The power of soup is strong. Last week over 40 thousand people gathered at Woodbine Park for Soupstock, a one-day celebration that features soup created by over 200 Canadian chefs to raise funds to support community action against the Mega-Quarry. Two of those chefs are friends of mine, Lisa Kates, aka A Food Gypsy and Joanna Sable, from Bumpercrop, both are cooks extraordinaire. Lisa made a rich caramelized beer onion soup topped with Bumpercrop’s Cameron’s Beer Onions and baguette from Knead Bakery. A group of us volunteers met at , a cozy little spot in the Junction to do our cooking, we came to peel onions, chop onions and caramelize onions. I went home smelling like an onion!
Lisa Kates and Gail Gordon Oliver, from Edible Toronto having some fun at the Dep while the onions simmer.
Lisa and Joanna serving up soup at Soupstock
Me at Soupstock eating the delicious Onion Soup made by A Food Gypsy with Joanna Sable from Bumpercrop.
The power of soup is strong. I was in the kitchen again as a volunteer, this time at Holy Blossom Temple to help prepare soup to bring to people in need of some warmth over the winter months to follow. I was so surprised how quickly 28 woman can work together to make soup. Keeping us stirring the pot was guest chef, food writer, and author Lucy Waverman. While the soup simmered Rabbi Karen Thomashow stirred a little spirituality into the evening, leading a discussion about the mitzvah of bikur cholim. I went home with 2 new soup recipes and the knowledge of how something so simple like soup can bring people together!
Lucy Waverman giving us a knife demo.
The soup is simmering.
Organizer Jill Hertzman with the finished soup all ready to go in the freezer.
Here are the 2 recipes from Lucy Waverman that we made:
Multi Bean Minestone
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 tsp of minced garlic
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 28 oz can tomatoes, chopped with juice
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- 4 cups stock or water
- 1 can romano or other beans drained
- 1 bunch spinach, stemmed and chopped
- 1 cup zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup short pasta (macaroni, orzo, etc)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Grated Parmesan
- In large soup pot, on medium heat, add oil. Sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic for 2 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes, herbs, chili flakes, stock, spinach, zucchini and pasta. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add beans and simmer 10 minutes longer or until pasta is tender. Season well with salt and pepper. Serve with grated parmesan.
Serves 6 to 8
Sweet Potato and Pear Soup
The sweeter the pears, the more heat and acid you need to balance the taste.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ¼ cup chopped carrot
- ¼ cup chopped celery
- large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 pear, peeled and diced
- teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 5 cups vegetable stock, low salt canned or home made
- ¼ cup whipping cream, optional
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or to taste
- 4 teaspoons lime juice or to taste
Heat oil in a pot on medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté for 1 minute. Add sweet potato, pear and thyme and sauté about 2 minutes. Add paprika and chicken broth. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until sweet potato is soft.
Serves 6 to 8
I just came home with basket full of honey crisp apples, perfect for this recipe.
We ate this salad two days in a row for lunch – to great fanfare from Yale and guess what, not a protest from Gordy. I am pretty sure it was the honey in the poppy seed dressing and crisp apples in the salad that won him over, I can be sure it was not the kale!
This is a great salad to pack for lunch as you can dress the salad and it is still crunchy at luch time.
Ingredients for the salad:
- 1/2 to a full bunch kale
- 1 -2 apples, sliced thin (pears would be great if you did not have apples)
- 3 radishes, sliced thin
- 1 cup cabbage, sliced thin
- 1 cup radicchio, sliced thin
- 1 avocado, cut into small cubes
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- a big handful of pumpkin seeds
- a big handful of dried cranberries, (look for the unsweetened kind, which you can find in most health food stores). I have been using Prana Organic Cranberries, they are fruit juice sweetened.
- 1 block of tofu cut into small bit sized cubes, (optional)
- Wash and dry the kale. Cut out and discard the tough stems. Arrange the leaves into stacks, slice crosswise into 1/4-inch ribbons, and add to the bowl
- Core the apples, cut them into 1-1/2-inch-long matchsticks, and add to the bowl.
- Slice the raddishes, cabbage, and raddico and add to the salad
- Half the cherry tomatoes and add to the salad
- Dice avacodo into small chuncks and add
- Add tofu cubes
- Add pumpkin seeds and cranberries
- Toss everthink well with the poppyseed dressing and eat.
Ingredients for the dressing:
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons honey, check for sweetness, you can always add more
- 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- start with1/2 cup of vegetable oil, your may need more. I like to use an organic grapeseed oil
- 1/3 cup small-dice red onion
- Place the vinegar, honey, mustard, poppy seeds, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Whisk to combine.
While whisking add the oil slowly until all of it is incorporated.
Lately I have been using Wildwood Sprouted Tofu.
Prana Organic Cranberries
The trees are changing colours.
I have just raked the leaves
and I am craving a big bowl of hot chili
This is dinner.
- 1 to 2 tablespoonolive oil
- 1 large chopped onion
- 1 medium diced yellow or red bell pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 teaspoon chile powder, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds) – cut into cubes.
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook, stirring, a few more minutes.
- Stir in beans, tomatoes, chiplotes, chili powder, oregano and salt.
- Simmer, covered, 10 minutes.
- Add cubes of butternut squash.
- Continue cooking, covered for 30 minutes or until squash is tender.
If you want to add some ground meat (1 lb) to this chili, cook the meat with the onions and bell peppers for about 10 minutes or until the meat has browned.
If you like a thicker chili, you can puree one or two cups in the blender and then add back to the pot.
If you have the time make the chili early in the day so the flavours have time to develop.
Sorry Gordy, the oven is not turned to 350 degrees. The butter is not coming to room temp and the sugar and the flour are still in the pantry, but on the counter are raw walnuts, almonds, fresh soft dates and cacao powder. I am making raw chocolate brownies.
The great thing about these brownies is that I keep them frozen. This means that you can just open up the freezer and cut yourself off a bite when a sweet craving hits which is just about every night, ask Yale she is just as addicted as I am! I have even tempted Gordy to have a taste, it is chocolate after all… he still loves his cupcakes and lately donuts but I think I can get him to come on over to the raw brownie side!
Here is a very easy recipe. You can make it your own by adding some unsweetened coconut, orange zest, cacao chips, dried cherries, apricots, you get the idea.
- 2 cups whole walnuts (or pecans)
- 2 ½ cups Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup raw cacao powder
- 1 cup raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped or any nut you like.
- ¼ tsp. pink Himalayan salt
1. Place walnuts in food processor and blend until the nuts are finely ground.
2. Add the cacao powder and salt. Pulse to combine.
3. Add the dates one at a time through the feed tube of the food processor while it is running. What you should end up with is a mixture that when pressed with your fingers will stick together, (if the mixture does not hold together well, you will need more dates).
4. In a large bowl combine the walnut-cacao mix with the chopped almonds. Press into a lined cake pan, (I line my glass Pyrex with parchment paper).
Place in freezer or fridge until ready to serve, best to eat when they are very cold or frozen.
My grandmother Jenny Mandel nee Schwartz, came from Minsk, Russia when she was just a baby. Her mother Mary who I am named after made gefilte fish for her family on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. When Jenny was old enough to learn her mother taught her and her sisters, Sarah and Edith.
It all starts with fresh fish. According to my mother, Jenny would pick out her fish, ten pounds of white fish and always one Pike, once home the fish were kept alive in the only bathtub in the house. The next day newspaper would be spread around the floor and kitchen table, the fishmonger would stop by…it was time to kill the fish. As a child my mother never took a bath and she never ate the fish!
When Jenny was in her 80’s it was time to teach my mother Irene. From then on twice a year my mother would make the gefilte fish with her late best friend Theda Warner. I know that they had a long fun day of cooking, chopping, cleaning and lots of good gossip! And fortunately we don’t have to worry about the bathtub, we can buy our fish already cleaned from Nortown!
Well, my mother turned 80 this year so I guess it is time I learn to make the fish!
I hope to carry on the tradition with my grandmother’s handwritten recipe.
My mother Irene.