Jan 5/2010
Warming Winter Soup

Tasty Tidbits...yum,yum squash!

Tasty Tidbits...yum,yum squash!

We’ve been enjoying lots of hearty and soothing soups throughout the winter months. I love to always have a saucepan half full in the fridge, waiting to be warmed up for a quick and nourishing lunch. One of our favourite concoctions this winter is taken from an indispensable cookbook (Rebar – Modern Food Cookbook) for those who love to cook flavourful vegetarian dishes from scratch. The recipe is called Roasted Yam and Garlic (pg.121). It calls for yams or sweet potatoes, but we found any of the various pumpkins we’ve had piled on our counters can be used as an excellent substitute.

Ingredients:
6 cups vegetable stock (see soup stock tips following this post)
3 large yams (or 1 large butternut, queensland blue or 2 medium acorn squash)
2 garlic bulbs
4 tomatoes
2 red peppers
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp minced sage (dried and/or powdered works just fine too)
2 tbsp minced oregano (dried is fine if fresh is not readily available. Great time to pull out those dried herbs from the summer)
2 tsp coriander seeds (toasted and ground) (good quality, packaged is ok as well)
TIP: If you grow Cilantro in your garden let some of it go to seed and dry out the pods. Cilantro becomes Coriander in its dried form
1 tsp ancho chile powder
2 tsp chipotle puree (or less for a more mellow soup)
1 tbsp maple syrup
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste

1. Pre-heat oven to 375. Using a fork, poke a few holes in each yam (or slice squash in half and place cut side down on roasting pan). Halve and seed peppers. We place the yams/squash, peppers, tomatoes and garlic on a baking tray, drizzle with veg. oil and roast all together. As the yams/squash take about 1/2 hr longer than the peppers and tomatoes, you will have to remove them when the skiins begin to puff and brown. Transfer to a bowl and cover for about 10 minutes – this makes it easier to peel off the skins.

2. Heat vegetable oil in large soup pot. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add garlic, spices and herbs and cook until the garlic is golden. Stir in the peeled, roasted vegetables, the stock and the chipotle chiles. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Puree the soup until smooth. Whisk in the maple syrup, lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serving suggestion: we like to swirl a little plain yogurt into the soup before serving with some finely cut cilantro and an extra squeeze of lime. yum

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