Let's eat our veggies!

This time of year has so much to offer and vegetables are one of my favourites to create delicious meals and side dishes or salads to enjoy. I shared a couple of recipes with Trish on Inside Guelph that use a few of my favourites, tomatoes, butternut squash and cauliflower! Hope you enjoy them.

Homemade Tomato Soup 

Fresh juicy in season tomatoes can make a wonderful pot of a family favourite-tomato soup. Enjoy the soup as a starter or alongside or favourite sandwich for lunch.

2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp/1 mL dried
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp/2 mL dried
3 cups (750 mL) chopped fresh ripe plum tomatoes 
3 cups (750 mL) vegetable or chicken broth
1 tbsp (15 mL) all purpose flour
Pinch pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) 1% or 2 % milk

In a saucepan heat oil over medium heat and cook onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until juices start to appear. 

Using potato masher crush tomatoes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. 

Using an immersion blender or alternatively pour into blender and puree until smooth. Return to clean saucepan. Whisk flour and pepper into milk. Stir into soup and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly.

Makes 4 servings.

Canned Tomato Variation: Substitute 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced or whole tomatoes for the fresh.

Kick up the protein: Stir in 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) white kidney beans, drained and rinsed after the soup has been thickened and heat through.

Roasted Cauliflower and Squash Orzo Toss

This combination brings out the earthy sweet flavour of cauliflower and squash. Together with orzo this can be a new side dish or salad to enjoy at your next family get together. Add roast chicken to the dish for a hearty lunch leftover.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Serves: 6

Half a head of cauliflower
3 cups (750 mL) chopped peeled squash or pumpkin
3 tbsp (45 mL) coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
1 cup (250 mL) orzo or other small pasta
1/4 cup (60 mL) sesame seeds, toasted
2 tbsp (30 mL) each rice vinegar and sodium reduced soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil

Break up cauliflower into small florets and place in large bowl. Add squash, coconut oil, 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss to coat well and spread onto parchment paper lined baking sheet. Roast in 400 F (200 C) oven for about 25 minutes or until tender and golden.

Meanwhile, in a pot of boiling salted water; cook orzo for about 6 minutes or until al dente. Drain well and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together sesame seeds, vinegar, oil and soy sauce.

Scrape vegetables into large bowl and add orzo. Drizzle with dressing and add remaining cilantro. Toss well to combine before serving warm.

Tip: This can also be served at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 2 days and served with a slight chill.


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