Hearty lentil soup

Wow! I’ve been so busy.  It’s seems like it’s been ages since I’ve had a home-cooked meal.  I’ve been planning to make this soup for some time now but only just got around to actually doing it.

It’s pretty easy to put together and is a hearty option for dinner.

What to use

1 cup lentils (washed and drained)

1  white onion (sliced)

2 celery stalks (diced)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 tbs shadon beni (finely chopped)

3 tbs spring onion or chive (finely chopped)

2 carrots (sliced)

3 cups pumpkin (cubed)

2 tomatoes (diced)

3 cups water or vegetable stock

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbs lemon juice

parsley for garnishing

2 tbs olive oil

Tabasco sauce

What to do

Boil lentils for two minutes and leave to soak for an hour.  Drain lentils and set aside. Saute onion, celery, garlic, shadon beni and spring onion in olive oil until tender.  Add lentils, carrots, pumpkin, tomatoes, water/stock, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until lentils are soft and pumpkin and carrots are tender. Stir in lemon juice and remove bay leaves before serving. Add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce and top with parsley.

 

Roasted Acorn Squash soup

Worries go down better with soup. – Jewish proverb.

What to use

2 acorn squash

1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar

sprinkle of nutmeg

1 carrot ( sliced)

2 stalks celery (chopped)

1/2 white onion (chopped)

1 tbs olive oil

1 1/2 cups of chicken stock

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

What to do

Wash each squash and cut off the tops.  Remove seeds. Place squash in foil and sprinkle with sugar and nutmeg.  Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

When squash is done, scoop out insides of squash and set aside.

Saute carrots, celery and onion in olive oil and add salt and pepper.  Add chicken stock and flesh of the squash.  Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally and add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and puree.

Pour soup into shell of squash and serve.

Tobago fish broth

“Soup is liquid comfort.” – Author unknown

 

Saturday is traditionally soup day in many a Caribbean household.  I woke up this morning feeling a little homesick and thought what better way to perk myself up than to bubble up a pot of fish broth like my grandfather used to make.  Now talk about a sweet hand! My granddad is a whiz in the kitchen.  I am hoping to recreate his masterpiece here.

Now back in Tobago we would go down to the beach and watch the fishermen pull in their seines.  My mom would then carefully select the biggest, freshest snapper, grouper and king fish!  I couldn’t quite recreate that experience here in the Cayman Islands but I did manage to meet up with  some fishermen who had just brought in a fresh catch.

 



I got myself  four of these little  babies and one huge snapper that I plan to bake later in the week.

Fish Broth

What to use

2 snappers

3 Irish potatoes (peeled and cut into thick slices)

1 large carrot (peeled and sliced)

7 small ochros (halved)

2 pimentos (julienned)

4 stalks of chive (diced)

1/2 large onion (diced)

2 or 3 celery stalks (diced)

fish seasoning of your choice

1 lemon

2 tbs olive oil

2 hot peppers (Scotch Bonnet)

water

salt and black pepper to taste

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 packet of dry vegetable soup mix

What to do

Season fish with seasoning of your choice along with lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Set aside.  Saute onion, celery, pimentos, chive in olive oil  in large pot until tender.  Add a dash of salt and pepper.  When veggies are tender, add potatoes, carrots, ochros and cover with water.  Add a packet of soup mix, stir and let simmer for about five minutes.  Cut snappers in half and add to pot.  Add whole hot peppers.  (For the love of God, don’t let those hot peppers burst in the pot or your tongue will be on fire! lol)  Let cook over medium heat adjusting as necessary.  Stir occasionally.  Add salt and black pepper to taste. When potatoes and carrots are cooked, you’re all done.  Enjoy!

While the fish broth was cooking I couldn’t resist frying up one of the snappers to snack on. It was delicious! Watch out for those pesky little bones though.


Yummy!

Avocado and Jalapeno soup

Last week, I went to a fabulous restaurant to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  The food was divine.  I started off with the soup of the day which was avocado and jalapeno.   I was pretty skeptical at first but decided to give it a try anyway.  Not a bad decision at all.  It  was incredible.  Creamy, smooth and spicy.   I would have never thought of making a soup with avocado.

Anyhoo, I decided to recreate this lovely concoction sans recipe!

This is my version of it below. Now bear in mind, not only am I new at this food blogging thing, I tend to cook freehand with little measurements.  I did make an effort to keep track, though, so that I could produce something resembling a real recipe.

What to use

1 cup celery (chopped)

1 large carrot (chopped)

1 average sized white onion (chopped)

2 garlic cloves (diced)

4 jalapeno peppers (sliced)

2 medium sized avocados (peeled and roughly sliced)

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbs evaporated milk

1 dash of jalapeno powder

1 dash of cayenne pepper

water (2 to 3 cups)

What to do

Saute celery, onion, carrot and garlic in oil until tender. Add jalapenos peppers.  I would suggest you take out the seeds for less heat! I left mine in and it was pretty spicy. Add water.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes. Add avocado slices, milk, jalapeno powder , cayenne and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and leave over medium heat.  Stir occasionally and let cook until all vegetables are tender.  Puree! And that’s it!  You can add a little tabasco sauce as a garnish and for a little extra heat.

Serve hot with some crackers.

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