Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Creamy Broccoli Soup with Mint and Ricotta Cheese

    More snow, more freezing rain, and the only thing I want to do is shop till I drop. I must of walked a total of 5 hours at the mall yesterday, one of the best 'outdoor' winter workouts I've had this season ;) I love the craziness of last minute x-mas shopping. I love heading to Fairview Shopping center, one of my favorite local malls growing up. From those 25 minutes of finding parking (the parking lot holds well over a thousand vehicles), beautifully displayed windows, lineups at the cashes (oy-vey), line-ups at Starbucks (oy, oy vey)  seeing the boxing day signage go-up, overhearing hundreds of people saying, "do I get her this one? Or that one?'... It's a real 2013 marketing\ retail jungle out-there.

    So after a day of snow, freezing  rain and shopping in some sort of jungle, the only  thing I want to eat is a warm bowl of creamy broccoli soup, ah... I love this soup because it's delicious, extremely easy-to-make and perfect for unwinding. Enjoy this one guys!

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    Prep 15 min|  Cooking Time 15 min| Total time 30 min | Serves 4 - 6 | DAIRY
    Adapted from Jamie Oliver



    2 tbsp of butter

    1 onion, chopped

    2 celery stalks, cleaned and chopped

    1/4 cup of flour

    3-4 cups frozen or fresh broccoli

    1 tsp of mint

    1 cube of parve chicken

    3/4 cup of milk

    2 1/2 cups of hot water

    2 tbsp of mint, rough chopped

    1/4 cup of heavy cream, optional

    1 tbsp mint, rough chopped

    drizzle of olive oil

    dollop of ricotta cheese

    Pepper to taste

    1.  In a heavy bottom pot, on medium heat, saute the butter, onions, celery,  and mint for 3-4 minutes.
    2.  Once softened, mix in the flour.
    3.  Add in the broccoli and kosher salt.
    4.  Dilute the chicken soup flavor into the hot water and pour it into the broccoli.
    5.  Cook for 10 minutes, lower heat a bit
    6.  Blitz with a hand blender or, place the soup into a heat prof bowl, in a a bath of ice, allow to cool and pour it in a blender to blitz for 1 minute.
    7.  Put the soup back into the pot, add the milk and cook for 4-5 minutes.
    7.  Remove from the heat. To serve pour the soup in little bowls, add the ricotta, olive oil, ground pepper, rough chopped mint.

    Revised 23-02-2016

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

    Creamy Pumpkin Thyme Soup

    Ok, I somewhat take pride in being a little nerdy, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Super Soup Sunday is a new ritual in my home. Every Sunday during the cold winter months, I make a different kind of soup. After all the -10 to -20 we've been experiencing here in Montreal, there is nothing quite as homey as a meal that's creamy, filling, warm and full of wholesome flavors, definitely my kind of comfort food.

    I decided to explore various pumpkin recipes, one like this creamy pumpkin thyme soup which is truly yummy, wholesome and super easy to make!

    INGREDIENTS Serves 8 to 10 
    • 400 g to 450 g fresh pumpkin
    • 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    • 1 tsp of salt 
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 3 sprigs frozen or fresh thyme, stems removed (washed accordingly)
    • 1 garlic clove, sliced
    • 7 whole black peppercorns
    • 1 cup of cream (Nutriwhip)
    • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water

    1. In a stock-pot boil water with the pumpkin inside. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium for 30-35 minutes until the pumpkin is softened. 
    2. Set aside the the pumpkin and let cool enough in order to remove its skin. 
    3. In another pot, boil the chicken stock, onion, salt, garlic, thyme, peppercorns and the pumpkin when ready. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
    4. Purée the soup in small batches using a food processor or blender.
    5. Return to pot and bring to the boil again. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 15 minutes, uncovered. Stir in double cream and water. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with thyme.