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spicy grilled vegetable gazpacho

whelp, here we are smack dab in the middle of summer.

 

I I hope y’all had a fun  and safe holiday weekend.  Mine was a welcomed quiet time.  After a little bit of long overdue retail therapy, I found myself craving gazpacho .

I dug out my Original gazpacho recipe

as well as my Roasted veggie gazpacho

and kinda played around and came up with

spicy grilled vegetable gazpacho 

it’s similar to my roasted veggie one, but I played around with the flavors just a bit

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Spicy gazpacho ingredients

3 tablespoons coconut oil

4 Roma tomatoes

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

1 sweet white onion, peeled and quartered

1 habanero pepper

1 red bell pepper, halved

1 garlic cloves, not peeled

1 lime, halved

small bunch each of flat leaf parsley and dill

1 can of whole tomatoes ( I used some I canned last summer.  Buy the best tomatoes that you can find. Where this isn’t cooked  you want the best tomato flavor that you can get.  San Marzano is a great choice)

1/4 cup good Olive oil ( same reason as the tomatoes)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

sea salt, white pepper, freshly cracked black pepper

 

place  cukes, salt, pepper and white pepper in a high speed blender and let sit.  The salt will start to draw the moisture out of the cucumber, making for a smooth base since the cukes will have started to break down.  Alternatively, you can use a food processor if you don’t have a high speed blender, you’ll just have to make the soup in batches.

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Preheat grill to medium  heat.  Place an oven safe stoneware dish on the grill with the coconut oil . Season with salt and pepper and coconut oil will melt. Remove from heat and place veggies on the grill using  a basting brush, brush the coconut oil mixture atop veggies

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Flip the veggies after a few min and brush other side with oil mixture

Note~ each vegetable will cook at its own pace. Here, my tomatoes and habanero cooked first.  Once you see the carmalization ( those black lines are the sugars condensing and imparting a deeper flavor than raw vegatables). Transfer veggies to a plate .

 

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Now, let’s build this!

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Place the grilled veggies on top of the cucumbers. Add dill and parsley.

 

Purty, eh?

 

Next add the canned tomatoes with their juice

 

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Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add a handful of ice cubes.

Blend. ( or process in batches if using a food processor )

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I had to use my food pusher to get it started.  If you don’t have one, take a break every few seconds and use a spatula to free up the veggies until they move freely

 

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Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Squirt lime juice in as well.

Taste for salt and pepper.

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Let sit covered in fridge for at least an hour ( if you can 😜)

 

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You guys.  This soup is incredible! I started by only added 1/2 of the habanero, but found that I still wanted it spicier, so I ended up using the whole thing.  Start will small amount of pepper and add what tastes right for your level of heat.

 

I served it with a bit of Mexican crema, ( you can sub sour cream ) a bot of balsamic vinegar and lime juice

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Enjoy !

 

 

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low fat creamy carrot-ginger soup with lemon-parsley pesto

friends, I have to tell you… I absolutely love  soup.  I could seriously eat it 365 days of the year. 

I woke up in a healthy cooking mood this am.  I headed to the store unsure of what I was going to make and I saw a beautiful display of carrots and then I knew! I remembered that the  very first dish I made at Johnson &Wales was a carrot soup. So I decided to make my own version! 

vegan creamy carrot-ginger soup with lemon-parsley pesto 

 

( makes 2 servings, it can easily be doubled) 

1 tablespoon coconut oil 

3 carrots

1 small fingering potato 

1 garlic clove 

A few gratings of fresh ginger  

1 tsp turmeric root 

2-3 cups low sodium chicken broth 

1 cup light coconut milk 

Sea salt and pepper 

In a Dutch oven, melt coconut oil.  Peel carrots reserving peels for Stock ( I keep empty freezer bags in my freezer and add to it daily. When they are full I’ll make either a veggie stock or bone broth, depending on what I have in hand ) 

Roughly chop carrots and potato ( no need to peel the potato 😉)

Add to coconut oil and sauté.   Stir a little bit, but not too much, you want the sugars in the carrots to get a little carmalazation ( color=flavor) 

  

When you can see color on the carrots, crush garlic and add, stir once then immediately add 1 cup broth.

Grate the ginger into the soup ( my good friend, Cindy told me that if you keep your ginger in the freezer it’s easier to grate and won’t go bad —-genius! —) 

Add turmeric, salt and pepper.

Bring to a simmer until veggies are tender.

 

   Let cool then add to blender ( alternatively you could us an immersion blender, but I find my blender results in a silkier soup) 

Add another cup of broth and blend until smooth. 

Return mixture to pan and stir in 1 cup coconut milk

  

Taste for salt and pepper. Adjust accordingly .  If soup is too thick, add a bit more broth to make it to your liking. 

lemon-parsley pesto 

1 handful fresh parsley

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1/2 garlic clove

1/4-1/3 cup olive oil 

Sea salt and pepper 

Blend well in a tabletop blender 

  

  

To serve, swirl the pesto atop the soup and garnish with slivered almonds ( pepitas would have been my choice here, but since I had almonds, they won!) 

  

I’m quite sure this soup will be just as tasty cold as it was hot….  I’ll check back in 😎

roasted vegetable gazpacho 

friends, I’m so sorry I’ve been MIA.   While in the grand scheme of things it all may seem minor, I feel like the last few weeks I’ve had one thing after another go wrong. 

The latest is that my iPad screen cracked.  About a week after the warranty expired.

  

And since this is what I use to post on my blog, I’ve been slacking. 

Anyway..  I have a few recipes lined up to share with y’all… This first one will knock your socks off ( get it.. So you’ll be barefoot with me? ) Ok, ok, I’ll stop.   If you promise to make this! 

Here is my standard Gazpacho recipe.. and I really do like it.  

However, this past weekend I scored this at the farmers’ market 

  

And by golly, I had an idea! 

 

Roasted vegetable gazpacho 

3 ripe tomatoes

2 cucumbers, peeled and diced 

1-2 jalapeños ( depending on how spicy you like it, if you don’t like heat, substitute a red bell pepper )

1/2 red onion

1 handful of roughly chopped parsley 

1-2 tbsp of roasted garlic *

1 tsp dried dill 

Sea salt

Pepper

1 tbsp  red wine vinegar 

1 tbsp lemon juice 

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

—I roasted my vegetable on my grill, you could also roast them in a 375 degree oven 

Once your grill is heated to about 350, place tomatoes, peppers and onions over heat. Let cook for about 5 minutes, then flip using tongs 

  

Grill ( or roast ) for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and place in a dish with a small lip ( to catch any juices that will release … I did not do that and ran to save the juices!

  

In a large bowl, add parsley, chopped cucumbers, olive oil red wine vinegar and lemon juice.  Season woth salt and pepper.  When roasted veggies are cool enough to touch, finely chop and add to bowl .  add roasted garlic

  

Toss

  

Take a moment to marvel at the simple beauty of fresh vegetables 😎

Blend everything together using an immersion blender or a conventional blender ( you’ll have to process in batches) 

Be careful not to over blend. A little texture is a good thing! 

  

 

Test for salt and pepper, garnish with Greek yogurt mixed with roasted garlic and parsley.  

I cannot begin to tell you how much flavor roasting the veggies adds.  There’s a layer of sweetness that adds soooo much to this soup! 

This packs up perfectly for a summer picnic ( I’ll be finding an excuse to do that this weekend 😊) not to mention how figure- friendly it is! 

Roasted garlic 

1 head garlic

Olive oil

Aluminum foil

Cut the top off of the garlic 

  

Place in a square of foil and Drizzle with olive oil

Wrap tightly like a Hershey’s kiss 😘

  

Grill or roast for about 20-30 minutes or until garlic starts to feel soft. 

  

Remove from heat and when cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic onto a cutting board and use the side of a knife to mash into a paste 

  

This stuff is liquid gold! I use it in many recipes or simply spread on toasted bread for a fantastic heart- healthy treat.

Side note….  The green center in the garlic is not good to eat. I still roasted it, but removed the tough centers before I mashed it.  If you have fresh garlic, this shouldn’t be an issue, mine was just on the verge and I knew that I could still salvage! 

Enjoy this recipe.   I know personally I’ll be making this many times this summer 😎

On a side note, 1/2 of my tomato and pepper plants have started to come back 

 

That’s 2 weeks growth from this 

 

  

Isn’t Mother Nature amazing?! 

Ciao bellas! 

basic beef stock 

hiya, friends!  How’s your Thursday going? 

Sooooo… Remember earlier this year when I told y’all about my jawbone up24

Yeahhhhh.  It’s disappeared. Like off the face of the Earth. 

And I’m obsessed. Completely obsessed with finding it. 

I know the day and the time that I lost it.  And since it was the day of the NCAA men’s’ hockey semi-final, I even know what I was wearing ( YAY PC!)

But I cannot find it. And it’s frustrating.  

Ugh. 

Anyhooooooooo….

After a very long conversation with my eldest son last night about the benefits of Bone broth , I’ve decided to share my basic beef broth recipe. 

It’s quite similar to my Chicken stock recipe, but there are a few more steps. 

Start by getting some beef bones from your butcher.  I usually ask for them and the cut them for me.  I get a mixture of marrow and knuckle.  And they are really  inexpensive! 

***( I usually have him cut my an inch thick marrow to give to my pup as well) 

basic beef broth 

2-3 pounds of assorted beef bones from your butcher 

( optional.. Tomato paste) 

1 large onion

1 large carrot

A few celery stalks 

Tomato 

Garlic cloves 

Handful of fresh parsley,,,  stems and leaves 

Bay leaf 

Healthy splash of Apple cider vinegar 

Preheat oven to 375

Place bones, a carrot,onion and celery on a baking sheet , toss with salt and pepper and of you desire, tomato paste 

  

Roast for an hour or two until the bones get some color..  Color equals flavor! 

Remove from oven and let cool completely. 

Add everything from the pan including drippings and anything you can scrape to a large Dutch oven 

Add a healthy splash of apple cider vinegar ( it helps extract the minerals from the bones) 

  

Add bay leaf, fat handful of parsley Chopped tomato, garlic cloves ( no need to peel) celery stalks and ice cold water to the top of the pan 

Bring to boil over medium heat, skim any foam and Reduce to simmer. 

And wait.  Like a long time .  I usually start mine early in the morning and let it cook allllll day long. 

At the end of the day, remove from heat, let cool and refrigerate overnight. 

In the morning, this will look pretty gross.  Don’t be discouraged.  It’s all part of the process 

 

All of the fat will have floated to the top and congealed. Gross. 

Using a slotted spoon, remove as much fat as possible ( a little bit is ok…. You will be straining it a second time.  Don’t stress) 

 

 Return to heat and once again…  Cook over low heat all day. 

Pour through strainer, into a bowl, this time discarding all bones and veggies 

Cool completely. 

 

  Finish by straining through a fine mesh strainer ( I strain it into a large Pyrex measuring cup because the pourer- thing makes life easy ) 

Pour into jars and enjoy ! ( it will also freeze beautifully for up to 6 months) 

  

It may seem like an awful lot of work, but the flavor that you develop is insanely good! Like great!   And these two jars are half of what I made.   I froze the other half. 

Let me know if you make this! 

Have you ever lost something and drove  yourself crazy trying to find it? 


**** bone marrow and dogs.   I’ve done a lot of research,  you can give a dog a fresh marrow bone, and trust me, he/ she will love you.   But the bone HAS to be raw.   Any sort of cooked bone dries out and can cause slivers and shards and hurt your pup. 

Some dogs may have GI issues if you have a bone woth a lot of marrow (  from what I’ve read) 

My pup seems to do ok with it. 

  

 My favorite little old lady 💞

home-made chicken stock 

good morning, friends!

It’s a rainy Sunday morning here in Denver, and I’m starting my day by sipping on  a giant mug of chicken broth.

Its a perfect combo 🙂

Last week I was chatting with y’all about BROTH BOWLS and the health benefits of bone broth. (Stock)

Making stock is really quite easy.. And inexpensive ( bonus!)

A few months back, I started saving all of my veggie scraps ( onion tops and skins, carrot tops and shaving, parsley stems, pea pods, potato skins, celery leaves and ends… Basically anything except for peppers or cauliflower)

I save them in a Tupperware dish and when it’s full, I make broth

For veggie broth, simply add all of your scraps to a pot, fill with cold water, a few pepper corns, sea salt  and a bay leaf.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour.  Once liquid is cool enough, drain through a colander ( into a bowl ) and voila! Free veggie broth!

Chicken stock is quite similar, but there are a few more steps.

Start with a ROAST CHICKEN.  Pull off and discard any excess skin.  Remove as much of the meat as possible and reserve for another dish.  Add bones to a large stockpot and add vegetable scraps

( if you don’t have scraps, use one onion, chopped ( don’t bother peeling) a carrot or two, a few ribs of celery )

Add ice cold water … This is very important,  you need the cold water to properly extract the minerals from the bones

add either some white wine, lemon juice or vinegar. ( healthy splash ) it also helps extract the minerals

Add a bay leaf or two, some peppercorns, sea salt and place pot on  medium high heat and slowly bring to a boil. If any foam should arise, skim off and discard .

Once pot reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and allow stock to simmer for 2-3 hours.

When stock is cool enough, drain first through a colondar ( into a bowl…. Once I forgot the bowl and poured the soup right down the drain. )

Pure.

Genius.

Not.

Once stock reaches room temp, refrigerate until fully chilled.  The fat should float to the top.

Strain again, this time through a fine mesh strainer to remove excess fat.

Test for salt and pepper and voila! Enjoy as is or use in your favorite recipe!

Click for more soup recipes

Basic beef stock 

 

Creamy roasted tomato and garlic soup

Crock pot potato cheese soup

Chilled cucumber soup 

Autumn mushroom soup with cognac

Kale soup

Creamy curried butternut soup 

Veggie chili

healthy broth bowls

Hi friends! I’m here to share a quick, easy and oh so convenient recipe with ya’ll.

I’m seeing more and more broth bowls these days. Basically, it’s a flavorful broth with other ingredients added, such as pretty much anything.

Bone broth in particular ( stock made with a base of bones) is actually really good for you! The collagen extracted from the marrow of a properly made stock is good for your skin, your hair, nails, joints.. The list goes on and on.

I saw a restaurant advertising their new bowls the other day and decided to take a crack at it myself. 

( links to beef and chicken stock recipes below ) 

I usually have chicken stock in the freezer, so I defrosted and went at it

I started by layering ( in a ball jar )

2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup baby spinach, chopped
2 lemon slices ( I love me some acid)
1/4 cup kelp noodles ( don’t be afraid… I’ll tell you more in a second )
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms ( I’m not crazy about raw mushrooms, so I sautéed mine in a bit of coconut oil. It’s your bowl, do what you want!
Splash of shiracha sauce ( omit if you don’t like heat )

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Simply layer the ingredients in a ball jar.

Add hot stock and stir. You can feel your body getting healthier with every nourishing bite!

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Have fun with this… You can add peas, sprouts, noodles, beef, chicken, tofu… Whatever you want. If you put the broth in a separate jar, and close both with a lid, they are great for on the go.. Just heat broth and pour over!

They are also uber easy to prep a whole bunch at the beginning of the week!

Now.., about those kelp noodles.. Don’t be scared. A friend of mine ( hi Suzette! ) ordered these at a restaurant a few months back. Reluctantly, I tried them

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They actually have no flavor.. Just texture. Why add them you ask? Because a full cup of these are only 15 calories!

I contacted the restaurant to get the exact brand and found them on amazon. I’m trying to add the link but WordPress is being poopie… The brand I like is Sea Tangle.

While they are made of kelp, which is also healthy ( I take daily supplements). The outer part is stripped in these noodles, so the nutrition is not abundant. But if you are looking for a super low calorie ( free on ww) noodle, this is it.

If you just don’t want to go down this road ( although I do encourage you to try ) you could sub rice noodles, just prepare them first… You could added cooked pasta, rice… Whatever you want!

I haven’t made beef stock since culinary school, but I bought some bones today and will be making tomorrow .

I just finished my last prepped jar as I’m typing this, and I’m looking forward to trying a different spin on them this week… Red pepper, beef and onion, perhaps? Mushroom, beef with a splash of red wine for the beef burgundy flavor?

I’ll let you know what I chose.

If you try these, let me know what you think!

And if you want me to show you how to make chicken stock… I’m happy to share that as well!

Ciao, friends!

Basic beef stock recipe

Chicken stock recipe

creamy roasted tomato and garlic soup.. and a story

hiya!

Many of you know by now, and if not, then I am here to tell ya, that later this year, when our youngest graduates from high school  Scott , Fenway and I will be re- locating to Colorado. In fact, he is already there and has been since last June.

When I went full- force  (more forceful, rather) with this blog it was because I knew that this was in our future, and I wanted to set this up to be able to share my experiences with my family and friends.  I couldn’t tell you all that back then, but I can now 😉

This will be a huge adventure for us on many different levels.

1~ we’ve never lived out of New England

2~ Our entire families are back here in Massachusetts

3~ Our children Ryan, Alison, Jason and Amanda will be in 3 separate corners of the country, with Scott Fen and I in the center.  We have always been a pretty tight family as far as families go, so this will take some adjusting.

4~ Scott and I have never lived alone! We had Jason so early in life that we were a ready -made family right from the start..

Jay and Shel wedding day Scott and jay wedding day

 

 

 

So we will be empty nesters at the ripe ages of 42&43 in a completely new part of the country for us!

so after knowing all of this, I have now shared it with you….  the next few months will most likely be the craziest of my life ( and TRUST me, I’ve had crazy times) but it will also be fun. I intend to MAKE it fun 🙂 And share much of our adventure ( including a cross-country drive with Fen in my jeep)

 

In the meantime, I have a recipe for you. I developed this by using my favorite way of cooking. Look at what I have in house and try to be creative.

Last week cherry tomatos were buy one get one free at my grocery store. When you can get free maters in the dead of winter, you take  get them.  And if you are like me you hide them, especially if you have someone ( no names) who might possibly eat that whole container at once…… And then if you are really like me, then you forget that  you hid them… and when you find them, well, they look less than desirable.

THAT is how I came up with this recipe.  ( the tomatoes weren’t rotten or anything, just starting to shrivel… feel free to use perfectly plump tomatoes in the recipe if you want to skip the dumb blonde** step of forgetting that you hid them)

 

creamy roasted tomato and garlic soup

 

2 pints of cherry tomatoes
1 head of garlic
1 large onion
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup cooked cannelloni beans
2 cups low sodium chicken broth ( use veg broth to make vegetarian/ vegan)
salt, pepper. dried thyme

 

Preheat oven to 375.

rinse tomatoes and pat dry. pu them on a non-stick cookie sheet. Cut up onion and toss with the tomatoes.
Cut the head off of the garlic and place in a small piece of aluminum foil.

Spilt the olive oil between the garlic head and the tomato -onion mixture. Close up the top of the aluminum foil and squeeze tightly. Place garlic in in center of tomato onion- mixture and sprinkle with salt, peper and dried thyme.

Roast veggies for about 20-25 minutes. Remoce garlic from foil ( carefully, it will be hot) and squeeze all of the cloves ( now delisciously sweet) into a blender.

Add all veggies and any bits that may have accumulated on the pan.
Add the beans, and broth and blend on low for 2 minute, then increase speed to high for 2 minutes

( if you use hot broth, then make sure you take the little glass insert out of the top of the blender and cover with a kitchen towel to prevent hot splattering liquid… I used the broth cold as well as the beans and just reheated the soup once it was done)
Once soup is blended, test for seasonings and adjust salt & pepper as needed.

enjoy! I promise you you will never know that there is not any cream in it!

I served mine with a dollop of Non fat Greek Yogurt

 

serves 3

190 calories per serving

5 grams of fat per serving

 

 

 

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roasted tomato and garlic soup

 

 

enjoy!  and thanks for coming along for the ride !

 

**dumb blonde comment…. someone is no longer blonde 😉

 

oxoxox

crock pot potato cheese soup

it’s FALL here in the Northeast.. which of course you already know that I LOVE !!!!! 

one of the many things ( # 19 on that list to be exact) is SOUP!!

this here, my friends is the easiest soup that you will ever make. And it rivals Panera’s. I promise.

I pinky promise 🙂

Crock pot Potato Soup

you will need

1~ a bag of frozen hash browns ( $2)

2~ a package of Mccormick country gravy mix ( near the spices) ( $1.50)

3~ a box o stock ( $2) ( for vegetarian, use veg stock)

4~ shredded cheddar ( $2) ( optional)

place all ingredients except cheese in a crock pot on low for 6 hours… stir in cheese during last 1/2 hour

OR place all ingredients except cheese in a stock pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft.. stir in cheese at the end until melted.

you can keep it as is.. and have it chunky ( yum) or you can use an immersion blender and blend until smooth..

season with salt & pepper.. voila! an awesome autumn soup 🙂

you could get all crazy and add broccoli.. or bacon… or asparagus…. use your imagination! get down with your bad self!

For those of you who are campers ( you know who you are 😉 ) this is a perfect dinner to whip up at the campground !

and the grand total..

$4.50 for the whole pot without cheese ( cheaper than a bowl of soup at Panera)

or $ 6.50 with the cheese ( go for the cheese 😉 it makes me happy 🙂 🙂 🙂

thanks to my hoski friends for allowing me to share this recipe 🙂

and remember.. there is still time to register to win a pair of Mom’s hand knit SOCKS

oxooxoxox

autumn mushroom soup with cognac

heres a story about a fun guy. * giggle*  get it… Fun-GI?

True story… when I was little I was ADDICTED to cream of mushroom soup… I could not get enough of it.

I remember sitting at my mom’s small table with a bowl of it. I swear I  actually remember having it for breakfast. Good ol’ Campbell’s!

then something happened ( mom, help me out?)  I think that  I got sick after eating it once.. and from that point on… I could not STAND mushrooms. Yuck.. gross.. fungus, I tell you, fungus.

I would not get ANYWHERE near them.

About 4 years ago, something changed. I saw a grilled portabella sandwich with blue cheese ( something else that I couldn’t stand) on a cooking show for super bowl Sunday recipes.

I found myself really wanting to try that sandwich! Bizzarre, I know.

Who am I?

I ran to the store, bought the ingredients and voilia! I Liked it.  I more than liked it, I LOVED it!

go figure?  Now I eat mushrooms all the time. They say that your body and palette are always changing.  I’m so happy that mine changed for the better.

One of my favorite new magazines is Vegetarian Times.  I received the subscription as a gift when I subscribed to Yoga journal.

this months issue came in yesterday & The cover called out to me.  I opened the magazine to this page and knew that I had to make it. And let me tell you, I am so glad that I did. Easy, quick, healthy.. and trust me, you would never believe that there isn’t any cream in the recipe.

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If by chance you are vegan. just switch out the butter for Earth Balance or Olive oil..

If you don’t want to use almond milk, I’m sure you could use cow’s milk.. I’m just not sure if the consistency would be as ‘creamy’

ironic, eh?

SO here you go….  grown up cream of mushroom soup.

Autumn Mushroom Soup with Cognac

2 pounds white or button mushrooms ( I used baby bella)

2 Tbsp butter

2 large leeks thinly sliced  * see note below*

2 garlic cloves peeled and thinly sliced

1 tsp. dried Thyme leaves

1/4 cup cognac ( I bought a small nip from behind the counter of the liquor store.. perfect amount)

3 1/2 cup vegetable broth ( I used low-sodium)

1 cup almond milk ( make sure it’s not flavored or sweetened )

1/4 cup chopped parsley for garnish

Sea salt & pepper  to taste.

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yeah.. about that….. I can;t find the cord to upload the picture of the ingredients…. so I took a picture of the picture 🙂

Start by pulsing the mushrooms in a food processor ( or chop them finely)

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat  ( I use cast iron now.. I love it & will explain my reasonings later ) Add the leeks and sprinkle with salt. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until the leeks are softened, stirring occasionally.

Increase the heat to medium-high, stir in garlic and thyme and cook 1 more minute.

Deglaze pan with Cognac  and cook 1 minute or until the liquid has evaporated.

Stir in chopped shroons , cover pot and cook 5 minutes.  Then uncover and cook 5-7 minutes more or until most of the liquid  has evaporated and the mushroom start to brown.

Stir in broth and bring to a simmer. Add almond milk & s& p.. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.

Garnish with Parsley.

yum!

ahh… look a barefootgirl in the picture !!

** note on prepping leeks**.. Leeks are grown in sand and are really sandy. No mater how hard you try to rinse them you will still get grit in your dish, Now one wants grit in their soup. yuck.

SO to prep them, do a preliminary rinse, then chop them on a cutting board. Then add the leeks to a big bowl of ice water and let them sit. The sand will all soak to the bottom. Wash the grit off of the cutting board. To drain the leeks , don’t drain them into a colander because you would just be dumping the sand right back into them.  Using your hands, reach into the ice water and lift the leeks up ( gently so that you don’t stir the sand up)

There you have it.. perfectly prepped leeks!

rejoice mushroom lovers.. rejoice!

oxoxox~ shel

it’s here!!!

FALL is here!!  finally 🙂  For this sweater lovin’, apple picking, boot addicted, hayride & PUMPKIN fanatic…. my time of year has arrived!!!

and what better way than with soup.  That was last years’ recipe.( click on the word soup to get to that recipe)  And although very tasty.. I was in the mood for something a little sweeter… A little bit of research & I found Williams-Sonoma cream of butternut and apple soup! a perfect recipe for me to start with

  • Ingredients….from Williams-Sonoma website
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Bermuda onion, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, about 3 lb.,
    peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and
    chopped
  • 4 pinches of Spanish saffron threads, about
    1 tsp.
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
( yes, chef, i know that i did not use Granny Smith apples…. I didn’t have them 😦

Directions:

In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter is foamy, add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the squash and stock, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
I basically followed the recipe , the only change that I made was that didn’t have heavy cream ( I had used it when I made parsnip puree the night before & forgot to grab more) ( yum, BTW!) .. so I made the soup up until that point, then swirled a bit of milk at the end right in the bowl & garnished with some rubbed sage….
it’s as warm and fuzzy as my favorite boots 🙂
sianara summer!  it’s been real 🙂
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