Category Archives: Soups

ewa samples, baked potato-kale soup-4

Baked potato-kale soup with sweet cornbread

Our very needy no 2 has reached a point where she doesn’t want to fall asleep or relax without somebody holding her all day long. It got to a point when my back said NO MORE! PLEASE!!!

A few days ago our no 2 was screaming her lungs out while I was trying to ignore her. Our no 1 got upset as well just because no 2 was upset!

Seeing that miserable family portrait my husband digged out an old swing chair.

A day later he went out and bought batteries.

I’m saved!

And finally I have two free hands to write posts and comments :)

Yeay!

But I need to be fast, these days. Those quite times do not last long.

So,

I made a soup. I made it twice, so far. It tasted better the first time I made it. I think I overcomplicated it the second time, so I’ll share the simplest recipe.

I am too lazy (or I do not have much time these days) to experiment with cooking kale or spinach so I simply throw it into a jar with a smoothie or soup, blend it all together and call it good food.

That’s exactly what I did with this soup. The only thing you have to really prepare here are the potatoes. The rest of the ingredients don’t have to be cooked at all.

Ingredients:

2 medium red potatoes, baked with skins *

1 3/4 cup warm milk,

4 oz cheddar cheese,

1/4 yellow sweet onion, peeled

2 big leaves kale (about a cup)

salt and pepper to taste

plain yogurt (optional for garnish)

1 Tbsp almonds, chopped (optional for garnish)

 

* this soup taste awesome when it’s made from potatoes cooked on the grill (wrapped in an aluminum foil with some salt and butter and cooked on the grill for about 25-30 minutes).

Directions:

Throw everything to a blender and blend the heck out of it. Garnish with yogurt or almonds and serve.

If you want that soup to be very warm or hot it needs to be transferred to a pot and heated up.

I served it with homemade sweet cornbread. I used this recipe to which I added 1/4 cup chia seeds and 1/4 flax-seed meal.

My husband LOVES  Marie Callender’s cornbread so I was hoping for somehow close final effect but it wasn’t that good. The taste was sweet and pretty comforting, I would say, but the texture was too grainy. I think I used the wrong cornmeal. I’m not sure. I will try to make it again but definitely I’m going to use a different recipe. 

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“Chłodnik” Polish cold soup


Middle of Winter, and who does think about dishes that would refresh you and help you to cool down?

Only pregnant women :) 

Pregnant and living in CA where in January we have ripening tomatoes and growing lettuce outside our apartment.

“Chłodnik” literally means “cooler” and in Poland and many European countries is eaten during the Summer and late Fall when fresh veggies are very easy to get. If you have the access to fresh veggies all year long there is no reason to not to make it. It’s delicious, easy to make and good for breakfast, lunch, dinner (or 2am sinless snack – in my case).

The base for it is always plain yoghurt, kefir or buttermilk. 

In the recipes I know of and have eaten in the past the main ingredients were: beets, cucumber, radish, chives, dill.

If you skip the beets you don’t have to boil anything. Just cut everything up, mix it with:

yoghurt and kefir

or just kefir

or just buttermilk

or mix of yoghurt-kefir-buttermilk

and chill in the fridge at least for an hour.

As easy as that.

What you need for the soup:

  • 1 medium (or 2 small) beet(s), boiled and grated
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 1 English cucumber
  • bunch of chives
  • or buch of green onions (in this case use only the green part of the onions)
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • 2 cups kefir
  • salt
  • pepper

The recipe makes a very thick consistency soup. If you think you might not like it skip the yoghurt and use only kefir instead.

Boil and grate the beet. Put it asaid until is cold. In the meantime cut radishes, cucumber and chives into small pieces (not too small, though).

Mix it all together in a big bowl.

Add 2 cups of kefir and 1 cup of yoghurt.

Mix it all together. Add salt and pepper. Taste. If the consistency is to thick add more kefir. If it isn’t salty enough you might want to wait to add more after is chilled and ready to serve.

Chill in the fridge for an hour at least.

Serve with hard boiled egg cut into quarters.

Sprinkle with chopped dill. I didn’t have it so I skipped that part. I am not the biggest fan of dill, anyway.

My husband said it would work perfect as a chip dip (?). I would’ve never thought about that but after he said it… I kind of agreed.

btw, Polish kefir it totally different from the one I found here so the soup is not exactly the way I am used to it, but it’s  still delicious.

 

ewa samples, whole wheat bread collage 1

A lesson learned in my kitchen

Yesterday was a strange day and a strange comparison came to my mind when I was falling asleep last night.

Life is like cooking

At least in my case or in a case of yesterday’s day.

My cooking started early. While having breakfast I’d decided to make bread for lunch. As soon as I finished feeding our daughter and myself I started mixing all the ingredients for bread. I heated up water for the yeast. I put the yeast into the warm water and waited 15 minutes for it to have activated. Nothing happened. I had to throw it out. I started this part all over. After 10 minutes I saw a few bubbles but nothing more. I knew it’s not gonna work this time either. All together I had repeated it 5 times. After 4th time (and I don’t know why I thought about it) I decided to change the water I’d been using to activate the yeast. From tap water I switched to bottled water. It worked like a charm. The mixture got foamy and bubbly in 5 minutes.

By that time it was almost 11am and I knew I need to make something else for lunch because bread won’t be ready. In addition I was really mad and discouraged. I had thought that if that’s how it started then it means nothing good will come out from it, but I kept kneading. After I was done I left the dough to rest for about 2 hours or longer. I knew that at this point I don’t have to rush with it.

After those few hours the dough hadn’t risen enough, in my opinion but I couldn’t wait any longer. I added rest of the ingredients, rolled it up and left to rest for the second time.

For dinner I decided to make a chicken noodle soup for my husband and our Little Picky Eater. For myself I planned to make spinach souffle I saw the other day on Jennifer’s blog. I didn’t have the cheese but oh well… sometimes you try to make the best from what you have not wishing you had more – one of my many lessons about life learned straight from my kitchen :) All of it would go perfect with fresh-baked bread.

I was so eager to try this souffle.

While I was making it almost everything seemed to be going wrong. I screwed up the sauce, separating yolks from the whites seemed to be so hard like I haven’t done it hundreds of times in the past. I coursed out loud like crazy while my daughter was watching me with a strange look on her face. Not enough, I noticed my bread is not rising as it supposed to. At this point I was ready to give up and ask my husband to order a take-out.

To make a long story short.

The dinner was delicious. It didn’t have to be perfect for us to enjoy it. Life is not perfect. Life not always goes as we plan. Life always brings surprises, obstacles, ups and downs, and there is many things missing now and then. We just need to make the best from what we have at the moment. We need to be patient and try to finish what we have started. If something goes wrong we need to rethink it.

Even if the dinner was awful I would be able to say that at least I tried and I gave the best out of me to finish it and to make it work.

At the end there is always somebody who won’t like your cooking anyway (even if the dish(es) is perfect in your opinion). On the other hand, you might be positively surprised when somebody who you thought from the beginning is not going to like it, eats up an entire plate. That happened yesterday with my Little One. She ate an entire plate of spinach souffle. She couldn’t surprise me any more than that.

The same happens in every aspect of our life.

I ate so much of everything I could barely move after all. The time and my heart I put in it paid back. After dinner it was great to enjoy a piece of chocolate my husband brought me from the store.

If you’re interested:

here is the recipe for bread. Instead of all-purpose flour I used half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose. In addition before rolling it into a shape I spread over the top flax seeds meal and fresh parsley. Yumm!!!

here is the recipe for Spinach Souffle

the recipe for chicken noodle soup still needs to be written down as I always make it from scratch and every time I improve it in something new. This time, for example, I discovered arrowroot, and I have to tell you all: “I’m in love in arrowroot”. That’s the next lesson from yesterday’s cooking. I don’t know if I’ll ever use corn starch again!!!

Hugs from my a little bit wiser corner!

ewa samples, baking bread

Homemade french bread with creamy spinach soup

Yesterday I woke up with a dilemma. I wanted to bake something but I wasn’t sure if I prefer sweet over savory. I got a new recipe for oatmeal cookies but… I kinda crave good fresh bread (all the time). Then I remembered that my oven is terribly dirty from the day before. My potatoes casserole (the only word I can describe that dish with) overflowed and made an awful mess inside the oven.

I turned on the self-cleaning mode which takes 4:30 hours. My dilemma found a natural solution. I couldn’t bake anything… and I knew that after noon my energy level takes huge dive to the abyss but, it was still morning and I wanted to make something to eat for myself as my headache started to poking me a little. There was nothing special in the pantry or in the fridge that I wanted to eat… . With this pregnancy I am so picky with food it’s just crazy. I want very specific things and if they are not at the house I won’t eat anything else… . It wasn’t that way with my first pregnancy.

One thing, though, have called me every single time I opened the fridge (and even when it was closed). Spinach! It was a few days old spinach as I bought it with the plan to make stuffed with spinach and mushroom crepes. Days went by and I actually lost my craving for those crapes and didn’t have any “B plan” for my spinach.

So yesterday, while the oven was getting clean I decided to make spinach soup. I looked for a good recipe on google and I found this one. It was really quick to make.

This recipe calls for fat-free everything…, but I do not have those things in my kitchen. I do not like to spend my money on something that looks like milk but taste like water… .

For this soup I used whole milk, and regular vegetable broth. Instead of baby spinach I used 1 bunch of not so fresh regular spinach, and I substituted the onion for a few green onions. That’s it! Super delicious and creamy spinach soup.

I garnished it with extra green onion and plain whole milk yoghurt.

JUST DELICIOUS!

I ate two bowls… dreaming about having fresh baked bread with it…

…and my dream came true. After my oven was clean and ready to use I decided to make super easy french bread so I could enjoy my soup even more. Luckily I had some left overs for the dinner for my husband to eat because after making that bread I was done for the day!

Just a few minutes and the dough was ready.

For the full recipe go here. It’s a great tutorial (video) how to make it.

For some healthy kick I enriched the dough with fresh chopped basil and whole ground flaxseed meal (about 1/2 cup).

At the end I forgot to brush it with egg white and cut the top before baking… It still came out great, though.

Today I used it to make bruschetta with cheddar cheese, tomatoes and green onion for my husband’s lunch. He LOVE IT! I didn’t have the time to take a picture of it… but I assure you it looked and tasted (in my husband’s opinion) great!

Ah… and my daughter loved that bread. Fresh and warm… She ate 3 slices :)

Now is my turn to have a bowl of my soup and a few slices of bread. It looks like tomorrow I’ll have to bake another loaf ;)

Have a great weekend!

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