Showing posts with label Soup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Soup. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

French Onion Soup

The other day, I drove to a nearby farm to look at a registered......

On second thought, I'm going to wait and elaborate on this when I go and pick up the animal I bought, which will be on this coming Saturday. This way I can include some pictures of it as well.  Pictures are always better.

Where I'm going to keep it yet I have not a clue.  There's going to be some moving around in the barn this week and figuring it all out.  But I will.

The chimney cleaners were also out on Monday to clean the chimney, which didn't happen, because it was too loaded with creosote and they'll have to come back another time with more equipment?  I'm not so sure about this company.  But the cold has not set in enough yet for the need of a fire so I'll be patient - for now.  I still need to order more slab wood too.

But it has gotten a bit chilly and is feeling more fall-like.  This makes me crave soup, and so I decided a pot of French Onion soup was in order and this Tyler Florence recipe was my go to for inspiration.  What follows is my version, modified slightly, using a little less butter and a little less wine, etc. It was still very rich and tasted amazing. Of course.

French Onion Soup

1/2 stick of butter
4 medium large onions, sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs or 1/2 tsp of dried thyme
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
3/4 cup of dry red wine
3 tsp of flour
2 quarts of quality beef broth
1 baguette or artisan loaf, sliced
1/2 pound of your favorite cheese: Gruyere, Swiss, Provolone, etc. ( I used Swiss)

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Rub the slices with the cut side of a piece of raw garlic. Cover the slices with the cheese and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Ladle the soup in bowls and float a cheese "crouton" on top. Serve immediately.

Happy "Last Day of September" ~A

Friday, August 28, 2015

Peasant Soup Anyone?

Make yourself a big batch of this soup and then throw it into the freezer in mason jars.  When you need something fast to eat for dinner, or something to bring to work for your lunch, look no further!  I skipped the pasta in mine this time, and used kidney beans as my bean of choice.  I also did not puree my beans this time around. But it doesn't matter.  Play with the recipe and have fun with it.

Pasta, cooked al-dente and set aside. (Use a small shaped pasta)
  • Dried beans, soaked overnight in a large pot of water and boiled. (about 1/3 lb)
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, smashed well
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • A palm full of parsley, chopped
  • Tomato paste (a couple of tablespoons)
  • One large peeled, chopped fresh tomato
  • Olive oil
  • 2 quarts of water (or more or less, its a preference thing)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 a head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 large bunch of spinach, Swiss chard, or lambs quarters, roughly chopped
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • Some strips or hunks of ham, bacon or pancetta
  • Small piece of parmesan rind (optional, but decadent!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Roughly chop the onion, celery and parsley and sauté gently in olive oil. When they begin to turn golden, add the chopped greens, garlic and potato. Season with salt and pepper and add tomato and paste, to your taste, then add some of the water you used to boil the beans, or vegetable or chicken broth to obtain a soup consistency.

Puree (or don't) half of the beans, and add these with the other half (left whole) to the soup, along with the meat scraps (and parmesan rind if using). Allow to simmer further until vegetables are cooked, then, taking it off the heat, add your cooked pasta, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with fresh grated parmesan if desired.

A good "cold-as-hell" kind of winter day meal when served with fresh warm bread.  And those kind of days are just around the corner...

Time for a nap...


Thursday, May 7, 2015


When I had my first home-raised pig butchered last year, the butcher asked whether I wanted my hams halved or quartered.  Being a rookie in sending an entire pig to be butchered, I cheerfully answered "halved please."  I had no clue that each "half" ham would weigh from 14-16 lbs. I have no kids to feed! So there I was, with four really big hams. Sixty pounds total, to be exact...

I cooked one for Easter (it was fabulous!) and had a ton of ham left over (surprise), which I cubed, and chunked and sliced and then froze. It was chilly last week, so I made up a batch of soup with what I had on hand, and some of the frozen leftover ham.  No recipe, I just threw as much of the ingredients into the pot as I saw fit.  No broth required either.  As it cooked, the ham it made its own broth.  One of the easiest soups ever, and a great way to use up leftover ham. Oh and the kitchen smelled awesome!

You could add whatever vegetable you have on hand really - green beans, cabbage, kale, carrots, whatever.  This is what I tossed into the pot...

Ham (mine was smoked)
Red pepper
2 bay leaves
a pinch of thyme
a splash of homemade white wine
frozen corn
Cayenne pepper
a few potatoes
a couple stalks of old celery

I didn't even bother to sauté anything first.  I let it simmer until the potatoes were very tender, and then I poured it all into mason jars for future work lunches. Add a hunk of homemade bread and you're good to go.  I would imagine you could even do this soup just fine in the crockpot and have it hot and ready when you get home.  ~A

Thursday, April 16, 2015

For the love of Asparagus

Asparagus is in season, and while my own newly planted patch of the green stuff is not yet producing (it takes 3-4 years), I scored a few bunches at a nice price and went about whipping up a batch of soup. 

This time I added potatoes and garlic to the concoction, but you can get my basic recipe here.  There are really no specific measurements - just go with the flow and which ever direction your taste buds lead you.

 I also added smoked ham this time, because I had a ton of it leftover from Easter : )

And don't forget the shaved Parmesan! ~A

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Northeast Ohio Weather

When I took the dogs out this morning around 6 a.m. to do their "business," the thermometer rudely announced the temperature at one degree... Just one.  Better than zero, or minus one, I suppose.  Though I'm certain it will be less than zero tomorrow morning at the same time.  Does anyone want to place their bets? 

I hate this time of year on the farm.  I put on too much weight and lack motivation.  Except to eat.  There's always motivation to stand by the warm stove and cook something wonderful. And eat.

Coffee was my next step this morning, something to warm me from the inside.  A heavy coat, pajamas and muck boots that, early in the morning, at those temperatures, does little when the wind is whipping mad. 
A quick hot shower and then on to set up some bread to rise for later this evening...I'll bake it when I get home and warm up the kitchen.

A slice of yesterday's bread, and a jar of ham and vegetable soup for lunch at work today.

The sun is rising and its my time to brave the cold, icy commute into the city.

Stay warm friends, ~A

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ham and Bean Soup


A soup for when you are low on cash...
Or it's just plain cold and nasty outside.
Or because you have a lot of leftover ham.
Or because you just need something to go with cornbread...
In my case it was a shit ton of leftover ham from a family holiday gathering.

Farmstead Ham and Bean Soup


1 lb dried great northern beans, rinsed, and then soaked for a few hours

4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

1 large onion, chopped coarsely

1 large carrot, sliced thick

2 stalks of celery - sliced

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

2 bay leaves

1 lb smoked ham or 1 lb ham hock

6 cups homemade chicken or ham broth


Sort and rinse beans.

Put the rinsed beans, the rest of the ingredients and the ham, chopped into large, rustic pieces (or ham hocks if using) into the crock pot along with 6 cups water or broth.

Cover crock, and cook on low for about 6-8 hours, or until beans are tender.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Hello February, Good-bye Ethel...

A lovely, quiet weekend on the farm made for a great beginning to February. Saturday was a day for butchering two of the Turken (aka "Naked Neck") hens that had approached the ripe old age of two years.  But really I was in a hurry to butcher them, because they are constantly eating everyone else's eggs, and because they are just plain mean to the other chickens.  Roosters included.

So the deed was done, and on Sunday I made a nice dinner of roasted chicken with a side of au gratin potato. The butchering chore was preceded that morning by a breakfast of French toast sprinkled with summer blackberries pulled from the freezer.  I even tossed a chunk of butter on top.

Mmmmm.... French Toast

The potatoes were easy; one potato-sliced thin, grated parmesan and heavy cream...

The dogs needed to get out and run, so I took a nice walk late afternoon to check fence lines and have a look around. The creek back in the woods was frozen, but I could still hear the little waterfall underneath the ice and snow. The dogs very much enjoyed the walk and slept well in the warm kitchen the rest of the day. Although, they seem to be confused as to which bed is in tended for which dog.

Louie on the hunt...

Checking the Fence

There's a waterfall under there somewhere...

Later in the evening when it was time to bring the horses in for the night and feed everyone else, I ended up needing Louie's assistance to help catch the turkey hen that escaped her pen.  She's done this three times now, so last night I clipped her wings. Hopefully this will put an end to that.  Her name is now "Lady Houdini..."

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

And the "Polar Vortex" continues...

Yep, its still c-o-l-d...  I know because I checked this morning, and the temperature read -23 degrees.  So it is true!.  This was the first time the big dog ever had frozen, stinging paws after running outside for a quick poop this morning. Poor Louie.  Because it was too cold to let the dog play outside, I took him along with me to the feed mill to pick up some grain.  He looked a tad concerned with my driving skills.  But in my defense it was snowing, and icy!

Louie riding" shotgun"

Snow and cold.  Cold and snow.  More cold, more snow. Cold snow. It appears never-ending. I'm going to loose my mind.  Have I already?

Heading to the Feed Mill

What have we been doing to get through all of this polar despair?  Drooling over spring seed catalogues and eating of course!  Lately we've just been hanging out in the kitchen, throwing ingredients together and playing around with our food to see what we could come up with.  So far the results have not been disappointing.

Perfect Seafood Soup

Red Skin Mashed Potatoes with Bacon

A little bit of everything omelet

French Toast and More Bacon!

Sausage Bean and Veg Soup (Spicy)

Simple Salad with Feta and Chickpeas

Friday, January 17, 2014

French Onion Soup

I haven't posted for a few days.  I've been "under the weather," the weather has been "under the weather," and all I want to do is crawl under a blanket and eat soup.  I looked at the weather forecast for the next ten days, and the high temperatures are only going to be in the "teens" and twenties.  Overnight lows will be in the single digits.  I do hope February will be more kind to us. I really can't stand much more.

Speaking of soup, last week some farmer friends I visited were kind enough to share some of their surplus of onions and squash they had stashed away in the cold cellar. The first thought that came to my mind was French Onion Soup. A perfect soup for frigid weather. 

So I tried a version made by Tyler Florence, from the Food Network.  I like Tyler, I think he's rather fine! And the soup was great - even better over the next few days.  I admit, it was hard for me to part with the entire cup of red wine the recipe called for, so I poured one for myself to ease the pain, and all was good. I'll definitely be making this recipe again and again.

Butternut Squash Soup is in the background as well...

French Onion Soup   Serves 4-6

1/2 cup of unsalted butter ( I used salted and it worked)
4 large onions, sliced
2 or 3 cloves of garlic-chopped
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
sea salt and black pepper
1 cup of red wine
3 tablespoons of flour
2 quarts of beef broth
1 baguette -sliced
1/2 pound of grated gruyere or provolone

Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme.   Cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes or so.  Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are somewhat dry, about five minutes.  Discard the bay leaves and the thyme sprigs. 

Don't let the onions (which have now turned a lovely shade of purple from the wine) scare you.  It will look normal in the end, I promise.

Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir.  Turn the heat down to medium-low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the flour taste.  Now add the beef broth, bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper. 

When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler.  Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Sprinkle with the gruyere and broil until toasted and golden brown, 3-5 minutes.

Ladle the soup in bowls and float the baguette slices on top.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Spicy Pasta, Bean & Sausage Soup

Cabin fever was setting in again yesterday, and I absolutely had to leave work for lunch just to get some fresh air.  And because they were cooking up some nasty smelling, asphalt stuff in the plant.  Really I just couldn't stand the smell.

Because the temperatures are still below zero, schools were closed and the streets pretty empty.  I'm guessing a lot of people stayed home from work either because their cars wouldn't start or because they are smarter than me...or both.  But it sure made getting around town nice.

Mind set that hot soup was the only thing that would suffice for dinner, off I headed to pick up ingredients. I found this recipe on Epicurious, and it just screamed "warm-your-ass-up" kind of soup.  Beans, pasta, meat, cheese, spicy.  How can you go wrong with that?  I do have to apologize for the photos, I was having a "bad camera" day.

Spicy Pasta Bean & Sausage Soup
Bon Appetit / February 2001

Yield: 4-6 main course servings


2  15-16 ounce cans of chickpeas
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb hot Italian sausage (casings removed)
4 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 lg garlic cloves, minced ( I used 4, because I love garlic)
crushed red pepper flakes (to your tolerance)
1/4 c of tomato paste
5 cups of chicken broth
8 oz of orecchiette or other small pasta
1 1/2 c Romano cheese (I used Parmesan because I prefer it)

Strain liquid from the beans into the blender. Add 1 cup of beans and puree until smooth.  Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.  Add sausages, rosemary, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Saute' until sausages are cooked through, breaking up with a fork (about 8 minutes).  Mix in tomato paste.  Add bean puree, remaining beans, broth and pasta.  Simmer until pasta is tender and mixture is thick, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.  Mix in 1/4 cup of the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve. Pass remaining cheese around to sprinkle on top. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year 2014

Today is the first page of a 365 page book.  Write a good one.” - Happy New Year!
New Year's Day, 2014.  A cold and snowy day to start off the New Year.  What better of a way is there to celebrate than with a hot bowl of lentil & ham soup, hearty fresh-baked dark rye bread, and a cold glass of champagne!  Tradition has it, the lentils symbolize money and good fortune.  The ham in the soup stands for "richness of life."  And the champagne?  Well, it is the New Year after all...
Lentil Soup with Ham

Serves 6 to 8


2  tablespoons olive oil  2  cups dried brown lentils, rinsed and picked over 
2  carrots, peeled and chopped 
1  onion, chopped fine 
3  garlic cloves, minced 
1/2  cup white wine 
7  cups low-sodium chicken broth 
1  teaspoon minced fresh thyme 
1  bay leaf 
1/4  teaspoon red pepper flakes 
About 2 cups leftover chopped ham 

Salt and pepper 
1. Heat oil in a pot or dutch oven, over medium heat until shimmering. Add lentils, carrots, and onion and cook until vegetables are softened and lentils are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, thyme, bay leaf, and pepper flakes and bring to boil.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until thickened and lentils are completely tender, about 1 hour. Discard bay leaf. Puree 2 cups soup until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot and stir in ham. Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.


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