Tuesday, June 22, 2010

roasted red pepper and potato soup

The flavours from the roasted red pepper, garlic and onion make this soup extremely tasty. The blended potato gives it its creamy texture without all the fat of a traditional cream-based soup while the cayenne pepper gives it a little kick. Enjoy.

Here's what you'll need (about 6 servings):
  • 900 mL organic free range chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 medium white potatoes
  • 1 package roasted red pepper anti-pasto
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • cayenne pepper
Prep work (about 10 minutes):
  1. Wash and chop the potatoes into quarters.
  2. Mince the garlic and dice the onion.
Here's what to do (about 35 minutes):
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are soft (about 10 minutes)
  2. Add chicken broth and increase heat to medium-high.
  3. When the broth begins to boil add the potatoes and roasted red pepper.
  4. Boil potatoes until soft (about 20 minutes).
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add contents of pot into a blender and blend until smooth. Ensure your blender can tolerate the heat otherwise you will need to wait for the soup to cool completely. If the soup doesn't all fit in the blender then blend multiple cycles, storing blended soup in a separate pot.
  7. Combine all blended soup and add salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
  8. Allow soup to simmer over low heat for one hour.
  9. Ten minutes before serving add the cream and stir thoroughly.
  10. Serve and garnish with fresh ground pepper, more cayenne pepper or parsley.
  11. Unused portions can be refrigerated up to 24 hours or frozen for future consumption.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

the dirty dozen cheat sheet

Buying organic all the time can be expensive. To optimize your spending and control your budget, use this cheat sheet to decide what fruits and vegetables you'll spend extra money on for organic.

I got this off one of my favourite sites/blogs Take Part, a social action network. See the complete blog post.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

vanilla poached pears with mascarpone cheese

If you need a fancy-looking dessert that's easy to make, this is it! The great thing is that you can prepare this up to 24 hours ahead of time. The pear is fantastic at both room temperature and cold. Impress your guests with this dessert. It will look like you put a lot of effort into it!

Here's what you'll need:
  • 4 ripe medium-sized barlett pears
  • 5 cups of water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 275g mascarpone cheese (small tub)
  • cinnamon
Prep work (about 20 minutes):
  1. Heat water in a small pot and and lower the temperature to medium heat just before it starts boiling.
  2. Add granulated sugar and vanilla. For a slightly different flavour, add a few pieces of ginger to the water.
  3. Peel skin from pears, leaving the stem intact. Cut the bottom of the pear so that its bottom is flat. That way it can sit on the plate without falling over.
  4. Submerge pears in water, rotating regularly for 15-20 minutes and then remove from heat. Allow pears to cool. Pears can be refrigerated and stored up to 24 hours.
  5. Combine cheese and icing sugar into a bowl and mix until well blended. Refrigerate.
Here's what to do (about 5 minutes):
  1. Just before serving, place pear on plate. Allow pear to sit for a couple minutes. Use paper towel to absorb some of the water on the plate around the pear.
  2. Place 1-2 tablespoons of cheese next to pear.
  3. Dust with cinnamon and enjoy.