Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Jamie Oliver’s Sweet Potato and Chorizo Soup

October22

Today my Guest Blogger is my much loved daughter in law, J2, married to my son (J1).  She is a successful blogger in her own right and has started up her own business and can you tell, I am so very proud of her?

“I wouldn’t classify my husband as a picky eater. His palate is very wide and he is no stranger to trying new things (we both tasted fertilized egg embryos when we lived overseas…). There are a few things though that he strongly dislikes. He dislikes beans, or more specifically anything with a chalky texture – lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans. He dislikes most foods that are overly pungent (he also dislikes when I eat them, but I LOVE them) – olives, blue cheese, black licorice. He dislikes broth-y soups. Chicken noodle, minestrone, hamburger…if you can see through the broth, he will probably decline. I love soup, so I try to be creative in finding thick and creamy soup recipes that we will both enjoy.

One soup that we can both agree on is Jamie Oliver’s Sweet Potato and Chorizo Soup from Jamie’s Food Revolution. This happens to be one of the recipes on our weekly meal plan this week and it was a perfect fall meal after raking the front yard.


Jamie Oliver's Sweet Potato and Chorizo Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
From Jamie's "Food Revolution"
Ingredients
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1¾ pounds sweet potatoes
  • 7 ounces chorizo sausage
  • a small bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1¾ quarts of chicken or vegetable broth
  • olive oil
  • 1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 fresh chile
Instructions
  1. Peel and roughly slice the carrots.
  2. Slice the celery.
  3. Peel and roughly chop the onions.
  4. Peel and slice the garlic.
  5. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes.
  6. Slice the chorizo.
  7. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stalks.
  8. Put the broth in a saucepan and heat until boiling.
  9. Put a large pan on a high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  10. Add all your chopped and sliced ingredients with the curry powder and mix together with a wooden spoon.
  11. Cook for around 10 minutes with the lid askew, until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is lightly golden.
  12. Add the boiling broth to the vegetables.
  13. Give the soup a good stir and bring to a boil.
  14. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the sweet potato is cooked through.
  15. Season with salt and pepper.
  16. Using an immersion blender or liquidizer; pulse the soup until smooth and scatter over a little finely chopped chile.
  17. Divide between your serving bowls and tuck in.

I have used a regular blender in the past (before I received my beloved immersion blender as a gift), but be sure to let the soup COOL OFF before you blend. Otherwise it will end up all over the walls.
I modified slightly and blended the soup before I added the sausage for a little more texture. Delicious!

Jen Grisim, Providing Pre & Postnatal Services in the Heart of Winnipeg www.specialdeliveriesfitness.com Check out my blog: www.babyladyoftheprairies.com

From Kath: By coincidence, Jamie Oliver was in Toronto this weekend and so was I.  He was there for a Jamie Junior T-Fal event.  Jamie is our families’ favourite chef and I would love to meet him.  Maybe next time…..

Kath’s quote:

“Said Aristotle unto Plato,
‘Have another sweet potato?’
Said Plato unto Aristotle,
‘Thank you, I prefer the bottle.’”

Owen Wister

Love-that is all.

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Milestones Toronto

October19

I kept my friend waiting at the airport as my flight was delayed and the luggage took forever to arrive.  By the time I saw her familiar, smiling face she had been urged to take a lap by the loading zone attendant.  We were hungry and anxious to get caught up and so veered into Milestone’s on Dixon Road.

Milestone’s apparently skipped the province of Manitoba when it expanded from west to east and I have never had an occasion to dine with them.  By reputation though, I knew that they were famous for an international influence and bold flavours.  Sure enough, while my friend was able to choose an Asian Citrus Steak Salad, I was talked out of the Goat Cheese and Roasted Beet Salad that I had my eye on and into the Harissa Chicken by the persuasive server.  Don’t get me wrong, she had enjoyed the dish herself and was just trying to be helpful.  I appreciate when serving staff are willing to take a gamble like this.

I refer to this as a risky suggestion because the tastes were bold indeed.  The advice was perfectly suited to my palate but may not have been for everyone.  Thinking that I may never travel to the Tunisia in North Africa, I decided that at least my taste buds could make the journey.  The brown rice, sweet potato and parsnip pilaf was chock full of flavour with tastes of lime and cilantro (if I am not mistaken).  I ate it all before I even started into the chicken which packed a nice punch in its own arena.  The chili rub was beautifully offset by a creamy Fontina cheese and an acidity was added with a lemon mint yoghurt.  My first bites of TO accompanied by sips of a lovely Malbec held promises of delicious dining ahead.

My friend and I had years to get caught up on and therefore even though I did pause long enough to get a photo of her lunch, I completely forgot to ask for a taste or inquire as to how she was liking it.  I did spy cucumbers, red peppers & onions, avocado and two kinds of Asian noodles.

Time was precious as we still had a trek downtown to get me checked into my hotel before her journey back home before rush hour. There never seems to be enough time when you are catching up with a good, good friend.

Milestone's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.”-Groucho Marx

Love-that is all.

Bonfire Revisited

October18

Although I get a kick out of the Mom and Pop atmosphere of many neighbourhood restaurants, there are occasions when a more sophisticated ambience is appropriate.  The Bonfire Bistro on Corydon offers a slightly upscale décor, reasonable prices, excellent fare and that neighbourhood feel, all in one neat package. Recently,  I met a good friend, who is also a business acquaintance and we got caught up on family, accomplished all of our business decisions and enjoyed a delicious lunch-not necessarily in that order.

My friend chose the pasta/salad lunch combination.  On this day it was fettuccine topped with a hearty mushroom sauce, garnished with crispy bacon.  The salad greens included sweet currants, so that the sweetness of the dried fruit offset the saltiness of the bacon.  She let me plunge my fork into her plate for a sample.  Now that is a good friend.

I was tempted to have the same because I really wanted a last summer taste of the bistro’s gazpacho which was the featured soup.  Instead, our accommodating waitress provided me with just a spoonful of the chilled soup.  So I was free to order the clams, spicy sausage and artichokes from the anti-pasta section of their lunch menu.

I was trying to restrain myself, because I knew that I was going out for dinner that evening (oh, the life of a foodie) so I tore pieces of the grilled Portuguese waterbread and dipped them into the saffron marinara sauce and just had a couple of pieces of the sausage and artichoke.  The rustic recipe is a perfect lunch to take us into Winnipeg’s chilly winter.  The leftovers were packaged up for a future meal.

I can also highly recommend Bonfire’s wood-fired pizzas with a delicious sauce and decadent toppings.  Or the vermicelli with spicy marinated eggplant, wilted field greens, roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes, kalamata olives, tomatoes, green onions and feta cheese in an Aglio E Olio sauce that I have enjoyed on other occasions.  The pizzas, pastas and salads are always fresh, seasonal, hearty and perfectly prepared.  Service is more than cordial and you would have no issues getting back to the office on time if you were on your lunch hour.

Bonfire Bistro on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “The whole Mediterranean … the wine, the ideas … seems to ride in the sour pungent taste of those black olives … A taste older than meat, older than wine. A taste as old as cold water.”-Lawrence Durrell

Love-that is all.

Life Changing Moments

October17

One day last winter, a friend sent me a link about a recipe contest that she thought that I should enter as the prize was a ticket to a food bloggers conference in Washington DC entitled Eat, Write, Retreat.  Well, I was one of two winners of the contest and found myself booked into a gorgeous Washington Hotel with my roomie, a successful blogger in her own right, from Montreal.

This occurred last April and although the high from the time of being surrounded by some of the US’s most successful food bloggers has normalized, there were moments that changed my writing/blogging life and because I am my own brand, have changed my life.  Do you follow this train of thought?

A group of professionals were assembled (in cyber-space, I presume) to critique our blogs and I acted upon every suggestion that they provided and have been very happy with the results (especially with the quality of my photographs).  If you have been a long time follower of mine, perhaps you agree.  This face lift and the message from one of our guest speakers about focusing our passion into our blog, have inspired me afresh about my product and gave me the courage to approach some unexplored arenas.

In addition, soon after I arrived home, I was notified by Uptown Magazine that I had one Winnipeg’s Favourite Blog.  This was quite an honour as Winnipeg boosts a bevy of talented bloggers.  For me the thrill was that it was not just that I was a favourite “foodie” blogger but a favourite full-on blogger!

As a result of both circumstances, I am now a regular columnist for Winnipeg’s community newspapers.  This in itself has been a treat as I can see the appreciation from the small restauranteurs and their families when I return to visit them after a piece has been published.  Smiles, hugs and gratitude is my reward-let alone the additional exposure!

I also had the confidence to explore a brand new experience and have been taking on projects with national companies for food-styling work.  This has put me in touch with some talented chefs and familiar brands and although I had no idea what hard work food-styling was, it is also immensely satisfying.

Fast forward to today.  I am off to Toronto in the morning to attend another conference.  This one is entitled She’s Connected and I am attending on behalf of Canada Beef because since this whirl wind all began I have also become a Canadian Beef Ambassador!  By coincidence (?) that is also who sent me to Washington.  At this weekend’s conference I will be attending with the other Canadian Beef Ambassadors as well as gal pals from the Manitoba Canola Growers and Winnipeg friends like Marlo Broux who started Girl Talk Radio.

As well as learning specific skills to take my blog to another new level from speakers like the former editor of Cosmo and my Canadian hero Amanda Lang, I am looking forward to meeting new female friends who are recreating their lives in this exciting digital world.  And so Heather Travis, I can’t wait to meet you in person.  You may not have known this last spring, but you have changed my life!

Kath’s quote: “Life is so brief that we should not glance either too far backwards or forwards…therefore study how to fix our happiness in our glass and in our plate.”-Grimod de la Reynière

Love-that is all.

 

The Keg Gives Back

October15

I do not live a spontaneous life, but there are occasions when spur of the moment decisions can be made and it is a wonderful feeling. This past Friday night I was invited to a “wet run” of the newly refurbished St. James Keg and although I knew that Sister #3 could accompany me, there were two more invites available and I did not want to let the opportunity go unredeemed.

So I invited along two young Moms who really needed a break and a treat (especially when it meant that their spouses managed bed time at home for the little ones).

We shared a couple of appetizers including this succulent Shrimp Cocktail.

The food was perfect with the teeny exception of the butter for the lobster tail which was not clarified.

The steaks and prime rib were tender and precisely cooked and the sides and additional courses gave me the opportunity to try a couple of things that I do not tend to gravitate to on The Keg’s extensive menu.

We ended our evening with 4 spoons and an Apple Crumble.

The service by petite Sam (female) was more than attentive and it would be an understatement to say that a good time was had by all.

Equally important to me and this particular circle of friends was that the token amount of money spent to be a part of the evening was being funneled through the Keg Spirit Foundation to the Rehabilitation Centre for Children.  Our family has directly benefited by their equipment loans and modifications of adapted devices.  Therefore, we were happy to top up the $5 per dinner with a generous donation.

Being able to give back when you are so enjoying your evening, your life and your blessings, is such a pleasure.  The Keg makes it easy every year when they offer up a special menu that provides a built in contribution to their Keg Spirit Foundation.  A sneak peak at this years offerings include Herb Roasted Chicken, Prime Rib and Snow Crab, Sirloin with Jumbo Shrimp & Scallop and Baked Halibut.  I have to get back there soon…

Since 2001 the Keg Spirit Foundation has contributed more than $1 million to Big Brothers Big Sisters at both national and local levels.  Other national charities that have been supported include Free the Children (I will be  attending “We Day” again, later this month) and the Ladybug Foundation program, initiated by Winnipeg’s own Hannah Taylor.

I am looking forward to seeing what the final tally for the evening will be but in the mean time, the opportunity for a fun and relaxing night out with the girls-priceless.

Kath’s quote: “Time is an herb that cures all Diseases.”-Benjamin Franklin

Love-that is all.

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