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
Sweet potatoes are a superfood. They’ve earned this title by being so packed with nutrients, ounce for ounce, that they’re just plain nutritionally dense. Quite simply, they’re one of the single healthiest foods you can bring to your table. Tasty and easy too. Especially with the bright flavours of curry and ease of canned chickpeas. For this recipe simply toss everything together, toss into the oven, then sit back and wait for the compliments!
I will admit that I was not a big fan of brussels sprouts as a kid but now that I’ve discovered pan-roasting I’m seriously hooked on them. This easy method is by far my favourite way to cook them. They’re so durable that you can easily caramelize them as they cook through. In this recipe they’re deliciously joined by bright orange and crunchy cashews.