Friday, January 24, 2014

Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

This is a really amazing soup and is not difficult at all to make.  Roasting the broccoli gives it a deeper flavor and a surprise ingredient (grainy mustard) sends it over the top.  This is part of the regular rotation at our house.

Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
  • 1 large bunch broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups aged cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard (optional - but it REALLY makes the soup)
Toss the broccoli florets in the oil along with the salt and pepper and arrange them in a single layer on a large baking sheet.  Roast the broccoli in a preheated 400F oven until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.  Add the broth and broccoli, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. 

Puree the soup until it reaches your desired consistency with a stick blender or in batches in a regular blender.   You can leave some of the broccoli whole or blend it all.  I like it blended pretty well but the family wants to be able to "chew" some of their broccoli.
Mix in the cheese, let it melt and season with salt and pepper.  Mix in the milk and mustard and remove from heat.

From Closet Cooking 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder

16 ounce package of good bacon, chopped
2 cups or one really large sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1 cup dry white wine
2 lbs small red potatoes, chopped
1 jar of clam juice
4 (6.5 ounce) cans of chopped clams (with juice)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 bag of baby yellow/white frozen corn
1 cup cream
cayenne pepper
thyme leaves
freshly ground black pepper

Cook bacon in your soup pot until it is nicely browned and starting to crisp.  Add onions and saute until translucent.  Add flour and stir and let it cook out for a couple of minutes.  Slowly add wine and cook for a couple of minutes.  

Add potatoes, clam juice and the juice from the canned clams. Liquid should cover potatoes.  If not, add some water or stock to supplement.  Add bay leaf, seasonings to taste.  We like it pretty spicy so we add quite a bit of cayenne but that is completely up to your own taste.   I also like thyme and especially fresh thyme.  

Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer about 10 minutes.   Add corn and continue to cook until potatoes are tender.  While potatoes are cooking heat cream on low heat until steamy.  When potatoes are tender add clamps, turn off heat and slowly add warm cream.  Stir.  Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Spicy Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bisque

I used the slow cooker for this recipe but it can easily be adapted to the stove top.  Especially if you are impatient and want to eat it sooner.  It is a really good creamy and nourishing soup but not over filling.  I had three bowls of it last night and cannot wait to have some more today!

Spicy Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Bisque

1 large head of cauliflower, broken into small/medium pieces
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large sweet onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 quart of stock (Vegetable if you want to keep it vegetarian.  I used turkey stock.)
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (or more if you like it really spicy)
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves
salt and pepper
1 cup of evaporated milk
1 T butter
4 ounces cream cheese

Add cauliflower, sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, stock, red pepper flakes and thyme into slow cooker and cook on high for 4-5 hours.  I added some water about 3 hours in because it wasn't quite soupy enough, but as long as your vegetables are all cooking nicely you should be fine.

Once veggies are all very tender and cooked, add butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper (to taste) and milk.  Use an immersion blender or transfer in batches to a regular blender.  Once it is all blended, taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed and serve.   The original recipe called for garnishing with shredded cheddar and green onions, but we just served like this and it was wonderful.  It will definitely be a keeper in my Soup Bible!! 

Adapted from Yes, I Want Cake!