Fall Favorites: Delicious Root Bisque

I’ve been making variations on this soup since I was a dirt-poor missionary in Germany and root vegetables were the only things my sad little budget could afford. It’s cheap to make, and it makes a decent sized pot full!

The key to root soup is celery root, which can be hard to find in the US. I scored some at my local Earth Fare last week and quickly started planning to make another batch of root soup. Celery root, also known as celeriac, is pretty hideous, but oh so tasty! (It tastes nothing like celery) It’s rich in fiber and B vitamins, and has a more sponge-like texture than potato. It requires a bit of preparation before you can cook it, but I’ll cover that below. Combine it with antioxidant rich beets and inflammation fighting turmeric in this soup and you’ve got yourself a veritable tonic!

I got the ingredients for this soup without really realizing that Hurricane Florence would be barreling toward us. When we made the decision for me and the baby to leave and stay with my parents while my husband stayed behind and manned the RV, I didn’t really want to leave without cooking up as much as I could so he would have some meals when he came home after a long shift.

I don’t know how else to describe the flavor of this soup other than amazing, creamy, comforting, and smooth! I brought a mason jar of it to my parent’s house and my mom was hooked!

If you manage to find a bulb of this delicious but hideous veggie, be sure to pick some up and try this recipe!

Root Bisque

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

3 T butter
3 T coconut oil
1 medium sized celery root (skinned with head and root bits removed)
1 large Yukon gold potato (leave skin on)
½ small beet (skinned)
3 medium sized parsnips (skinned)
3-4 medium sized carrots
½ small white onion
small thumb of turmeric (skinned)
small thumb of ginger (skinned)
1 bay leaf
½ t. dried rosemary
3 sprigs of fresh parsley
1 t. salt
pepper to taste
2 cans organic coconut milk (Thai Kitchen is my go-to brand)
½ cup PLAIN coconut milk yogurt (So delicious is the best brand for this)
1 ½ Cups vegetable stock

Cut all your veggies into small, half inch pieces, skinning the celery root (use a knife, not a peeler), the parsnips, the beet, the turmeric, and the ginger. Celery root is seriously “rooty” and you may find yourself cutting a lot of the bottom off so you’re not eating literal dirt.

In a large skillet, heat butter and coconut oil. Ordinarily I’d say to just do coconut oil, but there’s something about the way butter and celery root play together that’s a little too magical to ignore. Add half of your salt, pepper, and all the rosemary and parsley.

Add ALL your roots (celeriac, potato, beet, parsnip, carrot, ginger, turmeric, onion). Sauté on high heat, stirring constantly until soft (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat.

root soup

Transfer the contents of the skillet to a large pot on medium heat and add vegetable stock, coconut milk, bay leaf, and the rest of your salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and remove the bay leaf. Add coconut milk yogurt then blend with an immersion blender until all the vegetables have been just blended.

Serve hot and enjoy!

IMG_4917

 

 

 

Friday Fall Favorites: Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

IMG_4813

It’s not Fall.  Not technically.  And it certainly doesn’t feel like Fall.

But I WANT it to be Fall!  This is now my 13th Summer in the South and I just can’t get used to it.  I’ve lived nearly half my life in this corner of the country but every Summer I start losing my mind a little when it’s 93 degrees outside for the millionth day in a row.  Come September I am mentally DONE with Summer, even if it’s not done with me.  I start drooling over my Autumn-themed Pinterest boards. (yes, they exist)  I’m really looking forward to feeling what fall feels like in the RV.  Will there come a day when we don’t need to run the AC to stay alive?  I sure hope so!

It’s this time of year when, hot or not, all the yummy squashes come into season!  I saw an organic acorn squash at my local health food store and nabbed it! (Don’t worry, I paid for it)  I made this recipe tonight and my husband and I loved it!  Not only is it hearty and comforting (and crazy tasty) it’s incredibly healthy!  This recipe is begging for sweater weather.

Acorn squash is packed with Vitamin C (which I think we all need this time of year – hello germs!) and has numerous health benefits.  This particular recipe stuffs the squash with bison, goat cheese, shitake mushrooms, vidalia onions, and toasted hazelnuts.

We’ve been eating a lot of bison meat lately.  It’s way healthier than beef (almost twice the protein content and 1/3 of the fat!) and way more sustainable for the environment.  It’s also extremely tasty.  If you’re going to eat meat, eat bison.

As for the goat cheese, I simply prefer it to cow’s cheese as it’s creamier and easier to digest (and doesn’t give my baby eczema). Shitake mushrooms support immune and brain function.

giphy1

The toasted hazelnuts are heart healthy and provide tiny little explosions of flavor in your mouth.

You want the recipe?  Here you go!

Bison, Goat Cheese, and Hazelnut Stuffed Acorn Squash

Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: Two people + leftovers

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized acorn squash
  • 1/2 lb bison meat
  • 5-6 medium sized shitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced Vidalia onions
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 cup toasted skinned hazelnuts
  • 2 tbs grassfed sourced butter (trust me, there’s a flavor difference!) or coconut oil
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 t. fresh thyme
  1.  Start by prepping your hazelnuts.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and roughly chop the nuts into halves or quarters.  Spread the nuts (also known as filburts for some reason?) evenly on a foil-lined baking tray and toast for 10 minutes.  When you take them out of the oven, put your nuts on a paper towel or kitchen towel and cover them. You’ll hear a faint hissing sound.  That’s the sound the skin makes as it’s slowly being annihilated.  Give the nuts a little massage with the towel.  This will quickly rub the skins off.  Put the hazelnuts in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Turn the oven heat up to 425 degrees.
  3. Chop the top off of your acorn squash, then cut in half down the middle.  Scoop the guts out and discard.  Place face down on the same foil-lined pan (you might want to spray it or drizzle the pan with oil to keep the squash from sticking).  Roast for 30 minutes or until the squash flesh is soft.
  4. While your squash is roasting, chop up your onions and mushrooms.  Melt butter or oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add salt and pepper.  Add onions and sauté until soft.  Add mushrooms and brown them.
  5. Move the onions and mushrooms to one side of the pan and add your bison meat on the other.  Break the meat up into small pieces and cook until done.  Add more salt and pepper and the thyme.  Bison meat doesn’t take long to cook.  Once it’s brown, mix with the mushrooms and onions.
  6. Turn the heat off and take the pan off the heat.  Cut your goat cheese into pieces (nothing fancy) and add to the meat mixture along with your hazelnuts and stir until the cheese and the nuts are mixed in.
  7. Stuff this goodness into your now roasted acorn squash and put back in the oven for another 15 minutes or so.

Enjoy!  I guarantee you will have leftovers if you’re feeding less than two people!

Hearty, healthy, and bursting with flavor!

Comfort Food You Can Feel Good About: Autumn Vegan Pumpkin Apple Soup

pumpkin pileThere are so many things I love about autumn (even though I live in a region that never really feels like fall).  One of them is having pumpkins, acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squashes all in season.  They’re cheap, easy to find organic, and can easily be a meal all on their own.  Today I picked up a couple of organic pumpkins from my favorite local health food store as they were on sale for 99 cents a pound.

When I lived in Germany I discovered the wonder that is kürbis suppe (pumpkin soup) and I’ve loved versions of it ever since.

I’ve been seriously craving it the last few days and decided today was the day for some comforting pumpkin soup.

Being both pregnant and highly intuitive, this recipe popped into my head like one of my story characters.  It didn’t quite turn out as I imagined:  it was better!  It can easily be tweaked to your personal preferences.  If you want it more pumpkin like, you can roast two pumpkins instead of one.  If you want it more gingery, you can add powdered ginger as well as fresh.  If you want more rosemary, you can add more.  The hardest part is honestly cleaning out the pumpkin.  After that, it’s crazy simple, as life should be!

IMG_0484


Roasted Pumpkin Coconut Apple Rosemary Ginger Autumn Soup

1 medium-large pumpkin (2 pumpkins if you want it thicker and more pumpkin tasting)
1 half small white onion
2 apples (I used honey crisp since they’re so flavorful.  Use one apple if you want a less appley flavor)
two large thumbs of fresh ginger, skinned
2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary plus some for garnish (add more if desired, make sure to take the stems off)
1 cup vegetable broth or stock
2 small cans of coconut milk, save a drizzle for on top (I use Thai Kitchen organic since it has less yucky stuff in it)
2 small cartons of plain coconut milk yogurt (SoGood is the brand I use)
3 t Pink Himalayan Salt (or to taste)
1/2 t Fresh Ground Pepper
1/2 t ground turmeric
2 T coconut oil
pumpkin seeds for garnish if desired

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut pumpkin in half and clean out seeds and strings. Cut again into quarters and place on roasting pan.  Rub pumpkin meat with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt.  Chop onion into large pieces and sprinkle around  pumpkin pieces.  Roast for 20 minutes, then turn pumpkin pieces over and roast for another 20 minutes (take onion out if it starts to burn).

Once the pumpkin is done, scrape the pumpkin flesh off the skin and place on a plate to cool off a bit.

 

Cut the apples into quarters, removing the seeds and cores.  Place half the apples, one can of coconut milk, one of the cartons of yogurt, half of the ginger, and half the pumpkin and onion into a blender (if you have a glass blender, make sure the pumpkin is cooled.  I have a plastic blender so it’s less of an issue).  Blend until the mixture is just blended and pour into a medium soup pot.

Add everything else (veg stock, rosemary, remaining pumpkin, apple, ginger) except the salt and spices into the blender.  Again, blend until just blended and pour into pot.

Add pot to stove and cook on medium heat, adding salt, pepper, and turmeric.  Heat until steamy.  The longer you wait, the better the flavors have a chance to say ‘hi.’  Once heated through, add to your favorite bowl and garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk, fresh rosemary and some pumpkin seeds if you like making your food pretty.

That’s it!  Enjoy!