew if you’ve recently been through a dental procedure, but grownup enough for someone who hasn’t. If you live in San Francisco, soup is still a perfectly appropriate thing to crave in late March. No shaved asparagus salad yet! This one is actually very springy, with wilted spinach, bright green peas, a squeeze of lime, and fresh cilantro. It’s got a little curry to keep things interesting, but it stays squarely in the background and lets the veggies take center stage.

Friends, I challenge you to face that thing that you’ve been meaning to do. Here’s to being back in action!

Sweet Potato Soup
Adapted from loveandlemons.com

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 cup peas (frozen is fine – is anyone not going to do frozen? no.)
  • 1 can lite coconut milk (2 cups)
  • 2-4 cups veggie broth
  • a pinch of brown sugar
  • squeeze of one juicy lime
  • a few handfuls of spinach
  • salt
  • handful of chopped cilantro, for garnish

– In a large pot, heat coconut oil. Add onion and some salt salt. Cook, stirring, until onions become soft, about 5 minutes
– Add curry powder and garlic and cook for another 30 seconds while stirring.
– Add a squeeze of lime, coconut milk, veggie broth, chopped sweet potatoes, brown sugar and a little more salt. Turn heat down and simmer, covered, until the sweet potatoes are soft (20-30 minutes).
– At the end, stir in the peas and spinach and cook for another minute or two.
– Top with cilantro and serve.

 

 

 

 

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First Fall Soup


I decided to make my first soup of the fall season. I was torn about it at first, thinking I should hold onto those ripe heirloom tomatoes, California avocados, and summery salads for as long as I could. But there was no denying a certain crispness to the air, school starting again – even Smitten Kitchen decided it was time to start doing baked pastas. And then I got a sore throat and that sealed the deal – time to make soup.

I really love soup. This is one of my favorites, and it’s super easy to do. It’s from a Bon Appetit issue in January that included recipes for a 3-week health cleanse. I challenged myself to make all of them that month and ended up with a few recipes worth doing even when you’re not being particularly health-ambitious.

The recipe is simple – start by sauteeing onions, garlic and ginger, add lots of spices, and then squash, carrots, and an apple. To make it even simpler, buy pre-chopped butternut squash – yes it’s lazy, but my last attempt at chopping a whole butternut squash caused my entire hand to peel off (apparently some people are allergic to raw butternut squash). Go ahead and use the same excuse if you need to – pre-chopped is so much easier anyway! The recipe is highly flexible, so if you accidentally ate that apple yesterday because you forgot it was for this soup (true story) or accidentally dropped in way more cinnamon than you needed (also true story), the recipe still works out. Just simmer it all for about 25 minutes and finish off in an immersion blender. The spices alone make you feel like you can fend off a fall cold!

OH, and let’s not forget – I also made pumpernickel croutons from our fabulous star chef Chloe Coscarelli. A great great combo, and the croutons work just as well in salad the next day!

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
From Bon Appetit

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 inch of chopped fresh ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cardamom
a dash of ground cloves
2 peeled, chopped carrots
1 tart apple
4 cups chopped butternut squash
3 cups water (if you’re not on a cleanse, I recommend a combo of vegetable broth & water)

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender (6-8 minutes). Add the ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots, apple, and squash, and liquid. Bring to a boil; cover partially and reduce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, and then blend (either with an immersion blender or in a regular blender).

Chloe’s Pumpernickel Croutons
Chop up 6 slices of pumpernickel bread. Toss with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake at 325 for about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container – lasts surprisingly long.