Sunchoke Soup with Tempeh & Pumpkin Seeds

We really enjoy sunchokes (a.k.a. Jerusalem artichokes), but they are a pain to clean!  Armed with my trusty vegetable peeler, I made short work of a bunch of them and a lone russet potato to make this soup.  Inspired by this recipe, I changed things up by using what we had at hand and it was delicious!  We ate some cold the other night and I almost liked it even more.  A refreshing alternative to vichyssoise!  For the tempeh and pumpkin seeds I made a marinade out of some soy sauce, grapefruit juice, sesame oil and a few other things from the fridge.  Srchicha was probably involved.  I let the tempeh soak for about an hour and then baked them in the oven at about 375F – turning them until all sides were golden brown.  I then brushed some of the leftover marinade over pumpkin seeds and baked those until they got toasty.  These were the toppers for the soup.

Sunchoke Soup


  • 1 potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • about a pound of sunchokes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3-4 cups of broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half or creamer of your choice
  • salt and pepper to taste

To Do:

  1. Place cubed sunchokes and potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil.  Cook until a fork pierces the pieces easily and drain.
  2. Rinse the pot and add a bit of olive oil to coat the bottom.  Over medium heat, saute the onions until soft and translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.  Put the cooked sunchokes and potatoes in the pot and add about 3 cups of the broth.  Let it come to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and blend the soup carefully (blender, immersion blender, food processed, whatever – just be careful with hot liquids!).  Put it back in the pot and add the cream and bring to a gentle simmer.  Add more broth if the soup seems too thick.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve topped with seitan cubes, pumpkin seeds or chives for garnish.

Simple is Best – Roasted Cauliflower

We have been out of town, celebrating birthdays, Passover and soon, Easter – so busy!  Here is a lovely little part of our dinner from last night – roasted cauliflower with tahini/lemon sauce.

I roughly chopped a whole head of cauliflower, mixed in some olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and red pepper flakes and let it roast in a 375F oven for about 35 minutes (or until it gets as roasted as you like it).  I think mixed up a few tablespoons of tahini with a few tablespoons of lemon juice to make a quick drizzle/dipping sauce.  Pour atop the roasted cauliflower, season with some paprika, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with more sauce on the side to dip the florets in.  A deliciously easy side dish.

Super Simple Rutabaga Soup

Rutabaga and Potato Soup

Phil bought an enormous rutabaga at the Coop a week or two ago and also made a huge batch of stock this past Sunday.  Rutabaga + stock sounded like soup to me.  Very hearty and easy to make – an excellent weeknight meal!

Super Simple Rutabaga Soup


  • olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 huge rutabaga or a few small ones, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1.5 quarts vegetable stock or a mix of stock and water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sesame seeds to garnish (optional)

To Do:

  1. Heat up a splash of olive oil in a large pot and add the onion.  Cook the onion until it is very dark – about 10 minutes.  Going for a burned onion taste here.  Add some water to the pot if it’s getting too smokey.
  2. Add the garlic and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until rutabaga and potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.  Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
  4. Puree the soup in batches with a blending machine of your choice.  Or don’t puree, this recipe is also lovely as a chunky soup.
  5. Top with toasted sesame seeds if desired.
  6. Serve with salad and some True Grit Cornbread Muffins for a meal.

Maple Glazed Carrots and Currants

Wanting to make something beyond a another carrot slaw (which we both love), I decided to try my hand at some glazed carrots and they came out great!  Very simple and you only need a few ingredients – this is a lovely side dish for cold nights.

Maple Glazed Carrots and Currants


  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (use as much or as little as you like)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut on the diagnal
  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
  • bit of wine, stock or water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • handful of currants
  • salt to taste

To Do:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add the carrots when hot.  Stir briskly, lower heat and cover for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the shallots and the other liquid (wine or what have you) and cover for a few more minutes.  I just poured a bit of wine (maybe 1/4 cup) and gave it all a good stir.  I wanted the carrots crisp, not mush.
  3. Add the maple syrup (honey would probably make a good substitute) and the currants.  Stir again until liquid is almost dissolved and carrots have a shiny, bright orange color.
  4. Serve!

Lacinato Salad: A New Spin

We love our raw kale at $30/Week and found a new recipe that married the bitterness of kale with the sweetness of butternut squash and richness of the goat cheese.  Thanks to our friend Robin, who made a version that we later attempted at home.

Lacinato & Butternut Squash Salad


  • 1/2 butternut squash (peeled, cut into small cubes)
  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale (washed, ribbed and chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced finely
  • juice of one lemon
  • glug of olive oil (1-2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • breadcrumbs, optional

To Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and place the squash cubes on parchment lined paper.  Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook for 15-20 minutes or until well roasted.  In the meantime, prep the kale, juice the lemon, etc.
  2. Place chopped kale in a large bowl and add the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Massage the kale for about 5 minutes with your washed hands.  Really massage the kale – it’ll help break it down and make it more palatable if you’re not into raw kale (you will be!!).
  3. Throw in the rest of the ingredients and gently toss.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Add breadcrumbs if desired.  Enjoy!