Sweet Potato Soup

I’m trying out lots of new soup recipes. So far, I’m happy with the carrot soup I tried a few weeks ago, and I’ve been making it nonstop. Next step: sweet potato soup! I found this recipe on Greatist. I used 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth instead of 4, and the soup came out very thick. I might add the additional 1/2 cup next time. It has a very comforting autumn-like butternut squash soup flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1-2 tsp salt (I used 1 tsp)
  • Black pepper (I used 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 shallot, diced (I omitted this)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 sweet potatoes, about 2 pounds, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (I used 3 potatoes)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I used 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tsp paprika

Directions:

  1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. Saute the onions until they are soft and fragrant, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper.
  2. Add the minced garlic and saute another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sweet potatoes, chicken broth, cinnamon, and paprika. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork (this took about 45 minutes for me).
  4. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. I found it easier to start off with the immersion blender and then pour the half-pureed soup into a large blender, since the potato chunks can be difficult to break up with the immersion blender.

 

Advertisements

Sweet Onion Lentils and Rice (Mother’s Day 2017)

For our Mother’s Day celebration this year we made a delicious recipe courtesy of Buzzfeed. Get a large pasta pot for this if you’re going to double the size! I’ve included the doubled ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 3 red onions (2 will be thinly sliced, 1 will be diced)
  • 4 T olive oil, divided in half
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 2 cups long grain rice (we used Basmati)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, for serving
  • 2 lemons, for serving

Directions:

  1. Make the caramelized onions: Heat 2 T olive oil in a large skillet on low heat. Add the onion slices, stirring for about 30 minutes, until they are caramelized and brown.
  2. In a large pot, saute the diced onion and garlic in 2 T olive oil until soft and translucent. This will take about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 7 cups of water, salt, and the lentils to the pot. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Add the rice, cumin, cinnamon and bay leaves to the pot. Stir well and replace the lid. Cook covered on low for 15 minutes, or until rice is soft and cooked through.
  5. Fluff the lentil-rice mixture and serve topped with the caramelized onion slices and lemon slices. Top with parsley.

Cinnamon Vanilla Granola 

I’ve been obsessed with making granola lately. It’s cheaper and healthier than buying it, and you can customize it so many ways. My friend shared this recipe with me. It’s from Foodbabe.com.  It’s delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups raw nuts (I used half pecans, half sliced almonds)
  • 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries (I omitted this but if you include it, make sure you add it after the granola comes out of the oven)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except dried fruit.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the granola in a single layer on it.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, turning the granola over every 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the granola from the oven and let cool. Add the dried fruit.

This will keep for a couple of weeks! You can also freeze it.

Blueberry Crisp with Walnuts

Since I’ve tried a strawberry crisp, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t also try out a new blueberry crisp recipe. Tarter and juicier than the strawberry one, this crisp goes well with vanilla ice cream too. The recipe is courtesy of Food Network.

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 6 cups blueberries, rinsed and dried (I used a pint)
  • 1 T corn starch
  • 1/4 cup sugar

For the crumble:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (I used walnuts)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Mix filling ingredients together and spoon into greased 2-quart baking dish (or bread pan).
  2. Combine crumble ingredients together and sprinkle over filling.
  3. Bake for at 375F for 40 minutes.

fullsizerender-8

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

I love Panera’s butternut squash soup. I don’t know how they do it, but it has a perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors. I’ve been trying to find a recipe for this soup that does not include milk or heavy cream, and I finally stumbled upon this one at Simply Recipes. I can always count on them for delicious food!

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 celery rib, chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 1 carrot, chopped (3/4 cup) — I used 2
  • 2 T butter (I used Kerrygold salted)
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped, without seeds
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (make sure the squash and apple ratio is 3:1)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • A dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, and pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pasta pot on medium-high heat. Add the butter, swirling until it melts and starts to foam.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the butternut squash, apple, chicken broth, and water.
  4. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let it cook uncovered for about 30 minutes. The vegetables should be soft enough that you can pierce them with a fork.
  5. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or by transferring the soup in batches to your blender.
  6. Add the spices and pumpkin seeds if you want.

fullsizerender-2

Autumn Oatmeal Bowl

Thanksgiving is two weeks away. What is happening! Here is a new take on my breakfast oatmeal bowl that I tried yesterday. It’s perfect for an autumn morning breakfast:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 Pink Lady apple, chopped
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • A dash of nutmeg
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T dried cranberries
  • 1 T slivered almonds

Directions:

  1. Combine the oatmeal and 3/4 cup water in a bowl and microwave for 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Let sit in the microwave for a minute or two to soften the apple chunks a bit.

 

fullsizerender

 

Strawberry Quick Bread (Lactose-Free)

I continue my quest for dairy-free quick breads! I found this recipe on allrecipes. It’s delicious! I tweaked it just a bit. I cut the recipe in half and added some almonds in. Here is the way I made it:

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cup + 1/16 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 T ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 + 1/8 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Directions:

Spray a loaf pan with cooking oil and preheat the oven to 350F.

Toss the sliced strawberries with sugar and let rest about 5 minutes.

In a blender, combine the strawberries, vegetable oil, and eggs. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture, beating on low until combined. Add the nuts. Stir well.

Pour into the loaf pan.

Bake at 350F for 70 minutes.

Note: The original recipe suggested I bake for 45-50 minutes, but ovens vary, and when I inserted a toothpick into the center of the loaf after 50 minutes the center was still runny. So I let it bake for 15-20 more minutes. The edges came out crusty but the loaf was cooked and very tasty. You may want to pair this with butter or jam if it’s too dry.

IMG_2610

s