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Archive for the ‘Soups & Stews’ Category

Here’s the beginning of lunch today Pho being my go to cold weather fastfood…

20120609-142400.jpg

Almost a recipe here.

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Yesterday while looking for boletus, I found about a kilo of hypomyces lactifluorum, better known as lobster mushroom. I whipped up this chowder for a quick and simple dinner. The combo of flavours with the richness of the cream makes it quite a decadent little thing.

Hypomyces lactifluorum AKA lobster mushroom
Lobster mushroom &  corn chowder

Ingredients

  • 500 gr (1 lb) lobster mushrooms, cleaned and diced
  • 235 ml (1 cup) leeks, white part only, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 235 ml (1 cup) celery, diced
  • 45 ml (3 tbs) olive oil
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) sweet Spanish paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 L (4 cups) vege stock, homemade or best quality store-bought
  • 235 ml (1 cup) off-dry Riesling
  • 235 ml (1 cup) vegan cooking cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 30 ml (2 tbs) fresh chives, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan. Add the lobster mushroom and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes until tender. Add the leeks and paprika, sauté 3 more minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Add stock, bay leaf, potatoes, celery and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add corn kernels, cream, salt & pepper and simmer for 5 minutes more. Serve garnished with chives.
Serves 4

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Cassoulet isn’t a spur of the moment thing but a labour of love. There are several steps involved and you can’t really cut corners. And unlike most of the recipes I’ve posted here, cassoulet isn’t light either. The classic version is a real pork and duck fat fest, coming up with a satisfying vegan interpretation was a little challenging but I’m quite pleased with the result. Here’s a very flavourful, winter, stick-to-your-bones sort of dish and a delicious one at that too.

So if you feel so inclined, this is how I did it.

The finished cassoulet being served.

Step 1 make the

Tempeh bacon

Ingredients

  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) maple sugar
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) smoked salt
  • 30 ml (1 tbsp) smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) cayenne pepper
  • 16 oz (2 packages) tempeh, thinly sliced
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) canola oil

In a large dinner plate, combine the maple sugar, smoked salt, paprika and cayenne pepper. lightly brush the tempeh with oil and dredge the slices one by one, stack them on a separate plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day,  smoke the bacon for 30 minutes before you bake it. (Optional. To improve the smoky flavour. This step requires a special smoker)

Lay the tempeh slice in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet. Bake at 150°C  (300°F) for an hour or until crispy, turning once. Remove from oven and reserve. (Note: You cannot eat all of this before in goes into the cassoulet).

making the tempeh bacon

 

Step 2 make the

Roasted Tomato Confit

Ingredients

  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) fresh thyme, minced
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) sugar

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 100°C (215°F). Halve tomatoes lengthwise and place, cut-side up, on an oiled baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, sugar and thyme. Roast until tomatoes are golden brown and semi-dried, about 4 hours. Let stand until cool and reserve.

making the roasted tomato confit

Step 3 make the

Smoked tofu confit

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp smoked salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • coarsely ground black pepper
  • 225 gr (8 oz) smoked tofu, cut into bite size
  • 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable oil (approximately)

Preheat the oven to 100°C (215°F). Arrange the tofu in a single layer in a baking dish. Season with salt, garlic, thyme and pepper. Cover with oil and cook for 2 hours. Remove from oven and reserve.

smoked tofu confit

For the cassoulet

Ingredients

  • 225 gr (8 oz) smoked tofu confit
  • 225 gr (8oz) tempeh bacon
  • 450 gr (1 lb) dried Tarbais or cannellini beans, picked over and rinsed
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil (I used oil left over from the tofu confit)
  • 6 roasted tomatoes confit
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onions, finely diced
  • 3 small celery ribs, finely diced
  • 1 head of garlic, unpeeled and left whole
  • 30 gr (1 oz) dried porcinni mushrooms
  • 2 L (8 1/2 cups) strong mushroom stock
  • 1 bouquet garni: 6 parsley sprigs, 4 thyme sprigs and 2 bay leaves, tied with string
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) smoked Spanish paprika
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) cup fresh bread crumbs

Soak the beans over night.

Drain the beans and put them in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until the beans are done but still firm. Drain.

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the carrots, celery and onions, cook over moderate heat stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden, about 7 minutes.Add the head of garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth, dried porcini mushrooms, bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

 

the cassoulet ready to go into the oven

 

Remove from heat. Pick out the head of garlic and reserve. Discard the bouquet garni.
Preheat the oven to 165°C (325°F). Transfer the liquid mixture, the beans, tomatoes and tofu to a large earthenware casserole. Squeeze out the cooked garlic cloves and stir the paste into the ragout. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake the cassoulet for 1 hour.

Gently stir in the skin that has formed on the cassoulet. Add the tempeh bacon and top with bread crumbs, sprinkle with smoked paprika. Bake the cassoulet for 1 hour longer, until it is richly browned on the surface. Remove from oven and rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Serves 8

 

Wine pairing suggestion

In Toulouse, where Casoulet originates, the locals pour hearty, tannic reds to accompany cassoulet. But has this version isnt as fatty and contains no meat I would suggest you go with a lighter red such a Cinsault/Grenache/Carignane blend from the Languedoc-Roussillon region or more for a more unusual combination, try a lush and smokey german riesling. Its high acidity and touch of residual sugar will pair well with this rich tomatoey dish.

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The perfect quick and easy soup to warm you up. Unlike other legumes, lentils cook super fast and do not require pre-soaking, so you can whip up a batch for lunch in minutes.

Prepping the ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 L (8 cups) mild vegetable stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 small onion,  coarsely chopped
  • 500 ml (2 cups) masoor lentils
  • 2-3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 ml (¼ tsp) turmeric
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of fresh ginger
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) mandarin orange zest
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) mandarin orange juice
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander, chopped for garnish (optional)

Rinse lentils thoroughly until water runs clear. In a large pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add onion, lentils, lime leaves, turmeric, garlic and pepper and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer until lentils are cooked (about 25 mins). Add ginger and mandarin orange zest and process with an immersion blender until smooth. Simmer 5 more minutes. Adjust salt to taste, add mandarin orange juice, stir well and serve.

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This is to winter what tomato sandwiches or fresh Vietnamese rolls are to summer, my default lunch.

Asian noodle (in this case fresh ramen) soup with loads of veges and a generous amount of sriracha, sambal oelek, gochujang or yuzu koshou, according to the variation du jour.

Fast, filling and very warming.

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Radish top soup with assorted fresh radishes and buttered bread. Doesn’t get much simpler than that.

For the soup, simply put the cleaned radish top in a pot of boiling vege stock, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Season to taste and add half a block of silken tofu to the pot before processing with a hand mixer or blender until creamy and smooth.

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The first fresh shell peas of summer are a gorgeous thing. This super fast and simple recipe is all about them.

Fresh shell pea soup garnished with pea shoots and peas.

Ingredients

  • 15 ml (1 Tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 french shallot, chopped
  • 700 ml (3 cups) fresh shelled peas
  • 1 L (4 cups) homemade mild vegetable stock
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) soy cooking cream
  • 1 spring fresh lemon thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Garnish to taste

  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Fresh pea shoots
  • Chopped chives
  • Croutons

Directions

In a stockpot, heat oil on medium heat. Add shallot and sautée until soft, about 5 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil, add peas then reduce to a simmer. Cover pot and cook until peas are soft, about 7 minutes.

Remove from heat, and add soy cream. Blend soup with stick blender, or process in a blender until completely smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle soup into individual serving bowls and garnish with your choice of ingredients.

This soup is also nice served chilled garnished with plain soy yogurt and mint.

Chilled fresh pea soup with mint and soy yogurt.

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Baby lima beans & braised cabbage soup with tempeh bacon

Ingredients

  • 450 ml (2 cups) dried lima beans, soaked overnight
  • 750 ml  (3 cups) water
  • 750 ml  (3 cups) homemade vegetable stock
  • 1 cabbage, cut into 8 wedges and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 full head of garlic, unpeeled and left whole
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) Jerez
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) Jerez vinegar
  • 6 slices of tempeh bacon, cut into 1cm (1/2 inch) pieces
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Soak beans in plenty of water overnight.

Put beans in a large pot with fresh water, bay leaf and garlic. Simmer for 90 minutes until bean are almost done. Remove garlic from pot and reserve for other use.

During this time, heat olive oil in a cast iron dutch oven, add tempeh bacon and cook over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon from pan and reserve.

Keeping the bacon oil in the pot, add onion and cook over medium heat until soft. Add cabbage and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted and slightly browned, about 20 minutes. Add Jerez, Jerez vinegar and sugar and cover pot with lid. Put in a 175°C (350°F) oven and bake for 1 hour until cabbage is very tender and brown.

Add braised cabbage, stock, salt and pepper to the beans and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve soup topped with bacon.

Note :

To make a delicious spread, peel poached garlic, combine with 50 ml (3.5 tbsp) olive oil and a pinch of salt. Mix in food processor until smooth. Serve on crunchy oven-toasted croutons or warm bread.

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Rice noodle soup with smoked pressed tofu and gai lan.

This is what my #1 fast food choice looks like. In fact I eat this twice a week. Rice noodle soup with whatever greens are kicking around the fridge. There’s often bean sprouts and tofu in there as well and pretty much always cilantro and scallions. The broth is either vegan dashi and miso or if there’s no dashi ready-made and I’m starving, I’ll use Vietnamese concentrated soup base from a jar. So no, it’s not always “fancy”.

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Brasserie Au Pied de Cochon is a Paris institution. The place has been open 24/7  since 1946! Their specialty is… you guessed it, pig, but their “soupe à l’oignon gratinée” is super popular with locals and tourists alike. Hearty and satisfying on a winter day it also works great as a 4 AM snack. Here’s an adapted version of their recipe.

soupe à l’oignon gratinée

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg (3 lbs, approx. 9 medium) white onions, halved and sliced
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) Earth Balance or other good vegan butter
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 1.5 L (6 cups) strong vegetable stock (leek, parsnip and mushroom is my 1st choice for this)
  • 500 ml (2 cups) dry white wine such as Muscadet or Mâcon-Village
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry Jerez
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with kitchen twine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Ground black pepper
  • sea salt
  • 6 slices of baguette
  • 150 gr (1/3 lbs ) shredded Teese Mozzarella
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) white fermented bean curb (optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic

Serves 6

In a large pot heat the stock with the thyme, bay leaves and pepper. Cover and simmer on very low heat.

Heat a large cast iron dutch oven, add the oil and the butter. When the butter starts bubbling add the onions, mix well to coat, reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add wine and continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated and onions are golden brown, approx. 45 minutes. Add Jerez to deglaze and cook stirring frequently until liquid has evaporated again, about 5 minutes. Add the hot stock, simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and discard herbs, season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

While the soup simmers, arrange the baguette slices in single layer on baking sheet and bake in a 175°C (350°F) oven until the bread is dry, crispy and golden at edges, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Rub bread with garlic cloves, lightly spread with fermented bean curd (optional) then sprinkle with Teese and return to oven for a couple minutes until the cheese has melted.

Divide soup into 6 bowls, top with a cheese crouton and serve immediately.

Note

The soup and dried croutons (before garlic and cheese) can be made ahead and stored for up to 3 days. To serve, reheat soup and proceed with the recipe.

Fermented bean curd, available at chinese grocery stores, is potent stuff. Its very sharp and piquante flavour, comparable to blue cheese, is an acquired taste. Try it first and go easy with it. You want to use the white type for this recipe.

I’m not a big fan of fake cheese. I find Teese to be the best of the “meltable” vegan options but use it very rarely and only for texture. Most of the time I feel no cheese is much better then poor cheese imitation but hey, that’s just me.

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Pot-au-feu

Pot-au-feu is one of my favourite comfort foods. While I was growing up it made regular appearances on our table and I still ask for it when I go home.

Nothing refined or fancy here, this is pretty much peasant food. The name translates to “pot on the fire” as this is how this dish got its start, a pot always left to simmer in the hearth, topped off with fresh ingredients when some of its content was used.

Composed of winter vegetables that keep well, the original version also has pork belly, marrow bones and cheap cuts of beef, which combined give lots of flavour and body to the broth. Some people simply can’t conceive of Pot-au-feu without the meat but I don’t miss it at all. I’ve found other ways of imparting hearty flavours to this dish.

The broth, specially in this vegetarian version, is instrumental. It needs to be rich and aromatic before you through you veges in otherwise you’ll end up with a boring dish. Since following this simple and ingenious lead, I always have more homemade broth then I can use so I start with that and enrich it with a few dried mushrooms and 1 or 2 full heads of garlic. See recipe bellow.

Ingredients

  • 4 litres of strong vegetable stock
  • 6 shiitake or other flavourful dried mushrooms
  • 2 head of garlic, unpeeled and left whole
  • 8 carrots
  • 4 turnips
  • 4 medium parsnips
  • 1 large rutabaga, quartered
  • 8 medium potatoes
  • 4 leeks
  • 4 branches of celery cut in half
  • 4 onions
  • 1 cabbage, quartered
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 8 cloves
  • 8 black pepper corn
  • sea salt to taste
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) Earth Balance or other vegan butter
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

Serves 4

Put the stock in a large pot with the mushrooms, garlic, bouquet garni and black pepper corn. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered about 40 minutes or until reduced by half. Remove mushrooms and garlic and reserve.

Clean and trim all vegetables, leave them whole except where indicated. Prick the onions with 2 cloves each.

Add to the pot, carrots, turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, potatoes, cabbage and salt to taste and simmer for 10 minutes. Add leeks, celery, onions and cook for an other 10 to 15 minutes until all vegetables are done. Remove from heath. Adjust seasoning to taste, add vegan butter and stir well into the broth.

In a small bowl, press the cooked garlic from its skin, add 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil and salt to taste. Mix well. Serve as a side with warm bread.

Serve the Pot-au-feu with coarse sea salt, cornichons and good french bread to dunk in the broth. Dijon mustard is also traditionally served with this dish but I don’t feel that it is necessary with this vegetarian version.

Pair with a simple French red such as a vin de pays des Collines-Rhodaniennes or light and fragrant Cabernet franc from the middle Loire.

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Ok, this may not look like the most exciting dish you’ve ever seen but don’t be fooled, it’s a truly magical brew.

Kimchi jjigae is a popular Korean stew made with, you guessed, kimchi and various other ingredients. There are as many Kimchi jjigae recipes as there are Korean moms. This one is veganised and tweaked a little to suit my taste. Experiment with the ingredients ratio until you’re happy.

Best made with older kimchi that’s become a little too funky to eat on it own, this stuff is pungent, spicy, delicious and comforting. It will cure your winter blues as by enchantment and leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

Ingredients

  • 5 ml (1 tsp) vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 250 ml (1 1/2 cups) vegan kimchi, cut into bite size
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 125 ml (1/2 cups) kimchi juice
  • 500 ml (2 cups) water
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) ginger, grated
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) mirin
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) soy sauce
  • gochugaru (Korean dried chili flakes) to taste
  • 225 gr (8 oz) firm silken tofu, cut into bite size cubes
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) white miso
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) Earth balance or other vegan “butter”
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Heat the oil in a cast iron pot and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the kimchi, shiitake and garlic, sauté 4-5 minutes until the cabbage becomes translucent.

Add the kimchi juice, water, ginger, mirin, gochujang and soy sauce, stir well. Adjust spiciness to taste by adding as much gochugaru as you like. Bring to a boil.

Add the tofu, turn down the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the kimchi is tender.

Remove from heat. Dissolve the miso in a little broth, add to the pot with the butter and stir well. Garnish with the scallions. Serve with rice.

Serves 4

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Saturday night, after a little excursion to Mitsuwa, we had a Izakaya style dinner. Lots of small plates to go with several different sakés. Sort of like Japanese tapas.

On the menu was:

  • Miso soup with tiny cubes of melt-in-your-mouth tofu
  • Takuan,  ume + cucumber, avocado + yamagobo sushis
  • Cucumber, wakame, tororo sunomono (seaweed  salad)
  • Cold cha soba with garnishes
  • Nasu dengaku (grilled eggplant with miso glaze)
  • Robata Yaki okra, asparagus and scallions
  • Maitake, bunashimeji and shiitake mushrooms baked en papillote with sesame oil, sake and garlic served with a squeeze of lemon

Mitsuwa has a massive selection of sakés… We went a little nuts! They were the main attraction at dinner of course and though we didn’t quite polish off these 4 bottles we never the less over indulged.

Umenishiki
Junmai Daiginjo Nama
Ehime, Japan
500 ml
$28
Aromas of ripe tropical fruit. Off dry.

Shirakawago Sasanigori
Junmai Ginjo Nigori
Gifu, Japan
300 ml
$11
As all Nigori, this saké is unfiltered which gives it a cloudy white look with a sweeter, mild and fruity aroma.  Floral and apple notes. Would also be great with spicy dishes.

Ohyama
Tokubetsu Junmai
Yamagata, Japan
720 ml
$27
Full-bodied, medium-dry. Notes of apricot and almond.

Rin Draft Saké
Nama
Fukushima, Japan
500 ml
$17

Brewed from 100% organic rice. Rich, creamy and buttery aromas.

All were served chilled.


Starting at the beginning, here’s a recipe for dashi, the base of much Japanese Cuisine.

Vegan Dashi (Soup Stock)

Ingredients

  • 1 liter (4 cups) water
  • 15 cm (6″) piece of kombu
  • 3 dry shiitake mushroom
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) mirin
  • 30 ml  (2 tbsp) shoyu

Directions

Rinse off kombu if necessary. Put the water in a pot, add kombu and shiitake and soak for 1 hour.

Bring nearly to the boil, simmer gently for 20 mins. Remove kombu, add remaining ingredients and simmer for 2 more minutes. Remove shiitake and reserve for other use.

That’s it. Now you’ve got a tasty dashi.

Next we’ll use this dashi to make miso soup.

Miso Soup with tofu and scallions

Ingredients

  • 750 ml (3 cups) dashi soup stock
  • 150 gr (5 oz) silken tofu
  • 60 ml (4 tbsp) miso paste
  • 3 scallions, thinly chopped

Preparation

Put dashi soup stock in a pot and bring to a boil. Cut tofu into small cubes and add them to the soup and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat. Dissolve the miso in a small amount of hot dashi and add to the soup. Add Scallions, stir and serve.

Remember never to boil the soup after the miso is added or you will kill all the good stuff.

Serves 4

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This is a quick Thai red curry. Not 100% traditional but it can be thrown together in 15 minutes which makes it an ideal meal when you don’t have time to go all out. If you’re serving this with rice, start the rice first. You’ll have time to make the curry and quickly set the table by the time the rice is done.

The crispy zucchini noodles are a nice addition but you’ll need to plan for those.

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 shalots, sliced
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk lemon grass (2 Tbsp. store-bought frozen)
  • 1-3 red chillies
  • 15 ml (1 Tbsp) ground cumin
  • 15 ml (1 Tbsp) coriander seeds, ground
  • 45 ml (1 Tbsp) vegetarian nam pla (if unavailable replace with 2 tbsp lime juice)
  • 15 ml (1 Tbsp) soy sauce
  • 15 ml (1 Tbsp) brown sugar
  • 2 ml (1/2 Tsp) dried turmeric (or 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh turmeric, sliced)

Other

  • 2 Japanese eggplants, sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 8 button mushrooms quartered
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms (rehydrated if using dried) quartered
  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves

To serve

  • 125 (½ cup) fresh coriander leaves
  • 125 (½ cup) fresh Thai holy basil leaves
  • 1 lime, quartered

To make the sauce, place all sauce ingredients in a food processor and process until creamy. Pour into a large wok or pan. Add the kaffir lime leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 7 minutes while you prep the vegetables.

Add the cauliflower florets and cook 1 minute. Add the remaining vegetables (today, I also added half a bunch of Chinese flowering chives cut into 5cm (2 inches) lengths because it was sitting in the fridge and I love the stuff). Cook 1-2 minutes until just tender. Remove from heat. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve in a bowl sprinkled with coriander and holy basil leaves. Serve rice and lime wedges separately.

To make crispy zucchini noodles.

Use a spiralizer or a mandolin to shred 2-3 zucchinis into thin strips. Dress with 30 ml (2 Tbsp) of mild vegetable oil and 2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt. Let sit for 1-2 hours. Spread over dehydrator trays and dehydrate for 6-10 hours until very crispy.

Serve on top of curry.

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Last night’s menu was:

Crostini of chestnut pâté with caramelised onions,
grape must reduction and a drop of truffle oil

winter stew 1

Winter vegetables stew with turmeric & raisins
and a simple green salad.

Stew recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 small cipollini onions, whole, peeled
  • 4 medium parsnips
  • 6 small white turnips
  • 1 medium ratabaga
  • 2 medium parsley roots
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 500 gr (1 lbs) fingerlings potatoes
  • 5 large chard leaves
  • 45 ml (3 tbs) olive oil
  • 30 ml (2 tbs) flour
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) turmeric powder
  • 250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
  • 750 ml (3 cups) strong vegetable broth, mushroom and onion is ideal
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • (1/4 cup) large raisins
  • 15 ml (1 tbs) each fresh thyme, sage, marjoram, chopped
  • 45 ml (3 tbs) fresh parsley, chopped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 175C (350F)

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and blanch the onions. Cool and peel the. Set aside.

Scrub all root vegetables clean, peel only those necessary and cut into chunky bite size pieces. Remove the ribs from the chard and cut into 1 cm (1/2 “) wide strips.

In a large cast iron pot, over medium high heat, warm the oil. Add all root vegetables and sauté 5 minutes. In a bowl mix the flour, salt, pepper, turmeric. Sprinkle the mixture over the vegetables. Cook, stirring regularly, until the flour begins to brown. Add the wine, stir and cook 2 minutes. Add broth, chard, onions, raisins and herbs, except parsley. Cover and bake in the oven until the vegetables are tender, about 45 mins.

Serve garnished with fresh parsley.

Wine

Geil muskateller trocken 2007

Country : Germany
Region : Rheingau / Rheinhessen
Varietal : Muscat
Price : $15

A light and crip wine with decent length. Very fruit forward with dominant notes of musky muscat grape of course, also with notes peach, citrus, floral, hint of honey and nutmeg. Slight minerality.

geil muskateller

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cream of Kabocha squash

1 Kabocha squash peeled, clean and cubed (butter nut is a good substitute)
1 onion minced
1 L of homemade vegetable broth
100 ml soy cream or homemade cashew cream
2-3 fresh sage leaves minced
nutmeg to taste
salt to taste
black pepper freshly ground, to taste
parsley minced for garnish

On medium heat cook the squash with onion until the squash is tender. Transfer to a blender adding all remaining ingredients but parsley and process util creamy and smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve in soup bowl with a little more cream swirled in and garnished with parsley.

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Here’s an other ridiculously simple and tasty raw soup recipe.

Cream of asparagus soup

1 large bunch of young asparagus, trimmed
1/4 of a white onion, coarsely chopped
sea salt, black pepper and nutmeg to taste
500 ml (2 cups) freshly made almond milk (recipe bellow)

Thinly slice the tender part of 1/4 of asparagus. Reserve.

Put the remaining ingredients in the blender and process until creamy. Garnish with the reserved asparagus slices and serve.

Almond milk

250 ml (1 cup) of raw almonds
750 ml (3 cups) water

Soak almond overnight. The next day, discard soaking water and squeeze the brown peel off the almonds. Put the clean almonds and 3 cups water in a blender and process until creamy and smooth. Filter the mixture trough a very fine mesh nylon bag (a perfectly clean nylon stocking works fine) catching the milk in a bowl. Reserve the almond pulp for an other recipe. Voilà! Fresh, rich and creamy almond milk. 10 000 times better the the bland and thin store bought version.

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Ya an other raw soup. What can I say, I recently bought a fantastic new blender and I just can’t get over it!

Cream of Porcini mushroom soup

125 ml (1/2 cup) dried porcini mushrooms, soaked for an hour, soaking water reserved
freshly made almond milk (recipe bellow)
500 ml (2 cups) fresh button mushrooms, sliced, a few reserved for garnish
1 garlic glove
sea salt, black pepper and nutmeg to taste
fresh parsley, finely chopped

Filter the porcini’s soaking water. Put 250 ml (1 cup) of it in a blender with 500 ml (2 cups) almond milk, the porcini and garlic. Process until creamy. Add the button mushrooms and pulse a few seconds until finely shopped. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Serve and garnish with a few slices of mushrooms and parsley.

Almond milk

250 ml (1 cup) of raw almonds
750 ml (3 cups) water

Soak almond overnight. The next day, discard soaking water and squeeze the brown peel off the almonds. Put the clean almonds and 3 cups water in a blender and process until creamy and smooth. Filter the mixture trough a very fine mesh nylon bag (a perfectly clean nylon stocking works fine) catching the milk in a bowl. Reserve the almond pulp for an other recipe. Voilà! Fresh, rich and creamy almond milk. 10 000 times better the the bland and thin store bought version.

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Still on my raw quick, just feels like the way to go after a long fast. I will post cooked recipes again soon though.

For now, here’s a super easy soup which turned out to be quite tasty.

Cream of Spinash and Rucola

1 large bunch of rucola (preferably the winter stuff which has a nice bite to it)
equal quantity of tender baby spinach
1/4 if a white onion, coarsely chopped
zest of half a lemon (plus a little more to garnish)
nutmeg to taste
salt to taste (try smoked Maldon as a finishing salt)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
just enough warm water to cover

Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Hazelnut cream

125 ml (1/2 cup) raw hazelnut soaked overnight, peel removed
just enough water to cream
touch of nutmeg
touch of salt

Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Swirl into the bolws just before serving.

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Tom Kha Hed

Here’s my vegan and raw version of a Thai favourite.

Thai Coconut Mushroom soup

1/2 litre (2 cups) oyster, enoki, shitake or button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 litre (2 cups) Napa cabbage, chopped into bite size
125 ml (1/2 cup) cherry tomatoes, halved
2 zucchini cut into vermicelli with a spiral slicer
2 lemongrass stems, cut into 1 cm parts
60 ml (1/4 cup) of galanga, sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 tbs sugar
2 tbs salt
3 tbs lime juice
2 tbs light soy sauce
1 bunch coriander, chopped
4 green onions chopped finely
finely chopped bird chilies to taste
1.5 litre (6 cups) of warm water
1/4 litre (1 cup) dried raw unsweetened coconut flakes

Clean and slice the mushrooms, halve the tomatoes and cut the cabbage into bite sized chunks. Cut the zucchini into vermicelli with a spiral slicer.

Place the water and the coconut flakes in a blender and blend for several minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the galanga, lemongrass, torn kaffir leaves, salt, sugar, soy sauce and the chillies to season to taste.

Add all vegetables. Serve and sprinkle individual bowls with coriander and chopped green onion.

This soup also works very well served hot.

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