Cream of Garlic Soup

This is a nourishing and delicious soup that's perfect for the cold and flu season.  It's satisfying and creamy, without any dairy or thickeners.  
Garlic is a potent antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal agent.  It contains essential enzymes and antioxidants for bone formation, connective tissue metabolism, calcium absorption and proper thyroid function, to name a few.  Garlic is also a good source of vitamins B-6 and C, as well as minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, manganese and selenium.  It also helps in removing heavy metals and preventing ailments such as the common cold, heart disease, some types of cancers.  Garlic has even been credited with slowing the aging process.

2 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, sliced
1 leek, white parts only, chopped
1 celery stalk, diced
2 garlic bulbs, cloves peeled
1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
3 - 4 cups broth
1/3 cup white wine (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Melt butter in a large heavy-based pot.  Add onion, leek, celery and whole garlic cloves.  Cook over low heat until vegetables are soft but not browned.  Add cauliflower, broth, white wine, bay leaf and thyme, and bring to a boil.  Cover pot, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender.  Allow soup to cool slightly before removing bay leaf.  Puree soup in a blender until smooth and return to pot.  Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. 

Lemon Garlic Roasted Broccoli

Here is a very simple, yet super tasty way to prepare the superstar of vegetables -- broccoli!  I found this recipe on Pinterest a long time ago and it has been a frequent favorite ever since.  It has been referred to as "the best broccoli of your life.”

Broccoli is the leading member of the family of cruciferous vegetables.  It is a great source of vitamins K, A and C, as well as fiber, potassium, folate and lutein.  According to Dr. Mercola, it is one of the best health-boosting foods around, with research proving its effectiveness against arthritis, cancer, and blood pressure. Broccoli has also been known to support kidney health, anti-aging, immunity and heart health.

4 – 5 cups broccoli, cut into florets
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 – 4 Tbsp. olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Juice of ½ lemon
Zest of ½ lemon
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 F.
Wash and thoroughly dry the broccoli.  In a large bowl combine the broccoli, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Lay out on a cookie sheet, avoiding overcrowding.  Roast for 20 – 25 minutes, until tender-crisp.  Remove from oven, drizzle with lemon juice and an additional tablespoon of olive oil.  Sprinkle with lemon zest and Parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately!

Roast Pork with Dijon, Rosemary and Garlic

On the rare occasion that I cook pork, this is my go-to recipe.  This simple roast is easy to prepare and has a lot of flavor.  It makes a great leftover as it is also delicious eaten cold.  Just like with the beef roast, I soak the pork in a saltwater brine for a couple of hours prior to cooking.  I found this recipe on iVillage.com.

Ingredients 

1 boneless pork loin roast
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp sea salt
1 Tbsp black pepper, crushed
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 Tbsp dried)
3 garlic cloves, minced

Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Rinse the roast and pat dry with paper towels.
In a bowl, combine the mustard, sea salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic.
Rub the mixture over the roast.
Place roast, fat side up, in a roasting pan and cook for about 2 to 2 ½ hours, or until internal temperature reaches 150 F.
Once removed from the oven, let rest for 15-20 minutes.  Slice and serve.

Zucchini & Garlic Soup

Soups are my favorite.  Soups are simple, satisfying and nourishing.  Our family eats soup every day, so I end up making a batch at least a couple times a week.  I mostly make blended soups that focus on one or two main ingredients, usually vegetables.  I have many favorites, but will start by sharing a flavorful soup which mainly consists of zucchini and garlic!  Recipe is from The Kitchn, a daily web magazine.

The mild and delicate zucchini does not get much attention and most would not rate it highly nutritious when compared to say broccoli, however it may surprise you.  Zucchini, also known as a summer squash, is a member of the cucumber and melon family and comes in many varieties.  It contains antioxidants, vitamins (A, B, C, K, folate) and minerals (manganese, phosphorus, iron, magnesium).  It is advised to always prepare zucchini with the skin intact, as it is the most nutrient-dense portion of the vegetable.  I hope you like this soup as much as we do.

Ingredients

4 tbsp butter

1 onion, sliced

4 – 5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3 – 4 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped

4 cups broth or stock (I use bone broth)

Salt and pepper

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. 
  2. Add onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook an additional 5 minutes, keep heat low enough not to brown. 
  3. Next add the zucchini and cook until soft. 
  4. Add the broth, reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.
  5. Cool slightly, then blend until creamy. 
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

This soup tastes even better reheated the next day, after the flavors have melded overnight.