PInterest Recipe of the Month- Vidalia Onion Soup with Wild Rice

This weekend I decided I wanted to find recipe to re-boot my ‘Recipe of the Month’ idea.  With the short, cold days we’re experiencing in Minneapolis, I thought soup would be perfect.  After doing some browsing, I found this onion soup recipe and traced it back to one of my favorite blogs, ‘Smitten Kitchen’. I’ve made a few things from the blog before, so I knew it would I could trust it.  I made a couple of tweaks to the recipe including; substituting the Blue Cheese for Gruyere and using a mix of fresh parsley, chives and dried basil.  You can find the recipe right HERE.

ONION SOUP

It’s a bit of a time consuming process to cook both the rice and the onions, but the smell in the house was worth it.  It also gave me a chance to master my old nemesis, the mandolin. I used it to get nice even slices of onion and it went much faster than trying to slice them all by hand.  The soup itself was mild and pretty filling.  The recipe called out 4 servings but we could have easily done 6.  I have to say my favorite part was the pieces of baguette and cheese on the top.  After a few minutes of it soaking up the broth, it was the perfect blend of mild and sharp flavors. I could have eaten a full baguette myself if I had enough soup to soak it in.

I hope this gives you something to make the next time a Polar Vortex comes rolling through.  It seems to be once a week now around here.  Check out the rest of the recipes on ‘Smitten Kitchen’ as well, including an all time favorite; ‘Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake‘.  Follow the link for that, just do it.

Spring Recipes

Happy First Day of Spring from sunny, Minneapolis!  It’s a balmy 18 degrees, with a cool breeze making it feel -7, UGH!  Everyone I know is itching for it to warm up.  It’s just been too long since we’ve seen anything green.  I rounded up a few spring recipes to send out some warm vibes and encourage spring to hurry up and get here.

*please note, all photos below are from their respective sites*
**also note, this is kind of a random meal but I wish this was all fresh and available right now**

We’ll start things off with a refreshing drink from the ladies of Spoon Fork Bacon

grapefruit-mint-refresher-cocktail-recipe

Follow that up with Asparagus & Pea Soup from Tartelette, to warm ourselves back up

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We’ll keep it green for another moment here and follow up the soup with a Pea Salad with Radish and Feta Cheese from Epicurious

pea salad with radishes and feta cheese

Photo By: Brian Leatart

For our main dish, we’ll dig into Mustard Crusted Pork with Farro and Carrot Salad from the folks at Bon Appetit.  Did I mention sweatpants are encouraged for dinner attire?

mustard-crusted-pork-with-farro-and-carrot-salad-646

And finally, we end with Roasted Strawberry Goat Cheese Squares for dessert, from The Kitchn20120529_KitchnStrawberryGoatCheeseSquares-105

…and then maybe some Martha Stewart Peaches and Cream Popsicles

Photo by: Johnny Miller

Photo by: Johnny Miller

…and then one more cocktail to top it all off… Cheers to Spring!

from TheKitchn.com

from TheKitchn.com

Black Bean Soup

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!  I hope you got in some green beer or corned beef hash to celebrate!  I’ve been spending my day drinking a lot of green juices.  Not sure why, but I decided this weekend was the best one to try a juice cleanse.  I’ll let you know how it went tomorrow, in the meantime, back to the soup.

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In an effort to expand the staples we have on hand, we added dry beans to our pantry list.  We have always used canned in the past so this soup (and burritos we had for lunch this last week) were the first time we had to start completely from scratch.  We measured out enough beans for both the soup recipe and our lunch and let it soak overnight.

black beans 2When I woke up in the morning, The beans had expanded and only half of them were still in the water.  I quickly moved them to a larger bowl and topped them with more water to soak for the rest of the day.  When we got home from work we split the bowl in half and started one pan cooking for lunch and held the other half back for our soup.

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I started heating oil in a stock pot and added in 1 onion, 1 leek, a couple of cloves of garlic and some cumin.

black beans 3Once the veggies started to soften up and the onions became slightly translucent, we added in a few strips of chopped up bacon.

black beans 5When the bacon had browned a bit, in went the beans…

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…followed quickly by some chicken stock and a bit of water.

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The soup was brought to a boil and then left to simmer for about an hour on the stove (not exactly a quick weeknight dinner).

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When the time was up, I ladled about half of the soup into the blender.

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Boom. liquified.

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I added the blended portion back into the pot and mixed it in, as well as seasoned it with salt and pepper.

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From there, we added a dollop of sour cream and dug in.  It was very filling and satisfying for as few ingredients as it called for.  I may have added too much soup to the blender though as it was a little watery.  The sour cream had some trouble staying on the surface.  We finished all our leftovers so I’d call it a success.  I’m also glad we utilized our dried beans instead of reaching for the canned beans again.  We have a better idea of how to time things out and how much water you really need to rehydrate.  I’m going to look into ways to prep dried beans for our crock pot chili and maybe making our own chili beans with our own seasonings.  However, with the thought of spring around the corner, I’d rather start thinking of black bean salsa on the back patio.

Minnesota Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

Hi Everyone, I hope you all had a good weekend.  We finally had winter hit over this weekend and it made soup sound that much better, especially something hearty like creamy wild rice and mushroom soup!  I found the recipe on The Kitchn, it’s a great site to find recipes along with other kitchen ideas like organization or new cookbooks.

I started up the wild rice in a pot of boiling water.  Grown right here in Minnesota.

While that was cooking away I started chopping up my veggies.  First up, 4 stalks of celery.  I cut each one in half to keep the pieces smaller.

Then 1 large onion (from Minnesota).

Then 1 pound of mushrooms.  I used button mushrooms (from Wisconsin)

I started cooking up the onion and celery in my dutch oven and let them cook until the onions were translucent.

Then I added in the mushrooms.

Once the mushrooms were nice and brown I added in garlic and oregano and stirred until fragrant.  Then added in flour to thicken it up, constantly stirring until the veggies were thick and gooey and the flour was thoroughly mixed in.

Then I added in some white wine to de-glaze the pan, let the wine reduce and added in my chicken stock and bay leaf.  I skipped the cheese rinds suggested in the recipe since we didn’t have any on hand and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, I drained my now cooked wild rice and set aside.

When my 20 minutes were up, I added in my cream, wild rice and rosemary to finish up the soup.  I let it simmer again for about 15 minutes until it was nice and thick before finally adding the cider vinegar.

The soup was soooo good!  It was perfect for a cold night and was really great with a little french bread.  It made more than enough for leftovers with the two of us.  I will for sure be making this again.  I think it’d make a good soup to bring for lunch or for a long week when you just need some good leftovers from the fridge.  However, it’s very time consuming so it’s not last minute dinner friendly.  Highly recommend this one.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
From The Kitchn

Makes about 6 servings

1 cup wild rice
1 large onion, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 pound mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1-2 cheese rinds (optional)
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 teaspoons rosemary
1 cup whole milk or cream
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons salt, divided

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the wild rice and one teaspoon of salt, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 40-50 minutes, until the rice has burst open and tastes tender. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid to use as stock if desired.

While the rice cooks, prepare the rest of the soup. Warm a teaspoon of oil in a dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery with a half teaspoon of salt, and cook until the onions have softened and turned translucent, 3-5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and stir in the mushrooms and another half teaspoon of salt. Cook until the mushrooms have released all their liquid and turned dark brown, 15-20 minutes. Don’t skimp on this step! This is where the soup gets its deep, rich flavor.

Add the garlic and oregano, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir until the vegetables become sticky and there is no more visible dry flour. Increase the heat again to medium-high and pour in the wine. Stir and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue simmering until the wine has reduced and thickened a bit.

Add the bay leaf, cheese rinds, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes to meld the flavors. Add the rosemary, milk, and wild rice. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until the soup has thickened to your liking. Stir in the cider vinegar. Taste and add more salt or vinegar to taste.

Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to a week.