Archive | February, 2012

Thai Butternut Squash Soup

24 Feb

Serves 6-8 people

A few weeks ago, a fellow Dutch lady, named Marion, sent me her favorite recipe of her version of Thai Pumpkin Soup to share with all of you. It really looked delicious and the ingredients are so exotic. Being in the midst of winter, I really needed some sunshine in a bowl and I was more than ready to give it a try.  There was only one problem: pumpkin season was long gone and there were no pumpkins in sight.  As patience is not my biggest virtue, I figured why not give it a go with a butternut squash? I took Marion’s recipe as my inspiration and am truly happy with the result. So if you feel that you could use some sunshine too, then by all means: go for it!

Ingredients

1 Butternut Squash, diced into 1 inch cubes

½ Celeriac, diced into 1 inch cubes

2 tbsp. of Olive Oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

750ml of vegetable stock

800ml of  (reduced fat) Coconut Milk

2 stalks of Lemongrass, each cut into 3 pieces

1 ½ tbsp. of fresh Ginger, chopped

1 ½ tbsp. of Red Thai Curry Paste

6 dried Lime Leaves

Salt

Fresh Cilantro/Coriander for garnish

Preparation

The easiest way to make this soup is to start by cutting up all the ingredients. Once you are done cutting, you will find that this recipe is very straightforward and easy to make.

Peel and dice the butternut squash, as well as ½ of the Celeriac, into 1 inch cubes. If you have difficulties with peeling and dicing the butternut squash than please, take a look at http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_peel_and_cut_a_butternut_squash/

Heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and red onion and gently fry without coloring until softened. Then add the cubes of celeriac and butternut squash, stir for a minute or two. Now add the stock and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce the heat, add the coconut milk, the lemongrass, the freshly chopped ginger, the curry paste and lime leaves.  Simmer for about 25 minutes or until the celeriac and squash are tender.

Now allow the soup to cool off for a minute. Before you blend it into a smooth soup, please remove the lime leaves and lemongrass as they have done their job. Carefully transfer all the ingredients into your blender or use a handheld blender to cream the soup.

Taste your soup and season with lime juice, possibly some salt and if you like the soup a bit spicier, you could add a bit more of curry paste as well.

Before serving, reheat the soup, ladle into bowls and sprinkle some fresh cilantro/coriander on top.

Bon Appetite 😉


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Mexican Tortilla Soup

17 Feb

Serves 6-8 people

Ready to spice up your life with this delicious Mexican Tortilla Soup? It’s a wonderful soup, which you can serve as a meal in bowl.  This soup really allows you to give it your own touch, and you can make it as mild or spicy as you like. If you follow my directions it will be a mildly spiced soup.

All the different kinds of garnish make the soup fun, and great to serve will hosting a party. Lay out all the garnish in separate bowls, and let everybody customize their own soup, satisfaction guaranteed!

Ingredients

For the soup:

2 tbsp. of olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (500g)

1 can/400g of black beans drained and rinsed well

1 can/326g of corn, drained

2 cans/800g of chopped tomatoes

Juice from 1 lime

½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

1 tsp.  grounded cumin

½ tsp. chili powder

a pinch of cayenne pepper

1.5L chicken stock

For the garnish:

1 bag of tortilla chips, coarsely broken

1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and diced

1 bag of shredded yellow cheese

2 limes, sliced in wedges

Fresh cilantro/coriander leaves, coarsely chopped

200g of half fat crème fraîche

Preparation

For this soup it is best to use a wide but not very deep pan. A casserole type would be ideal. Heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic, red onion and gently fry without coloring until softened.

Now add the minced jalapeño pepper, stir and cook for a minute more. Then add the chopped tomatoes, the chicken stock, cumin, chili powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer and add the chicken breasts. Now simmer the chicken for 25 minutes.  Once cooked throughout, remove the chicken breasts from the soup. Allow the chicken to cool off for a minute, and shred them with two forks.

Once the chicken is shredded, return to the soup. Add the corn, black beans and lime juice and simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste for spiciness and whether your soup needs some more seasoning.

Ladle the soup into the bowls and let everybody garnish their own soup.

Bon Appetite 😉

Wild Forest Mushroom Soup

13 Feb

Serves 6

 This wild mushroom soup makes a perfect start for your dinner party or simply as a delicious meal. The flavors and texture makes it a very rich soup and healthy. Mushrooms are a great source of B-vitamins and minerals; an 80g serving counts as one of your 5-a-day. I used chicken stock but feel free to use vegetarian stock instead.

Ingredients

30g of dried wild mushrooms or dried porcini

600g of mixed fresh wild mushrooms of your choice, cleaned and sliced (for instance: shiitake, portabella, portabellini, chanterelles, chestnut, oyster)

1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely sliced

2 shallots, finely chopped

30g of butter

1 tsp. of dried thyme

1 litre of chicken stock or vegetable stock

25g of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped

100 ml white wine

½ lemon

200ml of half fat crème fraîche

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Rinse the dried wild mushrooms or dried porcini and place in a small dish, add boiling water just to cover, and leave to soak for 20 min. Clean and slice your fresh mushrooms and sprinkle them with lemon.

For this soup it is best to use a wide but not very deep pan. A casserole type would be ideal. Heat the butter on medium heat. Add the garlic and chopped shallots and gently fry without coloring for about 5 min. or until softened.

Add the mushrooms and stir around for a minute, then add the wine, a tsp. of dried thyme and season with a little salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover the pan and cook gently for 10 min. Then add the chopped up dried mushroom and reserve its soaking liquid for the stock as it enhances the flavor. Stir around and cook gently for another 10 min.

Now it’s time to add your stock and the soaking liquid of the dried mushrooms/porcini. Bring to a boil and simmer for around 10 min.  The next step is to stir in the crème fraîche and simmer for another 10 min. Turn off the heat and let the soup cool down for a few minutes.

I love to keep some of the texture in this soup, so at this stage I remove ⅓ from soup.  Then purée the ⅔ of the soup with a blender and pour it back together. Return the soup to a simmer, add the chopped flat-leaf parsley, taste whether it needs some more seasoning and you are ready to serve.

Bon Appetite 😉

Carrot Soup

5 Feb

Serves 6-8

This was the first soup recipe my mom gave me, when I moved out of my parents’ home. It’s a great simple recipe and really helpful for people who are new to making soups. The funny thing is, even if you are not too fond of carrots, you will love this. This soup is also a very easy way to getting children to enjoy their veggies 😉

Ingredients

3 tbsp. butter

1 white onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 Kg carrots, roughly chopped

2 tsp. clear honey

1.5 L vegetable stock

25g of curly leaf parsley, chopped

salt

black pepper, coarsely ground

Optional:

crème fraîche

Preparation

Melt the butter on medium heat in your stockpot. Sauté the onions and when they are about done add the garlic.  Once translucent add the roughly chopped carrots and honey. Toss the ingredients until all carrots are covered with honey, onion and garlic and cook for 5 mins.

Pour in your stock and bring to boil. Once boiling reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the carrots are very tender.

Turn off the heat and let the soup cool down for a few minutes. Then purée the ingredients with a hand blender in the stockpot or puree in batches in your blender.  Return the soup to a clean pan and season to taste with salt and coarsely ground pepper.

When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer and ladle into bowls.  Add the fresh leaf parsley, it really complements the soup, and if you like a swirl of  crème fraîche .

Bon Appetite 😉