Culinary Coaching Craziness! Vegetarian Style – Soup and Salad Courses

Course 2

Butternut Squash Soup 
I first published this recipe at the beginning of January. You can link to it here… http://www.tjthefooddude.com/recipes/soup/butternut-squash-soup/ The addition of the feta cheese and cilantro was something I tasted at the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. in Canmore, Alberta. Wicked little restaurant and their garnish on this soup was fantastic. I loved it. And it just happened to include two of the items my buddies wanted in the menu, cilantro and feta.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, rough chopped
1 medium onion, rough chopped
1/4 cup oil or clarified butter
1/4 cup sugar, white or golden
1/2 cup dry white wine
6-8 cups chicken stock
1/4 – 1/2 cup unsalted butter
Sea salt and fresh black or white pepper and more sugar to taste
Garnish Choices – thai chili oil and coconut cream OR cilantro oil/pesto and feta cheese OR your choice?
  • Sauté Butternut Squash in oil or clarified butter in a minimum 8 litre, heavy bottomed stock pot on medium high heat until it begins to carmelize
  • Add the onions, lightly season with sea salt and continue to sauté until beginning to brown
  • Add sugar and continue to sauté until dissolved and beginning to get syrupy
  • Add 1/2 cup dry white wine to deglaze the pan
  • Add chicken stock, reduce heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the squash is tender
  • Blend/purèe soup in a blender or food processor in small batches, adding a bit of the butter with each addition. Pass through a fine mesh strainer back into a clean pot
  • Keep over low heat and season to taste
  • Serve with your garnish of choice
  • Serves 4-6 as an appetizer, 2-4 as a main course

Course 3

Grilled Romaine Salad with oven-dried tomatoes and roasted capers
This was a new one for me in that the dressing is something that was perfected by Rohit, one of the people who was in on the culinary coaching fun. The unique twist to this is that being vegetarian, the pungent tang in the dressing comes not from anchovies, but from roasted capers! AWESOME! I had never done this and was blown away by the flavor!

grilled-romaine-salad

Grilled Romaine Salad

Dressing

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, or to taste
1 heaping tbs stoneground mustard or to taste
3 drops tabasco
2 tablespoons capers
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
  • Drain and roast capers on a parchment lined baking sheet at 350 degrees F until dry and crispy
  • Combine all of the ingredients and process with a hand-blender or food processor until to dressing consistency
  • Adjust seasonings to taste
Assembling the salad
3 Romaine Hearts, split in half lengthwise, loose bits trimmed
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Brush romaine hearts with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper
  • Grill over high heat till grill marks are formed and the outside of the romaine begins to wilt
  • Place on plate, drizzle with dressing and garnish with extra capers, croutons, lemon and anything else that strikes your fancy
  • EAT!