Spicy Chick Pea Soup

This is my new favorite soup! Have you ever had collards? Today, I am featurIng this neglected super food: collard greens!

If you are a Southerner (U.S.), you probably have ‘traditional’ collard greens and black-eyed peas on New Years day to bring abundance and good fortune 🍀 to your New Year! 🎉 Join me for a visit to Flavor Town in the soup factory!

COLLARD GREENS: Full of Energy! “Super Food”

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-2 bunches of collard greens ( You decide how much you want – more is good)
  • 3-4 red onions
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika (heaping)
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds (smash, do not grind)
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon (heaping)
  • 10-15 green or white cardamon pods*
  • 2-3 cans chick peas (drained: 14-16 fl oz)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes** with 2 (tomato) cans of water
  • 3 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • A handful of chopped cilantro ( or parsley) about 1/2 cup

DIRECTIONS

  • Assemble and mix your dry spices in one bowl Rinse and chop collards (Rip or cut out the hard center stem)
  • Add oil to your dutch oven (or heavy pot). Then add chopped onions, heat until translucent. Add chopped garlic and blend quickly.
  • Add spices and mix well with onions and garlic [ add more oil if ingredients start to dry up ]. You want to mix the spices with the onion for optimal flavor.
  • Add 2 cans of drained chick peas
  • Add chopped collards
  • Add 1 can of tomatoes + 2 cans of water. (more water if soup looks more like a stew)
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add pink salt and chopped cilantro in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • Optional: Add about 1 tsp. of fresh thyme, rosemary and/or 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes for added heat Add these additional spices in the beginning with sauteed onions.
Chick Pea Soup With Collard Greens (Topped With Toasted Black & White Sesame Seeds). I sometimes sprinkle chia seeds.

VARIATIONS

  • More Vegetables:- Add 1, 2 carrots and/or a handful of mushrooms. I do add extra veggies (If they are in the house).
  • Chick pea substitute:- Use white navy beans, cannellini beans, lentils, or black-eyed peas or a blend of various beans.
  • Collard substitute:- Swiss chard or kale, (or spinach).
  • FLAVOR BOOST: 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of Maggi chicken powder, or 1 cup of homemade stock! I do add Maggi powder – I call it Maggi Magic!

Chick peas (garbanzo beans) are very high in protein. Good choice to reduce high blood pressure, reduce wrinkles, weight loss and much more.

Green Cardamom – Mild, Aromatic Spice. A Perennial Plant In The Ginger Family
  • * TIP1: Gently pound dry cardamom with a mortar and pestle. Then, remove most of the pod casing with a sieve or by hand. Keep pod casings for stock or when boiling rice.
    ** TIP2: Use POMI tomatoes (or San Marzano tomatoes). Order online or check at Costco, your supermarket or Italian grocery stores.

PRECAUTION: Eating chick peas, may make you bloat or get a stomach ache. Instead, use white navy beans or broad (fava) beans. Fava beans are good for the immune system and improves bone density. (Info provided by my biologist neighbor)

SALT TIP: When salt is added to food early in the cooking process, it tends to break out the water in the vegetables being cooked. To retain moisture and flavour from the spices, salt is added at the end. Also, adding salt early tends to make the chick peas hard.

If you like this recipe and make it, snap a photo send it to me, or, share it on your social media. I can check it out and leave a comment! 😀

Goulash Soup ~ A Taste of Hungary

Hungarian Goulash (Gulyás) is easy to make! A few simple ingredients are transformed into an incredibly flavored soup.
The word Gulyás means Herdsman or COWBOY. Simmering soup over the camp fire became a standard herdsman’s dinner in Hungary.
This authentic recipe is from my Hungarian neighbor. It was handed down to her from her grandmother.
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 lbs stewing beef, cut into bite size 1 inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large cooking onions chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic cut in half – remove inside stem
  • 2 table spoons of caraway seed (dissolves in the soup)
  • 2 big ripe Roma tomatoes halved
  • 2 red bell peppers quartered
  • 1.5 inch tomato paste from tube, OR 1 teaspoon of canned tomatoes paste
  • 2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Chilli pepper flakes
  • optional 6 carrots: 2 yellow, 2 orange 2 purple. Cut into cubes.
Red carrots contain lycopene (another form of carotene), a pigment also found in tomatoes and watermelon.
INSTRUCTIONS
  • In a cast iron pot brown onion ‘half way’ in the oil (lightly limp). Then add 4 garlic halves. Brown until golden colored.
  • Add caraway seeds (a must have!) and stir.
  • Add beef cubes. Stir until beef is brown and caraway seeds are nicely distributed.
  • Add 2 cups of water
  • Add: tomatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes paste, Hungarian paprika, salt, black pepper, and or chilli pepper.
  • Add water so that it covers the beef by 2 inches. Cover the pot and cook at medium heat (barely boiling) for 2 hours. (Note: You can place the dutch oven directly in the oven at low heat: 325°F, 160°C.)
  • Check after 1 hour and stir. Cook until beef is tender. Approx. 1 more hour.
  • Add water if the level of the liquid falls an inch.
  • Put in carrots and cook for 20 mins. 2.5 hours cooking time in total.
Tri-Coloured Carrots (The Yellow Carrots Look Like Potatoes)
Grass Fed Veal Makes A Difference In Flavour

Food Tips

Alternative cooking methods:
(1) Pressure cooker: Time: 1 hour 10 min.
(2) Slow cooker: Cook Time: 8 hours.
Storage: Frig. : 5 days, Freezer: 3 months.
OPTIONS: Serve over noodles, mashed potatoes, rice or spatzle.

Hungarian herdsmen enjoying their gulyás soup (left side). Added to the soup were wild onions and caraway that grew on the fields. Paprika was added in the 1800’s.
This makes a very large pot of soup!
If you’d like to freeze some of it,
do it before adding the carrots (vegetables)!

The Hottest ‘New’ Turkey Soup

TURKEY  SOUP ~ ASIAN STYLE
This Asian-inspired soup is so delicious for your Thanksgiving leftovers.  A hearty soup that is  bursting with flavour and coconut creamy.  Perfect for a quick dinner.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms or shitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup of sliced carrots (about 1 large or 2 small)
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass or puree
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of cubed turkey (or chicken)
  • 1 quart (4 cups) turkey or chicken broth
  • 1 ~ 5 1/2 oz. can regular (not light) coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce or reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 0.25 pounds (4 oz.) udon noodles, thick spaghetti or kamut noodles

Lime wedges for serving (optional)
Cilantro for serving (optional)
🌶️ 🌶️ Hot chili peppers – to taste (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the olive oil in a 3 to 4 quart sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 3 to 4 minutes just until the mushrooms begin to brown.
  2. Add the carrots, curry paste, lemongrass, ginger, garlic and stir together. Add the cubed turkey (add chili peppers  here  -optional) and cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chicken broth, coconut milk and fish sauce or soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the noodles and cook for 5-7 minutes more, until the noodles are tender. Add the frozen or fresh peas. They will heat up sufficiently to serve without turning brown or overcooking.
  4. Divide between 4 bowls. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro leaves for garnish.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.


FOOD TIP
The best turkey stock  from your Thanksgiving turkey will blow away the winter chill. Make this stock yourself with veggies, onions and end of season garden herbs right after you finish your Thanksgiving dinner. Throw the turkey carcass right into a pot of boiling water.  You will guard yourself from those sniffles and colds with home made turkey soup.

What a perfect way to keep healthy. Turkey and chicken soup have the same benefits.  A proven anti-inflammatory effect, causing a reduction of chest congestion! Plus, with turkey soup, you have the added benefit of triptophan to help calm and sooth; providing the perfect relief for the day when you need the warmth and comfort only hot soup can provide.

. . . MY FIRST COLD OF THE WINTER SEASON

YESTERDAY MORNING, I woke up with a scratchy throat and a slight cough. Visions of chicken soup danced in my head. Off to the market I go! I needed more stock. Grain fed organic chicken bones with no added hormones and a local fowl would be my soup base.  After I made my stock, I had a hot cup of clear broth before going to bed and a big bowl of spicy curry turkey  soup for lunch the next day, with all the goodness of garlic, ginger,  carrots and more.   I was already feeling better!

This is the chilly season and that spells S-O-U-P!

How nice of Arthur to send pictures of his  ‘HOT’ Turkey Soup! (makes enough for two more lunches  – for a single guy)

Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

THE STORY BEHIND THE SOUP
The origins of this Indian inspired soup comes from SRI LANKA (formerly Ceylon). Peasants would eat this soup with water and pepper. Decades later, more spices were added to what you see today. The name originates from the Tamil words millagai / milagu and thanni (மிளகாய்த்தண்ணி / மிளகுத்தண்ணி) and can be translated as “pepper-water”. Today, mulligatawny bears little resemblance to the original.


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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup butter (or olive oil for vegan)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 1 red jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and minced ginger root
  • small firm apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup red lentils (uncooked)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cooked shredded chicken or 1 skinless boneless chicken breast cut into cubes
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream or canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • and black pepper to taste

GARNISH
Roasted cashews
Chopped parsley, cilantro and/or scallions

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2. Add the onion, carrot, celery and jalapeno, then saute for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onions have softened.
3. Add the garlic, ginger, apples, chicken and diced tomatoes to the pot. Saute for another 3 minutes, then add in all of the spices and toss to coat.
4. Add in the lentils and broth and let the contents come to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
5. Puree about 75% of the ingredients using either an immersion blender or by transferring a portion of the contents to the bowl of a standard blender.
6. Leave some of the chunks whole, as it adds a nice texture and consistency to the soup.
7. Return the soup to the pot if needed, then stir in the coconut milk.
8. Taste, and adjust salt and black pepper as needed.
9. Serve topped with cashews and scallions along with naan bread for dipping.


Elaine orders Mulligatawny soup at the Soup Natzi “No soup for you!

This is a soup with many variations.  A spicy, soup with huge flavor and usually includes beef, chicken or lamb.  My version of Mulligatawny reminds me of the wonderful colours of Autumn.

VARIATIONS
Apples and the lovely Indian blend of spices is heart warming. I use lentils for my soup.  No lentils today? Use barley, rice, sweet potatoes or more onions.  BTW,  gram-for-gram, lentils have more protein than beef. You can add the chicken or not. It is optional. Tastes as good without it. A great soup for leftover chicken or turkey! You can add the cooked ‘hot’ chicken to some bowls as requested and leave other bows as vegan -style. We don’t have to follow the recipe verbatim.

Navy Bean Soup -Unforgettable!

THE MEMORABLE BEAN!
BEANS are the most undervalued food item. Although the bean is a complex carb. like bread and starches, it feels right at home in the veggie group and holds its own in the protein group. The miraculous bean has little or no fat and is cholesterol-free. In fact the bean actually lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your body.  Garlic, rosemary and thyme gives this soup that unmistakable ~unforgettable ~  flavour!

cafe_soup

Café de La Paix, Toronto,ON

The first time I had navy bean soup was at the Colonnade on Bloor Street in Toronto. I was a teenager and I took the subway to the Cumberland Street stop and headed off to the Colonnade. After window shopping and buying a retro 20’s hat with a matching long silk scarf that morning, it was time for lunch at my oasis. I was relieved to get off my feet and settled in to enjoy my bean soup. Good times. The hat shop is gone along with the quaint cafe. But, the memories remain.  I am sharing with you my most favorite, unforgettable memories of a  sumptuous soup. Today, we celebrate the glorious bean!

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NAVY BEAN SOUP Unforgettable

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. Navy beans, dry
  • 1 Onion, Large
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 5 Stalks Celery
  • 5 Carrots
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil (or Avocado oil)
  • 5 cups home-made chicken stock* (or vegetable stock)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp Rosemary, dried ~ or ~
    (1 Rosemary sprig ( 6-7 inches ), large fresh sprig)
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme, dried or 1 tsp fresh Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper (fresh ground)
  • 1½ Tsp Fresh Ground Salt (Kosher or sea salt)

Meat Lovers
Optional – add  diced bacon or cooked sausage rounds during or after the cooking process for that meaty flavour.

Organic Rosemary, Garlic and Thyme

* the ratio of stock and water needs to add up to 7 cups. If you don’t have enough stock add more water. Your stock may be very concentrated and rich and you may need to adjust the ratio. Use your good judgement.
Substitution: If you don’t want to use carrots and celery replace them with 4 cups of sliced yellow onions about 3 more onions. It now becomes a Tuscany navy bean soup.
Not enough carrots? If you only have 2 carrots in the frig. add one onion in place of the 3 additional required carrots. The same applies to the celery.navy_beans

Soaking Navy Beans. The water collects carbohydrates from the beans.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Soak the navy beans for  3 hours. Change the water frequently ~ discards the carbohydrates in the ‘soaking’ water. Carbs make your beans become the “magical fruit”.)
  2. Mince the garlic, dice the onion(s), chop the celery, pepper and carrots.
  3. Sauté the onions, celery, and carrots in olive oil in the pot (dutch oven). After the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes), add the garlic and red pepper and sauté another minute or two.
  4. Add the rinsed navy beans, stock, water, smoked paprika, bay leaf, fresh ground pepper and herbs to the pot.
  5. Bring to a boil (boil for 10 minutes while stirring) then turn down to simmer. Total cooking time 90 minutes.
  6. Taste test to check if the beans are thoroughly cooked. Add salt. Taste again to see if you need more salt. We left the salt to the end because salt makes the beans hard.

Serves 6-8 (good for storing in glass jars & freezing)

ALTERNATE METHODS OF COOKING
For the following two methods, saute the vegetables in a fry pan with olive oil first before adding to the crock pot or pressure cooker.
bean-soup-2SLOW COOKER METHOD: Combine all of the above ingredients into the slow cooker and stir. Set to cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8 hours.
PRESSURE COOKER: Beans are a perfect match for pressure cooking. Place pressure regulator on vent pipe and cook 30 minutes at 15 pounds pressure.  Use instructions included with your p.c. model. One of my sisters is always using a pressure cooker. (She uses 2 at a time) With her engineer-like mind – it’s a given. Less work and a most efficient method. Freezer friendly for another day!  Their freezer is full of goodies (and don’t last long in the freezer either). Don’t freeze in plastic or freezer bags–use glass jars– and leave a gap of one inch at the top so the jars wont crack.
I have my mason jars ready for this one to enjoy again and again. Make it once serve it thrice ( 3 times ) is my motto!!!  Give a jar to a friend adds happiness to their day.  We are giving a whole new meaning to jar heads!  ◔‿◔  ( aha!)
HAT2FOOD TIP: Common mistakes are boiling or simmering the soup too long or too high. While simmering you should not see any bubbling at all. If you can not obtain a very low simmer then add 1/2 to 1 additional cup of water/stock.  You may want to turn off the heat for 2 minutes after the 10 minutes of boil time. Gas stoves are a favorite with chefs because the heat goes right down quickly when you reduce the flames. The best choice is a pressure cooker. If you have never used one I recommend it. It seals all the moisture inside the P.C.

The Magical Fruit!

The Magical Fruit!

THE HEALTH SMART BEAN
(1) Heart healthy  💖
(2) Nutrients: antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals
(3) Economy: Beans may be the least expensive source of protein
(4) SLOW to digest: keeps you feeling full longer and aids in weight loss
(5) FIBER: 5 to 8 grams of fiber in 3 ounces (100 grams)…prevents constipation.
(6) Reduce cancer risk: 3 cups of beans per week.
(7) Blood sugar balance: Beans digest slowly which helps keep the blood sugar balanced. At the same time reduces fatigue and irritability.
(8) PROTEIN: About 1/2 cup of beans provides 7 grams of protein. The same amount of protein as in 1 ounce of chicken, meat or fish.
BONUS: Beans are inexpensive. Stock up!

BEAN TIPS beans-reduce-gas

superfoodTHE NEW SUPER FOOD
Beans are  on the list of super foods. It does not get a lot of air time. More people are discovering that the lowly, often neglected bean is not only low in cost, it is high in health benefits. Protein:  1 oz chicken=1/2 cup beans.
didyouknow2DID YOU KNOW? Garbanzo beans (chick peas) are the highest in protein of all the beans. It contains Potassium, K and very high in folate. And — is over the scale in energy! —

navyHOW DID NAVY BEANS GET THEIR NAME?
With a long shelf life, navy beans became a staple on U.S. Navy vessels beginning in the mid-1800s; earning them their name that has survived the test of time. The navy bean is the same type of bean you find in tins of baked beans.

EAT BEANS THREE TIMES A WEEK FOR YOUR HEALTH!