Roasted cauliflower soup with curried parsley oil recipe

IMG_4425I was in a cauliflower rut. I’d steamed it and tossed it with raisins and capers. I’d steamed it and mashed it with garlic and oil. I’d roasted it in a pool of extra virgin olive oil and topped it with kalamata olives. Now what?

Sometimes, a different format is the solution: move out of the side dish realm and into another course.  I decided to make soup and see what would happen if I roasted the cauliflower, along with roasting onions and garlic. The result was a rich, buttery soup with a nutty taste.  And, like most soups, the flavor intensifies and tastes even better the next day. Continue reading

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Spiced Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

IMG_4173After finding a lentil and coconut milk soup recipe on Sprouted Kitchen I filed it away for a cold day.  Today’s that day, with a light snow coating everything and encouraging indoor pursuits.

IMG_4166The recipe called for lemongrass, which would amp up the flavor and be quite delicious, I’m sure, but I was not amped up to search the suburbs for it. I also added sweet potatoes because almost everything is better with some roasted sweet potatoes. And then there’s the coconut milk, the quantity that I reduced from the original so that I could save some calories for those cookies hidden away in the freezer. If you like a creamier soup, go for the full 1 ½ cups of full fat coconut milk. Continue reading

Corn soup with oregano pesto burrata crostini and a scallop salad

Lots of excitement yesterday, starting with the local yarn crawl. The goal of such an event is to visit as many local yarns stores as possible, admire new yarns, make aspirational yarn purchases, and hang out with other yarnhoarders likeminded people. But we had a very specific recycled cashmere mission and headed straight to the Woolpack to see Ellie’s new yarns. She unravels worn cashmere sweaters, gently washes the yarn, and spins it into luxurious color combinations. We also wanted to show her the socks we made with her yarn (one of us went on a knitting spree into the wee hours the night before):

OK, I know you came here for the food. Dinner brought some good friends from Newburyport. We had bonded with these folks over burrata earlier this summer, so I decided to indulge us and made the burrata and oregano pesto crostini pictured above. It’s simple. Just make a batch of this pesto, toast some bread, and top it with burrata and a drizzle of the oregano pesto.

I’m feeling the corn countdown. It’s still at the Boston farmer’s market, but some of the local  farms are done for the season. It’s finding its way into salads and is the star in this simple corn soup. To give the presentation a bit more zing, I topped the soup with some of this paprika and herb oil.

The crostini and soup can be filling, so the entrée was on the lighter side: a mixed lettuce salad with seared scallops, roasted beets, lentils, cherry tomatoes, and roasted delicata squash, inspired by this salad from last fall and this one, which helped me get over my anxiety for cooking scallops.

Dinner was followed by this luxurious chocolate pumpkin spice cake brought by our friends, and a round of joke telling. What could be better?

Spanish chickpea spinach soup

Happy new year! I’m starting 2012 with one simple resolution that will benefit you and me–cooking from cookbooks that I received as treasured gifts in the past couple months.

This I decided during today’s walk around Walden Pond, as I thought about the meaning of life and dismissed tedious fitness goals, and then resolved to cook from more cookbooks this year and read Proust. Continue reading

My best lentil soup recipe

I started the search for the best hearty lentil soup recipe when a friend told me she had just had a major surgery and was recovering at home. What could I bring, I asked with trepidation, knowing that she’s a meat and potatoes gal, and that’s not my specialty.

But she wanted soup, so my mind turned to lentil soup, an easy and quick soup recipe that would be filling and satisfying and different from what other folks would be dropping off in containers on the doorstep.

For inspiration, I consulted my advisory panel. First my mom’s primer on lentils, and her lovely lentil vegetable soup. Then I found this lentil and sweet potato gem from Smitten Kitchen and this lively lentil soup recipe. Finally I went hard copy with Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Continue reading

Concord farmstands and corn soup

I was going to take you on a tour of the newish Saturday farmer’s market in Concord, MA. But the rain forecast kept the farmers away, so now we are going to two of my favorite farms, both family farms with a long history here. Then we are having corn soup for lunch, my recipe inspired by the best corn soup ever at 80 Thoreau, with a swirl of my own.

Our first stop is McGrath farm, for corn and impulse vegetable shopping. Continue reading