U is for … Udon Noodle Soup

U is for … Udon Noodle Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 6 cups beef broth
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 1 medium onion, diced
• Handful of Italian parsley, rough chop
• 2 green onions, chopped
• 7 cloves of garlic, finely diced
• 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
• One knob of ginger, minced
• ½ cup sugar snap peas, halved
• 2 tbsp, mint leaves
• 200g, 1 package of pre-cooked udon noodles
• 1 baby bok choy, halved down the length of the leaf
• 6 dashes, fish sauce
• 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Assembly
1. Cook the udon noodles according the package then drain and set aside.
2. Using a large saucepan pour in the beef broth and bring to a boil.
3. Add in celery, onion, parsley, green onions, garlic, carrots, ginger, snap peas, mint leaves and let cook for five minutes.
4. Add in the udon noodles along with fish sauce and apple cider vinegar and cook for five more minutes.
5. Turn down the temperature to simmer and add in the bok choy and let cook for 10 more minutes.
6. Serve

Tips
• Use vegetable broth to make this a vegetarian, vegan dish.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I usually love the soup I make; but so far the Asian inspired soups I haven’t really been a fan of. It tasted fine, but just not to my style.

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Simple & Warming Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Soup

Simple & Warming Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

I visited a different grocery story looking for ground turkey for my kofta’s and to my surprise I found Jamaican Ginger and Tumeric. I have never seen either of these in the store. Regular Asian ginger yes; but not its spicier cousin and the turmeric was a sign for my to go all in and try this ingredient I have had a love hate relationship with. Having a lifelong love affair with ginger, I thought it was an obvious choice to start trying to add turmeric into my diet alongside its “cousin” ginger. Now as easy as ginger is to enjoy for myself I just couldn’t get on board with turmeric. I have finally found a way to consume it and enjoy it along with all its benefits like aiding with ingestion and those all so important anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities keep calling me back. Well this soup struck a chord with me in the most delightful way and I can now enjoy turmeric and its unique scent and vibrant colour.

Yield/Serving: 3 – 4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 1 & ½ hours
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and halved
• 1 large carrot, peeled
• 2 knobs of turmeric, peeled and minced
• 900 ml vegetable stock

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Prepare squash and place in a roasting pan.
3. Boil sweet potato and carrot in a medium saucepan.
4. Once vegetables are done let cool for 30 minutes.
5. Peel away the squash skin and add to a blender along with the sweet potatoes and carrots.
6. Add turmeric and vegetable stock and blend.
7. Pour into two bowls and serve.

Tips
• Add more turmeric if you like.
• Use a Dutch oven if you prefer.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I did start with a relatively small amount of turmeric in my eyes; but the soup surely had that lovely and distinctive turmeric scent. The colour of this soup is my most favourite of all the soups I have prepared. It also kept the colour upon reheating. I could taste each ingredients and they came together very well. This will be another soup in my rotation. If you want a faster dinner use your blender. I used the blender for Christmas for the purpose of using it solely for cooking and not my daily smoothie. I started off using the immersion blender in the Dutch over but I couldn’t’ get the consistency and the find turmeric to blend nicely and smooth.

Under the Weather Soup with Crispy Kale

Under the Weather Soup with Crispy Kale – Candy Coated Culinista

I honestly can’t remember the last time I got a cold (knock on wood) and even now this hasn’t turned into a full blown cold yet and I’m thankful for that. I should have known my tonsillitis last week was perhaps a warning sign of things to come. So feeling a touch under the weather with a sore throat and slight cough, I had already picked up some soup essentials being preemptive. Now to make a new soup to help me feel better fast and nip whatever this in the bud.

Yield/Serving: 3-4
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: approx. 2 hours
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and halved
• 1 large carrot, peeled
• Extra virgin olive oil
• 900 ml vegetable stock
• 1 cup water
• Salt to taste, if desired
• Black pepper to taste, if desired
• a knob of ginger, if desired
• a little turmeric, if desired
• 3 leaves of kale
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Prepare squash, sweet potato and carrot and place in a roasting pan.
3. Cover in extra virgin olive oil and roast for one hour and forty minutes, turning vegetable over halfway through.
4. Once vegetables are done let cool for 30 minutes.
5. Peel away the squash skin and add to a Dutch oven along with the sweet potatoes chopped.
6. Chop carrots and add one cup of water to a blender along with the carrots and blend.
7. Then add to the Dutch oven along with the vegetable stock and let simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and continue to simmer.
9. In a small frying pan, fry kale with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and once crispy drain on a paper towel.
10. Laddle soup into a bowl and top with crispy kale and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is really a bare bones recipe for me. I honestly didn’t even add salt or pepper as I wasn’t feeling it and I wanted to keep this soup pure. You can also add ginger and turmeric if you want also. I saved that for my tea on the side personally. I even managed to not add onions and garlic as that might have muddied up the beautiful colour of the soup; which was sweet and simple. Blending the carrots prior to adding them to the Dutch oven really helped with the consistency of the soup and I’m very happy I did. This really took no effort which is perfect when your down for the count. Nap while the veggies roast and maybe 10 minutes on your feet actually tending to the soup. Perfect.

Gluten-Free Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

You have guests coming over the weekend and you want to make something warm and comforting; but keeping yourself on a budget try this heart-warming soup.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 45 min. to 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• ½ lbs, ground beef
• ½ lbs, ground pork
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp fried basil
• ½ tsp red chilli flakes
• 12 oz can of Crushed tomatoes
• 900 ml or vegetable broth
• 2 sprigs of basil leaves, chiffonade
• Handful of Italian parsley, torn
• 8 – 10 gluten-free lasagna noodles, broken
• ½ a link if pepperoni, sliced
• 1 cup fresh spinach
• 1 cup baby kale
• Mozzarella shredded, optional
• Parmesan cheese, optional
• Basil, to garnish

Assembly
1. Using a medium sized Dutch oven pour olive oil into pot and allow to heat up over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden.
3. Place ground beef and pork in and cook until brown adding in sea salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, red chilli flakes.
4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes followed by the vegetable broth and bring to a boil and then reducing to simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add in the pepperoni slices and lasagna noodles and let the mixture simmer for 25 minutes until cooked.
6. Add spinach and baby kale in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
7. Serve garnished with fresh basil and shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Tips
• Use canned whole tomatoes and blend quickly in a food processor if you are unable to find crushed tomatoes.
• When reheating add more vegetable broth.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I never thought of making a lasagna soup but I was craving lasagna and didn’t want to do all that work and well we are in the midst of an extreme cold weather warning. So this really hit the spot and everything came together very easily. My taste testers enjoyed and even left with some soup for home. This was surprisingly flavourful and such a great treat on a cold day. I actually made three recipes at once with the same ingredients more or less. I made my Italian Meatballs (a request for me to make), my skillet chicken pepperoni pizza and then the soup. I managed to make 3 recipes for under thirty-five dollars and had about thirteen servings; which was amazing. This was my first bigger meal prep as I don’t really like doing mass meals for the week and I had meals to carry me though some lunches and dinners; which freed up time for me to do things I enjoy like ice skating at night.

Christmas Dinner: Pea Soup

Pea Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

This Christmas I want to make a complete and composed dinner from beginning to end and who better than to use Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook. I am practicing these recipes early so Christmas dinner has no hiccups and I am always one to eat Christmas dinner any time of the year; to a few of my friends chagrin. They just don’t understand Christmas in July of Turkey in late spring. I have been adverse to pea soup for as long as I can remember and the only reason was the colour of the soup. I don’t mind peas in any other fashion, so what is my problem right?

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 40 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
Soup

• 1 onion
• 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
• 1 leek, rough chopped
• 2 celery stalks, rough chopped
• Olive oil
• 6 cups of frozen peas
• 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
• 6 sprigs of fresh mint
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Plain yoghurt or crème fraiche, optional
Toast
• 6 slices of whole-grain bread with seeds
• 5 ½ oz leftover cooked ham
• 1 crunchy eating apple
• 1 ¾ oz Stilton cheese
• ¾ oz mature Cheddar cheese
• 1 tbsp liquid honey
• 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Assembly
Soup

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Using a Dutch oven add in the garlic, onions and leek and celery over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until softened; but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
3. Add in the frozen peas and stock and let boil.
4. Add on a pinch of salt and pepper.
5. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
Toast
1. Lay bread in a large baking sheet and shred ham, apple and crumble chees atop of the bread.
2. Finely grate cheddar cheese over top and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and honey.
3. Cook for 10 minutes and then place in soup bowls.
Soup
6. Pick out the mint leave and using the immersion blender; blend until smooth.
7. Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, add a dollop of yoghurt or crème fraiche, and serve.

Tips
• Make ahead and reheat when needed and you can also gather the toast topping and have ready to go.
• Top with pomegranates, crumbled bacon if your not making the toast depending on your guest.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Now that I enjoy a daily green smoothie I have no quams about the colour of this soup and I’m very happy I finally decided to try it. The pea soup was so flavourful and my only issue was getting the soup to be silky smooth. Other that that I’m sold. I would suggest using vegetable or mushroom stock instead of chicken and serve the toast, yoghurt or cream fraiche on the side so those vegetarians and vegans can partake.

Caribbean Soup … Just like my mom used to make …

Mom’s Caribbean Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

My mom passed away before I really got into cooking and she was one of the cooking types who had no recipes written down. That can be and is quite hard when I am trying to recreate those dinners that are near and dear to my heart. One of those recipes is her Caribbean soup; this is one of those dishes that I loved as a kid and I detested soup back then yet I would enjoy this soup; even with the pigtails in it – it’s a Caribbean thing. I have made this recipe twice now purely from the taste, I remember from days gone by and I have made a pretty good replication. My first attempt was closer I believe, but silly me can’t find where I put the recipe or I just never jotted it done; so here I go again and this time I made sure to write it down.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: about 1 hr.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• Turkey pieces, 4 wings & 2 legs
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Paprika, to taste
• Season salt, to taste
• Garlic powder, to taste
• Onion powder, to taste
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp canola oil
• 1 litre chicken stock
• 500 ml water
• 3 Small red skinned potatoes, halved
• Dumplings (flour, salt, water)
• 3 celery stalks, chopped
• carrots, chopped
• 1 onion, chopped

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Season turkey and place in roasting pan and bake for 35 minutes.
3. In the meantime prepare the celery, carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic and set aside.
4. Using a large stockpot place garlic an oil and cook until a golden brown.
5. Add chicken stock and water and put pot to simmer.
6. When turkey is cooked, shred turkey meat into pieces and add to the pot.
7. Add in the potatoes and increase the heat to medium and continue to let cook.
8. Using a medium sized bowl make dumplings by mixing flour, a pinch of salt and water until ingredients form into a ball.
9. Add to pot and cook for 10 – 15 minutes depending on size.
10. Once dumplings are cook add the remaining vegetables and let simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
11. Serve.

Tips
• If you are going all out Caribbean, add pigtails and bread kind like breadfruit, eddoes, plantain, yam and soup seasoning. I totally forgot to add plantains, which I can readily find at my local grocery store; but the other ingredients would require a trip to the West Indian store.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was very reminiscent of my mom’s soup and this made me happy; but I know something was missing. The soup tasted much better on the second day as the flavours married. My mom’s soup however always tasted good on day one, so I know something was a touch off. Was it the extra West Indian ingredients or more likely my mom putting love and attention into the soup is what made it always taste oh so good. Probably a bit of both.

Acorn & Butternut Squash Soup

Acorn Butternut Squash Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Acorn Butternut Squash Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s that time of year again when I start making soups on the regular.

Yield/Serving: 1 litre
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr to 1 hr. 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 butternut squash, cut in pieces
• 1 acorn squash, cut in pieces
• Canola oil
• 4 tbs vegetarian margarine
• 1 medium size yellow onion, chopped
• 5 cloves garlic, diced
• 1 litre vegetable stock
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Cayenne pepper, generous pinch
• Sunflower seeds, to decorate
• Pumpkin seeds, to decorate
• Parsley, to decorate

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F
2. Wash squash and de-seed and cut into pieces and place in a large bowl.
3. Coat squash with canola oil and place in roasting pan and roast for 30 to 45 minutes.
4. When squash is finished roasting immediately place in a bowl and cover with saran wrap. (Letting the squash remain warm in the bowl, so it will be easier to remove the skin)
5. Meanwhile over medium heat, in a large pot cook onion and garlic until brown.
6. Pour in the vegetable stock and let cook.
7. Start peeling away the skin from the squash and add to pot.
8. Add salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and continue to cook for 30 minutes over medium-low heat. At the 15 minute mark use an immersion blender to blend and let simmer.
9. Serve with sunflower, pumpkin and parsley on top.

Tips
• Freeze a portion if desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The colour of this soup was amazing and the crunch of the pumpkin and sunflower seeds added a lovely texture to the soup.

Cinqo De Mayo: Chorizo & Chicken Tortilla Soup

Cinqo De Mayo: Chorizo & Chicken Tortilla Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Cinqo De Mayo: Chorizo & Chicken Tortilla Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

Feeling in a Mexican mood, but not in the typical way I thought let me try to make a Mexican inspired soup. With Cinqo de mayo this week I thought a Mexican dish should be made.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 40 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Soup
• 5 chicken thighs
• 1 tbsp vegetable olive oil
• Cumin
• Chilli powder
• Cayenne pepper
• Red pepper flakes
• Paprika
• Garlic powder
• Sea salt
• 2 chorizo sausages
• 1 large onion, diced
• 1 large green pepper, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 796 ml can of tomatoes, rough chopped
• 900 ml vegetable stock
• 3 tbsp tomato paste
• 4 cups water
• 540 ml black beans
• 540 ml chic peas
• 340 ml corn
• Handful of cilantro, rough chop
• 1 tortillas , cut into strips and fried
Garnish
• Sour cream
• Diced avocado

Assembly
1. In a frying pan over medium-high heat fry chicken thighs and season with cumin, chilli powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, garlic powder, and sea salt until cooked.
2. In another frying pan over medium-high heat frying chorizo sausages until cooked.
3. Using a large stock pot with a little vegetable oil sauté onion, green pepper and garlic for a minute or two and add in the tomatoes.
4. Add water black beans, chic peas, corn and cook over medium high heat for 60 minutes; stirring occasionally.
5. Shred the chicken and break the chorizo into pieces and add into the stock pot in the last 30 minutes.
6. At the last minute add cilantro.
7. Cut tortilla in small strips and fry until just crispy and put on a paper towel to drain and set aside.
8. Ladle soup into a bowl and add some diced avocado and tortilla pieces and serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Even though there were lots of spices I found this recipe lacked flavour and I couldn’t get it to be as seasoned as I’d like. Next time I will have to over season to get this to where I want it to be or perhaps I was feeling a little under the weather and the seasoning was fine.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

When a cold-snap hits in March in the form of a freak ice-storm in Toronto this soup will keep you warm.

Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 7 large red bell peppers
• 6 garlic cloves, peeled but whole
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
• 900ml vegetable stock

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Cut peppers in half and lay cut side down on a baking sheet.
3. Add garlic cloves and bake until blackened, about 20 minutes.
4. Remove peppers from pan and place in a bowl and cover with cling wrap in a bowl to steam.
5. Let peppers steam for 10 minutes of until cool to the touch and peel skin.
6. In a Dutch oven warm extra virgin olive oil, along with onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent.
7. Add tomato paste, cumin, paprika, sea salt, cayenne pepper and stir for 1 minute.
8. Add vegetable stock, roasted peppers and using an immersion blender, blend the ingredients.
9. Let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
10. Serve.

Tips
• Serve with biscuits.
• Freeze a portion for a later date.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was my first time making red pepper soup; which surprised some co-workers as they were enticed by the smell of my lunch. The comments on the smell of my soup alone let me know I was on the right track. The smell reminded me of an Italian kitchen. I don’t know if that is a correct description; but this is what I envision a nonna’s kitchen to smell like.

Sausage & Pepper Soup with Kale

Sausage & Pepper Soup with Kale - Candy Coated Culinista

Sausage & Pepper Soup with Kale – Candy Coated Culinista

When September rolls around Mother Nature can be so unpredictable. The mornings and nights are so cold and the mid-day is still summer weather; how is a person to dress? I find myself wearing a leather jacket to work to keep the chill off; but then when my work day is done I am walking home with my coat in my hand. This brought me to this recipe as I like the idea of sausage and peppers; yet I don’t really care for the actual dish at all. I thought since the nights are getting colder maybe I could invent a new dish from an old classic.

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• canola oil, for cooking
• 1 small red onion, medium chop
• 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1 medium yellow potato, peeled and cut into cubes
• 796 ml canned whole plum tomatoes
• 900 ml Beef stock
• 1 tbsp granulated sugar
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Canola oil, for cooking
• 4 mild Italian sausages, removed from the casings
• 1 ½ cup kale
• Green pepper, diced, to garnish

Assembly
1. Over medium high-heat pour canola oil in a pot along with onion and garlic and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.
2. Add potato, tomatoes, beef stock, sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.
4. Using an immersion blender, puree until soup is smooth and continue to simmer.
5. In another pan pour canola oil over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until browned.
6. Add the sausage and kale into the soup and cook until kale is wilted.
7. Serve

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
So flavourful and easy to make and I finally got to use my new Cusinart Teal Enamel Dutch oven. I loved how the onions and garlic caramelized in the pot so fast. The addition of kale along with the crispness and crunch of the green pepper garnish made this whole dish come together. I even have leftovers to freeze for an even colder day.

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