Roasted Root Vegetable and Turkey Soup

Serena Norr wins the” squash trophy” for her aromatic Roasted Root Vegetable and Turkey Soup Recipe

Repost from What’s the Soup from 2010:

This weekend I had the honor to participate in Prospect Farm’s Soup Cook-Off – a communal cooking event/fundraiser for a new volunteer-run farm in Windsor Terrace. Once an open plot of land, the area has been transformed into a fully functional compost deposit station where locals can drop-off their non-cooked waste to be turned into soil. Since there is a high-lead concentration in the soil, organizers are starting slow with the growing process where a small plot of land is used to grow carrots, romaine lettuce, kale, and beets. There are also several squashes that no one has planted but continue to thrive at the farm, including four to six different shapes of squash
For the cook-off, I entered a roasted root vegetable and turkey soup/stew that I also made for the soup party a few weeks ago. One rule of the event was that all of the soups had to have at least one ingredient that came from a local source. Most of my soups use ingredients that come from my local farmers market, so that part was pretty easy in addition I used organic turkey and fresh herbs. A two-part recipe (some marinating is involved), this is a great soup/stew that is filing and has various flavors (sweet and savory) that is a healthy variation to a standard meat chili. I ended up winning the people’s choice (see my squash trophy) that was tied with a cauliflower and chorizo soup with kale chips. I hope to have some of the recipes from the cook-off on here real soon!

Roasted Root Vegetable and Turkey Soup

ingredients
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut up
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 2 turnips, cut up
  • 5-6 beets, peeled and cut up
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 carrots, cut up
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut
  • 1 pound of turkey meat
  • 1 leek, cut up
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped up
  • 2 shallots, peeled and cut
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 bunch of fresh sage – (about a handful)
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of celery salt
  • salt and pepper
  • drizzle of olive oil (enough to coat the vegetables)

directions

1 If you can, chop up all of the vegetables and marinate them overnight in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
2 The next day, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and add the veggies to a baking sheet or aluminum foil. Let roast for 1 hour.
3 While it is cooking, add some olive oil to the pan and cook the turkey, along with the shallots and leeks.
4 Add water to a pot, along with the onion, garlic, apple, sage and the roasted vegetables.
5 Add the celery salt, pepper, and salt and let cook for an hour, stirring periodically and tasting.
6 Add more water if necessary and serve after 2 hours of cooking.

Pesto Cauliflower and Carrot Soup

Pesto Cauliflower and Carrot Soup

reprinted from What’s the Soup:

My family and I recently started planting some herbs on our porch/urban garden since it is finally warm outside. I was thrilled to have a more economical way to use fresh ingredients in my soups as well as the opportunity to test them out this weekend in this Pesto Cauliflower and Carrot Soup. I added in some fresh lemon thyme, rosemary, and sage as well as some samples of Garlic Gold that I had, minced garlic, onions and a small amount of salt and pepper. I also added in some pesto (pre-made) that we had around the house to create a peppery and distinct flavor to this minimal but super tasty spring soup. Note: In general, I would use this homemade pesto recipe.

Pesto Cauliflower and Carrot Soup

ingredients

  • 2 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and cut up
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced and cut up
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Gold
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2-3 carrots, cut up
  • 2 tablespoons of pesto
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh lemon thyme
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh sage
  • salt and pepper, to taste

directions

1 Pour water into a medium-sized pot and let boil on a low flame.
2 Cut up the onions and garlic and add them to the pot, along with the fresh herbs and Garlic Gold. Let boil.
3 Cut up the cauliflower and carrots and add them to the pot.
4 Cover and let cook for 20 minutes.
5 Add the pesto, salt and pepper and stir.
6 Turn off the flame and blend the ingredients together with a hand blender until you reach desired consistency.

Grandma Fay’s Matzo Ball Soup

Grandma Fay’s Matzo Ball Soup

reprinted from What’s the Soup:

Happy Hanukkah (or Chanukah)! This eight-day Festival of Lights revolves around spending time with family and friends, playing games like the drediel, lighting the menorah, and enjoying delicious foods like latkes, “sufganiyot” (jelly-filled doughnuts), and brisket. Being a winter holiday, it is also perfect to enjoy soups – ranging from the traditional matzo ball soup and cabbage soup to new variations such as a beef and braised beef soup. Enjoy the holiday and the soup!

Chicken broth

Grandma Fay’s Matzo Ball Soup 

SERVES MAKES 6 MED. MATZO BALLS

ingredients

part 1 – chicken stock ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken cut into 1/4’s (I used a small organic chicken)
 (Chicken Stock Ingredients)
  • 1 large pot almost completely filled (75%) with water
 (Chicken Stock Ingredients)
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut up
  • 2 small parsnips or 1 large parsnip, cut up
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced into small cubes
  • 1 small bunch of dill tied together with white thread
  • 1 small bunch of parsley tied together with white thread

part 2 – matzo ball mix ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of cold seltzer

directions

1 Fill up a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and cover.
Matzo Ball Soup

 Part One
2 While that is cooking cut up, tie the thread around the dill and parsley, and the clean the vegetables.
3 When the water/chicken starts to boil, clean any bubbles or dirt that acclimates to the surface.
4 Add all of the vegetables and the salt to the pot. Set to a very low flame and allow the water to simmer slowly for two hours. Periodically check the pot and taste the concoction, adding salt if needed.
5 After three hours let the vegetables sit in the pot until they cool. Discard all vegetables except carrots. Depending on when you are making the matzo meal you may need to keep your broth in the fridge or remove the vegetables and place the pot immediately back on the heat as the matzo balls are added.
Part 2 – Matzo Ball Mix Ingredients
6 In a medium-sized bowl mix eggs and oil with a fork, but do not beat the mixture.
7 Add the matzo meal, salt, seltzer, and mix together. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
8 Start your pot of broth again and bring it to a slight boil. After 20 minutes remove the matzo from the fridge and wet hands.
9 Make the balls and place them in the boiling pot. Lower the flame, covers, and cook for 40 minutes.
10 Remove the matzo balls and broth with a spoon, place into a soup bowl, and enjoy!

Soup Lovers’ Holiday Gift Guide

soup lovers holiday guide

It is crazy how quickly it goes from the Thanksgiving to the hectic holiday season. With so many guides and lists out there, I was equally exited to add to that by complying something fun for the soup lovers. From the best bowls to a golden pot, here is the first-ever Seriously Soupy gift guide for people that can’t get enough of their soup.

Here are some of the favorites that the soup lover in your life will love.

Fleur De Lys Soup Bowl from Antro

Fleur De Lys Soup Bowl: Gorgeous color and style from Anthro.

dinera-bowl-blue__0097514_PE238169_S4

Dinner Bowls: Have these at home. They are sturdy and simple, and pretty cheap.

Cool bowls from Target

ocean-themed bowls from Target

Target Bowls: I love going to Target for really everything. They have an incredible collection of fun and affordable bowls for the holidays. Some favorites include the Barnet Bronze Bowls and the Pier 52 ocean-themed bowls for something more kitschy.

Savor the Scenery Container Bowls

Savor the Scenery Container Bowls: For leftover soup, I love these ode to retro bowls from Mod Cloth.

Le Creuset Signature Oval Dutch Oven with Gold Knob

Le Creuset in Gold: For the Grand Daddy of all pots, I am digging this golden one from Le Creuset or this stainless steel pot from Create and Barrel. But realistically, this is one from Belgique is one I generally use all the time. I also love this tureen with ladle that would be really fun for entertaining.

Saveur: Soups and Stews

Saveur: Soups and Stews: For some soup inspiration, I want to check out this book Saveur: Soups and Stews, that is filled with over 80 recipes from the Editors at Saveur.

Natural Stone Washed Linen Apron

Natural Stone Washed Apron: I really like the natural look one from etsy by Linen Tales.

Stampede of Approval Apron

Another favorite is this fun Stampede of Approval Apron from ModCloth.

 

WÜSTHOF collection knives

 

stainless-steel-ladle

Tools: For soup making tools, I love this nine block knife kit for veggie chopping and this stainless steel ladle for dishing out soup. Another favorite is this wooden laden from Jonathan’s Spoons that includes a spout.

Delicious Eats at La Mela Ristorante in NYC

La Mela Restaurant in NYC

Photo by Suzanne Cohen Photography

It is a rare treat to go out to eat out by myself. With three little ones, my meals usually involve a circus act of pulling toys out of my bag to trying to shovel food in my mouth before a meltdown/cry fest happens. The enjoyment factor isn’t really part of the deal, but at least I don’t have to cook that night.

So, I was thrilled when several bloggers organized a holiday party in NYC at La Mela Ristorante, an Italian eatery located in the heart of Little Italy, where I could sit, enjoy, and stuff my face in peace.

After the hectic dash from Grand Central to Little Italy, I was thrilled to see La Mela filled with some many blogging friends as we all brought items to donate for a group raffle. There were tons of cool selections from wine to a bra/underwear bag (yes, it exists!) to games and toys for the kids. After some wine and bread, we all got to chatting to learn more about this unique restaurant.

La Mela Restaurant in NYC

The restaurant first opened 25 years ago, and quickly become a staple of the neighborhood. Natalie Diaz, Founder of Twinversity, told us about how her uncle purchased the place after two Italian men left. “We don’t want a Starbucks on Mulberry Street,” she added. As a 4th generation resident on Mulberry Street the culture and history of her life in NYC and throughout the walls of the restaurant runs deep.

La Mela Restaurant in NYC

La Mela Restaurant in NYC

Today, her husband John manages and overseas the place that is a popular spot for locals and tourists, and after our delicious experience it is easy to see why. We started with a family-style experience by enjoying some incredible apps including mozzarella with tomatoes, calamari, and crazy/good baked claims. Platters of grilled vegetables came out next with an incredible cheese side, and then pasta (gnocchi, tortellini and penne). The sauces on all of these dishes were incredible, especially the marinara that I wish I could take home. I was so stuffed at that point, and even more food came out including shrimp, veal and chicken – so incredible!

What was really distinct to me was how high quality the food was while also being affordable. They have a $9.95 lunch, and a typical entree is around $20-$29 dollars  – that is definitely rare for NYC and lower Manhattan! They also have different family-style options (ranging from $25-$85per person), which is a really great option for events, holiday parties, and family gatherings.

La Mela Restaurant in NYC

La Mela Restaurant in NYC

La Mela Restaurant in NYC

Natalie then gave us a tour of the amazing space, which is actually composed of four separate rooms. We winded through a lively main area, to a prep area to separate party rooms that featured cool Italian art, murals, and a Matthew Modine picture (who also happens to be a regular at La Mela).

An incredible evening of laughs, friends, and delicious food made this a wonderful NYC experience that will stay in my heart (and belly) for a long time. I can’t wait to go back with my own family and for La Mela the juggling act will be so worth it!

La Mela Ristorante
167 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013
(212) 431-9493

I was given a complimentary dinner as part of the blogger holiday party – thank you Natalie and La Mela Ristorante! 

Snack Attack with Two Moms in the Raw

Two Mom in the Raw Snacks

As a stay-at-home and work-from-home mom, I am always either running around or attached to my computer. During some deadlines, I have a hard time leaving my computer where I usually end up eating way later than I should. Or, there are the other times when I am running around with the kids (who are always hungry, by the way), and need something, like now! To help with mid-afternoon noshing and snack attacks, I have been eating the super healthy and delicious granola bars from Two Moms in the Raw.

Healthy snacks from Two Moms in the Raw

Created by Shari and Marsha (a daughter and mother team) who started eating raw foods when she was diagnosed with MS. She found that raw foods worked for her, and she started by selling the bars in cars, at the Boulder County Farmers Market and throughout Boulder.

The bars themselves are bursting with goodness that are raw, vegan, free of wheat, dairy, soy, refined sugars and gluten free! The line includes granola bars, nut bars, crackers, cereal, truffle bars, and more – all of which are 100% organic.

We have been testing out the bars, and I love how they are wholesome as well as how delicious they are. The Bring on the Blueberry variety is one of our favorites that is a combo of various seeds, nuts, fruits and spices that give it a really flavor that is crunchy and sweet.

The crackers are also amazing that are a blend of flaxseed, kelp and spices. The grain-free cereal is also an incredible way to start the day that is packed with apples, bananas, coconut, dates, figs and raisins.

Whether you need a healthy snack (like, now) or a healthier option to start your day, I love the line from Two Moms in the Raw that makes it easier to snack better.

We were given samples for review.

Creamy Bell Pepper and Orange Tomato Soup Recipe

 Creamy Bell Pepper and Orange Tomato Soup

We are officially full-on in the holiday eating season. I am still stuffed from Thanksgiving, so from now until Christmas, I am going to try to keep things a little lighter with soups that won’t weigh me down. This recipe was originally featured on the site and later on What’s The Soup that makes for a great lunch or as a side for dinner. The recipe uses yogurt, which gives it a creamy texture and includes bell peppers and orange tomatoes that is a little different from a traditional tomato soup. Enjoy!

Creamy Bell Pepper and Orange Tomato Soup

Ingredients
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth, approx.
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 3 orange tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped up
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped up
  • 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt such as FAGE
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • bunch of fresh basil
  • bunch of fresh lemon thyme
  • pinch of salt and pepper

directions

1 Add the vegetable broth to a medium-sized pot and turn on a low flame.
 Chop up the onions and garlic and add them to the pot.
2 Chop up and
add the tomatoes and peppers, along with the fresh basil, lemon thyme,
cinnamon, salt and pepper.
3 Let the soup cook on a low flame, checking
on it periodically.
4 After 30 minutes (or until ingredients soften)
taste the soup — you may need more cinnamon or salt. Turn off the
flame, let cook and the soup contents to a blender.
5 Scoop out a 1/2
cup of yogurt (approx) and add it to the blender, liquefy and pour
into a bowl. Enjoy!

Cooking Experiences at Woodloch

Cooking Classes at Woodloch

We had the best time when we visited the Woodloch Resort back in 2014. Located in the Pocono Mountains, Woodloch is also an incredible destination for the holidays with some amazing programs like Yule Log Hunts, carriage rides, light shows, festive decorations, and Winter Olympics, abound. One of the resort’s most important traditions, however, began just three years ago with the inception of its 12 Days of Giving program, the goal of which is to focus on the true spirit of the holidays – the spirit of giving back.

Cooking Classes at Woodloch

I was particularly excited about their cooking classes where their culinary team goes to local senior centers from the Hawley, Hamlin, and Honesdale areas. Families can get in on the action and participate where a bus provides transportation to and from Woodloch Pines. How amazing is that!

Check out more of their giving incentives for the 12 Days of Giving below:

  1. Brightening Birthdays – With the help of the national organization Volunteers of America, Woodloch will be throwing a birthday party for some very deserving children at a New York City homeless shelter. Woodloch staff will organize and play games with the children as well as provide decorations and baked goods from the resort’s very own bakery.
  2. Hero Appreciation – Woodloch staff will spread holiday cheer and offer thanks by bringing homemade baked goods to fire stations in Long Island, NY.
  3. Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania Arts & Crafts Drive – Woodloch’s Social Department will collect donated arts and crafts supplies for children being treated at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
  4. Ronald McDonald House Dinner – Members of the Woodloch team will go to the Ronald McDonald house in Scranton and prepare a homemade meal for 20 residents of the home.
  5. Salvation Army Coffee Drop – The Woodloch Social Staff will be stationed outside the local Salvation Army location, handing out hot coffee and Woodloch Bakery sweets to workers, shoppers and donors.
  6. Operation Christmas Child – Shoeboxes filled with shoes, toys, and school supplies that Woodloch staff has been collecting will be delivered to children around the world.
  7. Winter Clothing Drive – Woodloch Pines staff has set up collection boxes around the resort to gather new and gently used winter clothing items, such as coats, hats, boots, and gloves, which will go to shelters in the local area.
  8. Angel Tree – Staff members can purchase holiday gifts for children in need by choosing an ornament from the tree, located in the staff lunchroom.
  1. Show on the Road – The Woodloch Crew will perform a strolling Christmas show through a local senior center.
  2. Thank an Employee – The Woodloch Family will reward randomly selected employees with a few extra dollars for the holidays.
  3. Fill Up Gas Tanks – Woodloch staff will hand out Mobile gas cards to unsuspecting drivers who pull into The Market at Woodloch to fill up.
  4. Cooking Class– The culinary team at Woodloch Pines will be providing a cooking class to local senior centers from the Hawley, Hamlin, and Honesdale areas. Avery Bus will provide transportation to Woodloch Pines for all participants free of charge.

For more info, please visit: woodloch.com.

 

Vegetable Kale Soup

Vegetable Kale Soup

It is so great to find old recipes on the web like this Vegetable Kale Soup on What’s the Soup. I really love these type of soups before a major gorge-fest – like Thanksgiving – where you can nourish your body and pump it with tons of vitamins and minerals. It is also great throughout the winter to help you stay healthy and warm. Enjoy!

Vegetable Kale Soup

ingredients
  • 6-8 cups of water
  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped
  • bunch of dill
  • bunch of parsley
  • 1 can of kidney beans (or fresh if you have time)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
  • 2 parsnips, cut up
  • 3-4 mushrooms, cut up
  • 3-4 carrots, cut up
  • 2 cups of frozen peas
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • salt and pepper, to taste

directions

1 Add water to a pot and let boil on a medium flame.
2 Add the bay leaves, garlic and the parsley and dill.
3 Cut up the parsnips, carrots and celery and place them in the pot.
4 Switch the flame to low and cover.
5 Let cook for about an hour, checking on the soup periodically.
6 Add the mushrooms, peas, kale and the beans and cover – for about another hour.
7 Add salt and pepper to taste and let cook some more a very low flame.
8 Taste and enjoy!

Easy Way to Give Back with Food for Thoughts Cards

Food forThoughts Cards

I love to discover new ways that the kids can give back. At the recent KidzVuz holiday event, we all had the opportunity to meet with Connie Charney, Founder of Food for Thoughts Cards, who quickly got us to work by drawing and writing holiday cards to those in need.

With the purchase of a Food for Thoughts Card a sandwich will be donated to the hungry

The company started when Connie would travel to NYC and bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She noted, “as I walk along the city streets, I give the sandwich to someone in need. These are my “give-a-sandwich” days. I’ve been giving sandwiches for years and now I’ve taken that effort up a notch through Food for Thoughts Cards.”

Thank You cards from Foods for Thoughts Cards

 

Cards from Foods for Thoughts Cards

Through this incentive, the company is able to donate a sandwich for every card that is purchased. This includes Thank You cards, Anniversary cards, and great Holiday cards. At the KidzVuz event, I loved that this was a simple way for the kids to get involved where they were able to make a card to someone in need while also developing an awareness of these issues.

As Connie noted, “with the purchase of each card, the cash equivalent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is donated to a food pantry, soup kitchen, or other organization that feeds the hungry. I’m just trying to make a small difference in feeding the hungry.”

And for $3.25 that is really an easy way we can all give back.

For more information, please visit: http://www.foodforthoughtscards.com/