Category Archives: Soup & Stews

Beans & Pasta: a vegetarian soup to warm you on the coldest night


Earlier in February, B and I went to visit his mother near Ottawa, ON.  February was a brutal month for snow and cold, as I’m sure many of you remember.

But one thing can make all that melt away….a piping hot bowl of home-made soup!

She had made a large pot of this soup and it was so delicious that I kept going back for more.

Not to mention…garnished with Parmesan cheese?  Yep, I’m there!  (This may be something to leave out if you’re going for vegetarian friendly)

I have since made it as well and it keeps getting better!  It’s also a nice recipe for experimenting as it leaves room for additions.

So, here we go:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, diced
2-3 parsnips, diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 heaping tsp of diced garlic (I love garlic!  You may wish to adjust this)
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
pepper, I used quite a bit as I wanted a peppery taste
dried chili flakes, added just a few for a bit of bite
1 can diced tomatoes
6-8 cups broth (I used chicken but vegetable would work here too…I also upped the broth closer to 8 cups as I added more pasta and beans than originally called for)
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can mixed beans, drained and rinsed (again, these two cans of beans can be whatever type of legume you wish to add)
1/2 cup pasta, I used what we decided to call “forearm” pasta….as in, not the elbow shape but the tiny tubes without the bend
grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrots and parsnips.  Cook until soft (5 mins).
Stir in garlic, basil, thyme, pepper and a few chill flakes if you wish.
Add tomatoes and broth.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 mins.
Add cabbage, beans and pasta.  Bring just to a boil again and let simmer for 5-10 until pasta is tender.

Stir in pepper and salt to taste.

Serve topped with grated parmesan cheese!

Curried Stew: Fast, Delicious and Vegetarian if you wish!

The first time I had this dish was at my brother-in-law’s house.  Well, farm.  We were up visiting for a week and I have to say that we ate incredibly well while we were there!

The meat, the eggs and even some of the vegetables were from about 100 feet from the house in varying directions.  Cows, chickens, pigs and an awesome garden!
We were sent home with 4 *huge* zucchini (zucchinis?) but that’s a story for another post. 🙂

The point being that all the food was beyond delicious, including this dish.  It was yummy both freshly made and the day after, so a good choice for meal planning and/or freezing for future meals.  A family member made it initially and when I asked for the recipe, she wrote it down for me…short, sweet and open to creative additions and substitutions.

Delicious AND easy?  My favourite kind of meal!

Curried Stew close up


Click here for the recipe or scroll to the bottom of the post.


This blog post will be short as the steps are straightforward and easy.  The hardest part was all the chopping of the veggies.

To start, brown the onions and the chicken.  I used chicken thighs but you could substitute tofu, some other vegetarian protein, or forego it all together if you wish.
I also browned them in a pot to save on dishes rather than using a frying pan.  In the end, the pot in the picture below wasn’t big enough so I moved up to my larger soup pot.

Browning the onions and chicken

Browning the onions and chicken

Onion and chicken in a pot. (Not sure what’s up with the colour of that photo)  I also added pepper and salt…but at this point you could add any spices that you think would go well with curry.

Now, remember what I said about having fresh veggies on the farm?  Yeah, now that I’m back in the city without a garden, cans are my friend.

tomatoes peas and coconut milk

Diced tomatoes, peas and coconut milk

Well, not completely.  I did use fresh vegetables too, including one of those zucchinis I brought home with me!  For the vegetables, I would say to look in your fridge and use up what you have.  I added celery, cauliflower and zucchini but you could also add potatoes, carrots, etc.  Depends how much chopping you want to do!

celery and cauliflower


And then….it all goes in the pot (except the zucchini) and left to simmer.

simmering stew

I took the above photo after adding the zucchini.  I originally held it back and let the stew simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Then I added the zucchini and let it go for another 10 minutes or so.  Otherwise, the zucchini turns to mush and I prefer a bit of texture….just on *this* side of crunchy.

The time you leave it to simmer is flexible as well.  We like our vegetables to retain their shape so we didn’t let it simmer too long.

The other option is to parboil the vegetables separately and then add them but I wanted it to be easy so I threw everything in together.

I kept checking the cauliflower by piercing it with a fork as it was the part that would take the longest to soften.

When it felt right, we ate!


Curried Chicken Stew

Curried Stew close up

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can peas (or frozen)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup of curry paste
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • celery, I used 3 sticks, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped into half moons
  • any other vegetables you wish to add
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • rice, if desired
  1. Brown the onion in a pan with the olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Halfway through, add the chicken thighs, salt, pepper and garlic to taste.
  3. Add tomatoes, peas, coconut milk, curry paste and vegetables.
  4. Bring to a simmer and leave on low to continue simmering for approximately 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Add zucchini near the end and allow to simmer for the final 10 minutes or so.
  6. Serve on rice (or in a bowl on its own) and enjoy!

Curried Apple Parsnip Soup

Sweet creamy and yet tart…delicious soup!

Sweet creamy and yet tart…delicious soup!

Apple Parsnip Curry Soup

A few days ago, while reading the newspaper, I came across a recipe for curried apple parsnip soup.  Initially I wrinkled my nose and turned the page.

Granny Smith apples and parsnips? Um…yeah, no.

But as I flipped through the rest of the paper, skimming over stories of our mayor and his drug usage….oh pardon me, alleged drug usage….a part of my mind continued to consider that soup and how it would taste.

I’m a person who tends to like a lot of the vegetables that others hate with a passion…brussel sprouts, rutabaga, parsnips.
(You want me to turn up my nose? Throw in some olives.  Bleh.) So, Granny Smith apples…love ’em.  With dip, with cheese, in a salad, on their own.  Parsnips…again with the enjoyment. They have a strong autumn-y earthy flavour.  They are root vegetables and you know it when you eat them! In stews, soups, yep, I like them too.

Add the curry, the cider and the cream….

The more I thought about it, the more curious I was to attempt this sweet earthy soup. Before getting off the subway, I did the rip-and-tear, pocketing the recipe while others looked over curiously to see what part of the paper had caught my eye.  Recipes usually get a quick blink of acknowledgement and then the masses go back to ignoring you.  It’s when you’re saving the odd articles that people give you a second look.

So last night, I attempted the soup and I’m glad I did!  My only regret is that it only made a small pot.  Our leftover soup was minimal, equivalent to one bowl so we’re going to have to rock-paper-scissors over it or something.

It is an amazing soup!
The sweetness/tartness of the apples remains, but yet the actual apple flavour is minimal.  The parsnips ground the flavours making it robust and filling.

Definitely a perfect soup for a cool crisp autumn evening!

Apple Parsnip Curry Soup

  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) butter
  • 1 large cooking onion, peeled and diced
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) curry powder (I used more like 15ml)
  • 4 parsnips, trimmed and cut into 1-cm (1/2-inch) pieces
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 l (4 cups) vegetable stock
  • 250 ml (1 cup) cider (approx)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) 18% cream
  • Sea salt and white pepper, to taste
  1. In stock pot, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft. Add curry, parsnips, carrot and apples and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.
  2. Add stock. Bring to a simmer and cook at a low simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until vegetables and apples are tender.
  3. Purée soup. I used a hand blender and pureed until almost completely smooth.
  4. Add cider and milk or cream. If soup is too thick, add more cider, 125 ml (1/2 cup) at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Season with pepper and salt.
  5. Consider adding some cheese on top before serving if you wish.

%d bloggers like this: