Friday, December 25, 2009
This year we had Chinese Chicken Soup (see previous post) and French Onion Soup.
For the Chinese Chicken, I splurged on a $3 bag of frozen edamame, water chestnuts, snow peas, and those weird little corns instead of just plain old green beans, along with the whole bag of bean sprouts. It was yummy.
The French Onion Soup recipe came from The Cook's Encyclopedia of Soup that I bought at Barnes & Noble a bazillion years ago.
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 large onions, finely sliced (~3#)
2-5 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 1/4 quarts beef stock
2 Tablespoons brandy (optional)
French bread, sliced thick and toasted
3 cups grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 10-12 minutes until they are soft and beginning to brown.
Putting one garlic clove aside, finely chop the rest and add to the onions. Add the sugar and thyme and continue cooking over medium heat for 30-35 minutes until the onions are brown, stirring frequently. (Note: the sugar will stick to the pan bottom and add to the brown color of the soup)
Sprinkle the flour over and stir until well blended. Stir in the wine and stock and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam from the surface. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in the brandy, if using.
Heat the broiler. Rub each sliced of toasted French bread with the remaining garlic clove. Place 6 or 8 flameproof soup bowls on a cookie sheet and fill them about three-quarters full with the onion soup.
Float a piece of toast in each bowl. Top with grated cheese, dividing it evenly. Broil about 6 inches from the heat for 3-4 minutes until the cheese begins to melt and bubble. Serve piping hot.
If the crowd is bigger than 6 people, I usually make another soup, a creamy one, so that there's plenty for everyone to have a bit of each. I serve either crusty French bread or, if I have time, I make an easy refrigerator roll dough into Parmesan crescents to dip in the broth. One of these days I'll post that recipe.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Once again I began with the Fast Chicken Soup Base. This time I substituted 1-14 oz. can of Vegetable Broth for the same size Chicken broth at the beginning to give it a bit of different flavor. While the bones and skin simmered I added 1/4 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder to let them infuse the broth with their distinctive flavor. I also added 1/4 teaspoon of Emeril's Essence which I put in nearly everything.( I think it doesn't flavor things so much as enhance the individual flavors of the ingredients.)
The vegetables in this week's soup are:
1 small can mushroom stems and pieces,
2 cups fresh bean sprouts,
1 lb. fresh green beans, cut in 1/2 inch pieces,
and twice as many carrots as the recipe calls for.
I thought about giving it a dash of soy sauce or maybe even hoisin sauce, but it smells so good right now I can't bear to alter it. Maybe tomorrow when the flavors have melded it'll need a little tweaking, but right now I think it's just right.
*I think it needs another 1/4 tsp. of Five Spice Powder; it's got the aroma but not quite enough of the taste.*
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Our son made borscht for us when we visited him and his bride in Missoula, Montana last fall. It was delicious. So I found Emeril Lagasse's recipe on the web and reworked it so I could eat it on my weight loss plan.
1 Tablespoon bacon grease
1 ½ pound lean beef chuck, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup diced onion
1 rib celery, minced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 Tablespoons fake bacon bits
2 bay leaves
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 quarts water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ pounds red beets, tops removed, roasted and grated
6-8 cups shredded green cabbage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup plain yogurt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Melt bacon grease in Dutch oven over high heat; add the beef and cook, stirring, until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
To the fat in the pan, add the onions and carrots, cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic oregano, and bay leaves and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the red wine vinegar and stir to deglaze the pan. Return the meat to the pot and add the water, fake bacon, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered until the beef is tender, about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, place the beets in a large piece of foil. Roast in oven until tender and can be pierced easily with a knife, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Trim the stem and root ends and remove the skins. Coarsely grate and set aside.
When the meat is tender and falling apart, add the beets and cabbage. Simmer over low heat for another 30 minutes. Season with additional red wine vinegar, salt and freshly grown black pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls, top with a Tablespoon of plain yogurt.
Friday, October 16, 2009
I made this soup this afternoon while Don was off running errands. When he came home the soup was simmering. He said, "Something smells great in here." And I answered, "It's my new perfume, Chicken Soup Number 5." That's how the name of the soup came about.
I started with Pam Anderson's trusty Fast Chicken Soup Base. (Sorry I use it so often, but I'm losing weight and I know exactly how to make it so that it's fairly fat-free and I can put a ton of veggies in it. And change the flavor with herbs and spices so sometimes it's Italian, sometimes it's Middle Eastern, sometimes it's Southwestern.)
Today's variation: 1 medium onion and 4 green onions instead of the 2 large onions.
Sliced thin 1 medium zucchini, peeled and thinly sliced 2 small turnips.
Cut 1/4 of a medium green cabbage into thin strips.
Once the soup is assembled place 1/2 cup combined fresh parsley and basil leaves into a food processor with 3 cloves garlic, whir until well blended and stir into hot soup.
Friday, October 2, 2009
This soup grew out of meat left from supper and the vegetables in the quick sale bin at Woodman's.
Cauliflower and Ham Soup
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
1 49.5 oz. can chicken broth
1 1/4 cup juice reserved from previously cooking ham (you can substitute 1 can of beef or vegetable broth)
1 quart water
1 3/4 lb. cauliflower florets, chopped bite size or smaller
4 large carrots, thin sliced
1 1/4 lb. cooked ham, diced
at least 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 1/2 teaspoons Penzeys Bavarian Herb Blend
3 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
Pepper to taste
Saute onions and celery in oil heated over high heat in soup kettle until soft. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Once again it was the Fast Chicken Soup Base recipe to the rescue. We had a giant kohlrabi and a bunch of little carrots left from our last Farmer's Market trip, so we had half the kohlrabi with supper and then I used the rest to put in the soup with the carrots, onions, and celery. This soup has lots of "body" from all the veggies in it. And I added a can of beef broth for a bit of extra flavor and a pinch of Emeril's Creole Seasoning. Bam! Such a tiny amount doesn't really change the flavors, it just perks them up.
**edited to add: Don thinks it needs lots of salt and a splash of Worchestershire. I think it needs a little salt only. No accounting for taste.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
When the kids were too little to cook alone but wanted to help make supper, I found 2 simple recipes that fitted their abilities. We called them their "specialties." DS's was meatloaf and DD's was this soup. Every time I make this soup I think of her 4-year-old self standing on a chair wielding a knife to cut the Velveeta while my heart pounded and my hands itched to save her from the sharp blade.
(Weight Watchers Exchange Program-ized)
3 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
(Can substitute 3 cups chicken broth)
1/2 c. diced onion
1/2 c. diced celery
6 oz. diced potatoes
Cook above ingredients about 15 minutes.
Add: 1-12oz. can evaporated milk, 1-12 to 16 oz. pkg. frozen carrots, broccoli, cauliflower blend.
Simmer until veggies are done (about 10 minutes).
Add 1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed. Stir until cheese melts.
Serves 4, each one equals 2 Protein exchanges, 2 Vegetable exchanges, 1/2 Bread exchange, 3/4 Dairy exchange. You're on your own figuring out the Points.
**In this batch I added 1 small can of mushroom pieces, 1 medium zucchini, chopped, and the remains of a head of cooked cauliflower. It's very thick with veggies.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Penzeys Tuscan Sunset herb blend
Mix together by hand. With dampened hands, roll into tiny meatballs and place on broiler pan; bake in 350 degree oven 15-18 minutes.
1 large onion, diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
15 baby carrots, sliced
In large Dutch oven or your favorite soup pot, saute veggies in 1 Tablespoon olive oil for 10 minutes or until desired softness. Sprinkle with a pinch of Penzeys Kosher-style Flake Salt.
Add 1-49 oz. can chicken stock, 1-14 oz. can vegetable broth, and 4 cups water. Chop 1 large head cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and add to pot. Stir in 1 box frozen chopped spinach and turkey meatballs. Simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste.