Butternut Squash, Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup with Sumac & Za’atar Roasted Cashew Crumbs and Shaved Asparagus (Vegan)

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A very easy and comforting soup with added crunch from the raw asparagus and cashew crumbs. Perfect for this cold weather.

On another note, I recently made a tutorial for the blue background that you see in these pictures. You can check it out by clicking here.

 

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

1 medium butternut squash, just chopped into pieces

4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into pieces

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 litter of vegetable stock

½ teaspoon of celery salt

Pinch of paprika powder

Salt to taste

For the cashew crumbs:

1 cup of salted cashews, finely chopped into crumbs

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of paprika powder

1 tablespoon of sumac

1 teaspoon of Za’atar

Pinch of salt (optional)

For the asparagus:

8 asparagus

Salt

Pepper

 

Chop the butternut squash (leave the skin and seeds on, they will come off easier after being roasted) and carrot into chunks. Place the butternut squash, carrots and whole sweet potatoes in an oven tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle some olive oil over the squash and carrot. Sprinkle with some salt and then roast them in the oven at 180C/350F until tender. This will take about ½ hour for the squash and carrots, and 1 hour for the sweet potato. So just check from time to time.

Once the vegetables are roasted, scoop out the seeds from the butternut squash and discard them. Then scoop out the flesh and set it aside. Peel the sweet potato.

In a medium saucepan, add the olive oil over medium heat. Then add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the butternut squah, carrots and sweet potatoes. Add the stock, celery salt and paprika powder. Let it simmer for 5 minutes and then blend it until smooth using an immersion blender. Taste it, and then add salt to taste.

To make the cashew crumbs, mix the chopped cashews with the spices and olive oil. Roast them for 15 minutes at 180C/350F. Stir the crumbs half way through.  Set it aside to cool.

When you are ready to serve, reheat the soup and start preparing the asparagus. Grab a potato peeler and start to shave the asparagus. Don’t worry if some break. Then season them with salt and pepper.

Serve the soup with the seasoned shaved asparagus and some of the cashew crumbs. Enjoy!

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Pork & Ginger Wonton Soup

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The other day I was craving wonton soup like the ones I ate in my childhood. In Peru, it would always come with quail eggs. It is such a simple thing to make at home, if you really think about it. I used the same recipe as my pork and ginger potstickers, just this time I shaped them into wontons and boiled them, instead of pan-frying them. The other wontons you see in this picture, I served them in the same dipping sauce as the potstickers. I just added some chili oil.

This recipe serves 3

Ingredients:

For the wontons:

18 wonton wrappers

250 grams of ground pork (don’t get the lean pork, the fat gives flavor)

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger

1 spring onion, sliced very finely (white parts included)

½ tablespoon of sesame oil

½ tablespoon of soy sauce

For the soup:

8 cups of stock of your choice

1 small piece of ginger

3 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 spring onion, chopped

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

Extras:

3 quail eggs, boiled for 2 ½ minutes

3 baby bok choy

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

1 red chili, thinly sliced

Soy sauce for serving

Extra sesame oil for serving

Chili oil for serving

 

First leave the frozen dough out for a few hours to thaw.

In a bowl, mix the ground pork with the ginger, spring onions, sesame oil and soy sauce.

Have a small bowl with cold water ready, use it to seal the edges of the wrappers.

Place about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. Dip your finger in the cold water and draw a line over the edges of the wrapper. Then fold it in half, forming a triangle. Press to seal it with your fingers, make sure there are no air bubbles. Then grab the two opposite corners and press to seal them together. Repeat for all.

To make the soup, just simmer the stock for 10 minutes with the ginger, sesame oil, spring onion, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Then remove the piece of ginger.

In a different pot, boil some water. Once the water is boiling, cook the wontons in batches. This will take about 5 minutes per batch. Once they start floating, they are cooked. The only reason to cook the wontons in a different pot is because if you cook them in the soup, they will cloud the stock because of the starch in the wrappers. If you don’t mind it, you can just boil them in the same pot as the stock.

Then add the bok choy to the soup and let it cook for about 3 minutes.

Then divide the soup with the bok choy among 3 bowls, add the wontons and quail eggs. Serve with soy sauce, chili, chili oil, sesame oil and spring onions on the side.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Celeriac & Pear Soup with Roasted Pumpkin seeds, Pear chips and Chives

Celeriac pear soup

This was my lunch today. A creamy soup which is subtle in taste. I guess I was not done making fruit chips since now I made them with pears.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the pumpkin seeds:

4 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds

Pinch of salt

Pinch of paprika powder

Pepper

1 tablespoon of olive oil

For the soup:

1 medium white onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 celeriac, peeled and chopped

3 Bosc pears (peeled, cored and chopped)

1 ½ litters of vegetable stock

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/4 cup of cream

For the pear chips:

1 Bosc pear, thinly sliced with a mandoline

1 cup of water

1 cup of sugar

Extra:

Chives for decoration

 

Start by making the pear chips. Preheat the oven to 110C/230F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make a simple syrup by mixing the water with the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then transfer it to a bowl. Dip the pear slices in the syrup and then shake off any excess liquid. Spread them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake them for 1 1/2 hours. About 1 hour into the baking, lift each chip so they are not sticking to the parchment paper.

To roast the pumpkin seeds, mix them with the paprika powder, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl. Spread the seeds in an oven sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast them for 15 minutes at 180C/350F. Set them aside.

Pour the olive oil into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and let them cook for 4 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for an extra minute. Add the chopped celeriac, pears and stock. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Once the 20 minutes are up, blend it until smooth. I used an immersion blender.

Add the cream and let it cook for another 5 minutes while stirring.

Taste for salt. Divide the soup into two bowls. Top them with the roasted pumpkin seeds, pear chips and chopped chives. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Celeriac, Pea & Arugula Soup with Sumac Roasted Chickpeas

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I made this soup about a month ago and now I’m craving it again. The temperature has gone down quite a lot in the past few days. It feels as if we jumped straight into winter. Brrr! So comfort food season has officially started and a creamy soup hits the spot. This is a very healthy soup. The celeriac provides enough creaminess without having to add any cream. I love the lemony roasted chickpeas and I like the texture of the feta as it kinda melts in the hot soup.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the Chickpeas:

100gr of canned chickpeas

1 tablespoon of sumac

Pinch of lemon salt

Pepper

Drizzle of olive oil

For the soup:

1 large white onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 celeriac, peeled and chopped

1 ½ litters of stock (vegetable or chicken)

1 cup of frozen peas

A handful of arugula

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Extras:

100gr of feta, crumbled

Cayenne

 

Mix the chickpeas with the sumac, lemon salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl. Spread the chickpeas in an oven dish lined with parchment paper. Roast for 20 minutes at 180C/350F.

Pour the olive oil into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and let them cook for 4 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for an extra minute. Add the chopped celeriac and stock. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Once the 20 minutes are up, add the frozen peas. Let them sit for a minute in the soup. Turn off the heat, add the arugula and blend it until smooth. I used an immersion blender.

Pass the soup through a sieve and pour it back into the saucepan. Let it reduce over medium heat for 10 minutes. It will thicken nicely.

Taste for salt, keep in mind that the feta will give some saltiness. Divide the soup into two bowls. Top them with the crumbled feta, roasted chickpeas and a sprinkle of cayenne. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Chicken Miso Ramen

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I made this soup a few weeks ago when my husband got a cold. Since he also likes Asian food, I thought of making him an Asian chicken soup.  It’s a super simple dish to make and perfect for these colder months.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

600grs of chicken, I used chicken thighs

1 white onion, sliced in half

1 piece of fresh ginger, peeled and crushed (I used a piece the size of my thumb)

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

2 ½ litters of water

5grs of dashi powder

3 tablespoons of miso, I used red miso

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

Toppings:

80grs of oyster mushrooms

100gr of broccolini

Sesame oil

Garlic powder

salt

2 Spring onions, greens only

1 cup of bean sprouts

2 eggs

Chili oil

2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds

½ sheet of nori, cut into 2 pieces

250grs of ramen noodles

 

To make the soup, place 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Brown the chicken. Then add the onion, ginger and garlic. Add the water and let it cook for 30 minutes on medium heat.

While the stock is cooking, start making the toppings. Stir-fry the oyster mushrooms and broccolini in some sesame oil with a pinch of garlic powder and salt.

Cook the ramen noodles as instructed on the package.

Boil 2 eggs for 7 minutes. Toast the sesame seeds in a pan.

Once the 30 minutes for the stock are up, remove the chicken from the saucepan and shred it. Set aside.

Pass the stock through a sieve.

In the same empty saucepan, add the miso and dashi powder. Slowly add the stock while whisking.

To plate up, divide the ramen noodles in between two bowls. Add the shredded chicken and soup. Top with spring onions, bean sprouts, broccolini, mushrooms, eggs, sesame seeds and nori. Drizzle some chili oil and serve with extra soy sauce and sesame oil on the side.

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Roasted Tomato Soup with Zoodles & Mozzarella

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It’s cold and wet today. It’s been raining nonstop since yesterday, so a warm soup was in order. I roasted the tomatoes, onion and garlic in the oven to add more flavor. This is the first time I made zoodles and I am a fan. Plus by adding them raw to the soup, they still keep a nice crunch.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

8 tomatoes, sliced in half

1 red onion

4 cloves of garlic

1 ½ litters of vegetable stock

2 bay leaves

125ml of cream

1 zucchini

10 mini mozzarella balls

Pepper

Salt

 

Slice the tomatoes in half, place them in a baking tray skin side up. This will make peeling them later easier.

Add the onion (with the skin on) to the baking tray. Wrap the garlic cloves(with the skin on) in foil and drizzle some olive oil. Close the foil and place it on the same tray. Drizzle some olive oil on top of the tomatoes and onion. Roast them at 180C/350F for 1 hour.

Once the tomatoes are roasted, let them cool down enough to handle.

Then peel the tomatoes, onion and garlic cloves. Place them in a pan. Add the vegetable stock and bay leaves. Let it cook for 20 minutes on medium heat.

Remove the bay leaves, and blend the soup. Pass it through a sieve and place it back in the pan. Add the cream and let it reduce for 15 minutes on medium heat.

To make the zoodles, I just used a mandoline with the julienne attachment. I stopped when I got to the core. You can also make them with a spiralizer or a potato peeler. If you use a potato peeler, just slice it into ribbons and then using a knife, cut it into julienne. Set aside.

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Once the soup has reduced, taste it for salt. Divide the soup in between two bowls. Add a handful of the zoodles in the middle. I added them raw because they will end up cooking in the hot soup anyways. Add the mini mozzarella balls and sprinkle some pepper on top of the zoodles.

Peruvian Chicken & Coriander Soup (Aguadito de Pollo)

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I was really looking forward to the spring-like weather that had been announced for this weekend.  I got over excited that it said it was going to be around 14 degrees Celsius. My wishful thinking took over me and in that mindset I left the house in a lighter jacket. Wrong, wrong, wrong idea! I thought it would be a nice idea to go to a petting zoo, since the weather was going to be so nice. As weird as it may sound, I had wanted to pet a cow for more than a year now. I love animals and whenever I travel by train and I see the countryside and farm animals, I have an urge to go pet them. Crazy animal lover lady here!

Since our choice of transport here is by bicycle, we went to the petting zoo biking.  The sun was out and shining but the very cold wind was a bit too much.  I had left my gloves at home along with my winter jacket and the wind was actually hurting my hands as we biked.  It was still nice to go outside and get some fresh air.  The only cow we found at the petting zoo surely enjoyed her head being scratched. But because the wind was very cold, we ended up going back home earlier.  A soup like this is very welcoming after a cold day out.

This soup falls under the category we call “levanta muertos”. It means to wake up the dead.  It is called like that because many people have it at dawn or early in the morning after a night out drinking.  There are different versions of it, like with fish or mussels.

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I grew up eating this. It was something my mom would make often during winter.  It’s comforting and filling. And like a lot of Peruvian dishes, it is served with lime wedges. It is not the prettiest soup to photograph to say the least but it makes up for it in taste.  I had to look for a replacement for Aji Amarillo (Peruvian chili paste) because I am not always able to find it here.  I have started using Sriracha as a replacement in some dishes and for this it also works well. For the coriander rice version of this dish, you can click here.

This soup is ready in about 30 minutes. This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

2 bunches of coriander (without the hard stems)

200gr chicken breast, diced

10 cups of chicken stock

½ cup canned corn, or fresh

½ cup green peas, can be frozen or fresh

½ sweet pepper or bell pepper

1 red onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of sriracha or Peruvian Aji Amarillo paste (yellow chili paste)

1/3 cup of rice

Salt

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Lime wedges for serving

 

Blend the coriander with the stock and set aside.

In a large pot, add the vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, sriracha or Aji Amarillo, and sweet pepper.  Cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the diced chicken and rice. Stir for another minute and add the coriander stock. Cook for about 20 minutes. Then add the corn and peas.  Let it cook until the corn and peas are done. Taste for salt. Serve with lime wedges.

Roasted Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto

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As a kid I never used to like carrots, I would always pick them out. But my mom would make a soup very similar to this one and that would be the only way she would get me to eat my carrots. She would always tell me they are good for my eyesight. My eyesight was pretty bad, so I don’t think carrots would have made a difference even If I loved them. I ended up getting Lasik when I got older and couldn’t be happier.

You can use the carrot top to make pesto, instead of throwing it away. This recipe for pesto yields more than you need for the soup.  So you can use the leftovers to top roasted vegetables or eat it with some crunchy bread.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

2 bunches of carrots with the tops

4 medium white onions

2 garlic cloves

Olive oil

8 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

200ml of cream

½ cup of grated Parmesan

Salt to taste

For the pesto:

2 bunches of carrot top

3/4 cup of fresh basil

120gr of toasted pine nuts

3/4 cup of grated parmesan

Zest of 2 lemons

About 1 cup of olive oil

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

 

To make the soup:

Remove the carrot tops, reserve them for the pesto. Peel the carrots.

Wrap the garlic cloves with the skin on with aluminum foil, pouring a bit of olive oil inside. Place the wrapped garlic, onions with the skin on and peeled carrots on an oven tray lined with aluminum foil.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the vegetables. Roast at 180C/350F for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Once the vegetables are roasted, peel the onions and the garlic cloves. Chop the carrots. Place them in a large pot. Add the stock and blend it. I like to pass the soup through a sieve to make it smoother, but you don’t have to.  Pour the soup back in the pot. Then add the cream, parmesan and mix it until it is all combined. Then add salt to taste. Warm up the soup on medium heat.

To make the pesto, just place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until it is all combined.

Serve the soup with about one tablespoon of the carrot top pesto. If you want, drizzle a bit of cream on top for decoration.

 

Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Roasted Buckwheat

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It seems that winter is finally catching up. It has been quite a soft winter so far. But with the temperatures starting to drop this weekend and maybe snow on the way, a nice warm soup was in order. I roasted the butternut squash, garlic and onions in the oven to bring out their sweetness. For the toppings, I roasted some buckwheat with maple syrup and cayenne pepper (I find it quite an addictive snack). I also made some bacon crumbs. And for some peppery taste, I added some micro arugula that I grow myself in my teeny tiny little greenhouse.

Ingredients:

For the Soup:

1 butternut squash, peeled and sliced

6 pearl onions or 1 big onion, leave the skin on

3 garlic cloves, with the skin on

Splash of olive oil

1 ½ liter of vegetable or chicken stock

100ml of cream

Salt to taste

For the maple roasted buckwheat:

6 tablespoons of buckwheat

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 teaspoon of olive oil

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of salt

For the bacon crumbs:

12 bacon strips

Topping:

Micro arugula

 

Line an oven tray with aluminum foil; place the peeled and sliced butternut squash and unpeeled onions on the tray.  Cover one head of garlic in aluminum foil with a bit of olive oil inside and place it on the tray  (I roasted the whole head of garlic and only used 3 cloves for the soup, the rest you can use for another dish). Splash a bit of olive oil over the vegetables and roast at 180C/350F for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Mix the buckwheat, maple syrup, olive oil, cayenne and salt in a small bowl.

Line an oven tray with parchment paper and place the buckwheat in a single layer. Roast for about 10 minutes, check that it doesn’t burn.  Then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the bacon crumbs, just cook the bacon until crispy.  Allow to cool down and then put it in the food processor and pulse until you get crumbs.  Set aside.

Going back to the soup, peel the onions and 4 cloves of garlic. Place them on a pot and add the butternut squash. Add the stock and blend until it is creamy.  Warm up the soup over medium heat and then add the cream and salt to taste.

Serve warm and top it with the roasted buckwheat, bacon crumbs and micro arugula.

Quinoa Soup

Quinoa soup

I try to eat quinoa at least once a week and today I decided to make a soup with it. It already feels very cold and the lack of daylight doesn’t make it better.  So a warm and filling soup is very welcome these days. This dish is a bit of a mashup between a tortilla soup and a sopa criolla (a Peruvian soup).  This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa

1 red onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 bird’s eye chili, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

300gr minced meat

250gr tomato puree

1 ½ litters of beef stock

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt to taste

Toppings:

3 teaspoons of dried oregano

2 avocados, sliced

A handful of chopped coriander

3 poached eggs

 

First cook the quinoa. Rinse it under cold water and then boil for 12 minutes. Drain and reserve.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot, over medium heat. Add the onions, chili, bell pepper and cook for a few minutes until the onions are translucent. Then add the meat and brown it. After the meat is browned, add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add some salt.

Add the tomato puree, bay leaf, stock and cooked quinoa. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes.  Taste for salt and then serve into 3 bowls.

Top each bowl with the sliced avocado, coriander, oregano and a poached egg.