thai coconut soup with chicken and lemongrass

thai coconut soup with chicken and lemongrass
thai coconut soup with chicken and lemongrass
thai coconut soup with chicken and lemongrass
thai coconut soup with chicken and lemongrass

Sometimes I see things quite clearly but it takes a bit for them to fall into place. At times I want to rush the process but when it’s not quite solid in my mind, it gets tucked away. And when I least expect it, it hits me like a pile of bricks. I can’t stop thinking about it and want it more than anything.

So this recipe took shape. I wrote the name of it months ago and did nothing with it. I’d glance at it occasionally in my reminders and ignore it. I knew I wanted to make it but the details were blurry. However, several days ago, as I sat at my grey desk at work, surrounded by fluorescent lights, emails dinging away, I saw it all before me; colorful, each ingredient pouring out of my thoughts as though I’d made it before. I feverishly wrote, seeing it unfold in my mind’s eye.

I don’t question these moments. They can’t be chased, sought out or wished for. They happen as if by divine intervention. They feel real, raw and gratifying.

But the truth is, this recipe is anything but miraculous - it’s just really damn good. Saying that about my own food makes me sound slightly if not quite narcissistic but I’ll be honest, I loved it. It took one try - because I knew what I wanted it to be. I sat over the pot with spices at the ready…adding steadily until it became a reality. For this coconut soup, the broth is everything.

The beauty is that you most likely already have these ingredients in your pantry and fridge. You need coconut milk, broth, spices, a few veggies and rotisserie chicken. That's right - I wanted to keep it simple and find that rotisserie chicken adds a unique flavor to the broth.

But there’s one ingredient that makes this whole dish - and that’s lemongrass. It seems insignificant, considering that it’s just a stalk but I assure you, it’s where the flavor lies. Most grocery stores carry it and if not, good old Amazon is always a good option. I promise, you won’t regret making the effort to obtain it as it will truly make the soup.

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thai coconut soup with chicken and lemongrass
thai coconut soup with chicken and lemongrass
thai coconut soup with chicken and lemongrass

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  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 25

  • makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

Equipment:

  • large soup pot

Directions:

Bring chicken broth, coconut milk, red Thai chili paste, coconut milk, coriander, smashed garlic, ginger and lemongrass to a boil. Reduce heat and cook on low for 10 minutes.

Add mushrooms, red pepper, sugar, salt and chicken and cook for another 15 minutes on low.

Lastly, add basil and cilantro, remove lemon grass and if you wish garlic cloves and serve with additional chopped basil.


If you like Thai soup, you’re going to love this one because it’s easy to make and far better for you than any takeout soup! The flavor of lemongrass, Thai red curry sauce and coconut milk are a feast for the senses. #paleo #glutenfree #chicken #thaicoconutsoup #coconutsoup #thaisoup #thaicuisine #thaifood #calmeats #grainfree #whole30

golden cauliflower soup with bacon

cauliflower in bowls with napkin
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golden cauliflower soup with bacon
edible flowers in bowl

January is the saddest month. I feel bad for it sometimes - it didn’t choose to be a winter month and one that nearly everyone detests. A month with just as many days as its previous much revered forerunner. Standing in the shadow of December is a plight none of the other months have to endure. Even February knew to do the right thing by shortening its days - almost in a - ‘see, I at least did the right thing‘ way.

For some, though, January is a month of change - terms such as whole 30, detox and veganuary come to mind. Motivation galore to strip away all of the previous year’s doings and start fresh. However, none of the terms apply to me. I don’t do detoxes, I’m not vegan and whole 30 is not for me even though most of the food on this blog is. I like wine and chocolate too much after all.

But despite being a much disliked month, January brings silence and contemplation. Just think back on all of December’s obligations - parties, presents, travel. January expects none of that. It allows me to just be for a while. Its bitter cold temperatures and the occasional snow are a perfectly good excuse to not over-commit.

So as we’re getting close to the end of it, I would like to thank it for its service and dedicate this golden cauliflower soup to it. It feels only right that a soup this warm and creamy be had during January. I mean, of course it’s perfectly acceptable any other time but to me it just feels appropriate now.

After all, using seasonal ingredients is one way to at least partly come to accept winter. And as leeks reach their peak in January, they’re going to be the base for this velvety, smooth cauliflower soup full of spices and topped with crispy bacon. But if you do follow a vegan lifestyle, it’s perfectly fine to skip the bacon entirely.

cauliflower soup with bacon
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golden cauliflower soup with bacon

  • prep time: 5

  • cooking time: 40

  • makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 slab thick bacon, chopped (skip if vegan)

  • 1 leek, sliced (white parts only)

  • 1 head cauliflower, stems removed and cut into florets

  • 1 small potato, peeled and cut into cubes

  • 2 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1” knob fresh ginger, minced

  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • Italian parsley for garnish (optional)

Equipment:

  • large soup pot

  • blender

Directions:

Preheat soup pot on medium heat. Add bacon and cook for 5 minutes until crispy. (If vegan, skip this step and use 1 tbsp oil of you choice and move on to next step). Remove bacon when cooked and lay on paper towel lined plate.

In same pan, add sliced leek and a good pinch of salt. Cook until leek has softened - about 5 minutes. If you need additional oil, you can always add a bit more.

Add cauliflower florets and potato and mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add spices, ginger, salt and pepper and toss to cook for 30 seconds to let spices release their flavor. Add broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and let soup simmer for 25 minutes until vegetables are fork tender.

Next, carefully add the vegetables to the blender reserving the liquid and adding a bit at a time as you blend, until you reach desired creaminess. Adjust seasonings if you need more salt.

Serve with reserved bacon bits and chopped parsley.


This cauliflower soup is loaded with spices and flavor. It’s a creamy, velvety soup perfect anytime of year. It can easily be customized to fit a vegan lifestyle by skipping the bacon entirely. #cauliflowersoup, #whole30soup, #whole30 #paleo #vegan #turmeric #ginger #calmeats #spices #soup #lunchideas #dinnerrecipes #freshrecipes #paleorecipes #whole30recipes #glutenfree #dairyfreesoup #dairyfree







curried butternut squash soup

curried butternut squash soup
butternut squash, onion, garlic, sweet potato and thyme
garlic and thyme
curried butternut squash soup

This past week has been a strange one of sorts. The beating heart of my entire cooking operation is undergoing some cosmetic changes. Frankly I’ve been putting this project off for years because I knew what it would entail. Chaos. And for someone with anxiety, chaos in the house means chaos in the head.

I prefer order or at least some form of it. Call me crazy but if my surroundings are in a state of disarray, so is the general state of my mind. I’ve never been good at the compartmentalization business and just find myself wanting to escape from crazy messes or ignore them all together (and watch 2 hours of Chvrches videos instead). And by no means am I a neat freak or even overly organized. Hardly! But I need some sort of order, I need things to be as Anthony Bourdain so famously liked to say, mis-en-place. And I agree, I just like my shit to be in its right place so I can easily access it.

So right now, everything is everywhere and life with two small children and a husband who’s been knee deep in paint most of the day, has been trying. But I’m adapting; managing to cook as best as I can in the shell that used to be the kitchen.

I’m sticking with dishes that can be made simply without a ton of pots, without a lot of space, without a lot of fuss. For me, that’s always been soup. Soup is not a fussy food and it’s almost impossible to screw it up.

And since it’s fall and already too cold for my liking, I decided a warming, curried butternut squash soup would do. The effort required for this one is pretty minimal. You cut some vegetables, throw them in the oven, roast them for a while, toss them in a pot of broth and when finished cooking, puree the whole thing. Voila!

So whether you have an upside down kitchen or a perfectly organized one, you’ll be able to successfully make this curried butternut squash soup in under an hour.

curried butternut squash soup
curried butternut squash soup

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curried butternut squash soup

  • Prep time: 5-10 minutes

  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes

  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes

  • 1 medium apple, peeled and cut into large chunks 

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled - left whole

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into large chunks 

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil

  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 dry) 

  • 1/2 tsp salt (you can always add more later)

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1/4 tsp ginger

  • 1/8 tsp curry powder

  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (I like this one

  • optional: pumpkin seeds and almond slices

  • optional: coconut milk

Equipment:

  • roasting sheet

  • large soup pan

  • food processor or blender

  • foil or parchment paper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add vegetables to parchment paper lined roasting sheet. Add thyme, avocado oil, salt and pepper and toss everything together. Roast for 25-30 minutes stirring once half way through. Cook until all vegetables are soft.

Meanwhile, add broth to soup pan and start heating it. Once vegetables are finished roasting, remove garlic clove and discard, add all veggies to broth along with ginger and curry powder and simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Let cool for a few minutes before adding to blender or food processor. Add a little at a time as adding to much of the soup to the food processor/blender creates quite the mess.

Serve on its own or with a splash of coconut milk, almond slices and pumpkin seeds.


Here is a simple, warming butternut squash soup recipe that’s you’re going to love. Roasting the vegetables first, gives them a delicious, hearty flavor. This butternut squash soup is paleo, vegan and whole 30 approved too and just plain delicious! #soup, #fall, #calmeats, #butternutsquashsoup, #vegan, #whole30, #grainfree, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, #fallsoup, #whole30soup, #vegansoup, #paleosoup, #curriedsoup, #curriedbutternutsquash

sausage kale and carrot soup

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Yesterday I got this pang in my chest...a need to go to the ocean, which I think about more times than I care to admit. I don't know what it is that draws me to it. I suppose it's the thing that draws so many to the shoreline. For me, it's an obsession, which can't be silenced. Most like going to the beach in the summer. It's obvious. I do too but I like the beach in the winter, fall and spring. 

My husband and I have taken several trips in the winter. Something we used to do more frequently pre-children. He reluctantly agrees to go even though he doesn't have the same fondness for the beach in the winter as I do. To me, perhaps one of loveliest things is waking up early, layering up with anything available in my suitcase and walking on the beach until my lips remind me that they're going to split if I don't immediately give them warmth. 

The feeling of walking on an empty beach with nothing but the wind, sand and crashing waves feels a bit like: "shhhhh....relax". There isn't much room for thoughts because the experience itself is overwhelming. I don't know how to take it in more. I want to create extra space in my body, in my mind to preserve this feeling that can't be preserved. It's hard to put into words something visceral but the ocean does something to me. It transforms me. However, that feeling quickly fades once I'm frozen to the core. 

Such cold, blistery beach strolls call for warm food - mainly soup. One of the most delicious soups I've had after such a walk was at a local restaurant in the beach town we frequently visit. It was a sausage, bean and greens soup, which inspired me to make my own version of it. While I do eat legumes now and then, they're not a regular part of my diet anymore so I decided to skip them for this recipe. However, the soup does need some creaminess so I opted for potato instead. The combination of sausage, kale and potato is glorious. If you want a bit of a kick, feel free to use spicy sausage, which is my favorite, but in order for my kids to eat it, I try to stick to mild. Also, if you're strictly paleo, feel free to skip the potato all together. 

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sausage kale and carrot soup

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • cooking time: 40-45 minutes

  • makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 6 medium carrots chopped into 1" pieces

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 lb Italian mild or spicy sausage, casings removed

  • 1 russet potato, cut into bite size pieces (skip if strictly paleo)

  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp dry thyme

  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, torn into bite size pieces

Equipment

  • large soup pot

  • wooden slotted spoon

Directions

Preheat soup pan on medium heat. Add olive oil, onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until onion is translucent - about 8 minutes.

Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add sausage to pan, breaking it up with wooden spoon into bite size pieces. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until browned.

Next, add carrots and potatoes and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add rest of ingredients aside from kale and cook for 25 minutes. Add kale in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator in an air tight container. 

* Soup always tastes better the second day


Soup is amazing anytime of the year but I find it to be particularly so when the weather gets cooler and the body just needs that extra warmth. This sausage, kale, potato and carrot soup is the perfect solution for when you want a little something hearty and warming. It's whole30 with paleo option and 100% delicious. #soup, #whole30, #paleo, #paleosoup, #whole30soup, #calmeats, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, #realfood, #fall, #kale, #sausage

coconut cilantro sweet potato soup

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Sunday is my cooking day. I generally try to take a good chunk of the day and focus on making at least one recipe, get a shoot in and maybe if I'm lucky even get some editing and writing in. My plan was to work on a coconut cilantro sweet potato soup. That was until my kids decided to re-write how my day would go. As a parent, I've learned to roll with things as much as I possibly can. I used to get pretty frustrated when things didn't work out as I'd hoped but I'm slowly learning that it will not get me anywhere. 

Something I have been thinking about lately is my sense of self. When I was young, I had this idea of who I was, what I liked and what defined me. Admittedly I also thought it was something unwavering. I suppose it was a naive way of thinking as I now believe that experiences can shape us. I'm not the woman I was 10 years ago and will not be who I am today, 10 years from now. 

One thing that proved my identity to be fluid and far from fixed, was having children. You see, before I was a parent, I didn't really understand kids. Not that I didn't like them, but had no exposure to them. Then came the day I found out I was pregnant. All experiences up until that point just moved past me and while significant in their own way, they just skimmed the surface. The moment I learned I was carrying a human being inside me, my sense of self became rocky. I went through weeks and weeks of not just relentless nausea but constant questioning and wondering how I was supposed to fit into this role that changed me in the blink of an eye. I'm sure if you're a parent, you can probably relate to having experienced something similar. 

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Then came the actual parenting part, which is as much humbling as it is trying. Being a parent has forced me to put on hold my selfish tendencies, at least in some respect. As much as I hate admitting it, on most days, I'm at the mercy of my kids. Using rational thought and persuasion does not work on a 18 month old and a 4.5 year old. I'm forced to bend and twist in all sorts of ways in order to get actual adult stuff done. 

But once in a while I'm caught off guard when my son runs for his step stool, parks it next to me and says: "I'm going to help you cook, mama". If only for a brief moment it feels like my adult self and my mother self can coexist and be one. So little hands, busy peeling sweet potatoes, helped to make soup.

The idea for it came from the broth of a curry I'd made. The combination of flavors was spot on. So I decided to take those flavors and turn them into a soup. It's by far one of my favorites and not just because it's sweet potato but because it has coconut milk in it. And if there's one food that brings me to my knees, it is coconut. It's simply spectacular in my book. 

This recipe is uncomplicated and if you're a spice lover, you're probably already sitting on a most of these. All you need for this soup are sweet potatoes, coconut milk, onion, broth, spices and cilantro. I have most of these ingredients on hand at all times, so it's a great one to whip up when you want a warming lunch. 


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coconut cilantro sweet potato soup

  • Prep time: 5 minutes

  • Baking time: 40 minutes

  • Makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large sweet potatoes cut into 1" pieces

  • 1 large onion chopped

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1 tbsp garam masala

  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander

  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 4 cups broth of your choice

  • 3/4 tsp salt divided

  • 1/4 ground pepper

  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

  • optional: top with sliced almonds

Equipment

  • food processor

  • large heavy soup pot

Directions

Preheat soup pan on medium heat. Add coconut oil, onion and 1/4 tsp salt. Sauté until onion is translucent - about 8 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, garam masala, coriander, ginger, turmeric, cumin, remaining 1/2 tsp salt and pepper and cook stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Next reduce heat to low and cook for about 25-30 minutes. 

Once sweet potatoes are soft, add coconut milk and chopped cilantro. Let cool for a few minutes before adding to food processor. 

Once pureed, you can serve with additional cilantro and almond slices. 


I can't say enough about this soup. It's one of my all time favorites. It's a comforting soup you can make year round but definitely ideal for the colder weather months. Coconut cilantro and roasted sweet potatoes blend beautifully to create a silky, flavorful soup. It's vegan, paleo as well as whole 30. #coconut, #sweetpotatoes, #sweetpotatosoup, #soup, #vegansoup, #paleo, #whole30, #calmeats, #vegan, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, #cilantro, #souprecipe