Category Archives: 17. Soups

Onion Soup the Slow Cooker Way

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SLOW COOKER ONION SOUP (6 Servings)

 Here’s a yummy soup that will warm your bones, body and soul

 January here in our snowy valley is always a good time to have a repast to warm up the bones, body and soul. After a hard day’s skiing either on our BCRD cross country trails or down-hilling on Mt. Baldy, a delicious hot soup that is easy to make because most of it will be cooking while you are skiing is very desirable indeed. And by the way, you can also after caramelizing your onions, take half of them out and freeze for future use on pizzas, etc. and so just make half of this recipe for your soup.

For the caramelized onions:

  • 8 cups thinly sliced yellow onions, (about 2 very large onions or 4 medium sized ones)
  • 10 to 12 clove garlic, minced or 8 garlic minced garlic gloves and 2 thinly sliced shallots
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil or peanut oil and 2 tablespoons melted sweet butter
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

For the soup:

  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup white wine or white vermouth
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Sprig fresh rosemary
  • 4 cups good beef broth (I like the Better Than Bouillon brand but there are others however, of course, the best is the one you’ve made with beef bones, etc. at home)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup mushroom broth which is different than most recipes but I like it in this soup (optional)
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (a last minute deal option—I like it)
  • 3 egg yolks (a last minute deal option and it will make your soup a bit creamier—I like this too)
  • 6 or more thin slices baguette, toasted in a 400 degree oven until golden and quite dry and more slices for your bread basket—and you could just toast it in your toaster to make things easier.
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, Parmesan, Romano, Swiss or any kind of the MUST cheese you can envision for this dish.
  • Serving idea: This wonderful soup plus a green salad, a basket of more baguette slices and a side board filled with an assortment of good cheeses and dried meats would make a great meal at any time of the day—even one to break the day’s fast.

Directions:

  • Coat a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with some melted butter.
  • Add the onions, (shallots), garlic, oil and melted butter.
  • Toss well, and then season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Cover and cook on low for about 5 hours, until the onions are richly colored and sweet. After the first hour toss the onions and you can do this one another time in about 3 hours if you wish. I also place a paper towel under the lid to absorb the extra moisture.
  • Once the onions are ready, sprinkle them with the flour and stir until well-combined. Then add the sherry and vermouth or white wine.
  • Then add the bouillons & water (which should be well heated in the micro) and the herbs; cover and cook for another 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high.
  • Optional: Once the soup is done, stir in the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning.
  • Optional but very good: Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk in one ladle full of hot soup and then whisk in another ladle full in that bowl. Then add this concoction to the soup.
  • Set broiler to high when ready to eat. Ladle the soup into broiler-safe serving crocks. Top each crock with a thin slice of the toasted baguette and a heaping tablespoon of Gruyere. However, see below for additional hints
  • Hints: If you wish, you can place the toasted baguette on the bottom of the crock, ladle in the soup and then top with your choice of cheese; then place it under the broiler for a moment or two. Or you can just add croutons to the top of the soup, plus the cheese and broil it. Or leave out the bread and just top with cheese however no matter what you choose broiled cheese on top is a must. Decisions, decisions, decisions—and don’t forget to remove your herb sprigs before serving.
  • Place the filled crocks on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a bit of foil for easy cleaning and broil just until cheese is golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Do not leave the crocks under the broiler unattended as they will burn quickly so watch carefully.
  • Serve with more toasted baguette slices or even just oven warm slices, a side board of assorted cheeses, dried meats and a green salad and of course, a cupo of vino or yes, even a good glass of bierre. Voila—magnifique!!!!

Don’t forget to check in on Margot’s blog: http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com for more than 200 recipes.

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Veggie Soup Perfect For New Year Health & Diet

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 Veggie Soup With An Asian Bent

Got some left over veggies in your frig.?

Or even some very fresh ones? Even lettuce? Yes, lettuce!!! Try it and you’ll see.

Well, I did and before they went south, I made myself a delicious and very healthy soup. I also decided that I wanted to pair it with some hot Saki to warm my cold bones after a delicious day cross country skate skiing Hailey’s Croy Canyon, which by the way was perfectly groomed as usual by the BCRD. Well the moose was out and about, or so I was told by a youngling, but I didn’t encounter it. I have had one of the moose twins (yes indeed) in my front yard whereas after it, along with its brother and mother, sauntered down Hailey’s main street. Now, we do know don’t we (?)that here in Hailey territory when we see the moose(s) we don’t go up and give it(them) a hug or let the dog do that either. Now I bet you all wished you lived in Hailey to see our magnificent wild life.

But I digress and back to the soup—I am going to tell you how I made mine, but my fun in cooking is inventing dishes so here’s one that you can invent for yourself. Then, when you’ve made a really awesome concoction, be sure to email me and then I’ll post it on my eyeonsunvalley.com post. When you do this, imagine yourself becoming a famous chef because yes indeed, EOSV can help you become that.

My Ingredients That I Had & Used:

  • A bit of bacon cut into small pieces (I keep some bacon in the freezer just for this cause)
  • A little butter and a tad bit of olive oil (I like the combo taste of these)
  • One large and long green zucchini—well scrubbed of course
  • Six very large Brussels sprouts—also washed and groomed (brown ends & yellow leaves off)
  • One savory Idaho medium sized baking potato—peeled
  • One or Two garlic clove-peeled of course
  • Four cups of a mixture of vegetable and chicken stock (I love the BetterThan Bouillon brand but of course home made is the best.)
  • Lime juice to taste
  • Inglehoffer Wasabit with Horseradish –a nice healthy dash of that to make it a bit Asian
  • Worcestershire Sauce—a bit of that as well
  • S&P to taste
  • Mary’s Caraway Gluten Free Crackers for a topping

My directions for myself or for yourself if you wish:

  • In your food processor (or by hand) small chop the zucchini, Brussels sprouts, potato and garlic clove
  • Brown the bacon in a medium sized pot and add the bit of butter when browned
  • Brown the chopped veggies over medium low heat (10-15minutes) in the melted oil/butter till they are soft but not browned.
  • Add the stock, lime juice, Inglehoffer, Worcestershire and S&P to taste.
  • Slow simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or more adding more liquid stock and seasonings of your choice if needed.

 

Result: This soup was easy to make, comforting and hot. I knew that it was healthy featuring all those veggies and I topped it with gluten free self-crunched caraway crackers that made it even more delicious. My treat to go with this dish was some nice hot Saki.

Now use your imagination. You can make similar soups with a German bent, Indian bent, French bent—well, you get the idea. Now that it is the New Year and we all wish to scurry away those extra pounds but still remain within the healthy diet realm, here is a recipe that you’ll love eating yourself and serving to others.

 

So, bon appétit and I can’t wait to see what ideas you have and post them to margot@eyeonsunvalley.com

As always—eager for a new recipe?—go to http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com where I have more than 200 yummy recipes posted and also look for this recipe on http://www.eyeonsunvalley.com

Roasted Cheese Ratatouille-Versatile, (veggie only or with meat/egg)

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Roasted Ratatouille with Cheese and if you wish, eggs and/or meat

Lots of options here and all quite healthy

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  1. 1 small eggplant cut into 1/2 inch pieces. I left the skin on but if you wish, you can peel it. Also I salted it in a colander and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. After I rinsed it.
  2. 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  3. 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  4. 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 4 or 5 large mushrooms, sliced.
  6. 1-2 Tblsp. olive oil
  7. 1/4 Tsp. (or more if you wish a more exotic taste) of each of the following: cinnamon & nutmeg and S&P to taste
  8. 1-28 oz. canned chopped tomatoes with juice or whole can tomatoes (w/juice) that you’ve chopped
  9. 2-3 Tblsp. torn fresh basil leaves
  10. 1 Tblsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  11. Half lb. lamb shoulder which you have ground (minus the bone of course) in your food processor. This I found is the most economical way of getting ground lamb. However, the butcher may have some as well for the same price and/or he also can grind up the shoulder meat for you. If you wish you can have even have up to 1 lb. or none at all if you want to be vegetarian. You can also substitute ground turkey, chicken or beef but lamb is delicious and more traditional. (optional)
  12. Mozarella, part skim, 4-6 ounces, thinly sliced and cut into 1/4 –inch strips
  13. 4 eggs (optional)
  14. Crusty French Bread with which to serve it or something else similar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a 9 X 14 inch Pyrex or other oven proof dish place ingredients 1 through 5 and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast until golden brown and tender. (about 45 minutes) About half way through, I stirred the veggies well. In fact, you can stir even more times if you wish.
  3. Brown the optional lamb, etc. in a bit of olive oil in a skillet stove top. Set aside.
  4. When the veggies are roasted, take your dish out and stir in the seasonings in # 7, the tomatoes and their juices in # 8, the basil leaves in #9 and the parsley in #10 and the optional ground meat in #11.
  5. Bake in the 400 F oven with a foil covering for 20 to 30 minutes till hot and bubbling.
  6. Now’s the time to top with the cheese and bake without the foil for another 10 minutes—or at least till the cheese is melted. I actually turned on the broiler for several minutes to get it browned.
  7. Alternative method of serving: If you didn’t add the meat and maybe want to add eggs to this dish, then before you add the cheese, make four indentations in your veggies, break in an egg and layer the cheese over all. Bake uncovered until the eggs are set and the cheese is melted—8-10 minutes.
  8. Another alternative for this dish: If you did use the meat and you’ve layered the cheese, and cooked it that way but still want an egg on top—fry the egg in a separate pan and when you serve the Ratatouille, place the egg on top. Plenty of protein here and it really is good. Remember, you can serve the left over Ratatouille (if you have any) for breakfast topped with an egg.

Margot’s Rainy Day Asian Shrimp Soup for One

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Margot’s Rainy Day Asian Shrimp Soup for One

It was our first blustery rainy day of the fall season and Hugo and I were by out lonesome’s reading a great book, “The Accursed” by Joyce Carol Oates. I had just finished another fabulous book: “A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story” that I hope you all will read. It actually truly is a “Must Read”.

I was a bit hungry so for a late lunch/early dinner, I felt like making something easy and light on the belly and something warm. For some reason, Asian came to my mind. From my freezer, I took out the remainder of my medium sized cooked, tail on shrimp and defrosted them. So, at least I knew what the main protein ingredient was going to be. I also found some rice noodles in the pantry. I’m not really an expert in cooking Asian flavored dishes, but those two ingredients are what came to my mind today. So, below is what the end result was and honestly, it was delicious and quite Asian tasting. It also was quick and easy to fix.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 18 precooked medium frozen shrimp w/o shell but w/tails—defrosted
  2. 1 medium yellow onion
  3. 1 stalk celery
  4. 2 garlic cloves
  5. 1 Tblsp. butter
  6. 1 Tblsp. olive oil
  7. 1/4 tsp. sesame oil
  8. 1/4 tsp. soy sauce
  9. Dash of red pepper flakes (depends how spicy hot you wish it to be)
  10. 1/4 tsp. Chinese 5 spices
  11. 2 cups heated vegetable bouillon
  12. Flat rice noodles—you judge how many but remember, this is just for one
  13. Whole peanuts (optional)
  14. Shredded coconut (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. In your food processor (I used my small one), place onion, celery, garlic cloves and process till finely chopped. Of course, you can do this by hand if you wish.
  2. In a large pot heated over medium heat add the butter, olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper flakes and Chinese five spices till somewhat bubbly. Add the processed celery, garlic, onion and stir for about 3-5 minutes till veggies are softened.
  3. Add the heated vegetable bouillon and bring to a soft boil.
  4. Let simmer for about 3-5 minutes with a lid.
  5. Remove the lid and add the rice noodles. Gently boil for 8 minutes.
  6. Add the shrimp and boil another 2 minutes.
  7. Serve in a large soup bowl and if you wish garnish with whole peanuts, shredded coconut and even parsley or cilantro if you have some of that.

 

 

Ten Wonderful Recipe Ideas for ALLLLL of that Zucchini in Your Yard

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10 ideas for eating all that zucchini in your garden

1 Pasta: Grab yourself one of those veggie spiral cutting gizmos, which let you render produce into pasta-like ribbons. Zucchini does particularly well. Toss the zucchini spirals in a hot skillet with a splash of oil for a minute or two, then dress with sauce and cheese as you would pasta. Or boil up real pasta, then add the zucchini for the last minute. Drain and dress.

2 Dip: Slice a zucchini in half and toss it on a medium hot grill. Cook until lightly browned and tender, then pop it into a food processor. Add tahini, garlic, salt, pepper and a splash of lemon juice, then process until very smooth. Use as a dip for vegetables and chips, or as a sandwich spread.

3 Salsa: Dice and toss together 1 medium zucchini, 1 large tomatillo and 1/2 red or orange bell pepper. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapenos and a splash of hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Fries: Cut the zucchini into 1/2-inch-thick sticks, then toss them first in a beaten egg, then in seasoned bread crumbs. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, then bake until crisp outside and just tender inside. As soon as they come out of the oven, sprinkle them with grated Parmesan cheese.

5 Boats: Slice a zucchini in half, then use a melon baller to scoop out the insides of each half. Mix together loose sausage meat, grated cheese and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Pack the mixture into the hollowed out zucchini halves, then bake or grill (over low heat) until cooked through.

6 Frittata: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Whisk 6 or so eggs, then pour them into an oiled pan and cook over medium-high until the bottom is just set. Scatter the zucchini slices evenly over the top of the egg, then crumble feta over it. Broil until lightly browned and the center is set.

7 Grain salad: Toss finely diced raw zucchini with cooked and cooled farro or barley, halved cherry tomatoes, diced red onion and crumbled soft goat cheese. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

8 Tart: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Unfold a sheet of puff pastry (thawed according to package directions). Run a paring knife along the outside of the pastry about 1 inch from the edge and cutting only halfway down. Arrange the zucchini slices in the center, then sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake at 400 F until puffed and lightly browned.

9 Chips: Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet, mist with cooking spray, then season with herbs, spices, salt and pepper, whatever you like. Bake at 375 F until the chips are nicely browned.

10 Casserole: Cut a whole mess of zucchini into 1/2-inch rounds. Arrange several layers of them in an oiled casserole dish. Top them with a bit of marinara and some ricotta cheese. Repeat this layering until you fill the casserole dish about three-quarters of the way. Bake at 350 F until tender, lightly browned and bubbling at the edges.

Ham and Cannellini Soup-the quick and easy way

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Ham and Cannellini Soup—the quick and easy way

It’s still cool in these parts and I had taken out from the freezer a ham with bone, left over from Easter. The ham was so tasty but I was in a mood for something hot and easy. So, here is what I did and it really turned out good. I did top it with some shaved Parmesan and croutons and that made it even more delicious but I am sure not very non-caloric. Oh well———

 

Ingredients:

  1. 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  2. 1 celery stalk, sliced
  3. Several bits of parsley
  4. 2 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  5. 6 cups chicken broth (I use Better Than Bouillon which I really like)
  6. 1 Tsp. mustard powder
  7. 1 large bay leaf
  8. 1 ½ to 2 C. chopped ham
  9. 1- 15-oz. can Cannellini beans well rinsed
  10. Optional: Croutons and shaved Parmesan for the topping

 

Directions:

  1. Add the first 6 ingredients in a medium sized pot and bring these ingredients to a slow boil; then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
  2. Then add your two last ingredients and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  3. Voila—easy and yummy
  4. Variations: you could use different kinds of beans; you could add different and more veggies; and you could also use different kinds of seasonings.   Versatility and imagination is always the fun in creating a good dish.

Versatile Vegetable Soup

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Versatile Vegetable Soup

8 Servings

 

This is such a healthy and easy dish to make. You can really use any kind of vegetables (even frozen though I love the fresh variety) that you wish so almost every ingredient mentioned here is optional. You also can add rice or pasta along with the chick peas; or you can use white beans instead of the chick peas. You can omit the meatballs and use ingredient combinations like pasta or rice plus beans to make a complete protein. (Look online to find the food combinations that make a complete protein.) You can use chicken or vegetable stock instead of beef stock. You can change the Italian slant of this dish a make instead a Mexican one (add enchilada sauce and tortillas) or German (add slice bratwurst) or Indian (add curry seasoning and Nan) or—well I leave it up to you. Just use your imagination and it’ll come out superb and healthy. It’s also a very economical dish and can be served for lunch or dinner; and why not serve it for a very healthy and filling breakfast? Lastly, for the busy ones, if you have a slow cooker, you can cook it in there (5-6 hours on low), leave home and come back to an almost cooked meal. You just have to add the last half hour ingredients when you are home. I love dishes like and this and it’s one that the whole family can participate in—including of course the kids.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1 onion, finely sliced
  2. 2 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  3. 3 Tblsp. olive oil
  4. 1/4 head cabbage, rough chopped
  5. 6 Brussels sprouts, sliced
  6. 1/2 to 3/4 head of Boston lettuce, rough chopped
  7. 1 C. Swiss chard, chopped
  8. 1 C. spinach, chopped (or a 10 oz. package of frozen spinach)
  9. 2 celery stalks, rough chopped
  10. 1/2 (or more) large head of broccoli, finely chopped
  11. 8-10 cups beef stock
  12. S&P to taste
  13. 1/2 to 1 Tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  14. 1/4 C. sherry, Madera or Marsala (optional)
  15. 1 bay leaf
  16. One small basket of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  17. 1 small can of chick peas, drained and rinsed in cold water
  18. Ground beef, chicken or turkey to make into meatballs (see ingredients needed and instructions below)
  19. 8 oz. shelled fresh peas or frozen ones
  20. 6 slices coarse country-style bread which has been rubbed with garlic and toasted in the oven. (optional)
  21. Shaved Parmesan
  22. 1 Tblsp. chopped parsley

Instructions for the soup:

  1. In a large pot, warm the olive oil and then sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. (about 5 minutes)
  2. Add the ingredients numbering 4 through 10 and cook gently, stirring from time to time, for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the ingredients numbering from 11 to 15, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 ½ hours.
  4. Add the ingredients numbering from 16 to 18 for one more 1/2 hour.
  5. Serve over the optional French bread and/or topped with the shaved Parmesan and chopped parsley.

To make the meatballs you’ll need the following ingredients:

  1. 1/2 lb. ground beef, turkey or chicken
  2. 1 beaten egg
  3. 1/2 to 3/4 C. Italian or plain bread crumbs
  4. 1 dash of tobacco

Instructions for forming the meatballs:

Mix everything together till not too soppy and form into one-inch diameter meatballs.