Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Warming Soups for Winter

Tonight I will have the pleasure of presenting these four warming soups for winter for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and the MLCC.  Stay tuned for some photos and beverage pairings and tasting these this winter at Arkadash Bistro and Lounge.

Red Pepper soup with bulgur, chickpeas, mint and chile

7 oz dried chickpeas
� cup olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 long red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 long red chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp dried mint
1 tablespoon pekmez
14 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 � quarts vegetable stock or water
3 oz course bulgur
� cup shredded mint leaves
� tsp hot paprika
juice of � lemon

Soak the chickpeas overnight in plenty of cold water

Heat the oil in a large, saucepan.  Saut� the onion, pepper chile and mint over a low heat for 5-8 minutes until softened.  Add the pekmez and saut� for another minute.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add to the pan with tomatoes and stock.  Bring to boil and then lower heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.  Add the bulgur with the remaining liquid and simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

When ready to serve, stir in the shredded mint, paprika and lemon juice.  Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve hot.

Pekmez is a grape molasses found in specialty food stores.

Easy Crab Bisque

1 onion, finely sliced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup cream
good pinch saffron
2 cups white wine
� cup basil
salt and pepper, to taste
dried chilies, to taste
1 cup chopped crab meat (available at Gimli Fish)

Saut� onions and garlic until soft in a large pot.  Add tomatoes and all ingredients except for the crab meat.  Cook until soft and then remove from heat and pur�e using an immersion blender.  Return pot to heat and add chopped crab meat.  Bring to boil and simmer until serving.


Moroccan Butternut Squash Soup

1 yellow onion, chopped
pinch coarse salt
1 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs butternut, kabocha, or calabaza squash halved, peeled and seeded and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks (about 6 cups)
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp La Kama Spice Mixture (1 tsp each of ground ginger, turmeric and white pepper, good pinch of grated nutmeg, 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon and optional cubeb pepper)
1/2 cup heavy cream or creme fraiche
1/2 lb crumbled chevre
1 tsp or more to taste Harissa paste (available in select stores, including Herat Foods on Pembina)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cook onion in heavy bottomed pot or casserole dish (tajine) on medium low heat with the olive oil until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes
2. Add the squash, cover with parchment paper and/lid and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Add tomato paste, spices and 4 cups of hot water and bring to a boil. Then simmer until the squash is tender, about 20+ minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Blend in batches or with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the cream and 3/4 of the cheese and the harissa at the end. Pur�e until velvety.
5. Bring up to heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve into warmed bowls and top each portion with a light sprinkling of the remaining cheese.



2 cups red lentils
1 medium onion, diced
1 inch ginger, grated
3-4 cloves garlic, grated
2 tbs curry spice blend
2-3 tbs olive or vegetable oil
2-3 tomatoes, diced
1 cup spinach leaves
~ 4-6 cups water
~ 1 cup yoghurt
salt, to taste
optional, 1 tbs brown sugar to round out taste and cut acid

In a larger pot, bring lentils and water to a boil. In a separate pan, heat oil and saut� onion until translucent. Add spice blend and cook until softened. Add ginger and garlic and be careful not to burn. When the water in the lentil pot is boiling, add hot onions and spices to the pot and stir. Simmer and add vegetables. Bring to a gentle boil. Stir in yoghurt and test for salt.

For a full protein, serve with rice.

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