Aunt Suzy says .  .  . 

When I saw this video recently pushed out by PBS about Soup Joumou, a soup that celebrates Haitian Independence Day each year on January 1st, I knew I had to make it! I have since learned that Leah Penniman has adapted the classic Haitian recipe to food she grows on her farm, Soul Fire Farm, in Upstate New York. Her story of growing food to end racism create justice through food is inspiring – I encourage you to watch the video! The one thing that this adapted recipe and the classic have in common is the use of pureed winter squash as the liquid in which the soup is cooked, something I’ve not encountered before. Something which is delicious!!

I share with you my own adaptation of Leah’s recipe. It was interesting to me that the video of her making the soup did not jive with the written recipe, which is included at the end of the video page. So there are lots of options for ingredients and methods. The written recipe is Vegan, my adapted recipe of how she made the soup in the video uses chicken and chicken stock, and the classic recipe uses beef. I plan to try the classic one of these days and will report back. I would make this for New Year’s Day as is the Haitian tradition, but I’m too busy with our Southern U.S. traditional good luck meal. 🙂

Leah Penniman’s Soup Joumou

Ingredients

1 medium winter squash – butternut, kabocha, etc.

7-8 cups chicken stock, or water for vegan/vegetarian

3 Tbsp oil, olive or canola

1 medium onion, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 medium jalapeno pepper, or other hot pepper, minced

2-4 cloves garlic, to taste, minced

2-3 yukon gold potatoes, 3/4-inch cubes

1-2 carrots, cut lengthwise and then in 1-inch pieces

2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

1 small or 1/2 medium cabbage, cored and chopped

1 bunch kale, ribs removed, chopped (I used Tuscan, but curly will work as well)

1 cup cooked chicken, diced or shredded, optional for vegan/vegetarian

juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1/4 pound pasta, small shapes like penne or rotini

Prepare the squash

Slice the squash into rounds or half-rounds as shown. Place on an oiled baking sheet, turning to coat with oil.  (Use a neutral oil for this, not olive oil.) Bake for 20ish minutes until soft, turning after 10 minutes. Cool. Puree with 3 cups of chicken stock, using a food processor, blender or, as I did, a stick blender. Set puree aside. (Note: I cut one round of roasted squash into cubes and added to the soup with the kale and cabbage. Your call if you want to do that or not.)

Prepare the Soup

Heat the oil in a soup pot or dutch oven. Once it shimmers, add the onion, jalapeno and celery. Saute over medium heat for 5 or so minutes until soft. Add the garlic and saute for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add the potatoes and carrots, saute for a few minutes until coated with the oil and heated through. Add 3 cups chicken stock and the pureed squash. Stir to thoroughly blend and determine if you want to add more chicken stock, depending on whether you like your soups thick or “brothy”. Cook for 15 minutes until the potatoes and carrots begin to soften. Add the kale and cabbage and cook for 10 more minutes. Check for doneness. The vegetables should be cooked through, but not mushy. Add the cooked chicken. This could be from a roast or rotisserie chicken or a cooked chicken breast, boneless or bone-in, your choice!

Serving the soup

When soup is cooked to your desired doneness, stir in the lime juice and the parsley. Cook the pasta according to directions to al dente. If you plan to eat all the soup at one meal, stir the cooked pasta into the soup. If not, place a little pasta in the bottom of soup bowls, then add the soup to serve.

Greek Quinoa Salad

June 2, 2013

Greek Quinoa Salad - Sweet and Savory KitchensMargaux says…

In the warmer months, we eat a quinoa salad at least once a week. Everyone loves it…including my picky son, it’s super quick and easy, and nice and healthy. I should really call this one “clean out the fridge” salad, because I often make it when I really need to go shopping and I have to just use up whatever is left in the fridge. We always have most of these things on hand because they’re all favorites of my son. I find that you can add or subtract any ingredient, based on what you might have on hand. Some other things that would be good tossed into this are avocado, parsley, chopped fresh spinach, mint, celery, zucchini, green onion, radishes, pine nuts or white beans.

Greek Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/4 red onion, fine chop
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
1/2 cup feta, crumbled (leave out for vegan)
1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic, minced

Rinse and drain quinoa. Add water and quinoa to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as it starts boiling, cover, run down heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes. Dump immediately into a large serving bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, chop your veggies. When the quinoa is cool, add all veggies and beans to it and mix.

Make dressing: Mix together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over salad and mix well. Carefully stir in feta. Serve at room temperature with warmed pita and white wine as a main dish. Also great as a side at a BBQ, or with chicken.