December 30, 2010
If you are brave enough to slice up three pounds of this season’s especially pungent onions, this soup will be well worth your tears. A great beginning to any dinner, or enjoyed in a mug, curled on the couch watching really bad tv.
- 3 pounds onions (sliced and segmented)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-6 cloves of garlic
- 1 generous pinch of salt
- a few good grinds of black peppercorns
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4-6 cups home-made beef stock
- 2 cups Guinness, or any other dark beer/stout
- 1 baguette
- 1/2 cup EACH of g smoked gouda, mozzarella and parmesan
- Melt together the butter and olive oil in a large stockpot.
- Crush and peel the garlic. You don’t have to mince it; it will caramelize and turn soft and sweet as it cooks. Caramelize the garlic in the olive oil and butter.
- Pour in the onions, season with salt and pepper, and stir around just until the onions are all coated in the olive oil/butter.
- Add in the fresh thyme and the bay leaf and let the onions caramelize, about 20 minutes.
- Once the onions are caramelized and have cooked down, pour in the stock, about 4-6 cups depending on whether you prefer your soup more onion-y or more soup-y.
- Then, pour in the beer and simmer, uncovered, for at least an hour and as much as three hours, tasting occasionally to adjust the flavors.
- Meanwhile, slice down your bread. Stale bread is perfectly okay for this, just heat it up a bit in a warm (250ºF) oven first to soften it. Toast the bread; you can rub both sides with a cut clove of garlic first, if you like. You’ll want 2 pieces of bread per person – one for the bottom of the bowl, and one for on top.
- Grate together about 1/2 cup each of parmesan, gouda, and mozzarella and set it aside.
- Preheat your broiler. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf from the soup.
- Arrange your oven-safe individual serving bowls or coffee mugs on a baking tray with a thin lip.
- TO SERVE: drop a toast slice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle in the soup and cover with a second slice of toast. Then cover the toast with cheese. Be generous! You want the cheese to seal in the soup and drape over the edge of the bowl.
- Broil for a few minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbling on top. Garnish with a little fresh thyme, and serve.
Original recipe can be found here.
December 28, 2010
Unfortunately, hypertension (high blood pressure) is something many adults suffer from. Whether it results from way of life, or genes, one way to help control daily intake is by preparing your own broth — beef and chicken, to be used in soups and other dishes that you make at home. Canned broth and bullion cubes are packed with sodium and, whether you have high blood pressure or not, it’s best to steer clear of them. (I know I’ve used bullion in previous recipes, but I’ve just recently had this epiphany.)
I used this beef stock in what resulted in the richest French Onion Soup I’ve ever had. Animal bones and meat naturally have some sodium, so adding salt isn’t necessary.
Serves 6 cups
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 leek, cleaned and sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 2 pounds beef marrow bones
- 1 pound beef stew meat, cubed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 3 sprigs Italian parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the bones with cold water and pat dry. Place the vegetables in a single layer in a large roasting pan and add the bones on top. Roast, turning the bones a few times, until well browned; about 1 hour.
- Transfer the bones and vegetables to a large soup pot, discarding fat from the roasting pan. Deglaze the pan with a couple of cups of water over high heat, scraping up all the brown bits. Add this to the bones, along with the cubed meat, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and parsley. Pour in cold water to cover the bones and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Do not stir. Add peppercorns, and continue to simmer, uncovered, for about 4 hours, skimming from time to time. (Rumor has it, the best way to really cook this down is by simmering on low overnight. Proceed at your own risk if you choose to do so.)
- Strain stock and discard solids. Cool and then refrigerate overnight. The following day, remove and discard fat that has risen to the top, and discard any debris that has sunk to the bottom. Salt before using or, if planning to reduce, wait to add salt until later. Can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, or divided into smaller quantities and frozen for future use, up to 6 months.
Find the original recipe here.
- High blood pressure – Lowering blood pressure reduce risk of stroke and heart disease (blood-pressure-monitoring.org)
- Savory Goat Stew (marksdailyapple.com)
- Holiday Cheer Leaders: The Main Event (commercialappeal.com)
December 25, 2010
I had some left over broccoli after making Knishes and thought Broccoli Cheese Soup would be delicious in the cold weather — it was perfect. The hot, creamy soup will definitely be making it to my winter rotation — especially with the spicy croutons! Your family will thank you for the hearty wholesome meal.
Broccoli Cheese Soup with Southwest Croutons
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 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, recipe follows
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 from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle croutons over the top of the soup and serve immediately.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the bread in a medium bowl and toss with oil and Essence. Spread evenly on a small baking sheet and bake, stirring twice, until light golden brown on top, about 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving.
- Anti-flu soup (thefrugalcook.blogspot.com)
- Low Calorie Thanksgiving Recipes – Food and Recipe Blog (buttermilkpress.com)
- Ideas for Jar Mix Gifts (socyberty.com)