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Authentic French Onion Soup

4 Oct

John and Jeff came over for dinner last October right before we went to a Haunted Ski Mountain/Chairlift. We were both making certain parts of the dinner. I think I made my burgers for dinner and Country Apple Gallette for dessert and John and Jeff brought over the most amazing French Onion Soup I’ve ever had in my life. I dont even LIKE French Onion Soup and I couldnt get enough of this soup.

Ingredients

Sautee onions

He sent me the recipe – it was a Julia Child recipe. It looked so easy and I knew it tasted so amazing. I couldnt wait to make it. I made it for a family get-together. And then made it for one of my Girls Nights. I was going to have to substitute vegetable broth instead of beef broth because my one girlfriends is a vegetarian. But it would have been allright. I ended up not having to because she couldnt make it.

Flour and onion mixture

Let it simmer

It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it’s really easy and goes together quickly. If you have a large food processor, you can easily slice the onions in a few minutes. That cuts down  a LOT on the time.

Crisping the bread

Bread in soup before the cheesebake finish

Getting ready for cheesybake!

Here it is at Work Girls Night Dinner

Authentic French Onion Soup (Courtesy of Julia Child)

Ingredients:

  • 5 -6 cups yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 6 cups beef stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1 cup wine (dry red or white)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces swiss cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 raw yellow onion
  • 2 -3 tablespoons cognac
  • 8 slices French bread (about 1 inch thick)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, for drizzling

Directions:

Place heavy bottom stock pot or dutch over over medium-low heat.

Add 1 Tbs cooking oil, 2Tbs butter to pot.

Add sliced onions and stir until they are evenly coated with the oil.

Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until they are very tender and translucent.

To brown or caramelize the onions turn heat under pot to medium or medium high heat.

Add 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt and continue to cook uncovered, stirring frequently until the onions have browned and reduced significantly.

Once caramelized, reduce heat to medium-low and add 3 Tbs flour to the onions.

Brown the flour for about 2-3 minutes trying not to scorch it. (If the flour does not form a thick paste, you can add a bit more butter here).

Stir in about 1 cup of warm stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to get up all of the cooked-on bits.

Add the rest of the stock, wine, sage, and bay leaf to the soup.

Simmer for 30 minutes.

To make the “croutes” (toasted bread), heat oven to 325 degrees F.

Drizzle each side of the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and place on baking sheet.

Cook the croutes for 15 minutes in oven on each side (30 minutes total).

Check the soup for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

Remove the bay leaf (if you can find it).

Transfer to a casserole dish or individual oven-safe dishes or crocks

At this point you can add the 2-3 Tbs cognac and grate the 1/2 raw onion into the soup.

Add a few ounces of the swiss cheese directly into the soup and stir.

Place the toasted bread in a single layer on top of the soup.

Sprinkle the rest of the cheese in a thick layer on top of the bread making sure to cover the edges of the toast to prevent burning.

Drizzle with a little oil or melted butter.

Place in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Then turn on broiler and brown cheese well.

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Watermelon Gazpacho

23 Aug

This chilled soup is SOOOOOOO GOOD! I first had it at my friend, Shannon’s, house when we had a girls night last month. She served this soup, a salad with amazing walnut balsamic that she got locally, and grilled shrimp. I got the recipe from her blog immediately and tweaked it just ever so slightly.

Look at all those veggies and freshness!

It is so fresh and so tasty. It’s BEYOND healthy, too. Alllllll veggies with some olive oil and red wine vinegar. And of course the cheese….everything is better with cheese!

Overflowing my food processor

It has such an interesting taste. The feta crumbled on top totaly pulls all of the flavors together. It’s almost like……MAGIC! haha I made it for my Supper Club dinner and liked it so much, I made it again last weekend to take to my parents for dinner.

Finished Product

This is a great cold summer soup if you are looking for an interesting appetizer or side dish. I think it would pair nicely with a steak on the grill and a salad.

Watermelon Gazpacho

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups cubed watermelon
  • 2 skinned tomatoes
  • 1 chopped Serrano pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tblsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tblsp chopped onion
  • ½ cucumber
  • Dill
  • Feta

Directions:
In a blender (or a pot using your stick blender) add watermelon, tomatoes, and Serrano pepper. Save some of the watermelon aside to add in at the end. Blend until smooth. Then add a 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Pulse to blend. Finally add in 2 tablespoons of onion, 1/2 a cucumber and fresh dill for seasoning and blend until smooth.

Dump in the remaining watermelon and chill for at least 30 minutes. Serve with feta on top for a sweet and savory combo.

Serves: 4

Sausage Lentil Soup

14 Apr

I have been going CRAZY on this Rachael Ray soup all winter. And I get to use some of my Homeade Sausage in it!

Ingredients

My homemade sausage

I have made about 5 big pots (sometimes double recipes) of this soup and I freeze containers of it for healthy work lunches.

Veggies

Simmer

We’ve been having such a mild winter, that my Rosemary bush is still alive and fresh as ever. So I love using fresh rosemary in this soup. I tend to veer a lil less on the escarole just because personally I dont like a lot of lettuce-y greens in my soups.

These guys go in at the end

Delicious

This soup is so delicious and tasty. It takes no time to make. And it makes great lunches throughout the week for work. Pair it with a piece of bread and you are set!

Sausage Lentil Soup

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 pound sweet italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 8 ounces brown lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 head (3/4 lb.) escarole, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat the EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned; transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the onion and carrot to the pot and cook until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lentils, broth and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the escarole and sausage, cover the pot and cook until the escarole is wilted and the sausage is heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

13 Mar

I cant not post this recipe after making it again this past weekend and talking about how delicious it is……I came across this recipe online somewhere. I loved the colors of the pinky shrimp with the yellow corn and green poblano peppers. It looked colorful and delicious. I held on to it for a while….then shrimp went on sale at the supermarket so I snagged some and decided to try this chowder out!

The ingredients

Peppers, onions, and celery

There is a small amount of prep work involved – chopping peppers and onions and peeling/deveining/chopping shrimp…..But the creaminess and taste make up for it. I also decided to throw in some red peppers to give it more color. When chopping the poblano peppers, make sure to wear latex gloves so you dont touch yourself later on and burn your skin/eyes.

Cooking the Corn Roux

The processed corn roux

There is a zing of cayenne and pepper at the end of each bite that lingers in your memory long after you’ve licked the bowl clean. This is the kind of soup that makes you post about how awesome it is on facebook (GUILTY)!

Sauteeing the Veggies

Simmering Chowder

This chowder is PACKED with corn – so if you are a corn-lover, this is for you. It also freezes well so you can put it into tupperware in the freezer for work lunches throughout the week!

So Delicious

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

  • 1 medium, sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter and/or rendered bacon fat
  • 2 large poblano peppers, seeded and chopped (wear gloves when you handle)
  • 2 16-ounce packages of frozen sweet corn, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) flour
  • ~28 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream (I use Whole Milk instead of cream to save calories)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped (I use 2 pounds shrimp)
  • small bunch fresh cilantro (can also use parsley instead)
  • lime wedges, for serving

Prepare creamed corn from one package of frozen corn (or fresh corn, if available). Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium-sized sauce pan. Stir in 2 tablespoons of arrowroot flour to make a roux and cook, stirring, for about a minute until the arrowroot is blended in smoothly. Add one package of corn and a good dollop of heavy cream to almost cover the corn, continuing to stir over medium heat until it thickens up. Add a little chicken broth, if it is too thick. Use an immersible blender (or food processor) to puree the corn, leaving small bits of corn kernels intact. Season with kosher salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

In a stockpot, melt 2 tablespoons bacon fat or butter. Add onion, celery, and poblano peppers; saute until soft (around 6 minutes). Add creamed corn, the second package of thawed corn, chicken broth, the remaining cream, and cayenne pepper. Add honey, if needed (some corn is sweeter than other corn and may not need sweetening). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer at least 15 minutes.

If you would like the chowder to be thicker, remove about 1/4 cup of liquid from the pot and mix with 1-2 tablespoons of arrowroot flour to make a smooth paste. Whisk back into the simmering soup and continue to cook until desired consistency is reached.

Add shrimp and cilantro; simmer gently until shrimp are cooked through (about 5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot, with a good squeeze of lime juice.

TIP: As mentioned above, wear rubber gloves when handling the poblano pepper to prevent the spicy juice from transmitting to your hands. This way, if you touch your face or rub your eyes, you wont experience the painful burn. Take it from someone with experience….

Bulgar and Bean Chili

26 Feb

My girlfriend, Tara Sandusky, turned me on to this dull-sounding chili. And I have to tell you that this chili ROCKS!!!!!!! It is so versatile and tasty – you can tailor it to your needs/likes. If you dont like corn or dont like beans, remove it and add other things. I almost always add in a diced red pepper for some color and crunch.

Pot o' Chili

However, there isn’t much spice/kick to it. If you don’t like a lot of spice, then you don’t have to do anything. I like some heat, so I just added more pepper seeds and half of a habanero pepper until I tasted it and it was to my liking. Other than that, it’s simple simple simple and full of flavor and veggies.

All the ingredients you need for this meal

Peppers!

Spices!

Bulgar is in the grain family. It looks like a small seed, and when it cooks in liquid, it fluffs up a bit. It contains a good amount of protein so it’s the “meat” in this chili. You can find it in your supermarket amongst the rices, grains, and quinoas.

Oh, and I am not a vegetarian – nor do I lspecifically ook for vegetarian recipes. But I can’t say no to this one – it’s just too yummy and full of nutritious goodies! Speaking of being nutritious, this is also a weight watcher recipe so you KNOW it’s healthy and low in fat.

Mmmmmmm

You can make a big pot of it and portion it out into Tupperware containers and stick it in the freezer to pull out for lunches.

My chili at work with a quarter lemon poppyseed muffin

Bulgur and Bean Chili

  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup(s) onion(s) (chopped)
  • 2 medium poblano chile, or cubanelle peppers, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 cup(s) water
  • 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
  • 3/4 cup(s) uncooked bulgur
  • 1 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup(s) yellow corn, fresh or canned
  • 15 1/2 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup(s) cilantro, leaves, fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper; sauté until almost tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add chili powder, garlic and cumin; sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add water, tomatoes and their puree, bulgur and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in corn and beans (and a bit of water if chili seems too thick); simmer, covered, over medium heat, until corn and bulgur are tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro; finish with a squeeze of lime juice.
  6. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving. And it’s a WW recipe, so it’s 5 WW points per serving.
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