Chorizo and Chickpea Stew

By Corinne

I actually bought the chorizo with the intent of making something totally different with it. But then the weather turned from crisp and sunny and fall to drizzle and wet snow and I needed soup immediately.

This soup gets a lot of the flavour from the chorizo, so make sure you find a good one that you like.

Time: about 10 minutes prep 45-55 minutes simmer total

Makes: 4 servings

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You will need:

  • 1 onion, small dice
  • 1-2 stalks of celery, small dice
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (28fl oz/796ml)
  • 1 tsp smoked or hot paprika
  • 1 cup rinsed and drained chickpeas
  • 1 chorizo sausage, sliced into thin half moons
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add onion, celery, and sliced chorizo to a heavy bottomed pot. Add 1-2 tsp of oil or butter if necessary. Cook on medium heat until vegetables and sausage are slightly browed- about 7 minutes.  Add 2 cloves minced garlic and cook for one more minute.

Add the can of tomatoes. Add a can and a half of water to the pot. Add the 1 tsp paprika. and the 1 cup of chickpeas.

Let simmer for 35 minutes (or longer if you have time!  You may need to add more water if you let it simmer longer)

Add three cups of shredded cabbage. Allow to simmer for another 15-20 minutes until cabbage is translucent and softened. Serve with fresh crusty bread.

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Split Pea and Ham Soup

By:  Julie

Serves:  Makes 8 cups

Time:  1 hour 15 min

It’s fall here.  The leaves are starting to change, kids are back at school, there is that earthy smell that makes me want to rake leaves and jump in them.  Also earthy, is this very delicious soup.  Every time I cook a ham, I throw the bone, with a generous amount of meat on it, in the freezer until I need some comfort food and guess what?  Today is the day!

My grandma only ever served one thing from a can, and that is Habitant Pea Soup with Ham.  It was the only thing that my grandfather considered edible that was processed.  I loved it as a kid.  She used to serve it with fresh homemade bread and for desert, black tea in a small dish with brown sugar and more bread.  Habitant Pea Soup is a staple here, and is a favourite with everyone I asked.  Not from Canada? Sorry friends, I have learned it’s only available here.  But don’t be sad, this soup takes split peas to a new level.  If you don’t have a ham bone, you can just add some diced ham at the end.

 

You Will Need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot – diced
  • 1 celery stalk – diced
  • 1 small onion – diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1/8 tsp cayanne
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups of yellow split peas
  • 1 ham bone – with 1 1/2 cups of meat still on or extra on the side to equal 1 1/2 cups.
  • 6 cups of stock or water or a combination of the two.

My leftovers came from a glazed ham that favored a sweet spicy glaze.  Some of that translated to the soup.  If I was using a ham with no glaze I would add nutmeg and 1 tbsp of brown sugar.

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Preparation:

In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until hot.  Add onion, carrot, celery, and cook until soft, about 5 min, stirring frequently.  Add seasoning and cook for another minute. Add split peas and stir, toasting peas for about 3 min.  De-glaze pan with 1 cup of the broth and scrape any brown-bits off the bottom of the pan.  Add remaining broth, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  When peas is soft, remove pot from heat.  Remove the ham bone and the bay leaves. Discard the bay leaves.  Using a fork and knife, pull and shred all the remaining meat of the bone and set aside.  Moving back to the soup, use a hand blender to carefully puree the soup.  If it’s too hot it may splatter so use caution.  Add the ham and stir.  Garnish with parsley or cilantro (my favourite).  For extra creaminess add a dollop of sour cream.

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Pozole Soup

By Corinne

I first came across pozole at the Gunflint Tavern in Grand Marais MN. I then returned home to spend several hours reading about this delicious soup and about hominy, which I had only vaguely heard of in reference to movies that take place in the south.

If you’re new to hominy, What The Hell is Hominy, Anyway? is a pretty basic primer.

Finding hominy in Thunder Bay turned out to be something of a challenge. It seems like it’s something that’s probably more widely available in larger (or more southern) centers. If you can find canned hominy, I’m sure that would work just as well and be a lot less trouble than using dried. If you’re in Thunder Bay, you can find dried hominy at Renco’s Foods on Court St. They have it at the Bulk Zone too, but it’s sort of ground (maybe what gets used for grits? I have no idea) but that’s not what you want for this recipe.

While traditional pozole generally  uses pork shoulder, making enough soup to use such a large cut of meat would make a lot of soup. I’ve substituted two bone in chops instead. It seems like a lot of traditional recipes also call for tomatillos- which I also had difficulty finding in Thunder Bay (I did find them at the Bulk Zone, but didn’t use them in the recipe)

I make no claims that this is anything like traditional pozole, but it is delicious and worth the time. It also has had the side effect of making me a bit obsessed with hominy.

Time: about 25 minutes prep, 2 hours simmer *see note about hominy prep, if not using canned

Serves: 4 generously

You will need:

  • 2 bone in pork chops (about 500g, about 1lbs)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium/large onion diced
  • 1 beer, preferably something Mexican like Corona (omit or use a GF beer for this recipe to be GF -or you could just use broth to deglaze)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely minced (measure after mincing) plus more for garnish if desired
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeños minced
  • 2 cups hominy* canned if you can find it
  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin (I always toast and grind mine so it’s more flavourful, you may want to add more if you’re using regular ground cumin)
  • 10 cups water or combination of water and chicken broth (3 tbsp veggie bouillon if using plain water)
  • juice of one lemon
  • lime wedges
  • avocado for garnish if desired
  • Salt and pepper

*If you can find canned hominy, by all means, use that. If using dried hominy, start this recipe the day before by cooking the hominy. I skipped the soaking overnight step and cooked it in the slow cooker on low overnight. It still took until early afternoon before kernels were tender and had popped. I cooked the whole bag of dried hominy and froze what I didn’t use in two cup portions so that I won’t have to do this step again for a while.

In a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot, add 1 tbsp canola oil and heat over medium high. Season chops on both sides with salt and pepper, and cook, turning once, until they have some good colour – it doesn’t matter if they are cooked through as they will cook in the soup. When both sides are browned, remove from pot and add chopped onion.

Cook onion for about 5 minutes until translucent. It will probably pick up a lot of colour from the browned bits from the pork chops. Add minced garlic cloves and stir for one more minute. Add the beer a bit at a time, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot until you’ve added the whole beer. Return the pork chops to the pot, and add the water/chicken broth.

Add the 1/4 cup minced cilantro, 1 tbsp cumin, 2 tbsp minced pickled jalapeño peppers and two cups of hominy to the pot. Simmer soup uncovered over medium for 1 hour.

While soup is simmering, char poblano peppers. This can be done on the BBQ, in the oven under broil, or in the flame of a gas stove. You want the outside skin to be charred and blackened all over. This took me 20 minutes in my toaster oven on the broil setting. When peppers are charred all over, either toss into a paper bag and close, or put into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam. When peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off skin, chop roughly and add to soup.

After soup has simmered for an hour, remove pork chops and shred the meat from the bone. Discard bone and return meat to the pot. Add the juice of one lemon. Simmer uncovered for another hour.

All of this uncovered simmering is going to cause your soup reduce somewhat and that’s just fine, though you can taste and add more liquid if desired.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with additional cilantro, slices of avocado, a squeeze of lime slice, and cheesy tortillas if desired.

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Creamy Leek and Asparagus Soup

By:  Julie

Time:  40 min

Serves:  4-6

It’s not really the season for asparagus here in Ontario, it’s the season of snow and preserved goodies.  It’s about the time of year when my eyes are really starving for something green and beautiful.  That’s exactly what this is, a green and beautiful bowl of spring that you can enjoy, briefly forgetting that it is only December and there are still 4 solid months of winter to endure.

I was planning a leek and potato soup, needing some warm comfort food and having to use up some leeks that I had in the fridge, but then I walked by some lovely green asparagus that happened to be on sale.  On sale asparagus is rare in the middle of winter.  It’s imported from California, or Peru.  It’s not the tenderest shoots I’ve eaten, but since the soup will be pureed, this is not a problem.

You Will Need:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 large leek, sliced thin
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 tsp mustard seed
  • a large bunch of asparagus, chopped in to 1 inch pieces
  • 3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 2 cups of water
  • grated lemon zest
  • flat leaf parsley (if desired for garnish)
  • salt and pepper

I used a dutch oven to melt the butter on medium low.  Then I added the leek, garlic, and a few pinches of salt.  I put the lid on and left the leak to sweat for 10 min, stirring occasionally.  I then added about a tsp of salt and the mustard seed.

This smells heavenly.  Resist the urge to eat the leeks.

Add the asparagus, chicken broth, and wine plus 2 cups of water.  Stir and bring to a simmer and allow to cook, uncovered, until the asparagus is tender.  You don’t want to cook it too long or you will lose the lovely bright green colour.

Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 5 min.  You can puree this in batches in a blender but I used an immersion blender.  I don’t even own a blender so I make due with a food processor or the immersion blender.

Add salt, pepper, and the juice of the lemon to taste.  Serve with chopped parsley over top.  I also added a dollop of sour cream because it’s a really good excuse to eat it.  I served this with toasted turkey sandwiches on 12 grain bread and we really enjoyed it, but it would also make a spectacular appetizer at your next dinner party, warm or chilled.  It was a nice, light, fresh meal

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Curried Parsnip and Cauliflower Soup

By Corinne

Lately I’ve been having a bit of an autumn love affair with parsnips. They are one of those vegetables we didn’t eat growing up, so I’ve come to this love rather late in life. At our local market there are a few vendors who sell them but for some reason I’m particularly enamored of these.

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I don’t even think they’re ugly. They’re sort of adorable. Can vegetables be adorable? Mostly though, they are delicious.

This soup is creamy and smooth, without being heavy. Most of the creaminess comes from the pureed vegetables rather than an excessive amount of cream.

Time: 30-35 min.  10-15 min prep, 20 minutes cook.

Serves: 4

You will need:

  • 1 large onion – diced
  • 2 stalks celery- diced
  • 2 cups parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups small florets of cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 cups diced potato (I left the skin on mine, whatever you prefer)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic- minced
  • 1 chili pepper (if desired) minced
  • 7 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth, or veggie broth.
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin *I toasted and freshly ground my cumin- if you don’t, you may need to add more than this and adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt to taste (if needed – I didn’t)
  • freshly chopped cilantro

Add 2 tbsp of butter to pot on medium heat. Dice onion and celery and add to pot once butter has melted. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. While onion and celery are cooking, prep other vegetables.

When onion and celery are softened and beginning to get some colour, add the garlic and chili (if using) and stir for about one minute until garlic is fragrant – do not allow the garlic to burn.

Add the broth slowly, scrapping up any browned bits from the bottom of pot.

Add the diced parsnip, cauliflower, and potato and increase the heat to medium high to bring to a boil.

Keep at a gentle boil for about 20 minutes until veggies are soft. Add the cumin, coriander and turmeric. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Taste and add salt if needed – though this will depend on the saltiness of the broth you used.

Stir in cream and serve with fresh chopped cilantro.

Butternut Squash Soup with Turkey Meatballs

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By Corinne

I tend not to eat a lot of soup in the summer, with the exception of a fresh dilly bean soup that is my go to summer soup fix. But all it takes is the first rainy September day to rekindle my love of soup in preparation for the cold, snowy months ahead. Today wasn’t really a soup day, it was a glorious fall day, one where if you close your eyes and feel the sun on your face you might imagine that summer is still here for a few moments more. But still, I love soup and this is a good one for the fall as the squashes are coming in 🙂

This soup is inspired by Deb Perlman’s Carrot Soup with Turkey Meatballs.

Like most soups, this one freezes well.

Serves: 6

Time: 1 hour

You will need:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1-2 stalks of celery chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled if you like, chopped
  • 2 large clove minced
  • 3 generous cups of butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 7 cups water 3-4 tbsp veggie bouillon or equal amount of chicken stock
  • a generous handful of fresh spinach for each bowl of soup

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (to make this GF, leave out the breadcrumbs, the meatballs will still stick together fine, I find the bread crumbs just gives them a smidge of extra tenderness)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 1 minced clove of garlic
  • salt and pepper

In a large pot over medium heat, add the butter, chopped onion, celery and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally while you prep the butternut squash. Cut off ends, and peel and cube. I usually peel with a vegetable peeler, but a sharp knife also works. I love toasting my squash seeds the same way you can do pumpkin seeds. I usually mean to use them as a garnish, but sometimes we eat them before the soup is done 🙂

Add the squash and the water and bring to a gentle boil. While the squash is cooking, prep the meatballs. Add the 2 tbsp of milk to the bread crumbs, then add all ingredients together and mix.  Cook until squash is tender, and then using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and return to a boil.

After the soup is blended, form the meatballs, rolling into about one inch balls and dropping into the soup. I find this easier with wet hands as generally ground turkey and chicken is more ‘sticky’ than ground beef. Once all meatballs have been added, simmer for ten to fifteen minutes to ensure all are cooked through.

Shred or cut a generous handful of spinach into each serving bowl. Ladle hot soup over shredded spinach. Garnish with asiago if desired.

When I freeze this soup, I do so without the spinach. I like adding the spinach to the bowl rather than directly to the pot as it wilts but still retains a nice texture.

Dilly Summer Bean Soup

By Corinne

Sometimes I feel we lose appreciation for seasonal foods when they are available at the grocery all year round. That being said, anyone who has ever had a fresh summer strawberry still warm from the sun knows there is an entire world of difference between it and it’s sad, long travelled winter counterpart. This is my favourite summer soup that I’ve been making for years. I only make it in the summer with fresh garden beans and I look forward to it every year.

This soup is quick enough to prepare for lunch, but filling enough for supper too.

Serves: 3-4

Time: 10 min prep, 30 minutes simmer

You will need:

  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 small/medium potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cups mix of yellow and green beans cut into ~1 inch pieces
  • 6 cups V8 + 1 cup V8 if desired
  • 2 tbsp snipped fresh dill + more for garnish
  • sour cream for garnish
  • grind of pepper if desired

Melt butter in pot and add onion and celery. Cook over medium for about 5 minutes until vegetables are softened and then add the garlic for one minute more. Add the 6 cups of V8 2 tbsp of fresh dill and the potatoes. Bring to a gentle boil. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Add 2 cups of beans and allow to simmer for another 10-15 minutes until beans are tender. You may wish to add an additional cup of V8 to thin out the soup as it will have lost some liquid in the simmering time- I like a rather thick chunky style soup, but if you prefer one a little more brothy, add some additional liquid. Serve with a generous dollop of sour cream and additional fresh dill.

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