Simple Cioppino

Simmer this fragrant seafood soup for dinner and discover that a simple cioppino is perfect for chilly winter nights.

On a recent food-centric trip to Prince Edward Island, I found myself on a fascinating aquaculture tour with a group of Top Chefs and local food advocates for Canada’s Food Island.

It was a warm September day, and the sea and sky were so blue, it was difficult to tell where the two met. Out on the waters of New London Bay, drifting in a mussel boat,  I watch as a line was hoisted out of the water, with thousands of blue mussels determinedly clutching their ‘socks’.

Talk about a food memory! This lifelong landlubber was impressed.

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Slow-Cooker Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup

There’s a droopy apple tree in our backyard, branches bare to the elements save for a dozen or so brown apples hanging on for dear life.

The other day I watched from the kitchen window as my boys walked down to the frozen lake with their hockey sticks over their shoulders. My eldest paused for a moment under the tree, raised his stick and whacked one of the frosty fruits out onto the ice. Then they skidded after it in their clunky winter boots, lowered their hockey sticks and began passing the apple back and forth between them.

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Simple Lentil, Pumpkin and Kale Soup

After an inspiring, but exhausting weekend away at a food blogging conference in Toronto, I returned home to a bare refrigerator and a rather chilly kitchen.

My days in the city had been spent with dear friends who are also hard core foodies, eating around at various hotspots each afternoon and feasting far into the night at our private events.

While I highly recommend shops like Nugateau and Forno Cultura, and can’t wait to return to Bar Ravel, the weekend left me longing to cook something comforting over my own stove, but what to make from the pantry stores?

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Eat Seasonal: Harvest Tortilla Soup

My New Mexican living sister, Haidi, is my source for all my Southwestern cooking inspiration, from simple salsas to seasonal soups. This recipe is one of her creations that I’ve adapted for our family with great success.

From my experience, anyone who dip a spoon into a bowl of harvest tortilla soup is an instant fan, won over by either the slightly smoky chicken broth or the crispy fried tortilla strips that are heaped on top. Personally, I love that the soup contains a good amount of vegetables and they are all in season right now.

I hope you’re ready to get on board with autumn soups, because we happen to love them around here. Harvest tortilla soup needs to be ladled into bowls and enjoyed around your table this fall.

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How to make a soup tureen from a squash

If you’re like me, you keep a fairly trim collection of serving dishes and the ones you own are multi-purpose to save on space and money. I’m a big fan of oven-to-table cookware for that exact reason.

Here’s what I don’t own and probably never will: a soup tureen. I’ve seen them in kitchen stores, usually taking the shape of an enormous head of cabbage or a rooster. The fact is, I’m not even sure if soup tureens suit my style. I certainly don’t have a place to store one, especially if it only is used a handful of times a year.

Ebay lists gazillions of pumpkin-shaped soup tureens, but why not just make your own out of a real pumpkin or squash? That is what I did recently for a weekend dinner where butternut & leek soup was the main event.

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