The theme for January was to get creative with your leftovers and come up with a soup or salad to grace your table. A hearty thanks to everyone who found the time to submit their recipes. I will announce the most popular submission at the end of the month with input from friends and family. Please vote for your favorite via email or in the comment section to help us come up with the winner for this month's challenge. Neither my submission, nor Jacqueline's, is eligible for the vote.
Our first entry is from Sarah of Dinner with Crayons with a most tempting Sprout Coleslaw With Cranberries and Pecans. This creative use of leftover vegetables from Christmas is easy to toss together. Brussels, celery, onion, mushroom, sage leaves, dried cranberries and pecans are dressed with mayonnaise, white wine vinegar and horseradish. It's a raw salad, and even her young son tried some after helping his mommy in the kitchen. I couldn't resist this wholesome combination.
Next up is Lisa of We Don't Eat Anything With a Face with this elegant Spiced Parsnip and Carrot Soup. Adapted from one of my favorite veggie cookbooks, this soup is a great way to use up leftover root vegetables and to introduce parsnips to the table too. Onion, parsnips, carrots and potatoes are spiced up and pureed with ginger, cumin, freshly cracked black pepper and served with a swirl of heavy cream just before serving. Yes please - satisfying on it's own but especially when accompanied by some crusty bread.
Ren, who shares her cooking adventures at Fabulicious Food, serves up a gorgeous bowl of Butternut, Coconut and Hazelnut Soup. This paleo-friendly dish is not only good for you, but surely absolutely delicious too. Onion and celery come together with butternut squash, stock, coconut milk and then sprinkled with leftover chopped hazelnuts before serving and drizzled with some avocado oil if desired.
Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe needed to find a way to use up an excess of spring onions and she comes up with a winner here with this Spring Onion Soup adapted from one of my favorite cooks that leaves me even more eager for spring than I was before reading her post. The onions are fried up and then pureed with garlic, bay leaves, peas, zucchini and lots of fresh parsley. Stir in some grated Parmesan and yogurt, garnish with fresh mint and and lemon zest and you are in for a satisfying bowl of bliss. Certainly worth all of the chopping.
My contribution this month is a Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry that was fairly mild by my spicy standards but full of flavour and goodness and a perfect cure for the winter chills. I had plenty of fresh vegetables on hand that I need to use up and combined cauliflower, potato, carrots, green beans, peas, spinach and fresh dill with a coconut paste made up of poppy seeds, chilies, ginger, coriander, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, asafetida, cinnamon and cloves. Serve hot with fresh cooked rice and your favorite Indian savory flatbread for a satisfying and nourishing vegetarian meal.
Karen of How to Cook Good Food enters this month with a lovely Spiced Carrot, Cardamom and Orange Soup. Vegetables and fruit leftover from Christmas grace the table. Carrots, leeks, harissa, cardamom, stock and freshly squeezed orange juice are blended together and served up with a few swirls of cream. Easy to prepare and a wonderful use of carrots that won't fail to please vegetable fiends. Graceful simplicity is often just what we want for dinner, especially when we are pressed for time but don't want to sacrifice nutrition or taste.
Clevergirl of Don't Forget Your Shovel shares her Wintertime Beet Soup and beet fan that I am, I could not resist a bowl of this that surely would warm the toes and spirit. Clevergirl is clever indeed and freezes her beet greens and beet stock so she can whip up a nourishing meal with those prized leftovers. In this case, she uses a microwave to speed up the process but you could do it on the stovetop. The beet greens and stock come together with mushroom soup, caraway seeds and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.
Jacqueline is up next with this tempting and creative use of leftover cauliflower and broccoli with cheese sauce that she transformed into a creamy Cauliflower Cheese Soup with Broccoli. Steamed cauliflower and broccoli is combined with a cheese sauce made up of infused milk, bay leaves and garlic and then stirred into a butter and flour mixture. Everything is whizzed together with veggie stock and then served with some freshly cracked black pepper, cayenne and sprinkled with fresh chives. How eloquent and mouthwatering is that?
Janet of the Taste Space comes up with a stunning use of leftover sweet potatoes that I simply must try, soon. Feast your eyes on this Carrot Ginger Lime Soup with Sweet Potato Hummus. You can just use leftover roasted sweet potato of course, but for something extra special and easy too, use your leftover sweet potato hummus in a soup for some additional protein, flavour and nourishment. The hummus (a combination of sweet potato, chickpeas, sesame oil, tahini, curry powder and lemon juice) is blended together with carrots cooked in almond and soy milk, and fresh ginger, lime juice, garlic and garnished with fresh cilantro before serving.
Karen of Lavender and Lovage offers up a multi-layer luscious Leafy Green Winter Salad with Fennel and Parmesan inspired by Nigel Slater. Certainly greens are a must year round and this comforting and substantial salad has winter greens a plenty dressed with tarragon vinegar, egg yolk, olive oil, Parmesan, fennel, dijon mustard and is adorned with a generous number of homemade croutons made from some leftover homemade French bread. The blend of flavors and textures here is sure to please - just looking at the photos makes me feel healthy.
From Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen we have another warming and nourishing soup. I too hate wasting food and this White Bean, Leek and Potato Soup is pure comfort, especially if you get snowed in and don't have much on hand. Leftover mashed potatoes are used in a creative way combined with sauteed leeks, vegetable stock, white beans and some seasoning. There is some incentive to make more mashed potatoes than you need.
Tasty Curry Leaf goes with a Middle Eastern theme with this wholesome Chickpea, Broccoli & Tahini Salad to use up some leftover chickpeas. Chickpeas, red onion and steamed broccoli are dressed up with tahini, olive oil, garlic and tamari. I would enjoy this 'hummus-style' salad anytime of year as it incorporates some of my favorite flavours and it is easy to make too and filling when served with crisp toasted bread.
And that concludes the roundup this month. Jacqueline will be hosting the February edition of No Croutons Required. Check back at the beginning of the month for the theme.