Leek and Sweet Potato Soup

I wish I could say autumn came to Vancouver slowly, where the days slowly cooled down, the leaves turned red, and soon in the mornings breath could be seen in puffs. In reality though, fall let herself be known in a huge cascade of rain and has been here ever since. Our skies are grey and I wake up huddled warm and toasty under my quilts trying to get the courage to get up and face the cold morning air. Despite it all, I’m glad for the rain and for the season of soups. This year my favourite is a sweet but mellow one full of leeks and sweet potatoes.

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Soups for me are always changing, one time they may have a can of coconut milk added for creaminess, the next some sautéed chorizo bites may be added on top. That’s the beauty of soup you don’t really need a recipe (hopefully) to make something delicious. School has been intense and time consuming. Which in a way I knew it would be with all the commuting, but I seem to have no time for making complex things, making this soup perfect. I make up a large batch and keep some stocked in the freezer for raining days that I’m late coming home.

What is your favourite soup this season?

before-after-soup

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Leek and Sweet Potato Soup

A new fall favourite full of mild but sweet flavour, perfect for rainy days!

Ingredients
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 leeks, only the white and light green part, cleaned and sliced
  • 3-4 cups sweet potato, diced (about one large)
  • 3 to 4 cups of stock
  • ½ tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • pepper
  • (optional) coconut milk

Instructions
  1. Prep your ingredients while a nice soup/stock pot is warming up at medium heat. Add a bit of coconut oil and let it melt before adding your onions, let them sweat until translucent. Add your leeks and diced sweet potatoes, toss around and then add your stock.
  2. If you like your soup thick only use enough stock to cover about an inch of the leek/potatoes. More stock and use of coconut milk (at the end) will make the soup thinner.
  3. Cook for roughly 20 minutes or until a knife can slide through a potato chunk easily. Using an emulsion blender, blend your soup until smooth. Add your cumin and pepper to your tastes. Add coconut milk if desired and serve.

Selling Cranberry Ginger Chutney

Last year I received a lot of comments in regards to my cranberry ginger chutney I made last Christmas to go with my ham. A handful of people were wondering when my cookbook was coming out with the recipe, unfortunately that’s on the back burner, but to help me with my finances for school textbooks I’m selling jars of my chutney in time for Thanksgiving.

Seriously … not to toot my own horn, but this is incredibly delicious! I don’t really like cranberry sauce, but this chutney has a lovely tang and sweetness to this, that I’ve converted cranberry sauce lovers to only having this chutney. It’s good on cold and hot meats, as well as just eating with cheese and crackers – ploughman’s platter anyone?

cranberry-ginger-chutney

I’m selling 250ml jars of homemade cranberry ginger chutney for $6. I’m aiming for them to be ready for pickup/delivered on October 11th, just in time for Thanksgiving! They are also good for Christmas dinner so think about buying two. Send me a shout through email, twitter, or comment here if you’re interested, I would love it if you all could help by purchasing a jar to help me through my year of schooling!

Autumn Harvest Juice

Quelcy of With the Grains is a good friend of mine, recently I’ve been enamoured with her ability to combine interesting ingredients for some fantastic juices. I for one seem to stick with my carrot ginger or grapefruit apple ginger combination. As the season has changed and Vancouver is slowly getting colder I asked Quelcy to share one of her juices to reflect the weather, today she shares an autumn juice with none other than sweet potato!

sweet-potato-juice

It always seems to happen overnight- a crispness returns to the air and to sweet, juicy apples alike. Suddenly, fall is upon us.

As Pinterest explodes with pumpkins, and fashion blogs boast the latest sweaters, juicing habits need not be excluded from autumn’s trends. This is the time to explore fall’s flavors and local offerings in a whole new way. This is the time to look at the farmer’s market through a new lens. Can you juice a pumpkin? Cabbage?!? What does a sweet potato taste like as a liquid? This Autumn Harvest Juice is thick and sweet with a bit of spice. For more of a fall essence, finish it with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Santé!

Autumn Harvest Juice

Explore fall’s flavors and local offerings in a whole new way

Ingredients
  • 2 large, organic sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 2.5 lbs organic carrots (about 9 large carrots), rinsed
  • 3 lbs local apples (~10 apples), rinsed- I used McIntosh Apples
  • ~6 oz fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 organic heart of celery
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg

Instructions
  1. Combine all the produce according to your juicer’s instructions. Drink with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. Makes 2 quarts

 

Top Five Things I Like About Dublin

Today a friend of mine will be going to Ireland and Scotland for a two week trip, I can’t help but feel a little bit jealous. I think all travel bugs feel this way, especially when someone is going to one of their favourite places. Dublin is currently ranked third on my list of European cities it is more than just a party place; it’s a city rich in history, culture and architecture; full of friendly faces that make you feel at home. I wanted to share with you why what I like to do in this beautiful city.

  1. 1) Have a pint at Guinness Storehouse’s Gravity Bar
    For beer lovers everywhere, this will be the best pint of Guinness you’ll ever have. If you’re from North America it will taste like nectar from the gods that nothing else back home will compare too. Try to go up when it’s sunny, the view is amazing and on a clear day you can see all the way to the docks.
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  3. 2) Walk through a part of history at Kilmainham Gaol
    Sad and a tiny bit morbid, but I truly believe we must remember the past to change the future. During the infamous potato famine, civilians would purposely get caught stealing just so they would be thrown in jail, knowing at least there they would have a roof over their head and some food in their bellies. Take a walk through the walls that were jam packed with people and the area Irish rebels were executed.
  4. 3) Experience Dublin like the locals do
    Temple Bar has a reputation for a party atmosphere at night, but during the day this neighbourhood is charming. Take a walk through medieval cobbled streets full of quaint art galleries and cafes. Considered Dublin’s, “Culture Quarter,” you’ll find the Irish Film Institute, the Gallery of Photography and the Project Arts Centre.
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  6. 4) Huddle under an archway with a group of strangers watching it rain
    The quote, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute and it will change,” holds especially true in Ireland. Maybe this is just a summer occurrence, but be prepared for a mix of sun and rain all day long. Some of the best times to get to know people are when you’re squeezed into an overhang waiting for the downpour to pass.
  7. 5) Splurge on a nice hotel looking over St. Stephen’s green they’re easy to find online
    Now I have to admit, I’ve never stayed in a stylish hotel in Dublin, but every time my Dad’s go there, I get a nice, “Look at our view,” photo to drool over. A Victorian 22 acre park in the middle of the city, is one of the best places to look out over and go for a morning walk before or after breakfast.

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Photos above were taken in 2008.