Broccoli & Stilton Soup

The Stilton in this soup is surprisingly smooth, creamy and delicious

My boyfriend suggested I make this soup, as he used to serve it in a pub in England. My reaction was much like yours right now (unless you are familiar with this soup) – a blue cheese soup? For real?

I will say that in the past year or so I have developed a like turned to love for most blue cheeses…I suppose my palette is maturing. However, the thought of such a strong cheese with the strong flavour of broccoli in a soup made me very skeptical. But what the hell…I wanted to make something different than the usual cream of broccoli or broccoli cheddar, so I gave it a whirl.

Results: absolutely awesome. My new fave broccoli soup. And you know what? This soup has way less fat than cream of broccoli or broccoli and cheddar because the stronger the cheese the less you need. Even if you don’t like blue cheese I recommend this soup, as Stilton is a bit milder and a bit creamier than traditional blue.

 

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small cooking onion, dice

1 stalk of celery, diced

1 leek, cleaned, trimmed and sliced

1/2 head cauliflower, broken into small pieces

1 “knob” of butter (2 inch thick slice of a stick of butter)

4 cups vegetable stock

2 crowns of broccoli, broken into pieces

4 ounces (4 x 1 inch cubes) of Stilton

 

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft (add a bit of water if they start to stick). Add the celery, leek, cauliflower and butter. Stir until the butter is melted, then cover and  let sweat, 5 minutes.

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Uncover and add the vegetable stock and the broccoli pieces with bigger stems. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until all vegetables are soft. Add the remaining broccoli pieces and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove some broccoli and cauliflower pieces and set aside. Blend the remaining soup with a hand blender. If the soup is not thick enough, continue to cook until it reduces.image

Turn the heat to low. Stir in the Stilton, letting some pieces hold their form. Add the broccoli and cauliflower back in. Spoon into bowls, serve, and enjoy! This  soup would be awesome with some walnut crumbs and balsamic drizzle on it as well.

 

Asian Vegetable Soup

Quick, simple, and made per person, this soup is great for dinner for one, two or five!
Quick, simple, and made per person, this soup is great for dinner for one, two or five

So while I am a firm believer that great food takes time, sometimes we just don’t have it. And although great soups often take hours of simmering to create deep flavours, sometimes a nice, quick, light soup is all you need to warm you up and keep you nourished.

Not only is this Asian Vegetable Soup speedy, but it can make one bowl or 5 bowls…whatever you need. Plus, if you’re really in a hurry you can replace all the fresh veg with the equivalent of frozen Asian veggies and no one would know! Should you want a heartier soup, add brown rice noodles to the mix and you have yourself a noodle bowl. Want more protein? Add 2 tablespoons of shredded chicken or pork, 4 cooked shrimps, or 3oz of sliced, grilled flank steak, or 3oz of fried tofu to the bowl.  To be honest, with a bit of creativity, the possibilities are endless.

 

Ingredientsimage

For each person being served:

1 cup organic, low sodium vegetable stock

1 tsp sesame oil (I always prefer toasted)

1 tsp vegetable oil

1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/4 of a cooking onion, diced

1 inch ginger, chopped

2-3 cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 cup coarsely chopped hearty vegetables (any of carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped leafy greens (any of spinach, kale, collard greens, bok choy)

1 handful edamame beans, fresh or frozen

1 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp soy sauce

Salt & Pepper, extra soy sauce, Sriracha, sesame seeds, fresh cilantro, sliced green onion, all to taste

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Place vegetable stock in a pot and heat through on medium heat until ready to serve.

Heat sesame oil and vegetable oil in wok or skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté one minute. Add ginger and sliced mushroom and saute 2 minutes. Add your hearty vegetables and continue to cook, 3 minutes. Add edamame, fish sauce, 1 tsp soy sauce, and leafy greens, and continue to cook for 1-3 minutes (if only using spinach, stick to one minute; if using sturdier leafy greens use the full 3 minutes).

Spoon contents of skillet into a deep bowl (if adding rice noodles place cooked noodles in the bowl first). Pour broth into bowl, and garnish to your liking with green onions, fresh cilantro, salt, pepper, soy sauce, Sriracha and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

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Roasted Curried Cauliflower

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

This is one my favourite dishes, and I get requests to make it often. My Roasted Curried Cauliflower is completely vegan, gluten-free, and jam-packed with delicious flavours. It combines two Levels of Awesome (marinating and roasting) to add depth and richness. Serve as a side dish with an Indian spiced protein such as Tandoori Chicken. To serve as your main you need to add a protein source…I would recommend adding a couple handfuls of raw cashews at either the very beginning or very end of the recipe. You can also top this dish with plain Greek yogurt for an extra hit of protein.

Ingredients:

1 whole head of cauliflower, broken into 2-4 inch pieces

1 can of coconut milk

1 medium onion of any kind coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon of your favourite store-bought curry powder, or my super easy Homemade Curry Spice

salt & pepper to taste

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Hot sauce (optional)

2 handfuls raw, whole, unsalted cashews (optional)

Plain Greek yogurt (optional)

Marinate your cauliflower to get the best flavour possible
Marinate your cauliflower to get the best flavour possible

In a large plastic container with a lid, combine the broken cauliflower, chopped onion and coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Add half of the curry powder and stir until evenly distributed. Season again with salt and pepper and add remaining curry powder, stirring until evenly distributed. Place in fridge and allow cauliflower to marinate overnight, or for a minimum of 1 hour (the longer the better).

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease either an oven safe skillet (I always prefer cast iron) or glass lasagna dish with the coconut oil, and add the cauliflower mixture to it, making sure you scrape each and every drop of the coconut milk from the plastic container with a spatula. Season once more with salt and pepper. At this point, you made add the 2 handfuls of cashews if you are looking for more protein, and prefer the taste of roasted nuts.

A cast iron skillet adds a little something extra to any dish
A cast iron skillet adds a little something extra to any dish

Place the mixture in the oven, uncovered, and roast for 35-45 minutes, depending on how soft you like your cauliflower. I like to turn the broiler element on at the very end of this cooking process to add a little extra toasty crunchiness to the dish.

 

 

 

Top with fresh cilantro and serve. You can also add hot sauce if you like things spicy, or raw cashews and/or Greek yogurt on top at this stage if you are looking for extra protein sources.

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

Enjoy!