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Spicy carrot ginger soup #3

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This soup is very tasty, healthy, and a great way to use up excess carrots. Seriously, there are 6 oz. of carrots in every bowl! And it's not really spicy, but it definitely has more going on than regular carrot ginger soup.

1.5 oz. unsalted butter (3 tbsp.) (can substitute olive oil)
6.7 oz. yellow onion, chopped (1 onion)
0.3 oz. garlic, minced (2 cloves)
0.8 oz. ginger, finely chopped (a little more than 1/8 cup; can use more if desired)
24 oz. carrots, peeled and diced
4.0 oz. white wine
32 oz. vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1 tbsp. Thai red curry paste
salt
fresh ground black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper

Seriously, a lot of carrots!

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Chopping the carrot is the hard part. Here's the onion, garlic and ginger.

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Heat a large pot over medium-low heat 3 tbsp. unsalted butter. Add the onions and garlic and heat for several minutes until translucent.

Add the ginger and cook for a few more minutes.

Increase the heat to high and add the white wine. Boil for a few minutes to reduce the wine slightly and boil off the alcohol.

This dish can be made with vegetable or chicken stock. For chicken, I use my own chicken stock when I can, but it takes exactly one 32 oz. stock in an aseptic package with no leftover, so it's very convenient. I used 1.5 oz. (by weight) of More Than Gourmet vegetable stock base with 30.5 oz. of hot water.

Add the stock and carrots and bring back to a boil. Skim off any foam that forms on top of the liquid and discard. The soup is quite thick when done, yet it has no thickener other than carrots. You could add more stock to stretch it and make a thinner soup.

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Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

When done, add the Thai red curry paste. I use Thai Kitchen which just contains red chili pepper, garlic, lemongrass, galangal (Thai ginger), salt, spices, and kaffir lime. It's vegan (and gluten-free), too. You could also just use curry powder.

Purée the soup using a blender or food processor in batches. Because of the amount of blending required to purée the carrots, I found that a stick blender isn't a very efficient for this soup. Transfer to a large bowl to adjust the seasoning. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.

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Makes 4 10 oz. servings. Easily doubles. I've made it in the past and gotten 12 oz. servings.

With vegetable stock it's vegetarian. Replacing the butter with olive oil it's vegan. It should be gluten-free. And lactose free if you substitute for the butter. Hey, it's even nut-free and soy-free. We can accommodate almost any food choice or allergy with this recipe!

More or less based on this recipe, scaled and some of the preparation steps modified.

This soups also freezes well. I like to vacuum seal it and reheat it by bringing a pot of water to a boil, adding the frozen bag, bringing back to a boil, reducing the heat to simmer, and simmering, covered, for 20 minutes.

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This is almost the same recipe as the original, but I incorporated the modifications from #2 and added some more pictures.



Chicken soup with soba noodles and spinach

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My lunch today was a big bowl of Japanese-style chicken soup. Very delicious and healthy.

It all starts when I roast a whole chicken; I then use the carcass of the chicken to make packages of plain chicken stock, and usually enough bits of chicken come off to make one serving of chicken soup. I vacuum seal and freeze these for when I'm in the mood for soup.

There's about 16 fluid oz. of broth and chicken bits one serving. Heat to a boil and add soba noodles. Lower the heat slightly so it's gently boiling. Cook according to package directions; mine took 6 minutes. I used 1.0 oz. soba (Japanese buckwheat) noodles for the single serving.

About a minute before the noodles are done, add a cup or two of fresh spinach.

Season with soy sauce and freshly ground pepper. Note that the chicken stock as I prepared it above didn't have salt added yet, however.

I served it with rice with furikake. There are many kinds of furikake; this is nori komi which mostly consists of black seaweed (nori) and sesame seeds.




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This is a creamy squash soup that doesn't actually have any cream in it! And it's so delicious, I don't think you'll miss it!

One trick to the recipe is my vegan cream substitute. It starts with a roux made of olive oil and all-purpose flour which unflavored, unsweetened almond milk is added. It gets nice and thick and is what gives this soup a velvety mouth feel even though it doesn't have cream.

The other is the vegetable broth, described below.

Makes two 8 oz. servings. Multiply as necessary.

1 delicata squash
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
8 oz. vegetable stock
4 oz. vegan cream replacement
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt
pepper

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

This is a delicata squash, which is small, thin-skined, and pretty sweet.

squashsoup1.jpgHalve the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds.

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Place the squash cut-side down in a glass baking pan. Add 1/8" of water to the pan, cover with foil, and bake for 35-40 minutes until tender. Let cool.

In a saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook for a couple minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the onion is softened and translucent, being careful to not burn the onion or garlic.

Scrape the squash into the saucepan.

For the stock I use More than Gourmet Veggie Stock gold. It's made of real vegetables, no fillers, and is low in sodium. Do not attempt to use vegetable bouillon cubes which pretty much just taste like salt! You could use a packaged vegetable broth (the Pacific brand is pretty good), but I like More than Gourmet because it comes as a concentrate that lasts for months in the refrigerator so you don't end up throwing out all of those partial containers of vegetable (chicken, mushroom, etc.) broths. I use a 1:20 ratio so 0.4 oz. (by weight) of concentrate for 8 oz. of hot water.

Add the stock and cream substitute. Cook for about 25 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

squashsoup3.jpgPurée the soup in a food processor or blender. My first attempt using the stick blender did not succeed in fully puréeing the onions so I switched to the food processor, which worked perfectly.

Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Each 8 oz. serving is a very respectable 197 calories. It's so good, however, you might want to eat a giant 16 oz. bowl of it, which is still a reasonable 393 calories.

This recipe is vegan, and therefore also vegetarian and dairy-free.

It does contain gluten and tree nuts, though it can easily be modified.

The original recipe I based this on did have butter and heavy cream in it and I'm sure it was delicious as well. It was also extremely high in fat and calories. The heavy cream version is 331 calories for 8 oz. but if you add in the calories for a salad or a sandwich, then you're talking quite a few calories for a lunch. And a lot of saturated fat.







Vegan 'cream' of broccoli soup

veganbroccolisoup.jpgWhile my cheddar broccoli soup is rich, creamy, and quite tasty, it's also pretty far from healthy. Each small 7 ounce serving has 2 oz. of cheese and 1 oz. cream, among other things, like beer, butter, and flour.

Since I still had an abundance of broccoli from CSA Week #8 and CSA Week #9 I decided to try making a healthier vegan broccoli soup, without any cheese or cream.

After searching the net I came across this recipe, which looked so good I didn't really have any major modifications to make to it.

The vegetarian soup stock recipe on the page also looked really good, and I actually had everything for it, but I didn't want to spend 8 hours making it. I used More Than Gourmet Veggie-Stock Gold, which is made from actual vegetables and has no added starches, fats, and is low in sodium. It's much better than veggie bouillon cubes! For the 16 ounces of vegetable stock I added 0.8 oz. of stock base (1:20 ratio).

I used hemp milk instead of rice since my grocery store did not carry all permutations of soy, almond, hemp, and rice in unflavored, vanilla, and chocolate in sweetened and unsweetened. I decided go to with unflavored, unsweetened hemp for this recipe since neither sugar nor vanilla made any sense in this recipe. It's a little labor-intensive but making a vegan roux (olive oil + flour cooked at low for 10 minutes) and adding in the milk substitute makes a nicely textured cream substitute.

I also only made a half recipe, but it's quite good so I might make a whole recipe next time. The half recipe makes about 28 oz., which is 2 or 3 servings. It's very healthy, so a big bowl of it is probably in order. The quantities below are already halved (the original recipe was twice these quantities):

7.5 oz. broccoli (3 cups)
16 oz. vegetable stock
0.5 oz. chopped parsley (1/2 cup)
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
0.2 oz. garlic, minced (1 clove)
1.9 oz. onion, small dice (half a small onion)
0.8 oz. celery (1/2 stalk), small dice
1 1/2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
8 oz. unsweetened, unflavored rice, soy, almond, hemp, or other substitute milk
salt

Peel the broccoli stems. Cut the stems and florets into small pieces. Some of the florets will be reserved and be in the soup directly, though most of the broccoli will be puréed.

Bring the stock to a boil. Add the broccoli. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and cook the broccoli until tender.

Remove about 1/2 cup of broccoli florets from the pan, reserve to add back into the soup at the end.

In a separate sauté pan, add a little olive oil and cook the onions, garlic, and celery over medium low heat until soft, being careful to not burn them.

Add the parsley, thyme, rosemary, and black pepper to the pot of broccoli and stock. I used whole dried thyme and rosemary, so I quickly ground them with a half dozen black peppercorns in a spice grinder before adding to the stock.

Purée the broccoli, stock, and spices. Set aside.

In a clean soup pan, add olive oil. Add the flour and cook over low heat for 10 minutes to make a vegan roux. Increase the heat to high. Stir in the milk substitute a little at a time, constantly whisking. Bring to a boil, whisking, until thick and free of lumps.

Add the broccoli purée and broccoli florets. Reduce the heat to medium and heat through but do not boil. Add salt if necessary. Serve.

The soup is a good broccoli soup that many people would like even if you didn't tell them that it didn't have any cream in it. It's an excellent vegan broccoli soup.

The soup is vegetarian and vegan. It's dairy free and lactose free. It's not gluten free, but it could be if you substituted for the flour in the roux. Veggie stock gold is gluten free and lactose free. Assuming you didn't use soy milk, it's also soy free which is somewhat uncommon for vegan 'cream' soup.


Cheddar broccoli soup

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This is a very delicious but somewhat labor-intensive soup. It's a pretty small recipe because the soup is very rich and I don't eat it very often. Fortunately, it freezes well. It also multiplies easily.

Makes about four 7 oz. servings.

1.0 oz. clarified butter (2 tbsp.)
1.50 oz. yellow onions, fine dice (half a small onion)
0.75 oz. mushrooms, fine dice (about 3 medium white mushrooms)
0.75 oz. celery, fine dice (about half a stalk)
0.25 oz. garlic, minced (2 cloves)
2.6 oz. broccoli, cut into small pieces and steamed

1.0 oz. flour (about 1/8 cup)
28 fl. oz. chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
2.5 oz. beer (preferable ale, or can substitute dry white wine)
8 oz. grated cheddar cheese
2 tsp. prepared mustard
4 fl. oz. heavy cream (hot)
Tabasco sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Salt
Pepper

cheddarbroccoli2.jpgIn clarified butter, sweat the white mirepoix (onions, celery, mushrooms) with the garlic over low heat ("3" on my stove) until the onions are translucent. Do not brown.

Add the flour to make a blond roux. Cook for 12 minutes. Lower heat if necessary to prevent browning.

cheddarbroccoli3.jpgAdd the stock gradually while whisking to remove any lumps. Simmer for 45 minutes. The soup base can be chilled for later use at this point, as well.

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Bring the soup base back to a simmer if necessary. Add the beer and cheese and heat the soup gently but do not let it boil. I used Cabot Extra Sharp Vermont Cheddar cheese.

Add the mustard (I like to use Dijon mustard) and hot cream and bring the soup back to a simmer.

Add the cooked broccoli. The broccoli could also be omitted to just make cheddar ale soup.

Add more stock if necessary to adjust the consistency. Season with Tabaso and Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.

With the substitution of vegetable stock and vegetarian Worcestershire sauce this recipe is vegetarian. Since cheese and cream are major ingredients, there is no vegan or lactose-free option for this soup. It probably could be modified to be wheat-free by substituting for the flour and substituting wine for beer.

If preparing extra for freezing, put the soup into vacuum bags and rapidly chill. Vacuum seal then freeze.
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This recipe is based on the Cheddar Cheese Soup recipe in The Professional Chef, 7th Edition, from the Culinary Institute of America, p. 332.





Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup

carrotgingersoup.jpgThis soup is very tasty, healthy, and a great way to use up excess carrots. Seriously, there is a half pound of carrots in every bowl! And it's not really spicy, but it definitely has more going on than regular carrot ginger soup.

I have an updated version of this recipe with more pictures and a few modifications.

1.5 oz. unsalted butter (3 tbsp.) (can substitute olive oil)
6.7 oz. yellow onion, chopped (1 onion)
0.8 oz. ginger, finely chopped (a little more than 1/8 cup; can use more if desired)
0.3 oz. garlic, minced (2 cloves)
4 oz. white wine
28 oz. chicken stock (can substitute vegetable stock)
24 oz. carrots, peeled and diced
1 tbsp. Thai red curry paste
salt
fresh ground black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper

Heat a large pot over medium heat 3 tbsp. unsalted butter. Add the onions and garlic and heat for several minutes until translucent.

Add the ginger and cook for a few more minutes.

Increase the heat to high and add the white wine. Boil for a few minutes to reduce the wine slightly and boil off the alcohol.

Add the chicken stock and carrots and bring back to a boil. Skim off any foam that forms on top of the liquid and discard. The soup is quite thick when done, yet it has no thickener other than carrots. You could add more stock to stretch it and make a thinner soup.

Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

When done, add the Thai red curry paste. I use Thai Kitchen which just contains red chili pepper, garlic, lemongrass, galangal (Thai ginger), salt, spices, and kaffir lime. It's vegan (and gluten-free), too.

Purée the soup using a blender or food processor in batches. Transfer to a large bowl to adjust the seasoning. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.

Makes 3 12 oz. servings. Easily doubles.

I make my own chicken stock when I roast chicken and freeze it for recipes like this.

You could also use vegetable stock to make a vegetarian or vegan (replace the butter with oil, of course) version of this soup. And it should be gluten free. And lactose free if you substitute for the butter. We can accommodate almost any food choice or allergy with this recipe!

More or less based on this recipe, scaled and some of the preparation steps modified. The original recipe called for curry powder, which curiously I did not have so I substituted some Thai red curry paste.

This soups also freezes well. I like to vacuum seal it and reheat it by bringing a pot of water to a boil, adding the frozen bag, bringing back to a boil, reducing the heat to simmer, and simmering, covered, for 20 minutes.

Served with a salad of mixed greens, carrots, and cucumber (from CSA Week #5), celery, Annie's Naturals Green Goddess dressing, and Olivia's garlic and herb croutons.
salad21.jpgAlso, a slice of Red Hen Bakery Ciabatta bread with olive oil. And a glass of Crossroads Winery 2008 Marlborough (New Zealand) Sauvignon Blanc.

I made this soup again, using 32 oz. of vegetable broth and it was delicious, and also made four servings instead of 3.



Chicken Soup

soup1.jpgHomemade chicken stock with chicken
Soba Noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles)
Spinach

Bring the chicken stock and chicken to a boil. Add the soba noodles and cook according to directions. For my noodles, this was 6 minutes. Once the pot comes back to a boil, reduce the heat slightly.

When almost fully cooked, add a handful of fresh spinach. It shouldn't need to cook more than 20 seconds to wilt.

Season with soy sauce and pepper. The soy sauce gives it the darker color in the picture; you could substitute salt which would leave it normal "chicken broth" color. I used homemade chicken broth which had no added salt; if you used packaged broth you might not need any added salt at all.

Serve.

Miso soup

DSC_0005.jpgThis very tasty and healthy soup takes almost an hour and a half to make, but it's worth it!

1 8" strip kombu (dried kelp) (0.2 oz.)
32 oz. water (4 cups)
12.3 oz. firm silken tofu, cut into 1/2" cubes
2.2 oz. white miso (4 tbsp.)
2 scallions, chopped
soy sauce

Wipe off any powder on the kombu - do not wash it.

Put the kombu in a pot with 4 cups of water and soak at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Put the pot over medium low heat ("4" on my stove). Slowly bring to just under a boil, around 200°F, this will take about a half hour.

Just before boiling occurs, remove the kombu. It could be saved for other recipes, or discarded.

Up to this point you've just made kombu dashi, a Japanese soup stock.

DSC_0003.jpgAdd the tofu and the white parts of the scallions and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Put the miso in a bowl. Take some of the hot dashi liquid from the pot and add it to the bowl to dissolve the miso. Stir until completely dissoved. Return the contents of the bowl to the pot. If you didn't do this, you'd end up breaking the tofu getting all of the miso to dissolve.
DSC_0004.jpgSimmer for a few minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, add the green parts of the chopped scallions, and soy sauce. Mom would insist that MSG be added at this point, though I have omitted it. Kombu has an abundance of natural glutamates already. Serve.

Do not boil miso and it breaks down some of its nutritional value. It also affects its taste. Since there's tofu in it, it can't be frozen, either. Serves 2 - 4.

This miso soup recipe, based on kombu dashi, is vegan. Sometimes miso soup is made from katsuo dashi (dried bonito fish) or niboshi dashi (dried sardines); those soups obviously would not be.



Chicken Stock

1 carcass of chicken left over after separating off the more useful parts
2 stalks celery, cut into 1" dice
1 carrot, cut into 1" dice
1 yellow onion, cut into 1" dice
48 to 64 oz. water (6 to 8 cups)

Bring to a boil. Skim off the foam. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 3 hours.
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Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Strain and reserve the liquid stock. Cover and refrigerate. I usually refrigerate it overnight. Having the stock cold is necessary while vacuum packing, and it also makes it much easier to remove the fat from the stock.

Pick through the solids and reserve any of the large white meat chicken bits for chicken soup.

Remember that there is no added salt in this chicken stock, so you may need to increase the amount of salt in anything you make with it.

I usually find that there's a reasonable amount of chicken bits to make one 16 oz. serving of chicken soup. I vacuum seal the package with just the chicken stock and chicken and freeze. To serve I defrost the bag, bring to a boil, add soba (or other similar) noodles. When almost done, toss in a handful of spinach leaves. Add a little soy sauce and serve.
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