Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rainy Day Inspiration

Happy Valley enjoyed a lot of rain the last few days. My roomies both came down with a cold so I was inspired to cook some feel-good, health conscious dishes.

I made Mung Bean Soup (Green Bean Soup) because it has detoxifying properties.
It's an Asian sweet dessert soup.

Green (Mung) Bean Soup
1 cup dried Green Beans
6 tablespoons granulated sugar (crystal sugar)
4-5 cups of water

(1) Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water (at least 4-5 hours)
(2) Boil the beans over medium-high heat in 4-5 cups of water and sugar
(3) Lower heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes
(4) Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature for 2-3 hours
(5) Turn heat to medium, allow to simmer for 30 minutes
(6) Serve
* You can add a few slices of ginger during the boiling process if you want to infuse the green bean soup with the scent. Ginger has numerous health benefits including relief of muscle or joint pain.

Curried Buttersquash Soup

1 (2-3lb) butternut squash
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 tsp curry powder

1 cup of heavy cream
2 seeded, finely diced jalapeno peppers
2 cups finely diced onions
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and black pepper

(1) Pre-heat oven to 400F
(2) Peel and cube squash. Toss cubed squash with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread evenly on a foiled baking pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper (1/2 tsp each) over the squash. Bake in the pre-heated oven (on covered) for 25 minutes - 30 minutes
(3) In a Dutch oven heat at medium high heat, heat up one tablespoon of olive oil and sautee onions for 2 minutes. Stir in curry powder and jalapeno peppers and sautee for an additional 3 minutes.
(4) Put roasted squash into the pot and pour chicken stock. Simmer for 15 minutes at medium heat.
(5) Pour in parts of the soup into a blender/food processor. Blend until smooth. Continue process until entire soup is pureed.
(6) Stir in 1 cup of heavy cream. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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