Mussel Soup Supreme

This soup is so easy to make and so-o-o-o-o delicious.  Mussels are an inexpensive yet nutrient rich seafood.
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INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
8 oz. slices mushrooms
3 mild Italian sausages
1/2  of a 750 ml bottle of white wine
1 28 oz can of plum tomatoes
1 8oz. bottle clam juice
1  5 oz. can baby clams
2 lbs. mussels
5 leaves fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped flat leafed parsley

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INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oil in heavy soup pot or cast iron pot.
2. Slice onions and add to pan.  Heat until translucent.
3. Slice and add garlic.  Saute for a few minutes.
4. Add mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes.
mussels_soup_basil5. Remove sausages from casings and fry them breaking up with a wooden spoon.  Fry about 5 minutes
6. Add wine and cook for 20 minutes.
7. Add the can of plum tomatoes roughly breaking up the tomatoes with your hands or a spoon.
Add the bottled clam juice and canned clams.  Bring to a boil.  Add the basil leaves along with the chopped parsley.
8.  Add the mussels which have been rinsed, debearded and the opened ones discarded.   Cover and cook for 3 minutes  until all the mussels have opened.
9. If any of the mussels will not open discard them.

Cook for 3 minutes - until the mussels open

Cook for 3 minutes – until  all the  mussels open

Serve

Serve “Mussel Soup Supreme” with garlic bread.

HAT2FOOD TIP:  When your raw mussels are open, tap them on a hard counter.  If they do not close then discard them as they are dead and can make you sick.  If they close then they are fine to cook and enjoy. I have tried using other sausages like hot Italian sausage but the soup is not as good in my opinion. The mild Italian sausage give the pleasant mild fennel flavour to the soup.  Adding sausage to this soup is very important to the overall flavour.  DO NOT SKIP!  You will see, and  you will want a second helping! The sausages and the clam + clam juice  is the supreme in this Mussel Soup Supreme.

WHEELSVARIATIONS  You can add lobster, shrimps, scallops or any other seafood you have on hand to make this into a seafood soup.  If you are adding raw lobster to the soup then add that first as it takes longer to cook.  It will turn pink and then add any shrimp or scallops last since they require only a few minutes of cooking or they will become tough and rubbery.  If you add canned lobster include the liquid from the can for more flavour.  You can add almost any fish except salmon. It has too much of a strong flavour for this dish. Sherry can also be added while you are cooking these last bits of seafood. Sherry complements the flavour of the seafood.. . .
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MAINLY BECAUSE OF THE MEAT!
For decades the Portuguese classically make dishes which combine mussels and pork in their beautiful copper cataplanas. The pork adds that special something extra to seafood. It is the secret ingredient! It is absolutely delicious!

Mussels and Pork

Mussels and Pork

didyouknowNUTRIENT-RICH
Mussels are a rich source of many essential vitamins and minerals, such as the B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, iron, phosphorus, manganese, selenium and zinc. They outshine most other foods when it comes to their vitamin B-12, selenium and manganese content. A 3 ounce portion of moist-heat cooked blue mussels provides 20.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12, meeting 340 percent of the recommended daily value for this nutrient, according to NutrientFacts.com. Vitamin B-12 is essential for a healthy nervous system, the formation of red blood cells and proper growth and development. The same amount meets 108 percent of the DV for selenium and 288 percent for manganese. Selenium is important for immune system function and supports the thyroid gland, while manganese is involved in bone health and energy metabolism.  Mussels are rich in sodium as well which is why this soup did not need any salt added.

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Healthy Broccoli Soup

Green is Gold! The zinger is the added sweet peas (Pisum) adding more phytonutrients!
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IMG_0911INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil
3 shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
1 teaspoon fresh turmeric or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 cups frozen baby green peas
1 bunch broccoli about 1 pound, trimmed and chopped
3 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS
1) Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add shallots and saute for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Cook until tender and fragrant. Add curry powder, salt and pepper and cook over low heat for a few minutes.
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2) Add broccoli and combine well. Cook for a few minutes and add chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat until medium. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the broccoli is tender.
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Add the frozen peas and cook for a few minutes only so that the soup will maintain it’s bright green colour.

Frozen Peas Adds Green Colour

Frozen Peas Adds Green Colour

3) Puree the soup in a blender or food processor and add salt to taste if required.
Serve hot sprinkled with almonds and optionally sour cream. This can be served cold as well.

Healthy Broccoli Soup Garnished with Sour Cream and Almonds

Healthy Broccoli Soup Garnished with Sour Cream and Almonds

Broccoli contains cancer fighting glycosinolates which are transformed to disable toxins in the body.  The younger the broccoli, the more glucosinolates.

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Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup Recipe

A lovely fresh, sweet tomato and red pepper soup. Red pepper and onion and lots of garlic cloves add immensely to the flavour.  Enjoy the fresh taste of tomato soup in the dead of winter with this freezer friendly Garden Fresh Tomato Soup Recipe.

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tomato-soup_ingredientsINGREDIENTS
2 pounds ( 1kg) ripe tomatoes
7 oz (200gm) cherry tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups water
1 cup red lentils
3 tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Garnish: pumpkin seeds/purple basil /avocado
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DIRECTIONS
1)  Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C)
2)  Place the olive oil in a baking dish or a large enameled cast iron soup pot on top of the stove and heat on high.
3)  Slice the tomatoes in 1/2 and place cut side down in container to sear the tomatoes.
4)  Cut the onions in quarters and place in dish.
5)  Quarter and de-seed the red pepper and place in the dish along with the garlic cloves and cherry tomatoes.
6)  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar.
7)  Place in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until juices run from the tomatoes.
8)  Remove the dish from the oven and transfer to a soup pot if it is not already in one.
9)  Add the lentils, stock, water, thyme, basil  and simmer for 30 minutes.
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10) Blend the soup in a food processor or blender or with a stick blender. My friends and I like a chunky texture to the soup. I puree part of the soup and combine the rest.  After I taste the soup I may add a teaspoon of salt. This will vary each time you make this soup. It depends on the flavour of your ingredients that day.
11)  Reheat your finished soup in the pot and serve.
tomato-soup+fix

You can serve this soup cold on a hot day like a gazpacho in southern Spain.  I encourage you to enjoy this versatile freezer friendly soup hot on a cold winter’s day!

HAT2FOOD TIP:  No need to sieve the soup. It’s a waste. Tomato canneries do not take the seeds out, why should you. Use a drizzle of chilli-infused oil at the roasting stage ( Step #7 above).  Add a couple of cayenne chillis from your garden, or if you have them on hand. Before freezing your soup, you need to chill the soup.  Never put hot food directly into the freezer. To store your soup, I use freezer friendly mason jars. For good Freezer Tips, please click here. If you are taking this soup out from the freezer, you can use it as a base and add additional vegetables, beans or rice – in a pinch, if you are having a lot of guests that day – more than you expected!

Bean Soup ~ A Powerhouse of Nutrients

THE UNFORGETTABLE BEAN!
BEANS are the most under valued item. There is a wealth of wholesome, delicious foods out there that are being neglected. One of them is the bean.
IMG_3479Use your chicken soup base for this tasty white bean and vegetable soup.  I used to think that beans were for granola crunchers.  Now I am a convert? Why? Not because those beans were flavourful. They give you protein that you need and the glycemic index is so low that you have the energy to carry on for hours without that energy “crash”.  The best thing to get from the fast food malls is chilli.  Great for the diabetics and the rest of us as well.
HAT2YOUR FOOD TIP for the singles:  I took out a  scoop of these beans with a slotted spoon and heated the white beans as a side dish with my meal.  Another plus for beans is that even if you combine them with a protein like chicken (which would be great added to this soup) or beef, you will not get that feeling of needing a big nap afterwards.  The digestive enzymes that break these food items down will not have a battle in your gut. You feel fine and you had good nutrition for your body.  You can add ingredients to jazz up the flavour of your soup:  oregano, paprika, parsley, raz al hanout, ground sumac, za’ater, the list goes on.  Your soup will be delicious too!

Freeze Your Soup

IMG_3475 After you have made this Spectacular STOCK, you may not want to use it right away.  The solution is to freeze it for future use.
TIPS: HOW TO FREEZE YOUR STOCK (or soup)
I have experimented with freezing for several years and there is nothing as disappointing as freezing a soup or sauce and having the glass crack.  I found that if you filled it past the curve in the glass, the jar could crack.  Even after under filling below the curve,  there was expansion of the liquid and the glass would sometimes  crack.  I now place the soup in the refrigerator after it is sufficiently cooled and the next day I would place the glass mason jar ( filled with my soup) into the freezer with the LID OFF.

Prepare your own frozen meals

Prepare your own frozen meals

 This would allow room for expansion of the liquid without cracking the glass. The following day, I would tighten the lid and then the jar would be fine.  There would be a mountain of frozen soup in the center of the jar but this expansion wouldn’t crack you jar and ruin all your wonderful work.  Also, do not place your frozen soup  in the freezer door to avoid jostling by other frozen items. Your glass will now never crack.

didyouknowWhy should you freeze in glass?  It is inert and will not contaminate your food. The leaching out of Bisphenonl A and Phthalates are still a concern with plastics.  Keep you and your family happy and healthy and enjoy delicious soup!