Tomato Bisque

Tomato Bisque

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Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.

Today’s post is a blog update on my Tomato Bisque. Because the weather is frightful right now in central Alberta, it seemed like the perfect time to do a little tidy up on this gorgeous soup. This Tomato Bisque is creamy and luscious, even with only a small amount of cream. It’s thickened with rice, making it a great gluten-free option.

The creaminess and tang are the perfect marriage with crunchy cheese toast or buttery croutons. I won’t hesitate to say that when you make this soup, you will have tremendous satisfaction from your efforts because it’s so much better than store-bought soup. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing you’re feeding your family wholesome goodness.

Traditional French bisque is made using ground crustacean shells and thickened with rice. The term is used loosely today and can refer to anything pureed such as tomatoes or squash. Most varieties are finished with cream as is this one. Enjoy!

Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.

Author: Compelled to Cook, adapted from Chef John of Food Wishes

Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.
Tomato Bisque
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    4-6 people 20 minutes
    Cook Time
    30-50 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    4-6 people 20 minutes
    Cook Time
    30-50 minutes
    Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.
    Tomato Bisque
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      4-6 people 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      30-50 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      4-6 people 20 minutes
      Cook Time
      30-50 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Melt butter in a large heavy pot, add onions, celery and garlic and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes until the vegetables become translucent.
      2. Add the tomatoes, stock, paprika, sugar and rice and cook until the rice is very soft, at least 30 minutes.
      3. Blend with a handheld immersion blender until smooth. Stir in heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.
      Recipe Notes

      I used homemade chicken stock and used 1 1/2 tsp of salt. The amount of salt will depend on the stock/broth used, so season to taste.

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      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls

      Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls

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      Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

      Do you have a New Year’s resolution? With the new year approaching fast, I find myself thinking of my own New Year’s resolutions.   Like many of you, one of my resolutions is to eat differently.  I say different because I don’t necessarily want to eat less or lose a bunch of weight, I just want to eat less refined sugar and simple carbohydrates like white rice. I have found that by eating a little more protein and less simple carbohydrates I generally feel better and have less hunger throughout the day.  As with everything, moderation is key to my success and my goal of maintaining this small change does not mean I will pass on every cookie and slice of bread. It means certain foods will be eaten less often. This year is all about balance!

      I hope the new year brings you success and happiness in all that you do. Cheers to 2020!

      I find dishes like Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls perfect for my resolution because they’re high in protein, both the shrimp and quinoa, a good source of fibre and loaded with fresh flavour from parsley, garlic and lemon. It also has arugula which I absolutely love lightly wilted. It’s simple, delicious and a great way to help refine the way you eat.

      Raw shrimp, arugula and lemon dressing in preparation for Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls.
      Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

      Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.
      Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        2 people 15 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        25 minutes 5 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        2 people 15 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        25 minutes 5 minutes
        Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.
        Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          2 people 15 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          25 minutes 5 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          2 people 15 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          25 minutes 5 minutes
          Ingredients
          Shrimp Bowls
          Dressing
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Combine vegetable broth and quinoa in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook according to package directions until tender. Allow quinoa to rest for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
          2. While quinoa is cooking make dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl.
          3. Pat shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper.
          4. Heat 1 tbsp of olive in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes until softened. Stir in shrimp and cook for 2 minutes per side.
          5. Add warm quinoa, arugula and 1/2 of the dressing and toss to combine over low heat until arugula is slightly wilted, about 1 minute.
          6. Scoop into serving dishes and drizzle each with remaining dressing and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately.

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          Affiliate Disclosure

          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Five Spice Mixed Nuts

          Five Spice Mixed Nuts

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          Five Spiced Mixed Nuts in a small bowl on a gold tray with white napkins and glasses of champagne.

          Do you have a New Year’s Eve gathering and need tasty nibbles to pass along with your bubbly? Five Spice Mixed Nuts are very snackable and rather addictive with a hint of spice and sugar. They’re the party favour that you just can’t stop grabbing at. You’ll find a pleasant mixture of Chinese five-spice, maple syrup and brown sugar. The nuts are coated just enough for a light sugary chew with a lingering spice that you can’t quite put your finger on. The added dried cherries lend a little extra sweetness and soft texture to balance the crunchy nuts.

          Five Spice Mixed Nuts is a simple recipe to toss together and will keep in an airtight container for a couple of weeks. They’re perfect to make ahead for any social gathering. Enjoy your holidays and Happy New Year to you and your family. I wish you a wonderful year ahead!

          Five Spice Mixed Nuts
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            5 cups 10 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            60 minutes 1+ hours
            Servings Prep Time
            5 cups 10 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            60 minutes 1+ hours
            Five Spice Mixed Nuts
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              5 cups 10 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              60 minutes 1+ hours
              Servings Prep Time
              5 cups 10 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              60 minutes 1+ hours
              Ingredients
              Servings: cups
              Instructions
              1. Preheat oven to 225°F. Spray a large baking tray with non-stick spray.
              2. In a large bowl toss together nuts.
              3. In a medium bowl whisk together maple syrup, brown sugar, egg white, water, Chinese five spice and sea salt. Pour over nuts and stir to coat evenly.
              4. Spread nuts evenly on a large baking tray. Bake for 60 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. If using dried cherries stir them in halfway through baking time.
              5. Remove from oven and loosen from the baking tray. Allow nuts to cool completely before breaking apart. Will keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

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              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
              Roasted Vegetable Soup

              Roasted Vegetable Soup

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              Roasted Vegetable Soup served in a black bowl with crusty bread.

              Get cozy with a warming bowl of Roasted Vegetable Soup.  This soup is perfect for your fall/winter line up with its earthy yet slightly sweet flavour.  It’s a wonderful blend of carrots, parsnips, apple and curry.

              A sheet pan lined with roasted vegetable in preparation for Roasted Vegetable Soup.

              This Roasted Vegetable Soup blends up beautifully with cannellini beans and a splash of cream gives it a silky richness.  A well-blended soup comes from using quality ingredients, cooking everything until soft enough to blend, and finally, using a good quality blender makes a big difference.

              For a vegan option, use vegetable broth and substitute the cream for coconut milk.  The result is just as delicious, enjoy!

              Roasted Vegetable Soup
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                8 cups 30 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                80 minutes 15 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                8 cups 30 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                80 minutes 15 minutes
                Roasted Vegetable Soup
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  8 cups 30 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  80 minutes 15 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  8 cups 30 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  80 minutes 15 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: cups
                  Instructions
                  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
                  2. Toss parsnips, carrots, apple and garlic with 1 tbsp oil. Spread out on a large baking tray in a single layer. Roast for 40 minutes flipping once after 20 minutes.
                  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tbsp of oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add diced onion and saute until starting to soften, about 5-7 minutes (don't brown).
                  4. To the pot add the roasted vegetables, chicken broth, beans, curry paste, and salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook on low for 30-40 minutes until everything is good and soft.
                  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly 10-15 minutes. Puree mixture in a blender until smooth and silky. Return to pot and warm on low if needed. Stir in cream and white pepper. Adjust consistency to your liking with additional broth and season to taste with salt.
                  Recipe Notes

                  -letting the soup cool slightly before blending is not necessary, however, I find it a little safer than blending the scalding hot soup.

                  -the amount of salt needed will be dependent on the saltiness of your broth.

                  -makes about 8 cups of soup depending on your desired consistency.

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                  Affiliate Disclosure

                  I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
                  Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls

                  Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls

                  Even though I’m not a vegetarian, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a meatless meal on regular occasion. In fact, I think it’s very important to eat legumes and plant-based proteins for a good overall balance of one’s diet.  My thoughts on the matter also play nicely with the new Canada Food Guide, so I see it as a win-win. But eating a meatless meal doesn’t have to be complicated, and that’s why I love these Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls.

                  Why do I love quinoa?

                  It’s neutral in taste and can take on a wide variety of flavours.

                  Quick and easy to prepare with no special equipment or longer soaking periods required.

                  Great as a main dish or side dish and is gluten-free.

                  It contains plant-based protein and essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. This is important because essential amino acids are the ones that the body cannot produce on its own and must get from food. 

                  Not only a source of protein but fibre, magnesium, manganese and folate to name only a few. 

                  It has a pleasant texture and holds up well on its own or in combination with other foods.

                  If you love quinoa too or simply want to find out for yourself what all the fuss is about, here are a couple of other great recipes that include this amazing food. 

                  Quinoa Spinach Egg Cups

                  Spinach and Quinoa Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

                  Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls sit on a wooden board surrounded by fresh thyme, lemon half, mushrooms and linen napkin.
                  Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    2 people 20 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    12 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    2 people 20 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    12 minutes
                    Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls sit on a wooden board surrounded by fresh thyme, lemon half, mushrooms and linen napkin.
                    Mushroom and Arugula Quinoa Bowls
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      2 people 20 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      12 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      2 people 20 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      12 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: people
                      Instructions
                      1. Heat broth to a simmer in a small pot. Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to a steady simmer, cover and cook for about 18 minutes (I find cooking quinoa in broth takes a few minutes longer than just water). Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
                      2. In a small bowl whisk together 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, half of the thyme, salt and pepper. Set aside.
                      3. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once hot, add mushrooms and cook on medium highfor 3-4 minutes until starting to turn golden. Stir and continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Add garlic, shallots and half of the thyme. Cook, stirring often until garlic and shallots have softened, another 2-3 minutes.
                      4. Fluff quinoa with a fork and add to mushrooms, stirring to combine. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
                      5. Add arugula and sauté for 1-2 minutes until starting to soften and wilt. Remove from heat and stir in dressing. Divide into 2 bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese and toasted nuts.
                      Recipe Notes

                      I used pine nuts here, but cashews are also wonderful.  To quickly toast nuts, heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add nuts and toss or stir occasionally until golden.

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                      Affiliate Disclosure

                      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
                      Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower

                      Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower

                      Cauliflower is boring!

                      But it doesn’t have to be with a good roasting and the addition of a vibrant Gremolata.  Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower is anything but boring with its caramelized edges, fresh garlic, parsley and a good dose of lemon zest.  The Gremolata is a game changer for plain, boring cauliflower, transforming it into a flavourful and zesty side dish.

                      What is Gremolata?

                      Gremolata is an Italian condiment/accompaniment that is made with Italian flat leaf parsley, lemon zest, fresh garlic, olive oil and salt. It’s vibrant and fresh with a slight bitter note from the parsley and flavour punch from the garlic. If you have parsley, lemon and garlic, you’ve got a simple sauce that will spruce up so many things. It’s a classic accompaniment for the Italian dish Ossobuco but also great with fish, lamb and of course vegetables. 

                      Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower
                      Print Recipe
                        Servings Prep Time
                        5-6 people 20 minutes
                        Cook Time
                        30 minutes
                        Servings Prep Time
                        5-6 people 20 minutes
                        Cook Time
                        30 minutes
                        Roasted Gremolata Cauliflower
                        Print Recipe
                          Servings Prep Time
                          5-6 people 20 minutes
                          Cook Time
                          30 minutes
                          Servings Prep Time
                          5-6 people 20 minutes
                          Cook Time
                          30 minutes
                          Ingredients
                          Servings: people
                          Instructions
                          1. Preheat oven to 400℉
                          2. In a large bowl stir together parsley, lemon zest, garlic, salt and 3 tbsp of olive oil. Set aside.
                          3. Remove outer leaves from cauliflower and cut the head into quarters. Easily core the cauliflower by cutting it out of each quarter, allowing any remaining leaves and stem to come away with it.
                          4. Break or cut the cauliflower into large bite-size pieces. Toss cauliflower with remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and a few grinds of a pepper mill. Spread out evenly on a large baking tray.
                          5. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning once, allowing the bottom edges to become golden and caramelized.
                          6. Remove from oven and add to the bowl of Gremolata along with the parmesan cheese. Toss to coat evenly and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
                          Recipe Notes

                          -make as a vegan option by omitting the parmesan cheese or using your favourite alternative cheese.

                          Affiliate Disclosure

                          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com