Category Archives: Soups and Stews

Roasted carrot and carmelized onion curry soup

Roasted carrot and carmelized onion curry soup

It has been wickedly cold here since I have been back from my extended trip to Central America.  It is a bit tough to take, but I must say, the bright white of the snow and ice has been a nice change from the Ozark winter brown that has dominated the landscape all winter.  Plus, nothing screams hot warm soup louder than trekking through a couple of inches of fresh powder, and you know how much I love a good soup!

This delicious soup is super easy and absolutely loaded with valuable nutrients that will keep your immune system going at full speed and ready to fight whatever is lurking out there in the cold.  You know, I was just thinking a couple of days ago that I NEVER get sick.  It has been YEARS, close to 10, maybe more, since I have had more than just a sniffle.  You may be thinking !SO WHAT!, but I bet you didn’t know that I am on a medication that keeps my white blood cells (the cells in the body that fight infection) at about 25% of what they normally should run.  Like to the point that I should probably be wearing a mask when I go out in public.  That my dear friends is the !SO WHAT! and what a diet full of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and vegetable proteins will do for you ability to fight disease.  If you have had your fill of the cold and flu then maybe it is time to think about how you are fueling your body and ultimately your immune system.  I can’t promise you won’t get sick, but I will promise that you will change your bodies chemistry and the way it responds to foreign invaders and other stressors!  Sound like a change you want to make?!  The recipes are right here–it is up to you to make it happen!  So, go for that smoothie loaded with antioxidants at breakfast, a big colorful salad at lunch and a simple, warm and satisfying soup like this at dinner and you will be off to a good start.

The beauty of this soup is that it is not only full of antioxidants and beta carotene from the carrots to strengthen your immunity, but it also has onions and garlic which are high in sulfur to help you detox, and turmeric and ginger which are very powerful anti-inflammatory agents.  Hippocrates – the father of medicine – stated, “Let your food be your medicine, and let your medicine be your food.” I say, “Let food prevent you from needing medicine and let preventative medicine be your food”!

Cheers to good health and living WELL, my friends!

Roasted carrot and carmelized onion soup

Servings 6

  • 6-8 large carrots, peeled
  • 2 T EVOO
  • 1 +T Curry powder
  • 1 +T Garam Masala curry powder
  • 4-5 c vegetable stock
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2″ piece of ginger, peeled and grated.  I use my zesting grater to do ginger.  I find it works much better than a regular grater.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 t dill
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • dash of kosher or sea salt, optional
  • splash of agave nectar, optional
  • green onions, chopped for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a gallon size zip lock bag or lidded bowl put 1 T EVOO, 1/2 T curry powder and 1/2 T of the Garam Masala with the carrots.  Shake to coat the carrots well.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the carrots are roasted to a nice, light brown.

While the carrots are roasting, warm 1 T EVOO over medium/low in a medium saute pan.  Add the chopped onion, chipotle pepper flakes, and black pepper and cook until the onions begin to soften.  Add the garlic, dash of kosher or sea salt (optional) and splash of agave nectar (optional) and continue cooking until the onions begin to brown.

In a large stock pot, add the vegetable broth, grated ginger, dill, carmelized onion mix, roasted carrots, and the rest of the curry and garam masala and stir well and cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes.  Adjust the flavors adding more seasoning according to your palate.  In a food processor or with an immersion blender, puree the soup.  Serve with a generous sprinkle of green onions.


My Ozark BUN

My Ozark BUN

I started this post a little over a year ago and never finished it, so after doing an inventory of the refrigerator last night I decided I would finally get back to this WAY overdue recipe.  Wow, am I glad that I did.  The Vietnamese noodles in my bowl were bombarded by all sorts of delicious vegetables–steamed and fresh.  Mushrooms, onions (white and green), broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, kale and cucumber were perfectly flavored with an acidic and flavorful lime vinaigrette sauce.  You might remember the vinaigrette sauce from my FRESH  spring roll recipe–I sincerely hope that you do, anyway!  It is super simple to whip together, packed with flavor, and absolutely perfect for this dish too…my mouth is watering just thinking about it!  The shrimp in this BUN are totally optional, but they really tasted good to me last night!  I also added an extra big hit of chopped cashews to top off the meal, which gave me extra healthy fat and protein to keep my belly full all night long!  The really great thing about this noodle bowl is how good you feel after you eat it–smarter, faster, stronger!  Ok, maybe that was more about my 90 minute power yoga class, but I did feel extra good last night!  Give My Ozark BUN a try and see if how it makes your body feel!  You will not be sorry that you did!

Here’s to feeding your belly well and loving every minute of it!

Color, texture, and tons of flavor--makes for the perfect BUN!


My Ozark BUN

Servings:  2

  • Rice Vermicelli noodles, enough for 2 servings
  • Uncooked shrimp, optional.  As much as you like in two servings of BUN!
  • Your favorite vegetables!  My choices this time were broccoli, kale, carrots, sweet bell pepper, yellow onion, green onion (for a heavy garnish), mushrooms, cucumber.
  • Lime Vinaigrette Sauce–recipe follows
  • Nuts, chopped–either peanuts or cashews, or both
  • Cilantro and green onions, chopped for a heavy garnish
  • Kosher salt for the shrimp boil
  • Water for the shrimp boil and to cook the pasta

If using shrimp, quick boil them in a salted pot and refrigerate until serving.  Reserve the salted liquid to use for cooking the rice pasta.
Cook the rice pasta, following the instructions on the pasta package.  Use the reserved liquid from the shrimp boil to give the pasta extra flavor.
Steam the vegetables to al dente or as soft as you like.  I grated the cucumber and added it raw to the dish.  Serve them over the cooked pasta and garnish with the green onions, nuts, and cilantro.
Pour the lime vinaigrette sauce over the top of the dish and ENJOY the gorgeous, fresh flavor of My Ozark BUN!

2 Servings

Lime Vinaigrette Sauce

  • 2 1/2 T fish sauce
  • 3 T lime juice
  • 1/2 t + chili sauce (sriracha)–or more depending upon your tolerance for HEAT
  • 1 1/2 T garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t anchovy paste
  • 2 t ginger, minced
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1/8-1/4 c water

Mix all ingredients into a small bowl.  Makes enough for a least 2 servings of BUN.


African peanut soup with an indian jig!

Big chunks of cauliflower in the soup make it soooo pretty!

Take a journey with me to a far away place where exotic spices abound!  This soup, with influences from both Africa and India, will make you feel like you are a long, long way from this crazy place we live in where fast food and processed foods are king!  This soup has soooo much great flavor going on, I am just counting the minutes until I get to have leftovers!  Enjoy it with a side of Moroccan veggies or a nice big salad and you will have a SUPER healthful and VEGAN meal that is kind to your heart, your mind, and your overall well being!  It has been almost 3 weeks since I completely gave up processed foods, gluten, and dairy and have started eating LOADS AND LOADS of veggies and fruits instead–and I feel like a million bucks!  Remember YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!  So start making better choices and I know you will quickly feel like the person you have only dreamed of being.

Bon Appetit!  XOXO

African peanut soup with an indian jig!

Servings:  6-8

  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 6 c water
  • 1-2″ ginger, chopped
  • 2 # butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 yellow pepper , chopped
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 4 yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 green onions,chopped
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 c peanut butter, or more to taste
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T hot smoked paprika
  • 1 T sweet paprika
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 2 T garam masala
  • 1 c dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 t chipotle pepper flakes1-2 T ground cumin, to taste
  • 2 c steamed cauliflower
  • cilantro, for garnish

In a large stock pot, warm the coconut oil with the chipotle pepper flakes over low heat.  Add the onions and saute for 5-7 minutes, until they start to soften.  Mix in the garlic and ginger and cook for another 4-5 minutes.  Stir in the canned tomatoes, bell pepper, carrot, cumin, cumin, garam masala, and paprikas and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Turn up the heat to medium/high and add the squash, peanuts, water and season with the salt and pepper.  Bring the pot to boil, reduce heat to low, add peanut butter, cover and cook for 20 minutes.  Turn off or remove the pot from the heat.  Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the soup to your desired consistency.  Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed.  If you want it to thicken more, cook uncovered until you achieve the desired thickness.  Stir in the green onions and steamed cauliflower.  Serve with a sprinkle of cilantro on top!

Detox Soup

Not a bad way to detox!

My honey was in Vegas last week on business so I had the WHOLE place to myself–ok, Tobi, Henna, and Wison were here to keep me company, but still!  Cue the party lights and music!  It was a crazy time here at 488!  Yep, I spent the week doing laundry, putting away christmas decorations, buying and shipping VERY late Christmas gifts, cleaning, organizing AND COOKING!

Probably my favorite dish from last week was this very brightly colored and flavored soup. I loved it for a lot of reasons, but most importantly for how I felt after I ate it!  What first comes to mind is revitalized…or maybe detoxified.  After a full month (thank you winter holidays) of eating quite a ways outside MY food pyramid, this dish brought me back.  Back to the foods that make me feel good, inside and out!  This dish reminded me why I dedicate so much of my time and energy creating good tasting, healthful meals!

This is a great week night soup because the prep is very minimal and the flavor and energy rewards are HUGE!  Serve this with a big salad, some hot tea (or a splash of wine :)) and a side of Phish and you too will be bouncing around the room, just like me!!

Bon Appetit!

Colorful and flavorful!

Detox Soup

Servings:  4-6

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into thick coins or 2 c baby carrots, cut in half
  • 1″ ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 t celery seed
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 c veg broth
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1 c red lentils
  • 3 c baby spinach
  • 4 calamari tomatoes, cut into eighths
  • splash of EVOO

In a medium stock pot, over medium-low heat cook the garlic in the EVOO for a few minutes (do not brown).  Add the carrots, jalapeno, and celery seed and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the veg broth, onions, ginger, and black pepper and turn the heat up to medium-high.  Cook for 10-12 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and lentils, turn the heat back down to medium-low, cover, and cook for 20- minutes–until the lentils are cooked to your desired consistency.  Stir occasionally.  Uncover and add the baby spinach.  Cook for 2-3 minutes–until the spinach turns bright green and wilts.  Eat and enjoy!

Bundle-up bean and sweet potato stew

This picture does not do the dish was unbelievable!

Beans, beans the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you… Yes, I am going there…again!   It is true, tooting is an unpleasant side-effect courtesy of our brown and round friend, Mr. Bean–but I don’t need to tell YOU about that, now do I?!?!  What makes it so bad, though is what makes it soooo good–good for you anyway!  The tough outer shell is a soluble fiber (which means it absorbs water) and can really get you moving–which is one of the reasons we love it, right?  Along with water, it also sucks up the cholesterol circulating in the blood, clearing it from your system with great efficiency–even more cool, right?  PLUS these puppies are loaded with protein, iron, B vitamins, and magnesium!  So don’t you think that ONE pesky little side-effect might be worth it?!  Ok, stop whining, pop a Beano (or three) and get ready to be wowed!  This is not just healthful, it is beyond tasty!  It has been almost a week since I made this dish and my hubby can’t stop asking when I am going to make it again!  My answer:  “just as soon as the air clears, hon!”  🙂

Perfectly brown on top!

Bundle-up bean and sweet potato stew Servings 6-8

  • 2-3 heads of garlic
  • 2 large sweet, yellow onions, cut the onions in half (through the middle, not the top/bottom) and then vertically slice them into thin pieces
  • 4-6 oz pancetta or prosciutto
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1 1/2 T white wine vinegar
  • 5 c sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite size pieces (~3 good sized sweet potatoes)
  • 1/8 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2-1 t chipotle pepper flakes (or more if you want it HOT!)
  • 1 c organic veg broth
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1-2 T fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 16 oz cans of great northern white beans, drained
  • 2 slices of white bread, processed or 3/4 c panko bread crumbs
  • 3/4 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 head of fresh italian parsley, for garnish or topping

Follow my recipe for roasted garlic at 375 degrees F.  Let the garlic cool, skin it, and do a rough smash on the pieces.  Set aside.  Leave the oven ON–you will be needing it soon! While the garlic is roasting, in a medium skillet cook the pancetta or prosciutto until crispy.  You may need to add just a SMALL hit of EVOO to the pan if the meat isn’t very fatty.  Remove the meat and set aside. Using the same skillet, cook the onions over medium low for 20-25 minutes–you want them very, soft and caramelized!  Again, you may need a small hit of EVOO if the pan is too dry.  Once the onions are done, take the pan off of the heat and stir in the vinegar. In a side bowl combine the bread crumbs, EVOO, and cheese.  Set aside. In a medium dutch oven (or oven-ready casserole pan) add the sweet potatoes, garlic, and herbs and mix well.  Crumble the pancetta over the top, then layer on the onions.  Do a really quick stir, leaving most of the onions sitting on top of the dish.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top.  Cover the dish and bake for about 50 minutes.  Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes.  The breadcrumbs may have browned, if so, you are done cooking.  If not, turn the oven up to broil and cook for another couple of minutes, until the top is nice and brown. Serve with a generous portion of chopped fresh Italian parsley, some of my sweet cornbread, and a big glass of Fume Blanc or an equally yummy white wine!


White bean and spinach soup

The colors are pretty amazing!

Brrr!   It is cold and windy here in the Ozarks tonight!  I must admit, I LOVE it when the weather finally turns from fall to winter.  Don’t get me wrong, fall is by far my favorite season, but there is something so peaceful about the short, dark and COLD days of winter.  I guess it gives me a good excuse to stay home, pour a big mug of hot tea, curl up on the sofa with a good book or food magazine and VEG!  It also makes me crave a nice big bowl of hearty soup!  Honestly, tonight was one of those perfect nights for chili, but the sensible side of me decided I better scan the contents of the fridge first to see if there was a smarter decision.  Glad I did!  I had an unusually large amount of baby spinach left for this late in the week.  I chalk that up to the fact that I have been digging the spinachless matcha smoothies at breakfast the past couple of days instead of my usual spinach based drinks.  Maybe it is time to change that up a bit and give matcha/spinach a try??  What do you think??

Anyway, I decided to go with a super simple tomato-based spinach and bean soup.  Sorta like a pasta fagioli without the meat?  After my husband took a peek at my latest creation he commented that it actually reminded him of an Italian wedding soup, minus the sausage.  I agree!  It definitely LOOKED similiar, but I CAN’T stand the taste of wedding soup (probably the sausage?), so to me, that is where the similarities end.  This soup had such a simple tomatoey, rosemary, sort of hard-to-describe, yet addicting flavor!  Even though my hubby was full after the first bowl, he liked it so much he went back for seconds!  Don’t worry, there is plenty for leftovers for tomorrow–I can’t wait!  I served it with a crusty french bread and an full bodied oatmeal stout from my hubbies homebrew collection!  Wonderful, just wonderful!  Now it is time for me to get back to my book and enjoy some much anticipated sofa time!  Bon Appetit!

Warm and delicious!

White bean and spinach soup

Servings 8

  • 6 c chicken or veg broth
  • 4 shallots or 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 T garlic, minced
  • 2 T finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1-2 t ground rosemary
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes (or more if you want a little extra heat)
  • 2 14 oz cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 14 oz cans great northern white beans
  • 6 c fresh baby spinach, cleaned
  • 1 c. whole wheat macaroni or your favorite noodle
  • 1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 T EVOO

In a big stew pot heat over med low.  Add the EVOO, chipotle pepper flakes, and rosemary for about 1 minute–until you can smell the rosemary.  Add the shallots (onion), basil, black pepper, and oregano and cook for 3-4 minutes–until the shallots begin to soften.  Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes.  Stir in the chicken broth and turn up the heat to medium high.  Add the canned tomatoes and let cook until the broth begins to boil.  Add the beans (with the juice from the can) and once again bring it to a boil.  Stir in the pasta and bring it back to a boil.  You can turn the heat down a touch and just simmer it now for 10-12 minutes.  In the last couple of minutes of the cook time add the spinach and most of the cheese, reserving just enough cheese to use as a garnish.  Serve and ENJOY!



Black Bean Enchilada Soup

Black Bean Enchilada Soup

I have this awesome friend named Lisa.  She is a riot, beautiful, and always, I mean always has a big smile on her face and a great story to share!  Oh, and she also has a great appreciation for good shoes and good food — no wonder we are such great buds!

So, Lisa sent me this Enchilada soup recipe over the weekend.  When Lisa sends a recipe, I know I had better drop everything and make it immediately!  Which is pretty much exactly what I did!  She got the recipe from her Farm Chicks cookbook (I guess I need to get my hands on one!) and I adapted it with my usual tweaks to create this flavorful masterpiece that ended up in my stew pot this weekend–pure scrumptiousness in a bowl!

Before I share the recipe, do you want to know more about our weekend?  Too bad, cause I am going to tell you anyway!  🙂  It was our first weekend at home with NOTHING TO DO–no visitors, no commitments, NOTHING–in a very, very long time!  I can’t tell you how happy that made us!  So, what did we do??  LEAVE!  We took Tobi and Wilson (Henna has a bum leg right now, so she stayed home to rest) hiking on Sunday.  We headed south to check out Johnny Morris’ Dogwood Canyon Nature Reserve.  Great decision!  I have to take this opportunity to give Johnny much deserved thanks for creating a wonderful place for nature enthusiasts to get some exercise in the heart of the Ozarks!  For those of you who aren’t from these here parts (ha, I had to say that!), Dogwood Canyon is a beautiful nature reserve boasting a 6 1/2 mile paved trail for hiking, running, biking, roller blading–they even have a tram for those less inclined to get out and move!–whatever your preference may be.  The trail is lined with waterfalls, stunning cliffs, caves, trees, and much, much more!  Making it a photogs dream!  You could seriously spend all day exercising and snapping photos of the scenery–which is pretty much what I did!  Oh, happy day!

Anyway, we were exhausted by the time we made it home, but I couldn’t wait to get started on the much anticipated enchilada soup.  I quickly got the prep work done and set the soup to simmer.  Simmer it did–for about two hours while we sat outside by a bonfire sipping on thirst quenching home brews, playing with the dogs, rehashing our day of fun!  When we finally drug ourselves in for dinner we were starving for this hot and filling soup.  It took just one bite to know that it completely exceeded our expectations!  It was the perfect way to end our perfect day!  THANK YOU LISA for sharing!

Dogwood Canyon


Black Bean Enchilada Soup

Servings:  6

1 T ground cumin

1 T cumin seed


1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

2 T  garlic, minced

3-4 c veggie or chicken broth

1 # chicken (thigh is best), cut up into small pieces (hormone free-antibiotic free).  This soup tastes GREAT without the chicken, so don’t be afraid to make this vegetarian or vegan.

2 cans organic, non-gmo black beans, do not drain

1 14 oz can organice fire roasted tomatoes, diced

1 1/2 c frozen corn (non-gmo, organic)

1 c organic salsa

2 roasted jalapenos, minced

1 T chili powder

1 lime, juiced

1 t chipotle pepper flakes

cilantro, chopped

green onion, chopped

non-dairy sour cream (we use tofutti sour cream!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Slice open the jalapenos and place them on a cooking sheet seed side down.  Roast for about 25-30 minutes, until very soft.  Remove from oven and mince.

While the peppers are roasting, saute the red and yellow onion, garlic, chipotle pepper flakes and cumin (both the seeds and ground) in EVOO in a large skillet over low heat until the onions are soft, but not brown–about 5-7 minutes.  Turn up the heat to medium and add the corn, chili powder and roasted jalapenos and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the salsa, fire roasted tomatoes, chicken (optional) beans and a big squeeze of lime (about half of the limes juice) and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Turn up the heat to medium high, add the broth and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to low (as low as you can go!) and cook uncovered for about an hour (or two if you get distracted), stirring occasionally.

Serve the soup once it has achieved the consistency you desire!  Garnish with a big spoonful of sour cream, a handful of chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, and a big, big squeeze of lime!






Spicy charred bell pepper soup

Spicy charred bell pepper soup

It is unseasonably warm here in the Ozarks right now, but that hasn’t stopped me from firing up the oven to make healthful and delicious meals!  Check out this beautiful soup that I made a few nights ago.  Isn’t it pretty??  And you won’t believe how smoky and satisfying it is–at least until you try it!  Keep in mind that it is packed full of vitamins and fiber, so if you wake up the next morning with an extra kick in your step, don’t be surprised.  Ahhhh…it is so fun to eat and feel well!!


Spicy charred bell pepper soup

Servings:  about 6

  • 6 bell peppers–red, orange,  yellow,  cut in half and seeded
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 4 c vegetable stock
  • 1/2 c heavy cream (milk or soymilk)
  • 1 1/2 c corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 small can diced green chilis
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1-2 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1-2 T butter
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to low broil.  Place bell peppers on a cooking sheet skin side up and cook on the bottom rack of oven until the skin is charred.  Remove from oven and place in a zip lock bag.  Put in the freezer for 10 minute or so.  Remove the skin once it has loosened from the flesh of the pepper and discard.  Chop the pepper flesh and set aside.

While the peppers are cooking add a splash of EVOO, 1 t chipotle pepper flakes to a medium skillet over medium heat.  Once hot, add the corn and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue cooking until the corn is nicely browned.  Remove from heat and set aside.

While the corn and peppers are doing their thing, place the butter in a stock pot and warm over low/medium-low heat.  Add the onions and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic,  1 t chipotle pepper flakes, and green chilis and cook for another 5-7 minutes.  Add the chopped bell pepper and roasted corn and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Transfer ingredients to food processor and  chop until you achieve the consistency you desire for the soup (small chunks or puree–it is up to you!).  Add this back to the stock pot, turn heat to low and and stir in the tomato paste, veg stock, cream, salt, pepper, and paprika.   Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.  Uncover and cook for 5-10 minutes.  Taste and adjust flavors as needed.  Serve with a sprinkle of roasted corn and/or cilantro as the garnish.

Eastern Lentil Stew

Last night I was not feeling hugely motivated to make dinner.  I knew we were going to have a simple arugula salad, but I just couldn’t think of anything to pair with it.  I finally decided since nothing was jumping out at me, I was just going to use some healthful ingredients already in the pantry and refrigerator.  So I went searching and made the bold decision to do something with lentils.  My heart started beating a little faster and I quickly searched for a recipe online to accelerate the rate even more.  I finally found it!  A wonderful recipe from allrecipes that had glowing user reviews.  I tweaked it as I normally do and this is what ended up in my stew pot.  Let me forewarn you of a couple of things:  1.  my mouth is watering just thinking about how savory, warm, and exotically spicy this stew is  2.  you will want to make a double batch so you can quickly pull it out of the freezer to get your new lentil fix and 3.  you will need a full dose of BEANO to keep the fumes down in your home!!

Eastern Lentil Stew

Servings:  5-6

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 t fresh grated ginger
  • 6 c veggie broth
  • 1 c red lentils
  • 1 (15 oz) can chick peas
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 c grated or chopped carrots
  • 1 c celery, chopped
  • 1 T + garam masala
  • 1/2 t + cayenne pepper
  • 2 T toasted cumin seeds
  • 1-2 T EVOO
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1-2 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • handful of golden raisins (optional)
  • garnish:  chopped green onion

Heat EVOO with the cumin seeds and chipotle pepper flakes over medium low.  When the cumin seeds are lightly toasted add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Next, add the carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes or until the celery is starting to soften.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add the remainder of the ingredients (pour off the top 1/3 of the liquid from the canned beans, but use the rest), stir well and turn the heat down to low.  Cook for 1-1 1/2 hours, stirring the pot every 10-15 minutes.  Use a food processor or blender to very lightly puree the stew before serving.

Helpful hint–when the stew is at your desired consistency, place a lid on the pot to cover about 75% of the top to keep the moisture in the pot. Continue to cook the stew for the suggested time to maximize the flavor profile of the dish.

Serve this stew with a healthy handful of green onions on top and a big piece of warm, crusty french or sourdough bread.  Enjoy a nice glass of brown beer or dry, fruity white wine with this flavorful dinner!

Bon Appetit!

Ginger Lime Shrimp Soup

Rich, creamy, and delicious!

One of the very few things that I really miss about living in Kansas City (besides our wonderful friends) is easy access to Eastern cuisine.  We do have a really good Sushi place right here in Ozark and Indian in Springfield, but Thai and Vietnamese are sadly under represented.  So when I head up to KC for my work trips, I find myself heading straight to some of my old favorites to get my fix for the month.  On my last trip to KC I had this exotically flavored soup called Shrimp Galangal Soup.  I happily stuffed myself and left the restaurant fully committed to recreating the dish at home for my hubby.  When I got home, I did just that and was THRILLED with the result!  I found a recipe with good reviews and an ingredient list that wasn’t too intimidating and went for it!  I had to sub in many of my stock items for some of the true Asian components, but it really was a good imitation of what I had loved so much at the Thai House in OP.  This soup was even better the next day when we heated it on the stove top and added more shrimp and green onion!  I think the next time I make it I am going to do it without the shrimp.  I have a feeling the gorgeous onion, lime, and ginger are strong enough to stand up on their own!  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Andy is in favor of this soup!

Ginger Lime Shrimp Soup

Servings:  6

2 cans light coconut milk–use 1 can of light and 1 regular for a fuller bodied soup

2 cups water

1 t + sriracha hot sauce — or more to taste

1 1/2-2 T + red curry paste — or more to taste

1 # shitake mushrooms cut in bite size pieces.  You can also use baby portabello mushrooms if you have them on hand.

1 onion, sliced

1/4 c lime juice

4 stalks of lemongrass, bruised and cut into small pieces.  Or 3-4 T of chopped.

zest from one lime OR 10 kaffir lime leaves torn in half

1+ 2″ piece of peeled ginger OR Galangal, cut into fine strips

4 T fish sauce

1/4 c brown sugar

1 t chipotle pepper flakes

1/2 c + green onion, chopped.  Cut up a little extra for garnishing.

1 # uncooked shrimp–use peeled if you don’t want the mess, use unpeeled to add a bit more flavor to the broth

Cilantro for garnish

In a stew pot slowly warm the water, coconut milk, onion, ginger, lime zest, pepper flakes, lemon grass, red curry paste, sugar, lime juice, sriracha, and fish sauce.  Cook for about an hour minutes on low heat.  Add the green onions and cook for another 20-30 minutes.  Test the broth and adjust the seasonings to your taste.  Turn up the heat to medium-high, add the shrimp and cook for 5-10 minutes.  Remove the pieces of lemongrass.  Finely chopped lemongrass can be left in the soup.  Serve with a crusty french bread for dipping and a big green salad.

I recommend a buttery chardonnay to wash it down.  ENJOY!

<blockquote>recipe here</blockquote>