Carrot and Yam Soup – A Great Way To Lose Your Soup Virginity

Carrot and Yam Soup

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The completed Carrot and Yam Soup

Just the other day I pulled out one on my largest and heaviest cook books. I realized that on the inside of the cover I had scribbled a soup recipe for a Carrot and Yam Soup. The recipe was given to me from my sister-in-law back in 1991 and it was my very first homemade soup that I cooked up. The recipe was long forgotten about for about 2 decades. It seems as though my soup making lifetime has been about 23 years to date. Wow – where does time go?!

Ohh, Carrot and Yam Soup – the soup I lost my soup virginity to. I was curious to find out if it was as great as I remembered it. So I decided to make the soup yesterday evening.

The Verdict of Carrot and Yam Soup? Very refreshing indeed. I adjusted a few ingredients from the original recipe a tad. I added freshly squeezed juices versus concentrates and focussed on more ginger and some tasty garnishes on top. I would make this soup again in future. It is even better than what I remembered it!

Carrot and Yam Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil (plus 1/4 cup for frying yam shavings for garnish)
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2- 1/2 cups yams, chopped (keep a small chunk for rough shaved yam pieces for garnish)
  • 4 cups carrots, chopped
  • 3 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup of goat yogurt
  • lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • orange zest from 1 orange

Carrot and Yam Soup Instructions:

  1. Heat up olive oil in large pan. Saute onions on medium heat until soft for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in yam, carrot and ginger and saute for 3 more minutes.
  3. Add in vegetable stock, apple juice, orange juice, lemon juice, coriander, allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for about 40 minutes (or when carrots are soft).
  5. While soup is simmering, heat up 1/4 cup of oil in small pan and fry approx 1/2 cup of rougly shaved yam pieces in batches. When golden brown reserve yam pieces on a paper towel.
  6. Puree soup with blender. Be careful with hot liquids. If using hand blender take soup off of heat first.
  7. Heat soup back up on low/medium.
  8. Ladle soup in bowls.
  9. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of goat yogurt, some fried yam pieces and sprinkle of orange/lemon zest.

What I changed from original recipe:

  • used fresh lemon juice and fresh orange juice instead of concentrates, and more of both
  • used more onions
  • doubled the ginger
  • used fried shaved yam pieces, lemon/orange zest, orange slice and goat yogurt as garnish

Soup Mistress Rating for Carrot and Yam Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4.15/5) 

Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup – A Tasty Soup Not Acquainted With The Freezer

Parsnip Lentil Chipotle Soup

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The Completed Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup.

The other day, Jan Comerford Surgent (another soup-a-holic and Facebook friend) posted on Soup Mistress wall that she likes to cook up a tasty lentil and chorizo soup with chipotle pepper and shredded carrots. Yum, that did sound tasty and inspired me.

Since I am a big fan of chipotle pepper and I never attempted any kind of lentil soup in the past, Jan inspired me to look further. I went on my merry way and searched online for lentil soup recipes and one in particular grabbed my attention which had bacon. So I decided to run with the recipe with a few modifications plus taking Jan’s suggestions to use chipotle pepper.  I decided to use parsnips instead of carrots, since I had them on hand. I  also shredded the parsnips with Jan’s recommendation as well, instead of chopped.

The Verdict of Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup? This is one soup I wished I made two batches of because none made it to my freezer for a later date. I had a friend over to help me and the soup was well received with a request for a second bowl. Some lentil soups call for blending, but I don’t think this soup needs any blending what-so-ever – I like the tiny pieces of onion and contrast with the ingredients. This is one soup where the ingredients play really well together. I really liked the shredded parsnips and how they played into the soup background. This soup is a little on the spicy side – so no wussies allowed! If you feel like a milder soup – maybe use a small or half of a chipotle pepper but don’t omit it. The cilantro and dollop of goat yogurt cools the soup and plays well with the bacon and heat of the pepper. Yeppers, this soup will be made again in my home in the future, I am very sure of that!

Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup chopped bacon
  • 2 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups parsnips, shredded
  • 3 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 1 medium – large chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/8 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  •  ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (keeping some for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup goat yogurt
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Parsnip Red Lentil Chipotle Soup Instructions:

  1. Chop the bacon into small pieces and cook it over very medium-low heat in a heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Reserve the bacon on a plate with paper towel, leaving about a tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan to saute the onions.
  3. Saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  4. Add parsnip and tomato to the pan, stirring occasionally, and cook for about 2 more minutes.
  5. Add the bacon pieces, lentils, chipotle pepper, and the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Cover the pan and simmer until the lentils are soft (30 to 40 minutes). Check the soup occasionally to see if more liquid is needed; the lentils should be covered.
  6. Add lemon juice and cilantro, stir.
  7. Add the salt and pepper (to taste) and serve.
  8. Ladle in serving bowls, garnish with a tablespoon of goat yogurt and cilantro.

Original Recipe: http://www.recipetips.com/recipe-cards/t–1748/lentil-and-parsnip-soup.asp

What I Changed From Original Recipe:

  • used more bacon
  • added garlic
  • used parsnip only (no carrots), and shredded (not chopped)
  • added chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • used low sodium vegetable stock\added cilantro
  • added goat yogurt as garnish
  • added fresh lemon juice

Soup Mistress Rating for Parsnip Lentil Chipotle Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4.75/5) 

Thai Coconut Vegetarian Soup With Mock Noodles

Thai Coconut Vegetarian Soup

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Thai Coconut Vegetarian Soup With Mock Noodles

My brothers girlfriend (Leslie) sent me a wonderful Thai Coconut Chicken Rice Soup recipe that I decided to make this week with some modifications. I wanted to take her recipe and make it into a vegetarian soup similar to Happy Planets Thai Coconut Soup that I tried a few weeks back.

I added a fair bit of veggies to replace the chicken and rice.  Note: this is a large batch of soup to have as left overs or even freeze. My decision to omit rice is because I find rice gets too mushy the next day or when freezing. I decided to use bamboo shoots as a substitute for rice – they were some mighty fine mock noodles I must say! Happy Planets Thai Soup gave me the ideal of adding bamboo shoots.

The Verdict of Thai Coconut Vegetarian Soup? I think this soup should not be made without the red chile thai and lime juice. They both work together very well. The red thai gives it a superb heat (may be a tad too hot for some folks though) and the lime juice gives it a great acidic freshness. I love the bamboo shoots as a substitute for rice or noodles, they were almost noodle-like and thicker pieces than what Happy Planets soup had. This is also one soup that get’s better the next day – I had it 3 days in row for lunch and froze the rest for a later date.

Thai Coconut Vegetarian Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrot, julienned
  • 10 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red thai chile, finely chopped
  • 1 cup bamboo shoots, julienned
  • 1 can of baby corn, cut in thirds (if whole in can)
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, halved or quartered and bruised
  • 7 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can light unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2  cup fresh baby spinach
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lime rind
  • 1/8 cup lime juice
  • 4 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Thai Coconut Vegetarian Soup Instructions:

  1. Saute onions, garlic, and ginger for 3 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms, carrot, celery, red pepper, red thai chile, sauté for 3 more minutes.
  3. Add red curry paste, baby corn, bamboo shoots, lemongrass, vegetable broth, coconut milk. Bring to boil and turn down to simmer until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add baby spinach and cook until wilted.
  5. Add lime rind, lime juice, ground pepper.
  6. Ladle in bowls and garnish with cilantro and more pepper (if desired).

What I changed from the original recipe:

  • omitted chicken, rice, white sugar, snap peas
  • added 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • added lemon grass, bamboo shoots, red thai chile, baby corn, red curry paste, garlic
  • used low sodium vegetable broth instead of chicken broth
  • increased cilantro to 4 tablespoons

Soup Mistress Rating for Thai Coconut Vegetarian Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (4.5/5) 
Taste: (4.5/5) 

Yum Factor With Tomato Basil Organic Soup

tomato-organic-soup-1

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The Completed Tomato Basil Organic Soup

A while ago, Noel Pullen (@noelpullen) (another soup-a-holic like myself) shared Jamie Oliver’s Tomato Soup recipe with me along with his own modifications. I’ve been meaning to make this soup with Noel’s recommendations for quite some time. Noel made the soup a tad thicker (doubling the veggies and not the water/stock) and gave it some zing by adding peppercorns and increasing the amount of basil.

The Verdict? I purchased the same canned tomatoes and vegetable stock cubes that Noel used at Donalds Market (at the Westminster Quay). The canned plum tomatoes are really great and have a thick tomato base, which I think is what gives this soup a very yummy taste. These canned tomatoes don’t seem to be as watered down as other brands – I would buy them again. The extra basil and peppercorns really added some nice depth to the soup for sure. Two thumbs up for this soup and it’s modifications. I feel really healthy eating this soup because I used all organic vegetables! Yum factor indeed.

Ingredients for Plum Tomato Basil Organic Soup:
(Serves 10 – 12,  this is a big batch of soup – great to freeze as well)

  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes, preferably organic
  • 1.5 liters of boiling water
  • 2x 400g tins of plum tomatoes
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 20 large fresh basil leaves
  • sea salt
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated

Cooking Instructions for Plum Tomato Basil Organic Soup:

  1. Heat olive oil in large heavy pan (or pot) over medium-high heat.
  2. Add carrots, celery, garlic, onion and cook for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with the lid slightly on until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is lightly golden.
  3. Bring 1.5 liters of water to a boil and turn off. Stir in stock cubes until dissolved.
  4. Add stock to the pot with vegetables, as well as the canned and fresh whole tomatoes. Stir.
  5. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat. Season with salt and peppercorns and add the basil leaves.
  7. Using a hand blender or regular blender, puree the soup until smooth.
  8. To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls. Garnish with grated parmesan and a few small basil leaves. Serve immediately.

Original recipe here: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/soup-recipes/tomato-soup-updated

What was changed from Jamie Oliver’s Tomato Soup recipe:

  • increased to 20 big basil leaves
  • added 10 black peppercorns
  • doubled all the vegetables and not the liquid
  • added parmesan as a garnish (this was my modification)
  • used all organic vegetables

Soup Mistress Rating for Plum Tomato Basil Organic Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (5/5) 
Taste: (5/5) 

Crock-Pot Mexican Chili Beef Soup

Crock-Pot Mexican Chili Beef Soup

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The completed Crock-Pot Mexican Chili Beef Soup with Goat Yogurt and Cilantro as garnish.

Puddy Salivating

In the wintertime I like to make a thick chili with stewing beef in my Crock-Pot. I  prepare all the ingredients in the morning and turn on the Crock-Pot all day. Unfortunately, my all day Crock-Pot cooking drives my dog crazy. He seems to hang out more in the kitchen smelling around and salivating – poor fella.

But yesterday,  I decided to take my regular chili recipe and make it a little different by adding a fair bit of tasty broth. So, I am going to call it Crock-Pot Mexican Chili Beef Soup instead.

The verdict? In the past, I would just add more water to make my chili thinner, but with this recipe I added one of my favorite vegetable broths (and more of it) and boy it make a BIG difference. I can just lap up this chili soup with a few pieces of yummy buttered bread. But wait, maybe I can attribute the taste bud enhancements to another new ingredient I added to my chili? The new ingredient was Skillet’s Chipotle Pumpkin Sauce (a sister product of Skillet Bacon Spread that I so love). I’m thinking the combination of all ingredients, the broth and the Chipotle Pumpkin sauce made a very tasty chili soup. Or maybe it was the slow and long cooking process of my Crock-Pot? Hmmn, maybe so, but this one is a keeper and I am happy a made a big batch to freeze.

Note: The recipe below serves about 15 – you can half all ingredients. I made a big batch with intentions of freezing a few Ziplocs.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups white onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 750 ml diced can tomatoes in juice
  • 2 x 150 ml cans of tomato paste
  • 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped (seeds and white out)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoon tex mex spice (or chili powder)
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons skillet chipotle pumpkin sauce
  • dash of pepper (to taste)
  • 1.25 Kg stewing beef, in chunks
  • 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup goat yogurt (or sour cream)
  • fresh cilantro

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Add the following ingredients into Crock-Pot: diced tomatoes(with juice), tomato paste, serrano chili, cumin, tex mex, oregano, cayenne, chipotle pumpkin sauce, and pepper.
  2. Turn the Crock-Pot on low to get it heated up.
  3. Heat olive oil in heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; cook 5 minutes, or until onions are softened. Add to Crock-Pot
  4. Using the same heavy pan brown beef cubes in batches. Add to Crock-Pot
  5. Add vegetable broth to Crock-Pot.
  6. Place lid on Crock-Pot and simmer for at least 7 – 8 hours
  7. Add in strained kidney beans, place lid back on and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls. Garnish with some goat yogurt (or sour cream) and fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.

What I changed from my original chile recipe:

  • Added 3 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
  • Add Skillet Chipotle Pumpkin Sauce

Soup Mistress Rating for Crock-Pot Mexican Chili Beef Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4.5/5)

Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup – A Recipe Makeover

Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup

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The completed vegetable wonton miso soup.

I really enjoy cooking with wonton wrappers and a huge fan of various wonton soups. I was on a hunt for something different from the regular shrimp or pork wonton soups. I  bumped into a Miso Soup with Sweet Potato Dumplings recipe on my Epicurious App and decided to make it.

Did you know? Miso is high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals. Also some studies suggest that miso can help treat radiation sickness, citing cases in Japan and Russia where people have been fed miso after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More about Miso on Wikipedia here.

The Verdict of this soup? I first made the soup following the recipe exactly, but I found it quite bland. I decided to make it a second time and I adjusted some of the ingredients. Adding a tasty vegetable broth (instead of water), carrots, cremini mushrooms and some sesame oil made a big difference for my taste buds. I renamed it Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup and I would make it again with the adjustments. Also, I found this recipe not super great for left overs the next day because the sweet potato wontons get a little too soggy for my liking. If you are keeping left overs for next day, I would keep the wontons separate from the broth in another container.

Ingredients for Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup:

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups bok choy, sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, julienne or shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 wonton wrappers
  • 3 tablespoons white miso
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Cooking Instructions for Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Prick holes in potatoes. Bake on a baking sheet until soft, turning once, about 1 hour. (If using a large sweet potato like I did, leave more longer in the oven.)
  2. Cool potato, then peel and mash.
  3. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic and shallot, stirring, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir garlic mixture, pepper flakes, salt and pepper into potatoes.
  5. Place bok choy, sprouts, mushroom, and carrots in a pot with 4 cups vegetable broth. Start to heat up soup.
  6. Lay out wonton wrappers on a cutting board. Drop a heaping tablespoon of potato mixture in the center of each. Spray with a fine mist of water and gather edges together and pinch to seal the pockets.
  7. Set wontons (dumplings) on top of vegetables in pot. Bring to a boil.
  8. Cook, covered, until wrappers are translucent, 3 to 6 minutes.
  9. Divide veggies and wontons among 4 bowls.
  10. Add 2 cups water to another pot. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add miso, stirring until it dissolves.
  11. Divide among bowls; top with scallions.

Original Recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Miso-Soup-with-Sweet-Potato-Dumplings-240809

What I changed from original recipe:

  • replaced canola oil with olive oil
  • added sesame oil
  • used less salt
  • used vegetable broth instead of water
  • added some shredded carrots – needed some contrast
  • added cremini mushrooms
  • omitted edamame

Soup Mistress Rating for Vegetable Wonton Miso Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4/5) 

Potato, Yam and Parsnip Chipotle Soup

Yam Potato Parsnip Chipolte Soup

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The completed Yam Potato Parsnip Chipolte Soup (vegetarian version with no chorizo)

Just yesterday, I made parsnip, yam and potato hash with poached eggs for breakfast. I really liked the buttery spicy taste of parsnips and how they played well with yams and potatoes. I thought to myself, “why not mix the three together in a soup?”

So I was on a hunt for a recipe and went on my merry way to Google. I must have looked at more than 20 recipes online and I decided to do my own rendition and simply call it Potato, Yam and Parsnip Chipotle Soup.

The verdict? Well, this soup is definitely one of my top five soups so far. I can’t wait to make this soup for friends or family. I really think the superstar ingredient is chipotle pepper in adobo sauce!

This soup is:

  • vegetarian (if you exclude the chorizo from recipe or use a soy-based alternative)
  • vegan (if you exclude the chorizo from recipe or use a soy-based alternative)
  • gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped small
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups yam, peeled and chopped small
  • 2 cups new potatoes, peels on and chopped small
  • 3 cups parsnips, peeled and chopped small
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped small
  • 1 – 10 oz chorizo sausage, cut in thin slices
  • 1 bunch of chives

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, saute until soft, about 5 minutes.Season with dash of pepper.
  2. Add yams, potatoes and parsnips, saute about 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in vegetable broth and cumin, bring soup to boil. Reduce heat, simmer covered 20 minutes.
  4. Keeping 3 cups of potato, yam, parsnip aside. Puree the soup with chipotle pepper in a blender or food processor. Puree in batches if you need to.
  5. Return soup to pan with 2 cups of reserved solids (potato, yam, parsnip) and chives, gently heat through. If you want a thinner soup, add vegetable stock to your liking.
  6. In a separate pan, fry up chorizo for 2 minutes on medium to high heat.
  7. To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls and top with reserved solids, chorizo sausage and chives. Serve immediately.

The closest recipe I found was Sweet Potato and Chipolte Soup here.

What I changed from original recipe:

  • added chives
  • added parsnips
  • added potatoes
  • added additional clove of garlic
  • added chorizo sausage
  • replaced chicken broth with low sodium vegetable stock
  • omitted sour cream and tortilla wedges

Soup Mistress Rating for Potato, Yam and Parsnip Chipolte Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5)
Presentation: (5/5) 
Taste: (5/5) 

Six Mushroom Soup – A Meatless Meaty Soup

Six mushroom soup

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The completed six mushroom soup.

The other day I picked up a large tray of chanterelle mushrooms at Costco for a great deal. I first thought of sauteing them for dinner just by themselves, but decided to make my very first wild mushroom soup.

I found a decent looking wild mushroom soup recipe on Epicurious (link below) and decided to use it as my base but with a few tweaks.

The verdict? This one is a great meatless meaty soup! I would make it again, but with a few minor tweaks. I found that it was a tad too thick, so I would omit the soya flour next time.

I have plans to redo many soups in the future and I will be:

  • cutting calories and trimming fat from some favorite recipes
  • adjusting so they are vegetarian, gluten-free as well as vegan – where I can
  • adjusting dried herbs for fresh herbs
  • adjusting processed foods for natural and/or organic – where I can
  • adjusting highly acidic forming recipes to be more alkaline forming (healthier for you)

This soup makeover is:

  • vegetarian
  • gluten-free

Six Mushroom Soup Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 cups button mushrooms, chopped
  • 5 cups chanterelle mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cups gourmet dried mixed mushrooms (porcini, shiitake, yellow boletes, oyster)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons gran marnier
  • 2 tablespoons soya flour
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (low sodium)
  • 1/2  cup goat yogurt

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Soak dried mushrooms in water for 15 minutes (while prepping everything else), then drain (reserving liquid) and chop.
  2. Heat olive oil in heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic, saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add all mushrooms (fresh and dried) and thyme, saute until mushrooms begin to brown, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add in gran marnier, stir 30 seconds, then mix flour in.
  5. Slowly stir in vegetable broth and reserved juice from dried mushroom soak, bring soup to boil. Season with dash salt and pepper. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered 15 minutes.
  6. Puree soup (keeping 2 cups of mushrooms aside for garnish)
  7. Return soup to pot, and gently heat through.
  8. To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls and top with reserved mushrooms and goat yogurt. Serve immediately.

Original soup that I tried to recreate: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Fresh-Wild-Mushroom-Soup-233131

What I changed from original recipe:

  • replaced butter with olive oil
  • added garlic
  • used a different mix of mushrooms
  • replaced brandy with gran marnier
  • replaced all-purpose flour with soya flour (I think this recipe does not need flour what-so-ever though, I would omit this the next time)
  • replaced beef broth with low sodium vegetable stock
  • added goat yogurt as a garnish
  • I pureed the soup and had some mushrooms reserved as a garnish (original recipe did not call for puree)

Soup Mistress Rating for Six Mushroom Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5) 
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4/5) 

 

Red Cabbage and Apple Soup – A Recipe Makeover

Red Cabbage and Apple Soup

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Completed Red Cabbage and Apple Soup

If you are into sweet and sour soups, then this soup is for you. The apple cider vinegar adds a bite to it, so beware if you are not into that. This soup can be made a day before serving and refrigerated. I personally like this soup, but find it much more tastier the next day.

I have plans to redo many soups in the future and I will be:

  • cutting calories and trimming fat from some favorite recipes
  • adjusting so they are vegetarian, gluten-free as well as vegan – where I can
  • adjusting dried herbs for fresh herbs
  • adjusting processed foods for natural and/or organic – where I can
  • adjusting highly acidic forming recipes to be more alkaline forming (healthier for you)

This soup makeover is:

  • vegetarian
  • vegan (exclude the goat yogurt from recipe or use a soy-based alternative)
  • gluten-free

Red Cabbage and Apple Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 7 cups thinly sliced cored red cabbage (about 1 med head)
  • 1-1/2 cup large onion, chopped
  • 8 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 5 cups low-salt vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 large apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • dash salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of plain goat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Cooking Instructions:

Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage and onion; sauté until soft, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add 8 thyme sprigs and sauté 1 minute longer. Add broth, water, apple cider vinegar, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon stick, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

In a separate heavy large skillet heat 1 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and sauté until brown and tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Add apples to soup pot, season with dash of salt and pepper, simmer for 10 minutes longer.

Remove thyme sprigs, cloves and cinnamon stick from soup.

Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with a large scoop of plain goat yogurt and chopped fresh thyme.

Enjoy!

Original Recipe that I tried and adjusted: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cabbage-Soup-with-Apples-and-Thyme-107249

What I changed from original recipe:

  • replaced butter with olive oil
  • replaced green cabbage with red cabbage
  • added cloves
  • added cinnamon stick
  • added nutmeg
  • replaced chicken broth with vegetable broth
  • added apple cider vinegar
  • added water
  • added plain goat yogurt

Soup Mistress Rating for Red Cabbage and Apple Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (5/5)
Presentation: (4/5) 
Taste: (4/5)

Spicy Corn and Chorizo Soup – A Recipe Makeover

Spicy Corn Chorizo Soup

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The Completed Spicy Corn Chorizo Soup


Ah, nothing beats the taste of fresh sweet corn from the local farmers market!

By mid September I am usually bored of eating fresh corn off the husk. So why not enjoy sweet fresh corn by spicing it up with other ingredients in a soup?

I have plans to redo many soups in the future and I will be:

  • cutting calories and trimming fat from some favourite recipes
  • adjusting so they are vegetarian, gluten-free as well as vegan – where I can
  • adjusting dried herbs for fresh herbs
  • adjusting processed foods for natural and/or organic – where I can
  • adjusting highly acidic forming recipes to be more alkaline forming (healthier for you)

This soup makeover is:

  • vegetarian (if you exclude the chorizo from recipe or use a soy-based alternative)
  • vegan (if you exclude the chorizo from recipe or use a soy-based alternative)
  • gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves, finely chopped
  • 1lb (4oz/550g) corn kernels (approx. 4 large husks)
  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 cups soya milk (or goat yogurt, if you use instead add 1.5 cups and change vegetable stock to 3 cups)
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • dash salt and pepper
  • 2oz/55g thinly sliced chorizo sausage
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Cooking Instructions:

Heat the oil in large, heavy-bottom pan. Add onions and garlic, cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the corn, cover, and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock, half the milk, the serrano chile, cumin, oregano and season with dash salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat right away, then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Stir in the remaining milk. Set aside about 1 cup of the soup solids, draining off as much liquid as possible. Transfer the remaining soup to a food processor or blender and process to a coarse puree.

Return the soup to the pan and stir in the reserved soup solids, the chorizo, lime juice, lime zest and cilantro. Reheat to the simmering point, stirring constantly. Ladle into warmed bowls and serve at once.

Enjoy!

Original Recipe that I tried and adjusted: from page 124 of the hardback book “Soup Bowl – An inspiring collection of soups, broths, and chowders”, by Parragon books, 2007

What I changed from original recipe:

  • replaced corn oil with olive oil
  • replaced frozen corn with fresh corn
  • replaced chicken stock with organic low sodium vegetable stock
  • added cumin
  • added oregano
  • added lemon zest
  • changed milk to soy milk (also tried goats yogurt on other occasions)
  • changed 2 tablespoons of cilantro to 3 – just because I so love cilantro!

Soup Mistress Rating for Spicy Corn and Chorizo Soup Recipe Makeover:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5)
Presentation: (5/5) 
Taste: (5/5)