Roasted Butternut Miso Soup

Butternut Miso Soup

I have Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy home from the library at the moment.  There is a recipe for “Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk, Miso and Lime.”  that looks delicious.  I had several of the key ingredients around here, but improvised to such an extent that I can’t say I’ve actually made the recipe.  So here is my simple, rainy Saturday take on butternut squash soup.  Perhaps next weekend I’ll make the real deal.

2 Tbs Sesame Oil

1 medium Butternut Squash, roasted and peeled

1 Onion, chopped

1 inch Ginger, chopped

1 15oz can Coconut Milk

+/- 1 cup water

1 Tbs Harissa (or to taste)

1/2 lemon, juice only

2 Tbs Miso

Chives or other herb to garnish

Roast the butternut squash according to your favorite method.  This step can be done a day or two ahead if its convenient.

Heat the sesame oil over medium heat.  Saute the onion and ginger until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the cooked butternut squash and coconut milk until well mixed.  Stir in water until desired consistency, about 1 cup.  Add harissa paste to taste.  Allow soup to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Blend soup until very smooth.    Mix the lemon juice and miso together then stir into the soup.    Allow to cool slightly then top with a green garnish of your choice before serving.

 

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Fennel Radish Salad

My friend Sue taught me to maFennel Radish Saladke a version of this salad a few years ago in Portland. Its one of my favorite spring salads and is the first thing I think to make when I see fennel at the market.

1 decent sized bulb of Fennel, sliced very thinly, plus fronds for garnish
1 bunch Radishes, sliced very thinly
1 lemon, zested + juiced
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (The best you have. I love Central Texas Olive Ranch.)
Flaky Sea Salt, to taste
fresh ground Black Pepper, to taste

Combine fennel, radishes, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Whisk together lemon juice, a pinch of salt, pepper and olive oil. Pour over veggies and let rest 30 minutes or more. Adjust salt to taste and garnish with a few fennel fronds.

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Summer Squash Risotto

I suppose I have a risotto for all seasons. This one is just right for a cool, rainy spring evening in Austin; comforting but bright and summery. The base is sweet onions just harvested from my garden. Pulling 50 beautiful little onions out of the dirt is a great way to celebrate the end of another semester. Cooking up recipes full of them is a great way to celebrate being on vacation.


2 Tbs Butter
1 cup Sweet Onion [Texas 1015 or the like, chopped]
4 Garlic Cloves [minced]
2 medium Summer Squash [mixed colors, grated]
1/2 cup White Wine
4 cups Vegetable Broth
1 cup Arborio Rice
Lemon Zest from 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped Flat Leaf Parsley + Basil
Salt to Taste

Heat vegetable broth and keep at a low simmer.

Melt butter in a large shallow sauce pan over medium low heat. Saute sweet onion till translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic + summer squash. Season with salt, depending on how salty your veggie broth is. Cook for a few minutes more, until the squash just begins to soften. Add rice + toast for a minute. Add wine + stir. After all liquid is absorbed, add about a half cup of vegetable broth. Stir frequently until liquid is absorbed. Repeat until all broth has been added and rice is tender and mixture is creamy. Stir in basil + parsley. Serve in shallow bowls garnished with plenty of lemon zest.

Serves 4 as a substantial side.

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Navy Bean Soup

I loved my grandpa’s navy bean soup as a kid.  This is a vegan twist on the original with smoked olive oil for richness + collard greens in place of celery. Its perfect with glass of red wine for a very satisfying winter meal.

1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Onion [about 1 cup, chopped]
2 Carrots [about 2 1/2 cups, sliced]
3 Garlic Cloves [minced]
1 Yukon Gold Potato [skin on, chopped]
2 Tbs Tomato Paste
4 cups Vegetable Broth [or water with good quality veggie bullion]
Sea Salt [to taste]
1 Tbs Smoked Olive Oil
2 1/2 cups Navy Beans [cooked till very tender*]
6 Collard Green Leaves [about 3 cups, sliced thinly]

Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large pot. Sauté onion for about 5 minutes, add carrot + garlic and sauté a few minutes more. Add remaining ingredients + bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Season with sea salt to taste.

*If you use canned beans, don’t add salt until the end of cooking so the beans cook the whole while + get very tender. I always pressure cook my beans. It yields a far better texture in a fraction of the time of stove top cooking. Its easy to pressure cook a big batch + freeze a few two cup containers for easy same day use. No need to ever buy another can of beans.

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Sesame Soba

1 Tbs Tahini
1 Tbs Tamari
2 Tbs Rice Vinegar
1 Tbs Honey
1 Tbs Sesame Seeds

2 Daikon Radishes [sliced into matchsticks]
2 Carrots [sliced into matchsticks]
1 Kohlrabi [sliced into matchsticks]
Swiss Chard or Kale [to garnish]

8 oz. Soba Noodles

Cook soba noodles in boiling water till just tender then rinse under cool water. Mix tahini, tamari, sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey + sesame seeds in a small bowl then toss veggies, noodles + sauce together in a larger bowl.

Serves 3-4. For a main course, top with a poached egg or some spicy or simple baked tofu.

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Tangy Citrus Slaw


1 small head Green Cabbage [sliced very thinly]
3 small carrots [grated]
1 Orange [segmented, then juiced]
1 Grapefruit [segmented, then juiced]

Dressing:
4 Tbs Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Orange + Grapefruit Juice [from segmenting 1 each]
2 Tbs Rice Vinegar [seasoned]
1 Tbs Honey
Salt to Taste

Whisk all dressing ingredients together + mix with veggies + fruit in a large bowl. Allow to marinate half an hour+ then serve.

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Ginger Curry Scramble

3 large Collard Green Leaves [center ribs removed, chopped]
1 Garlic Clove [grated]
1/2 tsp Ginger Root [fresh, grated]
1/4 cup Red Onion [chopped finely]
1/2 tsp Sweet Curry Powder
3 Eggs [free range, well beaten with 1 Tbs water]
1 Tbs Safflower Oil
Sea Salt
Smoked Hot Paprika or Cayenne Pepper

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic + ginger till fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add collard greens. Saute until just tender + bright green, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder + stir. Add eggs + stir frequently until just cooked. Season with sea salt + serve with a dash of hot paprika.

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Haluska

*This is a pinch outside of our traditional family recipe, but I’d say a delicious little deviation. To my family, don’t worry… I made a perfectly traditional green cabbage version right along side while I was at it!

1 head Napa Cabbage [sliced thin]
1 cup Purple Cabbage [sliced thin]
a few Tbs Safflower Oil

2 cups Russet Potatoes [grated with the fine “hole punch” side of the box grater]
3 cups flour
salt
1 egg

Sea Salt + Sugar [to taste, for serving]

Heat a few Tbs oil in a large skillet. Add cabbage + saute until nicely browned. Set aside while preparing haluska.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Mix grated potato, flour, egg + salt in a medium bowl till well mixed. Dough should be pretty damp, be careful it doesn’t become too stiff.

Pile dough onto a plate + cut small chunks, about the size of a dime into hot boiling water. Cook for about 7 minutes, until haluska float. Scoop haluska from water as they cook + float to the top. Keep warm till all haluska are cooked.

Mix with cabbage. Serve with small bowls of sea salt + sugar on the table depending on your guest’s preference.

Serves 4 a very hearty meal.

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Butternut Squash Risotto

1 Tbs Butter
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1-1/2 cups Onion [chopped finely]
4 Garlic Cloves [minced]
1 small Butternut Squash [peeled + chopped, about 3-1/2 cups]
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
1 cup Arborio Rice
4 cups Vegetable Broth
1/2 tsp Mexican Mint Marigold [or Fresh Tarragon, minced]
1 cup Arugula [chopped finely] + a few handfuls for serving
Salt to Taste

Heat vegetable broth in a small pan to a simmer. Keep over low heat.

Melt butter + heat olive oil in a large shallow pan over medium heat [15 quart saute with 2″ sides is perfect.] Add onion, season with salt + saute for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, butternut squash + a bit more salt, then turn up the heat slightly and cook 5 minutes more, stirring infrequently. Add rice + toast for about two minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in wine + stir frequently until liquid is absorbed into rice.

Reduce heat to medium then add hot broth about 1/2 cup at a time to the rice + vegetable mixture, stirring frequently. Add the next half cup when all the liquid has been absorbed until you have added all 4 cups + rice is tender.

Stir in arugula + Mexican Mint Marigold. Allow to stand 5 minutes before serving on a bed of arugula leaves.

4 main course servings.

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Sweet Potato Salad

4 small Sweet Potatoes [skin on, chopped, about 5 cups]
3 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes [skin on, chopped, about 3 cups]
2 Pickling Cucumbers [chopped]
3 small Leeks [sliced, about 2 cups]
1/2 cup Mustard Sprouts*

Dressing:
1 tsp Water
very generous pinch Sea Salt
3 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
1.5 Tbs Honey
1/3 cup Canola Oil [non-GMO]
freshly ground Black Pepper

Steam chopped potatoes + sweet potatoes in separate batches until just tender, 10 – 15 minutes.  Be careful not to over cook so the skin does not separate from the rest of the tuber.  Allow to cool.

Dissolve salt in water + vinegar. Whisk in honey + oil + season with pepper. Combine all sweet potatoes, potatoes, cucumbers + leeks in a large bow + toss with dressing. Gently stir in the mustard sprouts.  Can be made ahead + great the next day.

* Mustard sprouts are a delicious little spicy sprout that tastes just like, you guessed it, mustard. To grow at home, simple sprinkle a layer of seeds on top of a small pot of soil + water. Cover with a damp paper towel until the sprouts emerge, then give them a pinch of water a couple times daily until they are about 2 inches tall, about 5 days. You can find mustard seeds for mere pennies in the bulk spice section of good grocery stores like Whole Foods or a local Co-op.  You could always whisk a tablespoon of Dijon or whole grain mustard into this dressing if you don’t have sprouts on hand.

* Inspired by my favorite sweet potato salad from Moosewood Cooks at Home.

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