When August rolls around, I’m always scrambling to make the most of the last few weeks of summer before ‘back to school’ mode kicks in. This month has been ladden with road trips to Saskatoon, Kelowna and Edmonton and I’m about to take off to Vancouver for a few days as of tomorrow.
While I do have a parrot, I do not have any children, nor do I attend university, but I do run the cooking program Start From Scratch, so that’s how the ‘back to school’ feeling creeps into my life.
If you haven’t heard of the program before, Start From Scratch is a free 10 week cooking course for post secondary students in Calgary (MRU, U of C or SAIT) and Saskatoon (U of S). We take 30 participants in Calgary each semester and 15 in Saskatoon.(Start From Scratch alumni getting ready for service in the kitchen with Chefs Paul McGreevy and Dilan Draper.)
Now in our fourth year, the program is still a ton of fun. Just this week, we had a pop-up dinner in collaboration with Test Kitchen YYC where we brought some of our awesome alumni participants into the restaurant space to help cook and serve a coursed dinner to a full dining room. Was it scary? Of course! But, we pulled it off!
Even though it’s getting warmer and warmer out, I still find a good quality bowl of soup still hits the spot. Besides, who are we kidding here? There are still plenty of rainy days in June!
The bisque recipe here is nice and simple, but when you’re working with lobster (or essence of lobster in this case), you don’t want to overpower its distinct flavour with a pile of other ingredients.
Apparently I am stuck on a soup train lately, but you should always have some tasty soup recipes to share at this time of year. Cauliflower is a fairly under-utilised vegetable. When you roast it, it gets a rock, meat-y sort of flavour, which makes it an awesome addition to a pot of soup. Couple that with some salty bacon and, well, you are pretty much winning at life.
I first made this soup earlier this winter while I was traveling in Australia and New Zealand. It was one of many rainy days we experienced while exploring down under, so a warming soup like this was the perfect thing to enjoy. Try it this weekend!
It’s officially the first of August. I’m not quite sure how that happened, but it made me realise that fall is just a few weeks away – as is my birthday, if you feel like getting me a gift. With fall comes the retirement of gazpacho and the return of hot, comforting soups on my dinner table! See, fall’s not all bad. Although, I will be a little sad to see my summer tan slowly fade away.
Kale is one of my very favourite vegetables. I think it kicks the asses of all the other type of leafy greens. I’m not saying spinach is for chumps, but it can get a little boring sometimes. Anyway, cream, kale, sweet and salty pancetta…what more could you want in a soup?
3 cups fresh pumpkin (1″ cubed)
2 large Italian sausages (casing removed, and Spolumbo’s of course!)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups zucchini (halved, 1/2″ sliced)
3 cups kale (stems removed, loosely chopped)
1 14 oz can chickpeas
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
2 TSP lemon juice
1 TSP chili powder
salt and pepper
Once snow appears on the ground and sticks around for awhile, I get a little soup crazy. Not like ‘Soup Nazi’ crazy, but just mildly obsessed with making soup at home. When I had Julie van Rosendaal pop by my Start From Scratch class a few weeks ago (to make Dill Pickle Soup, neat hey?), she reminded me just how much flavour some quality sausage can add to a pot of soup. The spicy, Italian sausage adds a nice heat to this hearty pumpkin, and veg-heavy, bowl of goodness. Best enjoyed with friends.
1 yellow onion (chopped)
1 garlic clove
1 gala apple (peeled, 1” cubed)
1 red potato (peeled, 1” cubed)
2/3 cup cherries (pitted, halved)
3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock to stay vegan)
1 TBSP freshly grated ginger
1 TBSP lime juice
1 TBSP sriracha
2 TSP chili powder
salt and pepper
radish and cucumber (thinly sliced, for garnish, optional)
The first time I put an apple in a soup, I was like: ‘Holy shit! This is awesome!’. Ever since that day, I’ve been throwing fruit into everything. Well, not everything, but it’s always interesting to find the balance between sweet and savoury using some of your favourite fruit. Since we’re still, thankfully, a few months away from hearty soup weather, this bisque is light, spicy and smooth. Perfect for a summer night that’s a bit overcast. Who says soup can’t be fruity?
Start off by cooking the onion and garlic with a drissle of olive oil in a medium-sized pot until softened, about 5 minutes. Next, add the chopped apple, potato, and cherries to the pot and let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour the stock into the pot and stir in the ginger, lime juice, sriracha, and chili powder. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce to low heat and let simmer on stove for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper
Remove pot from heat to let cool slightly. Next, puree soup until smooth using a food processor or blender. Return to pot and keep warm until ready to serve.
Top with some thinly sliced radish and cucumber to chill out the spicy soup!
Total cook time…35 min
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