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!

Spicy Eggplant with Creamy Rice \\ Aubergine épicée et riz crémeux

With September coming up, I’ve started meal planning more seriously again. I love meal planning because it makes grocery shopping super simple and quick, I get to use my cookbooks and discover new recipes, and there is no food wasted. It also makes it really easy in the evening because I try to cook ahead and have enough for lunches as well. This gives me more time at night which is always great!

spicy-aubergine

Last night we got to eat some spicy eggplant in a ratatouille type dish with deliciously creamy rice. This was so good! It’s spicy, creamy, sweet and so flavourful. It also packs great as a lunch. It takes about 5 minutes to put together and 20 minutes to cook, which is perfect if you want to prepare it in the evening, but it also keeps very well in the fridge if you prepare your food ahead. Great!

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Here is what you need:

For the eggplant:

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 can of chickpeas (or any other legume), drained and rinsed
  • 690mL strained tomatoes (about 3 cups; you can also use tomato sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs peanut butter (or any other nut or seed butter)
  • salt and pepper to your taste

For the rice:

  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tbs tahini
  • 1 tbs tamari or soy sauce

Here is what you do:

  1. In a pot, place all the rice ingredients together and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and let simmer until the rice is fully cooked. Make sure there’s always some water in to avoid the rice from sticking and burning. You can also cook this in your rice cooker.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the eggplant into bite-sized pieces and place in a large saucepan. Add all the other ingredients except for the peanut butter and stir well. Place on medium heat and cover until in it starts to bubble. Reduce the heat and let simmer until the eggplant is cooked. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter.
  3. Serve the eggplant over the rice and garnish with some sesame seeds or green onions if you like. Enjoy!

This is seriously filling and so great as a lunch! I love how easy it is to prepare while still being extra flavourful and delicious. Let me know if you try it out!

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Pour préparer ce plat d’aubergines épicées et ce magnifiquement délicieux riz crémeux, vous aurez besoin de:

Pour le riz:

  • 2 tasses de riz
  • 4 tasses d’eau
  • 1 c.à soupe de tahini
  • 1 c. à soupe de tamari ou sauce soja

Pour les aubergines:

  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 boîte de conserve de pois chiches (ou d’autres légumineuses)
  • 690mL coulis de tomates (environs 3 tasses; peut être remplacé par de la sauce tomate)
  • 1/2 c. à café de flocons de piment ou de poudre de piment
  • 2 c. à café de poudre de paprika
  • 2 c. à café de graines de cumin
  • 2 c. à café de tamari ou sauce soja
  • 1 gousse d’ail, finement hachée
  • 2 c. à table de beurre d’arachides (ou d’un autre beurre de noix ou de graines)
  • sel et poivre à votre goût
  1. Dans une casserole, mélanger les ingrédients pour le riz et porter à ébullition à feu moyen. Reduire à feu doux et laisser cuire jusqu’à ce que l’eau soit complètement absorbée. Assurez-vous de garder un oeil sur le riz pour éviter que l’eau s’évaporer trop rapidement et que le riz brûle ou colle. Vous pouvez également utiliser un rice-cooker.
  2. En attendant que le riz cuise, découper l’aubergine en dé et placer dans une grande poêle. Ajouter tous les autres ingrédients sauf le beurre d’arachides. Bien mélanger et placer sur feu moyen. Lorsque le mélange commence à faire des bulles, réduire à feu doux et laisser bouillonner jusqu’à ce que l’aubergine soit cuite. Retirer du feu et incorporer le beurre d’arachides.
  3. Servir les aubergines sur le riz et garnir de graines de sésame ou d’oignons verts. Régalez-vous!

Ce plat est parfait pour les soirées pressées car il prend 20 minutes à préparer et est parfait pour un lunch le lendemain. Miam!

Spicy Bean Purée, a nice sub for hummus!

I love hummus! It goes great with everything:  bread, veggie sticks, salads, soups, by the spoonful… I really like adding hummus everywhere as it adds great flavour to any dish: it makes a nice substitution to salad dressing, adds protein to vegetable soups and is (of course) great in sandwiches. However, sometimes it gets old, despite all the different things you can add and all the flavours that are popping up in stores.

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Here is what you need:

  • 2 cups of mixed cooked  legumes (I used a mix of green lentils, black beans, and red kidney beans)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tbs turmeric
  • 1 tbs ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tbs ground curry powder
  • hot pepper flakes to taste
  • salt to  taste

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Add all of the ingredients in your food process and process until smooth.

I love this! The Indian spices are a nice addition to any dish for us, so this really hits a sweet spot. It brings out any dish and makes it more special. It goes great in salads and can be used everywhere hummus can. I usually make a big batch of this and keep it in the fridge. Like this I can add it everywhere for a week or so.

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Here we ate this with lettuce, shredded carrots, preserved beet roots, sweet fried tofu and a little bit of pistachio oil for a delicious salad! Seriously, try it 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.