Category: soup

Green Pea Soup with Roasted Chickpeas

Last week, I posted about Brussels sprouts, the little green vegetables trying to shed their bad reputation. Today, I’ll spotlight another miniature green friend, who often gets tossed under the rug (or fed to the dog.) Please, allow me to re-introduce you to the humble sweet green pea. Often cooked until mushy, overdone, brown, or, to the horror of many, straight out of the can (yuck!) peas were never a favourite of mine. Little did I realize that in another state, these little veggies could pack a flavourful punch. Some may even consider them gourmet (pea froth garnish, anyone?).

It wasn’t until I attended a wedding this summer that I realized that green peas make a wonderful soup. Born and raised in Quebec, “pea soup,” to me has always meant that of the yellow variety, with little chunks of ham and maple syrup. Not that I don’t love that one – I do! It’s part of our culture, a taste of our heritage. I just wasn’t aware that there was another pea, hiding from the spotlight, that could create a wonderfully aromatic, complex, naturally creamy soup, almost entirely on it’s own! 
And oh, that colour though!
Creamy Pea Soup with Roasted Chickpeas
an original recipe by allison sklar
soup ingredients
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp oil or butter
2 cups frozen green peas
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup water
salt & pepper, to taste
chickpea ingredients
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp sumac
2 tbsp oil
Roasted chickpeas: Preheat oven to 400F. Toss chickpeas with oil and spices. Lay on parchment lined baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes, until crisp. 
Soup: Heat oil (or butter) in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, cooking until translucent. Add water, parsley and peas. Turn up heat to high, bring to a boil. Transfer mixture to blender & blend until completely smooth. Serve hot, garnished with chickpeas. 

Cozy Night In (Squash and Carrot Soup with Cumin)

Alright, let’s be real…

You usually don’t read past the 3rd line of my blogs before you skip down to the recipe.

You know what? That’s ok! You’re still a loyal reader, and you’re interested in the most important part – my food creations! So today, just for you, I’ve taken all of the tough work away from you – here you won’t find any two-finger sliding, rolling, or clicking arrows in order to get to what matters. You see, it’s not that I don’t want to ramble on about how amazing squash is, and how you can make so many things with it. (Case in point – my squash cake here!) But, seeing as this is my second blog of the day, I’ll just get right down to business.

Just make this soup.
Like now. And then warm it up when you’re cold.
And then thank me.
(Oh. You’re welcome.)

Squash Soup with Rosemary & Spice
an original recipe by allison sklar

what you’ll need
1 medium acorn or butternut squash, PEELED and chopped into 1-inch cubes, seeds removed
2 cups chopped carrots
2 sprigs rosemary
4-5 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
2 tsp ground sea salt
1 tbsp fresh ground peppercorns

how to do it
Combine 1c broth with 2c water, add rosemary and cinnamon. Boil carrots and squash in liquid until very soft, about 20 minutes. Once fully cooked, remove cinnamon sticks. Remove mixture from heat, and, using a hand blender, pulse the mixture until velvety. Return mixture to stovetop on low heat. Slowly add 1c vegetable broth at a time, stirring well between additions. (Use more or less broth depending on desired consistency.) When desired thickness is reached, add cumin, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Stir together. Serve hot, garnished with a dollop of sour cream or yogout and roasted acorn squash seeds (or any other seeds that you can find, as the acorn squash seeds proved to be too delicious to even make it into the photoshoot.)

Summer Chill (Gazpacho with Basil)

Montreal weather patterns seem to live by the catch-phrase “go big or go home.” We receive frequent weather warnings, which advise us to keep our pets, small children and elderly indoors. The past few days have come with such warnings – today’s was aptly titled “High Heat and Humidity Alert.” 
A raunchy 42 degree heat has rendered daily activities much less pleasant – so turning on a stove, or any appliance (other than an air conditionner) is undeniably out of the question. 

Now what’s a girl to do when she’s invited someone special for dinner under such circumstances? Sweat it out and risk being unpresentable for the sake of good food? Of course not! The answer, my friends, is a no-cook meal. Alas, enter a summertime wonder: gazpacho. Serve alongside a greek style salad and some vegetable rice wraps, and you’ve got yourself a complete no-cook, vegan, gluten-free, low-prep, fuss-free meal.

And it’s refreshingly delicious, to boot!

Happy Summer, Everyone!
Simple Summer Gazpacho
an original recipe by allison sklar


what you’ll need
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 english cucumber, chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
4 basil leaves
hot sauce or chili powder if desired
salt & pepper to taste

how to do it
working in small batches, combine all ingredients in food processor or blender. pulse until desired consistency is reached. Chill for one hour, or until ready to serve. Garnish with whole fresh basil leaves.

Move Over, Minnestrone (Vegetable Soup)

I am generally not a soup person. The idea of having something that’s both liquidy and chunky at the same time on my spoon just doesn’t jive in my head, nor does it feel right in my mouth. That being said, there have always been a few exceptions: matzah ball soup, for one. And, well, who can resist clam chowdah (…in a bread bowl, in San Francisco, at that?) Otherwise, soup is rarely a headliner, neither a sidekick on my table.

However, today, while staring blankly into my fridge as I often do, I found myself staring at my box of vegetable stock and slightly craving a warm cup of broth to soothe my sore throat. Known to some as Jewish Penicillin, chicken soup has been widely known as the go-to meal for generations of cold and flu sufferers. However, my lack of wanting to eat chicken, combined with the medley of vegetables in my refrigerator that have decided to wilt in unison, inspired me to stir up a vegetable-based bouillon.
Chop. Pour. Simmer. Who knew three simple steps could release the most magical aroma into the air? 
Soon after, I sat on the couch, sipping the magical masterpiece with my roommate while discussing possible names for my most fantastic creation. His favorite part was the sweetness provided by the corn, whereas I thoroughly enjoyed the colourful combination. 
I suggested “Rainbow Soup.” 
He said, “That’s corny.”
I laughed. Hard. 

Corny Rainbow Soup
an original recipe by allison sklar

what you’ll need
1 box vegetable broth (I used Campbells)
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 can sweet corn
1 can San Marzano plum tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp red pepper (chilli) flakes (Optional)
how to do it
Toss diced vegetables into pot. Cover with broth.  Heat on medium. Once soup comes to a boil, add corn & red pepper flakes & stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. 
Serve garnished with shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese, if desired.