Friday, November 30, 2012

Indian "French" Toast (Unday Ka Toast): A Savory and Spicy Variation

I am more of a savory rather than a sweet breakfast person. Given a choice between pancakes, French toast or waffles and poached eggs, hash, or a breakfast scramble, I will always pick the savory option (however, I will have a few bites of your pancakes and share some of my scramble just to mix it up). ;-) I found this Madhur Jaffrey recipe for Indian "French" Toast intriguing because of the hot and savory aspect. 

It's Bread Week at I Heart Cooking Clubs and I am not a bread maker in the best of circumstances so rather than fuss with making my own during a crazy week, I opted for easy, and fried up a few quick slices. Served with some mango chutney and thick Greek yogurt sweetened with honey and topped with some pomegranate seeds for a little color, it made for an easy and tasty breakfast as dinner. 

Jaffrey says, "Various interpretations of "French" toast are enjoyed around the world... This one is for a savory and hot Indian version. Actually there are as many versions in India as there are Indian families. A Bengali family might cook theirs in mustard oil (unique and delicious) while a Gujarati family might serve theirs with a sweet mango chutney--whatever happens to be on hand--or no chutney at all.

The best French toast is made with slightly stale, hard bread, as it holds together best. When you beat the eggs, put them in a fairly shallow, gratin-type dish or pie tin or any other shallow dish in which two slices of bread can fit side by side with ease. If necessary, cut the bread slices into halves. This can easily be doubled..."  

Indian French Toast (Unday Ka Toast)
World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey
(Makes 2 Slices)

1 egg, well beaten
1 Tbsp milk
dash of salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp finely chopped scallion (use the white and some of the pale green section)
1 to 2 tsp very finely chopped fresh hot green chiles
2 slices of slightly stale bread
3 Tbsp peanut oil or canola oil

Put the beaten egg and milk in a shallow dish. Add the salt, pepper to taste, scallion, and chile and stir to mix. Lay the slices of bread in the dish and turn them over quickly a few times. Let them soak about 3 minutes, or until the bread has softened a bit and the egg mixture has been somewhat absorbed, turning the slices occasionally. With a spoon, lift up some of the solids in the egg mixture (chile and scallion) and spread them on top of the slices.

Put the oil in a large, nonstick frying pan and set over medium heat. When hot, put the slices of bread in the pan, scallion-chile side down. Cook for a minute while you spoon the remaining solids over the bread slices. Turn the slices over and cook another minute. Turn the slices over again and cook both sides for another 30 second each, or until nicely browned. Serve hot.

Notes/Results: I liked the scallion flavor and light fire of the green (jalapeno) chiles in the thick slices of country French-bread. It did remind me of the little scallion pancakes you get in Chinese restaurants but in a good way. I made a few small changes--almond milk as it was on hand and just enough Earth Balance to coat the pan and brown the toast--no way do you need 3 tablespoons of oil to cook it. Although I liked the pairing of the toast with the chutney, the mango chutney I had on hand went a bit to the vinegary side and I actually liked it best drizzled in maple syrup and topped with the yogurt for a good savory-sweet contrast. I would make this again.

You can check out Jaffrey bread recipes from the other IHCC participants by visiting the post here and following the links.

Happy Aloha Friday!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saffron-Flavored Garlic Soup with Potatoes: A Julia Child Variation for Food 'n Flix: Julie & Julia and Souper (Soup, Salad & Samie) Sundays

Julie & Julia is our film choice this month for Food 'n Flix and it is the ultimate foodie flick. An amazing cast of some of my favorite people--Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci and Amy Adams and written and directed by the late Nora Ephron (more on her later this month as her book Heartburn is our current Cook the Books selection), The film moves back and forth between the amazing Julia Child's life in 1950's France and the modern-day story of food blogger Julie Powell, who cooked her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking

I saw it when it came out with my Mom (good mother-daughter bonding) and my recent re-watch on Netflix confirmed that the Julia Child parts of the film are my favorites. Streep is so dead-on as Child it is amazing, and Julia's My Life in France is a classic. I read Julie Powell's book and did ultimately like it, but found it hard to get past her often whiny-poor-me tone that carries over into the movie, and although portrayed well by Adams, grates on my nerves. ;-) Still, the movie is utterly charming, full of great food and it remains a favorite. Thanks to our host Leslie at La Cocina Leslie for choosing it. 

For a movie-inspired dish, I just opened up my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Although a lot of what was featured in the film is not really in my eating plan at the moment, I as confident the right Julia Child recipe was there for me. I found it in the soup section, Aigo Bouido or Garlic Soup. I was going to make the original garlic soup recipe but the variation with saffron and potatoes caught my eye. 

I wouldn't be me if I didn't make a couple of small changes--reducing the oil and pureeing part of the soup with some of the strained garlic cloves for a velvety broth. I think if she tasted it, Julia would approve!

Saffron-Flavored Garlic Soup with Potatoes (Soupe à l'Ail aux Pommes de Terre)
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking
(Serves about 4)

Ingredients for garlic soup (recipe below) omitting the egg yolks and olive oil liaison 
3 cups diced "boiling" potatoes
pinch saffron

After the garlic soup has simmered for 30 minutes, strain it and return it to the saucepan. Simmer the potatoes in the soup with the saffron for about 20 minutes or until tender. Correct seasoning. Serve with French bread and grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese

(Deb's variation: Take  about 1 1/2 cups of the soup mixture and blend with about 1/2 of the strained garlic cloves. Stir back into soup mixture. To serve, top each bowl of soup with a slice of toasted baguette topped with grated Gruyère

Note: I have included the entire garlic soup recipe below. To make the saffron-potato variation just omit the ingredients and directions for the egg mixture. 

Julia says, "Enjoying your first bowl of garlic soup, you might never suspect what it is made of. Because the garlic is boiled, its after-effects are at a minimum, and its flavor becomes exquisite, aromatic and almost undefinable. Along the Mediterranean, aigo bouido is considered to be very good indeed for the liver, blood circulation, general physical tone and spiritual health. A head of garlic is not  at all too much for 2 quarts of soup. For some addicts it isn't even enough.

Garlic Soup (Aigo Bouido)

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking

(For 6 to 8 People)

1 separated head (or about 16 cloves) whole, unpeeled garlic

2 quarts water

2 tsp salt

pinch of pepper

2 cloves

1/4 tsp sage

1/4 tsp thyme

1/2 bay leaf

4 parsley sprigs

3 Tbsp olive oil (I used 1 Tablespoon)

a 3-quart saucepan

a wire whip

3 egg yolks

a soup tureen

3 to 4 Tbsp olive oil

a strainer

rounds of hard-toasted French Bread

1 cup of grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese 

Drop garlic cloves in boiling water and boil 30 seconds. Drain, run cold water over them and peel.

Place the garlic and the rest of the ingredients in the sauce pan and boil slowly for 30 minutes. Correct seasoning. 

Beat the egg yolks in the soup tureen for a minute until they are thick and sticky. Drop by drop, beat in the olive oil as for making a mayonnaise.

Just before serving beat a ladleful of hot soup into the egg mixture by droplets. Gradually strain in the rest, beating and pressing the juice out of the garlic. Serve immediately, accompanied by the bread and cheese. 

Silky, complex with the smooth garlic flavor present but not at all overpowering--this is a slightly sophisticated and elegant bowl of soup. The soup is good on its own, but the toasted crouton with the Gruyère cheese makes it even better. I definitely recommend blending just a small amount of the soup to give it the velvety texture with plenty of bites of potato left. I would make this again. 

Leslie will be rounding up all of the Food 'n Flix--Julie & Julia inspired dishes on her blog after the deadline on 11/28. If you missed this round and love movies and food, join in December where we will be watching the original Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory--hosted at

Now we have Heather and Janet waiting with salads in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look.

Heather of girlichef offers up this Butternut Squash, Yellow Raisin, & Pine Nut Salad with Pomegranate and says, "Who likes to see a big, beautiful salad on their holiday table?  This girl does.Who always forgets until the very last minute that they didn't "plan" a big, beautiful salad as a part of their holiday menu?  As in always.  Every year.  MmmHmm.  This girl does. One more... Who puts a big, beautiful salad bathed in TURMERIC into one of their favorite, white-washed wooden bowls and turns it neon yellow?  Still. This. Girl. {Sigh} t's a good thing that it was tasty and hearty (for a salad) and yes, beautiful. Not only would this make a fantastic side salad at your holiday table, it also makes for a wonderful lunch all by itself. Maybe with a class of crisp white wine."

Janet of The Taste Space shares a Caramelized Fennel and Quinoa Salad with Cilantro and Dill and says, "My current infatuation is with fennel. This time, I tried caramelizing it like I do with onions. A long slow braise to express all the natural sugars while taming the boldness of the anise. Silky and sweet, I really enjoyed  fennel this way. I sprinkled it with cumin and lemon juice for a second level of flavour. Then, it is tossed with quinoa in a punchy salad spiked with cilantro and dill with chunks of lemon. The Aleppo chiles added a nice wave of heat contrasting the sweet fennel. While caramelizing the massive amount of fennel, you may wonder how everything will fit into the salad, but trust me. It wilts a bit and I loved that this was a fennel heavy quinoa salad, instead of a quinoa heavy salad. Tossed overtop baby spinach, it was delicious."

Thanks to Janet an d Heather for joining in this week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share--just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Potatoes with Sesame Seeds, Cumin Seeds & Black Mustard Seeds

OK... I confess that even with all the nutritionally superior root vegetable, my favorite remains the common potato. Not sweet potatoes, or yams, or beets, or turnips, or carrots... the potato. They are the ultimate comfort food in my book and while they are not the healthiest choice, they certainly satisfy. In this Madhur Jaffrey recipe, they get a little more exotic--stir-fried with a combination of sesame seeds, cumin seeds and black mustard seeds.

Jaffrey says, "Here is another of those easy, delicious dishes that you might enjoy both with Indian meals and with simple dinners of roast and grilled meats. I like the potatoes to have a few brown spots on them."

Potatoes with Sesame Seeds
From 100 Weeknight Curries by Madhur Jaffrey
(Serves 6)

900g (2lb) potatoes, boiled in their sins and cooled for 3-4 hours
6 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
about 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Peel the boiled potatoes once they have cooled and dice them into 2cm (3/4-inch) cubes. Heat he oil to very hot in a large non-stick 25-30cm (10-12-inch) frying pan over medium heat. Put in the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and sesame seeds. As soon as they begin to pop--this takes just a few seconds--put in the diced potatoes. Stir-fry the potatoes for about 5 minutes.

Add the salt, cayenne and lemon juice. Stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes. 

Notes/Results: The flavor of these potatoes is excellent--the sesame and cumin seeds stands out with the lemon adding a bit of brightness and the cayenne a touch of heat. I did use about half the oil on these--I find 6 tablespoons to be far more than is actually needed, and I also reduced the salt and added a little extra lemon. I cooked them more than double what the recipe directions said to get them to the right soft texture. I used Yukon gold potatoes, I could probably have boiled them another couple of minutes and I diced some of them larger than asked for (I am an inconsistent dicer) ;-) But, since I like the crispy browned bits of potatoes the best, the longer cooking allowed for more of it. These potatoes are simple and would go well with any meal--not necessarily Indian, or you can be like me with most side dishes, and just eat them by themselves and call it dinner. I will make these again.

The weekly theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs is Root, Root, Root for Root Veggies! You can check out the different root vegetable recipes by visiting the post and following the links.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tortellini, Spinach and White Bean Soup: Easy and Satisfying for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I bought a package of tortellini and a one of baby spinach with the intention of making a warm pasta salad. It's been a little windier and cooler this weekend with on-and-off rain showers so my mind turned instead to soup. Recipes abound for spinach and tortellini soup, but I just threw what I wanted into the pot with some veggies from the fridge, beans and plenty of fresh herbs.

Since this soup uses the packaged fresh tortellini, baby spinach and canned beans, it goes together quickly and makes for a warming and satisfying meat-free dinner. 

Tortellini, Spinach and White Bean Soup 
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 4)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small-medium onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
4 cups stock or veggie broth (I used Imagine No-Chicken Broth)
1 can small white beans
4 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 package (9 oz) tortellini (I used Butoni fresh garlic cheese tortellini)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt and black pepper to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese to garnish

Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed soup pot and add onion, celery and carrot. Cook about 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf and cook about 2 minutes more. Add stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are mostly cooked. Add white beans, spinach and tortellini and cook another 8-10 minutes until tortellini is cooked through. Stir in fresh basil and add salt and pepper to taste and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy! 

Notes/Results: Simple, satisfying and very full of flavor for such an easy soup. The herbs and vegetables give the broth a lot of dimension and the tortellini and white beans make the soup filling. I just tossed together what I had but you could easily adjust it for your tastes by adding your favorite veggies or greens, using a meat-filled tortellini or adding in some shredded chicken, etc. It's a good soup for when you don't have a lot of time but want it to taste like it has been simmering all day. I would make it again.

It's a bit quiet in the Souper Sunday kitchen but three good friends and regulars are here to keep me company with a soup, salad and a sandwich on this busy weekend-before-Thanksgiving. Let's see what they brought...

Joanne of Eats Well With Others made this hearty Thai Tofu and Winter Squash Stew and says, "All I have to say is...thank the heavens for this stew.  Not only does it come together in around a half hour, but it's also so full of health I can hardly stand it!! Butternut squash, swiss chard, and tofu join forces with some serious Thai flavor to make a dish that is both filling and delicious.  Seriously, having this in the fridge will make it that much easier to pry yourself away from the creamed "insert vegetable here" that you've been taste testing every hour for the past two days.  And, if you're willing to go the non-traditional route, it would also make for an awesome vegetarian entree on Thanksgiving....which, given how good it is for you, would leave you more room for pie.  That, my friends, is a win. Squared."

Janet of The Taste Space has our salad entry this week--this seasonally-perfect Warm Balsamic Rosemary Cabbage Salad she describes as "warm and earthy... Janet also says, "Onions and garlic are pan-fried along with cabbage that is gently cooked to remove some of its bite. Granny Smith apples add tartness and sweetness along with raisins. Tossed with rosemary and balsamic vinegar, you have a simple salad that is more than the sum of its parts. I used green cabbage which became a bit muddled from the balsamic vinegar. My suggestion would be to use white balsamic if you have it or use purple cabbage instead."

Finally, Foodycat brings us a delicious sandwich--her Very Superior Bacon Sandwich and says, "A very superior bacon sandwich begins with some superior bread. In this case, a home-made milk loaf made using Dan Lepard's recipe. Not too crunchy a crust, not too open a crumb, with a subtle sweetness. Then a very superior bacon sandwich needs 3 rashers of superior crisply cooked streaky bacon. This should be dry-cured and from high-welfare, outdoor reared pork. Finally, the choice of condiments. This is a private matter between you and your god, I cannot presume to dictate whether brown sauce, chilli sauce, chutney or ketchup is right for you."

Thanks Joanne, Janet and Alicia for joining in this week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share--just click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar for all of the details. 

Have a happy, healthy (Thanksgiving for many of you) week!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mushroom Curry (Shorvedar Khumbi)

This Mushroom Curry (Shorvedar Khumbi) from Madhur Jaffrey caught my eye because of the mushrooms and the spices--I am trying to get through a large container of ground coriander. I am normally a multi-spiced-heavy-on-the-cumin-curry-kind-of-girl and this sounded a bit different. 

Jaffrey says, "I have used ordinary white mushrooms here, but you may make this with almost any seasonal mushroom. Whichever kind you get, cut them into large, chunky pieces so they do not get lost in the sauce."  

Mushroom Curry (Shorvedar Khumbi)
Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian Cooking
(Serves 4)

1 1/2 --inch piece fresh ginger, peeled an chopped
1 small onion (about 4 oz), peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 lb large fresh mushrooms
6 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used less--about 1/2)
3 Tbsp yogurt (I used non-dairy coconut-based yogurt)
1 tsp tomato paste
2 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp salt (or to taste) (I used about 1/2 tsp)
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Place the ginger, onion, and garlic into the container of an electric blender along with 3 tablespoons water and blend until smooth.

Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth and cut them into halves or quarters depending upon size.

Put 3 tablespoons of the oil in a nonstick frying pan and set over high heat. When the oil is hot,  put in the mushrooms. Stir and fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mushrooms have lost their raw look. Empty the contents of the pan into a bowl. Wipe the pan.

Put the remaining 3 tablespoons oil into the pan and set over high heat.  When the oil is hot, put in the paste from the blender. Stir and fry 3 to 4 minutes until it starts turning brown. Add 1 tablespoon yogurt and fry for 30 seconds. Add another tablespoon yogurt and fry for 30 seconds. Do this a third time. Then put in the tomato paste and fry for 30 seconds. Put in the ground coriander and stir once or twice. Then put in 1 1/4 cups water, the mushrooms and their juices, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the cilantro over the top before serving. 

Notes/Results: This curry is excellent in flavor with the coriander and ginger the most pronounced--a little different than my usual curry flavors but I liked it. I used a mixture of cremini mushrooms and white mushrooms--just because that is what the grocery store had, but wild mushrooms would be really nice in this. Pureeing the onion, ginger and garlic and stir-frying that mixture added a lot to the overall taste. Texture-wise, next time I would put less water in or maybe sub coconut milk for the water--I like a thick. creamy base and this was more thin. Also, I used a non-dairy coconut-based yogurt and maybe a Greek yogurt would have made it a little thicker.  Still, it was good with the flaky paratha (my favorite flat bread from the frozen section of my local Indian market) dipped into it.  The recipe says it serves four but, I think it is more like two generous main-dish servings or four as a side dish or part of a larger meal. I would make this again--with less liquid. 

We are all about Comforting Curries this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs. Stop by and take a peek. 


Sunday, November 11, 2012

"Cheesy" Potato Soup: A Healthier But Still Decadently Loaded Vegan Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I love when a normally fattening and unhealthy dish can successfully be made into a healthier option. The other day, I really wanted a bowl of the daily cheesy baked potato soup when I was out to lunch with a friend but knew that my arteries and butt certainly didn't need all that saturated fat. Recently buying a copy of Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook (companion to the great documentary about the dramatic health results achieved from removing meat, dairy and oils from the diet), I was pleased to see a "Cheesy" Potato Soup recipe that just begged to be tried. As did the Tofu Sour Cream recipe as a topping for this creamy bowl of yum.

Forks Over Knives says, "A warm, rich and creamy soup, this is a delicious, plant-based alternative to standard dairy-heavy, fat-laden cheese soups. Depending on your taste you can puree all of part of this soup; it will taste great either way."

Cheesy Potato Soup
Forks Over Knives--The Cookbook
(Serves 4)

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
3 large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs), peeled and chopped
1 batch No-Cheese Sauce (recipe below)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp chopped parsley

Saute the onion in a large saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the onions from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the vegetable broth, bay leaf, and potatoes. Bring the mixture to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove the bay leaf. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or in batches in a blender with a tight-fitting lid, covered with a towel. Season with salt and pepper.

Return the soup to the pot if necessary and add the No-Cheese Sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Serve garnished with the green onions and parsley.


No-Cheese Sauce
Forks Over Knives--The Cookbook
(Makes about 2 1/2 Cups)

Forks Over Knives says, "This low-fat sauce makes great Mac and "Cheese" or Baked Ziti. Best of all it only takes about 5 minutes to put together. It may seem as though the recipe will not work in a blender, but with a little patience it does (and the blender makes for a creamier sauce than you could otherwise make). If your onions are strong, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes, or saute them over medium heat for about 5 minutes before adding them to the blender."

1 large yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 Tbsp cashews, toasted (optional) *see note
1 Tbsp tahini (optional) *see note
1 cup nutritional yeast
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender in the order given and puree until smooth and creamy, adding up to 1/2 cup of water if necessary to achieve a smooth consistency. 

(Note: I omitted the cashews and tahini and replaced with 4 Tbsp cashew butter)

Tofu Sour Cream
Forks Over Knives--The Cookbook
(Makes 1 1/2 Cups)

Forks Over Knives says, "Use this healthy dairy alternative in any dish that calls for sour cream. Serve it with baked potatoes and fresh chives, with tacos and enchiladas, or mushroom stroganoff."

One (12 oz) package extra firm silken tofu, drained
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth and creamy. Chill until ready to serve.

Notes/Results: Perfectly cheesy, creamy and decadent--this is a tasty bowl of soup that tastes like something you shouldn't be eating. I am normally the first person to tell you that nutritional yeast gives more of a cheese essence than actual cheese flavor--this soup really does taste pretty cheesy. It could easily be fed to and would probably fool many confirmed carnivores. ;-) 

I pureed about a third of the soup so there were plenty of chunks of potato. The tofu sour cream tastes like the real thing and with the green onions, parsley and a few shakes of Bac-Uns (soy "bacon" pieces) it made for a loaded baked potato-like soup with a fraction of the fat that a normal bowl of this kind of soup would have. The recipe says Serves 4, but they would be pretty big servings and it is a rich soup. I would make the soup again and will make the No-Cheese Sauce and Tofu Sour Cream again for use in other recipes.

Let's see what dishes are waiting in the Souper Sunday kitchen this week.

Joanne of Eats Well With Others is here with this unique Bean Chili with Pecans and Chocolate and says, "No, this recipe absolutely did not come about after I accidentally dropped cookie batter ingredients into a bubbling pot of stick-to-your-ribs, spice-infused, vegetable-rich chili. Never mind that I was definitely not supposed to be eating cookies at all whatsoever when I made this since it was the week before the marathon-that-wasn't and I had every intention of keeping it clean and healthy until the Big Day.  Then Hurricane Sandy happened. And, well, here's the thing. Have you ever tried to get through a natural disaster without extreme beer and/or chocolate consumption?"

Also channeling potato comfort this week, Lea Ann of Cooking on the Ranch made this gorgeous and elegant bowl of Potato Soup (Potato Creme de Fromage) and says, "My mom put Potato Soup on the dinner table at least once a week while I was growing up. Simple with ingredients, and so big on flavor, it’s definitely towards the top of my comfort food list. I make it on a regular basis also, but never seem to think it tastes as good as what she made. Probably just a childhood memory playing tricks on me, since I make it exactly like she did. ... Now and then I like to make this fancier version using Camembert and cottage cheese. It also comes with a high falutin’ name, Potage Creme de Fromage."

Dave of Inspired By has four soups to share this week starting with his NOT Thai Coconut Chicken Soup, about which he says, "I looked at a lot of recipes for a spicy sweet Thai Coconut Soup.  For whatever reason, I was not happy with anything I saw. Mainly, I am just not the kind of cook that buys a lot of single dish ingredients.  It makes things just too expensive.  While my local market has very fresh produce and I am always happy, they do not stock many exotic items.  Plus, unfamiliar ingredients still scare me a little.  So, no Lemongrass, No Fish Paste, No kaffir Lime Leaves, No Thai nam pla, or Vietnamese nuoc nam.  But there are Kansas equivalent ingredients and I did come up with a sweet, little spicy, yet still have an exotic taste and look."  

Dave also made this Root Vegetable Bisque... I Don't Need No Stinkin' Root Vegetable Bisque Recipe, saying "Soups are a great place to use up what's in your produce drawer. Well, this bisque is basically the same idea.  I am just using root vegetables (Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Carrots, Onions and Celery... Um and an Apple, just to screw up the title (and to sweeten the mix)."

Then Dave turned the bisque into this Easy Potato Stew with a Root Vegetable Base and says, "As you well know, a bisque is rarely served as a single course.  Usually you have a sandwich (or 6 more courses of food) to go with it.  I did serve the bisque with a sandwich, but had quite a bit leftover.  I decided to make a new soup from the bisque base and made an easy Potato stew with a Root Vegetable Base.  This worked great as a stand alone lunch next day."

Finally Dave wanted to share his inspiration for his Root Vegetable Bisque saying, ... the whole idea of making a soup on the fly was explored in my Chicken Vegetable Soup... I Don't Need No Stinkin' Chicken Vegetable Soup Recipe post where once again I explore the virtues of making a soup on a wing and a prayer."

Janet of The Taste Space made this mean green Veggie Noodly Salad with the Ultimate Peanut Sauce and says, "...With less sweetener, less sodium AND using coconut beverage, we have a winner. A drinkable winner. The twist from the other peanut dressings comes from the bite from molasses and umami from the fermented black bean sauce. Use it to coat anything. Veggies, grains, beans, you name it. Here, I paired it with sliced carrots, thinly sliced sugar snap peas, julienned baby bok choy, kelp noodles and pea shoots."

Finally Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog has a holiday-ready Fresh Cranberry Salad Dressing for Thanksgiving to share and says, "The tart and tangy cranberry is customarily associated with Thanksgiving. Most families either eat homemade or from the can cranberry sauce as a side dish with their turkey!  Well, as a vegetarian I won't be eating turkey, but I will be adding fresh organic cranberries to many of my salads and other recipes. ... This dressing is sweet, tangy, refreshing, and most of all fast and easy to make. You'd be surprised how much you will like this dressing."

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week with their fabulous soup and salad recipes. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!