Warming spices and chocolate transform this tomato soup into a memorable meal.
Try taking this soup recipe as a base idea and making it your own by switching out the can of diced tomatoes for another unique complementary chocolate pairing such as carrots or beets. Just note that you’ll need to add some extra water, and cooking time will take longer.
In stockpot over medium-high, heat oil. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, carrot, celery, and sun-dried tomatoes. Continue to cook, stirring often, until carrots have softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, coriander, ground cayenne powder, and cocoa powder. Cook for 1 minute to toast spices before adding white wine. Cook, stirring constantly, until white wine has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes, water, and pear. Bring soup to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let soup simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Remove stockpot from heat and stir in unsweetened chocolate until chocolate is fully melted and well incorporated into the soup.
Working in batches, in blender, blend soup until smooth (immersion blender will also work). Return to clean stockpot over low heat to warm gently.
To serve, divide soup among serving bowls and garnish with diced avocado and tomato, then a dusting of cocoa powder, if desired. Enjoy while warm.
A tribute to the bounty and beauty of nature, this chocolate bark is studded with nuts, seeds, and berries and flavoured with the warming spices of ginger and cinnamon. Adding sweet paprika and chili also gives an interesting kick to a winter favourite. Cut back on the red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy version. Chocolate contains tryptophan—an essential amino acid—that helps our brain produce serotonin. Eating chocolate is a delicious way to get a mood boost, which can help lift our spirits when sunlight levels are low. Food of the Gods In the taxonomy of plants, the cacao plant, from which chocolate is derived, is called Theobroma cacao. Theobroma comes from Greek for “food of the gods.” Cacao comes from the Mayan word for the plant.
Up your omega-3 intake with these easy-to-make salmon parchment pockets. The sockeye fillets are first rubbed with a marinade of juniper berries, citrus zest, and garlic before being enclosed in parchment. Juniper has a strong and piney flavour and lends a unique tang to this dish. It also contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Be sure to capture the juices that arise during steaming. No mortar and pestle? Crush juniper berries by laying them between two sheets of parchment and bashing them gently with a rolling pin.
Escarole is a bitter green that stands up to heat and is suitable for grilling, braising, or using in soups. In this salad, it’s broiled with radishes before being dressed in a sweet, garlicky dressing that cuts the bitterness. Escarole is high in folate (vitamin B9), important in red blood cell formation, and vitamin A, important in immune function and eye health. Like kale and other cruciferous vegetables, it’s also very high in vitamin K, which assists in blood clotting. Bitter green substitutes If you can’t find escarole, use frisée (also called curly endive), mustard greens, or radicchio. Romaine also stands up to heat well and makes a good substitute, but it lacks the characteristic bitterness of the others.
In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. In fact, kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fibre and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavour the squash. Know your squash You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish-orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting to help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.