One of my favorite ways to spend an evening with friends is cooking together. Last week as the temperature dropped in Toronto, a good friend and I decided to spend our planned evening of quality time and catching up by reprising what was a most successful cooking evening last year: making fresh wontons.
After reading through a few different recipes and settling on pork and shrimp as the main fillers, we doubled the recipe, wrote out a shopping list and headed out to the grocery store together. You’ll see that the ingredients are simple and lean and the recipe couldn’t be any less demanding: just throw all of the chopped ingredients into a bowl and mix. While years ago it may have taken a trip to Chinatown to get wonton wrappers, they are available in your most basic of grocery stores around town now – just take a look in the refrigerated tofu areas, usually near the produce and fresh herbs.
A couple of months ago, I cooked up the most delicious batch of Creamy Roasted Vegetable Soup. The recipe is healthy and chock-full of some of my favorite vegetables (swiss chard, brussel sprouts, onions & cauliflower) and gets its creamy texture from unsweetened almond milk. I also got to experiment with nutritional yeast, which I was recently introduced to. The result was a hearty, comforting and guilt-free soup that is perfect for lunch. The recipe was so easy, especially when all I had to do was blend together roasted vegetables with a hand blender right in the pot!
I had forgotten how healthy and easy soups can be to make. Trouble is, I’m left with 4 litres of it all to myself. This is what led to my genius idea (*pat myself on the back*) of hosting a group soup exchange.
The idea is simple: make a huge batch of soup and exchange it with others. I invited a bunch of friends to come over on a Sunday afternoon with 4 mason jars filled with a homemade vegetarian soup of their choice. As long as there are at least 5 people, everyone leaves with 4 different kinds of soup. I made a carrot tahini soup that turned out quite nicely. I’d say the soup exchange was a grand success! There were 7 of us and plenty of variety in flavours to satisfy all of our favorite flavours. I immediately froze three of them and have been defrosting them a week at a time. The great thing about the soup exchange: the more people the merrier! I plan on organizing this monthly through the winter – let me know if you want to be included :)