Posts tagged “Bay leaf

Carrot and Ginger soup!

There are some flavor combinations that just work. Carrot and ginger are two flavors that really go well together. In this pureed soup, you’ll get the spicy ginger flavor complimenting the sweetness of the carrots. When you add the amazing orange color of this soup to the flavor, this is sure to be a big hit with everyone!

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This is a very easy soup.

vegetable oil

1 medium onion diced

1 stalk celery diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2″ long piece of ginger minced

1 pound carrots cubed

1/2 pound potatoes cubed (The carrots and potato should be about the same size so they cook evenly)

water, chicken or veggie stock to cover

2 bay leaves

1 pint heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

pinch nutmeg

In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil.  Put in the onions and celery, sweat until tender, and then add a little salt.  Add the garlic and ginger and sweat until fragrant.  Lastly, add the carrots, potatoes and bay leaves and cover with stock or water.  Bring it up to a boil, and then turn it down to a simmer. Simmer until the carrots and potatoes are tender.
imageWhen the vegetables are tender, remove the bay leaves and discard.  Now puree the soup.  How you do this depends on what you have on hand.  If you have a food processor drain all of the liquid, and puree just the solids.  If you use a blender you will need some of the liquid to make everything go.  The last way would be to run the soup through a food mill, but most people probably don’t have one.

Once you have everything pureed, put it all back in the pot, and return to a boil.  Whisk in the cream, and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.  If you wanted a vegetarian option you could very easily use coconut milk, or soy milk.

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Chicken noodle soup, gluten-free

Amy ended up not feeling very well the other day. I offered to make her some soup. What kind of soup do you want when you are sick? Chicken Noodle, of course.  That of course has a few complications for those of us who are gluten-free.  Opening a can of Campbell’s will not work for us.  To say nothing of the fact that it’s just not that good, no matter what they say!  They have too much sodium, and fat and then of course there is the fact that they contain gluten!

How do we make chicken noodle soup that we can eat?  If you think back to when you ate chicken noodle soup from a can, you’ll recall that its actually pretty simple.  Broth, noodles, vegetables (onions, celery and carrots), chicken, and a few various herbs, and salt.  The problem with soup is that most of the time people think that it is going to take a long time to cook, and be super complicated.  Looking at what is in this soup, you’ll realize that there is really not that much to deal with here.  A couple of little tricks and you’ll be eating the best chicken noodle soup you have ever had!

1 Large onion, medium dice

3 celery sticks, medium dice

3 carrots, medium dice

garlic, minced (depending on how much you like garlic)

2 chicken breasts, cut into bit sized cubes

1 quart chicken broth (Progresso is gluten-free, I use the low sodium)

1 quart water

thyme

bay leaves

salt and pepper

2 oz small pasta, I used Quinoa shells

Once you have everything cut up, you’re ready to go.

The first step is going to be to cook the chicken.  Spray a cookie sheet, and then take your cubed chicken and spread it out on it. pop it into your oven at 350F for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are cooked through.  Why do this?  Seems like an extra step to you, doesn’t it?  What happens is that when you cook chicken (or pork, or shrimp, or beef) is that some of the liquid comes out, and the protein in the liquid coagulates.  This makes your broth cloudy, and have bits of crap floating around in it.  This doesn’t hurt anything, and it doesn’t taste bad, but it doesn’t look as nice.  (Notice, I did not say blood.  There really isn’t blood left in the meat at the point that we buy it.  Yes, it looks like blood, especially in beef, but it is not.)

Once the chicken is cooked, take it out of the oven, and let it cool.  I like to break up the pieces a little before I add it to the soup.

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Next, start with your veggies.  Heat some vegetable oil in your pot.  Add the carrots, onions, celery and garlic.  Add a bit of salt, and sweat this over medium heat until the onions are translucent.

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Once the veggies are translucent, add the liquids.  Turn up the heat, and add 1 TBSP of thyme, and a couple of bay leaves.  Also, add a TBSP of salt, and some fresh black pepper.   Once this is up to a boil, add the pasta.  The quinoa pasta takes about 8 minutes to cook to al dente, so I set a timer.  In this case I wanted the noodles a little more done, but that doesn’t take much longer.  After a boiling a few minutes I add the chicken into the soup, and bring it back up to a boil.  After about 10 minutes the noodles are cooked, and tender.  Remember to check the seasoning.  You may want a bit more thyme, salt or pepper.  Spoon a little broth into a cup and taste from that rather than from the spoon.  This will allow the broth to cool a bit so you can taste it rather than end up with blisters on the roof of your mouth!  Adjust the seasoning as you need to.

 

If you need to simmer the soup a bit longer it will not be hurt, and the leftovers will taste even better!

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Now that is what I call a bowl of soup!!  Hope this makes you feel better!


You can’t handle the soup!

Last night I was thinking, what would make a really good dinner?  Something warming, tasty, simple, and filling without being too much.  I decided soup.  I ran down a few choices for Amy, lentil, potato or black bean.(I pretty much had everything on hand for any of them.)  She picked potato.  I delivered what is probably her new favorite soup!  Loaded baked potato soup.  It is very simple, and very satisfying.  We both have some leftovers, and she’s even got some to run to her mom.

So, what do you need?  I can’t really give you quantities on a lot of this, because it wasn’t measured.

Potatoes, I had seven, peel them, and cut them into small-ish pieces

bacon, 2 slices, split lengthwise, and then cut into small pieces

1 red onion diced, you could use a white onion here

1 TBSP vegetable oil

chicken broth and water

2 bay leaves

kosher salt

white pepper

cheddar cheese, I used about 4 ounces

heavy cream (whole milk would work too, or both which is what we had)

First, in a large pot heat the oil over medium heat, and add the bacon.  You’re looking to render the bacon, so you want to brown it, and cook down a large percentage of the fat.  This will give you a nice flavor.  Once the bacon is browned, add the onion, a little salt, and cook until the onion is translucent. Next add the potatoes, broth, water, bay leaves, and bring up to a boil.  I used roughly 50% broth.  Basically what I want to do is to cover everything, but that is it.  Once you have a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover it, and let it go for about 15 to 20 minutes.  You don’t need to cook the potatoes until they are mush, basically you want them to be tender.Once the potatoes are tender turn off the heat.  You have a few options at this point.  You could strain the soup, reserve the liquid and process the solids in a food processor, puree with a hand blender, puree in a blender, or use a potato masher.  However you do it you want to end up with a smooth soup.  I used a potato masher, and really liked the results.  It was a bit more rustic than a blender would have turned out, but it was also a lot less mess, and hassle.  You may also want to fish out the bay leaves at this point.  They aren’t poisonous, but they are not a lot of fun to eat.

Once the pureeing is done, return everything to the pot, and turn the heat back on.  You’re going to finish the soup.  Start by adding the cream.  I add it until I get a nice color, and flavor from it.  Next add the cheese.  How much is kind of up to you, and how much you like cheese with your potatoes!  Taste the soup, and adjust the seasoning with salt, and white pepper. Bring the soup up to a boil, and serve.  That is really all there is to it.  You could easily adapt this to be a vegetarian soup by dropping the bacon, and using veggie broth or all water, and since the potatoes do all of the thickening this soup will ever need the gluten-free situation is well in hand.Bowl it up, and enjoy!  Also, keep in mind if you have leftover potatoes that you want to use up, this is a perfect place for them!  In that case, all you have to do is get them hot, and soften up a bit.  That will save you some time.  This soup is very easy and perfect for dinner on a cold night!  OK, maybe you CAN handle the soup!