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Mushroom Soup with Greens
What’s your Misery Score? You know, from the Winter Misery Index. If you live somewhere that hasn’t been pummeled by cold, ice, wind and snow…then I hope you’re happy. (And please, eat some ice cream for the rest of us.)

As of today, my Misery Score is 188. That’s also roughly the number of bowls of soup I’ve eaten in my attempt to survive this winter. Brothy Mushroom Soup with Greens has been my go-to recipe. It’s my vegetarian version of chicken soup. It’s full of good things like ginger and chili that taste great and keep me going.

(P.S. This weather may be making me slightly overdramatic. Just slightly.)

Vegetarian Mushroom Soup with Greens Recipe
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 package (10 ounces) fresh crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups water
1 pound sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 to 2 tablespoons tamari (soy sauce)
2 to 3 handfuls baby hearty greens (such as Power Greens with kale, spinach and chard)
Sambal oelek chili sauce

In a large (5-quart) pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, jalapeno and garlic; cook and stir 5 to 8 minutes until mushrooms have cooked down and released their juices.

Add water, sweet potatoes, ginger and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Stir in tamari. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Add the greens to the pot. Give the soup a quick stir to wilt the greens.

Serve each bowl of soup with a small spoonful of sambal oelek chili sauce (or another chile sauce). I don’t consider this ingredient optional…I consider it the finishing touch that makes this soup work. Don’t skip it!

Makes about 6 cups soup
Brothy Mushroom Soup with Sweet PotatoesRecipes you may also like:
Vegetarian Lentil Soup with Greens
Red Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Kale

Ras El Hanout Cauliflower and Sweet PotatoesI love the combination of cauliflower and sweet potatoes. They’re delicious when simply boiled and mashed or seasoned and roasted. The Moroccan seasoning ras el hanout goes particularly well with the veggie pairing. Here I’ve coated the veggies in ras el hanout and slow roasted them until tender and browned.

Ras el hanout is a seasoning blend made with spices like cinnamon, cumin, coriander, ginger, paprika and turmeric. You can purchase it or make your own ras el hanout.

Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes with Ras El Hanout
1 medium head fresh cauliflower
1 pound sweet potatoes or yams
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ras el hanout Moroccan seasoning
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet (15x10x1-inch) with parchment paper.

Trim leaves and woody core from cauliflower. Cut cauliflower into medium florets. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into about 1-inch chunks. Combine cauliflower florets and sweet potato chunks in a very large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil; stir to coat. Sprinkle with ras el hanout seasoning and salt; stir well to coat vegetables with oil and seasoning.

Spread vegetables in a single layer on pan. Bake 30 minutes; stir. Bake about 30 to 40 minutes more or until cauliflower and sweet potatoes are tender and browned, stirring occasionally.

Makes about 6 cups

Recipes you may also like:
Moroccan Chickpeas and Roasted Vegetables from Gourmet
Ras El Hanout Roasted Carrots, Red Onions and Beets from Foodista
Simple Roasted Cauliflower
Roasted BroccoliCauliflower and Sweet Potatoes

Things I’ve been making: winter recipes

Brothy Mushroom Soup with Sweet PotatoesWelcome to the Polar Vortex edition of what I’ve been making. Geez, this winter has been a tough one. When the weather gets me down (and gives me the sniffles) I take comfort in a steaming pot of soup. This Brothy Mushroom Soup has been my go-to recipe. It’s my vegetarian version of chicken soup. It’s full of good things like ginger and chili that taste great and clear the sinuses.
Berry Kefir SmoothieI’ve also been getting into kefir. I’m determined to go all DIY and make my own coconut kefir, but for now I’ve been buying plain dairy kefir. If you haven’t tried kefir, it’s thick and creamy with a pourable consistency. It’s tart and tangy and makes a bracing berry smoothie.
Chopped SaladFor lunches, I’ve been really into making vegetarian chopped salads. No two turn out the same, but it’s always satisfying to eat a Big Salad. I start by chopping some hearty greens, and pile on lots of veggies and a protein like eggs or tofu. Olive oil, fresh lemon and toasted nuts or sesame seeds add the finishing touch.
Chocolate Lump CookiesOf course, I’ve also been playing around with small batch baking. In particular, I love making a small batch of cookies. I seriously love cookies, but seriously can’t have them in the house everyday. So, I make just a few cookies when that sweet craving strikes. Lately I’ve been making these cookies made with mashed banana, cocoa powder and either almond butter or almond flour and coconut oil. I affectionately refer to them as Chocolate Lumps. The texture is part cookie, part brownie…mostly lump. They aren’t pretty but they are pretty tasty when a craving hits.
AF Apple CrispI’ve also been converting some of my favorite dessert recipes to use almond flour instead of wheat flour. It’s not always easy. This Almond Flour Apple Crisp looked promising, but the “crisp” part was soggy where it touched the apples. Next time I’ll try pre-baking the crisp topping granola-style.

Try to stay warm everyone!
-Jen