100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Soups, Vegan

Day 30 – Carrot, Ginger, & Miso Soup

day30

Carrots again !?! You might ask . . .

Yes, carrots again . . . this is what happens when you buy a big bag of any ingredient. Obviously, things are less expensive when you buy them in bulk, and if you want to be sustainable in your cooking, then it does not pay to let the extras go to waste. Soups are a great way to use up large amounts of vegetables that need cooking.

This recipe for Carrot, Ginger & Miso Soup, from Dish magazine, combines the carrots with traditionally Japanese flavors. Miso is a Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley, soybeans, salt and a particular fungus called kōjikin. The result is a thick paste, that is high is protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, used for sauces, spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with soup stock. Miso played an important nutritional role in feudal Japan, and is still widely used, both in traditional and modern Japanese cooking. Typically, miso is salty, but its flavor and aroma depend on various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process. There is a wide variety of miso available, and different varieties of miso can be described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savory. I tend to always keep Miso in the fridge, as miso soup makes a great quick meal, and it can be used to add flavor and protein into many dishes, both in Japanese cuisine and more western modern vegetarian cooking.

Just a quick tip . . . if you have left over fresh ginger, pop it into the freezer. Once frozen it will last for months, and when used in cooking the frozen ginger thaws and has the same robust flavor as when it was fresh. This trick can also be used for saving chilli peppers.

Carrot, Ginger & Miso Soup

adapted from: Dish Magazine

SERVES: 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 5 cm or 1 in piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 kg or 2.2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste
  • toasted sesame seeds, spring onions, and sesame oil for garnish

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over a high heat.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened.

Add the carrots and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.

Add the miso paste and vegetable stock, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Blend until smooth, and then divide into bowls for serving.

Garnish with the spring onion, a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, and a drizzle of sesame oil.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Soups, Vegan

Day 19 – Split Pea Soup with Crispy Onion Strings

Day19

Mmmm . . . Split Pea Soup . . . one of my favorites . . .

Although this recipe, from The Curvy Carrot, is different because instead of the just using split peas, it has other vegetables like carrot, celery, and potato to round out and add flavor to what can sometimes be a overwhelming pea flavored soup. Also, those crispy onion strings really make the dish adding just that nice bit of crunchy salty texture.  A friend who had dinner with me said it was “almost” like having crispy bits of bacon on top, making sure to use finger quotes when saying “almost”.

For the crispy onion strings, I used these little smoked red onions I got from the Matakana Markets on my trip up north over the weekend. I suspect the smokiness of the onions added to “almost” bacon quality of the onion strings. I love escaping from Auckland for the day and heading to any of the great markets in the fringe areas around Auckland. Only about an hour north of Auckland, Matakana is one of my favorite destinations for this, as the market is full of stalls with fun foods. There is usually live music of some sort, and if the weather is nice you can sit by the river and much on the treats you have just purchased.

In 1999 – 2000 I live in Sydney, Australia and worked as a waitress, hostess, bartender, dishwasher and kitchen hand at a cafe/jazz bar called Soup Plus. That Chef’s theory about making soup is that there can never be enough butter. The amount of butter he used to put in the soups was enough to make you second guess eating them. Yet the soups always tasted fantastic having this rich creamy texture that I can only assume came from the overdose of butter. This has stayed with me, and to this day I never make a soup without adding just a little bit of butter. Without butter this soup would be Vegan, but if you are not concerned about such things, trust me  . . . add the butter.

Split Pea Soup with Crispy Onion Strings

adapted from: The Curvy Carrot

MAKES: 8, 1 cup servings

INGREDIENTS

For the soup:

  • 1 pound/2 cups dried split green peas
  • 3 quarts/12 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 stalks celery, diced into 1/2-inch/10mm pieces
  • 2 carrots, diced into 1/2-inch/10mm pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 50g/ 3 tablespoons butter, chopped into smaller pieces (this is optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the onion strings:

  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Smoked sea salt for final garnish, optional

In a large stock pot over high heat, bring the peas and water to a boil. Let the peas boil, uncovered, for two minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. (This will dissolve your peas)

After the hour is over, add the oil to a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion, leek, and thyme to the oil and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add the vegetable mixture to the stock pot followed by the bay leaves and potatoes, and butter (if you are using it) and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the soup has thickened, about 2-3 hours.

Season to taste with salt and pepper

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Gluten Free, Recipes, Soups

Day 4 – Creamy Leek & Brussels Sprout Soup

Day4

WINTER IS COMING . . .

Yes, I am a Game of Thrones fan, and I am so gutted that after last night’s season finale that I have to wait to next April for another episode of this amazing show.  Besides that, it is getting colder here in New Zealand, and for me that means SOUP!!

I love soup . . . in all flavors and forms. Realistically I think I could eat soup every day and be happy. Some of you might be wondering “Why Brussels Sprouts?” . . . and to that, my answer is “Why Not Brussels Sprouts?”. These little veggies have gotten such a bad reputation from generations of housewives cooking all the flavor and texture out of them, and then serving them up to their poor families for dinner.

Brussels sprouts are a cultivar of the same species that includes cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi. They contain good amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fiber. Plus, they are believed to protect against colon cancer. These little mini cabbages have a lovely slightly spicey flavor that when cooked correctly can be a beautiful addition to any dish.

book2This recipe is adapted from the Great Tastes Vegetarian cook book, which was originally given to me as a present and it is filled with simple yet flavorful dishes that realistically are easy and quick to make. It took less than an hour (including prep time) to cook this soup, bake Lemon Pepper Bread, and make a quick Simple Raw Vegetable Salad with Dill Dressing as my dinner.

Creamy Leek and Brussels Sprout Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 large leeks, white part only, sliced
  • 300g brussel sprouts, roughly chopped
  • 750 mil (3 cups) vegetable stock
  • 185ml (3/4 cup) heavy cream or milk

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan  over a medium high heat. Add the garlic and leek, cover and fry, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

Add brussels  sprouts, stir to combine, cover and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

Add the stock and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat, couver the pot and simmer for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Using an immersion blender/stick blender fitted with the chopping blade, blend soup for 25-30 seconds, or until nicely pureed into a thick consistency. Stir through the cream or milk, and gently reheat soup if necessary.

Sprinkle chopped chives, green onion on top for a pop of bright colour and fresh flavor.

ENJOY!!

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