Spring Onion Soup

Sun streaming through the breakfast room window on my little Spring Onion Soup!

Don’t be sad thinking you can’t have your beloved French Onion Soup just because the winter is over! I’ve skinnied it up for you! This comes in under 200 calories for a full cup and a half serving. So sharpen your pencil and take note of this. I’m playing for keeps good people, and cooking in a lively Spring has Sprung manner.

1/2 stick butter
3 sweet onions, sliced
1 cup dry sherry
6 cups water
6 envelopes of Herb Ox granulated beef bouillon*
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t salt
1/2 t dried thyme
6 slices French bread, toasted on both sides with olive oil, salt, and pepper
6 oz shredded Fontina cheese
Snipped chives for garnish

(This is a duo serving; hence the onions are scarce! Don’t want to mislead anyone.)

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.
Add onions and cook 12 to 15 minutes, or until onions are soft and lightly browned.
Stir in sherry and cook an additional 2 minutes.
Bring water to boil in soup pot.
Add in bouillon and stir to combine.
Add onions to broth pot.
Add Worcestershire, salt, and thyme.
Cover and cook on low 30 minutes.

Preheat broiler.
Ladle soup into 6 ovenproof ramekins.
Top with bread slice.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Broil until cheese melts.
Sprinkle with chives before serving.

*I use sodium free broth whenever I can. Do you know that one serving of canned broth can carry 800+ mg of sodium. SNAP. Who needs that? Am I right!

Topping the soup with toasty French bread slice

And then, the cheese please

Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

the don…It’s supposed to get cold and maybe even snow this weekend. I’ll go to the grocery if you’ll whip up a pot of that yummy chicken rice soup for the grands and me! My happy reply…dealeo! I’m here as the CFO (Chief Female Officer) of Forest Hills just helping to Empower Your Culinary Dreams, while offering a little nod to International Women’s Day.

soup-cream-of-chicken-and-wild-rice

Here’s What You’ll Need:
1 Tbs olive oil
4 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
5 stalks celery, sliced
5 carrots, sliced
1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 bay leaves
1 t chopped dill
1 t celery seed
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup quick cooking wild rice
Breast meat of rotisserie chicken, chopped
Cup fat free sour cream
2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

And Here’s How You Do It:
Heat oil in soup pot.
Add mushrooms, celery, carrots, and onion.
Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add flour, and all other seasonings and stir until incorporated, about a minute.
Add broth, and bring to a boil.
Add rice, and reduce to simmer.
Cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in chicken, sour cream, and parsley.
Cook on medium 5 minutes, stirring half way through time.
Turn heat off, leaving pot on hot eye.
Stir again, and let sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Adapted from Cooking Light.
Serves 6.
380 calories for 2 cup serving.

Chicken Soup with Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings

Soup. Owned.

Everyone knows I could eat soup for every meal. Make this yummy chicken and dumplings (with a twist), and call your best friend. Some things are simply worthy of passing down, and this one will not disappoint! It’s a one bowl wonder; no need for bread on the side – it’s right there in the soup just looking up at you. Licking my lips.soup-chciken-with-herbed-cornmeal-dumplings-iv

Here’s your grocery list:
1/4 cup salted butter, divided
8 medium carrots, thinly sliced
8 stalks celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs all-purpose flour, divided
8 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 t kosher salt
Breast meat of a rotisserie chicken, shredded
1/2 cup coarse plain yellow cornmeal
1 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t lemon salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Tbs chopped flat leaf parsley
2 Tbs chopped fresh thyme

Now, here’s your “how to”:
Melt 2 Tbs of butter in soup pot over medium high heat.
Add carrots, celery, and onion.
Cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about 6 minutes.
Add 2 Tbs of flour.
Stir to combine, and cook 2 minutes.
Add half of broth, bay leaf, and 1/2 t salt.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in remaining broth, and chicken.
Remove pot from heat.

In medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, lemon salt, black pepper, and remaining 1/2 cup flour.
Cut remaining 2 Tbs butter into flour mixture with pastry blender, until it resembles coarse meal.
Add buttermilk, parsley, and thyme.
Stir just until dough is moistened.

soup-chciken-with-herbed-cornmeal-dumplings-iiHeat soup pot over medium heat.
Roll dumplings into 10 to 12 balls.
Drop dumplings 1/2 to 1 inch apart into soup mixture.
Cover and cook until dumplings are done, and dry to touch, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Initially they will appear to be breaking apart.
Leave them alone and they will be just fine.
Serve immediately.
Serves 6.

Next stop, Bangkok! Crossing borders. Taking cooking lessons as we venture to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Um hmm. Coming home with new talents to share. Can’t wait. Bet you can’t either!

Onion and Pasta Soup

End of Summer Bummer? I don’t think so! Pep up sweet people. As we are officially in the final week of Regular Season Baseball, I give you one of my favorite soups, yummy in baseball weather, and on into the fall and winter. Then bring it out again for Spring Training next year! It’s just that and a bit more. To honor Big Papi and his retirement from the Red Sox this year (more on that coming soon!), Liam and I made this with pasta in the shape of a baseball glove. H.E.L.L.O. lunch or dinner for all Four Seasons. Grand Slam!

soup-spring-alphabet-soup-iii

Look at that sneaky pea that jumped out of the bowl and on to the plate!

Here’s what you need!

1/2 stick butter
1 Tbs olive oil
1 sweet onion, sliced
1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced
2 cups frozen peas
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
4 cups water
1 (or more) cups small pasta
1 t kosher salt
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
8 torn basil leaves
Lemon Sour Cream for garnish, optional
Fontina Toast for garnish, optional

And here’s how you do it:

In 4 quart Dutch oven, heat butter and olive oil over medium low heat until butter is melted.
Add sweet onion and cook 15 minutes until translucent, stirring occasionally.
Add leeks.
Cook, covered 10 minutes.
Stir in peas, chicken broth, water, pasta, and salt.
Bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered 5 minutes.
Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and basil.
Serve with Lemon Sour Cream and Fontina Toast.

Lemon Sour Cream:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbs lemon juice
Season with salt and pepper.
Mix all together in small bowl.

Fontina Toast:
Sour dough bread, sliced
6 slices Fontina cheese
Arrange bread slices on baking sheet.
Top with cheese.
Broil 4 inches from heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until cheese is melted.

soup-spring-alphabet-soup-i

Liam sorted the pasta, as we wanted to use only the natural color since there would already be green in the soup with the peas and basil. Sweet little sous chef!

 

Chilled Corn Soup

Happy “After Labor Day”…which means fall IS coming and this heat will finally go away! As an appetizer feature at Peggy’s Mae Lew Farm Jubilee we served this yummy soup shooter! There is pure magic in these details. The rooster reminded us that we were on a farm, albeit, one glorious farm! Go grab some fresh white corn while it’s still available and make this great soup. It’s excellent for a light lunch as well. Use it people!

Soup Chilled Corn Chowder Shooters1 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
2 green onions, white and tender green parts, chopped and separated
3/4 t ground coriander
3/4 t ground cumin
3/4 t chipotle chili powder
3 cups fresh corn kernels (if not available, use frozen white shoepeg corn, thawed)
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water
1/2 t salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish

Heat oil in skillet over medium-low heat.
Cook garlic, white parts of onion, coriander, cumin, and chili powder.
Stir until garlic and onions are tender, about 3 minutes.
Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes.
Transfer mixture to blender.
Add buttermilk, water, and salt.
Purée until smooth.
Chill at least 1 hour.
Serve chilled, garnished with green parts of onion and cilantro.

Makes 6 – 8 lunch serving sized bowls.
Or 20 soup shooters.Soup Chilled Corn Chowder II

A Fantastic Celebrity and Thai Evening!

Peg Brenton CocktailsBrenton and I donned our finest frocks and jewels a few days ago. We were fortunate enough to be guests of Schuyler at the White House Correspondents Cocktail Party, (she’s obviously the most amazing Advertising Sales gal with the Wall Street Journal) . Thank you darling friend for a wonderful evening. It all began with champagne and marvy cheese at Schuyler’s gorgeous condo with a few lucky friends, also attending, due to her graciousness. We walked into the gala on the famed red carpet and were star struck thrilled from the get go, to see so many political and Hollywood celebs.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabulousness and Deliciousness! After we had our fun hobnobbing with the elite we ventured to the newly opened Mango Tree in the striking CityCentreDC. where we ordered a LOT of their offerings to sample. It was all amazingly presented. If you live in the area…get yourself there asap! We had green curry chicken; but I’ll share my red curry chicken recipe, compliments of our chef in Istanbul. We also had their vege spring rolls (the lightest and best ever) and their wonderful  tom kha gai (Thai Chicken Soup). I have attempted this recipe twice since I returned home. I think I have it now…altho not nearly as wonderful as Chef Richard Sandoval’s version…I mean he’s rather great, right?!

Pre Red Chili Sauce

Pre Red Chili Sauce- perfectly fine served like this if you like a mild soup.

Breast meat of 1 roasted chicken, sliced as thinly as possible
2 cans coconut milk
3 cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
12 quarter-size slices fresh ginger
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 Tbs fish sauce
2 1 t sugar
2 t Thai chili paste
1 Tb chili oil
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

With Thai Chili Sauce, stirred into Soup...Spicy!

With Thai Chili Sauce, stirred into Soup…Spicy!

In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, broth, ginger, and lemongrass.
Bring to boil over high heat.
Add lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chili paste, and chicken pieces.
Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
Discard lemongrass.
Garnish servings with basil and cilantro.
Place in bowl.
Drizzle with chili oil.
Garnish with cilantro

250 calories for 1 1/2 cup serving

Bionic Beatrice and Peg…Full Throttle

I know, I KNOW! It’s been a l.o.n.g time. Believe me, I promise, I know! Bionic Beatrice needed a LOT of care to get to this point. But I now believe she has brought me back to a life of (almost) normalcy and activity, AND back to the blog. She’s been hanging out in my body for 11 weeks now, and we are both comfortable in our newly unified bones, and have creatively come to the kitchen together (a quiet whoop whoop is appreciated!). the don, and I eat soup for dinner twelve months out of the year; so Beatrice and I concocted this beautiful option, and now present…

This version includes spinach added at the last minute of cooking; but that is NOT a good idea if you are going to freeze the leftovers...so I have deleted that from the recipe. Also...I had no Parmesan on hand, so there is no garnish...OOPS!

This version includes spinach added at the last minute of cooking; but that is NOT a good idea if you are going to freeze the leftovers…so I have deleted that from the recipe. Also…I had no Parmesan on hand, so there is no garnish…OOPS! ALSO, I served this version over rice…an option.

Tuscan White Bean Soup:

2 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 pound spicy ground sausage
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
6 celery stalks, sliced
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
5 garlic cloves, chopped
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 t kosher salt
1 t fresh ground black pepper
2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbs unsalted tomato paste
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Brown sausage in 1 Tbs olive oil in soup pot.
Drain onto paper towel, and set aside.
Return now empty pot to stove.
Add remaining Tbs olive oil.
Add onion, carrots, and celery.
Cook over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Add broth, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.
Cook over medium high heat 4 minutes.
Remove thyme springs and bay leaf.
Stir in sausage, beans, tomato paste, and lemon juice.
Cook over medium heat 5 minutes.
Serves 8.

Top with shaved cheese after pouring into soup bowls.

Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, March 2015.