The Missing Ingredient

A Food Blog

Savory Sweet Potato Pear Soup and Soft Parsley and Garlic Pretzels January 9, 2009


I didn’t think I was going to be able to enter this round of Platinum Chef being out of town for the two weeks prior to the deadline.  Lucky for me the deadline was extended!  These ingredients were fun and I just love sweet potatoes and pears so this was right up my alley.  Kate from Paved with Good Intentions picked the following ingredients:  carrots, potatoes, pears, parsley, and egg.  I had a heck of a time thinking about that egg.  I thought long and hard about a quiche or frittata or my favorite…pot pie!  Mmm love that stuff.  I wanted to use my new emersion blender (thank you Lien!) so I figured soup would be fun.  I wanted bread with my soup (of course) and thought a flavored pretzel would be fun!

Savory Sweet Potato Pear Soup

1-tablespoon butter

½ red onion, chopped

½ cut carrot, chopped

½ cut celery, chopped

2 very large sweet potatoes (about 1.5 pounds), peeled and diced

2 pears, peeled and diced

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1-teaspoon curry powder

½ teaspoon cumin

5 cups low sodium low fat chicken broth

1.     In a large pot, melt butter on medium heat.  Sauté onion, carrot and celery 3-4 minutes or until onion is translucent.

2.     Add potatoes, pears, coriander, curry, and cumin and sauté 1-2 minutes.

3.     Add chicken broth and bring to boil, simmer 20-25 minutes until sweet potato is soft.

4.     Using emersion blender, blend until smooth.  Serve warm.


5.     Leftover soup can be frozen flat in large freezer bags and defrosted in a saucepan.



Soft Parsley & Garlic Pretzels

Inspiration:  # 117047 Recipezaar 

1 package dry yeast

1 ½ cups warm water (100-110 degrees)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

4 cups flour

2 tablespoons packed finely chopped parsley

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 large egg, beaten

Coarse salt or sea salt

1.     Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper.

2.     Dissolve yeast in water in a small bowl. Tiny bubbles form around edges to ensure yeast is active.  Add salt and sugar. 

3.     Pour mixture into stand mixer and add all the flour, parsley, and garlic powder.  Using hook attachment, knead until well blended and smooth, approximately 4 minutes. 


4.     That kind of looks like a turkey, huh?!  Anyways, cut dough into 6 even pieces and roll into approximately 2-foot ropes.  Create a rainbow shape and using each end, wrap around each other 3 times.  Invert twisted center and press ends into dough to form pretzel shape.  Place onto prepared baking sheet. 


5.     Brush pretzels with the beaten egg.  Sprinkle with coarse salt or freshly ground sea salt. 

6.     Bake approximately 17-19 minutes or until golden brown.




Confetti Chili October 22, 2008

Filed under: Ground meat,Soup,Spicy — xigumdrops @ 8:23 am
Tags: , ,

I loved this chile for a vege-filled version of the comfort food. My changes are in green.

Source: Ellie Krieger The Food you Crave

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced (1 cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (1/2 cup) (omitted)
1 celery stalk, diced (1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander (omitted)
1 pound lean or extra-lean ground beef (ground turkey)
1 28 ounce can no-salt added crushed tomatoes, with their juices
2 cups water
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and minced, plus 2 teaspoons of the sauce (2 chiles)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne chile pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1/4 teaspoon ground celery seed

1 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.5-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1.  Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion, bell pepper, carrot (and celery), cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the cumin and coriander and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add the ground beef; raise the heat to high and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink.  Stir in the tomatoes, water, chipotle and adobo sauce, and oregano (and cayenne, chipotle powder, and celery seed) and bring to boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes.

2.  Stir in the beans and continue cooking, partially covered, 20 minutes longer, until the chili is nicely thickened.  Stir in the corn and cook until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Chicken and Dumpling Soup October 9, 2008

Filed under: Chicken,Soup — xigumdrops @ 7:55 pm
Tags: , ,

This is a nice easy chicken and dumpling recipe to serve 2.

2 Tbs. butter, divided

8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

3/4 cup (1/4 inch) cut celery

1/2 cup (1/4 inch) cut carrot

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

2 thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1/8 teaspoon cumin

2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1 cup less-sodium beef broth

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup 1 percent low-fat milk


1.  Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add 1 tbs. butter turning to coat.  Add chicken to pan; cook 6-7 minutes, browning on all sides.  Push chicken to side of the pan and add celery and next 6 ingredients to pan; saute 5 minutes or until onion is tender.   Add broth to pan; bring mixture to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30-60 minutes or add mixture to crock-pot and cook on low 3-4 hours.  

2.  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in the butter and stir in the milk just until combined.  Using a melon baller or spoon, add teaspoonfuls of dough into broth mixture.  Cover pot again and simmer another 10-12 minutes or until dumplings are done.  Discard bay leaf and thyme before serving.


Black Bean-Tomato Soup with Cilantro-Lime Cream September 14, 2008

This was spicy and really delicious.  I served it as an appetizer for 4.  I didn’t change anything in this recipe.

Source:  Cooking Light