Classic Cream of Tomato Soup (with bacon base)

Classic Cream of Tomato Soup

Classic Cream of Tomato Soup

I’m definitely blogging this recipe, since this is where I catalogue  all my favourite recipes. This soup starts with a base of bacon so it’s unlike cream of tomato soup as we know it.  It sounded unusual to me at first,  but bacon and tomato is a classic combination so I went ahead and made  it and continue to make it often. It’s delish, I tell you.  This soup’s  got a smoky and savoury richness that you don’t usually find in vegetarian versions of this soup. Continue reading

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Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

As the frosty days of January settle in, it’s such a comfort to have some warm and soothing soup. I made a batch of this squash soup and enjoyed it so much.  I’m sure it tastes better the second day too.  This is an easy recipe and the addition of a bit of orange or apple juice and a grated apple at the end just balance it out perfectly. I added 2 tsp of curry powder when I cooked the onions…for those of you who know me, you know I love me some curry. If you love it,  add the curry too…but this soup stands up beautifully on it’s own as well. Here’s to keeping cozy.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Makes about 9 cups

1  2lb (approx) butternut squash diced (about 5 cups)

1/4 cup butter

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

5 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2-3 tbsp orange juice or apple cider

1 large apple, grated

Directions:

In large saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and cook until softened, about 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, stir and cook 2 minutes. Add squash and stock. (enough to cover).  Increase heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 minutes.

Using handheld blender, puree soup.  Add orange juice or apple cider, and grated apple. Taste and adjust seasoning – salt/pepper.

*this soup is also excellent with the addition of curry powder. Stir 2 tsp. in after adding garlic and ginger.

Saute onions, garlic, ginger - add squash and stock.

When squash is tender, puree soup with a handheld blender

Add orange juice or cider and grated apple. I like to use granny smith's.

So delicious and easy. And you can see me in the spoon. 😉

Dumple Soup (Chicken Soup with Dumplings)

Dumple Soup

Although many of us dread this time of year with the cold winds and grey skies, one advantage is that we do tend to make and eat a lot more soups.  I like to have several containers of homemade chicken stock in my freezer, so when colds and flu strikes, you can quickly alleviate someone’s suffering. The health benefits of real, homemade chicken stock are many, so save all your chicken cuttings and scraps, place in ziplocs in the freezer until you have a couple of pounds of chicken bones, etc.  and then cook off some stock – simmer on the stove for about 6 hours, strain and place into containers and freeze. Believe me, when it’s YOU who has the cold, it’s really great.

I’ve included a basic chicken soup recipe (for my less experienced readers), although many of you will want to use your own tried and true formula.  The dumplings, which are so delicious and comforting are a delight whether you’re sick or not. It’s a basic choux pastry dough, but instead of baking it, you are going to plop it into your soup.  Once you make it, you’ll understand why this old-fashioned soup never goes out of style.

Chicken Soup

1 medium onion, diced

2 ribs celery, diced

1 medium carrot, diced

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup cooked chicken, diced

3/4 tsp poultry seasoning

6 cups chicken broth

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions:

In large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion, celery and carrot, and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or so.  Reduce heat if it starts to smoke or veggies are browning too quickly.  Add poultry seasoning, stir. Add chicken stock and chicken and cook until vegetable mixture is tender – about 15 minutes.  Add lemon juice, taste and adjust seasoning.

Dumplings

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup flour

4 eggs

Directions

In medium saucepan, bring water, butter and salt to a boil.  Remove from heat, and quickly dump in flour and stir vigorously until dough comes away from sides of pot. Transfer to stand mixer bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating fully, until it has a satiny sheen before adding the next egg. (Eggs can be mixed by hand in the pot, but you will get a really sore arm). When all eggs are incorporated, drop by teaspoonful into simmering chicken soup. Work quickly and drop in all your dumplings, then cover pot. Bring soup to a boil and cook dumplings until they are quite expanded.  The lid will probably be lifting off the pot. At that point, turn off your soup and let it cool a bit. Enjoy. So good. I like to add some extra salt to my dumplings when serving.

bring water, butter and salt to a boil.

when butter is melted, remove from heat.

dump flour in, stirring until dough pulls away from sides of pot

when dough pulls away from sides of pot, transfer to stand mixture

add eggs, one at a time, mixing well until dough has satiny sheen.

when all the eggs are incorporated, you are ready to make dumplings

using 2 teaspoons, scoop and drop heaping teaspoons of dough into soup

when lid starts to raise off of pot, turn heat off, and let cool for a few minutes

dumplings will look like this after they calm down.

wicked

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Coconut Milk Soup

IMG_7681

This is my ‘go to’ soup for comfort and flavour. It has the richness of sweet potatoes and coconut milk, savoury flavour of onions and ginger and is brought to life with fresh lime juice. It’s simplicity adds to it’s awesomeness. It can be served as a appetizer for an elegant dinner party or served for lunch with crusty bread and a salad.  Also, whenever my stomach and or digestive system goes crazy, which is often, I make this soup (with homemade chicken stock that I keep in the freezer) and serve it over a little rice. It’s very soothing and yummy.

Sweet Potato Coconut Milk Soup

adapted from Foodtv.ca

serves 6-8

2 Tbsp butter

1 large onion, diced

6 cups diced sweet potato (about 2 large)

2 Tbsp grated ginger

1 can coconut milk (14 oz)

3 – 4 cups chicken broth

2 Tbsp lime juice

salt and pepper

fresh coriander leaves (optional)

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepot over medium heat and cook onion 3-4 minutes to soften, but not browned.
  2. Add sweet potato and ginger and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and 3 cups of stock. Simmer 25 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender. Purée until smooth with a hand blender, add remaining stock if soup is too thick. Stir in lime juice. Return to heat and season to taste.
  3. Ladle into bowls and top with coriander leaves and another squeeze of lime juice. Keeps well in the fridge for about 4 days.

saute onion…add sweet potato and ginger

add chicken stock and coconut milk and cook until potatoes are tender.

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Old-Fashioned Tomato Soup (Vegetarian)

old fashioned cream of tomato soup

As the weather starts to cool down, we can at least get back to creating some homemade soups.  This is an old recipe that comes to me from Kathy Bateman, the original recipe being from her husband’s grandma, Vira. Vira was well-known as a very good cook and tasting this soup made me understand why. A few quality ingredients and following the steps here ensures a satisfying soup. So delicious with Continue reading

Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup with Smoked Paprika Oil

yellow pepper soup with smoked paprika oil

If you’ve been missing soup lately because of all the barbequing, this is just the soup to fill the void, make you happy and soothe your soul. The title makes it sound complicated, but it’s as easy as hell.  * Smoked paprika is a Spanish form of paprika (made from red peppers) which has a smoky flavour and is (widely) available in sweet or hot. Try a specialty store if your grocery store doesn’t carry it.

I was wondering what to do with a few big yellow peppers I had and am so glad I made this. The soup is a nice, bright, summery colour; the drizzle of smoked paprika oil makes it look gourmet — and you won’t believe how amazing it tastes!  The soup itself is mildly flavoured with a nice texture, but the smoked paprika oil (which takes about 4 seconds to make) totally blew me away with the intensity it added. A smoky and spicy ‘pop’ in your mouth with every bite.  I absolutely loved it and even the picky people in my life enjoyed it. We ate it in small bowls for lunch for a few days with a salad – perfect. Try it — I know you’ll love it. Then, at your next dinner party, serve this as an starter – I’m going to, it’s that good. (and super easy to make). Keeps well for 3-4 days in the fridge, and I thought it tasted even better the second day.

Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup with Smoked Paprika Oil

adapted from foodnetwork.ca

makes 6-8 servings

For the Smoked Paprika Oil

1 tsp smoked paprika (hot or sweet– I used hot and it was great)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the Soup

3 large yellow peppers, halved and cored

1 large onion, diced

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 tbsp olive oil

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste

For the Smoked Paprika Oil

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the oil over low heat. Add the paprika, mix and remove from the heat. Set aside. Pour into a small bowl.

For the Soup

  1. With the rack in the top position, preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the peppers cut side down on the cookie sheet. Brush with oil and broil until the skin blisters and blackens, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover with foil. Let cool. Pull off the skin and cut the flesh into cubes.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook  the onion in oil until softened. Add the broth, peppers and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. In a blender or with an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with smoked paprika oil.

    roast, peel and chop peppers

    peppers, potatoes, onions and broth

    puree with immersion blender or use a traditional blender

    smoked paprika oil