As is often with our moods, clothing and activities, they all change with the seasons. Naturally, so does our food.  Winter is a time of long simmering burgoos or the all day, all night Crockpot meal. It’s the time of year that “set it and forget it” was made for.  But now is the time to take a gastronomic flyer and put together something that you have no idea how it will come out on the other end when it was finished.  These dishes have no grey area.  Unique, bold and each happens to be delicious. Give one or two a try… what else do you have to do in the long dark winter months?

1794 Smashed Turnip Soup

A simple, easy to assemble “Burgoo”. The hard part is the gathering of ingredients.  Potato can be added as well as leeks instead of onions. There’s really no wrong component you can add as long as it stay in the vegetables’ phylum. The key is a good stock or a broth that can work as a baseline for the added taste.

3 tbs Butter

1 med Parsnip, peeled, chopped

2 med Turnip, peeled, chopped

½ cup Carrot, peeled, chopped

½ cup Onions, chopped

1½ Celery hearts (the light yellow inner part of a head of celery)

1½ quarts Organic no salt chicken or vegetable stock

1 whole Bay Leaf

2 cups Heavy cream, room temperature

Pinch Nutmeg

To taste Sea salt and pepper

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and turn up heat to high. Add parsnip, turnips, carrot, onions and celery with pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and cook.

Add stock, bay leaf and bring to boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Using blender, food processor or your hand and a potato masher, combine all of the cooked ingredients, add the heavy cream, another pinch of salt and pepper and pinch of nutmeg. Return ingredients to a pan and slowly bring the soup back to a simmer. Serve with a hunk of hearty bread.

Body Revival Mulligatawny Detox Soup

There are several post-modern versions of mulligatawny.  Each has a small tweak here and there and this is no different.  The base flavors are deliciously complex. The quality of your herbs and spices can change the tastes dramatically, and the effects.

Mulligatawny has been attributed through the ages for clarity of mind and solving digestive issues.  Well documented are its properties for chasing away effects of the demon rum. It can be served cold in the summer or hot in the winter.

The chickpeas give it a boost of protein; the apple gives it a sweet-tart kick. Use organic vegetables for maximum detox. Adjust spices if you prefer a milder soup, as cayenne pepper packs some religion.

On a personal note, after considerable testing, I can concur, this is the best hangover cure in the world.

2 tbs Avocado oil

3 tbs Flaxseed oil

4 whole Garlic cloves, fresh, minced

1 inch fresh ginger, grated

2 tsp organic curry powder

1 tsp organic turmeric

½ tsp cayenne pepper, more or less, to taste

1 med sweet onion, peeled, diced

4 med carrots, peeled and diced

1 cup cauliflower florets, chopped

2 lg Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced

1 med sweet potato, peeled and diced

2 cups thinly shredded red cabbage

1 qt fresh spring water

2 cups organic fresh veggie juice blend (V8-style juice)

14 oz. can organic chick peas , drained

14-oz. can coconut milk ,stirred

1 med Lime, juiced

2 tsp organic agave nectar

A small pinch of sea salt, to taste

For garnish: Thin apple slices or shredded apple

Chopped fresh cilantro, if desired 

For a slow cooker:

Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker  except the coconut milk, lime juice, agave nectar and flax seed oil. Cover and cook on high according to your manufacturer’s instructions for cooking vegetable soup. When the veggies are tender, add in the coconut milk, flax seed oil and lime. Taste test. Add agave nectar to taste. Heat through 15 minutes.

For stove top:

Heat the avocado oil over medium high heat in a medium size soup pot. Add the garlic, ginger, curry, turmeric and cayenne and briefly stir for to season the oil. Add the onion, carrots, cauliflower, apples, sweet potato and cabbage, and sauté until softened, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the spring water and chickpeas; season with a touch of sea salt, if desired. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, cover and simmer the soup, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, lime juice and agave nectar. Stir well. Taste for seasoning adjustments. Heat through gently; don’t boil. Stir the flax seed oil in before serving

Options:

If you desire a smooth soup, puree the soup with a hand held immersion blender  (or puree- carefully- in small batches, tightly covered, in a blender or food processor ) until smooth. Return the puree to the soup pot. Heat over low heat until serving.

If you prefer more texture, puree only half the soup, or mash lightly with a potato masher until you have the consistency you desire.

It is also magnificent left as is, as a hearty, chunky stew.

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