Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Prosciutto

For Valentine’s Day I had the ambitious plan to make GC bacon roses. I couldn’t find the right stems for my roses and the whole idea fell apart. Instead, I bought him an array of deli meats and specialty cheeses. This is how I say “I love you”: with deli meats. With a fridge full of prosciutto I decided to make a soup topped with this deliciousness: creamy cauliflower soup with crispy prosciutto.

IMG_5483This soup is creamy and has a rich, earthy cauliflower taste which is accented by the more subtle flavours of the celery and onion. The dash of nutmeg gives this soup a nutty, earthy flavour. This soup is seasoned with salt and ground white pepper.. Ground white pepper is something that I had never bothered to buy before but decided to as a lot of the recipes I make call for this spice. And I’m glad I did! The white ground pepper has a more subtle flavour than black ground pepper and has an almost smoky flavour. I would suggest not putting a lot of salt in as there will be plenty of salt from the crispy, almost bacon like prosciutto.

Recipe is below the cut and happy munching!

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Soup Round Up II

Another cold day, tadalafil another round up of the soups I have made in the past few weeks. 4 recipes are from the Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day cookbook, pilule the other is from Chef Michael Smith.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup – January 23 – why eat broccoli soup when you can eat soup with cheese in it? Exactly. This soup still had a strong garden flavour from the broccoli but had tons of creaminess from the cheese. This will likely not become a staple in our house but when I am craving broccoli I will turn to this recipe.

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Cauliflower Roasted Garlic Soup – January 3- this soup was delicious but looked like something out of a Charles Dickens novel, which is why I did not bother to take a picture of it. Coworkers thought I was eating oatmeal. It was gray and sludgy but you need to look past this and enjoy! The strong cauliflower flavour is accented by the rich roasted garlic flavour. The garlic is slightly caramelized and sweet. By roasting the garlic for 45 minutes in the oven, all of the deep-rooted flavours ooze out. My kitchen smelt amazing after this  and could ward off vampires for days to come.

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup – January 10 – why ever use canned chicken noodle soup again when this is so easy? I baked the chicken in the oven for about 20 minutes until it was juicy and cooked through. Then slightly brown the vegetables, toss in the chicken, broth and noodles and wait. It is that easy. The noodles will continue to absorb the broth so you will need to add more the longer the soup sits.photo 4(2)

photo 5French Onion Soup – January 2 – I finally used my 25th birthday gift from GC: French onion soup bowls from Crate & Barrel. This recipe also made me realize something I desperately need for my kitchen: a scale. This recipe calls for 2 ½ lbs of onion but I had to guess and use all the remaining onions I had. A scale would also be good for all the cookbooks I have bought over the years that turn out to be British and use weights as opposed to measurements.

photo 3(2)The most time consuming part of this soup is caramelizing the onions but it is worth it. The onions are sweet and tender delicately floating beneath a sturdy bed of crusty bed and mounds of stringy, Swiss cheese. This soup is my idea of comfort food: warm, flavourful and cheese.

Michael Smith’s Old Fashioned Beef Stew – I like this recipe better than any of the beef stews I have made from my trusty Williams-Sonoma cookbook. The stew is thicker and has a huge range of flavours from the combinations of vegetables (parsnips, carrots, celery, potatoes, onions and peas) seasonings (rosemary, and bay leaf) and of course, red wine. This stew is substantial and filling, the perfect lunch on a cold, February day.

Recipes for the first 4 soups are below the cut. Happy munching and slurping!

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Happy New Year!

Food brings people together. It can create an atmosphere of comfort, viagra nostalgia and family. Food is an essential part of any occasion, look celebration or holiday. This year, for the first time in a long time, I celebrated Chinese New Year.

As a kid, Chinese New Year was always spent ordering take-out from my family’s favourite Chinese restaurant in Newmarket, 4 Seasons. It was not traditional Chinese food by any means but it was as authentic and ethnic as Newmarket used to be back then. 4 Seasons is still some of my favourite comfort food. This food, although greasy and absolutely terrible for us, always brought my family together and is still a staple when someone is returning home after a long time away.

Chinese New Year this year was spent with part of my Toronto family – GC and Cynthia. Cynthia suggested we try to ring in the New Year at Mother’s Dumplings. Unsurprisingly, much of the city had the same idea and the restaurant was packed. Although it is disappointing to arrive at a restaurant and be denied because they are full, there is something that makes me smile to think of a room of people all enjoying and sharing in delicious food.

We wandered down Spadina and found our way into Pho Hung. Yes, we do realize that pho is Vietnamese and not Chinese but it is commonly referred to as Asian New Year and one of Cynthia’s requirements for properly celebrating is having noodles. IMG_5364I had never had pho before. I had avoided Vietnamese food due to their need to sprinkle, dip and fry everything in peanuts (in some form or another). If you have the unfortunate luck like me to have a severe peanut allergy, Pho Hung is a place that you can try Vietnamese food. The menu is clear and explicit about what items feature peanuts and in what capacity. The staff speaks very good, clear English and your allergies and limitations can easily be conveyed. Of course, like all restaurants, there is always the possibility of cross-contamination and traces but as a food lover, this is a risk I take. Note: I am fairly diligent and careful about my allergies but I could definitely but better about it. Unfortunately, I can be cavalier and let my love of food cloud my judgment.

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Soup, soup, soup and more soup

We all know that the weather is getting colder, icier and snowier and therefore, you need more soup recipes. Below are four more soup recipes to help you get through winter (of course, all from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day).

The Roasted Squash soup is a different way to make your traditional butternut squash soup: instead of browning the vegetables in the pot you roast them first. This brings out a stronger squash flavour and retains the natural fibrous texture of the squash.

The Vegetable Barley soup is a great way to use up vegetables in your fridge and is hearty. I officially love barley and would like to make more soups with barley.

photo 1The Broccoli soup with Parmesan-Lemon Frico. Broccoli and cheese, does it get much better than that? I didn’t make the parmesan-lemon frico (not included in the recipe below) so I can’t speak to that but next time I will and it will add a lemony, cheesy deliciousness to this soup. This soup has texture and thickness from the broccoli and has that grainy, foliage quality that the florets of broccoli have.

The Weeknight Hungarian Beef Stew is a simple, less time consuming goulash and what could be better than that?

Recipes are below the cut – happy munching!

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Soup Round Up

It would seem that all I cook lately is soup. The weather screams from soup to be eaten: it is cold, sovaldi sale raining and dreary. Below is a round up of all the soup I have made in the past couple of weeks from the Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day book:

Soup Round Up1. Goulash
2. Yellow Split Pea Soup with Ham
3. Sweet Potato Corn Chowder with Avocado
4. Tomato Bisque
5. White Bean and Ham Soup
6. Pumpkin Gruyere Soup

I highly recommend making either #1,  definitely 4 and 5!

Happy munching!

Pumpkin Gruyere Soup

November 8th’s soup: Pumpkin Gruyere soup.

All soup is starting to look the same to me… and I am going to stop taking photos of them. I am planning on taking a slight hiatus from soups which is perfect since the weather is supposed to warm up this week (11 degree celcius on Thursday!).

Last week I made the pumpkin gruyere soup from my book and I did not like it. To be fair, I added too much pumpkin (Canadian cans are almost twice as big apparently) but then I did adjust the recipe to compensate for this. Pumpkin has such a distinctive taste that I associate with pie that I almost can’t get over it and use it in anything but dessert. The gruyere was supposed to add a smoky, nuttiness to the soup but because of gruyere’s melty quality, the cheese did not fully incorporate into the soup, and instead, made me want to eat fondue.

If you like pumpkin, and pumpkin soup specfically, give this soup a try (the recipe is below cut!). I, however, will be sticking with my squash soups for now.

Happy munching!

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Yellow Split Pea Soup with Ham

February 24th’s soup: Yellow Split Pea Soup with Ham.

Split pea soup looks revolting so I am not going to force you to look at it. I think this is a good recipe but I think we are just not split pea soup people. The texture of split peas is too chalky for me. The only thing I did do differently from the recipe below is I partly pureed the soup, to give it that thicker, typical split pea texture.

Recipe below the cut – happy munching!

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Tomato Bisque

November 21st’s soup: Tomato Bisque.IMG_4903A simple, but delicious soup. I think everyone should take this soup recipe down. It is the best soup as a side for any sandwich or all on its own. It is creamy, perfectly seasoned with basil and has the sweet, acidic quality from the tomatoes.

GC said it is better than the tomato soup at Cheesewerks; I think he is biased. Another soup for the “Make Again” list.

Happy munching!

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White Bean and Ham Soup

November 15th’s soup: White Bean and Ham soup.

IMG_4889This is another thick and hearty soup. I love a soup that can stand on it’s own alone as a meal. This soup was my lunch for an entire week of work.

The soup is salty and fatty from the ham and bacon and is overloaded with protein from the two types of pork and the beans. This soup was better after the first day. I didn’t add extra salt since there are so many salty ingredients in this soup. Because of this, the soup wasn’t well seasoned on the first day but afterwards, as the meat had time to infuse the broth, and it was the perfect amount of salt. We both loved this soup and it is being added to the “Make Again” list.

The recipe calls for corn bread croutons which I didn’t make since I am not the biggest fan of cornbread (sacriledge I know) but I have left the instructions for them in the recipe.

Recipe is below the cut! Happy munching!

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Goulash

November 19th’s soup: Goulash

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IMG_4861 This is hearty, and warm soup with a hint of spice that warms my Eastern-European soul. The meat is tender and falls apart. The vegetables retain a bit of crunch, but are still delicate enough to be sliced with a spoon. The best part of this soup is how the longer it sits, the more intense and combined the flavours become. The meat becomes more and more infused with flavours and the whole soup becomes so much more cohesive, the flavours becoming more combined but still distinct.

This soup is simple but intense, filling and full of flavour. Recipe is below the cut!

Happy munching!

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