Creamy Kohlrabi Soup with Asparagus

IMG_1735    IMG_1809 I have never in my life seen, let alone received, a kohlrabi as big as the one I picked up from my farm share last week. It was, no joke, bigger then my head. (completely nuts)  If I didn't know the farm and the farmers of my CSA, I would have to question whether or not it was grown in radioactive sludge…(kind of like the dandelions in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie from the 90's)

What is a kohlrabi you ask? It's kind of a cross between a turnip and a cabbage that is usually the size of a baseball. It can be eaten raw (I like chunks dipped in mustard) or cooked. (roasted chunks dipped in mustard)  It pairs well with sweet stuff like apples and honey, or in any savory stuff. Its one of my favorite vegetables (I say that about them all!)

So now that you know about kohlrabi (if you didn't already) its time to get yourself some and make this soup. Because for real,  I am not kidding when I say that this is one of the best soups that I have ever made.  You really must try it. And do it soon because hopefully in the next few weeks the soup weather will turn into fresh pea weather and we might not want soup as much (I eat soup all year long)

IMG_1730A gigantic kohlrabi cut in half ( I only used one of the halts) A whole yellow onion and 2 large carrots. I also added in 4 cloves or garlic

Peel the kohlrabis tough skin off and chop up into chunks. Chop the carrot, garlic and onion as well .

IMG_1761   IMG_1768All of those chopped veggies get thrown into a pot with two cups of water and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cover and place on medium heat for about 20-25 minutes. (give a stir ever now and then) Keep cooking until the veggies are fork tender. 

IMG_1790Once the chunks are all cooked up, its time for the  immersion blender. (or into a regular blender) Add in at least 3 cups of water, but more to thin out to your desired consistency and let it rip. Stop blending once the soup is nice and creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Leave on low heat to bring back to a good soup  eating temperature.

IMG_1794 Now the soup is done.. and you can eat it just as it is, but you should really add in the asparagus. It is just so f*ing good. Just grab a few spears, dice them nice and small, and throw into the soup pot. Let it cook for another 5 minutes and wa la.. IMG_1804Soup is done. Ladle into bowls and if you want a little fancy presentation, add a swirl of mustard (it's so good) and a whole cooked asparagus spear.

And eat one of the greatest soups ever!

Happy Day Wednesday!

-C


Creamy Kohlrabi Soup with Asparagus

  • 3-4 kohlrabi (or 4 cups chopped Kohlrabi)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 or more cloves of garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4-6 spears of Asparagus (extra if you want to garnish)
  • Yellow Mustard (optional)

Peel outer layer of kohlrabis. Roughly chop the onion, carrot, kohlrabi and garlic and stick it all into large dutch oven or stock pot. Add water until veggies are half submerged . Add a good sprinkle of salt and pepper and place on burner on medium heat and cover. Check ever 5 or so minutes and give the pot a good stir. After about 25 minutes, all the veggies should be very tender and almost fall apart when stuck with a fork. With an immersion blender or regular blender, blend till smooth, adding water until soup is at your desired constancy. Return soup to medium heat. Small dice asparagus and add to pot. (I added 2 extra whole pieces and fished them put once cooked for garnish.) Keep on heat for another 5-10 minutes until asparagus is cooked. 

Scoop into bowl and squirt top with yellow mustard and top with a spear of cooked asparagus.

Eat with a spoon and lick bowl clean.

Bloody Mary Tomato Soup

IMG_1345You ever have one of those days where its  9 am and your ready to call it a day? . Yesterday was one of those day for me. Its spring vacation around here (more like an  arctic vacation) and I had volunteered my day to babysitting/ hanging out with 2 of my nephews, ages 11 and 13. (I know, I am the greatest sister). I had all of these great ideas and plans of things to do, but when it came down to it, they wanted to do nothing but play video games and not really listen to anything I said. I basically had to drag them outside to go for a walk we me and that's all I could get them to do  My great little nephews, I love them so much, but yesterday they had their minds set on being little monsters.

I needed a drink. And I needed lunch. And so I was inspired to make this bloody mary tomato soup. Its got all the essentials to a great drink, the tomato, the spice, the zingy flavors, but warm and thick to eat as soup which was a perfect lift for a freezing cold dragging day. And no, I didn't add the vodka to it because that would be irresponsible of me.  I am not about to serve up lunch soup to a couple  young boys with alcohol in it. I am not a dumb ass…Save the vodka for when the kids go home!

IMG_1308 What we have going here…... Chopped up onion, celery, and carrot in a pot. Stick that pot on the stove for a few minutes on medium heat to start the cooking process.  While that happening get the other stuff ready.  A big can of diced tomatoes, hot sauce, worcestershire sauce*,  prepared horseradish*, celery salt, garlic powder, salt and pepper And last but not least a good squirt of yellow mustard. Now add it all to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to low and stick a lid on it.

*I used  the horseradish that is made with only horseradish and vinegar…..You can use the other stuff that contains sugars and milk, but I don't know how tastes. And the worcestershire sauce I used did not contain fish but be aware that a lot of the popular brands do, so if you care, check labels!

IMG_1323After about 20 minutes the veggies should be soft and the flavors should all have melded together. Taste  soup as it is cooking and add any more spice that you want.

Now in goes the emulsifying stick of fun! (Or dump in a blender) Blend blend blend!  

IMG_1366I stopped when I got to a smooth consistency with the littlest bit of texture.

And now the soup is now ready for the bowls!

IMG_1361And there it is…served with a stock of celery and a wedge of lemon (I forgot to add them to the pictures!)  A bloody Mary to take the edge off any drag of a cold weather day. And best part..   left over soup is great served chilled with a shot of vodka to loosen this Mary up!

Have a Happy Day!

-C


Bloody Mary Tomato Soup

The Stuff

Side note…The spicier ingredients...hot sauce, horseradish, and worcestershire sauce are pretty flexible. My advice is to start with the lesser amounts of the ingredient and work your way up until you get to your happy soup place.

  • 32 oz can of crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 stalks or celery plus more for garnish
  • 1-2 teaspoons horseradish
  • 1-2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce or  ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard 
  • A lemon cut into wedges (To squeeze on as a garnish)
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and cracked pepper to taste

Dice up carrots, onion and celery and place in a large pot and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Once the  veggies are slightly soft, add in the rest of the ingredients plus one tomato can  worth of water. Bring to boil, cover and turn heat down to low. Cook for another 15-20 minutes or until all the veggies are super soft and the flavor have all developed.  Add salt and pepper, taste and add any additional spicier spices that you want.

When happy with taste, either  in a blender or with a hand emulsifier, blend soup until smooth (or to your desired constancy) Soup is now ready to serve.

Ladle or pour into bowls  and serve with a stalk of celery and maybe a wedge of lemon. Crackers or croutons are welcome too.

Eat with a Spoon

Soup left overs are great refrigerated and served cold. Add a splash of vodka to make it fun.

Butternut Broccoli Soup

IMG_0472 Happy Friday!

A simple post for the simplest of soups. Minimal ingredients, no fuss, fast to make but can be left all day to simmer……. And oh so very very good. 

This has been one of my go to soups this winter. Warming, hardy, comforting….every kind of soft cozy feeling that I need when I can't leave my house because it's so cold out that all I want to do is sit on the couch wrapped up in a blanket, with a book, and eat hot soup. (That's the my plan for the weekend) But it's also good for any type of weekend activities you might have… it't kind of the perfect soup.

IMG_0315The Stuff. A medium sized butternut squash, seeded and diced (no need to peel, but go for it if you want) About a pound of broccoli, (fresh or frozen) and a few shallots. Salt, pepper and a few cups of water. 

Note.. I didn't add any spices to this batch because I really love the flavor without anything. With that being said, I have made this same soup with sage, rosemary, turmeric, even curry. Almost any flavor works in this soup. 

IMG_0399    IMG_0364The chopped squash and broccoli go into a big pot with about 2-3 cups of water. Add about a tablespoon of salt and pepper. Lid up the pot and place on medium low heat for about a half hour, or unitl squash and broccoli is fork tender. Now blend together with either a emulsion stick blender or place in a blender for 3-5 minutes until completely smooth. Add enough water to keep things moving. Add more water if you want a thinner soup, less for a thicker soup. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Once blended, place back in pot on simmer until ready to serve. 

When the soup is simmering, thinly slice the shallots and toss into a pan. Sauté until soft and fragrant. 

IMG_0426 Finish off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and top with the  sautéed shallots.IMG_0455

Soup and a spoon. So simple, so good.

Have a great weekend…..Try and stay warm!

-C


Butternut Broccoli Soup

The Stuff 

  • 1 medium butternut squash 
  • 1 pound of broccoli (crown and stem and can use frozen)
  • 4 shallots
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Split squash in half, remove seeds, and dice into chunks.  Place in big pot. Chop up broccoli and add to pot. (or just add frozen chopped broccoli) Add water until stuff is about half way summered. Place a lid on the pot and cook on medium low heat for about 30 minutes or  until squash and broccoli are fork tender. Blend together with either a stick blender or place in a blender. Add enough water to keep things moving. Add more water if you want a thinner soup, less for a thicker soup. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Once blended, place back in pot on simmer until ready to serve. 

When the soup is on simmer, thinly slice the shallots and place in a pan to sautee until soft and fragrant.  

To serve, ladle soup into bowl, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and top with sautéed shallot.

Eat with a spoon

Parsnip and Carrot Fries with Smokey Sriracha sauce

   IMG_0792  IMG_0950Before we get to the fries, I just want to mention that  yesterday was one of those fantastic winter days that reminds me why I love living in Vermont.  Pretty white snow everywhere, the sun was out, and 20 degrees without a gust of wind. The trash dog an I were even able to go for a little hike.  It was so nice and soooo sooo needed!  Anyways, the other day as me, my sister and the mister where putting together  one more piece of Ikea furniture, (I am the master at Ikea assembling!)  a little runs into the room and presents the mister with a Dominos pizza. Yup, a whole pizza just for him. Why you might ask? Well I guess my sister was  delivered the wrong pizza and the place didn't want it back and she didn't want it, so she gave it to him.

A whole pizza to himself. I didn't mind too much..he was just going to be eating it for lunch and dinner until it was out of the fridge. But for dinner I did want him to eat something of the vegetable matter that didn't come out of a box. I was going to make him a big salad, but then realized that would mean sharing the last of the greens that I had for MY dinner and I was not about to do that, so I made him parsnip and carrot fries instead. No biggy, just some slicing, a little tossing and a bit of time in the old oven. And I figured I might as well make a nice sauce for those fries because I be so very nice.

The biggest problem that I ran into when I made these fries was that I didn't make enough, so you should probably make twice as many as you think you will eat. If you end up not eating them all (which you probably will), well then you now have a great start for a soup or a nice addition to a salad. Either way, you will eat them because they are amazing and addicting… and as healthy as can be!

IMG_0818The carrots and the parsnips are all sliced up into big matchsticks and ready to be baked to crispy browned perfection.  I added the oil to the pan to toss the fries in and then sprinkled with a fair amount of salt and pepper.  If you don't have and or want to use a cast iron pan, a baking sheet works just the same.

IMG_0852   IMG_0896Oh saucy sauce stuff. Tomato puree, sriracha, and yellow mustard. Add a little bit of honey to lighten it up (can use brown sugar if keeping it vegan), a splash of apple cider vinegar and a couple minced cloves of garlic. Topped off with the smokey delightful spice of cumin. I cold eat this on everything…and I kind of did. 

All mixed up in an oven safe dish, I stuck it into the oven for a about 8 minutes until it got a little bubbly, just to let all the flavors fuse together…

IMG_0917Fries are done, Sauce is ready. Served in super cute tea cups.(from now on I want to serve everything in tea cups.) A perfect side dish, snack, or even a light meal.  It lead the mister to ask the question...What pizza? 

Happy Day!

-C


Parsnip and Carrot Fries with Smokey Sriracha Sauce

The Stuff

For the Fries

  • 2 large parsnips
  • 2 large carrot
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon tomato puree (or 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 1 tablespoon water)
  • 2 cloves or garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • a splash of apple cider vinegar
  • a pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425.

Wash and trim carrots and parsnips and cut into large matchsticks (any shape is good, just make them all uniform) Toss with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on cast iron pan or baking sheet and stick in oven for 30 or so minutes, and rotating after about 20. The fries are done when  crispy and brown.

For the sauce. Mince garlic and add to all the sauce ingredients in an oven safe bowl. stick into oven for about 8 minutes until slightly bubbly and hot.

Dip fries in sauce

Cajun Black Beans and Rice

    IMG_0596 WOO WHOA!! MARDI GRAS! I wish I was down in New Orleans today celebrating… and soaking up some warmth and sunshine, catching beads, maybe even  taking my shirt off(?!!?) 

No, I keep my shirt on today because I am not like that, and also, I would die of hypothermia. Today I wear a shirt, underneath 5 other shirts ad sweaters.  Because today is just another day of -20 below here in Vermont. 

To keep me from going completely crazy, I am thinking of warm weather and I am thinking of New Orleans (love that place!) and the humongo celebration that's been going on there for the past week. Everyone partying out in the streets. Big floats and beads all around. I might be feeling a little jealous, (more of the weather then the partying) but thats ok, I have TV to watch and a warm comforter to wrap myself up in. And maybe I should have done a post of fried donuts or of some type of alcohol party drink to celebrate the day, but I really just wanted to make something warm and spicy, so I went with some dank cajun beans. And also I wanted to sing…. "Beans Beans the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot!!" hehe

But for real, these beans  are sooooo f-ing tasty and super versatile. You can serve the spicy beans with the rice or just eat just the beans. You could do the beans and  add to a bed of kale (me) or add cheese, guacamole and a few  corn tortillas to the mix (the mister).  Simple to make, super tasty and full of flavor!  And pretty freaking heathy to boot! This dish gets an A+!

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This dish is so full of flavor but so simple to make. We start with presoaked black beans drained and rinsed. Cajun seasoning (which is basically 1 part onion powder, thyme, oregano,  and 2 parts paprika, garlic powder, cayenne power, and salt and pepper) Sliced onion and jalapeno, and a few tablespoons of tomato paste. Oh, and the rice.

 IMG_0511    IMG_0567Beans are in a pot filled with water unit beans are completely sumerged. Add in the onion, jalapeño, tomato paste and cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and simmer for about 45 minutes…..  After about a half hour, start up the rice. Water in pot with rice, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. 

IMG_0656The rice is done and fluffed with at fork. The beans are cooked with just the tiniest bit of bite, bathing in a thick spicy tomatoey sauce. The chunks of onion and jalapeño have broken down and are hiding in every bite…. Oh so good!

 Now get ready for the bowl!!! IMG_0610Bringing a little spice and  nice to this crazy cold winter day or any fun festivities you may have planned.  

Have a Fantastic Day.. Stay Warm or if you already are.. lucky you!

-C


Cajun Black Beans and Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dried black beans* soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight..Rinse and strained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Jalapeño
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 tomato (I used a large roma)
  • 1 1/2 cup of dried rice plus 3 cups water

*If you want to use canned beans, go for it…Just sub in 2 cans rinsed and strained black beans and only add a cup of water to the beans. Pre sauté the onion and the jalapeño before adding to the beans and only simmer the beans for about 15 minutes. 

Place you soaked beans into a pot and fill with water until the beans are completely summered.  Slice the jalapeño and onion and add to the pot along with the  tomato paste and the cajun seasoning.  Bring to a boil then place a lid on it and turn heat down to low. Let simmer for about 45 minutes or until the beans are completely cooked.

When the beans are about half way done, add rice to water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, place a lid on pot and turn heat down to simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or  until all water is absorbed and rice is tender. Fluff with a fork.

To sever. place a scoop of two of rice to a bowl and top with a scoop of two of beans.… Top with diced tomatoes and scallions… (The mister added shredded pepper jack to his and thought it was excellent)

Eat with a fork or spoon.

Pumpkin Chili

IMG_6253

CHILI MONDAY!Well it is, but I am talking about making some super duper, yes I'll have seconds, tummy filling, bone warming, pumpkin chili.. And heathy oh so healthy to boot. Reals, it's the best.

This pumpkin chili recipe had evolved over the years. The first time I made pumpkin chili was for my very first dinner party that I  threw back in college.  Instead of cutting the pumpkin and adding it into the chili, I chopped the little pumpkins in half, roasted them, and used the halves as bowls..A good idea except no one at the pumpkin and I was left with a bunch of slobbered on roasted pumpkin halves. ( I probably should have said something, but being a few drinks in, I didn't think to say anything about the edible bowls and I don't think I noticed the abandoned pumpkins until the next morning). After that somewhat failed attempt, I started adding the pumpkin to the chili and left the drinking tip after the food is served. ( I learned so much in college)

But yeah, this recipe has traveled a few years with me and every time I make it, I always think, jeez, why don't I make this every weekend.  Well maybe now I will.

IMG_6188

Don't let this spread scare you.. it's just veggies from the fridge, a chopped up pie pumpkin and pre soaked beans. Oh and some canned tomato and spices. It took about 10 minutes of hands on time and one big pot. No big mess to clean up and you can get rid of those veggies in the fridge that are on the way out. WIN WIN WIN!

IMG_6215

All the chopped veggies, the chopped pumpkin go into the pot with salt. pepper , and spices.( I added a fresh jalapeno and about 5 cloves of garlic to this mixture) Let the mixture sweat for about 5 minutes, giving it a  quick stir or two.

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Now toss in the beans and the tomatoes… Add a cans worth of water as well. Bring to a boil, then turn to low heat and cover.

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A last minute addition.. I added a few chopped up kale leaves. I wanted a little more bright color and adding kale to anything is a good idea.

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I added a little sliced avocado to one of the bowls (I only had enough for one) and cut up some lime wedges to squeeze on top. (I did, Nick didn't) 

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Best chili I have made in a long time…and yes, there is a bunch of left over which is fantastic because now I have lunch for the next couple days… 

HOORAY FOR FOOD!!!

Have a good Monday!

-C


Pumpkin Chili

  •  small sugar pie pumpkin
  • 2 cups dried beans..I used a 1 1/2 cups black and 1/2 cup kidney or 2 cans of beans
  • 28 oz can of crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 /4 head of cabbage
  • a small broccoli crown
  • 1/4 head of cauliflower
  • a few kale leaves
  • 1 jalapeño 
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • salt and pepper

Either the night before or morning of, presoak dried beans..(beans in pot with about 4 cups water and a sprinkle of salt)

Take pumpkin and slice in half, de-seed and chop flesh into little chunks. (You can peel it if you want, but really, there is no reason to) Rough chop all the veggies (minus the kale) and stick into a large pot with the pumpkin. Pot on medium heat.. let the veggies sweat for about five minutes.  Now add the garlic and the spices and let cook for a few more minutes.

When the mixture starts to become fragrant… drain, rinse and add presoaked (or canned) beans. Then the tomatoes, and 1 1/2 cans worth of water. 

Bring chili to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low. Let cook for about an hour, giving it a stir every now and then……...

Add in chopped kale a few minutes before serving

Serve in a bowl and top with sliced lime, avocado, a sprinkle of cheese….Whatever you want.