Tag Archives: soups

Fall Soups: Squash, Rice and Chicken

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Kabocha squash. Scoop out the seeds and roast them like pumpkin seeds. Creative Commons: Namayamsai LLP

When it comes to fall, I always make up a bunch of soups and freeze them. They’re good on a rainy or cold day, or when I’m tired and haven’t left time to make a lunch in the mornings. I have a great recipe book called The New Soup Bible by Anne Sheasby. There are several editions so the soups tend to be different in each one. They are also British and will list items like courgettes and aubergines (zucchini and eggplant to us North Americans) but measurements are in imperial and metric. Nutrition values are also given, which is helpful when I’m trying to watch my intake.

A couple of weeks ago I ended up making chicken stock because we’d had a Thanksgiving lunch at work. I can’t see a good chicken carcass go to waste and always make stock anytime I have one at home. So I hauled these babies home. I also keep cuttings from onions, celery and carrots to make veggie stock so I added these all in, with a bay leaf and some salt and pepper. I ended up with a lot of stock and a good selection of meat. So I had to make some soups. I’ve made succotash soup, and besides the cartoon Sylvester saying, “Thufferin’ thuccotash,” I actually had  no idea what it was.

Succotash soup is southern American (though it was first Native American) and the essential ingredients are corn and lima beans. The recipe I made is thickened with flour and comes out a light creamy yellow. So hearty is this soup that a serving is 500 calories though I saved mine into smaller containers. I didn’t take pictures of this but I have about four soups to make as  room appears in my freezer. I also made Chicken Coconut soup, with coconut milk, green curry and full on yumminess. I put a touch too much lemon grass in but otherwise, it’s super delicious.

Next I took a recipe for pumpkin, rice and chicken soup. The recipe calls for the following:

  • 3-4 c. chicken stock

    squash soup, fall soups, kabocha

    Stirring kobocha and leeks.

  • 1 wedge of pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter (I used olive oil for the oil and butter)
  • 2 leeks chopped
  • 5 green cardamon pods (I used black pods)
  • 1/2 c. basmati rice
  • 1.5 c. milk (I used almond milk)
  • pared orange rind to garnish (I didn’t have oranges so skipped this)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I also added a bit of marjoram)

I wasn’t sure how much a wedge of pumpkin is since pumpkin comes in all sizes. I also didn’t feel like being stuck with a lot of pumpkin so I used a kabocha (Japanese) squash, partly because a friend had brought some to a Thanksgiving dinner and it was tasty. In fact, I ate one quarter of the squash one night with cilantro, lime and olive oil. You can also roast the seeds. I also ate the thin green skin. I’m a proponent of eating skins if they are edible because there are many nutrients that are lost when yams or potatoes (for example) are peeled. These squat green gourds are slightly sweet and more yellowy-orange.

The recipe calls for cutting the pumpkin into cubes and slicing the leeks, then sauteeing in olive oil in a pan. (They called for sunflower oil but I used what I have.) I had pre-cooked the squash in the oven with a bit of olive oil so I cut it up and added it in, with the skin, realizing when I pureed it that it was going to possibly be spotty and not that orange. I also could not find green cardamon pods so I bought black pods. I believe that, unlike the green ones, these are roasted. They had a smokey smell but I tossed them in. Once everything is tender, you add in half the stock and stir.

kabocha, squash soup, cooking

The finished soup, with rice, chicken and squash.

Before pureeing you remove the pods. I forgot and a small one got ground up. I just have a wee Magic Bullet so I had to do batches and the squash/leek paste was so thick I had to add some of the milk at that stage. While this is all cooking, I put the rice on. Again I didn’t have basmati rice but brown and red rice mixed together. Rice is rice for this soup.

I poured the puree back into the pot, added the rest of the chicken stock and chicken, and the milk. This soup was pea-soup thick so I increased the milk to 2 cups. I added the rice but decided that it was still too thick so I added several cups of water. You could make this as thick or thin as you wanted.

The appearance is a little more green and there are slight flecks of green from the skins. The taste is slightly smoky and not like green cardamon at all but I think it works well and is balance by the slight sweetness of the kabocha and the savory leeks. A successful and very tasty soup. Instead of 4 servings, I end up with 8. Nutrition breakdown for 8 servings is: 158 calories, 5.4 gm fats, 15 gm carbohydrates, 12.3 gm protein, 36 mg cholesterol.

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Apocalypse Diet Summary: Days 41-46

 

Apocalypes Diet, end of the world, zombies, eating, food, diets

How well will we eat at the end of the world? Creative Commons: Kyrenius http://www.flickr.com/photos/jango-jordan/

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 41 (Feb. 10):

This is the beginning of the bubble weekend, where the Apocalypse Diet went on hold. I had a friend visting and she wanted to go out to eat so we had some calamari and ahi tuna at Biercraft for lunch. For dinner we went to Les Faux Bourgeois, where we shared the goat cheese, walnut and beet salad, and had two tarts, which were squares of puff pastry, one with caramelized onions and creme fraiche, the other with spinach and goat cheese. Those three dishes were enough to fill us up.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 42 (Feb. 11):

Really, I should start the renumbering after this weekend due to the food bubble but that would get too complicated. So, I did buy food for the party, some salamis, cheese, crackers, veggies and dips. The crackers are separate and will keep. The mayo is labelled so I can’t use it for anything else until after the party. I brought the candies to work for others to consume. The cheese will keep but what can I do with the veggies? The only way I can see around this is to take some of the stock I still have, make soup, freeze it and then use it after the Apocalypse ends.The salami went, as well as all the other goodies people brought. It’s going to be very very difficult to resist the delectable cheeses (three types!) sitting there and taunting me. I will tuck them away in a dark dark drawer.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 43 (Feb. 12):

Sunday, a day that could be re-labelled Hangover day. While I didn’t have one, by the time I put the food away last night and got to bed it was 4:30 am so I was rather tired and slept in. I felt a bit like a zombie but luckily I took off my makeup before I went to bed or I would have looked like one. My friend and I went for brunch where I had a veggie eggs benedict, then I drove her to the airport. Tomorrow, it’s back to the diet.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 44 (Feb. 13):

I know this blog will not be the most exciting. No rampant gnawing on my cranium, no dire wrestling matches with decomposing, animated humans, no creative concoctions in my kitchen. But in about a week the true challenge will ensue. My freezer is still saving me.

Today’s feast was minimal after the weekend chowdown. I took some hazelnuts from the freezer, and some dried cranberries. I am so not a person who likes dessicated fruit corpses. However, I was going over to my friend’s tonight where she cooked chicken, rice, chard and broccoli, which was yummy and filling.

 

food, eating, dieting, apocalypse diet, end of the world, zombies, food supplies

These were at my party but I took them to work to get rid of them. No brains though. Brach's candy hearts from marriage.families.com

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 45 (Feb. 14):

Heart day but I’m still not eating them or brains. More nuts and berries for lunch. Dinner consisted of some pasta, with slices of carrots (left over from the party but existing beforehand), some oil, garlic and a bit of Parmesan, which still exists.

That soup stock that I thought I could use for the leftover party veggies…turns out to be shepherd’s pie. I do have a bag of veggie ends in the freezer to make veggie soup stock. Will probably do that this weekend.

Apocalypse Diet (AD) Day 46 (Feb. 15):

Today’s lunch was quinoa and pollo en mole (from the freezer) and dinner was the same as last night’s pasta.

As I was looking for a lost file on the computer I found “Diary of a Taxation Dieter” from 2002. I’ll be posting it here because it was the first time I tried the Apocalypse Diet, but for a different reason. It’s interesting to note that I was a chocoholic then, but my lunches consisted of chocolate bars and corn chips. Not healthy. I now eat much healthier and make up soups or salads to take for lunch. I don’t eat chocolate bars for lunch anymore (not much). I’ll post that in a few days.

To recap after my first month on the Apocalypse Diet, I’m pretending that an apocalypse takes place (maybe it’s a supervirus, massive alien abductions or an evil plot), which stops the supply lines (but for the sake of staying healthy and clean, the hydro-electric power and water are still working). Since the Mayan calendar actually shows the ending of one age and the beginning of another, maybe it’s now the Zombie Age (we’ve already had the consumer age).

I am documenting how long I can live on the food in my place, without shopping. Here are my rules:

  1. I cannot buy any food at all.
  2. If going out for dinner, it’s a bubble outside of the experiment. I can take home the leftovers but this isn’t a stop-gap so no ordering pizza.
  3. When I start to run out of proper nutritionally balanced foods I will take vitamins.
  4. When I become bored or am on to only condiments and alcohol, I will end my experiment.
  5. Someone can give me food, for in the post-apocalyptic world we might want to trade or eat together in safety once in a while.

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