When I am stressed, I like to cook. Most of my meals are winners thanks to a great recipe base and a dash of creativity and experience. So, for me, heading into the kitchen is a way for me to turn off my brain and do something that gives me something positively tangible in the end.
The same with blogging. I use it as a creative outlet and a way to share said awesome recipes.
This will explain why I am blogging right now.
kind of want to vent.
Toronto was hit with a bit of snow over the past few days. 30 cm of snow. I’ve experienced worse (60 cm overnight) and it could have been much worse. Toronto just has a hard time dealing with snow. My car is currently snowed in my parking spot. A day after the snowfall, the laneway still has a foot of snow for me to drive through if I want out.
Rob warned me last night, so I knew I wasn’t heading to the gym for my 8am weights.
Turns out that was the least of my worries.
This morning, my fridge broke.
And I can’t get into my garage. Both locks are jammed.
Of course, we planned for storm success by grocery shopping before the blizzard.
One plus for it being winter is that I have stored all the freezer stuff in my car. Friends have offered fridge-space in the meantime for our non-freezable stuff. Although we are still working out how to move it over since our car is snow-bound.
I know, things could be worse.
So, as I wait for Rob to return home, I am blogging.
To share with you this delicious soup I made last week and is now chilling in my car. This is a great soup to soothe the soul, be it from unforeseen craziness or the howling winter winds. Definitely better than chicken soup.
I rechristened it with a more descriptive name: miso curry squash and chickpea soup. A broth spiced with black mustard seeds, turmeric, garlic and ginger, along with miso and kombu. Chunks of winter squash (golden nugget was my choice this time), shiitake mushrooms and chickpeas fill your bowl with goodness. Chickpeas were my addition, as well as baby bok choy. The baby bok choy was such a last minute thought that I photographed the soup before I added it. However, I ended up really liking the crunchy stems and leafs, so I included them in the recipe below.
I didn’t expect to like this as much as I did. In fact, I thought I did not like black mustard seeds, but this was fabulous. If you like this soup, I also recommend these similar stews: Butternut squash, coconut and lentil stew and Plantains and cabbage with split peas. Miso-curry squash elsewhere: Red Curry Miso Roasted Veggie Bowl, Miso-Curry Squash, Tofu and Kale Salad, Miso Sesame Winter Squash and Tofu and Coconut Curry Miso Soup.
So, tell me: how is your weekend going? How do you like to deal with stress?
Better Than Chicken Soup (Miso Curry Squash and Chickpea Soup)
Adapted from Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 small leek, sliced longitudinally, washed and thinly sliced
3 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, pressed, divided
6 cups water or broth
3×4 inch piece of kombu
4 cups golden nugget squash (~1 lb) (or your favourite winter squash), chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
6 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced) (I used dried that I reconstituted in hot water for 10 minutes, but fresh would be better)
2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
1.5 tbsp miso (I used 1 tsp white and the remainder red)
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes (or to taste)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 large heads of baby bok choy (300g), trimmed and coarsely chopped (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, melt the oil. Add the mustard seeds and turmeric and stir to mix with the oil. Cover and allow the mustard seeds to pop, around 1 minute. Stir in the leek, ginger and half of the garlic. Stir and cook for another minute. Deglaze with the water.
2. Add in the kombu, squash, carrot, mushrooms and chickpeas. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the squash and carrots are tender, around 30 minutes. If adding bok choy, stir it in, cover and cook until heated through, approximately 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and remove the kombu. Remove a portion of the broth and add to miso until dissolved. Stir in the reserved garlic, chili flakes, lemon juice and dissolved miso. Season to taste.