Posts in Soup + Stew
Happy 3 years & where do we go from here?
Edmonton Farmer's Market - The nomadic wife - sara jewell photography

Photography by Sara Jewell


 

a bit on what I had set out to do

HAPPY THREE YEARS. Holy shit. How did it go by so fast?

When I set out on this journey with The Nomadic Wife, I was in a very different space then I am today. I used to travel for months at a time, exploring the cultures of the world through the food its people make. It seemed like a revolutionary idea to me at the time to re-explore these dishes using local-to-me ingredients back home in Canada.

I wanted to give context to my past (and future) travels through the food I ate and somehow do that in a very accessible way.

Now, I jokingly say that The Nomadic Wife is neither nomadic nor married. I haven’t traveled since I set up the blog in 2015. We also didn’t get hitched yet… but we are a family. I feel like a fraud because I have only scratched the surface of the cultures I explored and therefore I feel like I am in no position to truly honor them or their food.

So maybe it’s time for a change.

 
edmonton 104 street farmer's market - The nomadic wife - sara jewell photography
 

digging into my roots

Through this journey of cultural exploration through food, I found myself yearning more and more to explore my own roots. Who am I? Who are my people? What is my food culture?

My last name is of French descent yet I call myself Canadian-mud. I have absolutely no context for what it means to be French, or a Scot (on my mother’s side). I do, however, had an idea of what it means to be Canadian.

In many ways, we are a youthful immigrant nation with an amalgam of culinary influences & ingredients brought here by the people who migrated to this land. We also have a deeply rooted history of taking over land that in no way belonged to us and using the ingredients of its people. Somewhere in the middle there, is what I believe to be Canadian traditions, ingredients & cuisine.

So, maybe it’s all circular. Maybe I was already on the right track in a way… yet I find myself wanting to honor Canadian food more deeply. To explore the ingredients we produce & their history. What do we eat? Why do we eat it? I would love to meet more of the farmers who produce our food, at a small to medium scale and the people who forage our wild country to find a myriad of edible delights.


I crave the moment when you put a bite of food in your mouth and you experience the land it came from.

 
pizza at rosy farms - the nomadic wife - sara jewell photography
 

How does it all come together?

The photo above is pizza which I made for a long table dinner last summer which highlighted an amazing crop, the haskap. In fact, the entire menu was haskap laden. It was quite a challenge to feature this berry in so many forms and there’s nothing like a good challenge to get me going.

I decided to use as many Canadian ingredients as possible in the menu, thinking that there was no better way to showcase the berry than through the optics of “if it grows together it goes together”.

The crust is made from Albertan wheat with haskap powder mixed in. It’s topped with pesto made from a foraged “volunteer crop” (read weeds, in this case stinging nettle). There’s also some arugula from my garden in there and some Albertan garlic. It’s topped with some grilled mushrooms, greenhouse peppers & mozzarella. I finished these with some flaky Canadian fleur de sel from the BC coast.

While pizza is most definitely Italian, does the use of exclusively Canadian ingredients make it Canadian food? Will the people accept it as such? Can a deeper conversation be had around local food when presented with such a dish?

In part, that is what I am setting out to discover.

want to know more about the producers involved in this recipe? head here.

 
Carrot + Stem Mixed Pickles
Carrot + Stem Mixed Pickles - The nomadic wife

Photography by Sara Jewell

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

Pickles from my mother's kitchen

Pickle making is something that I’ve borrowed from my mother’s kitchen. She used to make beet pickles mostly, and she liked them on the tangy side. There always seemed to be rows upon rows of quart sized jars in the basement, but then again, I was young and everything seemed to be so endlessly abundant then.

I would grab a jar, unscrew the metal ring top and pop the sealed lid with the help of a fork. From there, I would spike a fork into the ever so dark juices in hope to capture a jewel-toned piece of sweet and vinegary root. Once I had consumed about half the jar, I would pour out some of the pickling brine to ease my fork-fishing endeavors.

 
Carrot + Stem Mixed Pickles - The nomadic wife
Carrot + Stem Mixed Pickles - The nomadic wife
 

Pickles in my kitchen

Pickles, now, are something that I serve alongside almost everything. I enjoy having food boards when friends come over and pickles of every kind balance those out ever so well. They're also such a lovely palate cleansing food, which can be used between courses or as a starter to a meal.

If I'm being perfectly honest though, I make pickles for the very selfish reason of eating them by the jar-full. Simply with a fork, or alongside aged cheddar and crackers. On evenings when I can't be bothered to make a meal, and Tom isn't home to eat, pickles and cheese is my guilty pleasure. 

 
Food-70.jpg
 

This time of year, when carrots are getting sweeter and stems are getting more fibrous, all I want to do is make pickles. Sure, you can make pickles out of just about anything, kale stems, beets, carrots, beans, zucchini or cukes. However, there's something quite fantastic about doing a combination or mixed pickle. I love popping open a jar and savoring the different tastes and textures.

This one has three main ingredients: rainbow chard stems, carrots & garlic scapes and it truly is a delight.

 
Food-67.jpg
Carrot + Stem Mixed Pickles - The nomadic wife

THE RECIPE


Makes 2 quarts

2 C carrot sticks
2 C rainbow chard stems*
1 - 2 garlic scapes

2 C filtered water
1 C white vinegar
1 C white wine vinegar
1 T sugar
1 T salt

10 min PREP 

  1. Chop your vegetables into sticks of matching length no longer than the height of the jar (you need to be able to fully submerge them) and pack it into your mason jars.

  2. The tighter you pack it the better your pickles will be and the less likely they are to go bad.

  3. Mix together the water, vinegars, sugar & salt to make your pickling liquid.

  4. Once the salt & sugar have dissolved, pour the liquid over the veg to fill the jars.

  5. Use your finger to pack them in even more and release as much air as possible. Tapping gently on the counter after the lid is on also works well to release air bubbles.

  6. Leave the jars on the counter for at least an hour then store them in the fridge.

 

more carrot recipes

Carrot, Onion & Ginger Soup
Carrot onion and ginger soup - The nomadic wife

Photography by Sara Jewell

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

Warming foods for fall

There comes a time every year where my soul aches to settle back down into the earth. The elation of warm summer days passes swiftly as the cooler winds of fall roll into the garden. Once these winds begin to blow in, I feel a deep calling to root myself back down and settle for the long winter to come. For this, I turn to warming spices and steaming bowls of soup.

It seems to me like this year, the fairies who paint the golden tones of autumn have come to us a little earlier than expected. So today, despite it being the middle of August, I'm ready to cozy up to a fresh bowl of savory carrot soup. Are you?

 
Carrot onion and ginger soup - The nomadic wife
Carrot onion and ginger soup - The nomadic wife
 

Carrot soup

Carrot soup is one of my fall favorites. This version is especially delicious as the layers of caramelized onions and carrot pair particularly well with the warming garlic and ginger. The small whisper of coconut from the oil really rounds it out perfectly.

 

THE RECIPE


MAKES 4 SERVINGS

1 doz medium size carrots, washed & chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 in. ginger, peeled & chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled & chopped
2 T coconut oil
2 T apple cider vinegar

10 min PREP 

  1. First, chop everything roughly. No need to get fancy here as this soup goes into the blender.

  2. Next, add 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut oil to a big soup pot over medium-high heat. 

  3. Once it's melted, add your veggies & cook until caramelized. This is the secret to this soup. Do not skip this step!

  4. After about 15 minutes, add the 2nd spoon of coconut oil & give it a good stir, then add the ginger and garlic.

  5. At the 20 minute mark, your carrots should have caramelized and the pot should smell of ginger, now's the time to deglaze with the apple cider vinegar.

  6. Add enough water to cover everything then bring it back to the boil.

  7. Once everything is hot again, transfer to a blender & blend until smooth. Be careful not to overfill your blender with hot ingredients as it can result in burns!

  8. Top with coriander flowers or sunflower seeds, enjoy!

 

more carrot recipes

Red Cabbage & Onion Soup
Red Cabbage & Onion Soup | Simple plant based lunch | The nomadic wife
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RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

Variation on a tried and true cabbage soup

I spend a lot of time telling people to "make recipes their own" and not to be afraid of swapping out an ingredient on a whim. So for this recipe, I figured I'd put my money where my mouth is and show you what a variation on one of my favorite soups.

Is the result exactly the same as the original? Of course not, the ingredients have shifted, so how could it be. However, it is no less delicious and actually has some slightly more umami undertones I was never able to attain with its predecessor. 

Grab the original recipe (with green cabbage and yellow onion, here)

 

 

4 servings

1 head of red cabbage
1 large red onion
2 T butter
4 C (vegetable or chicken) stock
3 T tamari
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 C sauerkraut
 

 

Directions

15 mins prep + 20 mins cook

  1. In a large soup pot, over medium heat, add the butter & the minced onions.

  2. Cook them until they begin to caramelize then deglaze with the vinegar.

  3. Thinly slice the cabbage, add it to the pot along with the tamari & stock.

  4. Cook until the cabbage is tender then serve with sauerkraut.

 


WANT TO TRY A FEW MORE CABBAGE DISHES THIS WEEK? CHECK OUT THESE EASY RECIPES:

Cabbage & Onion Soup
easy dinner plant based cabbage and onion soup
cabbage and onion soup a simple seasonal dinner

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

These days my heart sometimes longs for a simple, steaming hot meal.

I vacillate between the desire to eat fresh produce, the promise of warmer days to come, and the desire to curl up with a good bowl of piping hot soup. Is it really summer? It sure hasn't felt that way these past days.

When those moments turn up, as the inevitably ought to, I turn to my repertoire of simple, yet tasty fare which celebrates the days of winter's past. This recipe is one that I concocted on a day where my laziness surpassed my yearning for a complex meal, a day where a simple head of cabbage & a large onion was all I was willing to deal with.

The results were surprisingly delightful, for the onion & the cabbage, once browned and steeped come together as the most perfect of complices. I did, at the last moment, add a third to their dance. I wanted a touch of brightness in my dish, and I knew just the right ingredient to bring it all together.

A hefty dose of sauerkraut, cabbage in a brighter form, brings just the right acidity to this soup. It makes everything pop. It takes it from hearty & wholesome, to a party I wouldn't mind inviting guests to.

 

 

4 servings

1 head of green cabbage
1 large onion
2 T butter
4 C stock
1 t tamari
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 C sauerkraut
Fresh parsley

15 mins prep + 15 mins cook

In a large soup pot, over medium heat, add the butter & the minced onions.
Cook them until they begin to caramelize then deglaze with the vinegar.
Thinly slice the cabbage, add it to the pot along with the tamari & stock.
Cook until the cabbage is tender then serve with sauerkraut & fresh parsley.

 

WASTE LESS TIP

Taking the leaves of of the outside of a cabbage as opposed to cutting into it makes it last longer in the crisper.
If you do cut into it, a mason jar and a
quick pickle is all it takes to keep cabbage almost indefinitely.
If you're a little more adept at it, you could even try your hand making your own sauerkraut. 


WANT TO TRY A FEW MORE CABBAGE DISHES THIS WEEK? CHECK OUT THESE EASY RECIPES:

Simple miso soup bowl with broccoli & bacon
mugi miso paste edmotnon organic box - soup recipe by the nomadic wife

Recipe sponsored by The Organic Box


 

I don’t really go to grocery stores anymore. Sounds a little crazy? Well, a while back I would probably have assumed a few things about a woman who said such a silly thing.

Maybe she’s a hermit? Maybe she gets her husband to run the errands! Lucky gal.

In truth, I don’t go to them that much these days for the simple reason that between our local farmer's markets and The Organic Box, there just isn’t a need for them anymore. I can find all the local produce & pantry items my heart desires and enjoy the sunshine all at the same time. Yup, I place my box orders on my phone, sipping lattes after I’ve done my round at the farmer’s market... Brilliant right?

 
simple miso soup recipe by the nomadic wife - miso paste edmotnon organic box
Easy miso soup recipe by the nomadic wife
 

The Downside

One of the biggest downsides to not getting my groceries in a store anymore though is being able to hold the ingredients in my hands. That was always a big one for me.

I love to hold the containers of nut butter or the bottles of sauce before I purchase them and bring them into our house. While looking at them, I go through my mental Rolodex of flavors -- this would pair well with the leftover ginger, that would be lovely with that broccoli salad I made last week. Then, I flip the container and check the ingredients to make sure they follow a rather simple set of rules (post coming soon on this).

So, when I bought a tub of Amano Miso paste (pictured above) I was concerned that it wouldn’t be all that I had dreamed of in a miso paste. Even though I create recipes all the time, I sometimes have a hard time figuring out just how much 400g in a container means. So I’m always a little weary that the container will be teeny tiny. Let me tell you, it isn’t. I used enough to make four (large) bowls of soup here and I’ve hardly made a dent in the container.

The folk at The Organic Box have been an absolute charm at answering any questions I’ve had in regards to the products the carry. So, if you’re a yegger, give them a try and if you’re unsure, give them a holler. Easy right?

 
Simple miso soupe recipe for the organic box edmonton
amano miso paste - edmonton - the organic box
 

The Best Miso Soup Ever

When I made this soup, with the Mugi Miso (which is a red miso) I was happily surprised at how much flavor was packed into that delightfully fermented soybean paste. The last time I had a miso broth so full of flavor, I was in Asia. So that should tell you something.

The there are two key steps with miso soup tasting the way it tastes when you go to your favorite sushi place - or dare I say it better. First, is good miso as I just mentioned. Second is good seaweed. Most recipes called for Nori and it truly makes the world of a difference. If you’ve ever had seaweed-less miso soup, you know what I’m talking about. It can be a little bland (think chicken stock without salt) and leave you wondering what the heck you just ate.


Next level umami flavor

Now, because I really wanted to punch the flavors up a notch, I added pan fried bacon to the mix, because everything tastes better with a little umami bacon grease in there. It isn’t necessary though. You could totally do without it and to be quite frank, although there is something magical about the pork to seaweed ratio in this soup, you could just add a touch more seaweed if you were after that satiating umami flavor.

 

Get your ingredients for this recipe from The Organic Box.

Use OrganicBunch20 at checkout to get 20$ off your first order.



wheat free, dairy free, soy free, vegetarian


4 Servings

1 L chicken or vegetable stock
2 thick slices of bacon
1 small onion
Green onions, for topping
1 pack of rice vermicelli
2-3 T Amano Miso Paste, to taste
1 small Broccoli 
1 sheet Nori
 

20 mins prep + 10 mins cook

First, take your rice noodles out of the bag and place them in slightly warm water. This will help them to dehydrate.
Leave them to soak for the full 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Cut your bacon & onion into small pieces and add them to a frying pan over medium heat. You may need to toss it once or twice, but the idea is to get your onions golden and your bacon crisp.
While the bacon is going, bring the stock and the sheet of nori up to a simmer in a medium pot.
Take a measuring cup (or any cup) and pull out a bit of stock to dissolve the miso paste into. Then add the paste mixture back in.
When the full 20 minutes of soaking has passed. Separate your noodles into 4 bowls. Layer on raw broccoli & the bacon mix.
Finish by dividing the broth into the four bowls & adding sliced green onion. Enjoy!
 

Beef Stew - with a veg option
 

This one is for all the vegans out there. Yes you. There are notes on how to make the perfect un-beef stew below.. basically, just add more beans and you're good to go.

Not a vegan, me neither. Let's carry on, shall we?

I haven't met anyone in my life who doesn't like a good stew on a cold winter day and let me tell you, we've been getting plenty of those days recently. So to celebrate my last week in Edmonton before I head out east for vacation & holidays, I thought I'd make us all a treat.

Beef stew has deep roots for me, it's something I've eaten for as far as I can remember and now that we very seldom eat meat, it feels even more special to me. Stew to me is cold winter evenings, when the sun sets early and snow gently falls to the ground. It's the cup of goodness I want to hold when I walk in after a long walk in the crisp winter air. It's the promise of warmth & cozy.

All beef & winter remarks aside, this is a serious bowl of goodness.

It celebrates all the winter produce in one fell swoop. There's squash, potato, carrots, rutabaga which makes it slightly sweet. So if you're anything like me, you may want to add a dash of cayenne in there to turn up the heat.

 

 

Ingredients

makes 4 portions

1 C northern white beans
2 C fingerling potatoes, cubed
2 C rutabaga, cubed
2 C carrots, cubed
1 small carnival squash
1 can diced tomato, squished
2 bay leaves
1 T oregano
1 T thyme
1 T basil
2 C vegetable stock
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bunch parsley, chopped

1 piece of beef flank - optional
* I used a 3" x 3" by 3" piece

Directions

15 mins prep + 45 mins cooking

If you're using beef, you can start cutting it down to 1/2" cubes & grilling it in a large soup pot.
Once browned, add your onions & garlic.
When the onions have become translucent, it's time to add the potatoes, peeled rutabaga, peeled & seeded squash, carrots & diced tomato.
Make sure you squish the tomato as you put it in, it will help thicken the stew.
Add the stock and spices, cover and let stew for 45 mins.
At the last minute, chop up the parsley and add it in.
Enjoy!

 

 

 
Carrot & Ginger Soup
Carrot and ginger soup is the perfect fall recipe. Vegetarians and paleo people love it! It's got a lovely spicy kick for those cool evenings. thenomadicwife.com
 

I don't know if you love soup as much as I do but I have to say it's one of the saving graces of cooler weather. We may no longer be able to get a slew of jewel toned veg that the summer bounty provides, but there are few still here waiting to be celebrated.

Carrot, is one of them.

This particular recipe yields a rich creamy-without-cream bowl of goodness which I really love making double batches of because it freezes so well. High five for lunch that's made two months in advance! 

 

 

wheat free, meat free, egg free, soy free

Ingredients

makes 4 servings

1 doz medium size carrots, washed & chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 in. ginger, peeled & chopped
4 stalks celery, washed & chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled & chopped
2 T coconut oil
2 L vegetable stock
1/4 C sunflower seeds

Directions

prep 5 mins + cook 25 mins

First, chop everything roughly. No need to get fancy here as this soup goes into the blender.
Next, add 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut oil to a big soup pot over medium-high heat. 
Once it's melted, add all your veggies and let it them sit there.
Stir every 5 minutes or so, allowing the bottom to caramelize & everything to soften.
After about 15 minutes, add the 2nd spoon of coconut oil & give it a good stir.
At the 20 minute mark, your carrots should have caramelized a little and the pot should smell of ginger, now's the time to deglaze with the vegetable stock. 
Add all 2 L at once & bring back up to a boil.
Once everything is hot again, transfer to a blender & blend until smooth. 
Top with sunflower seeds, enjoy!

 
TNW × Bo And Marrow: Fall Bone Broth & Turmeric Soup
simple fall soup featuring ancient grains, quinoa, bone broth & turmeric.

If you know anything about me at all you know I'm a huge fan of local farmer's markets. I LOVE them for all the obvious reasons (fresh veg, mindful atmosphere, local products) but beyond that, I love them because they allow me to put a face to the products I consume.

Connecting, face to face, with other people has become so foreign to me in the past few years that when I am greeted with a warm welcome from someone I barely know, it leaves a deep loving impression.

Diane of Bo & Marrow left such an impression on me this year. She barely knew me, but we were following each other on Instagram before we managed to get connected face to face at City Market (downtown Edmonton) this season. She was all smiles, warm hugs & cheerfully chatty. On my end, being my introverted self, I fell head over heals. Hah. Major girl crush.

We got to talking & I asked her what her product was all about. She explained that it was a labour of love she was creating from the ground up with her lovely man. Together, they source, chop, boil down a bunch of different bone broths. They then pouch them up in perfectly sippable packages and sell them through markets and their websites.

Take it from a girl who makes her own chicken feet stock, it's a lot of work!

These guys blew me out of the water with the varieties they offer. So we discussed working together on a recipe that would feature one of their delish broths. 

simple fall soup featuring ancient grains, quinoa, bone broth & turmeric.

I collected a mixture of veggies from my own garden & tossed in a few from Riverbend Gardens for good measure. Before I knew it, I had a soul soothing recipe on the table. 

If you leave the recipe in the fridge overnight, the grains will soak of any remaining stock which makes it perfectly packable for next-day lunch. Hello bonus!

Ingredients

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

2 T coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 C summer squash, chopped
1 C cabbage, minced
1 C broccoli, chopped
1 lime, juiced
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 ½  t salt
¼  t red pepper flakes
1 ½  t turmeric
1 t cumin
2 ½  C Bo & Marrow Beef Broth
1 ½  C ancient grains, cooked
Parsley for serving

Directions

10 MINS PREP + 30 MINS COOK

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add the onion, garlic, celery, cabbage and broccoli and cook for 5 - 6 minutes.
Add the salt, pepper flakes, turmeric, and cumin and cook for 2-3 more minutes. 
Deglaze with apple cider vinegar & lime juice, then add the broth and bring to a boil.
Once boiling add the cooked grains.
Simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes for all the flavors to come together
Serve immediately with chopped parsley, or let it cool completely and freeze for later!

Note: This makes a very thick soup with lots of veggies in it, to stretch it you can always add a second pouch of broth!