Hearty Soups = One Pot Meals with Leftovers!

Saturday, November 14, 2009 14:22
Comments Off on Hearty Soups = One Pot Meals with Leftovers!

82Our resident chef, Chef Silvia likes to make cooking easy. She wants to keep it simple, for herself and when she teaches others. Making cooking easy for people will encourage people to cook!! Most of us want the same thing. Simple dishes that will use fresh wonderful ingredients. In her “notes from the chef” this month, this is what she shared.
“I love one pot cooking. It especially suits me because I don’t like to fuss with cooking when I’m off duty. I want to keep it simple and I want whatever I cook to stretch into several meals. I don’t know about you, but when I get hungry, I don’t always want to wait an hour until I can prepare a meal. It’s got to be fast but it definitely has to be good. Not many dishes will fit these tough requirements but a hearty soup will work every time. They’re easy, deliciously satisfying and there’s always plenty of leftovers.

This month check out two soup recipes that I made recently that kept me (and friends) happy and well feed for days. ”

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Crimini Mushrooms and Melted Brie
Butternut squash is sweet and buttery so why add additional sweeteners? Yet, many recipes add maple syrup, molasses or sugar. Too often, a bowl of this soup in restaurants tastes more like dessert. In this recipe, I’ve taken every precaution to balance the natural sweetness of the squash by mixing it with mashed potatoes and mushrooms. I then enhanced the creaminess by finishing with just a bit of half and half and garnishing it with Brie. I just loved how this turned out.

2 medium (or one large) butternut squash (cut in half lengthwise)
4 medium potatoes (peeled, diced, boiled)
4 – 6 cups chicken broth (depending on how thick you like it)
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup half and half
1 small onion (diced)
1 8 oz package of crimini mushrooms (sliced)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ inch slices of Brie (or other creamy cheese) + chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Cook squash in a pre-heated 400 degree oven, cut size down (seeds and stringy matter removed) on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil for about 1 hour or until the squash can easily be pierced with a fork. Scoop out the squash from the outer skin and set aside.

Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onions and sauté until soft. Add the potatoes and the squash and mash together. Add the broth a bit at a time, incorporating until you reach the desired thickness.
Lower the heat and simmer for a minute or two. Add the butter and the half and half, stir. season to taste, simmer for another minute.

In the meantime place a large sauté pan over high heat and add the canola oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the sliced mushroom and cook until golden, about two minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, fill each individual bowl with the soup. Add a few mushrooms followed with a few slices of brie

Mushroom Barley Soup with Chicken and Wild Mushrooms
1 cup of barley
4-6 cups chicken broth
8 oz. boneless chicken breast (cut in bite sized pieces)
1 small/medium onion (diced)
1 large clove garlic (finely chopped)
1 red bell pepper (diced)
16 oz. wild mushrooms-medium dice or sliced (shitake, crimini, Portobello, oyster or any combo)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil + ½ cup
Season to taste
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley

Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Add ¼ cup olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Add the onions and cook until soft and golden followed by the garlic. Cook for a few moments and add the broth. Bring to a boil and add the barley. Cook for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the barley is soft but still firm.

In the meantime, place a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the remaining oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the sliced or diced mushrooms along with the pepper. If you do not have a large enough sauté pan cook the vegetables in two batches. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. When the barley is cooked add contents of the sauté pan to the stockpot and stir. Serve warm, garnish with parsley and enjoy over and over.

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