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Fall has definitely arrived – although we were treated to sunny days this weekend, you could definitely feel the chill in the air. So Soup Season is here. I love homemade soups and this one is simple to make and ready to eat in under an hour. I use an immersion blender to finish this soup as I like small bits of the vegetables still in tact, and an immersion blender offers you more control on how smooth, or how chunky you want your soup, as opposed to a food processor. Me, I like it aa smidge chunky!
3 large zucchini (with skins)
1 bunch of thin asparagus
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbl unsalted butter
1 Tbl dry sherry
1 cup chopped white onion
5 garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 large dashes of Kosher salt
1 dash of fresh ground pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (for Parma Crisps)
1. Top a cookie sheet with a Silpat sheet liner. Drop spoonfuls (use a tablespoon) on to the liner into little mounds, then press them flat. Bake in 400 degree oven between 5 and 8 minutes (depending upon your oven). Once cooked remove from liner and serve with the soup. I make these while the soup is simmering. 1/2 cup grated cheese makes 9 to 12 crisps.
1. In heavy saucepan melt butter, and add the chopped onion and garlic. Stir till onion is translucent.
2. Wash vegetables and pat dry. Quick chop the zucchini into small chunks and add to pot. Cut off bottom of asparagus stocks (the woody section), and then rough chop the asparagus and add to pot. Cook for about 5 minutes till the veggies get some brown on them, stirring the entire time.
3. Once veggies are brown, add the chicken broth and bring the soup to a boil, then turn down heat. cover the pot, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
4. Vegetables should be soft but still keep their green color. Test the vegetables by pressing them against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. The vegetables are cooked when they smash against the side but still hold their shape.
5. Take the soup off the stove and using an immersion blender, blend all ingredients till it starts to thicken. I like the immersion blender over a food processor as the clean-up is much easier and I don’t make a big mess on my side counter, as I do when I use the food processor.
6. Just before serving add the sherry, mix well and pour into soup bowls. Add a bit of heavy cream to top, and affix one parmesan crisp in center and serve a couple on the side.
Serves: 8 people (one cup per serving)
Carb Count: 10 carbs
Calorie Count: 265 calories
Parmesan Crisps: 0 carbs / 24 calories each crisp
I needed some comfort food on Monday night but was not in the mood to get too involved in cooking anything that took longer than … what, a few TV commercials? I fell back on my reliable go-to instant comfort food, Mushrooms on Toast. This is a pretty simple recipe, but still works its magic when needed. I try to mix up the variety of mushrooms in the recipe and I happened to have left over shiitake, button and baby bellos used in a mushroom tart on the weekend, so they became the mushrooms of choice. If I were being ambitious I would serve this with a small green salad and Green Goddess Dressing.
4 cups fresh mushrooms: white, baby bello, and shiitake
4 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
1 Tbl olive oil
Pinch of Salt
4 slices sourdough french bread
Splash of dry vermouth
1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbl chopped parsley
Juice of 1/2 small lemon
1/8 tsp each of celery salt and onion powder
1 clove garlic – cut in half
3 Tbl slivered chives (chop on diagonal)
1. Clean and wipe dry the mushrooms. Cut off end (but not the whole stem) and slice the mushrooms.
2. Add olive oil and 2 Tbl butter to pan, add mushrooms, and brown on high heat for 2 minutes and then turn down to medium and cook till they have a nice brown edge to them. Add healthy splash of dry vermouth (about 2 or 3 Tbls) and let the alcohol cook down for about a minute. Remove mushrooms to a plate and cover to keep warm.
3. Cut medium thick slices of french bread and put under broiler – toast both sides. When done, run the cut piece of garlic clove over each slice.
4. Add 2 Tbl of butter to pan and then 2 Tbl of flour to make a roux. Blend and then slowly add the heavy cream (turn down the heat to Medium), stirring constantly. Add 1/8 tsp of celery salt, and 1/8 tsp of onion powder, mix and bring to a boil.
5. Immediately turn down heat to low and add the sour cream, parsley, lemon juice, and Worcestershire Sauce. Using a whisk, mix till smooth and lump-free.
6. Place two pieces of toast on plate, spoon some of the sauce over the toast and then place 1/2 of the mushroom mixture on top. Drizzle a small teaspoonful of the sauce over the mushrooms and top with slivered chives.
Not sure why Emma named these potatoes “boats” except that’s what my Mom always called them and this is her recipe. We had these long before potato wedges became popular and they are wonderful when served with chicken or meatloaf, (more…)
You gotta love the chemistry of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in just about any film they make (although Joe Versus the Volcano was kinda lame). While watching You’ve Got Mail this weekend I found I really liked the quick wit and banter between the two of them (the script was written by Nora Ephron, need I say more?). Sometimes it is just the way they say a line as in the ”Happy Thanksgiving Back” scene where Kathleen (Meg’s character) is in the “cash only line” in the supermarket – makes me smile – here’s the clip:
I’m confident that Kathleen was buying Brussels sprouts in that scene for Thanksgiving Dinner – maybe because (more…)
Halloween was only last week and yet I have been inundated with ideas on what to serve at Thanksgiving in mail, magazines, reality TV, and of course blogs. OMG the pressure to find the perfect vegetable to serve! Okay, just kidding. No pressure here… but when I went to Whole Foods I found a heaping mass of pumpkins, gourds, and a variety of winter squashes, at which I stopped counting when I hit the number 14. (more…)
Lyonnaise Potatoes is a french dish of pan-fried potatoes, that originated around 1845 in the city of Lyon, which is located in a region called Rhone-Alpes in France. In French, a la lyonnaise means the dish contains onions – think I originally learned how to make this dish watching Julia Child on TV way back when. A lot of recipes suggest blanching or par-boiling the potatoes in advance of the pan-frying (more…)
For some reason, Tuesday is the hardest day of the week for me to figure out what to have for dinner. Growing up, we ate the same food each weekday (Monday was meatloaf, Wednesday was lamb chops, Thursday was beef stew, Friday was spaghetti, and Tuesday was … Liver and Bacon. Now you know why I struggle to find something suitable for Tuesday. Although I hated liver as a child, (more…)
Red roasted potatoes (especially made with garlic) are one of my favorite ways of cooking potatoes – better than Russett Boat Potatoes; even better than mashed potatoes or hash browns – and I love them all! I particularly like to serve this recipe when I make a Rack of Lamb, which I did this past weekend. Often when I serve these potatoes someone invariably asks for the recipe and I say (more…)