Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Great Canadian Food Experience: My Cherished Canadian Recipe for East Coast Fish ChowderRevisited

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Great Canadian Food Experience: My Cherished Canadian Recipe for East Coast Fish Chowder

Fish Chowder

I’ve written about fish chowder before but as it really is my cherished Canadian recipe I’m revisiting it as this month’s contribution to the Great Canadian Food Experience Project.  One of the hardest things about having to drastically change your diet is suddenly all your favourite recipes fall out of rotation. Sure you want to tweak it to make it work for your family again, but it’s hard to find time to experiment or research when what you really need to do is put dinner on the table.


I’ve taken this months Canadian Food Experience as a challenge to “fix” my family’s cherished fish chowder recipe.  It’s pretty great as it is but that can of evaporated milk that generations of my mother’s family have been using to feed their babies and make chowder with just wasn’t agreeing with us anymore.

Fish chowder Ingredients

Onions 1 per serving (I do 6)

Potatoes 1 per serving  (6 again)

Fish that starts with H (Halibut, Haddock)

2 tablespoons of Butter or olive oil

1 Bay Leaf

Sea Salt & Ground Pepper

Boiling water
Corn 1 cob

1 cup of whole milk

1/2 cup large leaf parlsey

1/2 cup Dulse

Fish chowder Ingredients

Prepare by putting your tea kettle on to boil. We’ll be adding all the ingredients into a thick bottomed soup pot.


Start by frying up finely chopped onions in butter or olive oil.

Cook them gently on medium heat until they are transparent.

 Cutting Fish with the Cutco Slicer

Chop your fish up into 1 inch cubes. Throw it in on top of your cooked onions.

Next, slice up your potatoes and throw them in.

Cover with the now boiling water from your kettle and add salt, pepper and a bay leaf.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 25 minutes. Keep your pot simmering while you add the final ingredients.

Now add your corn and one cup of whole milk. Turn off the heat, stir and wait five minutes before stirring.

Add a bit of chopped large leaf parlsey and a handful of chopped dulse as a garnish.

Fish Chowder

We used to serve chowder with bread but now in our post-gluten house we’re enjoying salad made with greens and petals from Kind Organics. Check out Kind Organic’s Farm Raiser, like another small agriculture business I know, they’ve out grown their space and are looking to grow on their own farm. Here’s the link: 


A Birthday and our Favourite Book: First Tomato by Rosemary Wells

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Rebecca and I would like to share a little of one of our favourite books with you. It’s her birthday and she’s 4 years old today so we are celebrating at the farm by picking tomatoes and reading our favourite books.

A well loved copy of First Tomato, part of a charming trilogy of books from Rosemary Wells, came to us from Marla and Josie.  These books describe terrible, no good, very bad days that are turned around by traveling by imagination to the Bunny Planet and “the day that should have been”.

We love this book and the trilogy is a regular part of our story time repertoire.  So this year while Rebecca picked the first tomatoes she insisted we make first tomato soup and who am I to resist such an honest request?

Rebecca in the garden

I hear my mother calling when the summer wind blows. Go out into the garden in your old, old clothes.

Sugar snap peas and tomatoes

Pick me some runner beans and sugar snap peas. Find a ripe tomato and bring it to me please.

A ruby red tomato is hanging on the vine. If my mother didn’t want it, the tomato would be mine.

Picking San Marzano Tomatoes

It smells of rain and steamy earth and hot June sun. In the whole tomato garden it’s the only ripe one. I close my eyes and breathe in its fat red smell. I wish that I could eat it now and never, never tell.

First tomato taste

But I save it for my mother without another look.

Picking tomatoes

I wash the beans and shell the peas and watch my mother cook.

Becca Grinding combo

I hear my mother calling when the summer winds blow. “I’ve made you first tomato soup because I love you so.”

First Tomato Soup

Sigh. So we picked the tomatoes at the farm and carefully brought them back to the city where we cooked up some first tomato soup;

Because I love her so.


The tomatoes are just starting to pour in.
How does your family enjoy the abundance of August tomatoes?
What are your favourite gardening related kids books?


copyright 1992 by Rosemary Wells Published by Dial Books

Thanks to Kitchen Aid for the awesome grinder.

Gentle Lentil Soup

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Gentle Lentil Soup

As a recovering vegetarian, Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook is in regular rotation around here.  When I’m in a panic and don’t know what to make for dinner I often make this from-memory, tweaked-for-my-family version of her Lentil soup. It’s really simple since it only uses one pot, takes one hour and you don’t need to presoak the lentils.

In addition to being delicious, lentils make a such a nice naturally iron rich first food for babies. This soup was one of baby Robin’s first solid foods around the middle of his first year and he gobbles it right up off a tiny vintage baby spoon every time I serve it.

Baby Led Weaning with tiny spoon

3 cups of dry red Canadian lentils

8 cups of water (sometimes I use a cup or two of chicken stock if I have some around)

1 glug of olive oil

2 stalks of celery with leaves

1 peeled yam

3 peeled carrots

8-10 cloves of garlic

2 large shallots or onions

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons of sea salt

1/2 teaspoon of thyme

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

red wine vinegar

 Lentil Soup Ingredients

Start by giving your lentils a quick rinse and strain under cold water.
Then combine your lentils, water, olive oil and salt in a large thick bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Once things are boiling, lower the heat to the lowest setting, cover and gently simmer for 30 minutes.  While the lentils are cooking you have plenty of time to prepare the rest of the ingredients and remind your children to use gentle touches.

Cooking with Cutco

Now you start your chopping. Soup is pretty much all about chopping.  I have some new cutco knives and I have to say having the right knives has greatly improved my mood while making dinner with littles at my feet or on my back.

I cut all my veggies into slices and then smash the 10 cloves of garlic with the side of my knife before cutting it finely. I like to think that the more garlic and onions in a recipe, the more love. The more smashing of garlic, the more fun.

After your lentils have been simmering slowly for 30 minutes you can add all your chopped up vegetables and herbs. Turn the heat up a little bit and gently cook, partially covered for another 30 minutes.

When you’re ready to eat, drizzle the top of each bowl with red wine vinegar and enjoy.

Bowl of lentil soup

This recipe is my entry in the Love Your Lentils Canada Challenge.  I’d love it if you could take a second and vote for my soup over at

You know, that Jamie Oliver Chickpea Soup but with More Onions and Some Carrots

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

It’s winter and so I want to go into hibernation mode just as the seed business starts to ramp up. So here’s the answer to that haunting question; What’s for dinner? It’s “I’ll just make that Jamie Oliver recipe, you know, the one with the chickpeas but with more onions and some carrots” soup. We’ve just shared this tonight with the Lovely Clara who came and helped fill an overwhelming amount of seed packs (check out for some great illustrations and musings).

Pasta e Ceci from Jamie Oliver’s Italy but from memory since we make it all the time and with carrots for colour and more onions since its winter.

2 onions

2 carrots

a few sticks of celery

1 clove of garlic

extra virgin olive oil


2 cans of chickpeas

2 ¼ cups of stock

2 cups ditalini pasta

sea salt and black pepper

a handful of chopped basil and spinach in each bowl


I like that this soup cooks really slow and gently. Life is really distracting and full of good things like a busy business, 3 year old shenanigans, and a bouncing baby boy. So I have a tendency to walk off in the middle of making dinner.

This soup cooks long and slow, filling the house with a great oniony soup smell and won’t burn if you have to go nurse the baby for an hour.

Over low heat in a nice thick bottomed pot combine a few glugs of olive oil with finely chopped onions, carrots and celery. Cook slow and gently with the lid on for at least 20 minutes until the onions are clear.

Add 2 cans of well-rinsed chickpeas, stir it all up, and cover with stock or water (according to your level of vegan/vegetarianism). Cook over low heat for another 30 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove about half the soup and whizz it up in a food processor, blender, or use an immersion blender. Once it’s properly whizzed, throw it back in the pot.

Add your little pasta, we like ditalini, the little “o”s. You throw it in dry, add some salt and pepper, maybe some dried basil from last summer, and keep simmering gently for another 15 minutes or so until the pasta’s cooked.

Serve it up with some torn or chopped up basil and spinach. So delicious and really just a bunch of chopping and slow easy cooking.

Moosewood Vegetable Soup with Extra Mushrooms and Alphabets

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Mmm Moosewood.  Mollie Katzen’s Classic cookbooks are all well worn around these parts.  I’ve mentioned them here before, but somehow forgot to share our favourite soup during last year’s soup swap recipe posts.  

The Moosewood Vegetable Soup from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest
and it’s many variations are a regular part of our fall meals around here.  There’s a big pot of it boiling on the stove right now for our dinner so there’s no time like the present to share this classic.

As the title suggests, this is a basic vegetable soup recipe with  bunch of great suggestions on how to mix it up.  This is our favourite way to make it, with a gazillion mushrooms and a rainbow of carrots, but it changes seasonally.

Boil together until the potatoes are just tender:

4 cups vegetable stock
1 large potato sliced thinly
a dash of sea salt

Next you’ll need

2 1 1 1 1tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large white or yellow onion chopped
1 large clove of garlic crushed
1 teaspoon of salt
4 carrots, we use a mix of orange and purple carrots
a handful of button mushrooms
a bunch of enoki mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon each; thyme, savoury, marjoram, basil
freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat a heavy skillet, add butter, olive oil, onions, garlic and salt and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes or until onions clear. Add the remaining finely sliced vegetables and herbs.  Continue stirring for 8-10 minutes.  Add the skillet full to your pot of stock and potatoes. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes.

Before serving we add little italian soup noodles, especially the alphabet ones.  This is how my mother made it and now how we make it for our family. 
You need to cook the noodles separately or else its a big mess.  So cook one cup of soup noodles until al dente. Drain, rinse and put them in the bowls.  Serve the soup on top of the noodles, mix gentle and enjoy.

We’re sending some over to a some friends with new babies, so we send the noodles separately with the instructions written on the lid of the jar.
Now I’m off to eat some.  I can’t wait for a reasonable dinner hour.