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Soba Noodle Soup

November 22, 2013

I love soba noodles. I love buckwheat in general and earthy, pretty soba noodles are a fantastic way to enjoy them. When Ryan and I are feeling uninspired or lazy, we make soba noodle soup (well, we make soups a lot – delicious, nutritious and all in one pot, you can’t really beat that). You can make this and eat it in less than 15 minutes.

Experiment with the spices and which vegetables you use. We usually just go with what we have on hand. Pretty much any fresh or frozen vegetables will be good in this soup (cabbage, zucchini, bok choy, greens of any kind, broccoli, thinly sliced carrots, green beans, lima beans, peas, corn, etc). The mix I list below is just what was handy. It takes so little time to cook this soup that you should probably get all your ingredients together ahead of time.

8 frozen soup stock cubes*
4 cups water
1/3 cup or less soy sauce
1 & 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic or as much minced fresh garlic as you want.
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
several drops sesame oil

Add broth ingredients except half the garlic and half the ginger, to a pot and bring to a boil.

2 bunches (175 grams) soba noodles

Once the broth is boiling, add the noodles. Cook almost until done (maybe 2 to 3 minutes). Then turn off the heat and add the rest of the garlic and ginger and the following.

1 carrot, diced
1/2 bunch broccoli raab, chopped.
2 tender stalks of celery, including the leaves, sliced diagonally
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Let the vegetables warm up, then serve and eat. If you’re planning on having leftovers, ladle the broth into separate bowls and add the vegetables to each bowl – although this should only be done with vegetables that require minimal to no cooking, like greens or carrots or celery. Then you can keep the broth for the next day for a quick reheat and add your pre-chopped vegetables.

*I make my own stock about once a month, with vegetable peelings that I have saved and frozen from peeling or slicing. Sometimes I make a specific stock –  like this months batch is mostly leek, or the last one which I made with the water I used from rehydrating dried ancho peppers and occasionally I make it out of kombu seaweed. It’s much cheaper than buying stock and there are no added preservatives. It also means you control the salty-ness of your stock. Just toss all your peelings into a giant pot and set it to boil for a few hours. Then drain it, toss the peels in the compost and ladle the stock into ice trays – we have specific ones for stock.


Beluga Lentils in Mire Poix

November 15, 2013

Mire poix is a delicious combination of onions, carrots and celery, very common in French cuisine. Traditionally, the ratio calls for a 2:1:1 of onions, carrots and celery. This evening, we used 2 medium onions. We sautéed our mire poix this evening in olive oil, added some salt. Once it was cooked down, the onions were translucent and soft and the carrots and celery were a rich and vibrant colour, we stirred in a cup and a half of beluga lentils and enough water to cover the beans by about an inch. Got the beans up to boiling, then turned the burner down to a gentle simmer and left  them, checking them periodically for flavour and doneness. Beluga lentils aren’t of the mushy lentil variety – they stay nice and firm when cooked. It’s such a simple dish yet so flavourful.

We just had bowls of it, but make it a little brothier and it would nice over rice.

Another thing I love to do with firmer lentil varieties is make lentil salads. Mark Bittman has a wonderful one that uses lemon juice as a dressing, with pieces of lemon, red onion, and capers, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.

Yam Soup

October 1, 2010
2 yams
3 cloves garlic
pepper to taste
soy sauce to taste
1/2 to 1 cup soy milk as needed
salt to taste
curry powder to taste
juice from half a lemon
1 small onion

First I baked the yams in the oven until they were nice and soft. While this was happening, I tossed some tempeh in a pan with garlic, pepper and soy sauce.

When the yams were ready, I took them out, peeled them (Jeeves had a lovely breakfast the next day of cooked yam peelings and his usual kibble) and put them in a bowl with half a cup of soy milk and mixed it into a slurry. Use more soy milk if necessary.

At this point, I’m sure a lot of people would have shoved it through a siv, but I feel like that sort of thing is a little wasteful, both time wise and resources wise. I might do it if we had dinner guests over (and maybe save the leftover stuff for stock or as the base for another soup?).

I tossed chopped onions and sliced garlic into a sauce pan with some olive oil. I stirred it around a bit so as to get the scrummy browning bits of the bottom of the pan and did this until the onion was translucent. At this point, I added the yam slurry, the coconut milk, ground black pepper, salt and curry powder (about 2 teaspoons). I also added the tempeh (making sure to spatulate the frying pan so as to get the garlic and olive oil into the pot as well) and some frozen peas.

I squeezed half a lemon in, to balance out the sweetness of the coconut milk and yams and a little more salt, to taste.

Broccoli Gorgonzola Soup

September 1, 2010

We had the Waitrose version of this soup while staying with at my aunt’s house in the south of England two winters ago. The Waitrose version had a surprisingly short list of ingredients – we are usually not the types to eat “pre-made” meals, what with all their nitrites and ridiculous ingredients lists. Anyway, inspired, we decided to make our own.

1 onion, chopped
3 heads of broccoli, floretted.
1 block (about 6 0z) of Gorgonzola (or Stilton or Bleu etc), crumbled
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt, pepper, olive oil to taste
olive oil
4 cups of water/stock – I used my homemade stock

Heat olive oil in a pot on low heat. Add onions. Once they have softened, add broccoli and garlic. Cook for about a minute. Add the water/stock and bring to a boil. Leave to simmer until broccoli is cooked. Remove from heat and add Gorgonzola, stir until it is fully melted/incorporated. Blend in batches. Once all of it is smooth, return the soup to pot and reheat.

Green Muffins

April 2, 2010

3-4 cups of the greens of your choice (I used mustard greens and purple kale, but one could use spinach or something similar)
1 1/2 cups canola oil
4 small farm eggs from your friend’s neighbour or 3 large eggs
1 to 2 teaspoon chopped garlic (I used 1 giant clove from our CSA garlic)
2 cups (soy)milk with 2 tbs white vinegar (2 cups buttermilk works as well…)
6 cups all-purpose flour
6 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F and prepare a muffin tin as needed (greased or lined or nothing if it is non stick). Combine the eggs, oil, buttermilk and garlic in one bowl and mix. Add chopped greens and mix it further. In another, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and pepper.

Fold the wet ingredients in to the dry ingredients, stirring just enough so that they are mixed. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin, fill each spot up to the top. I thought about sprinkling sesame seeds on mine and then forgot, so if you were to want to sprinkle anything on top, now would be the time. A nice idea would be chopped almonds or olives.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. They are really delicious straight out of the oven but also make for a yummy snack that can be packed in a lunch.


April 1, 2010

Parsley Dumplings

March 27, 2010

I’ve been busy with work and busy outside – more on that this weekend. Here’s a quick recipe.

me: Last night I made parsley dumpling soup.
MargoBee: ooh!post the recipe? Please?
me: Sure.
MargoBee: I have parsley and veggies…
9:58 AM
me: It’s quite simple. Just start a simple broth and add your vegetables like you would any other soup.
10:00 AM
While that’s cooking, put 1 cup of flour, 1.5 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, about half a cup of finely chopped parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Combine that, then add 1/2 cup buttermilk*, 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Then, after you’re soup vegetables are cooked, drop 1/2 golf ball sized blobs of the batter in the simmering soup.
10:01 AM
Put the lid on for 5-10 minutes.
Then check them to see if they’re done.
They should be puffed up and cooked through.
10:04 AM
MargoBee: thanks!

*Vegan buttermilk: Add 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice per 1 cup soy milk (obviously, halve this for the above recipe).