I have been recovering from surgery and many of my friends and family brought me lots of good food to eat, especially soup. Over the past month I have eaten butternut squash soup, celery soup, leek and potato soup, lentil soup, peas soup and many different variations of chicken soups. Just writing about soup makes me feel better! So I thought I would share with you my favourite chicken soup recipe. Thank you to everyone who brought me soup, muffins, treats, healthy food, books, flowers and good wishes! This recipe is for you. xo
I have been buying my chicken from Sanagan’s Meat Locker in Kensington Market.
- 1 whole chicken, 3-4 lbs- I like organic or naturally raised
- 2 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
- 6 carrots, cut into large chunks
- 4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
- 2 parsnips, cut into large chunks
- 1/4 of a head of cabbage cut in big chunks
- 2 inches of fresh pealed ginger
- big handful of fresh parsley
- big handful of fresh dill
- 6 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- Place the chickens in a large stockpot. Cover with lots of water and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Let the chicken boil for 10-15 minutes, skimming the foam and particles that rise to the surface of the water, till most of the foam is gone.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, cabbage, parsley, dill, garlic, and seasonings to the pot. Add 1 tbsp kosher salt to the water. Bring back to a boil.
Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour
When the chicken is tender, turn off the heat. Use a pair of tongs to carefully pull the chicken from the broth. Put it on a plate. Taste the chicken broth and season with additional salt, if desired. Allow the chicken and the broth to cool.
Carefully strain the broth into another pot through a mesh strainer. Reserve the carrots to add back to the soup; discard the spices, herbs, garlic, cabbage and onions.
When the soup is completely cool, skim the fat from the top of the broth, it will come off in a gel-like layer.
Add the chicken in small pieces back into the soup broth with the carrots.
The first time I had this delicious black bean recipe was in 2007 at friends Jeff Berman and Sue Dandos’ home, they both love to cook and right away I asked if they would share the recipe. To my surprise the recipe was from Gourmet Magazine , (final issue published was November 2009 ). This recipe has become one of my go-to vegetarian dinners. I have made a few additions and changes along the way, I use a long grain brown rice and when in a rush canned beans and sometimes a spoonful of store-bought salsa and a big handful of sunflower seeds. Steamed spinach on top for my daily greens completes this dish. So now I know why the recipe is called black beans and rice your way… this is my way.
We have eaten many delicious meals with Jeff and Sue but sometimes it is the simple food that you remember most.
Black Beans and Rice Your Way
- Active time:45 min
- Start to finish:2 1/4 hr (1 hr if using pressure cooker; includes making black beans)
For the roasted sweet-potato cubes:
- 1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the rice and beans:
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
- 4 to 4 1/4 cups Kemp’s black beans (when I don’t have time to soak the beans organic canned black beans work really well)
For the toasted pumpkin seeds:
- 1 cup hulled (green) pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas; not toasted)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
Roast sweet-potaote cubes:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
Toss sweet potatoes with oil and salt, then spread in 1 layer in a large shallow baking pan. Roast, stirring and turning over once or twice, until tender and browned, 35 to 40 minutes.
Cool rice while sweet potatoes roast:
Bring water, rice, and salt to a boil in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and cook, tightly covered, until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let stand, covered, off heat 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Toast pumpkin seeds while reice is cooking:
Toast pumpkin seeds in a dry 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick; preferably cast-iron) over moderate heat, stirring, until seeds are puffed and pale golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in oil and salt to taste.
Reheat black beans, thinning with water if necessary, then serve along with rice, sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds, and accompaniments, each in a separate bowl.
These are my mother’s latkes and they are the best. Latkes are a lot of work and I could make them, but something special happens when you are an adult and your mother still cooks the traditional Jewish food you love. These latkes are make with arthritic hands, an old food processor, and lots of love!
All during Hanukkah friends love to share their latkes techniques, do you use matzoh meal or flour, peanut or corn oil, yukon gold or baking potatoes, hand grated or food processor. Then there are the friends who share their recipes of latkes made with sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots…Me, I am a latke purist. A latke should be made with simple ingredients, yukon gold potatos, onion, egg, salt, matzoh meal, and be fried in a lots of oil, then served with homemade applesauce and sour cream.
Latkes from my Mother’s Kitchen
4 medium potatoes, cut in wedges
1 large onion, cut in wedges
3 tablespoons matzoh meal
1 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for frying (lots)
applesauce, sour cream
- Spread grated potatoes and onion on a kitchen towel and roll up jelly-roll style. Twist towel tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in egg and salt.
- Place shredding disc of food processor into mixing container. Closely pack potato and onion wedges into feed tube.
Process while using food pusher to press potatoes and onion onto shredding disc. Transfer to mixing bowel.
- Place steel cutting blade into container.
- Add matzoh meal and salt,and eggs. When necessary scrape down sides of mixing container with rubber spatula .
- Add shredded potatoes and onion and process for a few seconds until mixed.
- In one or two 12-inch skillets, heat oil to a depth of approximately 1/4 inch.
- Drop potato mixture by large spoonfuls into the oil. Flatten each mound slightly and fry in batches over medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides.
- Drain on paper towels, changing the towels frequently as they absorb the oil.
- To keep the finished pancakes warm and crisp while you fry the rest (or to reheat them if they were fried in advance), place them on a rack set over a cookie sheet in a preheated 300 degree oven.
- Between batches add more oil to the skillet if needed, and make sure that it is hot enough before dropping in more potato mixture.
Serve hot with applesauce and sour cream.
What I love about soup is that I get to chop, simmer and stir my way to dinner in one pot. Cauliflower is one of those wintry vegetables that you can always turn to, it blends into a bowl of swirling creamy deliciousness. You just may want to eat this soup wearing your comfy pj’s, like Yale and I do!
Yellow Cauliflower Soup with Shitake Mushrooms
This soup manages to be very creamy while still being vegan friendly.
- 1 Tbsp. oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg, plus more to taste
- 1 cups low-fat milk or almond milk, (we like almond milk)
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
- In a large pot over medium heat1 Tbsp. oil. Add onions and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat so onions are cooking but not browning, until onions look starchy and a bit creamy, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add cauliflower, stir to combine, cover and cook 3 minutes. Add broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook until cauliflower is tender to the bite, about 10 minutes.
- Purée soup with a hand-held blender. Or, whirl in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth (place a kitchen towel over blender to prevent potential burns).
- Stir in pepper and nutmeg.
- Add milk or almond milk and cook over medium-low heat until hot. Taste and add more salt, pepper, and/or nutmeg to taste, if you like.
- Garnish with parsley
For something different try roasting some mushrooms for garnish.
Roasted Shitake Mushrooms
½ pound fresh shitakes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Large pinch of sea salt
My yellow cauliflower.
Yellow cauliflower tastes almost the same as white cauliflower, but it looks incredibly striking and it’s higher in vitamin A!.
The cooler weather is here.
I am thinking about comfort food.
Vegan meatloaf may sound like a bit of an odd concept, but I can assure you that it is a tasty one.
There is even ketchup in the glaze.
This may not be your Mother’s meatloaf recipe, but it is now mine!
High in fiber and protein and low in fat.
The recipe will make 2 loafs so you will have leftovers.
Yale and I thought that it was even taster the next day.
Makes 2 loafs
- 1 cup uncooked green lentils (I am thinking that chickpeas would work well too)
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped and toasted
- 3 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup water
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups diced onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1/3 cup peeled and grated sweet apple
- 1/2 cup oats
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, you can use gluten free
- 2 tsp fresh thyme (or 3/4 tsp dried thyme)
- ¼ tsp dried mustard
- ¾ tsp salt & pepper, to taste
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Balsamic Dijon Glaze
- 2 Tbsp of ketchup
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Rinse lentils well. Place lentils into pot along with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 40-45 minutes. Stir frequently and add more water if needed. You wnat to overcook the lentils so it will be easy to mash them. Mash lentils slightly with the back of a spoon when ready.
- Toast walnuts at 325F for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside. Increase oven temp to 350F.
- Mix ground flax with water in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and onion for about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Then add in the diced celery, shredded carrot and apples. Sauté for about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together.
- Grease 2 loaf pans and line with parchment paper. Press mixture firmly into pan. Mix glaze ingredients and then spread on top of loaf.
- Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes, uncovered. Edges will be lightly brown. Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Do not slice while the loaf is hot. Wait about 10 minutes.