Tag Archives: vegan

curried butternut squash soup

Curried butternut squash soup with coconut milk drizzle.

Curried butternut squash soup with coconut milk drizzle.

It’s fall and even though the weather isn’t acting like it, I’m starting to crave certain seasonal dishes – like soup! Here’s an easy and delicious butternut squash soup recipe that can be made with or without the addition of curry powder. The coolest thing about it is that you don’t need any broth because it makes its own! Enjoy!

Curried Butternut Squash Soup 
1 butternut squash seeded, rind removed, chopped into 1 inch dice
3 stalks of celery – thinly sliced
1 onion – diced
1 large carrot – sliced
4 cloves of garlic – smashed
1 stalk of fennel – thinly sliced
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
2 tablespoons honey
10 branches fresh thyme
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup of olive oil plus 2 tablespoons for sautéing
1 can of coconut milk

In a large deep pot add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sauté first 6 ingredients for 8 minutes over medium high heat. Add remaining ingredients (except for the last 3) and cover with an inch  of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 40 minutes. Add lemon juice and blend to a smooth consistency with hand-held blender or counter-top blender. With blender running slowly add 1/2 cup of olive oil. Serve with a drizzle of coconut milk. Happy Fall y’all!

kumquat and pasilla pepper marmalade

Kumquat marmalade on sourdough toast.

Kumquat and pasilla pepper marmalade on sourdough toast.

It’s that time of spring when kumquats arrive in abundance. When a friend of mine announced on Facebook that her tree was bursting with fruit, I jumped at the chance to make something yummy from them. I decided to try to make a marmalade and give it a slight twist by adding  pasilla peppers. The results are truly unique, colorful and delicious! Thanks for the inspiration Talia! I’m giving a jar away to 2 lucky people who subscribe to cookplateshoot.com. Don’t worry, if you don’t win, here’s how you can make your own:

5 cups kumquats
3 dried pasilla peppers
4 tangerines
2 lemons
a lot of sugar

Slice the kumquats into thin discs. Discard all seeds (this process is very tedious). Remove peels from the tangerines. Slice peels into very thin strips and roughly chop the fruit. Measure all fruit, peels and juice. Combine 2 cups of water for every cup of fruit mixture in a large non-reactive pot. Add 3 dried pasilla peppers with stems removed. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour until peels become translucent. Sterilize your canning jars and lids while the mixture simmers by submerging them in boiling water for several minutes.


Use a submersion blender to puree the peppers. Don’t puree the whole mixture just the peppers! Now, measure the fruit and add 3/4 cup of sugar for each cup of fruit mixture. Return mixture to the stove and boil over high heat until sugar is dissolved. Stir constantly until the gel point is reached. Place marmalade in sterilized jars and seal finger tight. Finally, place jars in boiling water for a few minutes to finish the canning process. Remove from water and allow jars to cool at room temperature. Make sure all of the lids have vacuum sealed properly. Enjoy!



cantaloupe gazpacho with pancetta


This has become one of my favorite recipes of the summer. It’s ridiculously quick and simple and it can be modified to cater to your guests or menu. If you’ve got a vegan in the group, simply leave off the pancetta and creme fraiche.  This chilled soup is healthy, delicious, refreshing and holds up on its own! However, I believe it is elevated with the addition of the pancetta and creme fraiche. It’s sort of a riff on melon with prosciutto. Additionally, it can be made spicy by adding cayenne or slightly smokey by adding smoked paprika. Experiment with it and tell me what you like.

Cantaloupe Gazpacho
1 cantaloupe (flesh only)
1 small cucumber (peeled)
1/3 cup of water
1/4 small red onion diced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
white pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
sprinkle of cayenne pepper or smoked paprika

Optional Ingredients
creme fraiche
1/4 cup diced and fried pancetta

Using a blender liquify the first 5 ingredients until you have a smooth consistency. Then slowly add the olive oil while the blender is still running. Adjust with salt and white pepper. You can blend in a couple of dashes of cayenne if you want a spicier version of this soup. Chill soup in blender until ready to serve. Simply blend it again for a few seconds when you are ready. Ladle soup into bowls and top with pancetta, creme fraiche and cayenne or smoked paprika. Should serve about 6 people.


What I drank…
I enjoyed my soup with a glass of 2012 Woodenhead French Colombard that we picked up on our recent trip up north. I love crisp dry whites with a dish like this!