Soup du Semaine

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This week I made a big pot of mushroom soup, an absolute favourite of mine. I often feel guilty for eating creamy mushroom soup out of a can because of all the added salt and heavy cream. This recipe relinquishes all that guilt because it’s free of cream and thickened with flour instead, the addition of potatoes also makes this soup relatively hearty. Another bonus? It’s super simple and quick to whip up! I wrote down this recipe a few years ago and unfortunately haven’t been able to find the original source since.

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Cream Free Mushroom Soup 

1 Tbsp butter
1 white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp S & P
4 cups mushrooms (I used a mix of white and brown cremini mushrooms)
1 potato
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup sour cream
1 green onion

1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and cook garlic, onion, thyme, s & p until veggies are softened and herbs are aromatic, about 5 minutes.

2. Add mushrooms and potato and cook until mushrooms begin to sweat and the potato is softened, about 10 minutes.

3. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the soup is thickened, about 10 minutes.

4. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and green onions.

Enjoy!

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts

Cauliflower and brussels sprouts (or alien brains as they where called throughout my childhood) are pretty boring on their own but this mustard-caper butter is a really nice accompaniment to this dish. I steamed both the cauliflower and brussels sprouts separately in the microwave to save time and if you don’t have a mortar and pestle I’m sure a garlic press would do just fine.

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with Mustard-Caper Butter

From Smitten Kitchen

2 garlic cloves
Sea salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup drained small capers, rinsed
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons chopped marjoram
Black pepper
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 head white cauliflower

1. To make the mustard-caper butter, pound the garlic with a half-teaspoon salt in a mortar until smooth. Stir the garlic into the butter with the mustard, capers, lemon zest and marjoram. Season to taste with pepper. (The butter can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

2. Trim the base off the Brussels sprouts, then slice them in half or, if large, into quarters. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the other vegetables and continue to cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, shake off any excess water, then toss with the mustard-caper butter. Taste for salt, season with pepper and toss again.

Mediterranean Eggplant & Barley Salad

This thanksgiving my Mama put me in charge of making some vegetarian sides for our dinner. My mind automatically jumped to a hearty salad I had made once before that was greeted with rave reviews. The preparation of each individual part of this salad takes a bit of time, as well as cooling the barely after you’ve cooked it. Make sure you leave yourself enough time, or even make the salad a day ahead (I did this but left the tomatoes out overnight so nothing got soggy). Enjoy!

 

The pictures from this and my next post are a nice treat because I got to play around with my dad’s Panasonic Lumix camera. I’m in the market for a new camera because currently my Canon Powershot SD980 is not cutting it anymore. I’ve been perusing Ebay and some local stores but so far I haven’t found the right camera for the right price.

Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad

From Smitten Kitchen (This blog is a source of unending cooking inspiration for me so I wouldn’t be surprised if many more of my recipes come from here)

1 1/2 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 lb zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chopped scallion (from 1 bunch)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/4 cups pearl barley (8 oz)
1 (14-oz) can reduced-sodium vegetable broth (1 3/4 cups)
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and halved
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, rinsed and drained if desired
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss eggplant and zucchini with 5 tablespoons oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then spread in 2 oiled large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pans. Roast vegetables in oven, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes total. Combine vegetables in 1 pan and cool, reserving other pan for cooling barley.

To cook barley, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook scallion, cumin, coriander, and cayenne, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add barley and cook, stirring until well coated with oil, 2 minutes more. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all of liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer to reserved shallow baking pan and spread to quickly cool, uncovered, to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

To make dressing, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. To assemble salad add barley, roasted vegetables, and remaining ingredients to bowl with dressing and toss until combined well.