Curried Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup

Sunday night was one of those nights I needed to make dinner but didn’t want to leave my house to do it! I had a butternut squash and a can of coconut cream, which was enough to convince me that I didn’t need to go to the grocery store. This soup ended up being delicious! Some of the best unexpected meals start with one simple thought – what can I make without having to remove these pajamas and go to the store?!

3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon powdered sage
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or more if you like the kick!)
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1/2 cup coconut cream (coconut milk works, too)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil

In a large heavy pot, saute the garlic, shallot, and ginger in some olive oil for a minute or two. Add the butternut squash, carrots, and apple. Drizzle with a little more olive oil then add the curry, cumin, sage, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 5-7 minutes then add the chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the carrots and squash are fork tender.

Turn the heat off, then using a hand blender puree the soup until smooth. Alternatively, you can blend in a blender in batches. Add in the coconut cream and mix until fully incorporated. Serve with an additional swirl of coconut cream and a sprinkle of paprika.


Lemony Italian Wedding Soup With Chicken Meatballs

I’ve been fighting a cold all week and decided to make some homemade soup to help knock it out a little faster. I had some ground chicken on hand, so I went with an Italian wedding type soup and added a lot of lemon and garlic, knowing those are two great cold-fighting ingredients. It was delicious the first night, but even better for lunch the next day! There’s just nothing like a homemade bowl of soup when you’re feeling a little under the weather…


1 lb ground chicken
1/2 small white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (or more as needed to form meatballs)
Good pinch of salt and pepper
Olive oil

1 leek, lighter parts only, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken broth
1 lemon, juiced
1 can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked ditalini pasta
1 cup chopped spinach (I used frozen this time but fresh is great if you have on hand!)
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by making the meatballs. Cook the garlic and onion in a little olive oil until translucent, about 1-2 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together (with your hands) the ground chicken, cooked onion/garlic, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into little meatballs and place on a plate until ready to cook. Add some olive oil to a large skillet and cook the meatballs in two batches over medium heat, turning them constantly to avoid sticking to the pan. Plate and set aside.

Get a large pot of salted water boiling and cook the pasta as directed on the box. In the meantime, sauté the garlic in some olive oil for about a minute then add in the leeks, cooking for another 3 minutes or so. Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, cayenne pepper, spinach, beans, and cooked meatballs. Salt and pepper to taste. Let the soup simmer for about 5 minutes before adding in the pasta, then continue simmering for an additional 5-10 minutes. Serve with a pinch of fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Thai Coconut Lemongrass Soup

I am a huge fan of Thai food and frequently visit Chelsea Thai (in Chelsea Market) for their Tom Ka Gai soup. It’s sweet, sour, and spicy all at the same time.  I’ve always wanted to try and make it myself, so today I went for it! I made my version without chicken and just stuck to veggies. I added some bok choy that I got in my CSA this week which I thought was a nice addition. I am lucky to have had my best friend bring me back spices from her trip to Thailand recently, so a few of the “what the heck is that” ingredients were already on hand. If you end up making this soup, Whole Foods has a great selection of spices etc and should have what you need. The soup came out better than I could have hoped for- it tasted just like Chelsea Thai!

Ingredients: (adapted from Atelier Christine)
Serves 2

1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
2-3 lemongrass stalks, pressed down with a knife (like you do to garlic) and cut into 3 inch pieces
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon Thai galangal powder
2 small shallots, one cut in half & the other minced
1-2 small Thai red chilies, depending on preferred heat
2 baby bok choy bunches, ends trimmed and roughly chopped
1/2 can of straw mushrooms
1/2 can of bamboo shoots
1/8 cup coconut cream
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2 small limes, juiced (saving half a lime for serving)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (and a few sprigs left whole)

In a heavy bottomed pot, add the first 8 ingredients and bring to a simmer along with a few cilantro sprigs as well. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, adding all the liquid back to the pot along with the lemongrass and red chilies. Discard the rest. Next add the remainder of the ingredients- bok choy, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, coconut cream, fish sauce, lime juice, and cilantro. Cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with a small wedge of lime for an extra squeeze!

Carmelized Fennel, Celeric, and Sunchoke Soup

I got some celeriac in my CSA bag this week, which I have never cooked with before! It is the root of a celery plant and smells and tastes a lot like celery- but in root vegetable form. I also had some sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) as well as some turnips, fennel, and kale, so I decided to make a soup. It was absolutely freezing today, so it was the perfect thing to make. I sort of winged it, but it came out pretty good! My immersion blender is magic when it comes to making soups, I just love it. A great holiday gift if you have a cook in your life!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 fennel bulb, top cut off and white sliced
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped
3 small turnips, peeled and chopped
2 medium sunchokes, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small shallot, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
3 celery stalks, chopped
Big handful of kale, chopped
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Additional salt and black pepper, to taste

In a large pot, add the olive oil and saute the fennel until slightly browned, about 7-10 minutes. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for another minute or so. Next, add the chopped turnips, celeriac, and sunchokes. Cook for another 7-10 minutes until softened. Pour in the chicken stock and water, cooking the vegetables until fork tender. Add the white pepper and salt. Turn off the heat and with an immersion blender (or a real blender in batches) puree the soup. Toss in the celery, kale, and cannellini beans. Turn the heat back on and cook the soup for another 10-15 minutes, until the kale is wilted. Add additional salt and black pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Potato, Carrot, and Parsnip Soup With Sausage

I’ve had a big craving lately for some homemade soup, so when I got a bunch of potatoes, carrots, and parsnips this week, I though it was a good opportunity to get my fix. Soups are great because they really don’t take very long to make, plus you can basically throw in whatever you like. I used sausage in this recipe but it could be substituted for any meat you like, or no meat!

1/2 shallot, finely chopped
2 red bliss potatoes, skin on and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 large parsnip, peeled and diced
4 cups water (or enough to cover your veggies in the pot)
2 Italian sausage links
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar, optional

Add some oil to a heavy pot over medium heat and sauté the shallot until translucent, about one minute. Add the potatoes, carrot, and parsnips, then cover with water and bring to a boil. Once the potatoes are cooked through (about 10 minutes) turn off the heat. Take half of the soup and put it into a food processor, blending until smooth, then pour it back into the pot with the rest of the soup. Mix together to incorporate. Keep the soup on low heat while you cook the sausage in a separate pan. Once the sausage is browned, add to the pot of soup along with the fresh dill, paprika, and red wine vinegar. I added the vinegar because I felt like it needed a little acidity when I tasted it, but up to you if you add it! Ladle into bowls and top with a little more dill for garnish.


Roasted Romanesco and Potato Soup

Romanesco broccoli is one of the prettiest vegetables out there. I almost didn’t want to eat it because I loved the way it looked so much! It tastes like broccoli and cauliflower had a baby. Simply roasting it in the oven with some olive oil is really good, but I decided to go one step further and make a soup. This week it finally started getting cooler outside, so a big bowl of soup sounded perfect. For a quick topping, I make some easy Parmesan crisps in the oven!

1 head romanesco, florets chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 cups chicken stock
2 Yukon potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (or 1/2 real onion)
Extra salt and black pepper to finish
Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chopped romanesco on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes. In the meantime, saute the garlic for about a minute or so in a large pot. Add the potato, chicken stock, white pepper, salt, and onion powder. Cook until potatoes are fork tender. When the romanesco is ready, mix that into the soup as well. At this point, you can either put the contents into a blender and blend until smooth, or if you have an immersion blender like I do, you can use that! Once fully blended, add the Greek yogurt (don’t let soup come to a boil again) and salt and pepper to taste.

To make the Parmesan crisps, simply form the cheese into a rectangular shape on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and broil for 2 minutes or until the edges are crispy and golden. Cut into strips or place the whole crisp into the soup!

**My intention was to add an onion to the soup, but once I got started I realized I didn’t have one! I used the onion powder in its absence which worked out okay. If I had the onion though, I would have cooked it down with the garlic until translucent, then added the potato etc.

Summer Squash and Corn Soup

Apparently fall is on its way, and despite the past two days of 90 degree weather, I thought I would prepare myself for the upcoming season by making some soup. I had some summer squash and corn on hand and found a nice light recipe that sounded perfect for weaning my way into soup season. It could not have been easier to make and was absolutely delicious. I think next time I make it, I will have some nice bread on hand to dunk. I pretty much love any excuse to eat bread.

Ingredients: (adapted from Eating Well)
1 small shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon balm
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 yellow squash, diced
1 fresh corn, sliced off the cob
14 oz chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Pepper to taste
Crumbled feta cheese, for topping

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the shallots. Let cook a minute or two then add the squash and fresh herbs. Cook for another 5 minutes until the squash softens a bit. Add the chicken broth and salt and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and tip your soup in the pot so the liquid is deep enough to use your hand blender without having it splat everywhere. If you do not have a hand blender, you can simply pour the mixture into your blender and blend until smooth. Next, add the fresh corn and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Lastly, add the lemon juice and pepper to taste. Pour into bowls and top with feta cheese and any leftover fresh herbs.

After making this for the first time, I think next time I might try adding half of the corn early and blending it in with the squash, then add the rest at the end per the above. This would make it even creamier which I think would be nice. Oh and the bread, lots of bread!

Butternut Squash Soup With Turnips and Apples

Butternut squash soup. It’s so great in the winter, warm and filling. Exactly what I wanted after a week of freezing cold weather here in the city. I also was excited to try out my new immersion blender that I got for Christmas, so this was perfect. I had a turnip and some apples on hand, so I added those for some extra flavor. This soup was delicious! And incredibly fast and easy for a homemade soup…

(adapted from Smitten Kitchen- serves about 8)
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 large turnip, peeled and cubed
2 apples, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 32-ounce box of vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 a stick)
1 1/4 teaspoons fresh minced thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons fresh minced sage
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 cup cream

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 inch thick baguette bread slices (however many you’d like!)
grated Gruyere cheese
fresh minced thyme
fresh minced sage

Melt 1/4 butter in a large soup pot, add the garlic and cook for a minute followed by the onion. Cook for about 10 minutes until translucent. Add the broth, squash, turnips, apples, and fresh herbs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let everything simmer for about 20 minutes, or until you are able to pierce the squash with a knife.

At this point you can either blend it in batches in the blender until smooth, then return it to the pot, or you can use an immersion blender right in the pot (just turn of the heat first). I went for the immersion blender! Once smooth, stir in the ginger, cumin, and cream.

Now for the croutons! Get your broiler going. Butter one side of the bread slices and place them on a baking sheet. Place them in the oven under the broiler until golden. Flip them over and add the cheese and fresh herbs, place back under the broiler until the cheese is melted and the edges get a little crispy. By flipping it, you are able to get both sides toasty and crunchy. Ladle some soup into the bowls, and top with the crouton. Enjoy!