Vegetarian Bean and Apple Cassoulet

Michelle prepared a Vegetarian Bean and Apple Cassoulet for the main course for the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club.


Original cassoulet is loaded with meat. This is a vegetarian version where protein is substituted with white beans. This dish can be made in less than half an hour if you use canned beans, but Michelle prefers the texture of the cooked, dried beans with some planing ahead as the dried beans will cook faster after soaking in boiling water for overnight.

Serve with crostini or slices of baguette alongside.


  • 1 1/2 cups dried beans (Zuni or other white beans) or 3 canned white beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced
  • 4 sprigs thyme, stripped from stem or 1 teaspoon dried one
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
  • optional: cooked bacon (veggie or pork for the carnivores!)




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Un-toppable Black Bean Soup

It’s fundraiser time again for the South Arm Community Center. It’s been a few years that the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors participated in the fundraiser for the Richmond Food Bank.

Stella, the coordinator reminded all the participants on hygiene and food safety for this session. This is so because the food made in this session will be sold to the public.


It’s not all work without reward. Two of the seniors made the Un-toppable Black Bean Soup for the group while the rest focused on the recipes for the fundraiser.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 x 19oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup low sodium V8 juice, or tomato juice blend
  • salt and pepper to taste
Optional Garnishes:
  • chopped cilantro
  • grated cheese
  • tortilla chips
  • sour cream
  • olives
  • chopped tomatoes


Source: this recipe is adapted from Peas & Thank you


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Sugar Pumpkin Soup

Minoo used the sugar pumpkin given by the Richmond Sharing Farm to make a warming soup for the colder fall weather.


This Sugar Pumpkin Soup has a gingery and citrusy flavour with a spicy kick.


  • 1 sugar pumpkin
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 1 to 2 hot chili peppers
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 to 3 cups vegetable stock
  • juice from 3 oranges
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • sour cream or creme fraiche for topping
  • herbs of your choice for garnishing (chives or cilantro)


Source: South Arm Multicultural Community Kitchen


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Potato Garlic Soup

You would not believe that the next superfood featured in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors is garlic.

The benefits of garlic extracted from webmd include:

  • boosting immune system
  • anti-viral, antibacterial, antifungal
  • high level of Vitamin C
  • cancer prevention: for example, National Cancer Institute study found that 2 teaspoons of garlic, onions or chives a day was associated with lower risk of prostate cancer


This Potato Garlic Soup does have a strong garlic flavour. It is a creamy and thick soup.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth or more
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives for garnishing
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried
  • salt and pepper to taste


Source: adapted from


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Zucchini Green Bean Soup

The Richmond Community Kitchens resumed in September. We are looking forward for the learning, eating and fellowship.


Minoo came up with recipes with ingredients that she collected in her Community Supported Agriculture Box Program (CSA) for this summer. The Zucchini Green Bean Soup turns out to like ratatouille.


One of the ingredient in her CSA box is the above giant zucchini. The Sharing farm also gave her some green beans to be used in the community kitchens. In fact the bean is not just green but came in shades of purple. The zebra like purple bean is called Heirloom Bean.



  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch section
  • 1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 x 28 ounces can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • water


P/S: Italian parsley is missing from the photo of ingredients.

Source: this recipe is adapted from

Serves 6 to 8


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Lemon Lentil Spinach Soup

The South Arm Multicultural Community Kitchen met again in the South Arm kitchen for another sharing and learning session.

Minoo briefed the group about the recipes she selected and talked about the nutritional values of the selected ingredients. Minoo selected ingredients that are rich in iron like lentil and spinach and ingredients that are high in fiber for this kitchen.

This week’s menu included a lentil soup, a quinoa salad and a dessert made with cassava.


The first recipe is a Lemon Lentil Spinach Soup from Mint Green Apron by Michelle Li. Michelle Li is the facilitator of the South Arm Seniors Kitchen.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups green lentils or French green lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (preferably organic)
  • 2 cups chopped greens (spinach or arugula or combination of both)

Source: Mint Green Apron, Michelle Li


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Ian Lai’s Asian Inspired Soup

May is Asian Heritage month.  The City of Richmond and Richmond Food Security Society once again present Chef Mr. Ian Lai in demonstrations of healthy, fun, affordable and locally sourced Asian inspired cooking. Cooking demonstrations that will inspire you to create fresh and tasty food from the best Richmond and Lower Mainland ingredients. This is Ian Lai’s third year involvement in this event.


Ian Lai shared with us why he keeps coming back to this event. As an Asian with heritage from Canton, China but grew up in South Africa, Ian continues to search what it means to be Asian. He even made a trip to Beijing recently but still unable to find his answer.

Ian realizes that he identifies his Asian heritage through food as he spends a lot of time cooking and enjoying food with Asian flare.


The first recipe that Ian demonstrated is a Mixed Vegetable Chicken Soup. It is a light broth loaded with lots of seasonal vegetables.


  • chicken bones from 1 chicken
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 2 pieces dried tangerine peel
  • 1 chunk of ginger, cut into half and smashed
  • 8 to 10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, remove and reserve the stems, slice or quarter
  • 1 package of enoki mushroom, remove ends and loosen the needles
  • 1 medium zucchini, rough chopped
  • 4 to 5 new potatoes or red potatoes (not russet), diced
  • 6 to 8 baby bok choy, cut into half
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
  • chopped green onions and cilantro for garnishing
  • sambal oelek, optional


Source: Ian Lai

P/S: some of the ingredients above are for another recipe.


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Locro de Habas (Fava Bean Soup)

Colleen prepared 3 dishes for the South Arm Seniors’ Kitchen. Her goal for this menu is to introduce some new ingredients to the participants.


The first recipe is a Fava Bean Soup. The soup is thickish with the addition of egg. It has some similarity in ingredients like this Chinese Tomato Egg Soup.


Fava Bean is also known as Broad Bean, Bell Bean, Field Bean or Tic Bean. Preparing fava bean involves first removing the beans from their pods, then remove their exterior coating of soft shell before cooking.


So, the kitchen started with everyone seating around the table to prepare the fava beans. This job is great to involve everyone in the family to help out while catching up with one another.


  • 4 cups twice peeled fresh fava beans, from about 4 pounds of whole fava pods
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups diced white onion, about 1 large onion
  • 2 roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon achiote powder (annatto seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 3 large gold potatoes, peeled and diced, about 3 cups
  • 6 cups water or broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs, light beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled queso fresco (we substituted with feta cheese)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro or pasley
  • 1 avacodo, peeled and sliced for garnishing
  • hot sauce, optional


Source: via Colleen

Serves 6 to 8


The Annatto seasoning gives the soup the reddish colour.


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Miso Soup

Due to numerous requests, Kazuko and Terumi teamed up to do a Japanese cuisine demonstration at the South Arm Multicultural Community Kitchen. All the participants look forward to this kitchen.


Kazuko started off with Miso Soup, a staple soup in Japanese cuisine. Miso soup is quick and easy to make.


  • 200-250g soft tofu
  • 6 teaspoons miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon Dashi bonito soup stock seasoning
  • 600ml water
  • 2 tablespoons dry seaweed
  • 2 green onions, chopped


The Japanese ingredients can be bought from T&T, Fujiya or Izumi-ya.


You can click on the photos above to have a larger view.

Source: Kazuko

Serves 4

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Black Bean Soup with Citrus Fruit

The next Mexican inspired recipe is a Black Bean Soup with Citrus Fruit.


This is high fiber soup. It is tasty and filing.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 lime cut into 4 wedges
  • 4 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream (optional)
  • 2 green onions, chopped


Source: via Colleen

Yield 4 servings

P/S: we doubled the recipe in the kitchen


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