Not Weird Butternut Squash Soup

butternt.jpg

So I was just visiting my dear friend Chai and her family. Since I’m back on the whole 30 bit she was a little nervous about what in the world I would eat while there so she just bought out all the veggies at the store and we had a bit of fun in the kitchen 🙂

For dinner she thought we could make a butternut squash soup so I said, what if we add ground beef to it. She in no uncertain terms told me I was crazy, but it didn’t matter to me… I was sure this was going to be good… and so it was. So here you go… Enjoy this super delicious, super filling NOT WEIRD Butternut Squash Soup with Ground beef and Jerusalem Artichokes… come on, basic was definitely not going to cut it if I wanted to impress my friend… but fancy doesn’t have to mean complicated either 🙂 and this soup is really easy to make!

Ingredients :

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 onion- diced
  • Butternut Squash
  • Soup stock
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Optional: Maple Syrup to add sweetness

“Optional” Garnish that makes this soup awesome…

Directions:

  1. Lightly caramelize the diced onion with a bit of salt in olive oil in a deep pan or soup pot.
  2. Prepare the butternut squash… Now there are 2 ways to do this…
    1. You can either cut the squash in half, take out the seeds brush with a little oil and bake it face down on a lined pan at 350F until its soft – approximately 45min-1hour. This could also be done in a double wrapped pan if your oven is not kosher.
    2. You can *peel and cut your squash* and add it to the sauteed onions and let it cook in the broth.
  3. Add the squash to the onions along with enough soup stock to cover the squash. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the butternut squash is thoroughly cooked through or for 30 minutes if you pre-cooked the squash in the oven.
  4. With an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth and give it a taste. Add any cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper etc needed to bring out the flavor. **Just remember it is supposed to be a sweeter soup** – you can even add a dash of maple syrup!
  5. If you like your soup thicker you can cook it down a bit longer, if you like it thinner you can add a bit of water. This is a VERY flexible soup!

    Optional, but not really optional:

  6. Just before you are ready to serve, take the Jerusalem artichokes and process them in a food processor until it is in very small pieces. Put a little olive oil in the pan and add the processed Jerusalem Artichokes. Cook over a medium flame and when you start to see the oil sizzle a bit put the ground beef on top.
  7. Brown the meat with the artichokes and use to garnish the soup.

If you’ve got picky eaters, start with the meat on the side, but if your friends or kids are anything like mine, they’ll end up adding the meat to the soup and won’t look back! The mix of sweet and savory is just too good!

*Peeling and cutting squash is NOT my favorite thing to do, if you are going to do it, I’d suggest wearing gloves as the squash can often dry out the skin on your hands… Alternatively, you can see if one of your local stores caries a peeled and cut squash with a good hechsher, if you have a Harris Teeter nearby you may be in luck 🙂

Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

unnamed.jpg

There is nothing that makes me happier when the weather gets cool than a good bowl of soup, and truth is, there is really only one kind of soup that I crave and it’s this one.

This soup is savory, sweet, filling, flavorful, yet somewhat light… too many words, but basically it’s fantastic. There are a lot of ingredients, so when I make this soup, I make a lot of it and enjoy the leftovers for days and freeze some for perfect meals whenever the weather gets cool again.

IMG_4852.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • 3 chicken breasts sliced
  • 1 -2 TBSP fresh (or frozen) ground ginger
  • 2 11oz containers of cooking grade coconutmilk- I use So Delicious brand
  • 2 – 3TBSP of your favorite curry powder
  • 2 TBSP date sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 delicata squash (or 1 butternut squash peeled) and cut up
  • 1 cauliflower (checked for bugs)
  • 2 carrots peeled and cut
  • 2 pieces of fresh lemon grass cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro washed and checked for bugs
  • 2 32oz boxes of vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 bundle of green onions
  • 3 Limes

 

Directions:

In a big soup pot sautee the onions in your favorite cooking oil (I used olive) and almost immediately add the sliced chicken breast and one carton of coconut milk, curry powder, ginger, and sweetner of your choice. As the chicken cooks, finish preparing the other vegetables and add them to the pot: Wash, cut, and de-seed the delicata squash (the great thing about this squash is you can eat the peel!), check and cut the cauliflower, wash, peel, and cut the carrots, wash, check and rip the cilantro, and cut the two pieces of lemongrass.

Add the 2 boxes of soup stock (Tabachnick is generally easy to find at your local grocery). Heat over medium heat until the squash and carrots are fork tender. To finish the soup off, add some fresh green onions, the juice of 3 limes, and the second carton of coconut milk. Add any additional salt, curry powder, or sweeter to balance out any flavors. Enjoy!

IMG_4853.jpg

Easy & Healthy Black Bean Soup

blackbeansoup.JPG

With a stovetop and an immersion blender this soup comes together in less than 10 minutes… well maybe 15 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 Onion- diced
  • Oil to sautĂ© the onion
  • 1 Can of black beans
  • Water
  • Salt & pepper to taste (or curry powder if you are really adventurous!)
  • Cheese to garnish (optional)

Directions:

Dice and sauté the onion in a small stock pot. When the onions are translucent and starting to caramelize add the can of black beans- liquid included! Fill the can with water and add to the pot. Use your immersion blender to blend the beans and onions together. Bring the soup to a simmer then serve! Garnish with some shredded cheese!

*Cheese Tip… Since cheese is a kosher sensitive ingredient, I keep a bag or two of shredded cheese in the freezer at home. That way whenever I come by, I don’t have to worry about whether or not I have some. Just because you are going home, doesn’t mean you have to have boring food!

Semi-Authentic Pozole!

IMG_4714.jpg

Thanks to my dear Mexican friend, I bring you Pozole! If you are like me and have never heard of this incredible dish it’s a cross between a soup and a salad and it’s just about the most filling and flavor-filled dish around! It’s also very colorful and easy to make 🙂

Ingredients for the soup:

  • 1-2 spicy finger peppers
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 cans of sweet corn
  • Quart of vegetarian broth
  • 4 cups of water
  • Salt to taste

Soup toppings:

  • 1/2 of white onion- diced
  • 4 radishes- thinly sliced
  • 2 Avocados- diced
  • Cilantro- fresh
  • Romain lettuce- cut for salad
  • Tortilla chips
  • 3 limes- halved

Directions:

In a food processor combine the spicy peppers and onion (remove or include the seeds of the pepper if to take the heat down or up a notch) and pour in to a soup pot. Add the chicken and cans of corn to the pot. Add the broth and water to the pot and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for at least an hour until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Add salt to taste, however the soup should taste fairly bland as most of the flavor comes from the toppings. When the chicken is cooked thoroughly, remove from the pot, discard any bones, shred and return to the pot.

Prepare the toppings on serving plates. Dish the soup into bowls and add a spoon or two of the diced onions, sliced radishes, diced avocado, cilantro, romaine lettuce, and tortilla chips. Finish with a good squeeze of fresh lime juice and enjoy!