Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Soup With Chilli Oil – Great Warm Up For New Year Resolutions!

Happy New Year and welcome to 2016! Let’s make it a souptastic year!

After the holidays drinking and eating naughty, New Years is a proper time again to start thinking about feeding our bodies warm and healthy soups. I love healthy soups and I am hoping to make more this year so that they will keep me fueled for my biggest goal for 2016 – my very first ever triathlon in May. Just the other day, I was sifting through Jamie Oliver’s Recipe Yearbook and this Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Soup with Chilli Oil  caught my attention. I love many of Jamie’s recipes because he seems to use a fair bit of Indian inspired spices and root vegetables  – and who doesn’t love parsnips?

The Verdict of Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Soup with Chilli Oil

I love the garlic chilli oil with this warm spicy and filling lentil soup – it definitely adds a nice layer and it looks oh so pretty! The fresh mint with the Masala spices really play together very well. I am surprised how filling this soup is – it must be the meaty red lentils. The soup is comforting and fulfilling. But, there is always room for improvement. If I was to make this soup again in the future,  I would fry a lot more garlic pieces separately and add with them with oil as the garnish. I personally like having some chunks of goodness as I think it gets a tad boring with smooth puree soups. You need to add multiple levels of goodness!

Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Soup with Chilli Oil Ingredients:
Serves 4 -6
Soup:
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 400g parsnips, scrubbed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 250g red lentils
  • 1.6 litres vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves, finely shredded to serve

Chill Oil:

  • 3 Tablespoon oil
  • 2 red chillies, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic, finely sliced
Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Soup with Chilli Oil Instructions:
  • To make the chili oil, place the oil in a small pan over a very low heat. Add the chillies and garlic and warm through for 5 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t brown. Set aside to steep while making the soup.  The oil can be strained before using or left as is, depending how you like it.
  • For the soup, head the olive oil in a large pot and add the onion. Cook gently, stirring often, for 5 minutes then add the parsnips, masala and ginger and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add the lentils and vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are nice and soft.
  • Puree the soup until smooth in blender or with hand immersion wand, being careful with the hot liquid.
  • Serve the soup with the chills oil and mint.
Original Recipe: Jamie Oliver’s Recipe Yearbook, Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Soup With Chilli Oil.
What I changed from original recipe:
  • I did not use hamhock as I wanted a veggie version
  • I substituted rogan josh paste with garam masala dried spice
  • I omitted yogurt as a garnish
  • I substituted groundnut oil with olive oil for the chilli oil.
Soup Mistress Rating For Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Soup with Chilli Oil:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5) 
Presentation: (4.5/5 )
Taste: (3.75/5) 

Roasted Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup or Vice Versa

Serve up[

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Serve with a few pieces of fried sage and a swirl of cashew cream.

After a few recent visits to Nuba restaurant in Vancover-  it has inspired my Scottish sous chef and I to create more cauliflower dishes lately. Nuba has a killer Cauliflower Najib’s special, if you ever make it there, do make sure you order it. My Scottish sous chef decided to make this yummy soup for us after a beautiful day of cross-country skiing in the Callaghan Valley, BC, Canada.

The Verdict of Roasted Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup?

This soup is tasty and very much filling – the parsnips dominate the cauliflower and we both liked the parsnips. I think the soup should have been called “Parsnip Cauliflower Soup” instead of “Cauliflower Parsnip Soup”.  No herb stood out that much either, but that being said, the herbs and spices worked well in this delightful bowl of liquid! I would make it again.

Roasted Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped
  • 4 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 shallots, cut in half
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • dash of sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
Roasted Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking tray or two with tin foil.
  2. Lay cauliflower, parsnips, shallots, and garlic, out on foil, and drizzle with olive oil, thyme, sage, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast veggies for about 35-40 min, or until they’re soft and golden brown.
  4. Place veggies in a high speed blender (you may have to work in batches) and add broth and almond milk. Blend until soup is smooth and creamy, adding more liquid if you need to. We added about 2 more cups. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender.
  5. Transfer soup to a pot and re-season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6.  Serve with a few pieces of fried sage and a swirl of cashew cream.
Original Soup Recipe: http://www.choosingraw.com/roasted-cauliflower-and-parsnip-soup/

What My Scottish Sous Chef Changed From Original Recipe:

  • Used almond milk instead of rice, soy, or coconut milk
  • Used 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Added fried sage as garnish
  • Added a dollop of cashew cream
  • Used more vegetable broth – 5 to 6 cups. Was originally too thick.

Soup Mistress Rating for Roasted Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup:

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

Taste: (4/5) 

Parsnip & Turnip Soup at Fairmont Chateau Whistler – A Perfect Apres Ski Warmer Upper

Over a week ago, I took a beautiful drive up to Whistler and stayed the weekend. My time there was filled with a lot of fun – dining, spaing  and sking. I had the opportunity to catchup with old friends that I previously worked with at a tech startup a few years back. Nicole, now from Florida gave me a shout and invited me to stay with her at Chateau Fairmont Whistler and I felt spoiled. Nice hotel and great fine dining.

After being outside for the day enjoying the snow and blue skies, I went for dinner at The Wildflower Restaurant in The Fairmont and ordered the soup of the day, which was a Parsnip & Turnip Soup with Bacon.

The Verdict of Fairmont Chateau’s Parsnip and Turnip Soup with Bacon?
Well…let’s just say this soup purred with bacon and the root vegetables were delectable. This soup was rich, tad sweet with an earthy warm base. The root chips were a superb touch for a garnish. The serving size was just right – not to big nor too small. I had just enough room to have the Quinoa risotto afterwards. The soup was a great warm bread dipper and I loved how this restaurant serves up a basket of variety of breads. I loved the fact that the soup had maple syrup and lee and persons – two ingredients I never used in soup and may do so in the future!

I have to give kudos to the waiter. Chris, the waiter was extraordinary because he was probably one of the first servers ever who provided me with the most detail when asked about what was in the soup. He came back to me with a full list of ingredients from the chef. Normally when I ask at a restaurant, I get a two main ingredient answer, which shows no effort what-so-ever.

The following are the ingredients Chris shared with me: parsnip, turnip, onion, maple syrup, potato, celery root, bacon, thyme, salt and pepper, garlic, lee & perons, butter

Chris did not give me the measurements but I am going to take a guess at them and perhaps try to make this soup in the near future,

Parsnip and Turnip Soup Ingredients (Estimate of measurements from my soup making experience):

  • 1/4 cup bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups parsnip, chopped
  • 2 cups turnip, chopped
  • 1 cup potato, chopped
  • 1 cup celery root, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lee & Perons
  • 6 cups Vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
Parsnip and Turnip 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. Add the butter to pan, saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  4. Add parsnip, turnip, potato, celery root to the pan, saute, stirring occasionally, and cook for about 8 more minutes.
  5. Add the bacon pieces, maple syrup, lee and perons, thyme and the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Cover the pan and simmer until the root vegetables are soft (30 minutes). Check the soup occasionally to see if more liquid is needed; the lentils should be covered.
  6. Turn stove off and puree.
  7. Add the salt and pepper (to taste) and serve.
  8. Ladle in serving bowls, garnish with fried root vegetables
Soup Mistress Rating for Parsnip and Turnip Soup with Bacon:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (3.5/5)
Presentation: (4.5/5) 
Taste: (4/5)

Roasted Golden Beet Curry Soup – What Beauties Beets They Are!

Roasted Golden Beet Curry Soup

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Yummy, Spicy Beet Soup!

Over a week ago I roasted some red beets for the very first time ever and made a delish beet salad with lemon juice, shallots, macadamia oil with sprouts and arugula. It was so easy to roast beets and very yummy and fresh. I decided that my next beet culinary adventure would be in a soup and I wanted to try golden beets instead.

This soup recipe caught my attention and yesterday I headed to New Westminster Quay (Rivermarket.com) for some fresh produce to use in my soup. My good friend Karen Carter, a mighty fine real estate agent with Remax was coming over to get paperwork signed to list my condo on the market and I decided to make the soup for her visit!

The Verdict of Golden Beet Curry Soup:

Golden Beets –beauties they are!

Karen and I really liked how the curry played with the golden beets. They seem less sweet to me than red beets and perfect for this soup. The addition of carrot and parsnip gave a warm and earthy taste to the soup. Also the cayenne gave the soup a very nice mysterious heat to the soup – I don’t think it should be omitted from this soup ever (versus optional in the original recipe). The julienned red beets on top gave a nice contrast and texture. Karen did suggest that it would have been nice to have a dollop of cream in the soup (dairy or non-dairy cream like product – perhaps almond cheese?) – I have to agree with her on that point. Would have made it look even prettier as well!

Roasted Golden Beet Curry Soup Ingredients:

  • 6-7 golden beets, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red beet (for garnish)
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 -1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp smoked sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth
Roasted Golden Beet Curry Soup:
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. In a large baking pan or oven dish, toss beets, onions,  parsnip and carrot with oil and all spices. Roast the red beet whole by itself for garnish.
  3. Pour 1 cup water over the mixture and cover in foil. Roast for 1 hour.
  4. Blend using an immersion blender or puree in batches in a food processor, adding vegetable broth half a cup at a time followed by remaining water (up to 2 cup) until you reach your desired consistency.
  5. Add soup into a pot on stove top, add cinnamon stick, simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  6. Adjust curry and salt to taste.
  7. Ladle soup into bowls.
  8. Julienne red beet and garnish on top of soup.

What I changed from original soup recipe:

  • Used more beets (6-7)
  • Roasted a red beet separately and used it is  garnish julienned
  • Used 1 onion versus 1/2 onion
  • Doubled, curry, coriander, cumin, cayenne
  • Used a cinnamon stick after soup pureed and simmered it for 8-10 minutes
  • Used fresh ginger minced instead of ground ginger
  • Used more vegetable stock
Soup Mistress Rating (and Karen) for Roasted Golden Beet Curry Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (3.5/5)

Taste: (4.5/5)

 

Tomato Root Soup On Top of Grouse Mountain Could Use Grind Workout

Yesterday, my girlfriend Karen and I decided to get some fresh air and exercise up on Grouse Mountain (a very pretty local ski hill in the North Shore of Vancouver). So early in the AM, we strapped on snowshoes and hiked up the Snowshoe Grind. The Grind was a killer workout indeed and we had an appetite for lunch by 11am, so we visited Attitudes Bistro for a sandwich and soup.

The soup of the day was tomato and root vegetable – the server said it was one of the better ones (had tomato, parsnips, celery, & carrot) , so Karen ordered a bowl and I ordered a cup with a sandwich.

The Verdict of Attitudes Bistro Tomato Root Soup?
Karen loves soup and most of the time we are out, she orders soup. I decided to get her perspective on this soup as well. For the most part, we agreed that the soup was ok, and could have been improved in a few ways.
  • The soup seemed kind of bland and could have used:
    • a dollop of cream with a fresh herb (perhaps basil)
    • chunks of another vegetable would be nice to add some texture
    • some sort of nice garnish, perhaps a bit of fried shredded parsnips
I did love how the parsnips played with the tomato soup base. This is one soup I would like to try to make myself at home with modifications noted above.

Soup Mistress (and Karen) Rating for Tomato Root Soup:
Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4.5/5)
Presentation: (3/5)

Taste: (3.5/5)

Oh, ya. With the soup I had the Roasted Vegetable Sandwich. I highly recommend the sandwich – it was fabulous and had arugula, artichokes, hummus, tomato & organic flat bread. The soup needs some refining to be at the same level as the sandwich! Perhaps a Grind Workout!

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) 

Curry Chicken Soup – A Great Noodleless Under The Weather Soup

curry-chicken-soup-2

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The completed curry chicken soup

Last week, I felt a bit under the weather. In the past, I would attempt to make the same homemade chicken noodle soup to make me feel better. But not this time, I wanted to try something different and went on a hunt for a soup that I can add chicken and garlic to make me feel better.

I found this Curry Chicken Soup recipe in a cookbook called “Soup Bowl” – I modified it a tad to my liking though.

The verdict? This soup is pretty good and even better the next day! The superstar ingredient is the apple – it gives the soup a subtle sweetness, yet not too sweet. Even though this soup seems quite creamy, there is no cream or milk what-so-ever. The lemon juice gives it a very nice zest. The shredded raw carrot adds a nice touch as well – I think the next time I make it I would add even more!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 and ½ cups white onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 and ½ cups parsnip, chopped small
  • 1 and ½ cups carrots finely sliced chopped small, plus some shredded for garnish
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped small
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 6oz / 175 g cooked chicken, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
  • salt and pepper

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, ginger and garlic, saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the parsnip, carrots, and apple and continue to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the curry powder until the vegetables are well coated, then pour in the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Keeping a cup of the solids aside, transfer the balance of soup to a food processor or blender. Add lemon juice and puree soup until smooth.
  5. In a separate pan, fry up chicken pieces on medium to high heat.
  6. Return soup puree and reserved solids to the saucepan. Add the chicken and cilantro to the saucepan and gently heat through. If you want a thinner soup, add more vegetable stock to your liking.
  7. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with cilantro and shredded carrots. Serve immediately.

Original Recipe: Page 103 – Book: Soup Bowl – An inspiring collection of soups, broths and chowders.

What I changed from original recipe:

  • replaced butter with olive oil
  • used more curry powder
  • used more lemon juice
  • replaced chicken stock with vegetable stock
  • omitted rice
  • added garlic clove
  • added ginger

Soup Mistress Rating for Curry Chicken Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5)
Presentation: (3.5/5) 
Taste: (4.5/5) 

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)