Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Another Urban Organic Inspiration

I've mentioned before that we get a weekly delivery from Urban Organic. I love it, because it forces us to eat lots of vegetables and fruits and it is often an impetuous to explore new ingredients and recipes. I never bought swiss chard or collard greens before we started getting delivery, but now I love them both and prepare them often.

During the winter months, I often get a variety of winter squash and love to make soup with it. Since reviving this blog, I've been pouring through my extensive collection of cookbooks for inspiration. Several Christmases ago I got The Chez Piggy Cookbook from my mother-in-law. Chez Piggy is a restaurant in Kingston, Ontario; while I'm still trying to discover exactly what is meant by "Canadian Cuisine," I'm happy to try recipes from celebrated Canadian restaurants. My hubby (who is responsible for taking the picture above) says I should mention that Chez Piggy was opened by Zal Yanovsky of The Loving Spoonful -- known for "Do You Believe in Magic" and "Summer in the City." (If only I was audio-inclined I could include sound clips of Dan's helpful impersonations.) This one particularly appealed to the former pyromaniac Girl Scout in me, as it includes the always fun task of burning off the alcohol from brandy before incorporating it into the soup. Oh yes, and as it turns out, the soup is quite tasty -- and even quite healthy (unless you go the cream and butter route, of course.)

Gingered Squash Soup
adapted from Chez Piggy Cookbook
1.5 cups with a dollop of fat-free plain yogurt = 3 WW points (flex plan)

8 C vegetable stock (you can use chicken if you prefer)
6 C butternut squash, chopped, peeled (or any winter squash)
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
2 t ground cardamon
2 t ground coriander
3 T honey
1/4 C brandy
1/2 C plain yogurt
salt & pepper to taste
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1. Bring stock to a boil in a large pot while you prepare the veggies.
2. Reduce heat to a simmer and add chopped vegetables, ginger, cardamon and coriander. Cook until vegetables are soft -- about 25-35 minutes.
3. Stir in honey. Dealcoholize the brandy by placing it in a metal ladle and lighting it on fire. It will take about three to five minutes for all the alcohol to burn off. Add brandy to soup and cook for about ten more minutes.
4. Using an immersion blender(or food processor), puree the soup and add the yogurt to the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

If you want a richer soup, you can substitute cream for the yogurt and add a T of butter to the final soup. Toasted slivered almonds would also make a lovely garnish.


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