Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ginger Coconut Milk Soup

(recipe from 101 Cookbooks)

Two 14-oz. cans full-fat coconut milk
One 14-oz. can water (use the coconut milk can to measure)
2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced
3 large shallots, minced
1 tsp. salt, or to taste

Lots of seasonal vegetables, for example (use a bit of each to fill up the broth):
squash (summer or winter)
broccoli florets
asparagus, chopped
scallions, sliced
mushrooms, sliced

to serve:
lots of fresh lime juice and cilantro

In a large soup pot, over medium heat, bring the coconut milk, water, ginger, shallots, and salt to a gentle boil.  Dial back the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Add the vegetables to the simmering coconut milk, and cook until tender. 

Can be served alone, or over egg noodles or rice.  Finish with a generous squeeze of lime juice and lots of cilantro.

(This is my new favorite soup!  I've made it a couple of times now, it's so easy and flexible!  Just add any veggies you have on hand to the broth, really.  I add the lime juice and cilantro right into the soup pot at the end.  I've used broccoli, butternut squash, asparagus, mushrooms, and scallions in varying groupings, but I can't imagine many veggies that wouldn't taste fabulous with this savory, tangy coconut broth.)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Lemony Gumbo Z'herbes

(recipe from Food 52)

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery (reserve any leaves for later)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 cups water or vegetable stock
2 lbs. assorted greens: collards, turnip, beet, mustard, chard, kale, or spinach, coarsely chopped
All the celery leaves from your head of celery, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves (I used dried)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves (I used dried)
2 bay leaves
One lemon
1 to 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (I used soy sauce)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 scallion, finely chopped

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onions, celery, bell pepper, and salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned.  Stir in garlic and let it sweat with the other vegetables for a minute or two.  Add water or stock; raise heat until it comes to just below boiling.  Add greens and celery leaves a little at a time, until they are all wilted into the soup.  Add thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves.  Halve and juice the lemon, and add juice as well as both lemon halves into the soup.  Add 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce.  Reduce heat to low and simmer soup, covered, for at least 1 hour.  The vegetables will become mushy and the soup will be very green.  Taste and add salt, pepper, or Worcestershire sauce, if needed.  Fish out bay leaves and lemon halves and discard them. 

Serve sprinkled with scallions.  Can serve over rice.

(This soup is delicious!  I added more onions, celery, and bell pepper than called for, and added the scallions right into the soup instead of as garnish.  The flavor is spicy and lemony and packed with soft greens.)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Carrot Bisque

(I cobbled this together from two carrot soup recipes: Vegetarian Times magazine and

2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 lbs. carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
1 14-oz. can full-fat coconut milk
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
4 cups water, or to cover
Juice of 1 lime
Cilantro, chopped, to taste
to serve: micro-greens (I used watercress)

In a large soup pan over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil and onion.  Stir until onion is well-coated, and allow to sauté until translucent, a few minutes.  Stir in ginger, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant.  Add curry powder, cayenne, and 1/4 cup water.  Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to coat onion and ginger with the curry mixture.

Add the carrots, coconut milk, salt, and water to cover, as needed, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, until the carrots are tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Puree soup using a blender until the soup is completely silky smooth.  Add more water if the consistency needs to be thinned out, to your liking.  Then taste for salt, adding more if needed.  Return puree to soup pan, and stir in lime juice and chopped cilantro.

Ladle into bowls to serve, and top with micro-greens.

(Vibrant and spicy!  Topping with the greens adds a nice crunch to the smooth soup.)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sweet Potato and Vegetable Tian

(recipe origin unknown)

1 red onion, cut vertically into sixths, sections separated
1 green pepper, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
12 oz. mushrooms, large ones quartered, medium ones halved
2 plum tomatoes, cored and cut into sixths
3 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary, or 3/4 tsp. crumbled dried
1/2 tsp. salt
Generous seasoning of ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

The topping:
3 slices bread
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Combine all of the vegetables, garlic, and rosemary in a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup oil and toss to coat thoroughly.

Drop the vegetables into a shallow 2 1/2-quart ovenproof casserole and press them down evenly.  Bake for 45 minutes.

To make the topping, break up the bread and make coarse crumbs in a food processor.  Scrape them into a small bowl and drizzle on the 1 Tbsp. olive oil.  Use your fingers to rub the oil evenly into the crumbs.

Remove the tian from the oven.  Sprinkle the crumbs all over the top.  Return the dish to the oven and bake 15 more minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.  Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

(A nice roasted veggie combo.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Silky Squash and Celery Root Soup

(recipe from Food & Wine magazine)

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 lbs. Kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 celery root (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 shallots, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (I used dried, doubled)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan.  Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat until golden brown.  Add the squash, celery root, and shallots and cook until lightly browned around the edges, about 5 minutes.  Add the vegetable broth, nutmeg, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover partially, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor.  Season with salt and pepper and serve hot. 

(Because, for winter in Maine, you can never have too many easy winter squash soup recipes!  A typical blended squash soup, but I liked the addition of celery root for a change.  Creamy and quite hearty.)