Browsing Tag


Summer Cauliflower Soup

This soup was a plan that turned into a delightful surprise. I knew I wanted to make a cauliflower soup since they are just starting to show up at markets and I knew I wanted to use coconut milk, but that was about it. Then I kind of followed the trail from one flavor to another, until I came upon a combo so delicious, I can’t wait to make this again. I had originally intended to eat this cold, but we couldn’t wait (and it was perfectly lunchtime) and it was so delicious hot, I forgot all about my plan for cold soup. 


for the soup:
1 medium head of cauliflower, florets and stems cut into 1” pieces
3 garlic cloves, halved
1 can, unsweetened coconut milk
1-2” piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
water, to cover

for the salad:
4 scallions, thinly sliced
¼ c. roasted almonds, sliced or chopped
1 peach, diced
1 chile pepper (poblano, bell, jalapeno, etc.)

for the szechuan oil:
½ c. grape seed oil
3 star anise, whole
1 T. black peppercorns, whole
1 cinnamon stick, whole
¼ c. red pepper flakes


  1. Make the soup: In a pot add the cauliflower, garlic, coconut milk, ginger and water to cover. Simmer over medium-low heat until the cauliflower is tender. Blend until smooth in a blender.
  2. Make the szechuan oil: In a small dry pot add the star anise, black peppercorns and cinnamon stick. Toast for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the oil and let cook on low for around 20 minutes to infuse the flavor of the spices into the oil. Drain the oil through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl with the red pepper flakes. Let cool and store in the fridge.
  3. Roast the chile pepper: On a grill, over a gas grate or under the broiler, roast the pepper on all sides until charred. Transfer pepper to a bowl and cover for ten minutes to steam. Peel the skin off the pepper and remove the seeds. Now you are ready to dice the chile for the salad.
  4. Prepare the salad: Right before serving the soup gently combine the scallions, almonds, peach and roasted chile pepper.
  5. To serve the soup: Spoon a bit of salad into the bottom of each bowl. Top with the soup and drizzle with oil. Enjoy!

Garlic Soup with Crunchy Kale

This is a soup that’s perfect for late winter and early spring. It’s warm, hearty, and full of spring flavor. If you have access to ramps, lucky you. Use them instead of scallions.  The crunchy kale adds texture and a slight bitterness. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread and butter if you like.  If you have a piece of Parmesan, you could pass it around and let people grate the cheese over the top. If you want to make a vegan version, just skip the eggs. This recipe for Garlic Soup with Crunchy Kale is a new favorite of ours. Enjoy!


for the crunchy kale:
1 bunch of kale, washed, dried and cut into 2” pieces
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

for the soup:
¼ c. extra virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling over kale)
1 head of garlic, cloves thinly sliced
6 scallions, sliced
2 t. smoked paprika
8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
4 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 400 f.
  2. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper, spread out kale and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook kale until crunchy, around 20 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely then store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  5. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat.
  6. Add garlic and scallions to the pot, stirring frequently for around five minutes until golden brown.
  7. Add paprika and cook another couple minutes.
  8. Add stock and bring to a simmer for around a half hour.
  9. Check seasoning.
  10. Right before serving, whisk eggs in a small bowl and whisk eggs into soup.
  11. Ladle into bowls and garnish with crunchy kale.

Component in Action
-begin making the soup with caramelized onion and rendered bacon.
-add other greens like spinach, kale, arugula or chard towards the end of cooking.

Immunity Boosting Vegetable Soup

I’ve been on a mission to keep our family healthy over the holidays, so I made a list of all the immunity boosting ingredients that popped to mind and crammed them all in a single soup that I will forever consider the official Sundquist family Immunity Boosting Vegetable Soup.

You could make this with vegetable stock. You could add some jalapeno’s for some heat. You could add chicken for extra protein. You could add fresh herbs like basil or cilantro. There are many variations and things you could play around with to make it your own official family soup:)

I hope this Immunity Boosting Vegetable Soup is as cozy inducing and delicious for your family as it is for ours.

2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2″ piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 T. dried ground turmeric
1 lime, juiced
1 can of unsweetened coconut milk or cream
2 large carrots,
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 c. cauliflower, stems and florets cut into 1″ (bite sized) pieces
1/2 c. golden raisins
1 qt. chicken stock
4 c. kale, sliced
1 c. frozen peas
salt and pepper, to taste

1.) Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
2.) Add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for a around five minutes, stirring continuously.
3.) Add turmeric and cook another minute more.
4.)  Add coconut milk and lime juice and give a good stir with a wooden spoon to get any caramelized bits off the bottom of the pot.
5.) Add carrots, red bell pepper, cauliflower, golden raisins and chicken stock. Bring soup to a simmer.
6.) Let soup cook until carrots and cauliflower are tender around 20 minutes.
7.) Add the kale and frozen peas. Cook another five minutes.
8.) Add salt and pepper as needed.

Component in Action
-Enjoy simply as a cozy, immune boosting soup
-Spoon over baked sweet potatoes
-Spoon over rice or quinoa


Chicken Noodle Soup

I’m so excited to bring you week one of a four week wellness series of some of my favorite TLC recipes for my family. First up, Chicken Noodle Soup.

Fall has descended upon Santa Fe in all its glory. The gold and amber leaves fall from the trees with every windy gust, and the watermelon sunsets settle into darkness earlier with every passing day. In other words, the time for slippers, warm blankets and cozy bowls of steaming soup has arrived and I could not be happier about it.

With the change of the seasons, my four year old son River, brought home some kind of preschool cold and within two days, all four of us had come down with it. By some miracle I had the leftovers of a roasted chicken in the fridge. (Thank goodness!!). Then I had a few standard items I always try to keep on hand: carrots, celery, onion, garlic. There were lots of kale still growing out in the yard and I found some dried linguine pasta in the pantry.

I knew I just needed an hour to power through and make a pot of chicken noodle soup for us. Honestly, it felt more like a healing tonic eating it over the next few days. It brought us so much nourishment and warmth.

It can easily be made without chicken or even noodles. Just use vegetable stock instead and increase the veggies, maybe adding some additional vegetables like potatoes, peas, mushrooms, squash, extra greens or even diced tomatoes.

I hope this recipe of chicken noodle soup keeps your family warm and cozy in the chilly months ahead.

2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion (red or yellow), diced
4 stalks of celery, diced or sliced
2 big carrots, diced or sliced
2-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 T. fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or thyme or both)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
8 c. chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
2 c. cooked chicken meat, picked from bone or diced (white, dark or combo)
2 c. cooked noodles, cut into bite sized pieces if needed
2 c. fresh greens, torn or sliced (kale, beet greens, spinach, chard, etc.)

1.) Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat.
2.) Add onion, celery and carrot. Cook for a few minutes stirring occasionally. If you want a richer, carmalilzed flavor, let the vegetables (aka mirepoix) cook until they pick up a bit of color.
3.) Add garlic and rosemary. Stir and cook another minute being careful the garlic doesn’t burn.
4.) Add lemon juice and zest. If you let your vegetables carmelize, use a wooden spoon to scrape any goodness from the bottom of the pan (aka deglaze).
5.) Add chicken stock and cooked chicken meat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
6.) Check seasoning. Add salt and pepper as needed.
7.) Five minutes before serving add cooked noodles and greens to the pot.

Butternut Squash Soup

It’s been one of those weeks where on Thursday I was sure it was Tuesday, and small tasks like going through a stack of paperwork on the desk was the big project of the week. Such is life with a six week old baby and we are soaking in every moment of getting to know our sweet Fox. This week we learned that he likes to have his arms raised above his head and he rewards us with the biggest smile each time, which is pretty much the best thing ever. When River was born (who is almost four now), I was always looking ahead, eagerly anticipating the next phase or shift in development. I have thrown that anticipation to the wind with Fox, because now I know how freakishly fast it all goes. So it’s been blissful and exhausting all jumbled together.  All of this is to say, it took me three days to find a window of time to throw this soup together and it took less than an hour!

This week, when planning out our meals, I knew a soup would be easy and would last for a few lunches and dinners. I had a butternut squash and a big yellow onion that needed to be used. I checked the cupboard and saw a box of chicken stock hiding behind a box of ziti. I opened the fridge and saw there were a couple apples with bruises, and Oh! I found a can of coconut milk too… This is how soups can be a great way to save food from going to waste. This is also a perfect playground to let yourself wander away from a rigid recipe, enabling you to practice trusting your instincts and taste buds.

1 butternut Squash (halved and seeds scooped out)
2-3 T. olive oil (or butter)
1 large yellow onion (cut roughly into 1 inch pieces)
1-2 Apples (peeled and cut roughly into 1 inch pieces)
1 t. ground turmeric (or 1 T. fresh peeled and sliced)
1 t. Ground cinnamon
2 T. brown sugar (optional)
1 can, unsweetened coconut milk or cream
Vegetable or chicken stock to cover by one inch


1.) Rub both inside halves of squash with olive oil and season with salt.
2.) Roast in the oven at 400 f. Until tender when pierced with a knife.
3.) While the squash is roasting, heat 1-2 T, of olive oil or butter in a heavy bottomed soup pot.
4.) Saute onions and apples over medium high heat, stirring frequently until they turn a golden brown.
5.) Add brown sugar if you want, turmeric and cinnamon. Stir and cook for another minute.
6.) Pour in the can of coconut milk to deglaze, and with a wooden spoon scrape all the caramelized goodness from the bottom of the pot.
7.) Once the squash is roasted, scoop the squash into the simmering pot.
8.) Cover by one inch with stock.
9.) Bring soup to a simmer and season with salt to taste.
10.) Working in batches, blend the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Enjoy!

Component in Action

-substitute the butternut other kinds of squash or pumpkin
-use a little less stock to make a thicker version and use as a base under grains like quinoa or brown rice
-use as a sauce under fish or scallops
-spread on toasted garlic bread
-use as a warm dip for pita chips and apple slices (great for kids)

Butter Croutons

I grew up in a country crock house. It was the 80’s-90’s and butter substitutes were the rage and thought to be healthy compared to the real thing. I still remember with fondness the brown tub with the friendly looking barn logo, and smearing the golden spread on warm slices of amish friendship bread. I’m sure until the end of time we will continue to learn and have new theories popping up about what is healthy, so I’m not judging (hi mom!). I’m just thankful now we know that soybean and palm oils are not great for our bodies or the environment.

I actually remember the first time I tasted butter. I’m sure I technically tasted it before at our house or somewhere else, but I’m talking about the first time I really tasted it. I think I was in 6th or 7th grade and my family was at a graduation party for a high school student from our church. I remember standing at the buffet table out in the yard, streamers and balloons weighted down with 2-liters of pop to keep them from blowing away. I remember looking at the assortment of cake, veggie platters, chips and dips, sloppy joe simmering in a crock pot, and then there were dinner rolls with butter in a glass butter dish.

The butter wasn’t too soft or hard. It spread perfectly on the roll and it was then I noted it’s absolute superiority to butter spreads. It was like a wave. First I tasted the salt, then quickly followed by sweet cream all of which rolled over and through the soft and yeasty dinner roll. This was one of those “When I grow up moments” where I internally promised my middle school aged self that when I grew up I would always have real butter in my house. So I guess it’s a good thing that I didn’t grow up during World War II where butter was carefully rationed. To this day I still have a bit of a love affair with the real thing and thankfully it still tastes like a treat whether spread on toast, a ham and cheese sandwich, or melted to make these croutons.

This is also a great way to stop bread from going into the trash. Sometimes I’ll make these as soon as I notice a partial loaf of bread has been hanging around for a while. I can promise that these won’t go to waste.


2 c. bread (your favorite kind, diced or torn into pieces)
1/4 c. melted butter
Salt (to taste)


1.) Preheat oven to 350 f.
2.) Line a sheet tray (aka cookie sheet) with a silpat, parchment or foil (easy clean up!)
3.) Toss bread and melted butter in a bowl.
4.) Spread out into a single layer onto the sheet tray.
5.) Sprinkle with salt.
6.) Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes or until croutons are crisp and golden brown.

Component in Action

-sprinkle on soups and salads
-use odds and ends of bread hanging around your kitchen…a great way to stop them from going to waste.
-when tossing bread with butter, add various spices and/or grated hard cheese for a flavor boost:
-add grated parmesan cheese before baking for tomato soup
-add dried oregano for a salad of tomato, cucumber + feta
-add a bit of cinnamon and black pepper for a butternut squash soup