Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I have finally made it back to my pre-Claire weight (although all my clothes don't fit yet, hmm...), and I must thank Weight Watchers (and to be honest here, breastfeeding) for this occasion. And recipes like this one. I have an old Weight Watchers cookbook that contains 20 minute or less recipes...and they actually are! These recipes are delicious, super-quick and have made it almost effortless to lose the baby weight. Plus, since I don't have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen these days, these quickie meals have been a savior in our household recently.
This recipe called for turkey originally but I substituted deli chicken sliced about a half inch thick, and it was delicious. This could also easily be made vegetarian by omitting the chicken and swapping the chicken broth for veggie broth. Make sure to get fire-roasted tomatoes which add a little bit of a smoky flavor. I amped up the smoky flavor by adding a little smoke paprika...divine!
Mace isn't always excited when I make soup for dinner, but he slurped this one up and had seconds. As my friend Hope would say, this one is a Weekday Winner!
Tomato Basil Soup with Chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
4 cups chicken broth
28 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
1/2 pound deli chicken sliced 1/2" thick, cubed
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-high. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about five minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, sugar, salt, pepper and paprika if using. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for five minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add the chicken and milk and simmer an additional 3 minutes, or until heated through. Stir in the basil and then...
And because I know the nutrition facts via the cookbook, and like to know them when possible, here they are. You're welcome!
Serving Size: 2 cups
Dietary Fiber: 3g
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Let's have a conversation about comfort food. You know, the food you go to when its cold and blustery and the winter blues have settled themselves firmly on your mood for a good long visit. Oh, those blues have set in here, and with it, a whopping two feet of snow. And a hankering for some good old comfort food.
I have lots of comfort foods, but I think I can easily say that cheese, bread and potatoes are always at the center of my cravings. I'll be honest, potatoes are at the heart of every craving I have. But, if you add bread and cheese to the mix I will whoop and holler and whatever drove me to needing that comfort food in the first place will be fast forgotten.
So, when the snow set in that closed schools in Montana for two days, I turned to the kitchen. Where else would I turn when its a billion degrees below zero and driving anywhere would be certain death? Okay okay, maybe I am being dramatic. The snow was cozy, but it was also the perfect excuse to get my comfort food groove on. That brings me to this: cheesy rosemary potato soup. In bread bowls. Mmm hmm....
**Even though I swore this wouldn't happen, I almost always mix and knead my bread dough in my KitchenAid mixer (unless I'm angry and need to knead out some anger). Any of my bread recipes can just as easily be kneaded by hand without a stand mixer**
PRINT THESE RECIPES!!
Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water (105-110 degrees)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 Tbsp canola oil
7 cups all-purpose flour
Dissolve yeast & sugar in warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Allow to sit 10 minutes or until bubbly. Add salt, oil and 4 cups of flour. Knead on medium speed, adding the 3 remaining cups of flour as necessary, until a smooth elastic dough has formed.
Put the dough in a well-oiled bowl and lightly coat the top of the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400F. Punch down dough. Cut dough into 8 equal portions and shape into balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until browned on the top. Move to a wire cooking rack and allow to cool completely.
To make bowls, just before serving, using a serrated knife cut inward at an angle around the top of the bread. Pull the top off and then scoop the middle of the bread out (go ahead and eat this bread, you don't need it for the bowls). Ladle soup into bowls and...Eat it!!
Rosemary Potato Soup
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds russet potatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 oz feta cheese, crumbled, plus extra for garnish
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, or until onion is tender. Add potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove 2 cups of the potatoes from the pot (using a slotted spoon or small mesh strainer) and set aside. Puree the remaining potato mixture with an immersion blender or food processor.
In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat and then add flour. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Add milk to flour mixture, whisking constantly, and heat until thick and just boiling.
Slowly add the milk to the potato mixture and bring to a boil. Add reserved potatoes and then remove from heat. Stir in feta, rosemary, salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bread bowls, top with feta and rosemary and...
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Our family loves to cook together. It is utter chaos and utterly wonderful. I am in Minnesota this week hangin' with the fam and cooking like crazy. My mama and I decided to make french onion soup because it'd be a quick and easy meal for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Ha. Ha. Ha. Quick and easy should never ever be in our vocabulary when we sit down to plan a meal together because it never ever happens. But who cares, we have so much fun cooking together perhaps we sub-consciously do this on purpose.
This mama, Kat, taught me how to cook. Its how we originally connected one fateful Thanksgiving. Its how we've connected ever since.
If I may digress from the soup for a moment, I'll share this story because its the beginning of our history, of our love and one we've laughed about since. My dad invited Kat over for her first holiday with us when I was 14. Their relationship was still pretty new and I was resisting the idea of my dad dating a new woman. Kat was trying her darndest to connect with me all day. Let's keep in mind I was a vegetarian at the time. It came time to move the turkey from the roasting pan to the serving platter and Kat asked me to help her. I am sure she thought this would be a great "team" endeavor. I don't know what got into me, and as much as the idea of touching a turkey turned my stomach inside out, I helped. I plugged my nose, averted my eyes, and grabbed that turkey by the legs! It was moments later that she remembered I was a vegetarian and, mortified, tried to back pedal on her need for my help. Too late, we were forever bound by this turkey movin' moment.
Over the years we have created some spectacular meals together. We call each other for cooking advice, we share recipes, we share ideas and we share our successes and failures alike. We've been planning our Thanksgiving menu over the past few days and we're both excited to spend the day cooking together.
Now, back to the soup. This soup was bad ass. The family descended upon the kitchen on Sunday afternoon and in a great team effort we had this soup on the table in a matter of...um, hours. It was so worth it. This soup had so much flavor. I've had some really amazing french onion soups in my day, but I've had many more that are dull, boring or overly salty. This soup shined above them all.
In this recipe, the onions are braised in white wine and marsala for 45 minutes before they are carmelized in a dutch oven and I think this is what brought out the complex mix of flavors in this soup. Totally worth the extra time and forethought required when preparing this recipe. Maybe not a "lazy" Sunday soup, but a great cozy winter meal indeed!
French Onion Soup
PRINT THIS RECIPE!
Makes 6 servings
2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup marsala wine
1 tbsp sugar
12 tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
6 sprigs flat leaf parsley
6 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
6 cups beef broth
2 cups chicken broth
1 parmesan cheese rind
1 baguette, sliced crosswise into 12, 1/2 inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups gruyere cheese, grated
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 400F. Place onions in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Combine white and marsala wines then stir in sugar. Pour mixture evenly over the onions. Put 8 tbsp butter, in pats, on top of onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place onions in oven for 40-45 minutes. Stir the onions every ten minutes, basting with liquid in the bottom of the pan to coat the onions. When the onions are just beginning to brown transfer the onions to a dutch oven on medium heat, reserving the wine mixture. Put a lid on the dutch oven and stir every 3 minutes until they are a deep caramel color.
Meanwhile, tie together the parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Add herbs, parmesan rind, reserved wine mixture and beef and chicken broths to a large stockpot and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the herbs and parmesan rind.
When the onions have carmelized, add the broth mixture to the onions and simmer for 10 minutes more.
While the soup is simmering, combine remaining 4 tbsp butter and garlic and stir until well combined. Spread butter on both sides of the baguette slices. Cook in a skillet on medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side, or until toasted and browned.
Preheat the broiler on high. Arrange 6 oven-safe bowls on a sheet tray and ladle soup into bowls. Place 2 toasted baguette slices in each bowl and then top each with 1/2 cup gruyere and 1/4 cup parmesan. Broil until cheese is brown and bubbly, 3-5 minutes and ...
Monday, September 26, 2011
The Khomenko's came over to share this soup and tales of their recent European adventures with me. I love it when they come over and fill my house with noise and love. I love taking pictures of Anna hanging with Danesa because they adore one another. And Luca, in all his awesomeness, loves jumping in on this action too:
Which is doubly awesome because he always finds a way to covertly swipe my camera and I find pictures later that always make me smile.
More in another post on my Sunday at Paws Up for the Canine Classic and leftovers with the Wilsons. But for now, on to the soup!
My inspiration for the soup was a good lookin' pumpkin and a buttercup squash that I bought at the Farmer's Market a couple weeks back. As usual, I picked through piles of recipes until I found the very most perfect one. Soup. I mean, because who doesn't want a bowl of piping hot soup when its 90 degrees out? But seriously, if you found a recipe that is finished with ginger infused brown butter, could you resist it for even a second?
This was a fun soup to make because it had so many different flavors and I was curious to see how they would meld themselves together. Nutmeg and garlic? Interesting. Carmelized onions and cardamom? Wow. Ginger, brown butter, cloves, sugar, gaaaah...my tastebuds are going crazy just thinking about this.
A word on nutmeg: always use fresh grated. Always always. Always. It is so much more delicious, flavorful and amazing than the pre-ground stuff. Don't argue with me on this one. You won't win. Just try it one time and you will never go back.
|Ooo...and look how pretty!|
I had never cooked with a real live pumpkin before, only the canned stuff, so I was slightly intimidated going into this venture. You know what? It's just like carving a jack-o-lantern, but way less annoyng because you just chop that sucker in half and scoop out the seeds. No creativity involved and you don't get pumpkin guts up to your armpits when you're scooping the seeds out.