Here are all of our Comfort Food recipes from our Lent 2021 series, conveniently in one spot!
Week 1: Rebecca’s Creamy Curried Butternut Squash Soup
2-3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
½ tsp. sea or coarse kosher salt
1 medium butternut squash, about 2 lbs., peeled, seeded, and cubed (about 6 cups)
1 medium sweet potato, ½ to 3/4 lbs. (about 2 cups)
1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbs. yellow curry powder
1 tsp. whole mustard seeds (if you substitute ground mustard, only use 1/4 teaspoon)
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger (ginger powder)
Dash (or two) cinnamon
Dash (one only!) nutmeg
3 to 4 cups vegetable broth or stock
1 cup coconut milk
Freshly ground black pepper
Optional – Cilantro or parsley to top
Sour Cream to top
Serve with garlic naan – Trader Joe’s
1. Sauté the squash and sweet potato – Use a big stock pot. Over medium heat, warm about 1 tsp. of olive oil. Add in enough squash/potato to cover bottom of pot but no more (probably have to do this in phases). Toss to coat all sides with oil, then sprinkle with a little salt. Cook, stirring pretty frequently to avoid sticking and/or burning. Cook until browned. Remove and set aside. Continue (adding more oil and salt) until all the squash and sweet potatoes are browned.
2. Sauté the onions, carrots, spices, ginger – Heat another tbs. of olive oil in the pot, on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the curry powder, mustard seeds or ground mustard), ginger powder and/or fresh ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon and cook for a minute or so longer. Make sure all onions are loosened from bottom of pot.
3. Add broth/stock and browned squash and potatoes – Add in stock/broth, stir, then add in squash and potatoes. Add another tsp. of salt. Bring to a full simmer, then lower to slow simmer. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes.
4. Add coconut milk and pepper– add coconut milk and ground pepper, stir, and continue to simmer until squash and potatoes are fully cooked and tender – and additional 10-15 minutes or so.
5. Purée the soup – Use an immersion blender if you have one (and if you don’t have one, get one – they are awesome!) to blend the soup smooth.
6. Taste test and adjust – at this point it’s a lot more art than science – add what you need to taste “right – a bit more salt, curry power, ground ginger (too late for fresh!), pepper. If too thick, add stock or coconut milk. If too thin, well, that’s a bigger challenge. Sour Cream.
7. Serve and enjoy – serve with optional toppers of freshly chopped parsley and/or cilantro, and/or sour cream (just a dollop “cools” the curry). I like to serve with garlic naan, and for the price I don’t think you can beat Trader Joe’s!
Week 2: Lenten Corn Chowder
• ½ cup water
• 2 cups diced potatoes
• 1 cup sliced carrots
• 1 cup chopped celery
• ¼ cup chopped onion – optional
• 1 tsp salt
• ¼ tsp pepper
Combine in a 2 quart sauce pan. Cover and simmer 10-12 minutes.
• 1 can cream style corn
Simmer 5 minutes
• 1 ½ cup milk (half and half can be used for extra rich soup)
• 2/3 cup grated cheese
Stir until cheese melts and chowder is heated.
(For my family, I like to double or triple this recipe.)
Week 3: Mom’s Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)
• 2 cups packed bite size kimchi, fully fermented
• 4 ounces fresh pork belly or other pork meat with some fat or other protein choice
• 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes) adjust to taste or omit
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1 tablespoon cooking oil (I use sesame oil, but any cooking oil is fine)
• 1/2 onion, chopped
• 1/2 cup juice from kimchi if available
• 2 cups reserved rice rinsing water
• 1 teaspoon soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon fish sauce
• 6 ounces firm tofu
• 2 scallions
• salt and pepper to taste
Start the rice, either in a pot on the stove or rice cooker. Reserve 2 cups of rice water for stew.
Cut the meat into bite sizes
Slice the tofu (about 1/2-inch thick)
Roughly chop the scallions
Cut the kimchi into bite size pieces.
Heat a small-to-medium pot with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the pork, kimchi, and garlic. Cook
over medium-high heat until the kimchi is softened and the pork cooks through, about 5 to 8
minutes depending on the thickness of your meat. If using, you can add onion and red pepper
Add the kimchi juice and about 2 cups of rice water. Add the soy and fish sauces at this time, as
well. Bring it to a boil and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to medium, and
boil, covered, for about 15 minutes. You can add more water if necessary.
Drop the tofu and scallions in. Salt and pepper to taste. (Salt is usually not necessary, unless
kimchi was lightly seasoned or kimchi juice is not available.) Boil until the tofu is cooked
through, about 5 minutes. Serve, while bubbling over from the heat, with rice.
Use old, sour kimchi.
Cook the kimchi and pork together before adding the liquid. This step develops extra flavor.
Use the water used to rinse rice as the stew base. It’s commonly used for Korean stews. Use the
water from the second or third round of rinsing. The rice water thickens the broth slightly and
enhance the flavor.
Use the juice from the kimchi if available. It will add lots of flavor to the broth.