Posts filed under ‘Soups’

Sweet and Smoky Banana Squash Soup

Well…I won’t lie, the food budget has taken a severe hit over the last few months.  I ate out way more than I should have, and when I did decide to cook, I cooked bourgeoisie-style.  I’d like to introduce my enabler: the super-duper megastore Whole Foods, which has opened up just four blocks from where I live.    Since September, it has been exerting a very powerful force upon my bank account.  But what can I do? I’ve become smitten with their organic celery and enchanted by their technicoloured tomatoes.  Little purple potatoes wink at me beside rows of gleaming apples with names like exotic dancers.  Everyone in there is happy- the shoppers, the checkers, and seemingly, the produce.  In a state of immaculate food bliss, I willingly overpay.  $4 for 4 potatoes? Okay!  $5 for half a cup of walnuts?  Super!  $2 for an apple?  Okey-dokey!  But today, a representative from the Canada Student Loan Bureau kindly reminded me that the first payment on my loans is due next month.  Needless to say, that call burst my elitist vegetable bubble.  And so,  I say not goodbye to Whole foods, but Auf Wiedersehen!  I shall now recommence my grocery shopping in Chinatown at shabby produce dives where fruit flies congregate on last weeks’ bananas,  and the organic stickers are of questionable authenticity.  Or something like that.   But it’s not really farewell…I will be back at Whole Foods, not to purchase anything, but just to say hi to the squashes from time to time.

Anyhoot, here’s a really delicious and filling autumn soup that you can make sans expensive ingredients from elitist grocery providers, with exception of the chipotle puree.  It’s so warm and comforting…the squash is naturally sweet and complimented by the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice seasonings.  The sweetness is perfectly rounded out by the smoky chipotle puree.  Don’t be scared- it’s not spicy, just warm. I had never had banana squash before- what a treat!  They are huge 2-3 foot squashes (or squashi?) but are often sold in chunks at the grocery store.  Skip this recipe if you can’t get your hands on a can of chipotles in adobo sauce- it is the key ingredient (next to the  banana squash, of course!), and trust me, you will want to throw chipotles into everything once you try them!

Sweet and Smoky Banana Squash Soup

1 large chunk of banana squash, about the span of both hands, peeled and diced small

1 tbsp oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 large carrots, diced small

2 stalks celery, diced small

1 cup cauliflower, in small florets

1/2 cup of masoor dhal (red lentils)

1 1/2 tsp salt (to taste)

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp cinamin

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp allspice

veg broth or water to cover

1 tsp dry thyme

1 Tbsp chipotle puree*** (or more, to taste)

***CHIPOTLE PUREE: Blend 1 small tin of Chipotles in Adobo Sauce in Blender.  Keeps for 2 months in fridge.


1. Saute onion in oil until translucent, add carrots and celery cook for 3 minutes more.

2. Add cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to the mix.  Toast, but be careful not to burn.

3.  Add diced squash, cauliflower, and masoor dhal; Cover with broth or water (lentils will absorb a fair amount or water so make sure that everything is really well immersed in liquid); add thyme

4. Cover and cook about 20 minutes or until cauliflower is very soft.

5.  Transfer half the soup to blender and puree.  Return to pot.

6. Season with salt and chipotle puree.  Adjust to taste.


xox Laurakins


October 14, 2009 at 3:15 am 1 comment

Sick Boyfriend Red Lentil Stew

sick boyfriend red lentil stew

My boyfriend picked up a nasty cold when he went to visit his family in Edmonton last week, and I’ve successfully managed to contain him here for 3 days to recover (I don’t want him to bust a lung biking home just yet).  I’ve been feeding him lots of fruit salad (papaya, mango, melon) and herbal tea.  For last night’s dinner, I summoned the god of leftovers and made one of the most memorable soups we’ve ever had.  It was so good!  Like a thick and hearty mild curry dahl stew.  You could add chickpeas or spinach to this at the end if you wanted to make it even more substantial, or a jalapeno if you wish! But wow- it was good!

Sick Boyfriend Red Lentil Stew

~makes 2 hefty servings

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 Tbs oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 small carrots, chopped
  • 1 1/2 C cabbage, coarsely chopped (two 1/2 inch thick cabbage “coins”, chopped)
  • 1 C. red lentils
  • 4-5 C. Veggie Stock (or water with veg bouillion cube)
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • 1 C. leftover rice
  • 2 good tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 C. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • sea salt to taste
  1. Saute onions in oil until translucent, add garlic and let cook 20 seconds.  Add carrots, ginger, cabbage and red lentils.  Cover with veggie broth/water so that the veggies are covered by an inch of liquid (about 4-5 cups).  Stir in cumin and turmeric (no salt yet).  Cover and simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until red lentils are tender.
  2. Remove from heat, stir in rice, tomatoes, cilantro, and season with sea salt to taste.
  3. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

I wish I would have snapped a picture of this. [EDIT: just did!]  It was such a beautiful golden yellow colour and by adding the tomato and cilantro at the end their colours (and tastes) stay vibrant.  Since I finally have a table now (lime green circa 1975!), we lit a candle and gazed into our soups- it is so nice to sit down on something other than the couch for once!

August 12, 2009 at 8:10 pm 4 comments

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12 other followers