Autumn Squash Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

I’m not really a big soup person. Don’t get me wrong – I love soup! It just so happens that when I’m menu planning for the week, soup usually isn’t something that makes it onto my list. However, this recipe may wind up being the beginning of a very delicious soup obsession! The recipe is from the Fat Radish cookbook, but I switched up the squash a bit. The original recipe calls for a 3lb Kobucha squash, but I used a small Buttercup squash and an Acorn squash. I also learned a very interesting lesson – Buttercup squash cooks more quickly than Acorn squash! At the end of my roasting, the Acorn squash was falling apart so this ended up being an easy decision as to which one was going to get pureed in the soup.

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Fall flavours are amazing. The bright, fresh flavours of summer are great, but there is something very comforting about a warm, hearty fall meal. Squash is one of those flavours that you just can’t go wrong with, and I will very likely be trying other squash soup variations after this little experiment. There isn’t really too much to say about this one… it tastes as good as it looks so give it a try!

Winter Squash Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

· 1 Acorn Squash

· 1 Buttercup Squash (should be roughly 3 lbs of squash altogether)

· 3 cups of chicken broth

· 1 can coconut milk

· 1 onion, diced

· 4 cloves of garlic, minced

· 1 tsp turmeric

· 3 Tbsp olive oil

· ¼ cup pumpkin seeds

· A handful of chopped chives
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Take your squash and cut them in half, scooping out and discarding the seeds (or save the seeds to toast later on for a snack, yum!). Wrap each squash half in tin foil and place in the oven for 1 hour or until cooked through and soft. Set squash aside to cool. While the squash is cooling, chop your onion and garlic, and toast the pumpkin seeds in a small frying pan over medium-high heat – make sure you keep an eye on them and stir them frequently because they will burn fast in a hot pan! Put the toasted pumpkin seeds into a bowl and get a large stock pot onto your stove on medium heat, then add the olive oil, onions, garlic and turmeric. Cook until the onions get soft, stirring occasionally – roughly 10 minutes. Next add the broth and coconut milk, bringing the mixture to a boil and reducing heat to a simmer. While your broth is simmering, start preparing your squash. If you chose the same squash as I did, use the buttercup for the broth. Just peel the skin off and add the squash to the soup, then puree with an immersion blender. Chop the acorn squash into wedges, then chop up a handful of chives.

To serve – ladle out the broth into bowls, add some of the squash wedges and top with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds and chives. You’ll never look at soup the same way again! J

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Creamy Avocado Spaghetti with Garden Tomatoes and Basil

I love pasta. You’ll never catch me saying, “carbs are the enemy”! All things in moderation, of course. 😉 This is a recipe that I have made a few times, with some variations. Avocado pasta recipes are all over the web and that’s because they are both quick to throw together, and also taste really good! How could something that combines avocados and pasta not taste good?? This is a great summery recipe that only takes 15-20 minutes max to make so it’s also a good weeknight meal. Continue reading

Korean Short Ribs (Galbi) – My first “Guest” post!!

Well I haven’t been at this for very long and already I’ve got a guest contributor to my blog. This guest just happens to be the very person who inspired me to try cooking delicious meals myself, and not just settling for whatever happened to come out of the oven/frying pan/pot/etc…

When I lived in Ottawa, Stephanie and I would often swap Sunday dinner nights at each of our places where on my turns I would try to whip up something that resembled edible food and secretly hope that the next few dinner nights would be at Steph’s place! 🙂 We also tried out a few great restaurants around town, and I have very fond memories of Mr. Kwon’s Korean BBQ restaurant as well. After reading this, I can’t wait to try making Galbi myself! Anyhow, here is Steph’s contribution to the Curious Test Kitchen!: Continue reading

Shrimp Po’ Boys

When Kim and I lived in Edmonton, one of our favorite places to eat was Dadeo’s – a New Orlean’s-style diner. They were famous for their Po’ Boys. Neither of us had a Po Boy before we went to Dadeo’s but once we did, we kept going back and usually ordered the same thing. They had other menu items that sounded pretty tasty, but the temptation of the Po Boy just pulled us in! Continue reading

Peach & Berry Muesli

Muesli! What can I say about muesli? There are so many different variations of this delicious breakfast dish that I feel like I could do so many posts devoted just to muesli… and maybe I will!

For now though, I’m going with my current favorite. This is inspired by the muesli that Kim and I had for breakfast almost every day when we stayed at the Green Tiger Guesthouse in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I know, muesli doesn’t sound like Thai food, but this guest house was owned by a Swiss gentleman and his Thai wife, and I think a lot of the inspiration for their menu came from his home country. The muesli we had there was creamy and filled with deliciuos, fresh fruit like mangoes and papaya. I decided to make a more Canadian version, and while this is definitely different from their recipe, it is still where the inspiration came from! Continue reading

Vietnamese Noodle & Cabbage salad


I whipped up this salad specifically to go along with my Bun Cha burgers, but it makes a great, summery salad that would be good on the side with many other main dishes. I’m thinking kebabs, grilled chicken, fish… the possibilities are endless!!

Anyhow, this salad takes its cues from many of the typical Vietnamese ingredients and flavours. If you are at all familiar with Vietnamese cuisine, this should all be familiar to you. If you aren’t – this is an easy and tasty way to get acquainted! I loved how this turned out and I’m probably going to make it again in the very near future. Continue reading

Bun Cha Turkey Burgers

Wow, my first post on Curious Test Kitchen. This is exciting! The whole idea for this thing came about when I was flipping through the Smitten Kitchen cookbook yesterday and saw a recipe for vinegar slaw with cucumbers and dill. My first thought was, “I love slaw. I am so making this!”. Then I started thinking about how much I love slaw, and all the different kinds of slaw I have had before, and about how it can be a side on its own or a topping for a pulled pork bun or a sausage or a burger. Thinking about this, I realized that there are potentially endless combinations of ingredients and flavours that can result in a different variation of slaw. That was the trigger. Why not make my own slaw? Why not make a Vietnamese style slaw and put it on a burger that’s seasoned like bun cha pork patties? Why not start a blog where I can document ideas like this? I could see no reason not to do any of this, so here we are! Continue reading