African-Inspired Chicken and Vegetable Stew

African Chicken Stew

This soup is one of the reasons I am glad we have real winters in Vancouver. (Sorry to the rest of Canada, I know we don’t have Real Winters like you do, but it seems cold enough to me.) I’m happy eat soup year round, but I know some people like to keep it to the colder months, so here’s one more for you, while we have this intermittent warm and cold Spring weather.

I know it might seem odd to add almond butter to soup, but trust me, it is awesome! It adds a creaminess in a way you cannot imagine until you eat it; it is creamy without any dairy. Plus there’s a little extra protein in it.

This recipe comes from this website. One thing I changed was adding 1/3 cup almond butter instead of 1/2 cup. I also changed the order of the cooking; I like to brown the chicken first, and the recipe called for adding it later with the broth and tomato.

Enjoy, because this is so good!

What you need:

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups tomato purée
  • 2 & 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes  peeled and cut into 2-3cm pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • one minced fresh chili or 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup almond butter

What you do:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and allow them to brown on each side.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions, cooking for about 5 minutes, until softened. Now add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and chill, then pour in the chicken stock and tomato purée. Cover the pot and bring it to a simmer; leaving it with the lid on for about 40 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  4. Add the red peppers; take the lid off and cook for about 10 more minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken pieces and take the meat off the bone. Use two forks pull the chicken apart, then put the chicken back into the soup.
  6. Just before serving, stir in the almond butter.
  7. Serve as is, or top it with a little cilantro.

I Love Lunch – New Category for Leftovers

lunchbag - trust in kim

One of my weekly routines takes place on Sundays in the afternoon or evening. I choose a recipe that I think will be great for leftovers, and I prepare it and store individual portions in my fridge. I’ve been doing this for years so that I can have healthy and delicious lunches, and not have to worry about preparing meals during a busy work week.

Today I went through all my previous recipe posts and created a category called ‘Makes Great Leftovers’ so you that you can easily find recipes that you can use for leftovers. There are a lot of soups, stews, salads and other one-dish meals. Quite a few are vegetarian or vegan, but there are also a lot of recipes with meat.

Hope it’s helpful!

Kim

Duck Broth (or Chicken)

P1040954

 

This the duck that keeps on giving. It began as a roast duck, then was turned into this broth which was used to make a delicious mushroom and duck risotto, as well as a tomato soup. You could substitute chicken to make this if you don’t happen to have duck.

This recipe is as simple as putting everything in a pot to simmer for a number of hours, then giving it time to cool before refrigerating it.

Thanks again Tony, the Accidental Agrarian, for the duck!

What you need:

  • 1 duck or chicken carcass
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 or 2 carrots
  • 1 knob of ginger, sliced
  • a few cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 2 pieces of star anise
  • a bunch of parsley stems, if you have them

What you do:

  1. Put everything in a stock pot and cover with cold water. Bring it to a slow simmer and skim of any foam.
  2. Keep on a low simmer – just barely bubbling – for 3 to 4 hours, or more if you have the time.
  3. Strain off the liquid from the bones and vegetables and discard the solids. I use a fine sieve to do this, and line it with some cheesecloth if I want to keep all the fine bits out.
  4. Allow to cool to room temperature. I put the broth into canning jars and place them in a sink of cold water, changing the water when it gets warm. If it is cold enough outside I just put it out for the night.
  5. You can use it up or keep it for a few months in the freezer.

Roasted Butternut Soup with Apples and Bacon

Roasted Butternut Soup - trust in kim

Roasting the squash with apples and just one slice of bacon brings so much flavour to this soup. Mark Bittman wrote this recipe as a chowder, in which you leave everything whole, but I was really in the mood for a puréed soup. And it was lovely and velvety this way. I plan to try it again one day using different vegetables.

The cookbook this one came from is called The Food Matters Cookbook. I changed the recipe by using only one slice of bacon for flavour instead of four, omitting the oil because the bacon gave it some fat, and then I puréed it instead of leaving pieces whole.

To make this a vegan recipe you can easily omit the bacon and just drizzle the vegetables with a little olive oil before roasting.

It makes about 4 servings.

What you need:

  • 1 butternut squash, about 1 & 1/2 pounds
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 slice bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 cup white wine or water
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Peel it with a vegetable peeler and cut it into cubes. Place the cubes on a deep roasting pan along with the onion, apples and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put the bacon pieces over top of the vegetables. Roast, stirring a few times throughout the process, for about 45 minutes. At this time the apples should be tender and the bacon should be crisp.
  3. Take the roasting pan out of the oven and stir in the sage and wine, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer everything to a large pot, unless your roasting pan can be put on the stove top. If so, continue the next step in the roasting pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the stock and cook until the squash begins to break up a little, about 25 minutes.
  5. Let the soup cool slightly before putting it into a blender in batches. Purée until it is very smooth, then return to the pot to reheat. Taste and adjust seasonings before servings.

This one is really good for leftovers too, but you might need to thin it out by adding a little stock, wine or water when reheating.

 

John’s Spicy Lentil Soup

lentil soup - trust in kim

lentil soup - trust in kim

 

My good friend John made this soup for me a while back. We both wanted to eat something pretty healthy and warming, and something that wouldn’t take too long to cook. Don’t be afraid of the word ‘spicy;’ it has a only hint of chill, but loads of flavour.

John’s recipe is vegan, using vegetable broth, but I used chicken broth and added some chicken pieces that I had left over. Both versions are super tasty. I also used less olive oil; the original recipe says 3 tablespoons and I used about one.

The recipe is from the Food Network.

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (or ground if that’s what you have)
  • 1/2 cup green lentils
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1 small dried chili, crushed
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • leftover chicken, shredded or diced (optional)
  • salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

What you do:

  1. Drizzle the oil in a large pot and sauté the onion on medium heat until golden.
  2. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the garlic is golden.
  3. Add the stock, lentils, chili, carrots, celery, bay leaves and optional chicken to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Uncover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add the vinegar, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Thanks for the recipe John!

John Cloutier - trust in kim
Chef John

Hearty Minestrone

minestrone

This delicious and hearty soup comes from the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, and it is definitely a keeper. I like that it has a lot of vegetables in it, but it gets a boost of flavour from the pancetta (use bacon as a substitute if you don’t have pancetta) and the Parmesan rind. I throw the rinds into the freezer when I have them so I can put them in soups and sauces. If you don’t have one, just add a little extra Parmesan in at the end.

What you need:

  •  3 oz pancetta, cut into small pieces
  • olive oil
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 small head green cabbage (I used Napa)
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 small hot pepper
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth (homemade is best)
  • 1 Parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 & 1/2 cups V8 juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • grated Parmesan cheese

What you do:

  1. Chop the celery, carrot, onions and zucchini into 2cm pieces.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a very large pot oven medium heat, then add the pancetta. Cook until it is lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring often, for 5-9 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, cabbage, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pepper flakes and cook for a minute or two, or until the cabbage begins to wilt. Place the vegetables on a baking tray and set aside.
  4. Add the beans, water, broth, Parmesan rind and bay leaf to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Add the vegetables and V8 juice to the pot and cook about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  6. Discard the bay leaf and Parmesan rind. Stir in the basil and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve with olive oil and Grated Parmesan cheese.

Cauliflower Leek Soup

cauliflower leek soup

Because of my ongoing quest for soup recipes, and because of my newly acquired blender I have been searching for more puréed soup recipes. The ingredients are really simple, so in my opinion the success of this recipe depends largely on using a quality broth. I used my homemade chicken stock, but you could use a flavourful vegetable one to make it a vegan recipe. I make up a big batch of stock, then freeze it in portions to use in future soup recipes. A bit of work to do ahead of time, but it’s really handy and makes better soups.

I found this recipe on freshtart.com, and I made two changes: I cut the amount of oil in half (1 tablespoon per portion is too much for me), and I didn’t serve it with the fried shrimp on top, although this sounds yummy.

Serves 4

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 heaping cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth (homemade is always best)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 generous handfuls of spinach
  • 2 tablespoons chives, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sea salt to taste

What you do:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the leek to it and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower and garlic and sauté for 5 more minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the bay leaf.
  4. Place the spinach and chives in the blender, then add the cauliflower and broth and purée until smooth. If the liquid is hot it will make a bit of an explosion, se be careful. You could purée on very low to start, then allow some steam to escape, and then continue until it is smooth.
  5. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Drizzle with a little olive oil to serve, and add some minced chives for garnish if you like.