Roasted Kobocha Squash Soup

Any squash can be used for this delicious creamy, and simple soup. Kobocha squash has got such a lovely, sweet but not too sweet taste that pairs perfectly with ginger. I picked a beauty up at the local farmer’s market this past weekend and roasted it and have been putting it in to many meals since. As a time saver, the squash can be roasted in advance. If the squash is already roasted, this soup literally takes 8 minutes start to finish. The roasting step may even be omitted and the squash simply peeled, cubed, and cooked along with the other vegetables. Roasting draws out the most flavors and brings the sweetness of the squash to life, but it is not a necessity.

roasted-kobocha-squash-soup

Roasted Kobocha Squash Soup

Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2c roasted Kobocha squash*

1/4t chipotle powder *optional

1 fresh jalapeño or cherry bomb pepper, chopped

1t cinnamon

1/4t nutmeg

3T coconut oil

6c boiling water

1 vege bouillon

1t salt or to taste

—

1/4-1/3c cashews

1″ piece of fresh ginger

1T raw agave

 

Bring 6c of water to a boil.

—

Roasting the Squash: Clean the outer shell of the squash with cold water and pat it dry well with a dishtowel or paper cloth. With a sharp knife, split the squash down the middle, creating two halves. Seed the squash using a large spoon, scraping the stringy flesh and seeds from the center. With the cleaned halves, rub with oil and salt. Place face down on a cookie sheet or roasting dish and place in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is tender, yielding to the touch. Let cool. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the roasted squash.Place the cashews, ginger, agave and fresh hot pepper in a blender and set aside.

—

In a large soup pot, add the oil and sauté the onions and garlic until golden and soft and aromatic. Add the yellow squash, the boullion (or powder) and the salt. Continue to sauté until the squash softens and turns bright yellow- about 3-4 minutes.  Add the boiling water to cover. Bring to a rapid boil and reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 more minutes.

 —

In batches, in a blender or vitamix*, transfer the soup pot contents into the blender and puree the soup with the contents in the blender. Adjust the seasonings if needed.

*Caution: blending hot liquids can be extremely dangerous. Fill the blender only half way and proceed in batches if necessary.

Stewed Summer Tomatoes

Stewed Summer Tomatoes

Stewed Summer Tomatoes

10 tomatoes (roma or plum), split length wise in 1/2

2 teaspoons salt

1 small onion, medium dice

1 clove garlic, sliced

2T extra virgin olive oil

1 cherry bomb pepper, sliced *optional

3-4 large leaves of fresh basil

1-1/2c boiling water

Heat up a large cooking pot; add the olive oil and onions and sauté just until translucent. Add the garlic slices and tomato halves to the onions. Cover with hot water. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium to medium-low and continue to cook uncovered for 30 minutes or so. The tomatoes should remain intact. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes if not using right away to store. Remove from the pot to a jar or glass container and while still warm, add the fresh basil. If eating immediately, add the fresh basil in at the end before serving and drizzle with more salt and olive oil.

Serve fresh or you can freeze them. I eat them over crusty bread as a snack hot, warm or cold. I also use them to make a delicious dish; Baked Pasta with Stewed Tomatoes. AMAZE.

SautĂ©ed Lacinato Kale with Garlic & Fire Ball Peppers

Sautéed Lacinato Kale with Garlic & Fire Ball Peppers

Everything was local, purchased from the Greenfield Farmer’s market, the Lacinato Kale, the Fire Ball Pepper, the garlic…. This red pepper adds a low-heat kick, which is delicious, and not overbearing. I ate the whole bunch myself! Any kale will do, but there is something exceptional delicious about this particular variety.

Sautéed Lacinato Kale with Garlic & Fire Ball Peppers

1 bunch Lacinato kale, washed, trimmed, and torn into bite size pieces

1 clove garlic, minced

½ Fire Ball or Cherry Bomb pepper, thinly sliced

2T Extra virgin olive oil

1/4t salt

In a large skillet heat up the olive oil over medium high heat and sauté the garlic just until golden brown. Add the salt, red pepper, and then add the kale. With a fork or a pair of tongs, move the kale around the pan cooking the kale until wilted and tender. I like to place mine in a bowl with a plate over top so that it continues to steam slightly, makes it even more tender. Serve immediately. Also delicious at room temperature.

Creamy Roasted Squash Soup or Bisque

*roasted Squash Soup

Roasted Squash Soup

The squash is the star of this sweet bisque as it should be. Hardly anything is needed to make this sweetie taste delicious. Ideal squashes would be Curri, Butternut, Acorn, Hubbard, or Delicata. The spices simply enhance and showcase the bright golden flesh. Fresh turmeric and ginger give it an added bonus of anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, digestion boosting benefits…Now is the time for this wonderfully satisfying soup.

Wheat-free, Gluten-free

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

3c Hubbard or red Curry, roasted*

1 cloves garlic, minced

1/4t black pepper

1/4t cayenne pepper fresh or dried

3T coconut oil

1″ fresh ginger

1 vegetable bouillon cube (or 1T veggie broth powder)

1t cumin

2t ume vinegar or lemon juice

1t cinnamon

1/2t turmeric fresh or dried

2T maple syrup, sucanat, or palm (coconut) sugar

4c boiling water

1t salt or to taste

Cashew heavy crème:

1/2c-roasted cashews

3/4c water

OR 1 can of full fat coconut milk.

  • As a time saver, the squash can be roasted in advance. The roasting step may even be omitted and the squash simply cubed and cooked along with the other vegetables. Roasting draws out the most flavors and brings the sweetness of the squash to life, but it is not a necessity.

Bring 6c of water to a boil- in case you need more

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Roasting the Squash: Clean the outer shell of the squash with cold water and pat it dry well with a dishtowel or paper cloth. With a sharp knife, split the squash down the middle, creating two halves. Seed the squash using a large spoon, scraping the stringy flesh and seeds from the center. With the cleaned halves, rub with oil and salt. Place face down on a cookie sheet or roasting dish and place in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the flesh of the squash is tender, yielding to the touch. Let cool. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the roasted squash.

Making the Cashew Cream:

In a blender, grind the cashews to a powder. Add the water and blend at first at low speed and finally walking it up to full power. Let run for about 30 seconds. This should create a thick nut milk, likened to heavy crème.

Making the Soup:

In a large soup pot, add the oil and sauté the onions, and garlic with the sweetener until golden and soft. Add the cumin, turmeric (if using dried), cinnamon, salt, black and red pepper. Add the roasted squash, the boiling water, the bouillon cube (or powder). Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

In batches, in a blender or vitamix*, puree the soup adding in the fresh ginger and turmeric (if using fresh). At this point, the soup is delicious as is or add the crème or coconut milk  to create a wonderfully elegant soup. Adjust the seasonings again after adding the crème.

*Caution: blending hot liquids can be extremely dangerous. Fill the blender only half way and proceed in batches if necessary.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and garnish with pan toasted seeds from the inside of the squash!

Ellen’s No Meat Sauce

No meat sauce

I made this sauce tonight after work- it doesn’t take long and it is SUPER delicious, hearty, and satisfying.  The tempeh offers added protein- 14 grams per serving… For those who are not a fan of tempeh or are wary, it’s a good way to introduce it, for those who love it, you can’t go wrong with this sauce. This is also a good recipe to double and freeze to have on hand at a later time. Feel free to add fresh or dried herbs into the mix!

Ellen’s No Meat Sauce

Da “Meat”

1 package/ 8oz tempeh (I use Lightlife), crumbled

1 large clove garlic, smashed & minced

2T Olive oil

1t chipotle powder

1/4t pink salt

Da Sauce

1 large clove garlic, smashed & minced

1 large can, jar or box (28oz) of diced or crushed tomatoes (I used Bionatura Jar)

1c water

1 large onion, medium dice

1/4t fresh black pepper

1/4t cayenne (opt) or one whole small chili

1/4c extra virgin olive oil

1T sucanat or another sweetener

1t salt or to taste

For Da “Meat”

In a heated skillet, add the olive oil, salt, pepper and chipotle powder and sauté just until aromatic and golden. Add in the tempeh and pan fry until browned and crispy- about 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently over medium high heat. Set aside.

For Da Sauce

In a large pot, add the olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic with the sweetener until golden and soft. Add the tomatoes, salt, black and red pepper. Add the water and allow the sauce to come to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 35-45 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, adjust the seasonings. Add in the tempeh.

Serve over any kind of pasta or grains. Super satisfying.

Steamed Romanesco with Olive Oil & Lemon

*steamed romanesco

I purchased this from the local farmer’s market in Greenfield Saturday morning- it is one of my most favorite vegetables; Romanesco… it gets even prettier after cooking. Clean it, steam it, drain it, then cut how you like it. Toss with plenty of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and fresh ground black pepper, fresh herbs if your feeling crazy…. do not share with anyone.

#FRICKENDELICIOUS

Homemade Apple Sauce

*applesauce

I had about 4 or 5 apples that were just a little bit past good eating so I sauced them! I washed and cored them and kept the skin on. It was a mix of Ginger Golds, Honey Crisps, and Empires. It made the tastiest applesauce! I blended it in the vitamix- the consistency is really about how much water you add into the cooking and the water content of the fruit- too much water and you will end up with too thin a consistency for sauce. I added just a touch of cinnamon and bit of salt to draw out the natural sweetness in the apples, barley adding any additional sweetener-I used local maple syrup. FRICKEN YUM. It was delicious hot but even more flavorful cold.

Applesauce

4-5 apples of your choosing, cored and quartered

1/2c water (more or less)

1/2t cinnamon

pinch pink salt

2t lemon juice

2t maple syrup

In a heavy pot, combine the apples and the water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for about 15-20 minutes- just until the apples are tender and some of the water has cooked out.

Place everything including some of the cooking water (only if needed to get things going) the cinnamon, salt, maple syrup and lemon juice. Blend well. Adjust seasoning. Be careful not to over sweeten or season as it will intensify in flavor as it cools.

Serve warm or cold.

*a nice addition is cayenne pepper or black pepper!

Broccoli, Potato & French Lentil Soup / Stew

*french lentil broccoli potato soup

I love French lentils- they don’t break down like the other lentils so they have a really nice texture when cooked just to tender. They cook pretty quickly and they are a pulse that I keep in the house along side my red lentils. They are super yum in cold or hot salads. To make them, I used the the same pot prior to starting the soup; bring 3c of water to a boil with 1c dried French lentils. Let them come to a rolling boil, reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for 15-25 minutes or until the lentils are intact but tender. You can use another bean of your choice; chickpeas, pinto or kidney beans would be a delicious addition but there is something perfect about the combination of the lentil, broccoli and new potatoes. All veggies were procured locally, if not from my garden. You can cook out a lot of the water for a delicious and more hearty stew.

Broccoli, Potato Soup & French Lentil Soup/ Stew

2c French lentils- cooked

2 small thin skinned potatoes, scrubbed, washed, medium dice

1 clove garlic, smashed, minced

1 red onion, small dice

1 carrot, small dice

1//2 bunch broccoli, florets, stems medium dice

1 bouillon or veggie broth to replace the water

4c boiling water

1t chipotle powder *opt

1/2t hot sesame oil *opt

½ t black pepper

3T extra virgin olive oil

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil- in case you need more.

In a soup pot, heat up the olive oil. Add the onions, and garlic and sauté until golden. Add the carrots and cook for a minute or so before adding the potatoes. Add in salt and pepper, hot pepper, and stir until well incorporated. Cover with the hot water and add the bouillon.

Bring to a boil and let simmer for 25-30.

Add the broccoli and the cooked lentils and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings.

Non Traditional Potato Onion Leek Soup

*Potato Onion Leek Soup

I came home from teaching yoga and wanted something quick and satisfying. The smell of soup cooking is so rewarding, so comforting for me. Everything was local, the potatoes, leeks, and the celery were from the Greenfield Farmers Market, the onions, parsley, hot peppers were from my garden. I partially blended this with an immersion blender and then added the parsley; kale or other greens would be really awesome as an addition toward the end of cook time but not necessary. So delicious. So yum. #nonleft

Non Traditional Potato Onion Leek Soup 

Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free

2c thin skinned potato, washed and large dice

1 small red onion, coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 stalk celery

1 leek, trimmed, rinsed and sliced

2c greens; spinach, kale or collards *optional

1/4t black pepper

1 small fresh hot pepper or 1/2t cayenne pepper flakes

1 vegetable bouillon cube (or 1T veggie broth powder)

1t chipotle powder

3T extra virgin olive oil

4c boiling water or vegetable broth (omit the bouillon)

1t salt or to taste

Bring 6c of water to a boil, in case you need more.

In a large soup pot, add the olive oil and sauté the onions, celery, hot pepper, and garlic until golden and soft. Add the potatoes, salt, black and chipotle pepper. Continue to sauté until the veggies turn bright, stirring often. Add the boiling water, the bouillon cube (or powder). Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. You can blend for a smooth soup or partially blend with an immersion blender or leave as is. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the fresh greens if using. Adjust the seasonings before serving. Serve with crusty bread or add GF pasta or grains of your choosing.

Roasted Hot and Spicy Sweet Potatoes

*roasted sweet potatoes

Roasted Hot & Spicy, Sweet Potatoes

2-3 sweet potatoes, sliced on a diagonal or cubed

1 onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, sliced

3T maple syrup

3-4T extra virgin olive oil

1 hot red pepper, sliced

1/2t pink salt

1/4t fresh black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl; making sure everything is well coated. Place in a shallow baking dish or roasting pan and put in the oven for 30 minutes, then toss and baste the vegetables with the roasting juices and continue to roast for an additional 20-30 minutes. Delicious warm or cold.