Sweet Potatoes, Apple and Cayenne Pepper Soup

I am a cold nature. I easily get cold, and when I do, it takes me for ever to regain my warmth. I have to put several layers, and socks over socks. I am the laughing stock of my family when i do… What is so strange is that it does not even have to be really cold outside for me to be cold so I have to have several sweaters on hand just in case. My husband makes fun of me because he says that i would never survive living back in France as their winter are usually more frigid than here…I really can’t disagree though I would probably readjust.

When you are cold, there is nothing more recomforting than drinking a warm soup at any time of the day. With the cool temperature coming up, soup is great for lunch or even for appetizers before dinner.

Last week I felt like eating a pumpkin and apple soup, but since I did not have any pumpkin on hands, I subsituted pumpkin with sweet potato. I really loved it. It is a bit different, but it was a nice change to the pumpkin or butternut squash soup that I often make in the fall.

Ingredients for 4-6:

  • 1 sweet potato peeled, sliced thinly
  • 2 gala apples peeled and sliced thinly as well
  • muscovado brown sugar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups of broth ( chicken, or vegetable)
  • 2 cups of fat free milk or any other milk (you can even subsitute with almond milk)

Turn the oven to 450. Place a large silpat on  a large perforated sheet and set aside. Place all the sliced vegetables and fruit and large bowl and drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil over them. With a spatula mix well so that the vegetables will be well coated with the olive oil. Spread the vegetables/ fruits over the silpat. Sprinkle some turbinado brown sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper over the vegetables/ fruits and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked and are a bit roasted.

Empty them into a large pot,  add 6 cups of vegetable stock and cook for 15 minutes to 30 minutes. With an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add 2 cups of milk ( skim, whole, almond…whichever), stir and enjoy!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Carrot and GInger Soup

I was not feeling very well today. There has been so much going on at school, and so much viruses and “bugs” that it must have caught up with me today. I was a bit croaggy, but was hungry so I decided to make soup. Any soup would have probably done its trick. Soups make you feel better somehow. Well, I wanted to get rid of my carrots, and thought to use ginger as it usually heal any stomach ache. So here it is:

Ingredients for 4 individual bowls.

  • 1 bag of carrots of 1lb.
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger grated
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 sweet onion sliced and diced thinly
  • salt/ pepper to taste
  • parsley or chives for decoration

Peel and cut the carrots, and place them in the round mold. Place the octogonal silpat on top of the round mold, and place the mold in the microwave. Cook the carrots for 6 minutes. In a medium saucepan, warm up the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the diced onions and cook at medium temperature until the onions are becoming translucent and golden. Add the grated ginger and cook for a minute or two. Then add the carrots to the onions and saute them for a few minutes. Add the warm broth, and bring to boil. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper, stir and bring the mixture to boil. When the soup has come to boil, reduce the temperature to low and cook for 3o minutes. Puree the soup.

At this point, you can do a few things. If you want to impress your guests, then drain your soup through a fine sieve to get rid of the large pieces.

You may also eat the soup ” au naturel”, but you may also add 1/2-1 cup of heavy cream to make the soup smoother.

Laddle the soup into individual bowls and add a sprig of chives for decoration. C’est tout!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Wild Berries Soup

This past June, I had the fun opportunity to go back to my beloved Paris for a wedding. I had so much fun!!! Though I traveled to this town more than i can count, I never get tired of Paris or its surroundings. Besides going to museums, I love to just walk in the streets, sit at cafe and enjoy watching people walk by. While there, I had the chance to go to several restaurants. Some more fancy than others. For lunch we often went to Brasserie because they serve ” quick meals”. Brasseries generally offer similar menus to one another. You will find ” quick fix” such Steak tartare, Duck Confit, Steak frites, Salade nicoise, etc…What I saw on dessert menu for the first time was Fruit Soup. I had been accustomed to see Soups  on the dessert menu, but in the past the soups were always a chilled very liquid puree. This time however the soup was more coarse and often included more than one fruit. I like this concept because it is a dessert you can make in advance and do not have to worry about the fruits softening or giving up too much juice.

I love fruit salad and I love, love, love diced strawberries. The problem with serving strawberry salad is that strawberries will give out too much juice if you season them too early. This recipe that I am proposing is a great alternative to diced strawberry salad, and it can be prepared in advance;-)

Ingredients: 1 lb of fresh strawberry, 6 oz of fresh raspberry, 6 oz of fresh blackberry, 4 tbsp of granulated sugar, 4 tbsp of lemon juice.

Dice all the strawberries and place them in a large bowl. Add the raspberries and the blackberries, the lemon juice and the sugar. Stir well and let the fruit rest for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to one day.

Serve chill with/ or without whipped cream and small cookies. Et Voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Turnips and Sage Soup

A few weeks ago as I was chewing some gum, I broke another tooth ( yeah.. I know that’s the second in two months) and because the break was too extensive, this time I had to have a tooth implant. How fun!!! and how expensive also;-( not my idea of spending my money but this is how life goes. C’est la vie…This must the year everyone has warned me about.. the year you turn 40. THE BIG 40:-(

Everyone says this is the year that everything falls apart and that you are starting to feel your age. I hope not, but I am starting to think that this may be true. And now that my own daughter is calling me grandma, I must be getting old:-(

Well yesterday was the doomed day for the surgery. It was not as bad as expected as I am back at work today. But because I am a bit sour with a missing tooth, I thought having soup for the next few days would probably a smart plan. I had a few sweet potatoes and turnips left so decided that it would be good to just puree and make a soup out of a recipe I posted previously ( Roasted Fall Vegetables).

Ingredients: 2 sweet potatoes peeled and sliced thinly, 2 turnips peeled and sliced thinly, 1 small purple onion sliced thinly, 1 tsp of fresh sage chopped,1 tsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of turbinado brown sugar or brown sugar, 1/8 of salt and 1/16 of pepper.

Place all the following vegetables in a large bowl, add the olive oil, and stir to coat. Place on a large silpat or deep the flexipan from the Demarleathome cookware. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and brown sugar all over the vegetables. Chop the sage and sprinkle it also. Cook in warm oven at 450 for 15 minutes.

When the vegetables have cooked, transfer them into a dutch oven and add 6 cups of light Chicken broth. Cook for 15 minutes. Bring it to boil and let it simmer. With an emulsifier, puree the soup and cook for another 15 minutes. The soup is still a bit “grainy” so I decided to sieve it to make it much smoother.

To serve, spoon the soup in individual bowls. You may add a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream and add a sage leaf for decoration. Et Voila!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Carrot, Sweet Potato and Cumin Soup

Brrr.. Winter has definitely settled. The cold is here and I will tell you that even though I am enjoying putting on my warm sweaters, I am still finding hard adjusting to those temperatures. I am warm natured so if I get cold, it takes me hours to warm up. So today as I was trying to keep warm, I was dreaming of warm home-made soups. What I really wanted was a leek and potato soup, but since my grocery store were not selling any leeks, I settled for carrots.

Ingredients: 1 lb of carrots, 1 big sweet potato, 2 bundles of green onions cleaned up and chopped thinly, salt, pepper, cumin and 4-5 cups of broth.

In a large pot, melt the butter and when the butter is sizzling, add the chopped onions. Sweat the onions until they become soft and golden. Add the chopped carrots and sweet potatoes and saute them. Add 1 tbsp of cumin and stir to coat the vegetables. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth to the pot and bring the mixture to boil. Lower the temperature and cook for 15 minutes. With a mixer, puree the soup and add more broth if you think it needs to be more liquid. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another 10 minutes.

To serve, spoon the soup in individual bowls and add a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle more cumin over the soup and serve. Et voila!!!

NB: If you want to make your soup creamier, add 1 cup of heavy cream.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Cream of Asparagus or Veloute d’Asperges Vertes

When you eat asparagus, you need to use both of your hands to break off the end of the asparagus. The asparagus will break where it is becoming hard and stringy, leaving you with the tender part of the vegetable. After fixing some prosciutto asparagus for dinner this evening, I was left with half a dozen of asparagus, and the tails of the ones I used. You can still use those ends to make a soup or a cream. All you have to do is break off the hardest part of the end ( it is generally white) again and keep the rest for a soup.

For this recipe you will need:1/2 sweet white onion diced and cut thinly, 3 cups of asparagus ends or full ones ( try to cut off the tips and keep them aside for decoration), 3-4 cups of broth, butter.

In a large pot, melt 2 tbsp of butter. When the butter is melting, add the diced onion. Cook at a low-medium heat until the onion is becoming soft and translucent but is not changing color. Add the asparagus tip and cook for 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of broth and bring the mixture to boil. Then lower the temperature and cook for 15-20 minutes. With a mixer, puree the soup. You may sieve out the soup to make sure that there are no asparagus “strings” left. You may add another cup of broth if you seem it is too thick ( i did not). Cook the soup for another 10 minutes. 5 minutes before serving the soup, place the tips into the soup to cook them.

To serve, spoon the soup into a bowl, and place a few tips on the top for decoration. Et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Pumpkin Soup au Naturel

With the fall coming in and the weather turning to cool, it is giving me envy of soups and veloute… Since I had made some little tartlets made with fresh pumpkin and had lots, lots of pumpkin left overs, I decided to fix a pumpkin soup. It is so easy to fix, and it warms your stomach and your heart in a flash!!!!

Ingredients: 8 cups of fresh pumpkin peeled and diced, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1 large sweet yellow onion, 6 cups of chicken stock, salt and pepper to taste about 1/8 tsp of salt and 1/16 tsp of pepper.

In a large pot, add the olive oil and turn the heat up. When the oil is getting hot, add the diced onions and stir until they become translucent and soft. Add the diced pumpkin and stir to brown them. When the pumpkin is getting brown and caramelized, add the broth and stir. Cook for 30 minutes until the pumpkin is getting softer. With a handmixer, puree the soup and add salt and pepper if needed. Cook on low temperature for 30 minutes. Let cool at room temperature and place in fridge. When serving, add a few tablespoon of heavy cream  and eat!!! Yum!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!