Archive for Seasonal

Spring Soup #Vegan

As I type this, outside my window, large, fluffy, fat snowflakes are falling down. Oh the irony.

This time last year, spring was in full swing already. Cherry blossoms were blooming, tulips and daffodils were up, and pollen was making my nose run.

Today, the only thing making my nose run is the cold. Sorry about the visual.

This has been a long, cold, snowy winter here on the west coast. Freakishly so. Many people are saying they’ve never seen anything like it.

Green Spring Soup #Vegan

Be that as it may, I can’t wait for the winter to be over. I moved here, after all, to get away from the snow and the cold. If I had my druthers, we’d have summer year-round.

One of the first signs of spring is the appearance of fresh asparagus in the produce stores. I love its delicate green, and its incredible versatility.

One thing I love about this soup is how beautiful and creamy it is, without the addition of any cream whatsoever. It’s basically vegetables. That’s it.

The key to making it creamy is choosing the right vegetables. In this case, I used cauliflower, but a little bit of potato would also go a long way towards giving it that creamy texture.

Right now, I’d serve this soup hot, but in the summer, when the weather is warmer, serving it cold would be a great option.

I love the colour of this soup. It screams spring, even if the weather does not. Maybe it can take a hint??!?

Spring Soup

Spring Soup #Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1 medium broccoli floret
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh pesto
  • Vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Wash the vegetables well and cut them into chunks. Cut the asparagus into thirds, after snapping off the tough ends.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium heat, and add a couple tablespoons of good olive oil. Add the vegetables and stir, allowing them all to be coated with the oil, and to start to cook on the outside, with a little caramelization. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the chopped garlic and stir well. Season again.
  4. Add vegetable stock. You want enough stock to cover the vegetables, plus about an inch or so.
  5. Stir everything well, and bring it back up to the boil. Once the stock is boiling, add the pesto, and turn down the heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  6. Remove from the heat. Allow the soup to cool enough so that you can handle it (you have to be very careful putting hot liquids into the blender).
  7. Pour the soup into your blender and puree.
  8. Pour the soup back into the pot, taste for seasoning and adjust. Bring the soup back up to the boil, and serve in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of fresh pesto, some fresh herbs, or some roasted peas for a crunchy, textural element.

Christmas Wish Breakfast at the Pan Pacific Dec 13

I do love to get behind a good cause.

This time of the year, there are lots to choose from–I’d encourage you to donate to the Food Bank, or to support the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau. I also just want to remind you that you don’t have to donate money; your time is also valuable. Volunteer for a cause you really love, bake cookies for the homeless, offer to walk a dog for someone that needs it.

I would also like you to join me on the morning of Tuesday, December 13, at the Pan Pacific Hotel downtown for breakfast. They are hosting their 29 Annual Christmas Wish Breakfast that morning from 6 – 9 am.

Every year, the Pan Pacific makes a huge breakfast buffet, and throws their doors open. In exchange for your free breakfast, all you need to do is to drop by with your donation to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau. There will be tons of entertainment as well, and I’m guessing, a visit from Jolly Ol’ St Nick, as well.

Your donation can include:

  • cash
  • unwrapped, new toys

Last year, over 5,000 Vancouverites donated over 17 tonnes of toys, 1,000 bikes, and over $22K of cash in just 3 hours. Let’s beat that record this year!

Photo courtesy of the Pan Pacific

FYI, the kinds of toys that are needed the most are those suitable for tweens and teens. I’ll be taking Michael shopping to pick out a gift suitable for a 13-year-old boy, and donating it on December 13.

I will also be part of a team providing a live social media stream via tweets, Instagrams and Facebook posts that morning at the Pan Pacific. You can follow us on the hashtag #PanXmasWish.

Here’s more details. Hope to see you there!

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