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Experience the flavor of joy with these simple soups that showcase fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Soulful and sustainable are two of the words often associated with Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann’s cooking. Sharing their passion for seasonal ingredients, the Slow Food pioneers and owners of the Bread Bar Cafés wowed fresh food lovers with recipes and stories in their first book, Earth to Table. Now the duo is back with a full-on cookbook that continues Crump and Schormann’s explorations of simple ingredients made well. Earth to Table Everyday (Penguin) reminds us that good food can enrich our daily lives.

“We want to pay for the most sun-drenched produce, humanely raised meat and skilfully produced spirits. For us and the environment.”
–Earth to Table

But the thrust of Earth to Table is not just on great tasting food. It’s on shortening the gap between food producers and consumers. That explains why the authors advise readers to look up local artisans like bakers and cheesemakers, and to “meet a farmer” or “plant a garden.” According to Crump and Schormann, who also own a farm that supplies their restaurants, the best home cooks know how to rediscover where their food comes from and have fun while doing so.

book cover for Earth to Table Everyday by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann

The following healthy soup recipes are excerpted from Earth to Table Every Day: Cooking with Good Ingredients Through the Seasons by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann. Copyright © 2018 Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Tomato Soup With Fried Chickpeas

Healthy tomato soup with fried chickpeas
SERVES 4 TO 6

A lot of us grew up eating tomato soup the perfect way: served with saltine crackers and a grilled cheese sandwich. But adding fried chickpeas takes this classic soup to a new and modern level.

2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon (5 mL) red chilli flakes
Pinch of saffron threads (optional)
2 cans (28 ounces/796 mL each) crushed tomatoes
1½ cups (375 mL) water
¼ cup (60 mL) tightly packed fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Fried Chickpeas
½ cup (125 mL) olive oil
1 cup (250 mL) canned chickpeas, rinsed and dried well
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon (5 mL) sweet paprika
1 tablespoon (15 mL) chopped fresh basil

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic, and chilli flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the saffron (if using), tomatoes, and water. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the basil then remove from the heat and let the soup cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. Working in batches, purée the soup in a high-speed blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and season with salt and pepper. At this point you can make it nice and spicy with more chilli flakes, if desired.
  4. To make the Fried Chickpeas, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Add the chickpeas carefully, as they will spit and spatter. The chickpeas should be in one layer so each one is in contact with the pan. Fry for 3 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, being careful not to let the garlic burn. A bit of browning on the chickpeas is okay. Drain the chickpeas, discarding the oil.
  5. In a small bowl, season the Fried Chickpeas with salt and pepper, toss with the paprika and basil. (The Fried Chickpeas keep, covered at room temperature, for a few days.)
  6. Serve the soup hot, garnished with the Fried Chickpeas.

Cauliflower Soup

simple cauliflower soup
SERVES 4

This simple yet rewarding soup is inspired by one of the best restaurants in the world, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California.

3 tablespoons (45 mL) olive oil
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
2 pounds (900 g) cauliflower (about 1 large head), cored and broken into florets
5 cups (1.25 L) chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Garnishes
2 tablespoons (30 mL) minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons (30 mL) mustard oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon (15 mL) grainy mustard

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower, chicken stock, and salt to taste. Return to a simmer. Then, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is fork-tender.
  3. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Working in batches, purée the soup in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. We like to leave some of the soup chunky. Return the soup to the pot and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve hot, garnished with parsley, a drizzle of mustard oil, and mustard to taste.

Curried Lentil Soup With Coconut Yogurt

curried lentil soup with coconut yogurt
SERVES 4 TO 6

We all know that lentils are packed full of protein and fiber, but the earthiness of lentils and the tang of coconut yogurt is a combination we love.

1 tablespoon (15 mL) unsalted butter (or non-dairy alternative)
3 tablespoons (45 mL) olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup (250 mL) red lentils
5 cups (1.25 L) water or chicken stock
1 teaspoon (5 mL) minced fresh ginger
1 whole small hot chilli (serrano, jalapeño, or habanero)
2 teaspoons (10 mL) ground coriander
1¼ teaspoons (6 mL) ground cumin
½ teaspoon (2 mL) turmeric
¼ teaspoon (1 mL) cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Coconut Yogurt
2 tablespoons (30 mL) plain full-fat yogurt (or non-dairy alternative)
2 tablespoons (30 mL) coconut cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) minced fresh cilantro

  1. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, lentils, water, ginger, chilli, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne; stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover tightly, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the carrots are fork-tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove the chilli pepper and discard.
  3. To make the Coconut Yogurt, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, coconut cream, and cilantro.
  4. Divide the soup among bowls and garnish with Coconut Yogurt.
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