Each month we will feature a recipe that was taught by one of the great Chefs that teach at Ambrosia.

Hearty Winter Soups
When the rainy season starts nothing is more comforting than a bowl of steaming soup.
Last year I held a fundraiser for Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers which is a non profit organization that was started by Calgarian Sharon Hapton in 2009.
She had a simple belief in the power of soup as a nurturing and nourishing gesture that could make a tangible difference. Hapton believed that two of society’s most prevalent issues, domestic abuse and youth homelessness would benefit from the care and warmth that comes in a bowl of soup. A powerful message that says 'we care' is now being delivered to over 25 residential shelters across the country through home-made delicious soup made with the finest ingredients.
Daniel Wagner from Rain City Soups, was on hand (even though his kitchen had just burned to the ground the previous night) to teach a group of eager participants!
Here a few of the recipes he taught.

Thai Carrot Soup with Prawns
Makes 6 liters

8 carrots
2 onions
2 celery stalks
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp green curry paste
1 can coconut milk
6 liters chicken stock
salt and pepper
Prawns for garnish
3 tbsp ginger
2 stalks lemon grass 

Chop carrots, onions and celery. Sauté with garlic in oil.
Add curry paste. Sauté 5 minutes.
Add stock, coconut milk, salt and pepper.
Simmer 45 minutes.
Adjust seasoning and puree.
Poach prawns in lemon grass and ginger water.
Chill. Use to garnish the soup.

Smoked Bacon Corn Chowder
Makes 6 liters

5 strips Double Smoked Bacon
1 tbsp oil
1 pound chicken thighs
2 onions
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp Cajun spice
4 liters of chicken stock
500 g frozen corn
500 ml whipping cream
salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch slurry

Cube the bacon.
Sauté the bacon in oil until crispy 
Roast the chicken thighs. .
Dice the onions, carrots and celery.
Add garlic and above vegetables to pan and sauté for 5 minutes until soft.
Add Cajun spice and stock.
Dice the cooked chicken and add to soup with the frozen corn and cream.
Simmer 40 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Thicken with corn starch slurry.

Trevor Bird's

Duck with Bean Cassoulet

Duck Cassoulet is wonderful comfort food to serve on a grey fall day. The recipe calls for duck ‘confit’, a French term which literally means ‘preserved’. The French farmers used this technique before refrigeration was available to preserve meat for the leaner months.  Even though refrigerators are a common household item today the confit process is still alive and well.  If cooking duck legs in duck fat  for 6-8 hours isn’t your style, you can buy confited duck legs at many butchers.

Duck with Bean Cassoulet
Serves 4
4 confit duck legs (can be bought at most butchers, Oyama is my favourite)
Season legs with ground bay leaves and ground pepper. Cover liberally with kosher salt.
Place weighted cookie sheet on top and press legs flat. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
Rinse salt off and immerse legs in duck fat.  Cook at 200 F for 6-8 hours.  The cooked duck will keep refrigerated for 2 months.

1 cup bacon lardoons cut into 1 inch pieces
1 onion chopped
2 cups mushrooms cut into quarters
1 tbsp flour
2 liters duck stock or chicken
2 cans white beans or mixed beans
1 bunch kale

In a large heavy bottom pan add the bacon.  Sweat down until crispy and all the fat has rendered out.
Remove most of the fat and add the onions and mushrooms.
Cook until the onions are soft.
Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the stock and beans and cook for 30 minutes.
Shred the duck meat from the bone and add to pot.
Add the kale.
Salt and pepper to taste.
This dish is even better if made a day ahead and reheated.


Top Chef Canada/Fable Restaurant
If you are a Top Chef Canada fan you already know who Trevor Bird is.
He placed second in season two of Top Chef Canada and during the restaurant wars segment of the show his vision for his restaurant was born. Upon returning to Vancouver Trevor opened his own restaurant on West 4th called, Fable, farm to table.
Trevor is an enthusiastic Chef who is bursting with culinary knowledge that he  can’t wait to share with you.
His food is always locally sourced, non pretentious and delicious.
If you would like to meet Trevor and learn some of his culinary secrets, his next cooking class is July 9th.
Try Trevor’s flatbread pizza this Father’s day.

Grilled Flat Bread Pizza
Serves 6-8

2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp instant yeast
1 cup warm water
Whisk together the salt, sugar, yeast and 1 cup warm water in a large bowl.
Let mixture sit until it begins to foam and bubble, about 5 minutes.

3 cups all purpose flour
Add the flour and mix until well combined.
If the dough is too dry add more warm water one tablespoon at a time.
Form into ball and cover.
Let rise somewhere warm for 1 hour.

Confit Garlic
(Confit is a generic term for various kinds of food that have been cooked in oil)
1 cup Olive oil or enough to cover the garlic
24 garlic cloves
Peel the garlic.
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
Add garlic; cook over very low heat until soft, about 1 hour (do not brown).  Cool.
Can be made 1 month ahead and refrigerated

2 cups button mushrooms
2 cups cremini mushrooms
2cups any other mushroom

Slice the mushrooms and fry in oil over high heat until slightly browned.
Season and cool.

2 cups Arugula
1 lemon
Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese


Kale, Date, Bacon, Apple and Avocado Salad

Serves 4
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp light miso
1 clove minced garlic
Whisk together and season with salt and pepper to taste

6 slices of cooked bacon
1 cup chopped pitted dates
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
½ cup chopped pecans
1 ripe avocado, cut into bite size pieces
1 Fuji apple, cored and diced

1/8 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 bunches of Kale (available at most grocery stores)

Wash, dry and remove the rib from the Kale.
Tear into bite-size pieces
Add the sea salt and oil to the kale and start to massage it until the kale is bright green and soft.
The kale should crackle a little as you massage it.
Combine the Kale with the above ingredients.
Add  the dressing and serve