Food

A blood orange curd tart in a chocolate crust topped with coconut yogurt and granola.

My One Thing

A blood orange curd tart in a chocolate crust topped with coconut yogurt and granola.

I wasn’t going to put up a post today. It is clear to me that I have reached that stage in my blogging journey where I feel like quitting. That stage where it seems all my flaws become apparent. It is the stage where I compare myself to everyone else and somehow manage to lose every round. Then I stopped and challenged myself to talk about something I am good at. That thing is apparent when you see this chocolatey blood orange curd tart.

My one thing that I choose to hold on to today is that I know how to read and transform recipes. I am the queen of using one idea and turning out a million and one things. A few days ago, I shared a parfait that featured a blood orange curd, a creamy yogurt layer and homemade granola. While making that recipe, I remembered that I once made my sister a jam and yogurt tart. Then I decided to make it again with the blood orange curd.

Blood Orange Curd Tart and Parfait

The crust on this tart is from Pretty Simple Sweet. When I was building this chocolatey blood orange curd tart in my head, I knew that I had to find a super easy crust recipe. This one from Pretty Simple Sweet delivered. The only amendment I made to the recipe was to replace some of the flour with dark chocolate powder. Everything else stayed the same.

Food is one of my most important creative outlets. It is one arena in my life where I feel confident. Sometimes I find my relationship with food strange. On one hand, I have a history of disordered eating. On the other hand, I have loved cookings since I was a child. The one thing I have learned from examining my relationship is that the joy I derive from cooking is often the power that allows me to focus on building healthy eating habits.

When I am able to play with my food, I am happy. I am happy when I realize that I have new skills and knowledge about food. By writing this post today, I choose to honor my creative relationship with food.

To make the Chocolatey Blood Orange Curd tart, make the tart crust following the Pretty Simple Sweet recipe, substituting in some dark chocolate powder for flour. Then layer in the components from the Blood Orange Curd parfait.

Fried Salt and Pepper Chicken WIngs in a bowl, dusted with specks of sesame seeds and spring onions. I have a half eaten wings between my fingers

Takeout Wings

Fried Salt and Pepper Chicken WIngs in a bowl, dusted with specks of sesame seeds and spring onions. I have a half eaten wings between my fingers

I don’t know much about American football. As a Nigerian-American woman, I grew up watching soccer in Lagos. I have vivid memories, from my childhood, of watching the World Cup games between the Super Eagles and other national teams. Now that I live in the land of the New England Patriots, during one of the winningest seasons, I find myself interested in the results. As has mostly been the case¬†in the past six years I have lived in the Boston area; the Patriots are going to the Superbowl. As the fans send off the team, I am dreaming of chicken wings for Super Bowl Sunday. First up are these Salt and Pepper Chicken wings.

Second confession: I am a chicken wings connoisseur. Chicken wings always have a presence in the my freezer stash. I just find them so easy to cook. Baking wings at high heat in an oven and coating with sauce is a favorite cooking method. I can braise them quickly in a shallow pan to make a broth for instant noodles. The Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings are deep fried before being coated in an intense coat of sauce.

Fried Salt and Pepper Chicken WIngs in a bowl, dusted with specks of sesame seeds and spring onions

I knew I had to write up the recipe for these Salt and Pepper Chicken wings when I finally got my ratios right. It took a while to feel like I had the right balance of ingredients. I actually tested this recipe over three consecutive days. Each time was good until it was irresistible. There is something about cooking with ginger, garlic and soy sauce. The combination makes the space smell like good food is cooking. This trifecta add so much umami to this chicken.

It is my sincerest hope that you have an opportunity to try the recipe for Salt and Pepper chicken wings. The one thing I can tell you about making this chicken wings is that it is essential to have everything ready before you start cooking. The process goes by so quickly. The resulting wings are worth the effort.

Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings

The Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings is a homage to Chinese takeout menu. I wanted a taste that might not be authentic but reminds me of my favorite Chinese buffet experience. The wings do exactly that.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: appetizers, chicken, chicken wings, chili flakes, crystallized ginger, garlic, green onions, soy sauce, wings
Author: Sinmi

Ingredients

  • 3 Chicken Wings Party Style
  • 12 Sprigs Spring Onions
  • 8 cloves Garlic use less if you prefer
  • 2 tbsp Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 4 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 tbsp Chili Flakes
  • 3 tbsp Freshly Milled Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • Gomasio or Everything But Bagel Seasoning optional
  • 3 Cups Vegetable Oil
  • Salt

Instructions

  • Pat the chicken wings completely dry before salting the skin generously.
  • Chop the garlic cloves into fine bits. Slice the spring onions, separating the greens from the white ends.
  • A saucepan, with deep side, heat up the vegetable oil on medium heat. Test out the temperature of the oil by testing with a thermometer to see if it is 375F. Or sprinkle some flour and see if it sizzles.
  • Once the oil is hot, start frying the chicken wings. Do not crowd the pot. Frying the chicken takes about 10-15 minutes. I like to turn my wings a couple of times to get a deep golden brown color on them. 
  • When pulling wings out of the oil, don’t place on paper towel. Gently place on a plate.
  • While the last batch of chicken fries, start making the sauce to coat wings in another saucepan. Add in the sesame oil first. Follow with the garlic and ginger after a couple of minutes. Once garlic and ginger become fragrant, add in the white part of the spring onions. 
  • A minute after the spring onions are added in, pour in the soy sauce. Let it reduce and become sticky. Add in the chili flakes and black pepper. Stir everything together and wait for the last batch of chicken to finish frying.
  • Once all the chicken wings are adequately fried, add them into the sauce with the heat still on. Stir it all together to get as much sauce on each chicken wings as possible. Once the sauce coats the chicken wings well, add in the green bits of the spring onions. Toss around for a moment.
  • Transfer the Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings to a plate. I like to sprinkle mine with either gomasio or everything but bagel seasoning. It adds some more texture and umami with the sesame seed and other spices.
Curry Chicken and Broccoli Fried Rice with raisins and almonds

Lazy Day Rice

Curry Chicken and Broccoli Fried Rice with raisins and almonds

There are days when I feel sluggish. It is the sort of lazy when I don’t want to make an effort. On those days, this curry chicken and broccoli fried rice work wonders.

As I have mentioned previously, one of my goals in 2019 is to confront my food wastage. This means finding ways of using up every bit of edible food and examining the way I buy food. Often when I buy a rotisserie chicken, using the bits of meat on the carcass can be tough. The legs and breast are easy to dismantle and eat. The little meats hiding in crevices though tend to go to waste. This curry chicken and broccoli fried rice work wonders in using it up.

There are a few ways to make this recipe or non-recipe really. I am not going to give measurements because this is a use whatever you have leftover deal. If I have fresh broccoli on hand, I would usually toast the vegetables in an oil free pan to give it some char.

I tend to start the process of building the fried rice by frying some garlic in oil. Then I add in the curry powder into the pan. I usually use a bit of curry powder because I love strong flavors. Don’t be afraid to play and figure out what works for your tastebuds. In writing about meals like this one, I am creating an opportunity for you the reader to be inspired, not neccessarily directed.

Curry Chicken and Broccoli Fried Rice

Back to the curry chicken and broccoli fried rice. Once the curry blooms in the oil, I add in the bits of chicken I am using. Then I let that warm up a bit before adding in the rice. The goal is to let the rice fry a bit since this is fried rice. Once the rice seems like it is sticking the pan, I dump in the charred broccoli. Let it all heat up together before serving.

This curry chicken and broccoli fried rice situation was one of the first places I explored the idea of sweet notes making savory dishes pop. I love to add raisins to my fried rice just before it is done or when it is served. I mostly definitely recommend trying the raisins if you have any. Flakes of almond is the final touch for me.

I hope you get to venture into trying out this lazy day fried rice. Play with your spices and leftovers. You never know what you might create.

Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup with crispy mushroom slices and crunchy chickpeas

First Try: Parsnip

Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup with crispy mushroom slices and crunchy chickpeas

I have never had parsnip before. It is not a vegetable I grew up with. Somehow, in the last 6 six years or so, I have never felt curious enough to try it. Until I somehow got it stuck in my head that I wanted to make cauliflower and parsnip soup. Thanks to the power of the internet, I was able to figure out a recipe that worked for me.

One thing I have to say about parsnip is that it was relatively inexpensive to buy. The parsnips were also easy to peel. There was no slimy texture or anything like that. The core or flesh fell slightly foamy. I almost felt like if I dropped the parsnip in water, it would absorb some of the liquid.

Roasted cauliflower and parsnip in a pan for soup

Anyway, a lot of the recipes I read, called for roasting the parsnip and the cauliflower. So, I roasted the cauliflower and parsnip in the oven for about 30 minutes at 400 F until it has nice golden spots. Since I wasn’t using stock or broth for the soup, I used my untraditional mirepoix with celery, carrots, leeks, and onions plus garlic as a starter base. I sauteed these vegetables until they were translucent. Normally, I would have used herbs in the soup but I wanted a really plain soup so that I could taste the vegetables.

A little confession: I actually had a bite of the roasted parsnip before adding it to the soup. I am not sure how I feel about it. Maybe, it is because the parsnip feels so new to me. Despite my lackluster response to the first bite of roasted parsnip, I added the roasted parsnip and roasted cauliflower to the soup pot. Then added in a can of coconut milk. I allowed the whole pot of cauliflower and parsnip soup to come to a boil. Then, I set the heat down to simmer it for 10 minutes before transferring to a blender.

I like my soup pretty thick and smooth so that what I went for with the cauliflower and parsnip soup. This soup is very plain like I wanted and I have enjoyed eating it. Maybe, I am not sure how I feel about parsnip because it is masked so well in this soup with cauliflower and the other vegetables.

Crispy mushroom slices and crunchy chickpea on cauliflower and parsnip soup

My favorite bit of the cauliflower and parsnip soup making was the crispy mushroom bits. The mushroom slices were surprisingly “meaty.” I think they would go well with scrambled eggs on toast or a breakfast burrito. The Healthyish recipe for mushroom bacon was quick and easy for these. I followed instruction from Minimalist Baker for the crunchy chickpeas. Let me just say that the instruction to peel the chickpeas feels silly but it makes such a huge difference.

I am not comfortable giving a recipe for this cauliflower and parsnip soup since this is the first time I am making parsnip. However, I have a list of recipes I referenced before embarking on this adventure.

Anyway, let me know if you have favorite way of eating parsnip. I am sure I will give it another try. Maybe I should make a parsnip gnocchi? Or I am thinking of roasting parsnip strips for a salad. What do you think?

Close up picture of the vegan soba noodles in a pot

Grab and Go

Vegan Soba Noodle Salad in a pot

Soba noodle is one of those foods that I actually prefer eating cold. Made from buckwheat, soba noodles is amazing because it has a lot more flavor that the regular wheat noodles. This makes it the perfect item to use in a salad that I intend to park for lunch. Making this Vegan Soba Noodles Salad is very easy. It just takes mixing a bunch of vegetables together with dressing.

If there is one tip I can give about this recipe, it is to hold the dressing until you are ready to eat the salad. Don’t get me wrong. The Vegan Soba Noodle Salad is not finicky. It can definitely handle sitting in dressing in the fridge. In fact, I love how the carrots get marinade with the dressing when I mix it in before storing. It is just that the salad lasts longer without the dressing.

By the way, the dressing on this Vegan Soba noodles salad is versatile. I can see myself using this to make a carrot and cilantro salad with cashew nuts on those days when I want something easier. The ginger works so well with the chili flakes to create a very subtle heat that balances all the sweetness in the salad.

The other thing I should is that it is not necessary to use soba noodles in this salad. Find yourself a noodle that you enjoy eating in a salad and use that as a substitute. I can imagine myself making this with glass noodles or even pasta.

Vegan Soba Noodle Salad

The Vegan Soba Noodle Salad should be a meal prep favorite since it lasts long in the refrigerator and has a bold taste.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dinner
Keyword: bell pepper, carrot, cilantro, crystallized ginger, maple syrup, soba noodles, vegan
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Soba Noodles
  • 1 Cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 4 Sprigs Spring Onion
  • 1 Cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Bell Pepper Strips

Dressing

  • 1/8 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 tbsp Grated Ginger
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 2 tbsp toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • Salt

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of water to boil and cook soba noodles according to instruction on package. Drain water.
  • Pour all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl except salt. Whisk together. Season with salt to taste.
  • Add in the cooked noodles, cilantro, carrot, spring onions, and pepper strips into the dressing. Toss around until all vegetables are well coated. The Vegan Soba Noodles is ready to serve.
Apple pie granola served with greek yogurt and boiled cider

As Easy As Apple Pie

A glass jar filled with apple pie flavored granola clusters

It finally snowed in the Greater Boston Area. The sidewalks are finally white and the roads are icy. Thankfully, there is no hurry this morning because it a public holiday. This Apple Pie Granola is a good make for a lazy morning breakfast.

I have always been a fan of granola. It is the perfect topping for yogurt because it adds just a bit of crunch. Granola is also a good snack. When I made this Apple Pie Granola, I was thinking more of snacking. It is hard for me to find things that I can munch on in the middle day. I can be quite a picky eater.

The Apple Pie Granola features some of my favorite things at the moment. I love hazelnuts so I added that in. Boiled Apple Cider is a current obsession so I used that to sweeten the mix. Where there is apple, clearly cinnamon and nutmeg should be welcomed as well. That, my friends, is how I ended up with a granola mix that reminds me of apple pie.

Apple pie granola served with greek yogurt and boiled cider

My homemade clusters showcase the best bit about granola making. It is easy to make. It is so unfussy that you can pretty much customize it to your heart’s content. Give it a try!

Apple Pie Granola

This Apple Pie Granola is homemade granola at its best. All of the good stuff and no fillers!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Breakfast
Keyword: almond slices, apple pie, boiled cider, cinnamon, crystallized ginger, granola, Hazelnut, nutmeg

Ingredients

  • 11/2 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Boiled Cider
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Slices
  • 1/4 Cup Hazelnuts
  • 1/8 Cup Crystallized Ginger chunks
  • 1/4 cup Light Olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup Raisins

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300F. Add all the ingredients, except crystallized ginger and raisins, into a bowl and give it a good mix. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 mins, stirring it halfway. Once granola is done, pull it out of the oven and let it cool down
  • Sprinkle cooled down granola with ginger chunks and raisins before giving it a mix. Store in an airtight container.
Roasted Chicken leg marinated in soy and burnt caramel marinade with dusting of spring onion slices on a sheet pan

The Impossible Dish

Roasted Chicken leg marinated in soy and burnt caramel marinade with dusting of spring onion slices on a sheet pan

There are few things I knew about myself. One of those things was that I don’t like sweetness in my savory dishes. In the last few years, I have sensed an evolution in the way I eat. I understand that sugar can be more than just sweetness. Sugar can be used to create a different flavor. Sugar is the secret ingredient that creates the joy in this soy burnt caramel chicken.

Bitterness is the opposite of sweetness. It is the sensation that many seem to want to avoid. The truth is bitterness as a part of the flavor palette serves a function. I explore that function in this marinade for chicken. The first time I made the soy burnt caramel chicken, I was skeptical but I had to keep going. This recipe is one that required me to have faith in my imagination.

I kept going and this many years later, I keep going with it. It is something that I created and love. By burning the sugar in this marinade, I get to explore another side of the sweetness. Burnt sugar is not a one note flavor. It has layers that can range from smoky to almost pungent. These layers become even more extraordinary when paired with the magic of soy sauce.

Soy Burnt Caramel chicken served with noodles

It is only right that I admit that this recipe is one that would give a bit of anxiety. How do you know when the sugar is ready? How do you not burn down the house? What tips do I have to make this process doable? Trust yourself and be patient. The initial step of burning is the one that is most anxiety inducing. Once you get through that phase, there is a ton of flavor banked already that makes this a walk in the park. Are you ready to make soy burnt caramel chicken?

Soy Burnt Caramel Chicken

A delicious umami experience enabled by the richness of burnt sugar with soy sauce. The marinade makes the chicken juicy and well season from the inside out.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Author: Sinmi

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp GInger Grated
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 pounds Chicken leg

Instructions

  • Pour the sugar into a dry light-colored saucepan. Start heating the sugar at medium. As the sugar begins to liquify, swirl the pan slightly to get an even melt. Let the sugar sit on the heat for about 10-15 minutes until it is a dark brown color. Turn heat to low.
  • Once sugar is dark in color, add in the soy sauce and 2 cups of water into the saucepan carefully. Start to stir mixture to encourage the seized up sugar to melt. 
  • Once sugar is dissolved into the liquid, turn of the heat. Smash the garlic and add it to saucepan with the ginger as well as the salt and chili flakes. Let the mixture cool down completely
  • Pour the soy burnt caramel marinade over the chicken.  Seal the chicken and set in a refrigerator for at least 2-4 hours. I have let the chicken marinade overnight without issues. 
  • Preheat oven to 425F. Take the chicken legs out of the liquid and pat dry before setting on a baking tray. Roast in the often for 20-25 minutes.
Blood Orange curd Parfait with yogurt and Granola

Easy Fancy Pots

Blood Orange curd and Yogurt Parfait with Granola

The other day, I noticed that I had a couple of blood orange starting to wrinkle in my food pantry. I knew it was time to get about figuring what to make with the blood orange. The result of my search was this blood orange curd parfait layered with a coconut flavored yogurt and crunch pistachio granola.

Citrus is one of the things I love about this time of the year. The abundance of oranges, grapefruits, and even the bewildering buddha’s hand makes for a wonderful winter. Every time I go to the market and I see the blood orange cut open, I am drawn to its deep color. There is just something about seeing the ruby red instead of the orange that is jarring and intoxicating to my senses. I often find myself buying it just for the pleasure of looking at it. The juices end up tasting just like a regular orange and work perfectly for making this curd.

Blood orange curd parfait with yogurt and granola layer

One of the things I crave in recipes is simplicity. I love making simple things that look that they require more effort than they actually do. This blood orange curd and yogurt parfait is a prime example. Just thinking about blood orange curd seems like a cumbersome process. In truth, the process of making the blood orange curd is simple as long as you follow the process closely. The best recipe I have found for blood orange curd is the one by Melissa Clark of the New York Times. It is wonderfully written and produces a beautifully thick curd.

The yogurt layer and the granola layer are so simple as well. The coconut cream in the yogurt layer adds an unexpected tropical touch and adds structure to the decadence. These can be done from start to finish in 30 minutes. The Blood Orange curd and yogurt parfait would feed a crowd just as well as a small group of friends.

Blood Orange and Coconut Yogurt Parfait

A super simple recipe that produces a fancy looking Blood Orange Curd and Yogurt Parfait with Crunch Granola. Perfect for the days when you are short on time but full of creativity.

Ingredients

  • Blood Orange Curd (see notes)

Yogurt Layer

  • 1.5 cup Strained Greek Yogurt
  • 1 cup Coconut Cream
  • 1/2 cup Cream
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1/2 orange zest

Orange Pistachio Granola

  • 3 Cups Rolled Oatmeal
  • 1/2 Cup Pistachio
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Orange Zest
  • 1/4 cup Honey

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300F
  • Combine oatmeal, honey, oil, and salt with orange zest in a bowl. Spread on a baking tray. Pop into the oven and bake for 20minutes, stirring halfway. Let it cool down
  • Add the yogurt, cream and coconut cream into a bowl with the honey and orange zest. Whisk until the mixture is well mixed and forms soft peaks.
  • Chill in refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
  • In a cup or jar, add in about 3 tbsp of blood orange curd. Then layer on the yogurt mixture. Chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
  • When you are ready to serve, top each parfait with a crunchy granola layer.
A white bowl filled with tomato chicken soup with kale. the soup is topped with a soft boiled egg.

My First Winter Soup

A white bowl filled with tomato chicken soup with kale. the soup is topped with a soft boiled egg.

When I first moved to the US, this soup was one of the first things I associated with winter. My stepmother would make a huge pot of tomato chicken soup during the winters in California and it was always the best thing. Especially the next day, when all the flavors would have co-mingled properly. This is my version of that soup, a tomato chicken soup with barley.

One of the things I find interesting about this soup is that the tomato, red pepper and onions are blended in Nigerian style. I never asked my stepmother is this was how the recipe was originally made or this was influenced by marrying into the Nigerian culture. She also tends to make her version of the soup with potatoes. Oh! Those cubes of potatoes would have soaked up so much flavor the next day.

A white bowl filled with tomato chicken soup with barley and kale. the soup is topped with a soft boiled egg.

I started making my version of this tomato chicken soup with barley when I lived in Manchester England. It was my first time experiencing a snowy winter. I am not sure how I found barley but this soup is one of the only places I eat barley. I like barley. It is soft on the outside with a bit of a bite in the middle. That’s how I cook my barley.

The thing I like about making this tomato chicken soup with barley is that I can make the barley ahead. In fact, I recommend cooking the barley separately from the broth of the soup. Barley has a lot of starch that would thicken up the soup if cooked in the broth. I prefer to add in my cooked grains of barley into the soup at the last stage.

Tomato Chicken Soup With Barley

A lovely soup filled with vegetables and barley. The tomato chicken soup is easy and quick since the broth does the work of bringing in the flavor.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Soup
Keyword: barley, chicken soup, kale, tomato chicken soup, tomato soup
Author: Sinmi

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 can tomato puree
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 bunch Lacinato Kale chopped
  • 1 cup barley cooked
  • 1/2 cup Mirepoix
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Blend the tomato puree, red pepper, chili flakes, onion, and garlic together in food processor until smooth.
  • In a large pot, add in the vegetable oil. Heat the oil for a minute or two before adding in the mirepoix. Season with some salt and then cook the mirepoix for about 4-5minutes until soft and translucent.
  • Add in the tomato mix into the pot along with the chicken broth. Bring up to boil, then reduce heat and allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Add in the kale and allow that to cook and reduce into the soup for about 5 minutes before adding in the cooked barley. Check that the salt is balanced and adjust is necessary
  • Let the soup simmer for a couple minutes before serving.

Notes

I use a homemade chicken broth when I make this soup. This why I don’t need to worry about seasoning the soup because all the flavor is in the broth. I have a recipe here for how I make chicken broth at home.
Butternut squash soup with black beans in a white bowl

A Soup to Remember

Butternut squash soup with black beans in a white bowl

The first time I had a variation of the Butternut Squash soup with black beans, it was such an unexpected treat. It happened a couple of years ago at the Boston Public Market.

The Boston Public Market is one of my favorite places to wonder in the winter. I love looking at the stalls of the local producers and buying donuts. Every once in a while, I stop there to get a meal. Usually, I either get a pastrami sandwich or I go get food from Bon Me.

On the day I tried the butternut squash soup, I got accosted on my way to Bon Me by an affable guy. He was offering me soup for free. He told me, “if you don’t like the soup, you don’t have to pay for it.” Unlike my normal self, I didn’t brush him off. I figured I had nothing to lose. Plus, I loved his approach. So I tried the soup and I paid for it. It was amazing. His was a vegetarian version that was tangy and spicy with loads of vegetables and beans with sweet potato. I love it and I ate every bit of it.

Butternut squash soup with black beans in a white bowl

My version of the soup tries to capture some of the magic of that moment in a simpler version. The butternut squash soup with black beans starts with a mirepoix. Mirepoix is are so commonly sold in grocery store prepped vegetable sections. Buying the vegetable pre-chopped makes life easier but I usually make my own mirepoix at home because I don’t like carrots. Also, I use leeks instead of onions.

The broth is definitely my homemade chicken broth that I have tailored to my specific taste. One special thing that I do with my soup is make cut my butternut squash into tiny cubes. Bigger cubes would work in the soup, they would just need to be cooked longer.

The magic spice in this bowl of goodness is the cumin. The cumin brings everything together¬†and especially after the final squeeze of lime. Don’t skip out on the cumin or the lime. It makes such a huge difference to the way the taste plays out.

If there is one thing I am loving this winter, it is finding easy ways to eat my vegetables on the regular without it feeling like a chore. This butternut squash soup with black beans is such a joyous experience that I can’t help repeating it.

Butternut Squash Soup with Black Beans

The butternut squash soup with black beans takes me back to a beautiful moment of discovering new food profiles unexpectedly. It is such a joyful recipe because of its robust flavor with cumin and lime playing with the sweetness of the butternut squash.
Cook Time20 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Butternut Squash
  • 1 Can Black Beans rinsed
  • 1 Cup Mirepoix
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil

Instructions

  • This the perfect recipe to use the pre-cut butternut squash that is sold in the stores. It cuts down on prep time. Cut the butternut squash into chunks if you are prepping it yourself. I prefer smaller pieces to cut down on cooking time.
  • Smash the garlic cloves. Add the oil into a medium saucepan. After heating for a minute, add the mirepoix and smashed garlic cloves. Sprinkle a pinch of salt. Stir frequently and allow the vegetables to sweat for few minutes until translucent.
  • Once mirepoix looks soft, add in the butternut squash chunks and the cumin.  Stir frequently for about four minutes, then add in the chicken broth. Bring it up to a simmer.
  • Add in the black bean. Taste the soup to check that salt is at an optimal level. Let it all cook together until the butternut squash chunks are tender. 
  • Serve soup in a bowl with a wedge of lime. Squeeze lime juice over the soup before eating.