Cilantro Lime Coconut Curry with Chanterelles, Fresh Ginger + Avocado

IMG_2289 IMG_2270-001 S IMG_2274This soup made my house smell like fresh ginger and cilantro and lime in such a gentle and refreshing and rather uplifting way. And this was good, because the onion I used, bought from the farmer’s market a few days ago, it made me basically weep. I’ve had the occasional onion make my eyes watery, but this one forced tears to stream down my face. I had to walk away and compose myself. My suggestion is to use a gentler onion, like a white one, or a shallot, but I guess I was starting to think I’m immune to oniony induced emotion and this one put me in my place. This recipe can easily be doubled to feed a crowd, and you could add chicken or pork belly if you have it on hand. The avocado is essential as it balances out a pretty citrusy soup and adds depth, but the rice is optional as well. It is also quite good topped with those rice sticks you find at health food stores and a good grind of fresh black pepper. Oh and I did also just happen to have chanterelles on hand, which is something that has never really happened to me before, as lovely as they are I would happily use shitake or maitake mushrooms in their place.

Cilantro Lime Coconut Curry with Chanterelles, Fresh Ginger + Avocado
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 inches peeled fresh ginger, chopped
4 baby sweet peppers, or 1 big red pepper,  seeds removed + sliced
1 zucchini, halved and diced
1 handful chanterelles, sliced
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped
2 long pieces lemongrass, chopped
1 tablespoon yellow curry paste
1 lime, juiced
1 can full fat coconut milk + 1 can amount of water
1/4 cup brown or wild rice
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped + extra for garnish
Butter + olive oil
Salt + pepper
Avocado

Add a tbsp of butter to a deep saucepan over medium heat, add the onions and cook about 15 minutes, or until translucent.
Next add the ginger, peppers, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, jalapeno and lemongrass. Stir and drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, then add the curry paste, stirring again.
Add the lime juice and pour in the full can of coconut milk plus a can sized amount of water. Turn heat to medium, add the rice to the soup, cover and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.
Stir in the cilantro, and taste for seasoning, adding olive oil, salt and pepper if needed. Test to make sure the rice is fully cooked, and serve with sliced avocado, cilantro, a grind of pepper and drizzle of olive oil.

 

 

 

Chili in a Pumpkin

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I love making all kinds of soups in pumpkins. Instead of spending a bunch of time scooping out the pumpkin flesh you just let it roast and scoop tender sweet spoonfuls of pumpkin with each bite. This time I made goat chili, I really wanted something spicy and rich to go with the sweet pumpkin. This meal was pretty complete without the cornbread, but really, I can’t eat chili without cornbread, it’s just essential.

Goat Chili in a Pumpkin
2 (or more) small baking pumpkins
2 shallots
2 cloves garlic
3 large heirloom tomatoes, diced
1 basket cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup lima beans (soaked overnight, then boiled the next day)
¼ lb goat stew meat, seasoned over night and chopped in smaller pieces
1 ½ Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
½ cup water
½ cup vegetable stock
Olive oil
Sea salt
Avocado
Pepper
Greek yogurt

Method:

Oven 350.

Cut the top off the pumpkins and scoop the seeds out. Bake them for half an hour in the oven while you prepare the chili.

Slice the scallions and heat them in a dutch oven in olive oil. After a few minutes, add the chopped garlic. Add more oil if needed and quickly sear the meat on high heat for a few minutes on each side. Add the tomatoes, beans, water and vegetables stock. Mix in the chili powder and cumin and season to taste with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Take the pumpkin out of the oven and fill it with soup, place back in the oven for another half hour. The pumpkin should be soft and easy to scoop out with a spoon. Garnish with avocado, Greek yogurt and some herb, like cilantro, if you have it on hand. I also had plenty of leftovers to heat up the next few nights.

My favorite cornbread of all time comes from 101cookbooks, this is the only cornbread I’ll make. I use coconut palm sugar and 100% whole wheat flour, sometimes half quinoa flour.

Squash Soup with Crisp Sunchokes, Bacon, Queso Fresco and Rosemary

Squash Soup with Crisp Sunchokes, Bacon, Queso Fresco and Rosemary

IMG_0523I had so many different squash around the house I decided to mix them all into one delicious soup. For this recipe, you can definitely just use one type, but I like the multi-squash mix, it gave the soup another dimension and flavor profile. But, really, this soup is all about the toppings. The soup is sweet and spicy and the toppings are salty and rich and if you don’t have the toppings I used on hand you can always add some crisped shallots, garlic and kale or goat cheese or prosciutto or sauteed mushrooms or small crisped pieces of apples, really there are so many toppings for squash soup.

Squash Soup with Crisp Sunchokes, Bacon, Queso Fresco and Rosemary
1 carnival squash
1 kombocha squash
¼ banana squash
2 tbsp butter
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ cups chicken broth
½ jalapeno, diced
sea salt
pepper
½ cup heavy cream

Method

Oven 425. Halve each squash, or cut into a few pieces, place in a pan with a thin layer of water and roast in the oven for about 45-55 min, or until soft. Allow the squash to cool, and then scoop the flesh out into a blender.
While the squash cools, saute the onion in the butter until it becomes translucent, then add the garlic and the jalapeno. Cover and saute for a few minutes and then add 1 cup of the chicken broth.
Pour the broth mixture into the blender and add the remaining chicken broth, sea salt and pepper and if you need to, blend in two batches. When you blend hot liquids, be careful, cover the lid of the blender with a towel or two so you don’t burn your hands. When the consistency is smooth place the soup on low heat in a saucepan. Add the splash of heavy cream, taste and add spice as needed.

Toppings
4 mini purple potatoes, chopped
2 sunchokes chopped into small pieces
½ cup cooked lentils
2 slices of bacon, chopped (I had bacon ends on hand from the pigs we raised at our ranch)
A few twigs of rosemary
sea salt
pepper
1 tbsp butter
queso fresco

Heat the butter in a cast iron, then add the chopped potatoes. Cook on high heat, stirring every few minutes and then add the sunchoke pieces. Cook until the pieces start to brown, then add the chopped bacon and the lentil. Cook until everything browns and then add the rosemary, salt and pepper.
Garnish each soup bowl with a few spoonfuls of the toppings and a sprinkling of queso fresco.