Spiced Carrot and Celery Soup

Minoo prepared four recipes for the South Arm Community Kitchen for this meet. We started with a simple, colourful, lively and warming soup.

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The simple carrot and celery is spiced up with curry powder. You can add any leftover food like ham or roasted chicken shreds into the  soup to make it more appealing to kids. The addition of potatoes or grains will make it more creamy and hearty.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 6 medium carrots, diced
  • 4 large sticks of celery, diced
  • 4 cups water or vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Vegan Family House (UK)

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Creamy Kale and Vegetable Soup

Michelle prepared a Creamy Kale and Vegetable Soup for the South Arm Seniors’ Kitchen in line with the cruciferous theme. Kale belongs to the cabbage family. Moreover, the kale is harvested from the Seniors’ Community Garden.

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The Creamy Kale and Vegetable Soup is best served with some nice crusty bread. If you like Italian sausage, you can slice it and include it when your are sauteeing the veggies. Or, use farmer sausage but leave out the rosemary.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed or minced (about 2 tablespoons minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped or ground with mortar & pestle
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled & diced (or 4 to 5 small potatoes)
  • 5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups white beans, fresh cooked or canned
  • 1 head kale, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • rind of Parmesan cheese, optional

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Source: Mintgreenapron.com

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Mushroom and Barley Soup

Minoo prepared a hearty Mushroom and Barley Soup for her vegetarian theme recipes in the Gilmore Park Church community kitchen.

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The Mushroom and Barley Soup is a delicious and healthy dinner option. It can be a quick meal if you can find the quick cooking barley which is pre-steamed and takes only 10 minutes to cook.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds white or brown (cremini) mushrooms, trimmed, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese
  • a splash of milk

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Everyday Food.

Makes 4 large servings

Please note that the broth should be vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

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Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk

Minoo prepared a Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk for the comfort food theme. The colour of the meals at today’s kitchen is simply a shade of yellowish orange, just like fall colour.

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The Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk is gingery and sweet. It can also served as a dessert soup if we leave out the salt.

Ingredients

  • 7 to 8 cups diced butternut squash (1 large 3 lbs squash)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder or curry paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth or water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, optional
  • 1 x 14oz can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

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Source: adapted from Vegetarian classics

Serves 4

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Creamy Corn Soup

Michelle prepared a very simple Creamy Corn Soup for the Chinese New Year celebration at the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.

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The Creamy Corn Soup can be made with ham, cooked chicken, cooked crabmeat, salmon or shrimp.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans 14oz cans creamed corn (about 3 cups)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or white wine
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cooked meat

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Source: from “Quick and Easy Chinese” by Nancie McDermott

Serves 4

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Moroccan Carrot Soup

For this kitchen in the Gilmore Park Church, Minoo chosed a theme of spice. Here is an excerpt that Minoo shared with us.

Spices do more than make food taste great. Recent reseach is showing that spices can promote health and well being through a series of actions that are anti-aging and inhibiting of degenerative disease. The vegetarian diet so often associated with good health and lack of disease relies heavily on the use of spice. But you dont have to be a vegetarian to gain the amazing health benefits these inexpensive flavour enhancers have to offer.

The addition of spices can turn up the taste of almost any food. Here are some examples of the uses of spices in everyday cooking:

  • Add some chili pepper, cumin or turmeric to mashed potatoes or rice.
  • Sprinkle marjoram or rosemary on your salads.
  • Dress up cottage cheese with whatever spice flavour that appeals to you
  • Add spice to vegetable dishes
  • Sprinkle spice on meats, poultry or fish before cooking
Any way you do it, adding spice means adding a wealth of health benefits. Spices have more antioxidant power, measure for measure, than fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants helps prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and premature aging.
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This Moroccan Carrot Soup has a punch of flavour. The addition of lemon juice gives it a much depth of flavour.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 2/3 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream, stirred to loosen

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Epicurious.com
Makes 4 servings; Preparation time: 20 minutes: Total time: 40 minutes

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Pork Skin in Laksa Broth, with Rau Thom in Moderation

I know. This is not exactly the healthiest of breakfast.

When I was young and growing up in Malaysia, I used to always walk to the open air wet market near my house to buy breakfast. There are a lot of choices but there is one thing I like to buy most of the time is the curry with pork skin. I like it so much that in my last trip back to Malaysia a few years ago, the first place I headed to for breakfast is exactly that.

For some reason, back home in Vancouver, I completely forgot about it.

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The reason was because I did not come across pork skins until now. So with the help of Suanne, I made the pork skin in laksa broth above. Maybe the proper word to describe this is not made, but rather assembled.

For those of you who love laksa and pork skin, this will be something you will like a lot. I am sure. The pork skin does a great job in absorbing and holding the laksa making it bursting with flavour.

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There are not many places where you can buy pork skins like these above. Or at least I have not paid much attention to it until recently.

What really excites me is that it is really cheap. It is just $2.99 a pound. Not knowing how much is a pound, I told the shop that I wanted $5.00 and they ended up giving me $7.00 worth of it. That makes it well over 2 pounds. Actually it is not really what it is weigh because it also holds some clear jhup which I figure makes up the bulk of the weight.

The owner of the shop told me that not many places will “bow” (translated as explode in English), these pork skin but they do make it themselves. I am wondering if any of you knows of other places who also “bow” pork skins in Vancouver.

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Russian Cold Soup (Okroshka)

Iryna and Joanne partnered up to demonstrate at the Caring Place Community Kitchen. Iryna is from Ukraine. She demonstrated a very popular Ukrainian dish which originated from Russia. It is a cold soup dish called Okroshka. Iryna told us that she had been making this cold soup all her life. She served the Okroshka with toasted bread and a dollop of sour cream.

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Okroshka is a summer dish. It is a very refreshing soup. It is made with fresh diced vegetables. The fresh vegetables retain the vitamins due to no cooking is involved. Heat is the main culprit to destroy vitamins. The only vegetables that need cooking is potatoes. Of course, there is meat in this dish which needs cooking. You can add poached chicken, fish, ham or sausages to this dish.

Okroshka is usually made with cucumbers, carrot, a garden radish, parsley, baby dill, green onion, eggs, lemon juice, butter milk or sour cream or mayonnaise.  If you like to add meat, it has to be cooked and chilled. The ratio of meat and vegetables should be approximately half and half.

Iryna, thank you for sharing your favourite soup with us.

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Iryna shared with us something about her country, Ukraine. Ukraine is used to be part of Russia. It’s an European country. It is the biggest country in Europe after Russia. It claimed it’s independence in 1921.

Ukraine’s population is about 50 million. Ukrainian also speaks Russian and it’s language is similar to Hungarian and Poland.

Ukrainian’s winter is very harsh, between -20 to -35 Celsius and the summer can be pretty hot, as high as 40 Celsius.

Ukraine has no mountain except the border with Poland and Hungarian. Iryna is from the south of Ukraine which borders the Black Sea.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken breast or sausages
  • 2 cucumbers, dice
  • 2 radishes, dice
  • 4 boiled potatoes
  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 1 small carrot, boiled, dice
  • 1 bunch baby dill, chopped
  • 1 small tub of sour cream
  • 1 litre of butter milk or 1 small jar of mayonnaise
  • lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • salt to taste

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Iryna did not use the butter milk but she used the mayonnaise instead.  She brought the butter milk to show us the option.

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Radish is a root vegetable. It is related to mustard and turnip. Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, i.e. Vitamin C, folic acid and potassium. They are a good source of Vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper and calcium.  Radishes can be eaten raw and is often used in salad.

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The flavour of Okroshka is predominated by dill. Dill has fernlike leaves that are aromatic and used to flavour many food such as salmon, borscht, okroshka and pickles. Fresh dill loses it’s flavour rapidly if dried, however, freeze-dried dill leaves preserve their flavour relatively well for a few months.

Source: Iryna

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Lentil Soup with Tomato and Spinach

Minoo prepared four recipes for the South Arm Community Kitchen held at the Bethel Church. It looks like that we will continue to meet at the Bethel Church until the summer break in July. We appreciate very much for Bethel Church’s generosity to allow us to use their well equipped kitchen for free.

For the starter, Minoo selected a lentil soup recipe. Lentils require soaking (some overnight) before cooking due to the presence of anti-nutrients such as phytic acid and tannins. Lentils can be used to make soup, salad or cook with rice to add protein to the vegetarian diet.

Here are some recipes that I had blogged before about lentil:

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This soup gets a gentle heat from jalapeno pepper and a burst of added flavours from freshly squeezed lemon juice and freshly roasted spices. The addition of tomatoes and spinach also adds freshness to the soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons oil or butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow lentils, washed and drained
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 plum tomatoes, peel and dice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste

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Source: Minoo

The spinach can be substituted with other green vegetables like kale.

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Dace Fish Soup

For the second dish, Emily made a simple Dace Fish Soup in the South Arm Community Kitchen. It is very common to have soup in a Chinese meal.

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This Dace Fish Soup is made with dace fish paste which can be bought from Chinese groceries store. Napa cabbage and oyster mushrooms add sweetness to the soup. This soup can be made in 15 minutes.

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You can buy Dace fish paste in most Chinese groceries like T&T, Great One Supermarket, Great Value Asian Supermarket, etc.

You may substitute the dace fish paste with various meat balls.

Ingredients

  • Dace fish paste
  • Napa cabbage (suey choy), cut into 1/2 inch section
  • oyster mushroom, shred into fairly large pieces
  • carrot, grated
  • cilantro, chopped
  • 1-inch of ginger, minced
  • salt to taste
  • white pepper to taste
  • sesame oil

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Source: Emily

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