Tag Archives: vegan

Seasonal Soup Recipe

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In Autumn

Great Minds Turn To Thoughts Of Pea Soup

There is nothing quite like the brisk bite of fall air to make me start thinking about steaming bowls of soup and hunks of crusty bread or delectable portions of pomme frites.  I love hearty soups.  There is something primal about the making and eating of nourishing soups that warm the body and soul.

I discovered this recipe last year and it has become a favorite.  Although I adore pea soups made with ham or bacon, this lighter version is equally delicious and a lot easier on the waistline.

I began by assembling all the ingredients.

Curried Pea Soup Ingredients

Then I chopped the onion into small pieces and sautéed them in olive oil for around 5 minutes.

sauteed onions in olive oil

While the onions were cooking, I peeled 3 to 5 cloves of garlic and a portion of fresh ginger.

chopping garlic and fresh ginger

I have found that my mini-processor makes quick work of chopping herbs, so into the chopper they went.

finely chopped herbs

Once finely chopped, I added the mixture to the onions and continued cooking for a few more minutes.

chopped garlic, ginger and onions

Then came the spice, hot curry (to taste) cardamom, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and salt.  At this point my kitchen began to waft with the fragrant aromas of the spice market in the  Grand Bazaar.

Add spices

I mixed the spices in and let them simmer for a  few more minutes.

onion, garlic, ginger and spices

Next I added chopped carrot, celery and a bit of fresh Italian parley for good measure.

add chopped carrots, celery, Italian parsley

Not being a vegetarian myself, I opted for a carnivorous blast of chicken broth.

add liquid to soup

Then I washed the peas and sorted through them for things that might not belong.

washing dried peas

After washing, I stirred the dried peas into the broth, put a lid on the pot and let it simmer until finished.

add dried peas

Once the soup was done, I let it cool.  Once thoroughly cooled, I took approximately half of the soup and placed it into a blender.  I don’t like pea soup that it completely smooth; I do like a little bit of texture so I leave a bit unblended.  Pureeing helps to give the soup body by thickening it up a bit.

pureeing soup

Then I added the pureed mixture (yum) back into the soup pot,

pureed pea soup

and stirred to blend the two together.

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Pomme Frites Soup Toppers

Dice a yukon gold potato and pre-cook. Drain well and set aside.

precooked potato cubes

Heat about an inch of vegetable oil in a small pan and add the potato cubes, cooking until crispy and golden.

cooking pomme frittes

Remove from oil and drain well on a paper towel.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt and dust lightly with curry powder.

curried pomme frittes

These make a tasty garnish to an already delicious bowl of curried pea soup.

Buon appetito

Curried Pea Soup with Pomme Frittes

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Cooking in Sewville

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SImple Goodness

I am a fan of white beans, no doubt about it.  I love bean soups and bean salads, and bean pates.  Beans are healthy and a great source of complete protein.  I’m always looking for new ways to prepare beans and landed on this interesting recipe that uses caramelized onions.  Being a huge onion fan, I thought it sounded rather good, so I gave it a try.

I like the recipe which I found on treehugger, because it is simple and requires only 4 main ingredients, onions, cheese, beans and spice.   The original recipe called for thyme, but I think Mexican spices, such as cumin, chile powder and possibly some jalapeno might be an interesting addition as well.4 main ingredients

I began by slices five onions in half-moon slices and sauteing them in olive oil for an eternity.  The recipe said it would take 25 minutes, but it took a lot longer than that to achieve the sugary golden flavor or caramelized onions.  Add thyme to the onions in the last stages of cooking.

carmelized onions

Once the onions were prepared, I washed and drained two cans of white beans.  I always wash my canned foods , because I think it washes salt and chemicals away.  Not sure if it really helps, but it makes me feel better.

rinse and drain beans

Divide the onions into thirds and spread the first third in the bottom of a casserole dish.  I sprayed no-stick spray on just to make sure they wouldn’t stick, although it probably wasn’t necessary due to the olive oil in the onions.

spread onions in casserole dishThen spread one can of rinsed beans over the onions,

layer beans over onions

and sprinkle with cheese.  Again, feel free to experiment with different cheeses.  The original recipe called for cheddar, but I think Asiago or parmesan and rosemary spice would be nice for an Italian flavor.  Continue to layer onions and beans ending with cheese on top.   Before placing in the oven, add one half cup white wine or veggie broth if you prefer.

completed casserole before cooking

Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees or until cheese is bubbling and slightly browned.

baked casseroleI served this dish with fresh green beans lightly sauteed in olive oil and garlic and a nicely chilled glass of chardonnay.

It was flavorful, simple and delicious.

dinner at 8:00

And for those of you who are wondering what this has to do with my blog theme, I sewed the red table runner and napkins you see in the final photo.  She sews and she cooks!   🙂