Once again, that lovely fern known as the fiddlehead comes back into my kitchen. What can I say? They're tasty veggie goodness! I cooked more with fiddleheads this Summer than I ever had before. The season was shorter this year, but I got what I could as often as possible. This soup was adapted from a few online sources (especially the use of potato - VERY good as a thickener and this recipe could easily be vegan-ized and still turn out creamy).
- 1 lb. fiddleheads, scrubbed and trimmed (try to remove as much of the brown bits as possible, there have been stories of food poisoning linked to fiddleheads, but in this case you're cooking the heck out of them and they'll be safe, but the brown bits are still nasty)
- 2 tbsp butter (or olive oil for vegan)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 potato, finely diced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch cayenne
- 1 cup light cream or 2% milk (use non-dairy substitute for vegan)
- salt and pepper to taste
- First, you want to blanch your fiddleheads (basically boil in about a centimetre deep of water) for about 10 minutes. Fiddleheads are quite tough and need thorough cooking. Strain and reserve fiddleheads.
- In a pot, melt butter and sauté garlic and onions for about 3 minutes on medium heat.
- Add celery and potatoes and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Add fiddleheads and cook for another 5 minutes. Keep 2-3 fiddleheads per serving aside for garnish.
- Stir in vegetable stock, thyme, coriander, nutmeg and cayenne.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low (3-4).
- Simmer for about 35-45 minutes, then stir in milk or cream.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes and turn off heat. Season to taste.
- Using an immersion blender, puree soup until a thick consistency is reached. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a normal blender, but make sure you allow air to escape and cover the hole with a damp towel. Otherwise, the steam will get trapped in the blender and cause it to blow up all over your kitchen. Not good when dealing with hot soup.
- Serve soup hot with reserved fiddleheads as garnish. Serve with your favourite sandwich or on its own.
|The high-end version of "Soup n' Sammich Combo"|
- 1-2 celery stalks, sliced very thin
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp caraway seed
- 1 tsp celery seed
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
|The simple joy of making soup|
|The finished product!|
Next is a simple but unconventional salad featuring some of the best produce to be found in late Summer.
When we think of salads, we often think of iceberg lettuce and a few random veggies drowning in some creamy dressing. Personally, I can't stand a ton of dressing and iceberg lettuce has about ZERO nutritional value or taste. My salads are usually spinach-based, but sometimes I just want a whack of crunchy veggies. The following basically falls into that category.
- 1 red pepper, either coarsely diced or julienned
- 1 yellow, either coarsely diced or julienned
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp dry basil
- salt and pepper to taste