This thick and hearty roasted garlic tomato soup is inspired by my time working in one of Halifax’s most popular Italian restaurants.…Read More
Soups & Stews
I had such a strong craving for this easy minestrone soup with chickpeas and rice (maybe because I spent the last month devouring shortbread cookies?). A simple soup with canned crushed tomatoes, chickpeas, and broccoli, there are many ways to modify the base minestrone recipe and make it your own.
Dutch Oven Beef Stew With Summer Savory has been a staple in my kitchen for as long as I can remember. Originally my Mum’s recipe, it’s loaded with onion, potato, and carrot. It’s the ultimate weeknight comfort food! I’ve swapped water for beef stock and upped the amount of summer savory to make it even tastier.
This post was first published on November 16, 2016 and was last updated August 10, 2019.
A Simple Nova Scotia Seafood Chowder Recipe
I live on the East Coast of Canada, and can you believe I didn’t try a bowl of Nova Scotia seafood chowder until I was in my 30s?! It may sound like an anomaly, however, with a diagnosed scallop intolerance, I was nervous to try any seafood. I learned how to make this creamy seafood chowder recipe when I lived in Cape Breton, and it is shared with permission.…Read More
Grilled Corn Soup With Bacon uses fresh corn on the cob, which tastes so unbelievably different than canned or frozen. Fresh corn is sweet, crunchy, and loaded with flavour. A little char from the grill summons the taste of summer even when the nights are cool. A hint of smoky bacon flavour takes this grilled corn soup to the next level.
This post was first published on September 12, 2013 and was last updated September 25, 2019.
The lead photo of this post is fairly misleading since I’m not actually posting a recipe for French Onion Soup (but I will tell you, I used the Cooks Illustrated recipe with all beef stock, no chicken stock).
I got a number of my ingredients for the soup at the Halifax Seaport Market – beef bones from Getaway Farm’s Butcher Shop, onions and carrots from Noggins, baguette from The Seaport Bread Shop and cheese from Foxhill – but this post is going to be all about the glorious gelatinous beef stock I made as the base.
Super Easy Homemade Beef Stock (adapted from Emeril Lagasse) Yields 6 Cups of stock
5 lbs beef bones (if you ask really nice, Ben will give you a wicked assortment including marrow bones which are essential for great stock)
PC Black Label Taste #5 Umami Paste (link here)
2 medium onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 Cups red wine
small handful of black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
4 L water
– pre-heat oven to 450 – place bones in a turkey roaster and cook 50 minutes – remove from oven, brush liberally with Umami Paste and return to oven until deep brown (almost starting to blacken), another 10-15 minutes
– remove bones from roasting pan and set aside – pour off excess fat into heatproof container – add 1/4 cup cold water to roasting pan and, with a wooden spoon, scrape up as many crusty bits as you can, leaving them in the pan – add onions, carrots and celery to pan and place back in oven until veg starts to brown, about 15-20 minutes
– remove pan from oven and immediately add 2 Cups red wine – again using wooden spoon, scrape up as much of the stuck on crusty bits as you can from the bottom of the pan
– in a large stock pot, combine roasted bones, veg-red wine mixture, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic cloves and water – bring to a boil – reduce heat and gently simmer 8 hours
– after 8 hours, scoop out all large solids, then strain stock 4 times through a fine mesh strainer – leave stock to cool at room temp then place in fridge – fat will separate from stock and once chilled, will harden into a layer that you can easily scrape off – discard top layer of fat – benaeth should be beautiful beef jelly (don’t worry, the stock will turn to liquid again when you heat it)
Chilled stock with layer of fat scraped off of top.
Getaway’s beef bones, pre-roasting.
Getaway’s beef bones, post-roasting.
I know that lately it’s been sunny and warm during the daytime as we head into spring, but the nights are still chilly enough to enjoy a savoury, hearty bowl of soup.
One of the beauties of Twitter is the ability to hold conversation with people you would not normally meet. Last week, Tim Pratt of Real, Creative Eats tweeted about his weekend trip to the Earltown Maple Syrup Festival. I responded with a big ‘I LOVE MAPLE!!!’ tweet to which I then got a response from@AuthenticCoast with a link to the DesBarres Manor Inn recipe for Sweet Potato Soup with Nova Scotia Maple Syrup.
DesBarres Manor Inn is one of Nova Scotia’s stunningly beautiful historic properties that has been faithfully restored to the full splendour of it’s 1837 heritage. Located in the town of Guysborough, along the scenic Marine Drive of our Eastern Shore, DesBarres Manor has become a go to for lovers of local food and wine.
‘From our spectacular open kitchen, our culinary team uses fresh ingredients from the Manor’s organic garden along with seasonal gourmet treasures from local farmers and fishers to create contemporary Canadian cuisine with an East Coast flair. Seasonally inspired menus are complemented by the Proprietor’s extensive wine collection, offering you a personal selection of fine wines from around the world. Combined with our attentive service, the DesBarres Manor dining room creates a culinary experience as warm as our people.’
I followed DesBarres’ recipe to a T and the end result was pretty good but I was left wanting a little more of a flavour kick. Maybe it’s because I’ve been working for the Bertossis too long but my tastebuds have developed a serious need for intense flavour.
DesBarres Manor Inn Sweet Potato Soup with Nova Scotia Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Olive Oil, 1 tsp chopped garlic, 1/2 C chopped celery, 1/2 C chopped onion
1 Litre Chicken Stock, 2 Lbs peeled and diced Sweet Potatoes
4 Tbsp Maple Syrup, 1/4 tsp Nutmeg, 1 C Whipping Cream, 4 Tbsp Brandy
Sour Cream and Garlic Chives to garnish
Kelly’s Modified Sweet Potato Soup with Acadian Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Olive Oil, 1 clove chopped garlic, 1 stalk chopped celery, 1/2 med onion, chopped
1.5 Litre Chicken Stock, 2 Lbs peeled and diced Sweet Potatoes
8 Tbsp Acadian Maple Syrup, 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, 1/2 tsp Cardamom, 1.5 C Milk, 4 Tbsp Brandy, pinch of dried chili flakes
**Sautee garlic, celery and onion in olive oil 2 minutes
**Add chicken stock and sweet potato – bring to the boil – reduce heat – simmer one hour or until potatoes are soft
**Puree – add all other ingredients – simmer 15 minutes
**Garnish with sour cream and garlic chives
I simmered my sweet potatoes for one hour as the recipe calls for. I should have taken them from the heat when I checked them at 1/2 an hour because that’s when they were done. By the end of one hour, my sweet potatoes had reduced too much and were so thick that I had to add more liquid, hence the increased measurements of stock and milk in my version. Also, my whipping cream was expired so I had to substitute milk for cream.
The only real difference in my version is the seasoning. I doubled the Maple Syrup because I found the original amount got lost among the sweetness of the potatoes. I increased the amount of nutmeg and then added cardamom to bring forth another flavour dimension. The pinch of chili flakes, once pureed, rounded out the bottom end of the sweetness with a little fire. I ate my first bowl with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped baby chives (I couldn’t find garlic chives). The chives added a nice hint of oniony crunch but I think the soup could stand alone without the sour cream.
All in all, this was a really nice recipe from one of Nova Scotia’s best!!Read More