One of the best ways to fill Half Your Plate (and all of your soup bowl) is with a simple puréed soup. They’re a time-honoured and super-simple way to get a whole lot of vegetable flavour on the table in a hurry – maybe even hide vegetables from finicky eaters. This one was custom created by Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick with Chef Michael Smith’s coaching!
Yield: MAKES 4 HEARTY BOWLS OF HOMEMADE GOODNESS
2 tablespoons (30 mL) of butter, more if you’re feeling indulgent, even a lot more, up to 1/2 cup (125 mL)
A large onion or two, finely chopped
2 or 3 or 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 mushrooms, cut into small pieces
4 cups (1 L) of chicken or vegetable broth (or just plain water)
½ teaspoon (2 mL) of basil
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of salt
Lots of freshly ground pepper
In a soup pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Toss in the onions and garlic, stirring and sizzling as the onions soften. Add your mushrooms and pour in the broth. Bring to a slow, steady simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, just long enough for the vegetables to soften but not long enough for the flavours to peak and fade, 20 minutes or so. In the last minute or two, stir in the basil. Season with salt and pepper.
Purée the works using your hand blender, tilting the pot and going for the depths. The longer you purée the smoother the soup. Alternatively use a food processor or blender. Ladle, serve and share!
© Chef Michael Smith – #HalfYourPlate
This time-honoured meal-in-a-pan is a wonderfully tasty way to show off your favourite potatoes any time of the day. Toss in some crisp bacon, crack in a few eggs and you’re ready to fill Half Your Plate with breakfast, lunch or dinner. Next level? For a full plate of flavour just top with a few handfuls of your favourite simple salad!
Leeks are the easiest-to-get-along-with members of the onion family. They’re deliciously sweet, mildly pungent and simple to prepare. In this recipe they’re paired with apples and thyme. They easily fill Half Your Plate with flavour so you can fill the other half with any simple pork, chicken or fish dish!