My Favourite Winter Soup…Roasted Vegetable Soup

I have to say…one of my favourite winter-time soups has to be a bowl of this thick’n rich, delicious soup.

Roasted Vegetable Soup

A bowl of Roasted Vegetable Soup

Full of the rich flavour of roasted carrots, sweet potatoes and onions…all I can say is ..”Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!”

Roasted Vegetable Soup paired with Hearty Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Wholewheat Irish Soda Bread is the perfect meal to bring when you have been invited away for the weekend.

A bowl of Roasted Vegetable Soup with a slice of Hearty Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Wholewheat Irish Soda Bread

The soup can easily be made ahead and frozen…only to be reheated upon arrival or when ready to feed a hungry crowd.

I like to prep the Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Wholewheat Irish Soda Bread ahead of time too…just package up all the dry ingredients and bring along the Natur-a Soy Beverage or Natur-a Rice Beverage, canola oil and white vinegar (hosts may have them on hand, but if concerned about any cross-contamination it is always safer to bring your own)…combine together, knead and bake.

So easy to put together…you will delight your hosts…surprise any other guests and amaze everyone with your delicious, nutritious, homecooked meal.

The original recipe comes from the February 2004 issue of Canadian Living Magazine. Click here for the original recipe.

Roasted Vegetable Soup

I have made a few adaptions for my own personal tastes…I replaced the baking potatoes with sweet potatoes, the shallots with white onions and I used vegetable broth.

I just recently enjoyed the above picutured bowl of Roasted Vegetable Soup and Hearty Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Wholewheat Irish Soda Bread in my rush to get out the door for 5:45 p.m.
I was in a hurry to pick up my two friends, Linda and Leslie, enroute to PENNY & CO.’s ‘meet and greet’ with Cobi Ladner. Click here to view Michael Penney’s post on the event.
I was soooo excited to attend the event! I have always loved perusing through my mother’s Canadian decorating magazinesHouse and HomeStyle At Home…just as much as I have loved pouring over my mother’s Canadian cooking magazinesCanadian LivingChatelaine. Like mother, like daughter…I come by my love of magazines quite honestly.  It was just too bad that my mother was unable to attend herself.
Creating beautiful food and surrounding myself with the things I love are ‘two of my most favourite things’. After listening to Cobi speak about decorating one’s home…I think I am on the right track! Click here for more cobistyle.
I was ‘super excited’ to actually get to ‘meet and greet’ Cobi!
Cobi Ladner and me at  Penney & Co.
Very exciting!
I was thrilled to be able to ask Cobi about some of my family’s tartan wool…Ancient MacBeth…leftover from my wedding…my father brought it back from Scotland so it is very special to me.
Ancient MacBeth tartan
Pillows for my living room…tartan on the front with a soft velvet on the back surrounded with black trim. I just need to pick a colour for the velvet…Black? Cream/White? Emerald Green? Orange? Any suggestions?
How do you express your creative side?

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Hearty Irish Soda Bread And Sweet Potato Leek Soup

I couldn’t resist baking up a loaf of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Hearty Irish Soda Bread.

A bowl of Sweet Potato and Leek Soup with a slice of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Irish Soda Bread

A favourite of mine to accompany a hot bowl of soup on a cold and blustery day.

The Irish Soda Bread recipe originates from the Canadian Living Step By Step Cookbookspying this recipe had me craving a slice…now I just needed a bowl of soup!

I came across a very simple recipe for Potato Leek Soup over at lucys friendly foods. Click here for the original recipe.

I just so happened to have most of the ingredients…a partly used carton of vegetable stock and leeks were already in my refrigerator, however, I switched up the potato with sweet potato.

Three simple ingredients = a quick, easy, nutritious soup!

With a soup recipe to try…I had the perfect excuse to bake a loaf of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Hearty Irish Soda Bread! Click here for Canadian Living’s original recipe.

Click here for the post I did on a plain version of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Irish Soda Bread.

Of course, I made a few adaptions:

Buttermilk replacement: 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk with Natur-a Soy Beverage (for a soy free version use Natur-a Rice Beverage) mixed with 1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar.
Flour replacement: I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour.
Flaxseed replacement:  I used and equal amount of flaxmeal and I sprinkled the top with flaxmeal instead of the unbleached all-purpose flour.

Tip: The dough is very sticky when you mix the wet with the dry ingredients…I mean very sticky

Kneading the very sticky Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Hearty Irish Soda Bread with lots of extra flour

I encourage you to make sure you really dust with flour the area that you will be kneading the dough, as well as, have a pile of flour at your finger tips to dust the top of the dough in between kneading to reduce the amount of stickiness. The picture above shows my completed kneading of the dough with the extra flour to the side.


Toasted Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Hearty Irish Soda Bread spread with homemade strawberry jam

Delicious toasted with jam, honey or a spread of Vegan Becel Margarine.

P.S. Posting my favourite winter soup soon.

P.P.S. Carla @ My 1/2 Dozen Daily is having another giveaway of one of her beautiful handmade items. Click here to check it out!

What is your favourite winter soup…what do you like to accompany it?

Dairy Free Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

I love Fall’s abundance of the many varieties of squash and apples, the crisp fresh weather, the layering of comfy clothing, snuggling up in blankets, the roar of a gas fireplace (on my wish list as we don’t build real fires in the house due to our asthma), and hearty, ‘stick to your ribs’ soups.

Dairy Free Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup garnished with quinoa, chickpeas and roasted squash seeds

I have heard it said, “What grows together generally pairs well together”…therefore, I thought I would pair squash and apples in a soup for a heart warming fall supper.

I referred to a recipe I had tried last year from the Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa Parties! Cookbook. Click here for the original recipe.

I adapted her recipe by roasting the squash and apples tossed in olive oil, pure maple syrup and a crackling of sea salt. I think roasting brings out the best flavours in veggies. I omitted the butter, used a couple of Spartan apples, added in some extra spices and made sure to use pure apple cider. 

The final result…just what I was craving…it was amazing!

Even my husband, who was not so keen on the soup last year, enjoyed a bowl. Michael dipped in with some crackers and deemed it, “Not bad.” and Matthew, well, he steered clear of it…orange veggies never did appeal to him.

The soup is so versatile… simply garnish with a sprinkling of roasted butternut squash seeds…

Dairy Free Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup garnished with roasted squash seeds

…or jazz it up with baby spinach leaves, quinoa, and chickpeas. Dairy Free Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup garnished with quinoa, chickpeas, spinach and roasted squash seeds

The possibilities are endless…have fun switching up the flavour combinations!

Dairy Free Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

1 large butternut Squash
2 spartan apples
2-3 tbsp of olive oil
2-3 tbsp of pure maple syrup
2 onions, chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup pure apple cider

Peel and cube butternut squash. (see tip below for roasting seeds)
Peel and slice spartan apples.
Toss butternut squash and apples with olive oil and maple syrup. Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Roast at 450F, tossing every 10 min for 50-60 minutes or until tender and browned.

Maple roasted butternut squash and apple on baking sheetIn a large pot, saute the onion and spices in a tablespoon of olive oil until softened.
Stir in roasted squash and apples.
Add water, apple cider and salt and pepper.
Using a hand blender, puree the mixture until smooth…add more water if the consistency is too thick…adjust to your liking. (I love it thick)

Pureed Dairy Free Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup in potBring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes.


Enjoying a bowl of Dairy Free Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup garnished with quinoa, spinach, chickpeas and roasted squash seeds

Tip 1: Save the seeds for roasting…rinse and dry on paper towel lined plate. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast on parchment lined baking sheet at 350 minutes tossing occasionally until browned.

Tip 2: I love to freeze any leftover soup in batches for easy go-to meals in a pinch.

Cooler Weather Calls For…Pasta/Quinoa/Rice Figioli

Seems like every day, Fall is creeping ever so much closer…one day it is gloriously warm, the next there is a bitter chill to the air! Time to start thinking about some heartier fare for these cooler days…first dish I can think of is a nice bowl of steaming, stick to your ribs soup…

Pasta Figioli!

A bowl of Pasta Figioli

Add some fresh Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free French Stick for dunking…perfect!

I have been making my version of Pasta Figioli for years now…not quite sure of the original recipe’s origin. I remember watching a program on television and then quickly writing down what I could remember of it…over the years, I have fiddled with the measurements to create a ‘classic’ recipe for our family.

All the veggies in the Pasta Figioli has been a bit off-putting for the boys. However, the smell of the soup simmering on the stove top has always been very alluring! Just a few years ago, Michael decided he had had enough of smelling the soup…he was ready for a bowl of his very own!

As I was not completely sure of his safety with legumes…specifically the white and red kidney beans in the Pasta Figioli…I simmered a separate pot of Pasta Figioli without the beans in it for him to try. He loved it!

Just this week, I felt it was time for our first batch of Pasta Figioli of the season. Upon hearing that Pasta Figioli was on the menu, Michael inquired, “Do you think I could try the soup with the beans?”

As he tested negative at the allergists for kidney beans, followed by a taste with no reaction…I decided it was the perfect time for Michael sample kidney beans in the Pasta Figioli.

What better way to try them? I think kidney beans are the best part of Pasta Figioli!Unfortunately, Michael did not agree…”They’re gritty!”, he grumbled, as he proceeded to pick out the few beans that were in his Pasta Figioli. “I like it better without the beans.” Texture can still be an issue with Michael…his limited diet growing up was very bland with little exposure to different textures.

Oh, well…at least he isn’t allergic to kidney beans. I offered to puree them into a dip…he just looked at me with that…‘ya, that is just what I would love to try next’…look in his eyes! Whenever  I suggest trying beans or tofu or sunflower seeds, his reply is always, “That is not what I want to be eating! I want to try eggs, cheese, shrimp!  All the stuff I can’t eat is what I want to try…it all looks so good!”

The teenage years are a whole new ballgame! I think I should write a post on that topic…although, being a teenager, Michael may not approve of such an idea!

Pasta Figioli

A bowl of Pasta Figioli topped with quinoa

1 head of garlic
3 tbsp canola oil
a few shakes of hot pepper flakes or more to your liking
3 cups of diced carrots (approx. 5-6)
2 cups of diced celery (approx. 4-5)
1 onion diced
2 1/2 cups of homemade chicken stock or 1 carton (1L) of vegetable broth/chicken broth
1 can (796 mL) of diced tomatoes
1 can (540 mL) of red kidney beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
1 can (540 mL) of white kidney beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed

In a small pot, cover the head of garlic with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drain water and let cool. Peel off outer skin on each garlic clove and set aside.
In a large pot, heat oil on medium heat. Saute garlic and red pepper flakes, tossing until garlic is starting to brown.
Add onions, saute until softened.
Add carrots and celery, saute until softened.
Pour in tomatoes with juices, chicken/vegetable broth and both kinds of kidney beans.
Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
Ladle soup in soup bowls and top with our favourite short pasta, rice or quinoa.


Enjoying a bowl of Pasta Figioli

I love mixing my Pasta Figioli with quinoa, (see picture under heading) while all the boys in my family prefer Tubetti pasta by De Cecco (seen in picture above).

Tip 1: The longer the Pasta Figioli simmers, the longer the flavours have to mingle. I will sometimes make my Pasta Figioli in the morning and let it simmer throughout the day.

Tip 2: Pasta Figioli is one of those dishes that tastes better the next day reheated to take to work for lunch, dinner a second night or frozen for a quick go-to meal on those days when you need some comfort food!

Tip: 3: As the pasta tends to soak up all the liquid if left in the soup, I tend to let everyone dish their own amount of pasta/quinoa/rice with their soup.

Question: Do you have a favourite soup for the cooler days of Fall?

Farmer’s Market Allergy Friendly Gazpacho

On these hot and humid days, all I can think about is how to stay cool! Summer barbecues are wonderful…but I am feeling like something a little more refreshing!

Allergy Friendly Gazpacho!

Allergy Friendly Gazpacho

Free of all my boys allergens, filled with veggie goodness and the taste of summer!

A trip to the Farmer’s Market, my mother and I picked up all the fresh produce we would need…tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers!

Vegetables at the Farmer's Market

So many to choose from!

The recipe comes from Canadian Living’s Best Light Cooking. Click here for the recipe. This recipe is my mother’s go-to recipe for Gazpacho.

Mom and I collaborated on the making of the soup…she worked on the peeling and chopping of the tomatoes and I diced and pureed them with the peppers and cucumber. The Gazpacho was tucked away in the fridge overnight…always tasted better the next day!

Michael was keen to give the Gazpacho a try…”Oh, that is soooo good!”

He helped slice, brush olive oil and toast in the toaster oven, his french stick for the crostini to accompany the Gazpacho.

Topped with the extra yellow pepper and cucumber…I garnished the soup with fresh parsley and chives from the garden.

Allergy Friendly Gazpacho with a slice of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Crostini

Crostini is like one big crouton!

I added white kidney beans and leftover quinoa to my Gazpacho!

I love the combination of the creamy texture of the kidney beans, with the grainy texture of the quinoa and the crunch of the peppers and cucumber…yummy!

Allergy Friendly Gazpacho with quinoa and white kidney beans

My mom and I both agree…the perfect supper for a hot humid summer night!

Tip: The creaminess of the kidney beans reminded me of the leftover avocado in the fridge…my mom and I shared it between us in our second bowl!

P.S. Tonight Mom and I will enjoy the leftover Gazpacho with some roasted cold shrimp on the side!

Update: Adding the shrimp was the perfect touch!

Allergy Friendly Gazpacho with Quinoa, Avacado, Kidney Beans and Shrimp

My mom and I had more shrimp than the one on top…we chopped up about 9 shrimp each and added it to the Gazpacho…soooo goood!

Allergy Friendly Homemade Chicken Soup

Seasonal allergies and cold season are upon us. It’s the time of year our immune systems need a boost.

Nothing like a hearty bowl of Homemade Chicken Soup to bring the sick and weary back to health!

allergy friendly homemade chicken soup

Making Homemade Chicken Soup is a tradition I started when Michael was very young. I was leary of buying soup off a shelf. I felt my sick son deserved to regain and refuel his body with goodness, not artificial this and that. Of course, there were his food allergies to consider. (The noodles in Chicken Noodle soup contained eggs.) And so, our much-loved Homemade Chicken Soup was created!

Over the years the recipe has evolved: the plain potato was switched to sweet potato, there must be lots of carrots, apparently, I never put enough in, and a garlic clove is added towards the end…to give it that little… ‘Je ne sais quoi’. ( I snuck that in a while back with no complaints)

Everyone likes to finish off their Homemade Chicken Soup a little differently: Michael likes to add rice, Matthew prefers the teeny tiny balls of pasta, I like quinoa and Andy adds it all!

Homemade Chicken Soup is one of the boys most requested recipe. Even in the heat of the summer they were asking for it. (I passed up Mother of the Year and forgo making it.)

The first ailment of the year has arrived. I thought Michael was just suffering through seasonal allergies and his asthma.  I was wrong.

I received a call from the school describing Michael as “not looking so well……pale”.  When I arrived, he looked paler than pale and was shaking uncontrollably. Off to the doctors. The doctor saw him right away and diagnosed him with ……pneumonia!  Off to get a chest x-ray. Stopped on the way to drop off prescription, purchase Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen for fever control and water for his incredible thirst. Picked up prescription…..home to bed.

In all of the chaos, one thing is for sure……… Homemade Chicken Soup for dinner?”    Michael smiles and nods…………all will be well!

Matthew’s first words as he sniffed the air upon arriving home from school, “Is that soup?”

Homemade Chicken Soup is good for everyone’s soul.

This recipe is not written in stone…..adjust to your own tastes.

Homemade Chicken Soup

pot, whole chicken, sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, parsely, celery and whole black peppercorns for homemade chicken soup

The Broth

parsely, whole black peppercorns, chopped carrots and celery for homemade chicken broth

1 whole chicken, legs and wings removed and as much skin off as possible
1 onion, quartered
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
3 celery stalks, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tbsp whole peppercorns
fresh parsley, a good handful, stems included

In a large pot, place chicken pieces.

deskinned chicken pieces in pot for homemade chicken brothCover with cold water.
As the water is coming to a boil, skim off foam.

skimming foam off homemade chicken brothAdd the vegetables with peppercorns, cover and let simmer for 2 hours.

parsely, celery, carrots, onion and black peppercorns added to homemade chicken brothRemove chicken pieces, let cool, pull off meat and store in a covered container until ready to use.
Strain chicken broth.

Vegetable Add-Ins

chopped carrots, sweet potatoe and celery, garlic clove to add to finished homemade chicken broth

3 sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced and quartered
3-4 cups of chopped carrots
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp kosher salt

Bring chicken stock back up to a boil. 
Add in chopped vegetables, garlic and salt.
Simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.

Great reheated the next day!

bowl of allergy friendly homemade chicken soup with crackers

Spoon rice, pasta and/or quinoa into a bowl, top with some of the chicken and ladle in soup with vegetables over top.  
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Michael’s Tip:  A little bit of celery makes a nice addition.

P.S. Barley, wild rice, beans, fresh corn, peas also make nice additions.  The possibilities are endless…………

Always CHECK INGREDIENTS each time you purchase products.

Have you adapted similar recipes for your own food allergy needs? I’d love to hear about them. Please share in the comments!