Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bowl of Comfort/Onion Soup

A Bowl of Comfort

Onion Soup
Serves 6
This is a vegetarian version of the old classic onion soup. With its rich flavor and sweetness of the onions you will not miss the beef at all. Serve with homemade croutons* and optional grated Swiss cheese for the complete experience.

5 cups thinly sliced onions
3 cloves garlic minced
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dry thyme
1 quart of vegetable stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper

Grated Swiss cheese for topping optional

Cook onions and garlic in a large pot in melted butter until the onions are completely cooked through, but not brown. This could take up to 20 minutes. Stir in the mustard and thyme. Mix well. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes. Serve in a large bowl. Top with croutons and grated cheese.

*Croutons can be made by cutting bread in 1-inch cubes. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on oil sprayed baking sheet in oven on 325F for 15 minutes.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Black Bean Soup

It was cold today. Began to snow around 2 pm and felt even colder. It was a perfect day to hang out and warm my bones near the fire eating Black Bean soup. This is one of my favorite soups because you can make it a meal by adding some salsa, jack cheese or sour cream and serve it with corn chips or corn tortilla. This recipe can double up and you can freeze some for the next snowy, gray day.

Black Bean Soup
By Penny Rich
Serves 6-8

2 cups black beans*
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
8-10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 red pepper, diced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped
2 tomatoes, skinned, seeds removed and diced
Salt and Pepper to taste
¼ cup cilantro, chopped

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add onions through red pepper and sauté 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add beans*, vegetable stock, chipotle and tomatoes bring to a boil. Turn heat to simmer and cook for 2 hours, stirring now and then adding water if the soup gets to thick. You can leave it like this or blend ½ of the soup for a thicker consistency. Add cilantro. Serve hot with optional toppings of sour cream and salsa.

*Place black beans on a cookie sheet and pick through to remove any stones or broken beans. Rinse with cold water Option one, place in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let sit for one hour. Option two, soak beans in cold water overnight.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cold Days Hot Soup

Snowy Icy Day in Chapel Hill means Hot Soup is on the menu.
This has become a favorite in my house.

Mushroom Barley Soup
by Penny Rich
1/2 cup pearl barley

¼ dry porcini mushrooms, rehydrated*
1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 pound mushrooms, sliced

4 cups vegetable broth

3 Tablespoons soy sauce
4 Tablespoons Dry Sherry
2 cups water

2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium pan, bring 2 cups of water and the 1/2 cup of barley to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft. Add the carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and porcini mushrooms cook 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, soy sauce, sherry any extra mushroom liquor, water, and fresh thyme. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked barley and cook for 30 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
*To rehydrate dry mushroom – place in a Pyrex measuring cup and cover with water. Micro on high for 1 minute. Let sit for 5 minutes. Strain liquid through a coffee filter to remove sand, save the mushroom liquor. Wash mushroom to remove sand.