Christmas menu: Curried Cauliflower Soup \\\ Menu de Noël: Soupe au chou-fleur et au curry

(Version française plus bas) 

I love curry! So, of course, when it came to deciding on my Christmas menu, I wanted to include some of its spicy deliciousness. I also wanted this soup to be simple and quick to prepare, and ideally to be something I could prepare well ahead. Well, this is it. It is thick, spicy, comforting and the perfect start to my Christmas dinner.

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Here is what you need:

  • 1/2 butternut squash, diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cauliflower head, chopped
  • 1 broccoli head, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can of mixed beans (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tbs garam massala powder
  • 1 tbs turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds or powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to your taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a large pot and cover them with water.
  2. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and let simmer until the squash is tender.
  3. Using your wand mixer, mix everything up until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

That’s it! It is so simple and quick to prepare. I actually already prepared a batch of this ahead, so that I don’t have to worry about it uring the Christmas week-end. The soup is spicy and warming, without being too hot. The cauliflower makes it very thick and creamy, without any cream or fat. Great! Let me know if you try it out!


J’adore le curry! Il était donc évident que cette épice ferait une apparition pour notre repas de Noël. En entrée, j’avais envie d’une soupe réconfortante et réchauffante, mais qui soit simple à préparer et préférablement préparable à l’avance. Bien, mission accomplie! Cette soupe est crémeuse, sans huile et vraiment délicieuse!

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Voici ce dont vous aurez besoin: 

  • 1/2 courge butternut, coupée en dés (environs 3 tasses)
  • 1 chou-fleur, coupés en dés
  • 1 brocoli, coupés en dés
  • 1 oignon, coupé finement
  • 1 conserve de légumineuses mélangées (environs 2 tasses)
  • 1/2 tasse de graines de chanvre
  • 2 c. à soupe de poudre de garam massala
  • 1 c. à soupe de poudre de curcuma
  • 1 c. à thé de graines de cumin ou de poudre de cumin
  • 1/2 c. à thé de flocons de piment
  • sel et poivre au goût

Voici ce qu’il faut faire:

  1. Placez tous les ingrédients dans une grande casserole et le recouvrir d’eau.
  2. Portez à ébullition à feu vif. Réduire à feu moyen et laisser mijoter jusqu’à ce que la courge soit bien tendre.
  3. Utilisez votre mélangeur à immersion et pulvériser le tout jusqu’à ce que la soupe soit lisse et crémeuse. Savourez!

Voilà! C’est si simple à préparer et vraiment délicieux! Cette soupe est bien réchauffante, sans être trop piquante. Le chou-fleur rend cette soupe vraiment très crémeuse et épaisse, sans avoir à rajouter de matière grasse, ce qui n’est pas mal pendant la période des fêtes. Bon appétit!

Simple Butternut Squash Soup \\ Potage à la courge butternut

It’s pumpkin season! I love this time of the year because it means that I can cuddle up with a good book, some tea, and soup without feeling guilty. One of my favourite squash to cook with is the butternut squash because it’s so smooth and dense. It’s perfect to make soups and mashes, so I thought I would share my super simple butternut squash soup recipe with you. I love this soup because it is super smooth and nutritious: as I’m adding coral lentils, it’s a complete meal in itself! Yum!

 

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I served this with some olives and hemp seeds!

 

Here is what you need:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 8 carrots
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 cups coral lentils
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: almond milk to serve for extra creaminess.

Here is what you do:

  1. Wash the carrots and potatoes thoroughly and chop them into bite-sized pieces. Place them in a large pot.
  2. Crush the garlic clove and peel it. Add it to the pot.
  3. Cut your butternut squash in two width-wise and carefully cut out the skin and extremities. I find that cutting the squash in two helps as it gives me a flat surface to lean on. Dice up the squash and remove the seeds. Add this to your pot.
  4. Finally, rinse the lentils and add them to the rest along with the laurel leaves. Cover the vegetables with water and add 4 cups of water for the lentils.
  5. Put on the stove on high heat until it’s bubbling, then reduce the heat and let simmer until the vegetables are soft. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Use your hand mixer to smooth everything out. Serve hot with toasted bread. Enjoy!

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This is so delicious! It’s super nurishing, creamy and smooth! It’s perfect for cold days and makes for a great lunch on the go. Let me know if you try this out!


C’est l’automne! Ce qui veut dire que je peux maintenant m’emmitoufler dans une couverture, avec une tasse de thé, un bon livre et un bon bol de soupe chaude. Voici ma soupe préférée avec, en vedette, la courge butternut! Miam, miam, miam!

Ingrédients:

  • 1 courge butternut
  • 8 carottes
  • 4 patates
  • 1 gousse d’ail
  • 2 tasses de lentilles rouges
  • 2 feuilles de laurier
  • Sel et poivre au goût
  • optionel: lait d’amades pour servir et encore plus de crémeux!

 

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J’ai servi cette soupe avec des olives et des graines de chanvres.

 

  1. Bien laver les carottes et les patates et les couper en morceaux. Les mettre dans une grande casserole.
  2. Écraser et éplucher la gousse d’ail et l’ajouter à la casserole.
  3. Couper la courge dans le sens de la largeur et découper la peau et les extrémités en faisant bien attention. Je trouve que couper la courge dans sa largeur facilite l’épluchage puisqu’il y a une surface plate sur laquelle s’appuyer. Couper la courge en dés et retirer les graines. Ajouter à la casserole.
  4. Bien rincer les lentilles rouge et les ajouter à la casserole avec les feuilles de laurier.
  5. Couvrir les légumes d’eau et ajouter 4 tasses pour les lentilles. Porter à ébullition, puis reduire le feu et laisser mijoter jusqu’à ce que les légumes soient tendres. Utiliser un mélangeur à immersion pour rendre le tout bien crémeux. Servir chaud avec du pain griller et savourer!

Voilà! Cette soupe est parfait pour un repas sur le pouce ou pour prendre son temps et regarder les feuilles changer de couleur. C’est si crémeux! Miam!

 

Lazy Udon Noodle Soup

I love blogging about food because I get to really experiment and put some creativity in the kitchen… most days. Other days, I’m just running around getting organized, and I just don’t have time to cook something fancy. Today was one of those days where I knew I needed energy but didn’t have time to prep for a 3-course meal. I still didn’t want to compromise taste, even if I did not have any exciting ingredients in my fridge. One of those days!

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Not to worry, I found some frozen udon noodles in my freezer and still had some silken tofu waiting around. Perfect! Let’s make a lazy, but delicious, bowl of udon noodles!

Here is what you need for one bowl:

  • 1 pack of udon noodles (about 1 1/2 cup), or any other quick-to-cook noodles
  • 1-2 tsp miso paste
  • 150g silken tofu
  • 2 tbs dried wakame seaweed
  • pepper, ginger, sesame oil or sriracha to your taste
  • 1 bowl of water

Here is what you do:

  1. Take out the bowl you are going to eat in and fill it up with water  up to one inch of the rim. Place this water on the stove in a saucepan and heat up while you add the other ingredients.
  2. Add the noodles to the water.
  3. Cut your tofu into small cubes and add to the water.
  4. Add the wakame seaweed and the spices you want to use. Give a quick stir.
  5. Bring everything to a boil, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in your miso paste. Pour into your bowl and enjoy!

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This is super simple, super filling and super quick to make. It’s packed with great umami flavour and delicious textures. It’s perfect for days where you just can’t. Anyways, rushing out now! Let me know if you try this out!

Pistou Soup

This is my version of my mom’s pistou soup. Pistou is the Provencal version of pesto: basil, garlic and olive oil! Pure green-gold in a spoon! For this version, however, I’ll be using my kale-parsley pesto because it is less expensive and also helps me use up all the kale that seems to appear magically in my fridge.

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of green onions, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 zucchinis, cubed
  • 5 potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 2 tbs of fresh thyme (about 6-7 stalks)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • optional ingredients: 3 carrots (chopped), 2 stems of celery (chopped), 1 leek (minced), 1 cup walnuts

Here is what you do:

  1. In a large soup pot, saute the onion and garlic with a few tablespoons of water until fragrant.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients but keep the pesto last. Put on high heat.
  3. Cover with water, and add to more cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer until the lentils are done.
  4. Remove from heat and add pesto. Give a quick stir.
  5. Serve hot with some warm bread.

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Using lentils also makes it super fast to prepare because there is no soaking required.This makes for a great lunch. It is super filling and comforting, while not being heavy. The flavours all work so well together, and the kale-parsley pesto is a great alternative to basil pistou.

Let me know if you give this a try!

 

Corn Chowder, the ultimate comfort soup?

The weather over here has been a little bit moody: rain, snow and fog. Spring is clearly waiting to make a grand entrance. Any day now! (I really hope!) So, with this going on outside, I really felt like some comfort food. And what is more comforting than some chowder?

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This soup does the trick! It is thick, spicy, creamy and simply amazing! It is also extra easy to make and is fairly quick to prepare. I really like that with the corral lentils, this soup makes for a complete meal. How easy!

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 cans of corn niblets, drained ( I use 341mL/ 12 oz cans, about 5 cups)
  • 2 cups of red corral lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp dark miso paste
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp of red chili pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds to garnish

Here is what you do:

  1. In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic with 1/3 cup water.
  2. Add the potato chunks and mix well. Let cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the corn and mix well. Pour some water so that the vegetables are just covered. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add the lentils and the hot pepper flakes. Give a quick stir. Add 4 cups of water. Let boil on medium heat until the lentils are completely cooked. Remove from the heat. Mix in the miso paste, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. With a wand mixer, pulse until most of the potato chunks are creamed. I like to leave some corn and potato chunks whole, but you could of course grind everything up.
  6. Serve hot with some sesame seeds.

You really have to try it out! It is so simple and incredibly delicious! This will definitively be a staple in our house from now on. I made enough so that we could bring some for lunch this week: yum!

Let me know if you try this out and what’s your favourite soup!

Vietnamese Food Series!

Last week was my March break week: I have already started a very serious mourning period! I took advantage of the time I had to organize my school work, plan my exams, correct the pieces of work I had collected, and plan all my classes until the end of the year… I wish! I actually am entering a slight panic mode right now thinking about all the work I need to do today to prepare for tomorrow. Huh, teacher life!

I actually really enjoyed the break and spent many days in the kitchen with my mom learning some of her tricks on how to make delicious Vietnamese vegan food! Oh yes!

So be ready for some seriously delicious recipes during the month of March. I am so excited to share these recipes as these are staples from my childhood. Growing up, I was craving these foods and always felt so privileged having such a talented cook as a mom. I’m really grateful to have spent these few days with her cooking and laughing. Thanks mom!

Christmas Series: Hot Pot Dinner!

I am so excited to share this recipe with you! I had a lot of fun planning, cooking and eating it!

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As I was looking for a fun recipe for a Christmas dinner party, I wanted to stay away from fake turkeys, or any traditional food. I wanted something refreshing, original and shareable. When I imagined it, I wanted people to have to talk to each other, have fun and share something good. To me, this is what Christmas is about.

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While browsing my cookbooks, I stumbled upon Isa’s mushroom hot pot. This was it! I really wanted to modify this recipe to make it more like a Chinese fondue where people cook their own food in a rich broth.

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So I grabbed my boyfriend and we went on a mission to the Asian supermarket. I really wanted to find fun vegetables, mushrooms and fragrant herbs to make this hot pot exceptional, while still paying a reasonable price for everything. I really suggest investing your local Asian store as they often have a great selection of vegetables, mushrooms and herbs for a fraction of the price you’d pay in a regular supermarket.

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Needless to say, we were not disappointed. This is so exciting! It was a lot of fun to try out, and everyone around the table was full and happy.

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Here is what you need (for 4-5 people):

For the broth:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cubes of vegetable broth
  • 8 cups of boiling water
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemongrass stalk
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root
  • 3 whole star anise pods
  • 1.5 cinnamon stick
  • 5 lemon leaves
  • 3 tbs tamari sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 can (8.5 oz) coconut milk
  • 4 fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms (if you use dried, soak them overnight)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro with the stalks (around 1 cup)

For the vegetables (These are the ones I used, but feel free to change them to what you have, like and find.)

  • 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup fresh oyster mushrooms
  • 8 king oyster mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of enoki mushrooms
  • 1 bunch shimeji mushrooms
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 small broccoli head
  • 1 small chinese or zucchini squash
  • bamboo shoots (I bought a small head in an air sealed pack, but canned would work too)
  • 1 can of slices water chestnuts
  • 1 can of baby corn
  • 10 mini bok choys
  • 1 bunch of chinese broccoli or mixed greens
  • kelp noodles
  • fake meat of your choice (we used textured vegetable protein,or TVP)
  • fried tofu (you can buy this ready-made in Asian supermarkets)
  • lime slices (to serve)

Here is what you do:

  1. In a large pot, place the oil, chopped onion, chopped garlic cloves and minced ginger root. Cook on medium heat until fragrant. Add the salt and saute until the onions are translucent.
  2. While the onions are cooking, dissolve the vegetable broth cubes in 2 cups of boiling water and add the corn starch. Mix until completely dissolved.
  3. Slice the 4 shiitake mushrooms thinly (including the feet) and add them to the onions. Also slice up the red bell pepper (1/2) and add it to the pot. Continue to stir until the red bell pepper is softened.
  4. Take your vegetable broth and add it to the onion mix. Stir a little.
  5. To your broth, add the cinnamon stick, star anise pods, and lemon leaves. Stir until fragrant and add the rest of the water (6 cups).
  6. As the broth is cooking, start cutting your vegetables and display them on a plate. If you feel like you have too much of something, add it to the broth. This will give more flavour to your broth and will also make ‘fishing’ possible during the meal. I ended up adding about 1/3 of the vegetables to the broth while it was cooking. I find that the assortment of mushrooms really create a rich flavour. If you are using TVP, it would be a good idea to soak it in water now, just remember to squeeze the extra water out before serving. You can also drain and rince the kelp noodles.
  7. Taste the broth and add the soy sauce and pepper accordingly.
  8. Let the broth simmer.
  9. Once you are done cutting all your vegetables and are ready to serve, add the coconut milk and cilantro, and bring back to a simmer.
  10. Take your lemongrass stalk, and cut a few centimeters off both extremities. Then, cut the stalk in 3 or 4 parts. With a pestle or heavy cup, crush the lemongrass and add it to the broth. Adding it at the end really helps keep the flavour as it is quite volatile.

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To serve, make sure every one has a skewer stick or a little metal basket. Each person will pick and choose whatever they want cooked, put it in their basket and cook it in the broth. If you want, you can add lime juice to your own bowl, but I find that unnecessary. Still, it’s nice to have that option. We used a portable cook top to keep the broth simmering throughout dinner.

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The broth was thick, savoury and full of wonderful flavours. It was very filling even if we just ate it as is without rice or noodles. The kelp noodles have a very crunchy texture which is interesting, but you don’t need to plan a full portion per person. They are just a nice add-on I find.

The TVP really is great in this recipe as it takes on all the broth flavours and really gives the chewy texture of meat.

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It was a lot of fun to eat this with my family this week-end. I had a great time preparing the vegetables with my mom, and the men enjoyed the richness of the broth… which was consumed entirely!

This is truly a must try, so let me know how it turns out!

Christmas Menu: The Soup

We have now arrived to the most exiting part of the Christmas series: The food!

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As a mixed child with one fork in French culture and one chopstick in Vietnamese culture, I can’t say that my family has any particular “Christmas” foods. Every year we eat delicious food depending on our inspiration all together with no specific dish reserved for Christmas.

This is why I bring you a slightly nontraditional Christmas menu. You won’t find any fake turkey or meatballs. You will, however, find delicious, spicy, and fun to share food.

As a start, let me present you the Indian style Kabocha soup. This is a perfect winter soup as the squash is in season, and the spices will warm you up. This is quite simple to make, but will impress your guests with the smoothest texture and most exciting flavours around.

Kabocha squash or Japanese pumpkin is very nutty and smooth which makes it perfect for soups. If you haven’t tried it yet, I suggest you run to your local Asian market as it is perfect not only for savory but also sweet recipes.

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Here is what you need:

  • 1 Kabocha squash, seeds removed
  • 2 zucchini squashes
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, cut in half
  • 1 tbs of curry powder
  • 1 tsp of coriander seeds
  • 1 tbs of marmite (the British seasoning) or one cube of vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Cut all the vegetables in cubes. If you want your soup to be very orange and extremely smooth, peel them. I kept the skins of mine on because I like the extra nutrients they brings.
  2. In a large cauldron, put all your vegetables, ginger and garlic, and cover them with water. I added around 2.5 liters.
  3. Cover and let come to a boil on maximum heat. Then, bring down the heat to a medium, and let simmer uncovered until the vegetables are easily poked through with a fork.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the spices, marmite and salt. Mix well and adjust to your taste. It is a good idea to mix the marmite or vegetable stock cube in a separate bowl with a few spoonfuls of the cooking water before adding it to the soup. This will ensure that everything is well mixed in.
  5. Mix with a hand mixer until all the vegetables are smooth.
  6. Serve with toasted bread and garnish with pumpkin seeds.

This is extremely simple to make and can do its own thing while you are tending more complicated dishes. The spices really make this soup special, and the ginger makes it perfect for winter.

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Let me know if you try it out and what you thought of it! Come back too for the rest of my Christmas menu.

 

Lentil soup

Lentils are very underestimated and sometimes purposefully forgotten at the back of the pantry. Well this recipe will hopefully change your opinion on lentils! It is very easy to make, and oh-so delicious!

The Turmeric makes this soup a must for winter!

The Turmeric makes this soup a must for winter!

Here is what you will need:

– 4 cups soaked green lentils
– 2 onions
– 1 tbs olive oil
– 1 tsp lemon spice mix
– 1 tsp oregano flakes
– 1 tsp turmeric powder
– 2 tbs miso paste
– 1 tsp curry paste
– 1/2 tsp chili sauce
– 1/2 tsp salt
– pepper to taste
– 6-8 cups water

Here is what you want to do:

– Don’t forget to soak your lentils over night. You will need 4 cups of already soaked lentils.

1) Cute the onions and toss them into a large saucepan with the olive oil. Cook on medium heat until slightly translucent. Add the lemon spice, oregano and turmeric powder. Stir well.
2) Warm half a cup of water and dissolve the miso and curry paste.
3) Add the lentils to your saucepan and stir.
4) Add the miso mixture and stir well.
5) Add 4 cups of water, and stir well until all the water has been absorbed by the lentils. Then, add enough water to cover your mix.
6) Let sit until the lentils are cooked. You light need to adjust the amount of water to get the right consistency. Add the salt and pepper.
7) Optional: You can blend this, or eat it as is.

Really, step 7 is optional. I had the worst experience trying to blend this soup. I don’t know what is wrong with me an blenders these days, but they just seem to hate me! I used my parents blender for this soup, and for the first time ever, when I started to blend the soup, everything exploded. Luckily, I was holding on to the lid, but I still had lentil soup all over my arms and hair. So, I suggest you be careful when blending.

Besides from that, this soup is pretty amazing, and as my dad said: “this makes lentils enjoyable”. I have to admit, I am not a big fan of lentils, but I know they are good for you and so I try to eat my share. Well, I can’t get enough of this soup. It is filling, so it would make a perfect lunch to pack!

Let us know if you try it out!

Squash-Kale Soup

So, this soups is actually an accident…. At first, it was a squash and kale saute that we ate with rice noodles and peanut sauce. She thought it was really good, him, not so much. We were left with three mason jars full of the saute that he would not touch. That is how this soup was born!

Yummiest mistake in the kitchen!

Yummiest mistake in the kitchen!

Here is what you need:

– 2 yellow onions
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 1 bunch of kale
– 1 butternut squash
– 1 piece of ginger (1 inch long)
– Boiling water
– 1 tbsp soy sauce
– 1 tbsp olive oil

Here is whate you need to do:

1) Cut the onions, garlic, kale and squash into cubes.
2) Saute de onions and garlic in the olive oil in a large sauce pan until slightly brown.
3) Add the squash and the kale ans stir.
4) Let sit covered on medium heat untill the squash is tender. It took us around an hour.
5) Put the vegetables into your blender. Add 1 1/2 cup of boiling water.
6) Cut the ginger into little pieces and add it to the blender.
7) Add the soy sauce and blend away.
8) Adjust the amount of water and ginger to fit your taste.

This soup is very warming because of the ginger. The Squash gives it a nice sweet taste. It is very easy to make, and I have to admit, way better than my stir fry idea. It is great cold too, so you can easily bring it for lunch.

Give it a try and tell us what you think!