Browsing all articles tagged with winter

Roasted Cauliflower and Bacon Soup

Roasted Cauliflower and Bacon Soup

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!

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Spicy Pumpkin and Sausage Soup

What you’ll need…

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

olive oil

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.

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Top Secret Smokey Tomato And Chorizo Soup

What you’ll need…

1/2 pound chorizo sausage

1 yellow onion (finely chopped)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

2 cups crushed tomatoes

3 cups chicken broth

1 russet potato (1/2″ cubed, approximately 1 1/2 cups)

1 TBSP lapsang souchong tea (ground or crushed with a mortor and pestle)

1 TSP chili powder

1 TSP paprika

1 TSP cayenne pepper

1 meyer lemon (zest and juice)

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup harvarti cheese (grated)

2 cups fresh spinach

salt and pepper

olive oil

As I’m typing this, inside my house, away from the -30 degree (celsius for any Americans reading this!) weather, I’m fairly happy to be back home in Calgary. Shortly after Christmas, I departed from Canada for a three week adventure in the United Kingdom and Denmark. On this adventure I encountered delicious food, more pubs than you could shake a stick at and, of course, Hogwarts…but I digress, these are all stories for another day.

Today it is cold. Really, really damn cold. When it’s cold, all I want to do is wear my sweatpants, my TMNT bunnyhug and sip some soup. So, I did just that. I had some lapsang souchong tea kicking around the house and since I hadn’t used tea in a recipe since the summer, I thought its smokey flavour fit the bill perfectly for a tomato and chorizo style soup. I know it must sound weird reading through the ingredient listings…tea, lemon, cream, but, trust me, it all works! If you don’t trust me, then I dare you to make a liar out of me.

Time to cook! Place the sausage in a large pot, drizzle with some olive oil and cook on medium-high heat until it is completely cooked through, about 5 minutes. Spoon out the cooked meat and cooking oil, leaving just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Now, toss in the onions, minced garlic and let cook until the onions soften, another 5 minutes or so. Next, add the following seven ingredients to the pot as well as the juice of the meyer lemon. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce to low heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.

On a side note, take a big whiff of your soup after stirring in those ingredients. Doesn’t the lapsang souchong tea make it smell amazing? Smokey deliciousness here we come!

(In the meantime…tidy up your living room! I know it’s messy…)

 After that time, the chunks of potato should be, at the very least, fork tender. If that’s the case, let the lemon zest, cream, shredded cheese and spinach join the soup party. You can now return the cooked sausage to the pot as well. Give the pot a good stir until the cheese melts away into nothingness and you’re left with a thick, rich-tasting soup. Let the soup cook for another 10 minutes. Finally, take a sip, season with salt and pepper to taste and you’re done! Bam!

Serves 4-5

Total cook time…40 min


Black Tea & Lemon Miso Soup

What you’ll need…

4 cups steeped lapsang souchong tea

2 cups beef broth (or veggie to stay vegan)

3 garlic cloves (whole)

1/2 cup miso paste

zest of 1 lemon

1 TBSP fresh lemon juice

1 TBSP freshly grated ginger

2 TSP wasabi paste

1 TSP rice wine vinegar

1 cup fresh oyster mushrooms (chopped)

1 cup soft tofu (1/2″ cubed)

1/2 cup green onions (finely chopped)

ground black pepper

Now, before you say: ‘This sounds weird’, think of the weirdest thing you’ve ever done. See…not so weird anymore, right? Lapsang Souchong is a strong, smokey black tea. It almost has a hickory kind of flavour to it. So, maybe just consider this soup a ‘miso meets west’ kind of combination. It’s my favourite tea, so I’m a tad biased, but, such is life!

Place the steeped tea, broth, and garlic cloves into a medium-sized pot and bring to a simmer on the stove. Reduce to low heat and let bubble away, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Then, add the miso paste and stir until it has dissolved into the broth. Next, add the zest, lemon juice, ginger, wasabi, and vinegar. Let the pot return to a simmer, about 3 minutes, before adding the oyster mushrooms and soft tofu.

Still on low heat, let the soup cook for another 10 minutes so that the oyster mushrooms cook through. Take a quick taste, add some black pepper if needed. The miso paste should be plenty salty enough, so I doubt you’ll need to add any salt. Finally, right before ladling out the soup, toss in the chopped green onions.

This soup totally rocks for anyone with a cold. Great for clearing the sinus’!

Serves 4

Total cook time…20 min


Stovetop Choco-Chai Lattes

What you’ll need…

6 cups whole milk

1/2 cup dark chocolate (chopped)

1 cup organic liquid chai concentrate

1 TSP cinnamon

vanilla whipped cream (optional)

red sprinkles
(also optional, but cute for Valentine’s Day though!)

Super simple, super tasty, super warming. Could this be a hot beverage superhero? Sounds like it…The Chocolate Chai Lattes are a distant cousins of these guys.

In a medium-sized pot, bring the milk to a simmer. Add-in the dark chocolate, whisk until it has melted completely, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Whisk again, pour into mugs and enjoy! Topping with whipped cream (and sprinkles!), although perhaps slightly indulgent, is worth the few extra calories. You can always go to the gym later…

Wow, that was easy!

Serves 4

Total cook time…8 minutes


Acorn Squash & Smoked Salmon Pasta

What you’ll need…

1 acorn squash

1/2 garlic bulb

olive oil

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup romano cheese

1 TSP tumeric

2 TSP yellow curry powder

salt & pepper

2 cups fresh spinach

1/2 cup macadamia nuts

1/4 pound smoked salmon (chopped, skin removed)

5 cups cooked pasta (I used ditali, but feel free to switch it up!)

Let it be known that the mighty tomato does not always rule in the land of pasta sauce! Don’t get me wrong, I have had/made/enjoyed plenty of tomato-based sauces on my noodles, but in times like these (and by these I, of course, mean winter) squash is a nice, hearty alternative.

Let’s start off by roasting the squash and garlic. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Slice the squash in half, scoop out the ‘guts’ and brush the halves with some olive oil. For the garlic, try and keep the 1/2 attached to the base and slice off the tip of the garlic bulb. Brush the top with a bit of olive oil as well and wrap up with some tin foil. Place the squash and the garlic on a medium-sized baking tray and let cook in the oven for 35 minutes.

While you’re waiting, feel free to watch an episode of 30 Rock or make a salad, or something…If you decide to make a salad, try out this dressing!

Once those 35 minutes are up, remove tray from oven and let cool for 10 minutes or so. Scoop out the flesh of the squash into a blender, and squeeze the roasted garlic in as well. Also add-in the cream, water, cheese, and spices then puree until smooth. Pour into a small pot and let the sauce come to a simmer on medium heat, about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Now it is time to assemble the pasta! Place all remaining ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Pour the squash sauce over top and mix gently with tongs (so you won’t. Portion out into pasta bowls and enjoy!

Sorry Tomato, you weren’t invited…

Serves 4

Total cook time…50 min

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