Hello! Hello! How was your Thanksgiving weekend? We were on the move for 4 days straight. I managed to steer clear from all of the mall madness and put in some serious time antiquing. More about that later this week…
Now that your Thanksgiving leftovers have ran out, I’ve got another tasty soup recipe for you. One of my favorite things about creating new recipes is naming them. Actually I feel this way about most creative projects. Once something new is produced, I love to step back, evaluate and then brand the package. With that said, I introduce you to my newest comfort food…Baked Potato Soup.
Can I let you in on a little secret though? It is not really baked at all. More like boiled and mashed. But Baked Potato Soup sounds better.
Start by peeling and washing a couple of pounds of potatoes. Place them in a large pot of boiling water.
While the potatoes are cooking, caramelize a large chopped onion in a separate pan.
Once the potatoes are soft, drain most of the water and combine with the onions. Blend with an immersion blend. Season with salt & pepper. Garlic is good too if you’d like. Basically season as you would mashed potatoes. Don’t stop there though! We’re making soup, remember? Now add a cup of stock for each pound of potato. This will thin it into a nice creamy potato soup base sans any heavy cream or dairy. Allow it to simmer on low-medium in the stock pot with the lid on.
At this point, you can add in vegetables of your choice like broccoli or asparagus to create a dairy free ‘cream of (fill in the blank) soup’. I took another approach in order to make this soup more personal and interactive.
Think Baked Potato Soup Bar.
I chopped and steamed fresh vegetables separately along with shredded cheese. The options are pretty much endless – carrots, avocado, broccoli, peas, mushrooms and even bacon if you want. Just don’t forget the cheese! It will melt right into the base of this dish – the warm baked potato soup.
I served my hearty Baked Potato Soup along with a berry smoothie filled with antioxidants. Yum!
You guys, SOUP! I seriously can’t get enough of homemade soup on these chilly late fall days. I have been making all kinds over here. But my all time favorite has always been French Onion Soup. Sometimes I just crave that salty tavern staple but don’t want to head to order it. Surprisingly I usually have enough ingredients in the house to throw it together. I have made it a few times now this month and we’re not sick of it yet! I have got it down to 30 minutes because when you crave French Onion Soup, you crave it now.
There are a lot of recipes out there calling for all sorts of seasonings like bay leaves, garlic, thyme, etc. While these are all great, I skip them completely and use one simple ingredient. Wait for it…
To make 4 servings, I simply chop a vidalia onion into about 1 inch slices. I place them all into a frying pan with a dash of olive oil and the secret sweetener that my friend clued me into… brown sugar! Approximately 2 tablespoons should do the trick. This will help caramelize your onions in no time on medium-high heat.
While the onions are sweetening, I put the broth on high. I use about 4 cups to one large onion in a stock pot. When the water boils, the onions are ready to be transferred into the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and all the onions and broth to tango.
In the meantime, prepare your Gruyère cheese. I prefer to cut them in long, thin slices.
For the bread in your soup, you can go in a few directions…
- You can simply use croutons.
- You can slice up French bread and pop it in the broiler for a minute or 2 to brown it.
- My favorite thing to do is use bread I already have – usually a whole grain of sorts. If I plan to make onion soup that day, I leave a few slices out to basically dry out. So glamorous letting your bread go stale, I know.
Now it’s time to put it all together. Place the bread in your crock. Ladle the soup in it. Drape the Gruyère cheese across the crock in sort of a Z. I find this gives the best cheese coverage. Pop it into the broiler for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts and lightly browns.
I’ve mentioned kohlrabi a few times this past summer. It is still a phenomenon to us. How have we never heard of this root vegetable before this summer? It is one of Ryan’s new favorites. Buuuut…we can’t just keep roasting kohlrabi. Boredom will certainly set in.
It is fall now which means a warm hearty stew is in season. So, friends, kohlrabi stew is born!
This may possibly be the least photogenic dish but don’t hold that against it. Trust me that kohlrabi stew is tasty and not so bad for you considering how creamy it is.
Here’s how I made this which yields 4-6 servings:
- Cover the bottom of your pot with sunflower oil, simmer and saute 1/2 – 3/4 cup of chopped scallions
- Chop one large kohlrabi into 1/2 inch chunks and add to the pot. Simmer for a few minutes on medium heat until they are soft
- Next add 2 cups of vegetable stock (or chicken stock) and 1 can of cream of broccoli soup
- Season to your preference: salt, lemon pepper, parsley, thyme
- Put the lid on the pot and boil for 20-25 minutes
- Allow the entire mixture to cool for about 20 minutes before transferring to a blender or food processor
- Puree in batches
- Once pureed, transfer back to the pot and add in 1 cup of small pasta shells
- Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil, cooking the pasta right in the stew. This is also where you could add in pre-cooked beef
- Serve and enjoy!
Side note: I have been wanting to make butternut squash soup for a long time. Longer than I have been cooking, actually. It is always so delicious but I’m quite aware that it is usually made with lots of heavy cream. I am going to try it by following the above principles (minus the pasta). The cream of broccoli soup is the only
creamy offender here. I will let you know how it turns out!
What are you cooking this weekend?
A couple of weeks ago, I told you all about the CSA we joined this year. It is our first time participating in Community Supported Agriculture and we just love it!
Every week’s pick up is sort of like Christmas. You don’t know what you’re going to get. There is a level of anticipation because you know you’ll love it either way. It’s so exciting. Yes, I am still talking about vegetables…
We’ve picked up carrots from the farm a few times. It is so adorable how they come with their green tops still attached much like in Bugs Bunny but nothing like in the grocery store.
I like carrots but I needed a new, fresh idea. I didn’t want to just steam them again. I racked my brain for something different. We love sweet potato fries so why not try carrot fries?
So we did! I’ve found that just about any root vegetable is tasty sliced up and roasted in the oven producing healthy “fries”. We did this with kohlrabi earlier in the growing season and loved it too.
To prep the carrots, you need to clean and lightly peel them. Then slice them into 2-3 inch sections.
Brush on some olive oil, salt & a dash of cumin.
Pre-heat your oven at 425 degrees. Then bake the carrots for about 25 minutes.
That’s it! We drizzled ours with a little bit of raw honey. They were delicious and got rave reviews from my food connoisseur husband.