In creating recipes, it is my great pleasure to collaborate with expert chef Joseph Forest; the process allows me to improve my sensory awareness of food, something dietitian training didn’t include. During our exchanges, Joseph has become fascinated with the field of nutrition, which I bring to the table, and our collaboration has resulted in the new book Cooking Vegetarian. (J. Forest and V. Melina, Wiley Canada, 2011)
While working as a banquet chef for the Four Seasons hotel, Joseph gained an understanding of the textures and layers of flavour that combine to make a fine soup. (www.josephforest.com) Winter is a great time to savour the aroma and flavours of soup and the recipes below offer a warm welcome to anyone coming in from the cold. Alternatively, you’ll have enough left over for several days or to freeze for later use. Both of these soups are low in oil and they provide abundant nutrition; they can also help you slim down after the rich fare of the holiday season. Serve them with crackers or fresh bread.
Ginger, carrot and yam soup Makes 9 cups
Certain vitamins and protective phytochemicals in vegetables provide the splendid array of colours you see when you walk down the produce aisle. Three vitamins are bright yellow: riboflavin, folate and vitamin A, also known as beta-carotene. This warming, golden soup is packed with all three.
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
1/2 small onion, sliced
1/4 cup peeled, chopped ginger
4 cups water
4 cups chopped carrots
2 cups peeled and chopped yam
1 med. orange, peeled, seeded & chopped
2 teaspoons whole coriander seed or 1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup apple juice
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and cook the onions for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add the water, carrots, yams, orange, coriander, salt, allspice and nutmeg and bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots and yams are soft. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, add the apple juice and reheat.
Vesanto Melina is a Langley dietitian and author (www.nutrispeak.com). Saturday January 28: Meet Vesanto at an author event at Wendel’s Bookstore and Café in Fort Langley, 3-7PM, www.wendelsonline.com. While you’re there, treat yourself to a warming bowl of soup.