soup’s on!

Technically this first recipe is for Moroccan Vegetable Stir Fry not Moroccan Vegetable Stew, but we had to shift some of the meals around this week and I needed something that could be hot and ready when the family got home from church. Thus it became easier to make this a stew. We have made it as a stir-fry and it is quite delicious.

Here’s the original recipe, for starters:

Moroccan Vegetable Stir Fry with Chickpeas (from Hannaford’s Fresh Magazine, March-April 2009)

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 5 oz. package precut onions [or 1 large chopped onion]

1 tablespoon garam masala or curry powder

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

1-1/2 pounds peeled and chopped butternut squash

1-2/3 cup low sodium vegetable broth

1/2 cup golden raisins

1-1/2 cup water

1 cup uncooked couscous

1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Sprinkle garam masala or curry powder, black pepper, salt, and cayenne over onion; mix and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

3. If squash chunks are large, cut into 1-inch pieces. Add to skillet with broth and raisins and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until squash becomes tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, prepare couscous. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil; stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.

5. Add zucchini, red bell pepper, and chickpeas to skillet. Simmer, covered, until zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes.

6. Divide couscous among four serving plates. Top with stir-fried vegetables and garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired.

So, instead of making all of this in a pan, I made it in a pot. I more than doubled the amount of broth called for, enough to cover the vegetables in the pot, and I omitted the couscous. I also added a little bit of extra spicing, some salt and lemon juice, and left it simmering for several hours. It smelled amazing and it tasted pretty good, too.

~* ~* ~

“Cream” of Cauliflower Soup (from Hannaford’s Fresh Magazine, September-October 2008)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 large leeks, (white and tender green) split, washed, and sliced into 1/2 inch slices (about 4 cups)

1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about two cups)

1 large head cauliflower, broken into florets (about 4-1/2 cups) [we used two bags of frozen cauliflower instead]

1 quart (32 oz.) low-sodium vegetable broth

Water, if needed

1 cup low-fat buttermilk [we substitute with almond milk]

1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for garnish

3/4 cup chopped fresh watercress

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and leeks, stir well, reduce heat to medium, and cover. Gently cook, stirring once or twice, until onions start to become soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

2. Add potato, cauliflower, and broth. Broth should just barely cover the vegetables – if not enough, add water to cover. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil; then reduce to medium and simmer, partially covered for 25 to 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

3. Puree the soup using a hand-held immersion blender. Alternatively, let the soup cool for 10 minutes, and then transfer vegetables and broth in batches to a blender, puree until smooth, and return to pan.

4. Stir in buttermilk [or milk substitute of choice], salt, and pepper, and mix until blended. Reheat until hot if necessary. To serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons chopped watercress and a few grindings of black pepper.