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Blog Archives

Another Turkey Leftover Idea

Turkey rice soup with some freshly made croutons was a big hit today.  The rice is a wild and long grain  box mix I buy by the case because it’s so versatile – good as a side by itself or in soups or other recipes.  I made a wheat bread in the machine that wasn’t very pretty as a loaf but it cubed up nicely for these croutons.  Heat some oil in a skillet and toss the bread cubes to absorb the oil.  Keep tossing and turning the cubes because when the pan gets to temp they will all brown at once and they can go from toasted to burnt in an eye blink.

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Soups On!

This is more of that Hungarian Mushroom Soup.  It’s easy to make and flat out delicious.  The bread is a roll sliced thin and dipped in garlic butter before toasting and was perfect as a side for this.  That looks like paprika on the soup but it is really a Creole seasoning blend.  The cayenne in it adds a nice bite.

Vegetable Beef and Barley Soup

DSC_1180 (1600x1060)The local market ran a big sale on beef roasts, we bought a few to vacuum seal and freeze but be saved one out for use.  The croutons are from the loaf of beer bread we made a few days ago and they worked fine.  I had a bottle of Marsala out and, on a whim, deglazed the pot with it after browning the meat.  It added an interesting note to the finished soup.

Broccoli-Cheese Soups – Two Variations

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Broccoli-Cheese Soup Photo by JeffreyW

I had decided to put together soup for the recipe exchange tonight and in my email this morning there was a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen for Broccoli-Cheese soup. I’m posting it here because even though I’ve linked to it, you may not be able to get to it because their recipes often go behind a pay wall pretty quickly.

Then while I was searching to see if JeffreyW had a nice photo to go with it, I found the recipe he used by Emeril. Since I’m always up for anything Emeril, I’m posting that one, too. I don’t do broccoli, so you’ll have to trust JeffreyW, Emeril and the experts at America’s Test Kitchen on this one.

First up Emeril Lagasse:

Broccoli-Cheese Soup with Croutons

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup yellow onions or sliced leeks (white parts only, well rinsed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli, thawed and separated
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded medium Cheddar
  • Croutons, for garnish

In a medium pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender. (Alternatively, in batches, puree in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.)

Add the cream and bring to bare simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend.

Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle croutons over the top of the soup and serve immediately.

If you click on Emeril’s name above, there’s also a recipe for the croutons.

And from America’s Test Kitchen, a cream-free rendition:

Broccoli-Cheese Soup

We were after a soup with pure broccoli flavor that wasn’t hiding behind the cream or the cheese. Overcooked broccoli has a sulfurous flavor, but we discovered when we cooked our broccoli beyond the point of just overcooked—for a full hour—those sulfur-containing compounds broke down, leaving behind intense, nutty broccoli. Its texture was fairly soft, but that was perfect for use in a soup. Adding baking soda to the pot sped up the process, shortening the broccoli’s cooking time to a mere 20 minutes. A little spinach lent bright green color to the soup without taking over the flavor. After adding cheddar and Parmesan, we had a soup so full of flavor and richness that it didn’t even need the cream

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds broccoli, florets roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1- 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Table salt
  • 3–4 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (see note)
  • 2 ounces baby spinach (2 loosely packed cups)
  • 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)
  • 1-1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated fine (about 3/4 cup),plus extra for serving
  • Ground black pepper

1. Heat butter in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add broccoli, onion, garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add 1 cup water and baking soda. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring once during cooking.

2. Add broth and 2 cups water and increase heat to medium-high. When mixture begins to simmer, stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer half of soup to blender, add cheddar and Parmesan, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer soup to medium bowl and repeat with remaining soup. Return soup to Dutch oven, place over medium heat and bring to simmer. Adjust consistency of soup with up to 1 cup water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing extra Parmesan separately.

I’ve posted a few of the ATK recipes, ones I’ve tried and really liked. If you sign up for their emails, they send some great ideas.

Stay tuned….recipe exchange coming up later…

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Beef and Onion Soup

DSC_6809This is hardly different from Tyler Florence’s  French onion soup, I used his recipe for a guide, cut in half but with beef added.  I browned the beef well in olive oil and then deglazed the pan with red wine and dumped the lot into the onions as called for in Tyler’s recipe.  I made do with Monterey jack cheese on a beer bread crouton with a little Parmesan sprinkled on it all.  I think those red pepper flakes look good on there, and add a bit of a bite – optional, of course.  This is really a very simple soup to make, and makes for a pretty presentation.  I toasted the croutons separate from the soup to save the hassle of handling hot bowls.

Cream of potato soup with cheese and smoked ham

This soup is very easy to make, just boil ham hocks in chicken stock until they are falling off the bone, remove them to cool.  Add diced potatoes to the hot stock and simmer until they are soft.  Make a roux in a separate pot and add heavy cream and stir until the sauce thickens, stir in cheese, add the cheese sauce to the potatoes and add the cut up ham back to the pot.  Cured hocks are salty so watch adding too much salt when seasoning.  Just about any cheese will work so long as it melts well in the cream sauce.  We used the rest of the cheese we had left over from the pasta dish last night, and added a little cheddar, too.  This is my new favorite soup.  LOL

Potato Leek Soup

I’ve been walking right by the leeks when I shop the produce aisle.  They just look too much like overgrown green onions to me.  Started thinking, “green onions?  Nothing really bad about green onions.”  Picked up a bunch last time around.  I had my iTouch with me, and my MiFi hotspot so I looked through Google for recipes.  Wanted to make sure that I had everything needed to do something interesting with the leeks.  Hmm, potato leek soup, potato leek soup…more soup.  OK, I can take soup for an answer.

Emeril has a very well rated potato leek soup recipe.  I went with his, and wasn’t disappointed.  It was pretty easy and I had it ready before I had given much thought to presentation.  Hmm….croutons?

Went with some sliced hoagie rolls toasted and spread with goat cheese and sprinkled with the dried Tex-Mex peppers I used in the burgers yesterday.  Yummy.

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Mmm…Soup

It’s been cool and cloudy all day here.  Before she went to the shelter to spend a few quality hours cleaning cages and feeding the critters Mrs J dug a bag of stew beef out of the freezer.  I’m always game for beef and barley soup.  My take on the recipe is to add a couple of roughly chopped onions.  This reminded me so much of the classic French onion soup I decided to treat it much the same way in presentation.  I lightly trimmed and toasted slices of my latest sourdough white bread and floated them atop the soup, then added some muenster cheese on the croutons and a good sprinkle of grated asiago over everything.  Gave this a brief toasting under the broiler and served it with a caution that the bowl was going to be hot.

I’m rather pleased with the way the soup turned out.

I noticed yesterday when I returned from the store and was putting the groceries away that I had bought a big box of baby spinach leaves-forgetting that I already had a big box of them.  I’ll be making something of those tomorrow, I think.  Any ideas?  A classic spinach salad always works for me.  I did notice a recipe for sautéd spinach in garlic oil that looked great.  I do have some riccota so something in a stuffed pasta shell would work.  Stay tuned!

Good for What Ails Ya

Mmm…Cream of Asparagus Soup

With cheeses and potatoes and bacon!  Yay!  Started out thinking cheese and broccoli soup but that morphed into wondering if there was a similar recipe using asparagus.  I had a bunch of asparagus spears that I really, really, wanted to eat before they spoiled.  They go bad so quick.  It runs about 50/50 whether my asparagus goes bad before I get around to cooking it. Not today!

A quick search found this recipe and it sounded great just reading the ingredient list.  Bacon?  Cheese?  What’s not to like?  LOL  I pretty much followed the recipe except for the feta, didn’t have any.  I used more parmesan, romano, and asiago in its place.  And didn’t have any milk so I used some half and half and the last few ounces of heavy cream that needed using.  Switched from pan to a pot mid way through, about when I started adding the cheeses.  The food processor worked fine for me on this, using a blender and going through several batches just seemed too tedious for me today.

Enjoy!

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