Thai Coconut Curry Soup

Today’s freezing temperatures and blustery wind have me craving more soup. Do you feel it too? This recipe is sure to warm you through and through thanks to the flavours of ginger and Thai curry paired with comforting butternut squash and coconut milk. As a bonus, you’ll get a generous dose of vitamins A and C thanks to the squash, and a hit of protein and iron offered up by the red lentils.

The iron found in plant-based proteins is called non-heme iron and is a bit harder for our bodies to absorb than heme iron (found in meat). However, pairing non-heme iron with Vitamin C increases absorption. See where I’m going? The Vitamin C from the squash will work in tandem with the iron in the lentils to fuel you more efficiently. Another bonus of red lentils are their quick-cooking nature and their tendency to start to disintegrate when cooked. This makes them essentially impossible to detect; a great way to power up the picky people in your lives!

Give it a try today and let me know what you think.

Thai Coconut Squash Soup.jpg

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 bell pepper, diced

1 onion, diced

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

1 –2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (depending on your spice preference; I used 2!)

1 can coconut milk

3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 carrot, diced

½ cup red lentils

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a medium pot, over medium heat. Place 1 piece of diced onion in the pot to test the temperature of the oil. Once the onion starts to sizzle, add the remaining onion.

  2. Sauté the onion for 1-2 minutes, until it begins to soften. Then, add the diced bell pepper and continue to sauté for another 1-2 minutes.

  3. Once the vegetables have softened, and onion has started to become translucent, add the ginger powder, salt, pepper, and Thai curry paste. Mix to combine.

  4. Next, add the coconut milk. Stir to combine, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan, gathering up all of those flavourful bits that may have started to stick!

  5. Add the vegetable broth, again stirring to combine.

  6. Finally, add the butternut squash, carrot, and red lentils. Stir to combine, then place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil.

  7. Once the pot reaches a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.

  8. At this point, the butternut squash should be soft, and the lentils should have started to disintegrate.

  9. Blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth and glossy.

  10. Top with your favourite roasted winter veggie and serve with a slice of whole wheat bread for a filling and nutritious meal. Enjoy!

Recipe created by Alex Chesney, RD

Leek and Potato Soup

The weather has been unpredictable lately — snowy and cold one day then slushy and warm the next. Regardless of the temperature, one thing has remained constant, and that’s my desire for soup. The winter months have always made me crave this warm and comforting meal, and that hasn’t changed this year! Their ease and versatility are also a great selling point. I de!ided to start off 2019 with a classic: leek and potato!

Both leeks and potatoes are crops that keep well long after harvest. The farm has settled into a quiet rhythm for these next few months, but we do still have a few veggies kicking around the barn. I rescued a bundle of leeks and a handful of potatoes to pair with leftover veggies from my fridge and then hit the kitchen!

When preparing the potatoes, I washed them thoroughly then removed any eyes and marks, otherwise leaving the skin intact. As with many fruits and vegetables, the skin houses the majority of the nutrients, particularly the fibre! When it comes to leeks, many consumers are not aware of their nutrition content. Are you? Just in case, I’ll fill you in! Leeks contain an incredibly high amount of Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin that helps our bodies heal wounds, and maintain the health of blood vessels and bones. Because it’s fat-soluble, it’s best absorbed when paired with fat. In this recipe, both the butter and the milk/cream contribute fat. Pretty neat, hey?

Overall, this soup is flavourful, creamy, and satisfying. It makes the perfect lunch for a chilly weekend, or a quick and easy dinner for those busy weeknights. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Leek and Potato Soup.jpg

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Makes: 4 – 6 servings

Ingredients

1 tablespoon cooking oil or butter

3 large leeks*, white parts sliced into coins

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 large carrot, diced (or 1 cup frozen diced carrots)

2 stalks celery, diced

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock

4 medium potatoes, cubed

½ cup milk or cream

Directions

  1. Heat oil or butter in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Add one small piece of leek and wait for it to start to sizzle.

  2. Once sizzling, add the rest of the sliced leeks. Cook for 3 minutes or so, stirring frequently, until leeks are softened.

  3. Add minced garlic and other diced vegetables. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, again stirring frequently.

  4. Next, add herbs and spices, mixing until all vegetables are evenly coated. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

  5. Add the vegetable stock and the potatoes and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low (maintaining a gentle simmer) and cook for approximately 20 minutes.

  6. Once potatoes are softened, remove soup from heat. Blend the soup using an immersion blender or upright blender until a creamy consistency is achieved. Add the milk or cream and stir to combine.

*Be sure to wash the leeks very thoroughly, as although they are pre-washed before being sold, dirt has a way of working its way inside of this tasty veggie!

Recipe created by Alex Chesney, RD

Late Summer Chowder

Cooler weather is approaching, the official start of autumn is around the corner, and soup season has arrived! I’m looking forward to being able to comfortably use the stove and oven again and put them to work cooking up the tasty fall recipes I have in mind. To start us off we’ve got a hearty, delicious, and easy chowder. Flavour is built by cooking the vegetables in stages, and coating them with a lovely combination of spices. A low-sodium vegetable broth and just a dash of salt at the end will ensure a hearty-healthy final bowl, and all the wonderful vegetables featured make for a soup that is satisfying and filling. Take advantage of these still-in-season vegetables combined with comfortable cooking temperatures and try this recipe today. Let me know what you think!

Soup to Share.jpg

Ingredients

1 tablespoon oil

1 red onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small jalapeno, diced (more or less, depending on spice tolerance!)

2 bell peppers, diced

2 cobs sweetcorn, cooked & removed from the cob

1 zucchini, diced

5 small red potatoes, cubed

1 teaspoon paprika, oregano, and parsley (each)

½ teaspoon thyme

2 tablespoons flour

3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup milk

Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat until hot. A handy trick to test the readiness of the pan is to toss in a small piece of diced onion along with the oil. When it starts to sizzle you know you’ve reached the right temperature!

  2. Once hot, add all the onion to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes until translucent and softened.

  3. Add the garlic and peppers and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

  4. Add the corn, zucchini, spices, and flour. Mix until vegetables are evenly coated with the spices & flour.

  5. Next, slowly add the vegetable broth, stirring constantly.

  6. Once all the broth has been mixed in, add the potatoes. Lower the heat slightly and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are softened.

  7. Add the milk and stir until hot.

  8. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

  9. Enjoy!

Recipe created by Alex Chesney, RD

 

 

Sweet Potato (Squash) Soup

Sweet Potato (Squash) Soup
*Makes 4-6 Servings

This soup features a few of the many fall veggies we have on the farm – delicata squash (aka sweet potato squash), sweet potato, and onion. Both of the squash are small and easy to peel & chop. These powerhouse ingredients are chock full of not only delicious flavour, but also vitamins A and C! Blending the soup + adding some coconut milk provides an amazingly creamy texture and the cinnamon and nutmeg add some wintertime depth to the overall flavour. 

Ingredients:
2 delicata squash (aka sweet potato squash), peeled and cubed
2 large sweet potato, peeled and cube
1 onion, diced
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup coconut milk
Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:
Place vegetable broth in a medium-sized pot and add the diced onion and peeled and cubed squash and sweet potato over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until squash and sweet potato are tender. Blend soup mixture using an immersion blender or a blender. If using a blender, allow soup to cool and then transfer in small batches. Once soup is blended, mix in coconut milk and spices. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe created by Alex Chesney, RD

Oven-Baked Onion Rings

Onion rings make the perfect addition to a summertime burger & beer on the patio, especially on a long weekend! Although the deep-fried version is super delicious, its high fat content makes it something to be enjoyed just once in a while. Fortunately, I created this tasty oven-baked version that is virtually fat-free, while still giving you that crunch & taste you may be craving. Try them at home today!

*Makes approximately 18 onion rings

Ingredients:
1 fresh sweet onion
¼ cup flour
2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
1-2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt

Directions:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 450 F.

To prepare the onion, remove the greens and the root. Place the onion on its side, and then carefully slice into ¼ inch slices. Separate the slices into individual rings and set aside.

Set up an onion ring prep assembly-line using 3 bowls. Work from left to right: in the first bowl, place the flour, in the second, whisk together the eggs & milk, and in the third, mix together the bread crumbs, garlic powder, and salt.

Begin to assemble the onion rings. One at a time, dip the onion rings into the flour and coat evenly. Next, drop the onion slices into the egg mixture and again, coat evenly. Finally, place the onion rings in the panko mixture and coat evenly once again. Repeat this process for each individual onion ring.

Place coated onion rings on the baking sheet. Once all onion rings are prepped, place in the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. The coating on the onion rings should be nicely browned. Remove from oven and enjoy!

*Tip: The panko mixture can get quite gummed up from the egg & milk mixture. To ensure the final stage of coating is successful, it helps to only put a little panko at a time into the third bowl, and refresh every 3 rings or so.

Recipe created by Alex Chesney, RD