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Corn Chowder with Red Pepper & Thyme

I was recently inspired to make this corn chowder recipe because we actually had milk in the house. Both my husband and I aren’t really milk consumers. We used to buy raw milk from a farmer here but even then we had a hard time getting through it all. Partially, because I’m sort of lactose intolerant. But I recently bought some to make ice cream from scratch with my friend’s children – and now am struggling to use up the rest of this ½ gallon of organic whole milk. Yesterday, I made cornbread using my healthy cornbread recipe. Today… chowder. I wish we had fresh corn but luckily our nearby country store had organic canned corn. And luckily we could still make it our own by added fresh red pepper, garden fresh celery and our thyme.

I imagine this recipe is somewhat flexible. Do you feel like adding carrots? Go ahead! Don’t have red pepper? Use green pepper. Want to add some peas or green beans? LOL. Have fun and enjoy in good company!

Recipe for Corn Chowder with Red Pepper & Thyme

Yield: 4 servings
Equipment: Blender, Immersion Blender or Food Processor

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion chopped
2 potatoes chopped
1 stalk celery chopped
1 large red bell pepper chopped or equivalent (we use smaller ones that grow in our area about 3-4 of them)
fresh stick thyme – this is a thyme substitute that also grows well in the tropics but regular thyme can be used)
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 ¼ cup whole milk
2 cups fresh corn or one 15 oz can of corn (non-GMO/Organic of course!)
2-3 tablespoons flour (optional – I also like to use tapioca starch as a gluten-free option)

Steps:

  1. Heat butter in pot over medium heat
  2. Sauté the red pepper, onion, potatoes and celery until onions are translucent
  3. Add broth and corn and simmer vegetables until tender
  4. Remove half of the brother and puree briefly with immersion blender, regular blender or food processor
  5. Replace broth in pan and add milk and thyme and heat (but not boiling)
  6. If you want a thick chowder – remove about a cup broth ones the milk has warmed up and slowly dissolve 2-3 tablespoons flour. Return this paste to the soup and stir.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  8. At this point if you’d like to bulk this recipe up at little feel free to add some cubed and browned sausages (we use chicken sausage) and even small noodles like elbows, orzo, etc.

If you are looking for a good blender to use I HIGHLY recommend BlendTech.

But, a really great tool for pureeing soups, making things like my beet brownies or even hummus or guacamole is an immersion blender – called by some people stick blenders. The one we have has lasted us over 10 years. But if I had to get a new one I’d probably spring for this cool looking set:

or get a simpler standard one like this…

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Pumpkin & Ginger Beef Stew

It has been a while since I have made this ginger beef stew for my hunny. For some reason I was re-inspired. Maybe it was the fresh shipment of Big Island Beef stew sent to my corner grocery store here in Pāpaʻaloa. I used to make this ginger & squash version of beef stew almost weekly for my hunny. My method is pretty dialed. I hope you find this recipe easy to follow. It is pretty forgiving. The most important part is that you cook the beef long enough. If you use tamari instead of soy sauce, and a gluten-free thickener this recipe is gluten-free and dairy free.

Ingredients for Pumpkin & Ginger Beef Stew

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound grass-fed beef stew meat
  • 3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, sliced in whole, thin rounds
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 1-2 inches thick ginger, peeled and chopped in big slices
  • about ½ cup dry red wine
  • ½ medium size tropical winter squash like Kabocha.
  • 2 potatoes, washed, skinned, quartered and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons organic soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • salt and pepper
  • about 2 tablespoons flour or thickener of your choice (I alternate with whatever is closest to reach – tapioca starch, cassava flour, rice flour)
  • fresh herbs of your choice – I use whatever I have growing which right now was rosemary, oregano, stick thyme, and parsley. I skipped the basil because the others were more potent spices when cooked down.
  • 2 Hawaiian chili peppers if desired

(optional: more veggies like red pepper, herbs, green beans, peas, etc).

Steps for Ginger Beef Stew with Pumpkin

  1. Sauté onions, garlic, and ginger until aromatic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot
  2. Add stew meat and stir consistently until the meat starts to brown
  3. Once browned and sticking to bottom, deglaze pot with ¼ cup red wine and scrap brown bits until pot is clean.
  4. add 6 cups of water bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and bring to simmer for about 2 hours, adding more water as need to keep the beef stew submerged.
  6. add the squash in one whole piece and potatoes quartered
  7. simmer another 30-45 minutes until beef begins to fall apart
  8. add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  9. add salt and pepper to taste
  10. stir in fresh herbs and finish for another 10 minutes, making sure beef is tender and easy to cut in half with fork.
  11. Remove some of the broth and taste it for flavor. Then, stir in 1-2 tablespoons flour with a whisk into hot broth to dissolve.
  12. Add flour broth mixture to pot and allow to thicken for a few minutes before removing from heat.

Enjoy over a scoop of rice!

If you like this recipe maybe you will be interested in my Big Island Beef Shepards Pie.

 

 

 

 

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Cauliflower Cheddar Soup (no milk or cream)

I developed this healthy cauliflower cheddar soup recipe while visiting the mainland. Like so many of my recipes, Adam bugged me for months to make him cauliflower cheese soup. I finally came through for him. This recipe comes out savory and super creamy. I don’t drink milk or use cream so unlike many recipes for this type of soup I didn’t add any extra dairy beyond the cheese. This soup is great for cheesy soup lovers who cannot tolerate the lactose in many types of cheese but can tolerate cheddar. It is also gluten-free and can be prepared vegetarian.

And yes, I know first hand that cauliflower isn’t easy to grow in the tropics. However, some talented farmers and gardeners are able pull off small crops and small heads in parts of the islands. But in the store they are largely unaffordable costing up to $10 for a head of organic cauliflower.  Hopefully our talented farmers will get better at growing and we’ll be able to enjoy more of them in Hawaii.

This soup goes great with toasty or fresh bread. Try my easy recipe for rosemary garlic focaccia bread or grandpa’s sourdough bread recipe

If you like this type of recipe you may also like:

winter squash bisque (gluten-free, dairy free, vegan and delicious)

coconut red pepper and squash soup (dairy-free, gluten free and vegan)

 

Recipe for cauliflower cheddar soup

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Yield: 4-6 servings

Equipment: Regular blender or immersion blender

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 2-3 potatoes peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 quart chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Sauté cauliflower, onion, potatoes, garlic in olive oil, stirring frequently to avoid sticking, add a little more oil as necessary to prevent sticking
  2. Once the onions are soft, add broth (should just cover the veggies) and bring to a boil until potatoes are tender (15-30 minutes depending on how small they are chopped).
  3. Let the soup cool until it safe to put in blender and then blend on high until creamy and uniform.
  4. Return to pot (rinse it out first) and heat on low
  5. Add cheddar and stir until combined
  6. Test it and add more salt and pepper.

This recipe was inspired by a few posted recipe’s including

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3327/cauliflower-cheese-soup

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/cauliflower-cheese-soup

 

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Coconut red pepper and squash soup

Smooth and savory, this recipe has the slightest sweetness from the rep pepper, carrot and squash and a tiny bit of texture from the fresh coconut. This coconut red pepper squash soup is packed with beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C, along with healthy fats from coconut and fiber from all the veggies.

This recipe features fresh coconut flesh, not the creamy coconut milk or the sweetened coconut flakes. Fresh coconut flesh. Coconuts come from the cocos nucifera palm and grow very well in tropical low-mid elevations. One tree can produce as up to 150 nuts per year. One medium size nut and its water can provide an average sized person with almost all of the daily required vitamins, minerals, and calories. Coconuts are truly a super food.

Coconuts have a lot of good fat, some carbohydrate, proteins and fiber. One 100g piece of mature coconut meat has: 354 Calories, 9 grams of fiber, 33.5 grams of total fat, 3.3 grams of protein and 15 grams of carbohydrates.  For example,  coconuts contain copper, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc, potassium. Furthermore, coconuts are also rich in B-vitamins: folates, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine. Additionally,  coconut contains Lauric acid, which increases good-HDL cholesterol and protect the arteries by preventing blood vessel blockages.

On our farm we already have 6 coconut palms fruiting and we are getting ready to plant 35 more dwarf coconut trees. Stayed tuned for many many future fresh coconut recipes.

Coconut red pepper squash soup recipe

Servings: 6, 8 ounce cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 small winter squash (about 2 cups cooked flesh)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 large red pepper or several small ones
  • 1/2 onion
  • flesh of 1 young coconut (about 1/4 in thick) or 1/2 coconut
  • 6 cups of water
  • salt and pepper

Steps:

  1. Cook squash and remove about 2 cups of flesh
  2. Then, add squash and roughly chopped veggies (save coconut for last)
  3. Boil the soup until all veggies are tender, 20-30 minutes
  4. Let cool, add salt and pepper
  5. Once the soup is a bit cooler, add coconut and use immersion blender or regular blender.

1 serving is 8 oz, or 1 cup.

red-pepper-coconut-squash-soup

 

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Vegan split pea soup

Vegan Split Pea Soup

Slow cooker vegan split pea soup is comforting to eat and simple to make. It only requires a few ingredients that you are likely to have on hand. You can make it in a crockpot, regular pot or instapot. To beef up the nutritional content of this meal, I added sauteed greens and nutritional yeast as a garnish.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups cups of green split peas
  • 2 medium carrots (diced)
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 2 stalks of celery (diced)
  • 1-2 medium potatoes (sliced into half moons)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Combine ingredients into large pot, crock pot/slow cooker or instapot
  • Add water, 2 inches above veggies
  • For stove top, bring to boil and simmer about 1.5 hours, monitering to make sure there is enough water.
    For crock pot cook on high for 6-8 hours on high until the peas are very mushy and start to lose their shape.
    For instapot, combine ingredients and put on manual high pressure for 20 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
Keyword soup
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Winter Squash Bisque (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)

For a while I was convinced this soup would make people fall in love with me. In reality I just make this soup for all the people I really really love. This dairy-free recipe for winter squash bisque is warming, smooth, and even yummy cold. Additionally, it is quite filling especially when served with fresh bread and or cheese. Oh! And it is also gluten-free, vegan, and fat-free.dairy-free winter squash soup

In Hawaiʻi it is not always possible to get good tasting affordable butternut squash, hubbards, etc. They are available in some WholeFoods and Safeway but they are seriously taxed. I’m talking like $15 squashes.

Here on the Hāmākua coast squashes grow pretty well. Especially in the fall/winter. One local variety is Kabocha squash. The skin is so tender you can eat them. But also a lot of people call any winter squash they see in Hawaii a Kabocha. In reality, there are so many local varieties that are unnamed because they are constantly crossing with each other.

I recommend going to your local farmers market or grocers and picking up a squash that looks like it has a deep colored flesh. I prefer the ones that are orange or pink on the outside. Try a few and save the seeds of the ones you like best. Either plant the seeds fresh out of the squash or dry the seeds.

The tropical winter squash is full of beneficial vitamins and nutrients. Depending on the variety, winter squash can have very high levels of Vitamin A (up to 350% RDV), Vitamin C (up to 50% RDV). Look for squashes that are deeper colors of yellow, orange and red for example Butternut, Hubbard, Kuri. These are little higher in nutritional value than spaghetti or acorn squash. There are also loaded with fiber, have some protein, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Thiamin, Potassium and Manganese.

If you like soup purées try out my recipe for red pepper coconut squash soup.

Recipe for Winter Squash Bisque

winter squash bisque vegan gluten-free

 

Ingredients

  • 1 winter squash (medium, about 5 pounds)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1-2 carrots
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 large or 2 small potatoes
  • Enough water to cover ingredients (vegetable broth and chicken broth is also good but not necessary)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Materials:

  • Blender (immersion blender is the easiest)
  • Large soup pot

Steps:

  1. Cut the squash open, save the seeds for planting or eating, and roast squash in oven  350-400F until soft enough to scoop away the flesh from the skin easily (I put my cut side up in a casserole dish with a little water  so the steam helps it cook quicker).
  2. While squash is cooking roughly chop the remaining ingredients
  3. For a richer taste you can sauté these in butter or olive oil for 5 minutes before you add broth or water
  4. Add the water or broth until about an inch above the veggies and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium
  5. When the squash is tender let it cool for a few minutes (so you don’t burn yourself), peel it and add the flesh in chunks to the soup
  6. Cook another 10 or so minutes to let the flavors blend
  7. Remove from heat and let sit until it stop bubbling and soup is cool enough to blend (you don’t want a glass blender to crack under the heat, a plastic blender to melt plastic into your soup, or the immersion blender to spit up hot soup at your face and body).
  8. At this point blend your soup until a uniform puree is achieved.
  9. Put back on the stove to warm, season with salt and pepper.
  10. Serve hot (with shredded hard cheese for some extra protein and yummy goodness) and bread for dipping.

Resources:

  1. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/butternut-squash.html
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_squash
  3. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=63
  4. https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide/winter-squash