Last weekend I met up with a group of good friends in the Eastern Townships, I had a relaxing weekend of catching up, meeting new babies and was treated to one delicious three-course meal after another. Lunch and dinner each began with a soup course, and none of the soups were the standard fare -speaking to the skill of our host, the soups were beautifully paired with rest of our meal-the two soups that stood out as truly wonderful were a roasted eggplant soup served with a tomato salsa and what was referred to fondly by the family as “green soup” topped with cream. Two soups I hope to have the recipes for very soon.
All the good eating inspired me to make a large family brunch for fathers day including potatoes hash, ham, spring salad, poached eggs with (quick) dill hollandaise and a carrot soup. And of course, fruit pancakes for the kids.
My weekend away had me craving soups of all kinds and I decided that I would like to try at least one new soup a week  until the craving subsides. Last week I made the kids and I a simplified version of Chicken-Lime Soup that was well received.

As of this weekend I  had a hankering for carrot soup, so I decided to start with it. I knew the flavours I was after so rather then follow a recipe I decided to just jump in.
I ended up with a fresh tasting Carrot Soup with a touch of heat from the ginger.

We took our BBQ to the park for the first time since the weather got warm and it was a great success. The kids had fun packing our picnic basket, and once in the park they unpacked, and set up then ran and played in the playground while the food was  being cooked.
A simple meal of homemade burgers and ball park hotdogs hit the spot.
As if on cue the ice cream truck pulled up moments after we finished eating. We made it home in time to watch a movie with popcorn before the gang tumbled in to bed exhausted. What a success! To ensure the cousin sleepover was a success we had promised a fun morning of creating a lemonade stand. The 6yr olds made the signs and the younger kids mixed the lemonade. Even S helped out by catching passers by with his winning, not yet fully toothed smile.
By noon all the lemonade had been sold or consumed and they were ready for fathers day brunch.

cheaters Chicken Lime Soup
I didn’t put any of the bracketed items into the kids soup, however everything save the tomatoes went into my own bowl.
1 chicken breast, skinned and simmered in
4c chicken stock
1 tb olive oil
1 clove garlic
(1 bay leaf)
1/4 tsp cumin
(3/4 c tomatoes, canned stewed, chopped rough)
1 lime (we used lemon) juice
(3 green onions, diced)
(handful of  cilantro, chopped)
1/2 c rice, cooked
3 corn tortillas, brushed with oil on both sides and cut into 1cm wide strips
fresh pepper to taste

preheat oven to 350 and place tortillas on a greased cookie sheet and let bake about 15 min, till golden and crispy
meanwhile bring stock to a simmer and place breast in the stock to cook- cook all the way through (about 15 min)
once cooked remove breast let rest 10 min before slicing
in a soup pot combine oil, minced garlic, bay, cumin, saute about 5 min till fragrant, then add tomatoes if using and stock
simmer 5 min, add chicken and rice.
squeeze the lemon juice into soup just before serving
top with tortilla “chips” and serve

Fresh Carrot Soup
the lemon juice gives some needed acidity to balance the flavours, adjusting the ginger will effect the amount of heat, (2″ ginger root gives just a touch of warmth) vegetable stock gives an earthier flavour.
1/4c butter
2 lb carrots, sliced
2 med onions diced
2″ ginger root peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 apples, peeled & grated
6 c stock (chicken or veg)
1/2 tsp nutmeg fresh grated
1/4 heavy cream (or more to taste)
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
6 Tb yogurt
melt butter in soup pot
saute carrot onion ginger and garlic, add seasoning & spice
then add stock and bring to a simmer 25 min
blend in batches or with emersion blender
add cream then lemon
serve with a dollop of yogurt in the centre of each serving

Quick (Dill) Hollandaise
in a food processor combine:
4 egg yolks
2 tsp dry mustard
2 Tb lemon juice
(2 Tb fresh dill)
briefly pulse together- heat the butter to just boiling (in a pot or microwave) just before you are ready to serve
turn on blender and slowly in a steady stream add the butter to the blending yolks,
the mix should instantly emulsify from the heat of the butter.


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