Spiced Carrot Soup with Pistachios and Rosemary

Spiced Carrot Soup with Pistachios and Rosemary

Nourish

Great for a windy and rainy day, this comforting soup warms the body. Seasoned with harissa, a blend of pepper, caraway, coriander and cumin, enhance the flavor of the soup, while the pistachios and rosemary add a little texture and color.

  • 2 Tbs olive oil, divided
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 4 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2-3 tsp harissa paste*
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs rosemary, chopped
  • ½ cup raw pistachios

Lightly sauté carrots in 1 Tbs of olive oil. Add water and stock and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add butter and harissa and blend well using an immersion blender or transfer to a blender. Add salt to taste. Return to low heat until ready to serve. In a separate pan, heat remaining olive oil on medium heat. Sauté rosemary until it sizzles, then add pistachios and cook until they just start to lightly brown. Remove from heat.  Top soup with pistachios and rosemary.

*Harissa Paste

You can buy harissa paste already made or make it yourself with red peppers or dried chiles. I use a dry (mild heat) blend that’s made with guajillo peppers, caraway, coriander, sweet and smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon and salt. If using a dry blend, whisk together 3 Tbs of the spice with 3 Tbs of olive oil, 1-2 minced garlic cloves and the juice of one lemon. Let sit for an hour before using and store in an airtight container. It keeps in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Serves 6-8.

Wholesome Mushroom and Barley Soup

Wholesome Mushroom and Barley Soup

Nourish

I’m back on my soups and stews trend, for they make great leftovers and freeze well. This satisfying soup is full of aromatics and flavor. It has hearty mushrooms, healthy vegetables and tender barley. I love the color and texture and the extra finish with black garlic salt. And, if you like and have white truffle oil on hand, try adding a couple drops to each bowl. This wholesome soup is simple and filling.

  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 10 oz shitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, cleaned, about ¾ of them sliced & ¼ chopped
  • 1 small to medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes with juice
  • ¾ tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp coriander, ground
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
  • 7-8 cups stock (vegetable, chicken or beef)
  • ¾ cup parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Black garlic salt for finishing (optional)

In a large pot, heat 2 Tbs oil. Sauté shitake and sliced cremini mushrooms until mushrooms soften, about 5-10 minutes. Remove mushrooms from pot and set aside.

In same pot, add remaining oil and sauté onion, celery and carrot until onion has softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add chopped cremini and white button mushrooms and sauté another 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, and then add tomatoes, ½ tsp salt, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika and barley. Stir for 2-3 minutes.

Add 7 cups of stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Then, cover and simmer on low heat until barley is tender and cooked through, about 45-50 minutes, adding more stock and adjusting spice amounts if needed. Once barley is tender, add the cooked shitake and cremini mushrooms. Stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes until mushrooms are warmed through. Remove from heat and combine in ½ cup of parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Finish individual bowls with small pinch of black garlic salt (and white truffle oil if you have it on hand.) Garnish bowls with parsley.

Serves 6-8. For leftovers, a splash of water may be necessary as barley continues to absorb liquid.

Zucchini and Leek Soup

Zucchini and Leek Soup

Nourish

One of my clients recently made me zucchini soup, and I had never ate it before. Expecting it to have a thin consistency with little taste, it was slightly creamy and surprisingly delicious. Her secret to texture and taste – leeks. Knowing that cooked zucchini is easy to digest and is good when your having gut issues (which I was) I decided to try making a similar soup myself. Not bad, not bad…

  • 4 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 leeks, white and green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 7 large zucchini, halved lengthwise then cut into 1-inch thick half moons
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Allepo pepper or ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbs unsalted butter or olive oil (optional)

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Sauté leeks and onions until they soften. Add zucchini, stock, salt, pepper and Allepo (or crushed red) pepper. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low-medium, cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes, or until zucchini is tender. Remove from heat, and butter or additional olive oil and blend using an immersion blender or transfer to a blender. Add salt, pepper and Allepo pepper to desired taste.

Serves 6-8.

Cucumber, Radish and Snap Pea Salad

Cucumber, Radish and Snap Pea Salad

Nourish

This is a vibrant vegetable salad that’s full of texture and a great pairing with many proteins or cold noodle dishes. (Try with the Mint, Cilantro and Green Onion Soba Noodles.) It tastes great fresh. If eating as leftovers the next day, keep in mind that the next-day vegetables will taste pickled with the dressing combined. I like this salad with a bigger sour and astringent taste of vinegar. If you’re sensitive to vinegar, try adding half of the quantity first and adjust to taste.

  • ­­­­1 medium cucumber
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 1/3 lb snap peas
  • 1/8 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbs rice wine vinegar*
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Lightly toast sesame seeds on low to medium heat stovetop, tossing often, until golden. Set aside to cool.

Trim peas as needed. In a medium saucepan, cook peas in boiling salted water for 30 to 60 seconds. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop peas from cooking.

Peel and deseed cucumber. Halve cucumber and radishes and cut unto ¼-inch thick slices. Cut the larger peas in half.

Combine vinegars, salt and sugar in small bowl. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve.

Toss vegetables, vinegar mixture and sesame seeds in a bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.

*If using seasoned vinegar, the additional salt and sugar may not be needed.

Soba Noodles with Mint, Cilantro & Green Onions

Soba Noodles with Mint, Cilantro & Green Onions

Nourish

Soba Noodles with Mint, Cilantro & Green Onions

As the weather start to heat up, I like to cook simple meals. I found a soba noodles recipe and modified it below to my liking. Mint and cilantro are two favorite herbs that add a stimulating and cooling, respectively, effect to meals. They worked perfectly with this dish.

I paired this with the Cucumber, Radish and Snap Pea Salad (shown in photo.) If I were to pair the noodles with something less sour and astringent, I would add rice vinegar to the noodles. I’d start with a tablespoon and adjust from there.

  • ­­­­10 oz soba (buckwheat) noodles
  • 2 Tbs avocado oil
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook noodles in boiling water until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain immediately in colander under cold water to stop noodles from cooking. Drain well. Place in refrigerator if you are preparing ahead of time.

For dressing, whisk together avocado oil, soy sauce, sugar and salt until sugar and salt are dissolved. Taste and adjust as needed.

Toss noodles with dressing, mint, cilantro and green onions. Add pepper to taste.

Kohlrabi and Baby Leek Soup

Kohlrabi and Baby Leek Soup

Nourish

My husband and I were at the Farmers Market. He wanted kohlrabi; I wanted baby leeks. I thought I’d make a soup with both. That’s essentially how this recipe was created.  And while the recipe is written for kohlrabi and baby leeks, there are some alternate ingredients included below. When visiting friends in Seattle and wanting to make it for a dinner party, kohlrabi and baby leeks weren’t available or in season. So, I used what was at hand locally and in my friends’ pantry. I know you aren’t supposed to experiment when cooking for others but I made a rutabaga, which I’ve never cooked but is from the same brassica family, and leek soup. Both soups were equally delicious and didn’t disappoint.

The flavor profile using kohlrabi versus rutabaga is mildly different – hints of sweet, peppery broccoli stem versus bitter turnip. And, the kohlrabi will create a slightly thicker soup. Pick your desired combination and enjoy!

  • 5 Tbs unsalted butter, separated, plus more for flavor if needed
  • 4 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 bunch baby leeks* (about 5-6) chopped; use entire leek
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 small to medium kohlrabi,** greens and stems removed, cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 1 medium Yukon potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 5 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • Aleppo pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme, plus extra for flavor or garnish
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pecorino Romano cheese,*** grated, for garnish

Heat 4 Tbs of butter and the olive oil in a large pot on medium heat, melting the butter until it is slightly foaming. Add baby leeks and onion and cook until the onions become slightly translucent, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add thyme sprigs and 3 generous pinches of Aleppo pepper. Reduce heat slightly and cook until leeks or onions just start to caramelize.

Add kohlrabi, potato and 1 tsp salt. Return heat to medium and cook about 5-7 minutes.

Add stock and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, or until kohlrabi and potato are tender.

Remove pot from heat and discard bay leaf and thyme stems. Purée mixture with a hand blender until smooth and creamy. Add stock to thin or cook longer to reach your desired consistency. Taste and add chopped thyme, Aleppo pepper, salt and/or pepper to adjust seasonings as needed. Butter can also be added if desired (which I did for the rutabaga variation.)

Return pot to heat and cook on low until ready to serve. Garnish with Pecorino Romano and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 3-4 dinner portions or 6-8 side portions.

Alternative Ingredients (interchangeable for one or all of the above):
* 2 leeks, white and light green portions only, chopped
**1 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
*** Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

Cauliflower and Cashew Soup

Cauliflower and Cashew Soup

Nourish

This vibrant, warm and sweet soup reminds me of the Autumn season, but I’d happily feast on it all winter though spring. It’s easy to make and really yummy. In my recipe I used some of Elemental Alchemy’s Spiced Golden Milk, which contains turmeric, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and more. You can also substitute it for more turmeric to start and add a dash of any of those flavors you enjoy.

  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Spiced Golden Milk or 1 additional tsp turmeric
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro

In a large pot, heat olive oil and sauté onions until they start to slightly soften. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add cauliflower, cashews and salt, stir and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then stir in 2 ½ tsp or a combination of turmeric and Spiced Golden Milk. Cook an additional minute. Add stock. Once mixture boils, bring to a simmer and cook until cauliflower and nuts soften, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and blend soup well with an immersion blend or transfer to a blender. Add lime and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro.

Serves 6-8

Butternut Squash Soup with Thyme and Rosemary

Butternut Squash Soup with Thyme and Rosemary

Nourish

As we transition into fall, it can be helpful to pause and reflect on the busyness and outward movement of the summer and prepare to turn inwards and find comfort as we prepare for the winter. A comforting soup made from this season of harvest, along with herbs that remind us of the fall and winter seasons can be just what the mind and body needs. And, one can never have too many butternut squash recipes.

  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 small to medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme
  • 2 pinches dried rosemary or ¾ tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • ½ tsp Aleppo pepper (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Puncture the butternut squash a few times and place on a baking sheet. Roast until squash is fork tender, about 60 minutes.

Once the butternut squash is done, cut it in half and allow it to cool until it can be safely handled. Remove and discard the seeds. Scoop out the flesh from the skin.

In a large pot, heat oil and butter until butter begins to froth. Sauté onion, celery, carrot and thyme until onion has softened.  Add the rosemary and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the squash, stock and Aleppo if using, stir, bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Purée mixture to desired texture with a hand blender. Salt and pepper to taste and warm the soup until ready to serve.

Garnish with fresh thyme.

Serves 6-8.

Fennel and Leek Soup

Fennel and Leek Soup

Nourish

This is great for a warm day is soothing on the belly. It’s light and cooling, with a nice touch of sweet, pungent and bitter qualities. Fresh herbs would work perfectly – for the flavor I wanted I only had dry herbs on hand. Also, if you enjoy the flavor of fennel, I suggest adding ½ teaspoon or more of crushed fennel to stock.

  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb with stalks, coarsely chopped, stalk ends and fronds set aside
  • 3 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced and cleaned
  • 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped and divided
  • 1 small red potato, diced
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tsp dried fennel, crushed
  • 3 pinches dried summer savory
  • 3 small pinches dried rosemary
  • ½ cup parsley, coarsely chopped, and more for garnish
  • ½ raw pumpkin seeds
  • ½ tsp Aleppo pepper (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, sauté leeks in olive oil until the leeks start to soften. Meanwhile, in another pot, heat stock, water, fennel ends and fronds, fennel seed, 1/3 of celery and chopped parsley on medium heat.

To leeks, add fennel, fennel stalks and remaining celery. Cook until fennel starts to soften, approximately 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often. Add potato and a generous pinch of salt. Stir then add all the contents from the pot with the stock. Add the summer savory and rosemary and bring to a boil. Once it boils, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 25 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, lightly toast the pumpkin seeds in a skillet for 1 or two minutes. Immediately remove and pulverize in a food processor. Add a ladle of liquid from the soup to saturate the pumpkin seeds and set aside.

Remove large pot from heat and add the pumpkin seed mixture. Blend soup well with an immersion blend or transfer to a blender. Add Aleppo pepper if using and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley.

Serves 6-8.

Vibrant Quinoa Salad

Vibrant Quinoa Salad

Nourish

I posted this long ago, but it wasn’t under a typical recipe heading. This is a tasty Summer/Spring salad, but it’s great for during any warm weather spell.

Combine the following chopped herbs in food processor with 1/3 cup or more olive oil. Add lemon or vinegar if desired,

  • 1 bunch cilantro
, packed
  • 1/2 cup parsley
, loose
  • 1/4 cup each dill, mint & tarragon

Mix with the following:

  • 2 cups (more/less as desired) cooked quinoa
  • small sautéed onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 to 1 serrano pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced
  • generous handful of arugula, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste; I also added cumin
  • feta, optional

If you don’t like the taste of tarragon, you could skip it or experiment with another herb…basil, sorrel, lemon thyme.