White Beans with Leeks and Thyme ‘Slow Cooker Friday’ Stew or Soup

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That ended up being quite a long title, but the ingredient list is all the shorter to make up for it. And yes, I realize it’s not Friday ūüėČ

Shorter days and all the holiday activity can leave you tired and sleepy. It’s darker earlier and after the hustle and bustle of the holidays most don’t feel like doing as much as on a sunny summer evening. Add to that the weeks of overindulgence that usually lead up to the end of the year, the lethargic feeling that comes with it and you know you really don’t want to cook at all. But luckily to your aid comes the slow cooker! After a long week of work or entertaining, you deserve to come home to a meal that’s good, good for you and won’t break the bank! Prepare in the morning and decide if you want soup or stew on your way home! (Sorry there are no picture of the soup, we were too hungry and it was dark out, but let me tell you, it was yummy)

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I used a 2 qt size round cooker for this recipe. Makes 4 servings if you add some Chicken Sausage Patties on the side.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb dry white beans ( I have used both baby lima and regular dried lima beans) rinsed
  • 1 cup leeks, white and light green parts only, (from about 2 stalks) cut into rounds and cleaned well*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cube Rapunzel (no salt added) bouillon
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cups water
  • (optional) pancetta or speck as a topping or chicken sausage patties as a side

* Leeks can trap a lot of dirt, so submerge the cut rounds in cold water and move pieces around with your hands, changing the water a couple of times if necessary until no more ‘sand’ collects on the bottom

imageHere served with a nice slice of 10 grain sourdough for a vegetarian dinner (resuscitate your sourdough starter in the back of the fridge, you will need it for this yummy bread, recipe coming up soon)

Directions

  1. Rinse beans well, then layer into the slow cooker and add 3 cups of water.
  2. Add the cleaned leeks, salt and thyme sprigs.
  3. Turn your slow cooker to high and wait 5-6 hours until beans are fully cooked, adding water if necessary. (On low the recipe will take longer, about 8-9 hours)
  4. When you get home, either serve as is, or add another cup of water and using a hand held blender, puree the beans and leeks until smooth, adding more water if you like a thinner soup.
  5. Cook some chicken sausage patties until nicely browned and serve along the stew or cook a slice or two of Pancetta or Speck, crumble and top your soup with it

imageCopyright © 2012 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved

Chickpea and Rosemary Soup with Pasta

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We woke up to the quiet of the first snow. It started snowing sometime during the night and by this morning white was blanketing the fields and trees and keeping the birdies busy coming to the feeders all day. Since there was much laundry and computer work to be done today, soup always is favorite. What am I saying, soup always is a favorite anyway and the past couple of weeks, Tuesday has turned into a soup day, and we get to benefit from the big spoils for the rest of the week. Doesn’t it make any meal more special if you start with a small bowl of soup?

Oh well, here I go again with my justifying soup eating. Frankly, soup is one of the easiest things to make. Period. You can make soup even if you think you have nothing in the house. Last week I made a creamy cauliflower soup, all it used was a half a head of cauliflower, some onion, broth and half a red pepper that needed to be used, for a little splash of color. Any vegetable hibernating in your fridge can be used, leftovers can be added. And if you have beans in the freezer and some stock, you’re set, really.

Today’s simple soup was not based on leftovers but pantry staples. And there are a few options and changes that are easy to implement. It uses one can of diced or stewed tomatoes, which you then blend smooth in your blender, but you could also use your own tomatoes, or leftover spaghetti sauce. In fact I have made this with half a jar of Vodka sauce before, and it was fantastic (cut down on the cream/ half&half) And even though you are adding about a cup of cream or half and half, at 8 servings, you are talking about 1 to 2 tablespoons of cream per serving. Less than most put in their coffee, so go spoil yourself and use real cream, like I did. And since you are adding Parmigiano to the soup, you could also use up the cream you skimmed off your raw milk and then didn’t do anything with, and now it has been a week and it is starting to separate. Yes, stick it in here, it will be just fine ūüôā

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, cut into rounds
  • 2 stalks (risps?) celery, diced
  • 6 cups water or broth (make sure to reduce salt if using broth)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • about 2 cups of jumbo pasta shells*
  • 1 pack ¬†of chick peas¬†(or 14 oz can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 pack cannellini beans or 7 oz/ half can
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups pureed tomatoes (1 can diced, pureed in your blender)
  • 1 scant cup cream (or half&half)
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Parmigiano Reggiano and rosemary sprigs for serving

* Feel free to use any pasta you like, I prefer the big shells as they seem to ‘catch’ the chick peas just so…

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Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in your favorite stock pot, add the garlic and cook for one minute before adding the onions and the vegetables. Turn heat to medium and cook until softened and some pieces on the bottom begin to brown. Add the rosemary and the salt, then add the water or broth, and bring to a boil.
  2. In the meantime, blend the tomatoes until smooth. Then add to the stock pot.
  3. Once the soup is boiling, add the frozen beans (or the drained and rinsed beans from the can), return to boiling the reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the flavors have blended nicely.
  4. In a glass or bowl, mix the flour into the cream. Set aside.
  5. Turn the temperature up and add the pasta. Cook  8 minutes until al dente or according to package instructions. Two minutes before pasta time is up, add the cream, stir and finish cooking.
  6. Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve with shavings of Parmigiano and some additional rosemary on top.

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© 2012 SimpleHealthyHomemade

Laksa Ayam

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Years ago while backpacking half way around the world, I spent some time in Malaysia, and this one town on the east coast had a fantastic night market, where one could fill up on fantastic foods for a couple of bucks. Some of my favorites where the flaky roti canaii, the massive grilled king prawns (more like emperor prawns, if you advance on that size scale, as they were literally fist sized) with sambal and the endless variations of flavorful soups that would be available at all times of day (or night)

       

For a long time after coming back I would make a chicken and shrimp based soup called Laksa, then I forgot about it, but last week-end in NYC we ate a delicious little gem called Niu noodle house and our dinner reminded me of Laksa, and back came the memories of the fantastic taste, flavorful yet mild.

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You can make this totally from scratch by buying a whole chicken, cutting it into pieces and boiling it to make stock, then remove the meat from the bones, shred and reserve and discard the bones. Or you can use chicken broth (homemade and stashed in your freezer) and a chicken breast or rotisserie chicken, all depending on the time you have or your willingness to work. In the spirit of full disclosure, my not completely authentic version features some adaptations, to make the recipe fit our western pantry a bit better. For one, I use macadamia or cashew nuts, the original calls for candle nuts, which are rather difficult to come by in this part of the world. I also like to add a pinch of turmeric to give the whole thing a bit of color.

image…and of course you can put lots more broth over the noodles¬†

imageServes 4

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces or left over rotisserie chicken meat
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • (1/2 pound shrimp, or 5-6 per person, peeled and cooked, optional)
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 7 oz or 200 grams dried rice noodles, size medium or smaller, or vermicelli
  • 4 small shallots + 1 shallot for garnish*
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 macadamia or cashew nuts
  • 1 stem lemon grass, only thick end, bruised so it’s slightly crushed and split open
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 pinch turmeric
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste

* as a shortcut, get ‘fried red onion’ in a jar from your Asian grocer

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Directions

  1. Using mortar and pestle, grind the coriander seeds to a powder, then add the nuts and process the same way. Press the garlic and the small shallots through a garlic press, then add to the mortar and pound everything to a paste.
  2. Thinly slice the remaining shallot and set aside.
  3. Bring water to a boil, then pour over the rice noodles in a heat proof bowl and let stand until softened but not mushy, (time varies, depending on the size of your noodles)
  4. Heat a small amount of oil in a soup pan, and fry the seasoning paste from the mortar until it just starts to turn golden and a strong fragrance is released. Add the chicken breast and cook for another minute. Chicken will cook more in the following steps. ( If using cooked chicken, add after adding the broth)
  5. Deglaze with the chicken broth and the coconut milk, stir to dissolve any lumps of the seasoning paste. Add the lemon grass and bring to a boil and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. In the meantime, heat a small frying pan, add the remaining oil and fry the sliced shallots until crispy, set aside.
  7. Add a pinch of turmeric to the broth and season with salt to taste.
  8. To serve, place the noodles into 4 bowls, top with shrimp and 3 pieces of hard boiled egg each, then ladle the hot soup over top and serve garnished with the fried shallot

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© 2012 SimpleHealthyHomemade

Nelson’s Pepper and Mushroom Soup

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After watching me make soup a couple of times, Nelson surprised me the other night by making a soup of his own, using what we have, just like I would, he whipped up the most delicious little soup one can imagine! And all from the things that needed to be used up: 2 sad looking zucchini squash, celery, 4 mushrooms leftover from making pizza on Friday, the rest of the pizza sauce, a can of pinto beans, some speck and a lovely misshapen red peppers that were on ‘quick sale’ at the store. Oh, but I wouldn’t do it justice by forgetting the not-all-that-hot looking little hot pepper we got from Dawn’s garden that spiced up the whole pot. It was super awesome! I might be odd, but I had to have some for breakfast today, yes, it was that yummy ūüôā

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 big button mushrooms, cut into chunks
  • 3-4 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1 can Pinto beans, rinsed (or frozen equivalent)
  • 1 small green zucchini
  • 1 small yellow squash
  • 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce (or about 1 cup leftover pizza sauce)
  • 1 red bell pepper or ‘sweet ancient’ (long and funky looking)
  • 1 hot red pepper (cherry or the one we had which looked innocent like a mini bell pepper)
  • 1/4 cup diced Speck (pronounced “Shpek”, German slab bacon, cut into cubes)*
  • water (which should not be underestimated when making soup)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 no salt added vegan broth cube from Rapunzel

*For vegetarian option, leave the Speck out, but make sure you blacken the red bell pepper, to give the soup some smoky depth.imageThe odd little bag, you ask? Yes, that’s my frozen beans, I soak and cook beans for several meals and freeze them in snack size bags = just about a can of beans

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a soup or stock pot, add the diced onions, celery and sweet red pepper, cook until softened and just starting to brown slightly.
  2. Add the mushrooms and speck and cook just another minute before adding about 4 cups of water, the vegetable bouillon cube and the pizza or tomato sauce. If the beans are frozen, add them at this point.
  3. Bring to a boil and cook until vegetables are tender and the soup gets cloudy looking and thickens a little, then add the finely diced hot pepper
  4. In the meantime, cut the squash lengthwise into spears and chop into pieces, add to the soup and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

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Good with Rosemary Soca or corn chips!

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© 2012 SimpleHealthyHomemade

Creamy Fennel Parsnip Soup

imageSuper easy and velvety smooth, even though there is absolutely no cream in it!

This is made after a recipe I found on a fellow blogger’s site ‘La Mia Cucina‘ from Basel, my hometown. Since I discovered the recipe, I have made it three times, in slightly different variations. I have never tried it with the liquors the original recipe calls for, mainly because I did not have them on hand, Noilly Prat and Pernot are not part of my regular arsenal of beverages and to hunt them down just for a soup seemed a bit outrageous to me. I was just gonna take my chances, and happily have since found,¬†that it seems perfect even without. If this soup was any better with, that would almost be alarming.¬†It’s oh so smooth and creamy, and that without any cream or potatoes. Depending on who you ask (as per the original blogger) thanks to the parsnip or thanks to the fennel. But I think the pureeing and passing it through a fine meshed sieve might have something to do with that as well. I mean, just maybe? ūüėČ Surprisingly to me, there wasn’t much fiber leftover in the sieve, even though the soup contains fennel.

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced
  • 1-2 medium parsnips, peeled or scrubbed well and diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 1/2 quart vegetable or chicken broth (or water and salt)
  • water
  • allspice

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Directions

  1. Heat a little oil or butter in a heavy soup pan. Add the shallot and cook until softened and glassy looking, but not brown.
  2. Add the chopped fennel and the parsnip, stir to get the shallot off the bottom of the pot so as not to burn itimage
  3. Add the broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until fennel is tender.
  4. Let cool slightly then tip soup into a blender, and puree until smooth. Rinse the soup pot, place a fine meshes sieve on top and strain the blended soup back into your soup pot. You can stir with a spatula to help get the soup through. Discard whatever is leftover in the sieve.
  5. Reheat the soup, thin with additional water as needed and serve garnished with liberal sprinkles of allspice (if you like), some leftover fennel fronds and a hearty slice of bread.

imageCopyright © 2012 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved

Colorful Vegetable Soup with Celery Root

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Celery Root or Celeriac is what we use back home as winter vegetable for soups, salads, stews, you name it. It’s cheap, readily available and has a great flavor both raw and cooked. You could most definitely use regular green celery, which has a bit more of a pungent flavor, compared to the almost a bit nutty or earthy flavor of the root crop.

Cerliac

Making vegetable soup from scratch could not be easier, and I am giving you a basic recipe that can be made in as many variations as there are cooks.

For this particular soup I chose colorful veggies, and I am foregoing the usual potato for the sake of the ‘getting lean in the new year’ and all the paleo eaters out there and I am using, as I just said, celery root instead, which has a much lower Glycemic Index (GI) than a potato. choosing vegetables (and foods in general that are low on the glycemic scale keeps you full longer, therefore helping to control your appetite. In very simple words (yes there is more to it, but I’ll spare you) the idea behind the glycemic index is to measure how quickly a particular food affects your blood sugar/insulin response, meaning how quickly the sugars in it get digested and find their way into your blood stream.
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Alright, now that we fed the brain, let’s look at our tummy ūüôā

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 celery root, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3-4 large tomatoes, diced * see note
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 a head of cauliflower, separated into florets (depending ont he size of the cauliflower you get)
  • 1/4 of a head of a medium savoy cabbage, cut into chunks (or use some leaves off a large one)
  • 4-5 ¬†stalks Swiss Chard, chopped(any color you like, rainbow colors look pretty)
  • 1 tsp salt

* I used frozen ones from my Garden in the summer: when they are at the peak of ripeness, just chop and put in zip top bags for soup in the winter. Alternately you could use a can of no salt added diced tomatoes)

Makes one 3 1/2 qt pot full

Directions

  1. In a stock pot (mine is 3 1/2 qts, or so it says on the bottom) heat one tablespoon on olive or coconut oil over medium, then add the onions,a dn cook until translucent but not brown
  2. Add the celery and carrots, stir and cook until the onions are beginning to brown
  3. Add the tomatoes, with any juice that collected on the cutting board (if using frozen, partially thaw in the fridge overnight) stir and allow to cook 5 minutes to allow some of the juices to come out
  4. Add water to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil, cook 5 minutes, then add the cauliflower and chopped Swiss Chard, bring to a boil again,then reduce the heat, add the salt and simmer until celery, carrot and cauliflower are tender when pierced with a fork.
  5. Serve hot with some crackers or a slice of rustic bread, or enjoy as a first course.

To make this your own:

  • Instead of celeriac, use 2-3 stalks of celery and a medium potato
  • Use kale instead of Swiss Chard (but remove the tough stems)
  • Use spinach, ¬†but add right before serving into individual bowls, ladle hot soup over
  • Don’t like cabbage? Leave it out
  • Instead of cabbage and kale, use thin cut or quartered Brussel sprouts
  • Add green beans or snow peas towards the end of cooking time
  • Leave out the tomatoes
  • Go through your fridge, anything vegetable can most likely be used up in your yummy soup, the potions are endless ūüôā

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Copyright © 2012 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved

Creamy Mushroom Soup

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One thing that I really love about the colder months is soup! I could live on soup. If all I could eat for the rest of my days is soup, I’d be happy. Ok, maybe something crunchy to go on the side…

Soups are warming when it is cold, easy to make, easy to reheat and mostly pretty cheap to make as well. A lot of times when it is cold, I do not drink as much water as I should and as I do in the summer, I am just not as thirsty and I think soup has that added benefit of liquid ūüėČ

To achieve the creamy consistency without added fat, I used some sweet potato, but since the mushrooms are braised and caramelized first to intensify their flavor, you can’t tell that there is anything except mushroomy goodness in the soup!

image…shown here with Garlic Thyme Sweet Potato Straws

Ingredients

  • 12 oz crimini or baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 md shallot, minced finely
  • 1 md sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt

Directions

  1. In a heavy pot, heat oil over medium. Add the diced shallot and cook until softened and browned.
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, stir, cover and turn heat to medium low. Cook for 15 -20 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. The mushrooms will start to release their juices and cook.
  3. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid is reduced and the mushrooms start to caramelize and brown in bits, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add water and the sweet potato to the pot. Add enough water to cover the mushrooms and sweet potato by 1″ to 1 1/2″ (remember, you can always add more water, trying to boil it off, is much harder). Add 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) and bring to a boil.
  5. Cook until the sweet potato is very soft.
  6. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly, then using a handheld blender/immersion blender (if you don’t have one, you NEED one, seriously), puree the soup. (alternately you could use your food processor/blender and blend the soup in batches, being careful not to overfill the container)

Serve with Garlic Thyme Sweet Potato Straws, croutons or a slice of hearty home made bread.

If you really want your soup to be super creamy, you could add 1/2 cup half-and-half (or coconut milk to keep it vegan).

Makes 4-6 servings

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Copyright © 2011 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved

Poor Man’s Bouillabaisse

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Bouillabaisse… Flavor of the sun and the ocean

Scent of thyme and wild fennel on the dry summer breeze, arid, sun drenched slopes, rugged coastline and a wild blue sea…

Marseille, Roucas Blanc District

File:Calanques2.jpg Calanque (Inlet) near Marseille

Anytime I think of Bouillabaisse, Marseille the birth place of this oh so quintessential Mediterranean soup comes to mind. Port city with its mix of cultures, where some streets have more of a Middle Eastern than French feel, fresh seafood abounds and where people’s lives are outside as much as in during the summer months. But I am getting lost in reveries here…

Marseille

Unless you live close to the sea, and have ready access to reasonably priced fresh seafood of all sorts, Bouillabaisse is not usually going to be an everyday meal. At least for me, the variety of seafood generally used in a soup like that, definitely moves it into the ‘special occasion’ category. However, a couple of quick changes and substitutions, et voil√†,¬†now I can get my flavor fix even on days when my budget is slim!

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Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups c finely diced onions (from about 2 medium)
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed greens reserved, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes, in juice*
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or water, 1 tsp salt and Rapunzel¬†bouillon cube)
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 can water packed sardines
  • 1 can solid tuna,
  • (**optional: leftover cooked fish filets such as tilapia and salmon, ¬†mussels, can of clams, calamari, scallops)

* or equivalent in frozen tomatoes, plus 2 tbsp tomato paste

** Note that you can make this soup at any level of ‘poor’ or ‘not so poor’ by either adding or substituting various fish and seafood items. Starting with a can of Tuna, and a can of Sardines, or adding crab meat, clams, mussels, whole shrimp and/or cooked fish filet such as salmon, trout or tilapia.

Directions

  1. In a stock pot, heat oil on medium, then add the onions, cook about 5 minutes until beginning to soften
  2. Add fennel and garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, adjusting heat if ingredients start to brown to quickly. Cook about 15 minutes until tender, stirring often.
  3. Add broth, tomatoes and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add a can of water packed sardines, chopped and/or solid tuna broken into bits, (or crabmeat and clams, or leftover cooked fish filers such as salmon or any other seafood that strikes your fancy and is in your budget)

Seriously, if the sea and the sun had a love child, it would be this ¬†ūüôā

Copyright © 2011 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved

Kabocha (or Butternut Squash) Chowder

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There is simply nothing better than dipping your spoon into a steamy bowl of soup after being outside on a cold and windy day! I had sampled some fabulous roasted butternut squash at one of the grocery stores in the area, and it’s been working its way through my mind for re-creation and sharing soon ūüėČ However, when I came in after riding my bike today, there was no patience left for roasting anything. And since it was cold, I was hungry and I had a Kabocha squash sitting on the counter waiting for the perfect opportunity to turn into an awesome meal, soup it had to be!

If you’re not familiar with Kabocha Squash, it’s very similar looking to a Buttercup squash in that it has a dark green shell, but you could really use Butternut, Buttercup or Kabocha for this. Kabocha will be sweeter than ¬†the other types and most likely it’s the brightest colored.

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Ingredients

  • 1 md Kabocha or butternut squash, seeded, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or regular cream*)
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Madras curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • water
* If using cream, recipe is no longer vegan or dairy free

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat oil on medium and add onions and squash pieces. Cook stirring occasionally until onions are softened but not brown
  2. Add curry powder and cook until flavorful, then add enough water to cover squash by about 1/2″ (you can always add more to thin the soup, but cooking excess liquid off takes a long time.) Bring to a boil, cover half and simmer until squash is very soft.
  3. Remove pot from heat and using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and there are no more pieces (alternately you can blend in batches in your food processor or blender, but make sure you wait for the soup to cool down some first and don’t fill too much)
  4. Return to stove, add salt and 1/2 cup coconut milk (or regular cream) stir until dissolved.
  5. Serve each bowl garnished with a spoonful of coconut milk or cream, using a tooth pick, stir just a little to form a swirl pattern.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Pretty eats!

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Go ahead, connect to your inner Picasso!

Copyright © 2011 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved.

Four Greens Vegetable Soup

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Today I got myself a Crinkle Cutter! I know, I know that might not sound very exiting for you, but I am a sucker for kitchen gadgets, especially when they are on sale. And it just so happened that my local grocery store had them on closeout sale… what can I say

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So now being the proud owner of a brand new crinkle cutter, I realize there are many, many things that could be ‘crinkled’ with this, but to start I decided to try it on something relatively soft, hoping to get an easy start, and picked zucchini. And since tonight they are calling for the first frost of the season a yummy vegetable soup seemed like the perfect fit.

As we are heading into the colder months with people worried about getting sick, many stay cooped up inside more than is good for them and a good many eat less vegetables than in the summer exposing them to higher risk of in fact getting sick, while also being exposed to more recycled air in a heated environment. Soooooo, I wanted to make something to give your system an antioxidant boost and what tastier and better way than greens could there be?

So for this mean-lean-green bad boy we are going to use kale, spinach, celery and zucchini (ok, ok, I know, not a ‘green’ but c’mon, you can see the color, right? ūüėČ )

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini (crinkle cut, or sliced into 1/4″ rounds)
  • 1 can or 1 qt size bag frozen tomatoes *(if using canned, pick one that is either no salt added or a low sodium version)
  • 1 can canellini beans, drained and rinsed or 1 portion frozen **(snack bag size)
  • 1 good quality vegetable buillon cube, for making 2 cups(I use Rapunzel¬†no salt added)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt
  • 2 good hand fulls lacinato kale, center stalk removed, washed and trimmed
  • 3 to 4 oz baby spinach
  • small amount of whatever other veggie you have on hand that could stand to get used up (I had a little broccoli left)
  • Parmesan for grating on top (optional, note that using Parmesan would make the recipe no longer vegan or dairy free)
* Note: I have had great success dicing and freezing a bumper crop of tomatoes in zip top bags and using it instead of canned for soups and stews in the winter. Leave cherry tomatoes whole.
**Note: To save time, money and cut salt from your diet, buy dried beans, soak and cook them, (I use my pressure cooker) and freeze in snack size baggies to be used like you would canned.

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a soup pan, add the onion and cook over low until glazed and starting to turn soft
  2. Add celery, stir and cook until you can smell the celery, then add the tomatoes
  3. Fill the pot with water until the vegetables are covered by about 2″ of water, add salt and bouillon cube and if using tomato paste and parmesan chunk.
  4. Bring to a boil
  5. Add kale, zucchini and beans, cook until kale is soft.
  6. Divide spinach into serving bowls, using about 1 cup per dish, ladle the hot soup over and serve, if desired, with fresh grated Parmesan.

Makes about 6 bowls ( Serves six as a first course)

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Copyright © 2011 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved.