Monday, August 06, 2007

Broccoli and Cheese Soup with Croutons

We had this tonight with a salad.

3 Tablespoons butter, plus 2 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
1 cup yellow onion, choppedj
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (it said pinch so I'm guessing here)
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups fresh broccoli chopped or 1 (16 oz) package frozen thawed and separated
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Croutons for garnish, recipe follows

In a medium pot, melt the 3 Tbsp. butter over med-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and and thyme cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender or use a blender. Return mixture to pot.

Add the cream and bring to a bare simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring until melted. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. cold butter, stirring to blend. Leave on low simmer.

1-2 cup of 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubed French bread
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp Essence or Creole seasoning (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the bread in a medium bowl and toss with oil and Essence. Spread evenly on a small baking sheet and bake, stirring twice, until light golden brown on top, about 6-9 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

Essence of Emeril:

2 1/2 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried thyme

Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container, enough for several dishes/recipes!

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with croutons.

Easy Tortilla Soup

It's been a loooooong time since I've added recipes and I really must get back on track. I was holding out for pictures but I'll just put the reci's up now and put pics in later. This was totally delish and we had it with corn on the cob.

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (I used fresh)
1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, optional (I didn't use this as I didn't want it hot)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (I ground my own)
1/2 teaspoons ground coriander (I ground my own)
2 tomatoes, chopped
6 cups chicken stock or canned, low sodium chicken broth (see what I did below)
1 pound chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cooked then shredded
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 corn or flour tortillas cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

*For chicken stock; put the 6 cups water in a large sauce pan or dutch oven and the chicken cut in medium size pieces, boil until done, remove chicken. Pour water into a bowl or pan and add a cube of chicken broth.

In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, salt, cumin, and coriander for 5 minutes. Add the tomato and cooks until the tomato is mushy. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer (if you don't want thin soup add less than the 6 cups of water). Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and stir well. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy pot or electric fry pan to 350 degrees F. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden and crisp, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with tortilla strips. Yum!