Showing posts with label Soup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Soup. Show all posts

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tortilla Soup With Shredded Chicken

This recipe comes from the blog The Reluctant Gourmet. You can adjust the amount of spices to bring the heat up or down depending on how you prefer your soup. I used the minimum amount of spices because my family (my son) is not fond of spicy foods. I did not use the cilantro for similar reasons. You can save some time if you use rotisserie chicken. The soup can be served with just the fried tortillas or you can include freshly diced avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, or sour cream. You can use any combination or all of those to add to this soup. I happened to have some sour cream so I used a dollop of that on top of my soup.

Tortilla Soup Recipe with Shredded Chicken

Servings: 8

INGREDIENTS:

· 8 tablespoons Canola oil

· 5 10" to 12" corn tortillas

· 1 onion

· 6 garlic cloves

· 1 small bunch of cilantro

· 2 - 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes

· 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

· 14 ounces of canned or frozen corn

· 3/4 – 1-1/2 Tablespoons ground cumin

· 1/2 - 1 Tablespoon chili powder

· 4 bay leaves

· 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or try thighs

· 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

· juice from 1 lime

Directions:

Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Wash and towel try the cilantro, remove stems and chop. Open the cans of tomatoes and have them ready. Rinse the chicken under cold water and dry.

Cut up 2 of the tortillas into 1/4 inch strips and fry them in 3 tablespoons of Canola oil. You want them to be a golden brown but be careful not to burn them, they cook quickly. Remove the strips from pot and transfer to some paper towels to drain. Season with a little salt.

Heat the remaining oil over medium high heat and saute the onions for a couple of minutes. Then add garlic and saute for another minute or two. Tear the remaining 3 corn tortillas into bite size pieces and add to the pot.

Add the cilantro, stir, and cook for a minute more. Add the canned tomatoes with their juice and the chicken broth, cumin, chili powder, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add the corn, whole chicken breasts, and cayenne. Simmer the chicken breasts for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked throughout. Remove the chicken breasts and put aside to cool. Turn off the soup at this point.

Remove the bay leaves. Once the chicken breasts are cool, shred them with your hands and return to the pot. Add your lime juice and taste for spiciness. Reheat, and serve with the fried tortilla strips.

Enjoy!

The Creative Cook


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Roasted Fennel, Tomato, and Chickpea Soup



This is a very nice soup.  Next time I make it I will use tomato puree rather than diced tomatoes but that is personal preference.  I don't like chunks of tomato in soup.




Roasted Fennel, Tomato and Chickpea Soup
Yield:  4 servings

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped fennel bulb (about 1 small bulb)
2 cups chopped onion
Cooking spray
1 (15-1/2 ounce) can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
2 (14-ounce) cans organic diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 (6-inch) pitas, each cut into 8 wedges

Preparation:

1.  Heat oven to 425 degrees.

2.  Arrange fennel and onion in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray, toss to coat.  Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.  Add chickpeas to vegetable mixture.  Bake an additional 20 minutes or until fennel is tender and chickpeas start to brown, stirring after 10 minutes.

3.  Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic to pan, and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Add vegetable mixture, broth, and the next 3 ingredients (through salt) to pan and bring to a boil.  Cook for 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Remove from heat, and garnish with parsley.  Serve with pita wedges.

Enjoy!

The Creative Cook

Monday, February 27, 2012

Potato-Kale Soup with Gruyere

I made this soup for dinner tonight.  It was a quick and easy soup to make.  It hasn't been very cold lately but I've been craving soup anyway.  This recipe could easily be made-over into a vegetarian meal with just a few tweaks.  I would suggest switching to low-sodium vegetable broth.  If you are a vegan then you would have to use a butter substitute and a cheese substitute but if not the switch to veggie broth is about all you need to do.  You could also bring this up to a dinner stew level with the addition of some shredded chicken.  Too bad I thought of that idea after I had already eaten a bowl of soup.  I was also thinking that you could substitute frozen spinach or even Swiss chard if you don't like kale.  The recipe is originally from www.myrecipes.com.  I thought the soup was very tasty.  Serve with some crusty french bread for a delish meal.

Potato-Kale Soup with Gruyere
Yield:  6 Servings
Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
7 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
4 cups coarsely chopped peeled Yukon gold potato (about 1-1/2 pounds)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
6 cups chopped fresh Kale (about ¾ pound)
1 teaspoon dried basil
9 tablespoons (about 2 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese

Preparation:

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.  Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Stir in broth, potato, salt, and bay leaf; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender.

Stir in kale and basil.  Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until kale is tender.  Discard bay leaf.  Partially mash potatoes with a potato masher until thick and chunky.  Top with cheese.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Three Onion Soup

This is a very nice, easy alternative to French Onion Soup for a cold winter day.  We all enjoyed this soup very much.  This recipe is from the Epicurious website.  

3-Onion Soup
serves 4

Ingredients:
4 medium leeks
1 medium onions, sliced thin
2 large shallots, sliced thin
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large potato (Yukon Gold)
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon sherry
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup chicken broth (low sodium, low fat)
1/2 cup grated Gruyère (2 ounces)
2 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar

Directions:
Chop enough white and pale green parts of leeks to measure 2 cups.  Wash leeks well in a bowl of cold water.  Lift from water and drain in a colander.  Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook chopped leeks, onion, and shallots, stirring frequently, until edges are golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Add red wine and sherry and deglaze skillet, scraping up brown bits.  Transfer mixture to a saucepan.

Peel potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.  Add potato, broth, and water to onions.  Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very tender (approximately 20 minutes).

Purée one cup soup in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) and stir into remaining soup.

Serve soup sprinkled with cheese and drizzle with vinegar.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sweet Potato Bisque

I got this recipe from my neighbor.  I don't think she would mind if I share it since she had put in in my son's middle school fundraiser cookbook.  It is very easy to make and super tasty.  It is a good way for me to use sweet potatoes that I can enjoy.  I don't particularly like sweet potatoes even though I know how much healthier they are than white potatoes.  That subject comes up a lot on this blog.

Sweet Potato Bisque

This soup is simple, rich and easy to make.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup celery (chopped)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a 4 quart saucepan.  Add the onions and celery.  Saute for 10 minutes.  Add the diced sweet potato and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium, cover and cook for 25 minutes until the potatoes are very tender.  Puree the potatoes in a blender (in small batches) or with a hand-held immersion blender.  Stir in the milk.  Season to taste with the salt and pepper.  Reheat and serve.

Enjoy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Yes, I know that I posted this recipe before but this is a newer better recipe than the one I posted back in January of 2009.  Where that recipe came from, I don't know but this one comes from copykat.com.  It is excellent.  Try it!  You won't be disappointed.  It has the taste and mouth-feel of the soup from Olive Garden.  The last time I ordered it at the restaurant, I got very little gnocchi but when you make this version, you can have as many gnocchi as you want.

Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Serves 8

Ingredients: 
1 cup onion, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons flour
1 quart half-and-half
1 pound potato gnocchi (from gourmet section of supermarket)
1 cup carrots, finely diced
1 cup chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 cup fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1/2 teaspoon parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste (optional)


Directions:

1.  Saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent.  Add the flour and make it a roux.  Let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding 1 quart of half and half.

2.  Cook gnocchi according to package directions.

3.  Into the roux, add in the carrots and chicken.  Once the mixture becomes thick, add the chicken broth.  Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasoning, simmer until soup is heated through.

Enjoy!

The Creative Cook

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

You might be wondering why I decided to make two types of butternut squash soup today.  Well, I told you why I made the Butternut Squash, Swiss Chard and Bacon Soup earlier today.  I made another style of butternut squash soup because the butternut squash that I bought at the grocery store yesterday was almost 5 pounds!  I have never seen a butternut squash that big. I was compelled to use it all, so I figured another type of soup would be the best way to do that.  This butternut squash soup is creamier and smoother than the other soup.  Sadly, I did not have any heavy cream in the house today (I "forgot" to buy it) so I used a substitute that I found on about.com.  I will post it for you just in case you start making this soup without any heavy cream in the house.  I am not in the habit of buying heavy cream because I rarely use the stuff.  This substitute is a great idea for people like me who have an aversion to using heavy cream.  I didn't make any additional changes to this recipe.  I found the recipe on another food blog called Sweet Pea's Kitchen.


Butternut Squash Soup
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, chopped fine
1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), cut in half length-wise, and each half cut in half width-wise; seeds and strings scraped out and reserved (about ¼ cup)
6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
Pinch of ground nutmeg

1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven (or heavy pot) over medium-low heat until foaming. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the squash scrapings and seeds, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter turns saffron color, about 4 minutes.

2. Add the water and 1 teaspoon salt to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, place the squash cut-side down in a steamer basket, and lower the basket into the pot. Cover and steam until the squash is completely tender, about 30 minutes. take the pot off the heat, and use tongs to transfer the squash to a rimmed baking sheet. When cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scrape the flesh from the skin. Reserve the squash flesh in a bowl and discard the skins.

3. Strain the steaming liquid through a mesh strainer into a second bowl; discard the solids in the strainer. (You should have 2½ to 3 cups of liquid.) Rise and dry the pot.

4. Puree the squash in batches in a blender or food processor, pulsing and adding enough reserved steaming liquid to obtain a smooth consistency. Transfer the puree to the pot and stir in the remaining steaming liquid, cream, and brown sugar. Warm the soup over medium-low heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Stir in the nutmeg and adjust the seasonings, adding salt to taste. Serve immediately. Soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for several days. Warm over low heat until hot; do not boil.

(Recipe adapted from The Best Soups & Stews by America’s Test Kitchen)  


Heavy Cream Substitute
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Makes 1 cup 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup milk 
1/3 cup butter

Preparation:

1.  Melt the butter.
2.  Pour it into the milk and stir.
3.  Use in place of one cup of heavy cream.

Note:  This substitute will not whip.

Tip:  If you use low-fat milk, add a tablespoon of flour to the mixture to thicken.


Enjoy!

The Creative Cook

Butternut Squash Soup with Swiss Chard & Bacon

I have to tell you that I ate the best dinner last Saturday night at Monocacy Crossing in Frederick, Maryland.  My husband took me and my son out to celebrate my birthday.  I had the Pork Tenderloin with Sage-Cider Sauce and Scalloped Potatoes, my son had the Crispy Buttermilk Chicken Breast with Tasso Ham Gravy and my husband had the Herb Topped Salmon over Warm Potato Salad with Bacon and Horseradish.  We all swooned over our meals but for me the best part was my soup.  It was a Butternut Squash Soup with Swiss Chard and Bacon.  I left there with a strong desire to make that soup at home.  I did just that this morning. I started with a recipe for Brodo (Broth) with Butternut Squash, Swiss Chard and Bacon by Betty Rosbottom that I found on a website.  I knew that the recipe needed some changes to satisfy my needs.  I added some skim milk and left out the pasta that the original recipe called for.  I also needed to add a tablespoon of flour to thicken up the soup a bit.  We have not tried the soup yet but it smells heavenly.  This is my version of Monocacy Crossing's delicious soup.

Butternut Squash Soup with Swiss Chard & Bacon
Makes 6 Servings
Prep time:  30 to 40 minutes

Make ahead:  Homemade or store-bought chicken stock

1-1/2 - 1-3/4 lb. (750 g to 875 g) butternut squash
1 bunch (about 12 oz. / 375 g.) Swiss chard, preferably with dark green leaves and red stalks
6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm.) pieces
1-1/3 cups (340 ml) onion, chopped
8 cups (2 liters) homemade or store-bought chicken stock
1 cup skim milk (or 3/4 cup heavy cream)
1 tablespoon flour (if using skim milk)
salt to taste
1 to 2 pinches cayenne pepper
1/2 cup (125 ml) Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated

Using a large sharp knife, halve the squash lengthwise, scoop out and discard the seeds and membranes.  Cut each half lengthwise into 4 segments.  Using a vegetable peeler or small sharp knife, peel the segments and then cut them into 3/4 inch (2-cm) cubes.  Set aside.

Rinse the chard and pat dry.  Cut off and discard the stalks.  If the ribs on the leaves are more than a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick, cut them out and discard.  Coarsely chop the chard to yield about 4 loosely packed cups (1 liter).

In a large pot set over medium high heat, saute the bacon pieces until they are golden brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.  Pour out all but 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the bacon drippings and return the pot to medium heat.  When hot, add the onions and saute, stirring until golden brown, 3 minutes.

Add the stock and bring to a simmer.  Add the squash and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes.  Once the squash is cooked, use an immersion blender or put soup carefully in a blender.  After blending, add the milk or cream and the flour.  Cook the soup another 5 minutes but do not boil.  If the flour gets lumpy just use the immersion blender to remove the lumps or put the soup back into the blender for a minute or two.  Pour soup back into the pot (if using a blender) then add the chard and cook until it wilts, for 1 to 2 minutes more.  Taste and season with salt and cayenne pepper.

To serve, ladle soup into 6 shallow bowls.  Pass around the bacon pieces and grated cheese separately in bowls.

Enjoy!

The Creative Cook

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quick Avgolemono, Orzo and Chicken Soup

This soup called Avgolemono (ahv-goh-LEH-moh-noh) is a tangy Greek soup that combines chicken broth, eggs, and lemon juice.  I got the recipe from the Cooking Light Magazine January 2006 issue.  I made it today and it meets with my son's approval.  It can be served with Ricotta Garlic Pita Wedges and a Greek Salad.  You can also use rice if you don't have orzo.

Quick Avgolemono, Orzo and Chicken Soup



Ingredients:

  • 6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • large eggs
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

Preparation:

  • Bring broth and dill to a boil in a large saucepan. Add orzo. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until orzo is slightly tender. Remove from heat.
  • Place eggs and juice in a blender; process until smooth. Remove 1 cup broth from pan with a ladle, making sure to leave out orzo. With blender on, slowly add broth; process until smooth.
  • Add carrot, salt, pepper, and chicken to pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and cook 5 minutes or until chicken and orzo are done. Reduce heat to low. Slowly stir in egg mixture; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly (do not boil).

RICOTTA GARLIC PITA WEDGES

Preheat broiler. Combine 1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1 minced garlic clove in a small bowl. Place 8 pita wedges on a baking sheet; broil 2 minutes until toasted. Top each wedge with 4 teaspoons ricotta mixture. Broil 1 minute or until cheese is lightly browned.

Enjoy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Corn and Potato Chowder

This is a combination of two Corn & Potato Chowder recipes that I found on various websites.  I adapted them to suit our taste.

Corn & Potato Chowder

Ingredients:

2-1/2 cups corn (frozen or canned)
2 cups diced potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup onions, finely chopped
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free half and half
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 package diced thick cut bacon (chopped)
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
Chives and Grated Sharp Cheddar as Garnish (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

1.   Simmer potatoes, bacon, onions and garlic in broth, water and butter until tender and the bacon is fully cooked.  

2.  When potatoes are tender, add half and half, corn and seasonings.  Continue to simmer on medium low for 15 - 20 minutes.  Soup should reduce and thicken.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Sprinkle with Cheddar and chives.

Yields 6 Servings

Enjoy!

The Creative Cook

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Blueberry Soup

This recipe comes from the Epicurious website. It was originally published in the February 1995 issue of Bon Appétit magazine.  The article says that the recipe is a simple version of a Scandinavian fruit soup.  It can also be served as a sauce over ice cream, frozen yogurt or pudding.  I have been wanting to try a cold fruit soup.  It sounds perfect for a summer dinner.  

Blueberry Soup
Bon Appétit February 1995
Yield:  2 Generous Servings

Ingredients:
1 1-pound bag frozen unsweetened blueberries
1 cup water
5 tablespoons sugar
2-1/4 inch thick lemon slices
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of Salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Lemon Wedges

Low-fat vanilla yogurt or frozen vanilla yogurt

Preparation:

Bring first 7 ingredients to boil in heavy medium saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until berries are very tender, about 15 minutes.  Discard lemon slices and cinnamon stick.  Puree half of soup in blender or food processor.  Transfer all of soup to medium bowl and refrigerate until very cold.  (Can be prepared 2 days ahead.)

Divide soup between 2 bowls or large goblets.  Serve with lemon wedges and dollop of vanilla yogurt.

 Enjoy!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Spinach Soup

I find it hard to believe but I think this is now my son's favorite soup.  He asked for it twice already.  I haven't had a chance to try it myself.  The boys finished before I could gets some.  It is also very easy to make.

The first time I made this soup, I used fat free half and half instead of skim milk.  This time I used a combination of skim milk and fat free half and half.  He says that the soup was "sweeter" last time.  I guess I will use fat free half and half from now on.  Otherwise, I use the recipe "as is" except I don't put it in a blender (because the first time I made this soup, I tried the blender and had an explosion of soup).  I probably should have done the batches but I was in a hurry (of course). This time I used my immersion blender.  I got better results and less mess. 


Spinach Soup
by Fiona Haynes (www.about.com)

Prep Time:  20 Mins.
Cook Time: 25 Mins.
Total Time:  45 Mins.


Ingredients:

2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 medium white potato, peeled and cubed
2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups fat free milk (or fat free half and half)
1 six ounce bag baby spinach
Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

1.  Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven.  Saute garlic, onion, celery and potato for 5 minutes.
2.  Add chicken broth and fat free milk.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
3.  Stir in half of the spinach, cover and simmer for 10 more minutes.
4.  Cool slightly, then transfer soup to a blender, working in two batches, if necessary.
5.  Add remaining spinach and blend (if working in two batches), use half the remaining spinach with each batch).  Blend until smooth.
6.  Garnish with pepper to taste.

Serves  4.



Enjoy!

The Creative Cook

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Creamy Chicken Potato Soup

A few weeks ago, I was looking for a recipe that would use some left-over chicken.  This looked perfect to me. It gives you a one pot meal in a bowl.  It is a very nice comforting and tasty soup.  Great for a cold, wet day.


Creamy Chicken Potato Soup

Ingredients:


1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 pound potatoes (about 2 medium), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1-1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free milk
1 cup reduced-fat evaporated milk
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon minced chives

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender.  Stir in broth and potatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Stir in the chicken, salt and pepper.

2.  Combine flour and fat-free milk until smooth.  Stir into saucepan.  Add evaporated milk.  Bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Sprinkle with parsley and chives.

Yields 6 Servings

Enjoy!

The Creative Cook

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mediterranean Vegetable Soup

I have not been posting much lately and I am sorry.  But the good news is that I have been cooking.  I have made a few good soups recently that I want to share with you.  This one is very much a reminder of my childhood. My grandmother used to make escarole and so did my mother.  This is a very comforting soup.  I happened to have a can of white northern beans in my cupboard so that is what I used for this recipe. I think that I mixed chicken, vegetable and beef broth together but if you are cooking for a true vegetarian, then please use just vegetable broth. The soup will taste wonderful no matter which base soup broth or stock you use.

Mediterranean Vegetable Soup
from www.cooks.com

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken or beef broth
2 cups water
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, not drained
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/4 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 15 oz can cannelini or white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup pasta bows
Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 small head escarole (optional)

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrot and celery, and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, broth, water, tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and beans.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  If escarole is being used, wash, tear into 2 inch pieces and add to soup 15 minutes before soup is done, or at the same time as the pasta.

Add the pasta bows and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the pasta and escarole is tender.

Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.


Enjoy!

The Creative Cook

Monday, October 25, 2010

Butternut & Acorn Squash Soup


This recipe comes from http://www.allrecipes.com/.  The original recipe is slightly different.  I followed some of the suggestions that were posted on http://www.allrecipes.com/.  I  reduced the amount of butter, cream cheese and brown sugar.  I will repost the original suggestion that this soup would go great with crusty bread and a dollop of sour cream on top.  I served it along with a salad.  It is quite easy to make and yummy!

Butternut and Acorn Squash Soup
1 hr. 20 mins.
Servings:  8

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 quart chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 (4 ounces) package neufchatel cheese, softened (or cream cheese)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste) (optional)
fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Place the squash halves cut side down on a baking tray with sides.  Bake for 45 minutes or until tender.  Remove from heat, and cool slightly.  Scoop the pulp from the skins.  Discard the skins.
  • Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion until tender.
  • In a blender or food processor, blend the squash pulp, onion, broth, brown sugar, cream cheese, pepper and cinnamon until smooth.  This may be done in several batches.
  • Transfer the soup to a pot over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through.  Garnish with parsley and serve warm. 


Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Parmigiano Pumpkin Soup with Frizzled Prosciutto

If your idea of pumpkin is sweet, if you think it should be seasoned only with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and sugar, then get ready to change your mind. This savory, creamy, pungently cheesy pumpkin soup is seasoned with garlic and Parmesan, and with the frizzled threads of crisped prosciutto. Serve it as a first course before a roast (it makes an inspired appetizer for Thanksgiving), or for lunch with someone you’re dying to impress.

PARMIGIANO PUMPKIN SOUP with FRIZZLED PROSCIUTTO
INGREDIENTS:

2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 ozs. Thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips
1 large onion, cut into 1/8 inch dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (about 28 ozs.) 100% pure pumpkin
2 quarts vegetable or chicken broth
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. ground white pepper
½ cup cream (at least 10% fat)
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tbs. chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto, and sauté until crisp and frizzled. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.

2. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion to the skillet, and sauté until tender (do not brown). Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds, until aromatic. Stir in the pumpkin, broth, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Transfer to a 5-to 6- quart slow cooker, cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high, or 6 to 8 hours on low.

3. Stir in the cream and Parmesan, and heat through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Ladle into bowls, garnish with frizzled prosciutto and serve.

WHAT ELSE:

Even though the length of cooking time for this soup would make it possible to use fresh pumpkin instead of canned, I advise you not to. Libby’s canned pumpkin (the most commonly available brand) is made from a specially cultivated strain of pumpkin designed for cooking. It is richer, creamer and tastier than any fresh pumpkin you can purchase.

If you don’t have prosciutto, you can substitute 3 slices bacon, cut into thin strips.

Feel free to alter the type of cheese to fit your taste or what you have on hand. Any smoked cheese would be delicious in this soup, and other grating cheeses, like Asiago or Romano, are easily substituted.

American Lifestyle Magazine
October 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Potage Parmentier by Julia Child

I probably mentioned that I have recently seen the movie Julie & Julia as well as read the book. I enjoyed both of them and recommend them if you enjoy the culinary arts. It was a fun movie. The book was a bit darker and more intense at times but still a very good read. Julie Powell takes most of the book almost directly from her blog, The Julie / Julia Project. I went online to read her blog and realized it was almost “word for word” the same as the book. Not an issue. Just read the blog or the book, not both. In any event, this movie and book have made me wonder about the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I by Julia Child that has been sitting in my china cabinet for months. I pulled it out yesterday and decided to make Potage Parmentier for a few reasons:

1. I love potato soup and so does my family;
2. It was one of the first recipes that Julie tried to make; and
3. I had all the ingredients sitting in my cupboard and fridge.

The recipe turned out great but I did make a few alterations. I added some chunks of potato to suit my son’s taste. I didn’t use quite as much salt as Julia recommends. I used a “ricer” instead of a food mill because I own a ricer and do not own a food mill. I’m not sure I even know what a food mill is but I am sure that someone will explain it to me. If I remember correctly, Julie did the same thing in the book. I will probably try a few more recipes at some point. I really want to try making a soufflé. The Boeuf a la Bourguinonne sounds yummy. Crepes are a good thing, at least in my opinion. I have never made a quiche but it would be cool to try making one, I think. Those are the recipes that jump out at me.

On Friday, I am taking a cooking class with a friend of mine that honors Julia Child and her French cooking. I’m anticipating having fun and eating well at that class. I’ll tell you about it the following week.

Last weekend, we drove up to visit some friends of ours who live in New Jersey. Oddly, Julia Child came up in conversation. I guess now that the movie is out she is regaining some popularity. Our host told me that a group of his friends are forming a Julia Child Dinner Club. Each couple is going to make a dinner from Mastering the Art of French Cooking and share it with the rest of the group each month. I begged him to blog about his experiences making those meals but I wasn’t able to convince him. He told me that he isn’t inclined to make any of the organ meat or aspic recipes but that he is interested in making the Pate de Canard en Croute which is Boned Stuffed Duck Baked in a Pastry Crust. That is one of the recipes featured prominently in the movie. He suggested having a butcher bone the duck rather than trying to do it yourself. It makes sense to me. Why bone a duck if you don’t have to?! I guess it makes a better book and movie if you do it yourself and drop the duck on the floor a few times. That certainly would frustrate me. I don’t like handling raw meat all that much.

Potage Parmentier
{Leek or Onion and Potato Soup}
By Julia Child

For about 2 quarts serving 6 to 8 people

3 to 4 cups or 1 lb. peeled potatoes, sliced or diced
3 cups or 1 lb. thinly sliced leeks including the tender green;
Or yellow onions
2 quarts of water
1 Tbs. salt
4 to 6 Tbs. whipping cream
Or 2 to 3 Tbs. softened butter
2 to 3 Tbs. minced parsley or chives

Use a 3 to 4 quart saucepan. Simmer the vegetables, water and salt together, partially covered, for 40 to 50 minutes until the vegetables are tender;

Mash the vegetables in the soup with a fork or pass the soup through a food mill. Correct seasoning. Set aside uncovered until just before serving, then reheat to the simmer.

Off heat and just before serving, stir in the cream or butter by spoonfuls. Pour into a tureen or soup cups and decorate with the herbs.


Enjoy!

The Creative Cook

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

French Onion Soup

Today, I had a really great experience making French Onion Soup. It seems like such a 70's dish but it is so yummy I can forget that it's been around for years. My whole family loves this soup. I'm not sure how it became such a favorite of ours but we are now really particular about our French Onion Soup. That's why I was a bit concerned, considering my recent cooking disasters. I'm happy to say that today was different. I'll admit, this soup was pretty easy and much less risky than some of the other meals I've made recently. I got the basic recipe from a neighbor but I changed it up enough to say it is now my own concoction. I used organic beef and chicken broth and some dry red wine to give it a bit of a kick. You won't be disappointed with this soup!

French Onion Soup

2 (32 oz) boxes Organic Chicken Soup (low sodium)
2 (32 oz) boxes Organic Beef Broth (low sodium)
2 lbs yellow or white onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 stick butter
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup dry red wine or sherry
cheese slices (Provolone, Swiss and Mozzarella)
thin french bread slices or croutons (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Put the broth in a large stock pot to simmer on medium heat along with the thyme and garlic powder. While the broth is simmering, thinly slice the onions and cut in half. Cook the onions in the butter and olive oil for about 30 minutes or until translucent and lightly browned. Once the onions have cooked, remove them from the pan and then deglaze the pan with the sugar and red wine. After you have deglazed the pan, combine the flour with the onions and cook for another 10 minutes or until thickened. Add the onion mixture into the broth and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour on medium heat.

Put the soup into individual serving bowls. Place the bowls on a cookie sheet and keep them in a warm (200 degrees) oven while you broil both sides of the french bread slices that have been buttered and sprinkled with garlic. Add thin french bread slices and a slice each of Mozzarella, Provolone and Swiss. Turn the oven up to 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted, brown and bubbly. You may place the bowls under the broiler for no more than 5 minutes.

Enjoy!

The Creative Cook

Monday, July 6, 2009

Weekend Trip to Detroit




My husband travels quite a bit for business. His trips take him to some places that I have never been to or, if I have been to them, it has been a long time. Last weekend, we (D and I) hitched a ride with him to Ypsilanti, Michigan which is actually about fifteen minutes from Detroit and maybe ten minutes from Ann Arbor (home of the University of Michigan). The last time I went to Detroit was about 40 years ago when my parents took my six year old cousin to his sister's home in Detroit to stay with her. His mother (my aunt) was in the hospital to have a tumor removed from her spine so she needed someone to take care of her baby while she recuperated. My cousin is about 16 years older than her brother. She was married and had her own family of four kids at the time. It was very kind of her to take in her brother for all those months while her mother recuperated. That was a huge digression, but it does establish that it has been a long long time since I've been to Michigan. I was very excited to see it again and D was excited to see it for the first time. We had dinner on Friday night at Joe's Crab Shack which is always a great place to eat. We don't have a Joe's Crab Shack in Maryland.

On Saturday morning, at D's request, we eat breakfast at the Marriott hotel where we were staying. I ordered Oatmeal Brulee which is a completely yummy way to eat oatmeal. The copycat recipe that I found comes from Oprah's website. In her version, she uses apple but in the version I had at the Marriott they used raisins. I am much more likely to eat apples than raisins so this recipe appeals to me even more than the one with the raisins. Try this recipe, it looks divine~!

On Saturday afternoon, we went to the Detroit Science Center and spent about 6 hours wandering around and playing with all the exhibits. It is an amazing science center. I was very surprised at how huge it was. The picture above shows D watching a robot play chess. We saw a traveling Star Trek exhibit that was much too large to ever come to the Baltimore Science Center. The planetarium show was also very informative. That night we ate dinner at a well-known restaurant called Weber's. The food was so good that I'm going to post a few copycat recipes for dishes we loved at Weber's. The first is a cheeseburger soup. The recipe I found has carrots but I don't think the Weber's version had any carrot in it. The second is spinach bread. I found an overly ambitious recipe by Emeril. The spinach bread we ate at Weber's was more like a garlic bread but with spinach and Parmesan cheese. I'll have to keep looking for a recipe but you can always get a loaf of Italian bread and make a paste of spinach, garlic, onion, olive oil and Parmesan cheese then put it on the Italian bread and pop it into the oven for 15 minutes or so. I think that would work fine. Weber's is also a landmark hotel located in beautiful Ann Arbor, Michigan. Maybe next time I visit that neck of the woods I'll stay at Weber's.

On Sunday, we took a drive down to the Toledo, Ohio Zoo. It was one of the best zoos I have ever visited. Apparently, it is in the top ten zoos of the U.S. I was surprised that they even have a small aquarium. I never saw a zoo with an aquarium. The Toledo Zoo is now on my personal top 10 Favorite Zoo list.


Apple Oatmeal Crème BrûléeCreated by Rori Trovato

Crème brûlée reinvented: Oatmeal, apples and brown sugar broiled to sweet perfection.

Ingredients:Serves 4

3 1/4 cups apple juice or cider
1 red apple (McIntosh or Red Delicious), cored and cut into large chunks
2 cups oatmeal
1 1/4 cups brown sugar

In a medium saucepan, bring apple juice and apple chunks to a boil. Add oatmeal and cook 3 minutes, until thick. Divide oatmeal among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide brown sugar among bowls, sprinkling it over entire surface of oatmeal.Heat broiler to high and set oven rack 5 to 6 inches from heat source. Place bowls on a baking sheet and place in broiler; broil until oatmeal turns dark brown and begins to bubble, 1 to 3 minutes.

ORIGINAL CHEESEBURGER SOUP
Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground beef
3 1/2 cups diced potatoes
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery stalk
3 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
5 tablespoons butter
8 ounces American cheese / Velveeta, diced
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

Method:

Sauté the ground beef and chopped onion in a large skillet/pan over a medium heat. Mix the beef to prevent it sticking to the pan, cook until its browned all over. Drain and set aside, we will use the same skillet next.

Sauté the chopped celery, chopped carrots, parsley and basil in 2 tablespoon of the butter in the skillet. When the carrots are tender, add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Now add the diced potatoes and cooked beef and simmer gently for 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

In a separate small skillet melt the remaining butter, stir in the flour and cook through until it combines. Whisk in the milk and cook until the whole mixture thickens and becomes smooth. Add this to the soup and bring to the boil one more time.
Reduce the heat and mix in the cheese and season. When the cheese has melted remove the pot from the heat.

Original Cheeseburger Soup: serve with a spoonful of sour cream in each bowl.
Spinach Bread
by Emeril Lagasse
Ingredients
1 cup water
2 cups (tightly packed) cleaned and stemmed fresh spinach
4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon butter
2 envelopes (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3- 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place the water and spinach in a saucepan. Wilt the spinach, pressing down the spinach with the back of a spoon, about 45 seconds. Drain the spinach, squeezing out the spinach tightly and reserve the liquid.
Pour the liquid into a mixing bowl with 4 tablespoons of the butter. The butter will melt and cool the liquid to 110 degrees F. Stir in the yeast and dissolve the yeast. Add the beaten egg, sugar, salt , and black pepper.
Finely chop the spinach and add to the yeast mixture. Add the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball. Lightly oil a bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn the dough once. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Butter 6 over-sized muffin tins. Invert the dough onto a floured surface and punch it down with your fist. Fold each side in and tuck the ends into the center. Repeat.
Put the dough, seam side down and divide the dough into 6 six equal portions. Using your hand, gently roll the dough into a ball. Place the rolls in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the rolls with kosher salt and cheese. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until in doubles in size, about 1 hour. Bake the rolls for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool before removing from the pan.
Enjoy!
The Creative Cook

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chicken Corn Soup with Rivels

I have an old Good Housekeeping Cookbook from 1973! I was in the 8th grade back then and started to enjoy cooking. I am not sure how many of the recipes in this book I actually made way back when but one of the recipes I've tried recently with D is called Chicken Corn Soup with Rivels. I have never heard of Rivels before I saw this recipe. Are rivels something that are commenly known? I have no idea. I googled "rivels" and came up with this definition:
"Rivels are an old-fashioned pasta dish usually made by dropping tiny pieces of dough into boiling soup. Rivels are probably Germanic in origin, and they make an easily prepared short "noodle", which have gone out of favor in modern cooking. They are usually cooked in a chicken soup."

This is the only recipe I have ever seen them in. Most times, I make this soup without the "rivels". D just got an upper palatal expander put in by his orthodontist on Monday and he is having a hard time eating lately. He has mostly been asking for soup so don't be surprised if you see lots of soup recipes on here for a while. This one is really like a complete meal. I don't actually use a whole chicken and cook it for 3-1/2 hours. I don't have time for that most days. I use about 3-4 pounds chicken breast. I cook this soup in my slow cooker. First I put the 6 cups of water into the slow cooker and set it on high. I let the water heat up for about 1 hour or until it gets nice and hot. Then I start following the recipe.

CHICKEN-CORN SOUP WITH RIVELS

1 4-pound stewing chicken, cut up
1 cup chopped onions
salt and pepper to taste
1 12-ounce cans whole-kernel corn
1 cup chopped celery with leaves
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

About 3-1/2 hours before serving (yikes!):

In a covered large soup pot over medium-low heat, simmer chicken, onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper and 6 cups hot water for 2-1/2 hours or until chicken is tender.

Remove chicken to cutting board; cut meat from bones into small chunks; add chunks, corn and celery to soup. Continue simmering, covered for 10 minutes. Discard bones.

Meanwhile, prepare rivels: In a medium bowl, with fork, stir flour, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt and enough milk to make mixture crumble coursely. With spoon, sprinkle mixture into simmering soup. Add chopped eggs. Cook 20 minutes until rivels are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 12 cups or 8 servings.

Enjoy!

The Creative Cook