Monday, February 1, 2010

Decadent French Onion Soup

French Onion SoupFrench onion soup is a real treat for me, I am not sure why I do not cook it more as it doesn't take any longer than most things that I cook, but I usually only cook it once or twice a year. As with anything else, the quality of the products you start with have a huge impact on what you end up with. This version is truly a decadent soup, hence you do not need a lot to satisfy as it borders on almost too much flavour. Also starting with a homemade broth is always the way to go when it is so prominent in the soup.

The Recipe: Decadent French Onion Soup
Makes 4 servings, Prep time 20 minutes, Cook time 1 hour

4 medium sized cooking onions diced
3 large shallots diced
4 pieces of bacon diced
3 tbsp of butter
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 pinch of cayenne
1 tsp of fresh ground pepper
pinch of Sea Salt (you may want more depending on how salty your broth is)
1/2 cup of red wine or sherry (this will change the flavour but I don't always have sherry on hand)
1 tbsp of corn starch
6 cups of chicken broth
4 slices of french bread
1 tbsp of oil
1 tbsp of additional butter for the croutons
Gruyere Cheese

Heat a large skillet (large enough to hold seven cups of liquid) medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add the bacon and cook until it just starts to crisp (time will vary depending on how thick the bacon is).

Add the butter, onions, shallots and sea salt. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. DO NOT LET THE ONIONS BROWN.

Add the garlic and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Increase the heat to high, add the cayenne, black pepper and deglaze the pan with the red wine.

Add the corn starch to the broth and mix in well (the corn starch will slightly thicken the soup making it just a richer). Add the mixture to the pan bring to a boil.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Remove the crust from the bread and cut into large cubes. Combine the bread with the olive oil and butter and place in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the croutons start to brown.

In oven safe bowls, add the soup and place croutons gently on the top. Grate as much cheese as you can afford over top and place the bowls under the broiler until the cheese starts to bubble.

Remove and carefully enjoy!

Click Here to Read More..

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vegetable and Rice Soup

Vegetable & Rice SoupSo it is a new year and I am finally getting around to doing another post. Long story short, too much the holiday baking, travel and a bout of the flu for the family has brought us well into the new year. Although I am assuming most people have already forgotten their New Year's resolution and are at the point were they are about to start looking forward to spring, I thought a nice healthy, easy soup would be a great way to start the year. This vegetable soup is great with homemade broth but can use a high quality store bought broth if necessary (I use an Imagine organic chicken broth). This soup really is great when you need something warm and healthy, my wife had me make it three days in a row last week!

The Recipe: Vegetable and Rice Soup
Makes 4 servings, Prep Time 15 minutes (I like to make sure vegetable are very precisely chopped), Cook Time 20 minutes

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 red pepper diced into small cubes
3 stocks of celery split down the middle and diced
3 large carrots diced
3 medium sized shallots finely diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbsp of chili powder
1 tsp of cayenne powder(reduce if you don't want the heat, but cayenne been proven to have many healing properties and improves circulation)
2 tsp sea salt (adjust based on the the salt in your stock)
1/3 cup of white rice (you can use brown rice but you will have to adjust the cooking time accordingly)
6 cups of chicken broth

Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil, peppers, carrots, celery, sea salt and shallots. Saute for about 5 minutes, while stirring, then add the garlic.

Continue cooking another 2 minutes. Add the chili powder, cayenne, rice and cook for another minute.

Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until rice is done. Enjoy!

Click Here to Read More..