Carrot Soup with Maple Chantilly

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Aside from pumpkin everything, I love to cook with a lot of carrot. Last year my favorite carrot recipe was my spiced carrot cake. 

This year its carrot soup. While the fall season is excellent for heartier soups, I like to keep it a little on the lighter side and save those soups and stews for when the weather is super cold in the winter. Vegetable based soups are the best way to go in the fall. This was the first time I made a carrot soup and it’s almost as good as tomato soup. I prefer the Chantilly (which is basically a flavored whipped cream) on top of the soup. If your vegan or dairy free just omit the Chantilly and just drizzle some maple syrup over the top prior to serving.

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Vegan/Gluten Free/Grain Free/Dairy Free/Refined Sugar Free

Mise en Place:

-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

-1 Small bag Large Carrots (Approximately 6 carrots) Peeled, cut in small chunks

-1 Large Onion, chopped

-4 Each Garlic Cloves, smashed

-1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

-1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

-Salt, TT

-4 Cups Vegetable Stock OR Chicken Stock

 

Method of Preparation:

-In a large soup pot, sweat garlic and onions in hot oil for 3 minutes. Add in spices and stir. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.

-Add in chopped carrots and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.

-Remove soup from the heat. In a vitamix, begin to blend the soup in small batches for one minute until smooth. Set blended soup aside in a large bowl. If soup is thick, thin it out with water. Repeat until all the soup is blended.

-Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

-Strain soup through a fine mesh strainer (optional).

-Top with Chantilly.

Enjoy!

 

Maple Chantilly: Gluten Free/Grain Free

Mise en Place:

-1 Cup Heavy whipping cream

-1/4 Cup Powder Sugar

-Grade B Maple Syrup, TT

 

Method of Prep:

-In a large mixing bowl, whip together cream and powder sugar and 4 tablespoons of Maple syrup until medium peaks form. Taste and adjust maple syrup if needed.

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Broccoli Salad

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This post should’ve gone up a little over a week ago…but thanks to my ridiculously awesome internet for being slow and overall worthless, I haven’t been able to use the internet let alone post on my blog.

Anyways, I’ve made broccoli salad numerous times but I’ve never made it this way. this my healthier version of the traditional mayonnaise based salad. I substituted plain yogurt and used a natural sweetener to make this better for your body and soul. Summer is my favorite time for salads and broccoli salad is a great dish to bring to your picnic in the backyard or served in a small bowl as a side with some freshly grilled portabella burgers!

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Mise en Place:

-1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt

-2 Heads Broccoli, washed, florets cut small, stems removed

-1/4 Cup Cider vinegar

-4 Tablespoons Honey

-1 Avocado, diced

-4 Strips Bacon, Cooked and chopped

-1/2 White Onion, small dice

-1/2 Bell Pepper, small dice

-S&P, TT

-Garnishes (ie: grated cheese [Blue cheese], dried fruit, nuts, seeds, cooked beets) Optional

 

Method of Prep:

-In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, vinegar and honey.

-Add in broccoli and all vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well until everything in evenly combined.

-Sprinkle garnishes on top if desired.

-keep cold until ready to eat.

-Serve cold and eat immediately.

Enjoy!

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Curried Sweet Potato Soup & My New Vitamix

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If you don’t follow my facebook page you more than likely aren’t aware of the fact that I recently purchased a vitamix. What is that you might ask? Well if you haven’t heard of Vitamixes before or have never used them you are really missing out on one of the best kitchen appliances in the world! This blender looks exactly like the average blender you may already have at home that you use to make smoothies and other drinks, however ordinary blenders cant begin to approach the speed nor output of this extraordinary blender. This multitasking, heavy duty electric blender uses 1380 watt power to chop vegetables, juice fruit, blend shakes, mix ice cream and create delectable sauces, dressings and much more easily with the touch of a button. Ordinary blenders jam and overheat, but with a 2 plus peak horsepower motor, 1-10 speeds and a laser stainless steel blade, this blender chops, grinds minces, juices and crushes ice with a smooth efficiency. The over-sized 64-oz jar is made of durable copolyester – the same material used in airplane windows. Blender cleans easily without removing blade. Jar fitted with a soft-touch handle and It also heats up soup for you, it’s wild!!! I absolutely love my new toy 🙂

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This machine isn’t cheap pricing between $499.00-$699.00. Christmas being a few weeks away and my birthday being in the time frame, gave me an exceptional reason to go out on a limb and buy something I’ve always wanted…and needed. My kitchen is just about complete. I broke in my beautiful new toy by making a soup. I love Indian food and was craving it last night and just wanted something simple. This soup filled me up and even gave me left overs for tomorrow. The best part about this meal, I didn’t have to do any work. The Vita did it all for me! Love it!!

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Active Time: 15 Minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

MIse en Place:

-2 Medium Sweet Potatoes, baked until soft

-1 15 ounce can Coconut Milk

-1/2 Tablespoon red curry (massaman)

-1 Teaspoon Yellow curry powder

-1 Cup Soy Milk

-2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

-S&P, TT

-Sliced Almonds for garnish, optional

-Pumpkin spice for garnish, optional

Additional Tools:

-Sheet tray

-Vitamix or blender of your choice

Method of Preparation:

-Turn oven to 350 degrees. Using a paring knife, make a slit going length wise across the potato, Sprinkle salt on top of both. Place on a sheet tray and set in oven for 30 minutes or more until sweet potatoes are soft. Remove from the oven and let cool for up to 15 minutes.

-Once cool, remove potato from the skin.

-Add coconut milk into vitamix or blender and add sweet potatoes, both curries, maple syrup, and a dash of salt. Turn on blender on low speed and slowly adjust the speed until high. Once sweet potatoes begin to puree, slowly pour in soy milk. Blend until smooth.

-Taste and adjust seasoning. If soup is too think add in more milk or water. Be careful to not add too much liquid, you want a nice soup consistency. If you’re using a vitamix blend soup for 3 minutes or until hot. Serve right away.

-Garnish with sliced almonds, pumpkin spice, and a few drizzles of maple syrup.

Enjoy!

**Note: This soup pairs excellent with Paratha (Indian flatbread)

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Pumpkin Soup

Aside from pumpkin pie, I don’t eat or prepare very many pumpkin recipes because lets be honest, the flavor of pumpkin is very bland and boring and I’ve out grown it after everything pumpkin hit the markets and ruined it for me. This pumpkin soup that my husband made 2 years ago is still one of my favorite falls soups to enjoy and if you looking for a soup to include as an appetizer for dinner this Thanksgiving, this is a great choice.

Soups are classified into 2 groups: Clear soups that are made from a bouillon and thick soups that are made from a thickener such as cream. What I love best about this recipe is there are 3 ways you can eat it: A.) Plain, B.) with the addition of bacon and marshmallow, or C.) apple, ginger, and curry. Depending on the mood your in, you decide! What really makes the second version of the soup aside from the bacon croutons (that are made by coating bread in bacon fat, yum) is the toasted marshmallows that are pureed into the soup in the end to add a “campfire” smokey taste.

The last version of the pumpkin soup is an apple/curry addition, this is your healthier alternative. The garnish of fresh grated ginger adds a nice spice to liven up the pumpkin and the crisp sweet crunch from the granny smith apples blend excellent with all other fall flavors.

This soup is rich, with that said 1 bowl may be all you will need. Don’t worry though because you will definitely be going back for seconds later in the evening when you get that sweet pumpkin craving! I recommend adding fried sage to your soup as well. This soup only takes 15 minutes to make and is extremely delicious! Use caution when serving others 🙂

Active Time: 5 Minutes

Total Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients:

-3 Cups Heavy Cream

-1 Can Pumpkin Puree

-1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Spice

-2 Ounces Maple Syprup

-2 Ounces Brown Sugar

-1/2 Cup Toasted Marshmallows

-Salt, TT

Preparation:

-Heat up cream to a simmer.

-Whisk in pumpkin puree.

-Add in pumpkin spice, maple syrup, brown sugar. Stir until incorporated.

-Season to taste with salt.

-Torch marshmallows like you would on an open flame with a pastry torch or by using the broiler in your oven.

-Once toasted, blend hot mallows with hot soup in vitamix or home blender until smooth.

-Top with bacon croutons and fried sage leaves.

Enjoy!

For the Croutons:

-2 slices of bread, I used potato

-1 tablespoon bacon fat

-Slice bread into small square pieces.

-In a small bowl, toss bread in melted bacon fat until coated thoroughly.

-Heat in the oven on 350 until golden brown and crispy. Approximately 8 minutes.

-Garnish on top of soup!

Another (healthier) alternative that also makes this soup delicious is:

Apple+Curry powder+Ginger

-Add in 1 tablespoon of curry powder  and fresh grated ginger to the soup pre blending.

-Blend in vitamix until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

-Garnish with small diced apples (I used Granny Smith).

-Stir and Enjoy!

Ginger Dressing & Cucumber Salad

If you’ve gone to eat sushi or been to a Hibachi steakhouse you’ve probably had the option of choosing between a soup or salad for your first course. The Salad is more than undoubtedly going to have some form of a ginger dressing in it.

I don’t know about you, but I love ginger dressing and for a long time I’ve been searching for the best ginger dressing to have at home for my salads. Instead of buying it from the store I gathered up a few simple ingredients in my kitchen to make a version of this dressing to keep on hand in the refrigerator.

Asian cuisine is basically a staple in mine and Brandon’s diet, as a result we have many Asian ingredients in the pantry. Nothing goes better with our General Tsao’s chicken than a first course salad with ginger dressing.  This recipe may not be as gratifying as the kind you get in the restaurant, but its close enough. If you are a ginger glutton You will enjoy this dressing!

I’ve also included a recipe for my personal twist on a cucumber salad including this dressing. Very delicious and makes a great lunch option.

Active Time: 5 Minutes

Total Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients:

-1/4 Cup Soy Sauce

-Juice from ½ an Orange

-1 Garlic clove

-1 Tablespoon Fresh ginger

-Canola Oil

-Splash Rice wine vinegar

Preparation:

-In a food processor, combine ginger, garlic, orange juice, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce. Puree until smooth.

-Once smooth, begin to slowly pour in the oil allowing the sauce to emulsify.  You will only need about ½ a cup for this dressing. Add until consistency on the back of a spoon is nappe.

-Season with a little bit of salt, taste. Adjust ingredients if needed.

Enjoy!

Take pleasure in this cucumber salad with ginger dressing. Healthy, quick, and delicious.

Cucumber Salad:

Serves: 1 Asian influenced epicurean

Ingredients:

-1/2 Cucumber, sliced ½ inch thick and cut in fourths

-1/2 Carrot, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick, cut small

-1 Teaspoon Black Sesame seeds

-1 Tablespoon Ginger dressing (see recipe)

-1 Scallion, sliced thin

-Segments from ½ an orange

Preparation:

-Cut up all vegetables and place in a small mixing bowl.

-Add ginger dressing, and a pinch of salt, mix to combine.

-Pour into a serving dish and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Enjoy!