Friday, October 18, 2013

It's a Wonderful World - SOUP

 Don't you just love it when a recipe you invented turns out to be just what you wanted the first time around?  That's what happened here.

We were having that kind of night where the parents are rushed and the children naughty.  I was so overwhelmed that I left immediately when daddy got home from work.  The groceries wouldn't deliver themselves!  Our children had traumatized me anyway and I needed a break.  

Don’t even try and tell me you’ve never been there.

Toss in day four of a 5-day fever and there you have it.  I really needed to walk down the aisle with no helpers and lean on a cart.

I couldn’t think what to fix for supper – stuffed sinuses will do that – so I needed to hit the stores and just look at the food.  Inspiration waited for me in the vegetable aisle.  Yes, I went to town contagious.  Isn’t life great?  No choice really.  Just have to drag myself around, wipe down the carts and avoid talking to people.  

I know you've done that too, quit being so horrified.

When I got home daddy had restored a semblance of peace to the household.  Wow, do I ever love that man!  He has serious Daddy skills.  He had brought up music youtube videos of Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo`ole. 

My 11-yr old set in and helped me chop veggies.  The baby tried singing along.  The 8 yr old started dancing so the baby was waving her arms and dancing along.  Quick tears stung my eyes as the exhaustion gave away to joy.

Out of that came this soup -

It’s a Wonderful World – SOUP

      Small qualifier here - I don't measure anything.  So these amounts are all approximate.  
      Use a 6 qt + pan
·         ½  a very large onion or 1 small one, diced
·         2 Tbsp chipotle olive oil
·         3 cloves garlic minced
·         ¼ tsp curry
·         Pinch of ginger
·         10 cups of chicken broth
·         4 cups of chopped raw butternut squash (I bought pre-prepped cubed and cut into smaller pieces because I was in a hurry)
·         4 med. Size Yukon gold potatoes chopped
·         4 carrots sliced
·         Salt
·         1 cup of quinoa
·         1 cup canned coconut milk (not cream)
·         2 cups snow peas cut into 1” pieces.  Not the big fat peas.  The skinny ones that are flat and have the hardest time making it past your mouth into the pan.
·         Optional – cilantro

Find this link

Listen to the song repeatedly.  Perhaps find some of his other music.  Dance with your spoon. It’s okay, the spoon doesn’t care if you miss a beat.

Toss the onion into a hot pan with the olive oil.  
This is a little extra brown because the batch I was intending to photograph - well I messed it up right off the bat.
I grabbed the balsamic vinegar not the olive oil!  Splashed about a Tbs on the onions.
Went - WOOPS!   Didn't feel like chopping more onions, so just went with it.
How I measure water, I like this old square mason jar
If you don’t have chipotle olive oil, use plain oil and add chipotle powder but go easy, you want the heat to be delicate.  Hot sauce can be added at the table for those addicted to the adrenaline rush of heat induced asphyxiation. 

Add the garlic.

When the onion becomes clear, add the curry and ginger.  Brown it with the onion/garlic.
Pour in the chicken broth.  Scrape all the brown off the bottom of the pan.  This is where the flavor is, so don’t neglect this step.  Also, if you get lazy here, odds are high it will burn and you’ll ruin your supper.

 Add all your veggies in one fell swoop (careful not to splash yourself, silly).
Salt as much as you think it would need.  I use a French grey rock salt and toss it in as my hand feels is right.  Now you try it.  Be careful!

Bring your veggies to a boil.  Back off heat, simmer until almost done.  Watch closely, this may be about 15 – 20 minutes -- depending on your heat and pan situation -- it could be as long as 45 minutes!  I sincerely hope not because you want SOME nutrition left in your veggies.

Admire your soup.  Isn’t this the most beautiful pot?  Just lovely and it gets better..

Just before the potatoes are done – by the way – Yukon Gold’s have a better nutrition structure than Irish whites so they won’t look done.  Test it with a spoon.  If it’s a tad underdone, now is the time –

Throw in the quinoa and give it a stir.  Isn’t it fun to toss things about in a kitchen?

The quinoa is your protein source.  You could add meat such as chicken or bacon but this is a lovely clean soup and doesn’t need meat.  Quinoa is gluten free and a complete protein with all the necessary amino acids.

Quinoa is done when you see the little white rings floating around the nucleus.  About 10 minutes of simmer.

You can see the Quinoa here; it is the little white circles.
Add the coconut milk.

Taste it.  Add salt here if necessary.  If it’s close, just put your salt grinder on the table.  What?  You use Morton’s?   FOR SHAME.  Get some good salt.  I like the Himalyan Pink salt in the grinder from (drumroll) COSTCO!

Do not allow the soup to return to a boil.

Just before placing on the table, add the snow peas.

Garnish with cilantro if you are of a mind.

Side note: I found Costco carries prepared butternut squash, ORGANIC for the same price as not prepped, not organic in other stores.  Enough said.

The pictures are not quite accurate because I made this the second time in a hurry.  Couldn't quite figure out what was wrong.  The soup was strangely disappointing.  I woke up in the wee hours of the morning and had an AHHA moment.  

Yes, these moments wake me up.  

I had forgotten the coconut milk!  
Don't forget the coconut milk.  That single ingredient transforms this soup from a nice vegetable soup into something extraordinary.  Enjoy!


  1. Yes, it is a wonderful world, Rebecca, and I thought this was a wonderful post and recipe so I just featured it at The Creative Home and Garden Hop. Thanks for linking up - come and grab a badge!
    Best wishes from England. See you again in Mumtopia soon.