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Posts Tagged ‘soup’

kitchen sink soup

I admit it.

Although I may appear normal on the surface, I’m no stranger to odd behavior (or so I’m told). Every time I sit down to write a blog post, I struggle with controlling my internal evil twin. The one who wants to launch into a long-winded political diatribe or write a geeky poem about genetic expression or transcription pathways. Maybe link to a current climb of Mount Everest, write a book review, or evangelize about the healing power of yoga.

Anything but food.

Writing recipes is not easy for me. I don’t follow recipes, how can I write one? When I cook I just throw stuff together, taste, adjust, add more stuff, taste and on it goes until I have something I like. Or something my guy Fairbanks will eat.

This soup was absolutely delicious. Explaining in a coherent manner how I came up with it won’t be easy, but I’m going to give it a try. It was that good.

kitchen sink soup – you could also call this clean out the fridge soup
what you need (whatever you have)

4 shitake mushrooms, washed well and chopped
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery (and leaves), chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 cup shredded cabbage
6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
8 cups broth (I used a combination of chicken and vegetable broth)
1 cup cooked rice (I used a mix of brown and wild rice)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
herbs: bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, oregano
* chopped means in small 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes (something like that)

what you do
1. In a large soup pot over low/medium heat, sauté mushrooms in a small amount of olive oil until fragrant. Remove mushrooms and place in a blender. Set aside until later.
2. In the same pot (add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of olive oil if you need to), sauté onions, garlic, celery, carrots and zucchini for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently to combine flavors.
3. While veggies are sautéing, add 2 to 4 cups of broth to the mushrooms in the blender. Purée well.
4. Pour mushroom/broth purée over veggies and add the rest of the broth to the pot. Add sweet potato, cabbage, tomatoes and rice. Stir, turn heat to low and simmer for at least 2 hours. Season and taste as you go.

This is better the second day and even better the third. You may have to add a little water to it over the next day or so. Adjust according to whatever you have in your fridge. It’s kitchen sink soup, it really doesn’t matter.

One of my all-time favorite British chefs gave me some tips on seasoning soups. Miles of suggests bay as a base ingredient in cooking. From there, he says hardy herbs like thyme, rosemary, sage and savory go well in mixed vegetable soups. I don’t always follow directions well, but when it comes to seasoning, I pay attention to what Miles has to say. He’s a master. Thanks, Miles!

Go forth, clean out your fridge and make kitchen sink soup! As another wonderful mentor of mine once said, everything you need, you already have.

Anne’s butternut leek ginger soup


Before I launch into today’s recipe, I’d like to share a little esoteric trivia with you. Esoteric in a world-wide sense, as our enlightened inner circle contains a bazillion people. But in order to understand the following, you must have a linguistic understanding of what www means and that’s a big outer-inner (out-there) circle.

Stick with me, there’s some logic to this intro, however convoluted it might be.

Today has great significance in the posting of this recipe. On November 12th, 1990, English physicist Tim Berners-Lee and Belgian computer scientist Robert Cailliau drafted a proposal entitled “WorldWideWeb: Proposal for a HyperText Project.” That’s what guys who work at CERN, the world’s largest particle physics lab, do in their spare time.

You know, when they’re not messing around with particle accelerators or smashing atoms.

Little did they know that their project and the alliterative fusion of three simple words would have such a profound impact on the future of information technology and the way we communicate. And on food. Although few of us understand what’s really going on in cyber-space, www has become a household “word” and making friends with people in far-off places is as easy as commenting on a blog.

Which brings me to the point of this post – Anne’s butternut, leek and ginger soup. The recipe originally came from Mitchell Beazley’s book, The Simple Art of Marrying Food & Wine. Anne, whom I met ages ago at Miles Collins’ blog, left her version of the soup in the comment section of my Dia de los Muertos post. I doubt that Tim and Robert had friendships, food writing and recipe exchanges in mind when they wrote their proposal for the HyperText Project and dubbed the nebulous world of mark-up language and stored information the WorldWideWeb. But that’s how things have unfolded in my little corner of culinary cyber-space (alliterations aside).

WWW has turned into FFF. WorldWideWeb. FoodFriendshipFun. I love it!

Okay, I’ve indulged myself in some off-kilter rambling, now on to food. This week’s CSA box contained butternut squash, onions, leeks and an assortment of other fall veggies and fruit. As luck would have it, those were the ingredients in Anne’s version of Mitchell’s version of butternut squash soup. Thanks for the inspiration, Anne. Here’s my version.

Butternut squash leek onion ginger curry coconut soup
what you need

1-2 butternut squashes (I ended up with about 4 cups of peeled and cubed squash) *
4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken)
1 cup water
2/3 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 apple, washed, peeled, cored and chopped
2 leeks, trimmed and chopped
2-3 tablespoons butter
1-2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger (I like things gingery, use less if you please)
2 teaspoons curry powder *
roasted pumpkin seeds

what you do
Melt butter in a medium soup pot. Add onions and leeks and sauté until lightly browned. Add broth, water, apple, squash and ginger and simmer until squash is tender (30 minutes or so). Remove from heat and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Carefully puree soup in a food processor, in batches, and transfer back into the soup pot. Add curry seasoning and coconut milk, stir well and reheat. Top with a few roasted pumpkin seeds, even though I forgot to do it before taking the picture.

* Check with Amy at SS & GF for detailed instructions on how to peel and chop butternut squash.

* My Madras-style curry mix contains turmeric, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, white pepper, cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves and Tellicherry black pepper.


The sisterhood of the traveling soup bowls would like to thank Tim and Robert for setting into motion the worldwideweb. We also appreciate the random brother with a bowl. Go forth and make soup!

it’s raining kale (sweet potato & kale soup)


This is what the inside of my refrigerator looks like.

Okay, I’m exaggerating — I took this photo at my local organic market a couple of months ago. But I am busy trying to figure out what to do with all the beets and kale that have been spilling forth from my CSA box the last couple of weeks. Soup isn’t what comes to mind when it’s 85 degrees out, but Ali’s recent cream of mushroom version inspired me to break out the soup pot and simmer away.

sweet potato & kale soup
what you need

• 1 bunch kale, washed, dried and chopped (heavy stems removed)
• 4 cups chicken broth (homemade or 1 box Imagine organic chicken broth)
• 4 cups water
• 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (I ended up with about 2 cups chopped)
• 1 can Eden Organic Pizza/Pasta Sauce (this tomato and herb sauce adds a perfect richness to the soup)
• 1 can white beans, cannellini or great northern
• 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
• 2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
• sausage (I threw in 2 links of chicken sausage, chopped in medallion-type chunks)
• grated parmesan cheese
• salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
• oil for frying (I use coconut oil, use whatever your oil of choice is)

what you do
Heat 1 – 2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat in a good sized stock pot. Brown sausage, add onions and garlic and stir until tender. Add chicken broth, water and the can of Eden Pasta sauce. Stir well to blend ingredients. Add chopped sweet potatoes and simmer for 45 minutes or until potatoes are cooked. Add beans, kale and herbs and simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Kale should be cooked, but still have some “freshness” to it. I like to add greens at the end and simmer for a few minutes so they maintain some substance. Ladle into serving bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese.

Herb ideas — the Eden pizza/pasta sauce is a great addition to this soup and contains the perfect herb mix. I keep a couple of cans of this rich, thick, organic sauce on hand at all times. It’s a quick way to add depth and flavor to soups and stews. If you want, simply expand on that flavor combination with more of the same herb blend (oregano, thyme, basil).

You might also like:
beans and collard greens recipe
mineral-rich kale chips
poached eggs on kale
kale, chard and mushroom lasagna

Go forth and green up your life!

Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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