The last post of November should be pumpkin or squash related so I can make room for all the wonderful winter treats that are going to come my way. I started my Christmas music radio station two weeks before Thanksgiving but I haven't decorated the house yet. M and I plan to do that this weekend. Have you got your tree already?Read More
I'm back from NYC and can you believe that it was actually warmer than Oakland this week! I tried a few new fun spots including Fish Cheeks, Westville Chelsea and Black Seed Bagels while I was visiting the city to attend the James Beard Foundation summit. Yup, I ate a lot and I ate well!
I have a few hot sauces and mixes in the door of my refrigerator at all times. Some hotter than the others, each of them unique in their own way which is why they occupy a special place in my heart. There's the usual suspects of Sriracha, Tabasco, Crystal, sambal oelek, lunu miris, harissa and always some gochujang. Whenever in a pinch, these sauces and pastes can transform your meal and take things to a whole new level. Now tell me, what do you include in your hot sauce inventory, anything you think I need to add to mine?
This gochujang flavored broccoli soup is one of my favorite ways to make a simple soup a lot more flavorful but it should also give you an idea of how you can change things too. Since gochujang has such a unique flavor, it won't make your soup feel like it's been flavored with any ordinary type of hot sauce.
There's also a recipe for my fiery winter chicken salad in the San Francisco Chronicle this week, that's easy to make and it has a good dose of blood oranges and yogurt for that little extra nudge of flavor.
- Use your favorite brand of gochujang and kimchi. There are so many good ones available in stores these days, it's hard to go wrong.
- Use fresh bright green broccoli florets when making this soup. I usually add almost every bit of the broccoli available, just trim off the stem end that's at the end that was cut from the plant.
- I've used the California Olive Ranch, arbequina oil here because I prefer it's color and fruity flavor profile.
broccoli, thyme and gochujang soup
yields: about 4 servings
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped white onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme leaves + extra for garnish
4 cups diced broccoli florets with stems
2 cups water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons kimchi juice
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons gochujang
2 tablespoons arbequina olive oil or any other fruity olive oil
1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized thick bottomed stockpot on medium-high heat.
2. Add the onion and sauté for about 6 to 8 minutes until they start to brown. Then add the garlic and thyme and cook with constant stirring for about 40 seconds. Add the broccoli and cook for 2 minutes. Add the water, vinegar, kimchi juice, pepper and salt and increase the heat to high. Bring the contents to a rolling boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 12 minutes until the broccoli just starts to get tender. Transfer the contents of the stockpot to a blender along with the gochujang and pulse until combined. (Be careful since the liquid will be very hot). Once the mixture is velvety smooth, return the contents to the stockpot and adjust the heat to a gentle simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add more water if desired, if you want a thinner soup. Serve hot with toasted bread and garnish with extra thyme and a few drops of the arbequina olive oil.
Even though the pets probably don't share my views, I feel like a bad parent this week. I forgot to get them their Halloween costumes this year which also burns a hole in my photo for the month of October in the annual calendar that we mail out to our families. This time, we have a cat to add to the calendar too....One calendar, two models, both divas. Maybe a pumpkin costume???
Other highlights of this week include my trip to Nova Scotia, I'm heading out this week to teach a workshop at the Devour Food Film Festival, it's going to be a fun time with movies on food and more food to eat. What should I eat in Nova Scotia? Poutine is definitely on my list.
Califia recently released a whole new line of Califia Farms of Signature Blend cold brew coffees which are delicious and asked me to create something savory with. Since coffee is a great way to add umami, I've used it to create this Butternut squash soup which by itself can be rather flat in taste. I also ground in dried sage leaves, cumin and a bunch of other spices to boost up the flavor of the soup. And if you like it a little hot add some sambal olek!
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this soup;
- You can substitute pumpkin for butternut squash in this recipe.
- Sambal olek is optional but your favorite hot sauce would also work in this recipe. Just taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Califia Farms has a bunch of different coffee flavors in their new line of cold brews, the Ethiopian coffee would also be a good one to use in this recipe.
butternut squash and coffee soup
yields: 4 to 6 servings
1/2 butternut squash
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup minced red onions
1 teaspoon cumin
6 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried sage leaves or powder
1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sambal olek (optional)
one 10.5 ounce bottle Califia cold brew single origin (Signature blend, Colombian/Central America)
6 to 8 whole fresh sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon Maldon salt flakes
1. Place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 400F. Take the butternut squash half, scoop out and discard the seeds and strings and place it in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes until soft and tender. Remove from oven, tent with aluminum foil and allow to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes before handling. Once cooled, peel the skin off the squash and cut the squash into large chunks. Place the squash in a blender.
2. While the squash is cooking, take a 5 quart dutch oven, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and set the heat to medium-high. Add the onions and sauté for about 10 minutes until they start to brown. Transfer the onion to the blender along with the cumin, peppercorns, powdered sage, salt, vinegar, sambal olek and coffee. Pulse until smooth. Transfer the soup to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and keep warm. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary
3. In a small skillet, heat the remaining oil on medium-high heat. Rinse the sage leaves and pat them dry. Fry them in the hot oil until they turn crispy and the edges get slightly brown, this should take about a minute. Transfer the fried leaves to a paper towel to absorb the excess oil and sprinkle with the Maldon salt flakes. Garnish each serving of the soup with the fried leaves and a little extra olive oil.
Note: You can adjust the thickness of the soup by adding water but taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Califia Farms, however, all opinions expressed are solely my own.
Growing up in a Goan family (well one half to be technically exact), you learn to love and appreciate se food. That’s one of the advantages of living on the coast where fishing is a huge part of the economy. We ate more seafood than meat growing up and I still try to keep that trend alive since we have so many good local options to use in the Bay Area (I do wish we had good lobster options). My dream is to one day go on a fishing boat and watch the fishermen grab their catch from the blue sparkling waters in the sun. That would be an amazing dream become reality but till then I will settle for cooking in my kitchen. You will love this broth if you love clams and mussels because it goes great with either of them!
As part of my series in partnership with Pernod Classic, I’m sharing one of my favorite sea food dishes for my second recipe, a rich and flavorful clam broth that’s infused with ginger and turmeric root, the nutty scent of ghee and the subtle aromatic herbs in Pernod. This is one of those broths that needs to be sopped up with a lot of good toasty bread. So keep a good one on hand that’s ready to be toasted!
I usually serve this with halves of sourdough baguette that’s been brushed with olive oil and toasted in the oven. Ginger and turmeric give this broth a bold flavor and a bright saffron orange tinge, while the Pernod adds a gentle sweetness and a hint of salt. I also added a whole lemon and whole spices to flavor the broth without making it too spicy but you can bump the heat level by adding more chili flakes.
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this broth,
- You can easily substitute mussels for clams in this broth recipe.
- Stick with fresh younger turmeric and ginger root for a more flavorful and colorful broth.
- Use fresh and good quality clams in this recipe, you need to scrub the sand and grit off the shells in cold running tap water with a small brush.
- I’ve added a whole lemon here and cooked it without squeezing. The heat allows to extract the essential oils in the skin of the fruit while also breaking down the pulp to release the citric acid.
clam broth with ginger and turmeric root
yields: 2 servings
1 tablespoon ghee
2 inch piece turmeric root, peeled and julienned
2 inch piece ginger root, peeled and julienned
1/4 cup white onion, minced
5 whole cloves
10 whole peppercorns
1 large lemon, quartered
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
2 cups white wine
2 lbs clams, washed and cleaned for any sand/grit
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup Pernod Classic
1 tablespoon fresh whole cilantro leaves for garnish
1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- Heat the ghee in a large thick-bottomed stockpot on medium-high heat. When the ghee is melted and hot, add the turmeric, ginger, onion, cloves and peppercorn and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until the onions start to get translucent.
- Add the lemon quarters and salt and cook for one additional minute. Pour in the broth and wine and increase the heat o high to bring the contents of the stockpot to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and add the clams and cover the stockpot with its lid. Cook for about 10 minutes until the clams open up. Discard any unopened clams. Add the cherry tomatoes and the Pernod and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro and chili flakes. Serve hot.
Note: I love to serve this flavorful clam broth with slices of toasted baguette brushed with olive oil.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored byPernod Classic, however all opinions expressed are solely my own.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Pernod Classic. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
There are a couple of things you get used to eating all the time if you grew up in an Indian household, one of them being lentils. We eat a lot of lentils, black, green, yellow, orange, red etc. And though the names might not really match the color, for example the red lentils look orange to me, they are still one of the most popular and affordable source of protein in India. They're also pretty easy and fast to cook which adds to their attractiveness.
This lentil soup is one of the easiest to make and it's also one of the creamiest versions you'll try! It's got the texture of silky bisque and I've used Califia's unsweetened almond milk creamer to give the soup its characteristic body and "richness". The base of the soup is seasoned with aromatics and flavored with cloves and bay leaves. And though this isn't a "hot" soup you can easily bump up the heat levels by adding your favorite hot sauce in the desired amount. To give this lentil soup a little freshness, I've garnished it with fresh cilantro and lemon zest and a generous drizzle of a fruity extra virgin olive oil.
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this soup;
- I use black and red lentils for this soup but you could also substitute green/beluga lentils.
- You can make this soup a little hot by adding a little hot sauce if desired.
- Adjust the consistency of the soup as needed using water after blending.
- Califia's new line of creamers have made it possible to create that silky smooth and creamy bisque like texture in this soup. If you want the soup a little creamier, then I recommend playing around with the ratios of the lentil soup base, the water and the creamer. Don't forget to taste and season as you proceed.
creamy mixed lentil soup
yields: 4 servings
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup black lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced red onion
5 whole cloves
2 large bay leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon ginger root cut into 1 inch strips
1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup Califia almond milk creamer (unsweetened)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil for garnish
1. Clean and rinse the lentils. Keep aside until ready to use.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized thick bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat. Sauté the onions for about 2 to 3 minutes until light pink. Add the cloves, bay leaves, garlic cloves and ginger and cook for 1 additional minute with occasional stirring. Then add the salt, black pepper and turmeric and cook for 30 seconds. Add the lentils and water and increase the heat to high, bring the contents of the saucepan to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 30 minutes until the lentils are soft and tender. Once the lentils are cooked, remove and discard the bay leaves.
3. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender. Add the Califia creamer to the blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too thick add a little more water and blend until you get the desired consistency.
4. Transfer the soup from the blender to the saucepan and keep warm. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. To serve, garnish each serving of the soup with the lemon zest and cilantro leaves and a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Califia Farms. All opinions expressed are purely my own.
Hello 2016! I hope you guys had a fun and relaxing holiday. The East coast was warmer than the West Coast and there were days that I spent outside in shorts. I even heard that it might have snowed in San Francisco for a few minutes (not sure about this) but the way things have been I wouldn't be surprised. We visited Monticello and took a tour of Thomas Jefferson's plantation, it's worth the trip if you haven't been there.
The oddest thing happened after we got home. There are potatoes growing in my backyard! I never planted them and I can only assume that the previous owners had something to do with that. Unfortunately, they were too small for me to use so I'll have to wait a little longer before I'll get to cook them. Potatoes are comfort food at its best and if paired well, in soups they are delicious! Leeks and potatoes are perhaps one of the best combinations that exist in savory heaven. This leek and potato soup, takes full advantage of these amazing ingredients along with a couple of other special spices. A dash of turmeric and coriander in this potato and leek soup along with a sautéed topping of thinly sliced leeks and nigella seeds. To make the soup as smooth as possible, I used my "KitchenAid Torrent blender. The high horsepower of this blender helps to grind all the ingredients in the soup to a smooth and creamy consistency. Plus, there's a soup setting which makes life much easier and takes a lot of the guesswork out.
The three spices add three different levels of flavor to the leek and potatoes in the soup. Coriander imparts a smoky flavor while turmeric brightens the taste and color of the soup. The leeks get a delicious nutty flavor from the tiny black nigella seeds as they are sautéed in the ghee/oil. This is my Indian-inspired take on this classic dish!!
Here are some of my kitchen notes that you might find useful when preparing this soup;
- Note that I have not given a specific amount of salt and pepper in this recipe. If you use a low sodium/salt stock then you will need to season the soup a little more. Start with less and then adjust the amount as needed.
- Use floury potatoes over waxy potatoes when making this soup. Diced potatoes cook faster than larger pieces which will also cut down your cooking time.
- When you blend the soup, you need a blender that's powerful and KitchenAid's magnetic Torrent blender is perfect! You will get a creamy soup that has a silky texture.
3 spice leek and potato soup
yields: 4 servings
4 tablespoons ghee/extra virgin olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced leeks (about 2 whole leeks)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, whole
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
300 gm potatoes, peeled and diced into 0.5" cubes
1 quart vegetable stock
salt and pepper to season (see notes above)
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon nigella seeds, whole
1. Heat two tablespoons of the ghee/oil in a medium-sized stockpot on medium-heat. When the ghee/oil is hot, add 2 cups of the sliced leeks and cook them until they just start to get lightly browned. This should take about 4 minutes. Add the turmeric, coriander and chili pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds. Then add the potatoes and cook for 60 seconds. Stir in the stock and then increase the heat to high. Bring the contents of the stockpot to a rolling boil and reduce the heat to a low. Cook until the potatoes are tender and soft about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from stove.
2. Carefully, transfer the contents of the stockpot to the blender and pulse on the soup setting until the program is complete. The soup will be smooth in texture once the cycle is completed. Alternatively, pulse until completely smooth. Transfer the soup back to the stockpot and allow to simmer. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
3. To prepare the topping for the soup, heat heat the remaining two tablespoons of ghee/olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan and sauté the leeks with the salt for about 5 to 6 minutes until they turn golden brown. Add the nigella seeds and cook for 1 minute. Top each serving of hot soup with a generous amount of the sautéed leeks and nigella and a light drizzle of olive oil.
Disclaimer: A big thank you to KitchenAid for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
Random, can't begin to describe it. But the little dinner we celebrated with our friends after our court marriage, somehow landed up as a photograph in the March 2015 issue of Travel and Leisure. Come to think of it now, I vaguely remember seeing a photographer at the restaurant but didn't pay much attention.
It's been way too hot the past few days. The interesting thing here in this part of California, we have fireplaces but no cooling systems in most homes. While it's generally cool and sunny for the most part of the year, at this time we do get a lot of heat and it can be bad. It's hot enough, that I plan to start my mornings at work making large batches of whipped cream for any fresh cream cakes because the cream can collapse fast in warm weather. Frosting cakes can be a nightmare in hot summer weather but there are advantages to the heat when it comes to cooking. Fermentation, for one is thankful for the heat in most kitchens. Your yeast will grow fast and break sugars down and your doughs etc will be quick to rise.
I tend to lose my appetite and desire for heavy meals in summer especially at lunch. To cool off, I've been drinking this chilled soup that's full of cooling ingredients, from the coconut milk in Califia's unsweetened almond-coconut milk blend, to the greener ingredients that go into this dish. It's rather easy to make and you can adjust the levels of spiciness by removing the seeds from the pepper to make it less intense. The soup itself is creamy and velvety and refreshing with the acidity of fresh lime juice and dill. Now, that's one tasty way to stay cool, folks!
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this soup;
- You can adjust the thickness of the soup by adding more or less almond-coconut milk.
- I also like to serve this soup with a corn salsa or a sweet fruity salsa made with pineapple or mango. It also makes a great side to along with seafood at a meal.
- Instead of dill you could also use cilantro.
- Warm the lime to room temperature if you store it in the refrigerator. It's easier to juice this way. You can also press the lime and roll it gently across the table to make it easy to juice.
You might like some of these other summer recipes to stay cool with!
chilled avocado and lime almond-coconut milk soup
yields: 2 servings
1 haas avocado, ripe yet firm
1 lime, fresh
2 cups Califia unsweetened coconut-almond milk blend
1 green thai chili pepper
1 teaspoon dill leaves, fresh + extra for garnishing
1/2 teaspoon white pepper, powder
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit from the center and discard. Cube the avocado meat and place it in a blender. Squeeze the lime juice over the avocado, Califia milk along with the dill leaves, the chili pepper, white pepper, salt and hot sauce. Blend to get a smooth and creamy consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
2. Transfer the soup to a container and store in an airtight container for two hours to chill completely.
3. To serve, quickly stir the soup a few times and then pour it into chilled glasses and garnish with the extra fresh dill leaves.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Califia and all opinions stated here are purely my own.
I'm back after a wonderful and much needed vacation in India. Though I wish it were longer, two weeks was definitely too short of a time to spend with my family and visit Bombay and Goa. Still we managed to get quite a bit of sight seeing done between two weddings and celebrations. It should also go without saying that this vacation involved a lot of eating. There were Christmas sweets and treats my mom had prepared plus all the restaurants we tried out, then the food at all the different celebrations, the list goes on. Though, I've shared some of my photographs on Instagram, I'll be writing more about my trip, tips and experiences on both these lovely cities in the upcoming weeks.
There were three things my body craved for as soon as we got back from India, the first being sleep (the jet lag is intense), the second warm weather (winter in Bombay and Goa is around 80+ degree F) and the third, lighter meals. One of my favorite South Indian soups is rasam (pronounced rus-um), which can best be described as a spiced, fiery peppery broth that is rather light yet wholesome. Rasam is considered by some to having a healing touch when it comes to colds and it is one of my favorite soups to enjoy during the cold days of winter. It is also the perfect soup to eat after a 22 hour-long flight.
Here are some of my kitchen tips while preparing this soup;
- I used split red lentils because they are quick and easy to cook but you can use the traditional split yellow pigeon peas (toor dal) in the same amount.
- 20 peppercorns might seem a lot but it gives this soup its characteristic fiery taste. I've added a Serrano pepper here for heat but if you prefer a hotter green chili, add it. If you like it less hot, remove the seeds and only use the pepper.
- *Mustard greens can be replaced with spinach and the cilantro with parsley.
- If you can't find tamarind paste, you can use 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice.
- This soup will get darker as it ages or if it is heated. The chlorophyll pigment in the greens gets dark when exposed to air or heat which is why I add the green paste towards the end after the broth base has cooled down a little. I also serve this soup immediately as soon as it is prepared to keep it as brightly green as possible.
green goddess rasam
20 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
3/4 cup split red lentils (masoor dal), cleaned and washed
8 cups water, at room temperature
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon tamarind paste (you might need to add a little more)
2 cups packed mustard green leaves (mid rib removed and discarded), fresh*
1 bunch cilantro leaves, fresh*
1/4 cup packed tarragon leaves, fresh
6 scallions, fresh (both white and green parts to be used, trim and discard the root end)
1 large (about 2 tablespoons chopped) serrano chili pepper, chopped (if you prefer less hot, remove the seeds)
2 cloves (about 3 tablespoons) garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher sea salt
4 tablespoons neutral tasting vegetable oil (you can use olive oil)
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
4 dried Kashmiri chilis (about 1 inch in length)
6 curry leaves (fresh or dried)
1. Grind the peppercorns, cumin and coriander seeds to form a coarse powder using mortar and pestle or a spice/coffee bean grinder.
2. Add the ground spices along with the turmeric, lentils and water to a large thick-bottomed stock pot. Heat on a high flame and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the flame to a medium-high and cook for about 10 minutes or until the lentils are soft and translucent. Take about 1/2 cup of the liquid and mix it with the tomato paste and tamarind to form a slurry. Transfer this slurry back into the stockpot and stir to combine. Cook for one minute, remove from stove and keep the broth aside and allow to cool for 10 minutes before adding the green paste (prepared in step 3).
3. Place all the ingredients from the mustard greens to the garlic cloves, along with 1/2 cup of the broth (avoid adding the lentils from the broth) in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until you get a smooth paste. Stir this paste into the warm lentil broth. Add the salt and taste, adjust seasoning if necessary (you might need to add a little more salt or tamarind).
4. Heat the oil in small saucepan or skillet on medium-high. As soon as the oil is hot (after about 45-60 seconds) add the mustard seeds and heat until they begin to sputter. Once the seeds start to sputter, add the chilis and the curry leaves and heat for another 10-12 seconds, they will puff up and darken a little. Immediately remove and pour this hot mixture over the soup. Serve the soup immediately in bowls. You can also serve this with plain rice on the side.
This is the last of the guest posts while I'm away and it's from one of the nicest people I have the pleasure of knowing! You've probably already heard of Lindsey's gorgeous blog, Dolly and Oatmeal. Lindsey is one of the friendliest and affable bloggers that I know, her writing and food exude warmth and it's hard not to fall in love with her work. She comes up with some of the most creative recipes that will make you hungry and going back for me. Here's Lindsey with this lovely coriander roasted cauliflower soup!
As an avid fan of Nik's photography and recipes here on A Brown Table, I am super excited to be a guest blogger today! I always recognize Nik's infamous images each time i scroll through my Pinterest or Instagram feed, by his evocative, low-light captures. I remember the first time i became familiar with Nik's work i was instantly taken with the movement and flow in his photos, and then there was a just as lovely recipe to go along with it. His encouraging step-by-step tutorials always leave me with a sense of ease as i feel his recipes are elevated but accessible. So, while i'm here, I will endeavor to incorporate some of the things I love about Nik's work, which is interesting flavor combinations and engaging photography.
In that spirit, and the spirit of a happy + healthy new year, I bring you this coriander-roasted cauliflower soup, with tahini. tahini, in soup? Yes! It's a really awesome way to incorporate a subtle nutty flavor along with adding a creamier (non-dairy) consistency. we've added some satsuma juice for a bit of sweet acidity, and pomegranate seeds for garnish because I love the pop of tart, juicy flavor paired with a savory dish like this. After the heaviness of the holidays this soup is a nice nudge to a slower, and hopefully more calm month. january, and the new year, have a feeling of revival and renewal; and setting off the year in a positive direction, so, my hope is that this soup can provide you with a sense of that as well!
coriander roasted cauliflower + tahini soup (v + gf)
| serves 4 |
- 1 medium head of cauliflower (about 1lb.)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and crushed; divided
- course sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 large leeks, white and light green parts sliced thin
- 5 small garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves, plus more to serve
- 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth (or 4 cups water)
- 1/4-1/3 cup light tahini paste
- juice from 2 satsumas or 1 orange
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds, to serve
- preheat oven to 375° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. set aside. in a large bowl, toss together the cauliflower florets, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, salt + pepper, and olive oil. turn out onto baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, until slightly tender and browned.
- in a large soup pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. add the leeks and cook for 4-5 minutes, until tender. add crushed garlic, remaining coriander, cumin, and thyme; cook 2-3 minutes, until garlic is fragrant. add the roasted cauliflower and stock, and bring to a simmer. cover pot and cook for 20-25 minutes, until cauliflower is very tender. remove from heat for 10 minutes before pureeing
- stir in tahini paste; in batches, puree soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth. return soup to pot and add satsuma juice; taste and adjust seasoning if needed. serve soup hot, and garnish with a handful of pomegranate seeds, thyme leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, things start to get busy. It's the same theme every year, there's the excitement of the holiday and the food but the anxiousness of the impending crazy that might rear its ugly head. A good example of this is shopping during the holidays, it's drives me absolutely nuts, it tests my patience and I hope makes me a better person for weathering through it. Don't get me wrong, I love going to stores at this time of the year, they're all gorgeously decorated for Christmas (those ornaments keep popping up earlier and earlier, each year!) and there are a lot of fun things to try (new holiday flavored teas at one of my favorite tea stores) and the strollers, yes the strollers! Strollers make nervous, they keep getting wider and larger with time, they can even take up entire sidewalks but in a mall that's already packed they can become a tool of danger. While trying on a couple of pairs of sneakers, I had two encounters within a short span of time, the first involved a bump to the head and the second, my toes. I'm going to go with the notion that these could be considered "war wounds" of the holiday season and a reason why I prefer to shop online during the holidays! What do you prefer, online or in-store?
Let's talk about holiday meals and ingredients, though I love both of them, I love sweet potatoes a little more than pumpkins. They are simply perfect, I always get a slice of sweet potato pie at Thanksgiving and if I can manage, there'll even be a pie after the holiday. But sweet potatoes also make wonderful savory dishes and I can never have enough! So when the folks at The Society asked me to share a Thanksgiving recipe at their site, I knew I'd be giving a shoutout to my favorite tuber with this simple and easy soup that's served with some Indian-inspired cauliflower croutons. The sweet potato soup is lightly flavored with coriander with a smooth and velvety texture. It helps take the craziness away and comforts and calms. So go ahead and make yourself some soup, the recipe is available here!