Soup


This week’s pick, from Kayte, is a mixed mushroom risotto. I love risotto and always look forward to making different ones so when Kayte chose this one I jumped in enthusiastically.

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What we have is a lovely seasoned risotto with dried porcini mushrooms as well as a mix of fresh. I used Portobello and white button and then threw in some dried mixed that I had on hand. What’s not to love about this one. A little red wine, a little garlic, some leeks. Yes indeed. LOVED it!!

The recipe is on page 138 of Donna’s modern classics: book 1. Check with

Two weeks ago the group made Veggie Laksa. I really wanted to make it but here in Podunk Laksa paste was not to be found. Lucky for me I travelled south to visit my Babies and just happened to visit a HUGE Asian market – Vinh Phat. It carries everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING anyone would ever need for Asian cooking. I have to admit I didn’t recognize a lot of the products but I found the two I really needed – Laksa Paste and Miso.

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I had never had Laksa before. It is a wonderful seasoned paste. Full of flavor and a little spicy. Why haven’t I had that before? The Veggie Laksa, which was Sarah’s choice last week, included sweet potatoes, bok choy, garlic, and snow peas in a rich coconut milk and Laksa broth. Donna said to serve it over Vermicelli noodles. I had also found some of the noodles made from Mung Beans. Altogethr I think I liked it. Next time I would cut the sweet potatoes and boy choy in smaller pieces. The recipe is on Donna’s Website.

Sarah made the Laksa as did Gaye so check out their posts.

It is Spring here in the deep south. We don’t have them very often. We usually go from Winter to Summer. Nothing in between. This year was different. And wonderfully refreshing. Like this soup from Donna Hay.

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It was full of lovely green veggies and full of flavor. Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper. Simple seasonings that brought out the flavor of the veggies. What veggies, did you ask?

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Zucchini, peas, broccoli, asparagus. And I added in some fresh green onions as suggested by my friend, and fellow WWDH member, Chaya.

I really wasn’t sure about this soup. While I love all the veggies, I wasn’t sure if I would like them together in a soup. But…it was wonderful. The cream and milk made a nice thick ‘broth’ without overpowering the veggies.

Thanks for this one, Kayte, it was perfect for a spring day lunch. Donna, you did it again!

Check with

for their soups.

If you would like to try this soup it is in Donna’s modern classics:Book 1 on page 18.

This has been a crazy winter.

    Snow.
      Heat.

    Snow.

Rain.

    Heat.
      Snow

etc etc. Even for Louisiana it is weird weather!!

So while it is still on the cool side I was glad to try one more soup. This one from Dorie’s around my french table for French Fridays with Dorie. this time…

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Dorie describes this s rustic. A soup that would, “sit on the back of the stove…until it was thick enough for a heavy spoon to stand upright in it.” And that is an apt description. So much good stuff in this soup it is almost a stew: cabbage, navy beans, carrots, onions, celery leeks, potatoes, sausage, and pork. All coming together in a delicious soup. There is supposed to be duck in the soup but when I pulled mine from the freezer it was beyond use. Next time. Any way, step by step the soup is built. Brown the pork roast and then put it in the pot with the broth and veggies. After a couple of hours it is done. Shred the pork and add it back in. Sausage, too. I do think next time I will brown the sausage first just to add some more depth, and color!!

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It was very filling, very flavorful, very much repeatable. With some toasted corn muffins it was the perfect supper for a very cool, not cold anymore, winter night. I would like to try it in the crockpot and Liz has a link on her site for that. If you want the recipe – Liz has it on site, That Skinny Chick Can Bake. Or in Dorie’s book on page 86 in AMFT.

Check with the other Doristas and their soups.

It has been cold in the Deep South for the last month. In fact, we have had snow and ice four times. Unheard of in the Deep South. So I was looking for something warm and comforting for dinner and beyond. Thank goodness for Secret Recipe Club because I found more than enough tasty dishes to keep us warm and cozy for a few meals. How, you ask? Because I was lucky enough to be matched with Veronica of My Catholic Kitchen for this month’s SRC!!

Vonnie lives in Coastal Virginia with The Hubster, a beauyiful teenage daughter, two turtles and a cute little dog, Meeka. She says she is, ‘a work in progress’, a food writer, and blogger (obviously), and self-taught cook. She taught me a thing or two with all her tempting recipes. To keep us warm. But to cool us off in the hot summer as well.

I have been making potato soup for several years. It is B’s favorite. But I never thought to make it in the crockpot until Veronica showed me how.

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    6 large baking potatoes peeled cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    1 large sweet onion
    1 quart of vegetable broth homemade or canned
    3 garlic cloves minced
    1/4 cup butter
    1 tablespoon salt
    1/2 tablespoon pepper

Put these ingredients into the crockpot and cook for 6 – 8 hours on low until potatoes are tender. Mash the cooked potatoes leaving some chunks. {I used my immersion blender}

    1 cup half and half or cream
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    3 tablespoons chopped chives
    1 cup sour cream

Now mix in these last four ingredients. Serve garnished with additional chives, cheese, and, if you wish, crumbled bacon.

Definitely going to keep you warm on a cold night. It is filling, comforting, and delicious.

We are actually trying to watch what we eat. Maybe a few more veggies, a little less sugar, fruit for breakfast. If I can combine some good ingredients together it is definitely a positive thing. Like making Vonnie’s Breakfast Banana Muffins. Moist and tasty. I made a couple of subs just trying to make them a little healthier.

    5 ripe bananas
    1 1/4 cup All Purpose flour {I used 1/2 AP and 1/2 Whole Wheat Flour}
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup sugar {Splenda}
    1/2 cup shortening {used 1/4 cup shortning and 1/4 cup applesauce}
    2 large eggs beaten {1/2 cup egg beaters}

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray the muffin tins with cooking spray or put liners in each of them. I used some heart shaped silicone holders. These are supposed to be more heart healthy!!
Peel the bananas and place them a bowl and mash them up well. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add the sugar, shortening, apple sauce, and eggs to the mashed bananas then stir in the flour mixture just until the batter is blended.
Pour the batter into the muffin tins to about 2/3 full and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

Perfect for Breakfast. Or a snack.

And then, because I am always looking for new dishes to make in the slow cooker I tried Vonnie’s Slow Cooker Chicken BBQ. We love BBQ chicken and always make extra for sandwiches. But since the weather has simply been uncooperative I decided to try this version instead.

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    8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    1 cup ketchup
    1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 Tbl Seasoning Mix {I used Toni’s.}
    1/2 cup cider vinegar

Place chicken in the slow cooker.

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Mix the ketchup, Worcestershire, sugar, hot pepper and vinegar together and pour sauce over chicken. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 4-5 hours. Remove and shred the chicken then mix it back into sauce. If it seems a little dry you can add some water a little at a time.

Served on a toasted bun it was perfect for a quick lunch – several lunches actually.

Okay, that’s three of the 15 recipes I ended up Pinning. There are so many more but somewhere along the line I just had to stop reading and start cooking. But in the future look for her Garlic Cheese Biscuits, Vodka Sauce, Baklava, ………
It’s All Good.

Speaking of good, you really need to hop over to the SRC Members and check out their ‘assignments’ this month. They are below.


Have you every heard of ‘grief bacon”? No? Me either. But I now know what it is. Because it is this month’s theme for LETS LUNCH What do you want when you feel down? Blue? Is there a special food?

I head for for the jar of Peanut Butter. Or the bag of M&Ms. I seldom make something for me when I am feeling blue. But if I just need something to ‘warm’ my soul I head for soup Not just any soup. Chicken Noodle Soup. Not decadent. Not soothing necessarily. But comforting. I remember sharing a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup with Mom. Cold days. Rainy days. Chicken Noodle Soup.

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The recipe I used this time was based on a DASH recipe. Trying to eat a little better for our health brought me to this one. Comforting. Healthy. Delicious. And I served a nice hunk of Country Bread on the side. Bread = comfort food!

    STOCK:
    1 chicken (about 3 pounds) skinned and seperated, or 4 chicken quarters, skinned
    8 cups water
    2 onions, halved, the inner layer of skin left on
    3 carrots, chopped
    3 celery stalks, chopped
    1 bouquet garni
    4 black peppercorns
    1 teaspoon salt
    SOUP
    4 ounces spaghetti or linguine, broken into 2-inch pieces
    1 carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
    1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
    1 cup frozen corn, thawed
    1/2 cup barley
    1/3 cup yellow lentils
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
    2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

First make the stock. Put the chicken parts in a large, heavy-based stockpot or saucepan. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, then pour in about 8 cups cold water to cover the ingredients. Bring to the boil, skimming the surface constantly until all gray scum is removed. {You could use store bought as long as it’s low sodium – even veggie stock}

Reduce the heat to low immediately after the liquid boils. Add the bouquet garni, peppercorns, and I teaspoon salt. Partially cover the pan and simmer for I hour, skimming as necessary. Test the chicken joints after 30-40 minutes; remove them as soon as the juices run clear when the joints are pierced with the point of a knife. Set aside. Salt and pepper to taste.

Line a large colander or sieve with dampened cheesecloth and place it over a large heatproof bowl, then strain the stock through this. Discard the vegetables and flavoring ingredients. Return stock to the cleaned pan. Skim off any excess fat on the surface of the stock. Cool and freeze the leftover stock to use as a chicken .stock in other recipes.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard all the bones. Cut 112 pound meat into bite-size pieces for use in the soup. Reserve the remaining chicken for sandwiches or other recipes.

Bring the stock to the boil, then reduce the heat so the stock is simmering. Add the spaghetti or linguine and the carrot, and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the celery and corn, lentils, and continue cooking until the pasta and all the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. I cooked the barley separately because it takes about an hour to cook.

Stir in the chicken with seasoning to taste and heat through. Sprinkle in the parsley and thyme, and serve the soup at once.


I added the barley and lentils to the recipe. You could even add quinoa. And any nice other veggie would be nice, too. Broccoli, squash, navy beans.

I also find making my own pasta very comforting so I made whole wheat noodles for the soup.

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I’ll post that recipe later.

What did the other members bring to lunch? You can find a round up on Rebecca’s blog. She was our host this month.

Eastern European foods rely heavily on pork, potatoes and vegetables. Noodles came into the cuisine after contact with Italy and today there is a lot of fusion of old traditional recipes and new food ideas. Basically there are two types of food in Poland. The cuisine of the aristocracy and the dishes of the farmers and workers. The aristocracy preferred more lavish foods from other countries, such as pasta introduced in the 1500s, and spices.
The food of the farmers and workers was more filling and tended to be hearty and warming. Since I am not at all aristocratic, I went with the hearty, filling, warming food. Such as this

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    Kielbasa and Potatoes

Polish sausage and potatoes are in many dishes of the area as are lots of grains and some dairy products.

    5 large potatoes, cut in bite sized chunks
    1 lb kielbasa, sliced
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 cup chopped green pepper {I used red}
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon oregano
    1 teaspoon basil
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese {I didn’t have any cheddar so I used Muenster}

In dutch oven, brown potatoes, kielbasa, onion and peppers in oil.
Add seasonings and water. Bring to a boil.
Cover tightly and cook for 20 minutes on low, stirring occasionally.
Uncover and sprinkle cheese on top. Return lid an allow cheese to melt.

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This was definitely hearty, filling, delicious, and took less than 30 minutes to put together. I also ran across similar recipes that added in other vegetables such as carrots, peas, etc. Recipe from Food.com


The people also depend a lot on mushrooms in their recipes. So While I was in the kitchen cutting up veggies I went ahead and made some soup.


Wild Mushroom Soup

    1/4 lb dried wild mushrooms {I used a combo of dried shitake, porcini, and button}
    9 cups vegetable or meat stock
    1 cup butter
    1 cup finely chopped onion
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    salt
    white pepper
    sour cream
    chopped fresh parsley

Cover mushrooms with cold water and soak overnight. Drain the mushrooms reserving the soaking liquid, strain the liquid through a fine cloth. Rinse the mushrooms in cold water to remove any remaining sand then slice into strips.
Add the mushrooms, 8 cups of of the beef stock and the soaking liquid to a 3 quart saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer over low heat 4 hours.
Melt the butter in a heavy skillet, add the onion, saute until golden brown then add to the soup.
Whisk the cornstarch with the remaining cup of beef stock, add to the soup, stir and simmer until slightly thickened.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into individual bowls, top each with 1 tbls sour cream and sprinkle with parsley. Recipe from Polish Recipes

No pics with this one. I KNOW I took them, but they are GONE!!But it wasn’t a pretty soup so maybe just as well. :)

The roundup of Poland will be the first week of February so check out My Kitchen My World.

The thing I like about Donna Hay is how she takes simple ingredients. Combines them in different ways and broadens my horizons with new flavors. I love sweet potatoes but I would NEVER have thought to make soup with them in a mix with onion and chicken stock. But Donna did. And while I am still not sure if I liked her sweet potato soup I do know it was different.

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Sautee some chopped onions and chopped up sweet potato. Add some broth. Cook. Blend smooth. Top with goat’s cheese and basil. Eat.

Except I made one small change. I baked the sweet potato which I think deepened the flavor some. After it cooled I cut it up and added it to the sauteed onions and broth. I used some garlic herb goat cheese, which mixed in after pictures really brought out some great flavor. Okay, I liked it! Did the other ladies of Wednesdays with Donna Hay? Visit and see.

Chaya, who chose the recipe,
Gaye,
Kayte,
Sarah.

The recipe is online on Donna’s site if you want to try it.

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