Kielbasa Sausage and Potato Soup


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My daughter is a senior and consequently is spending her very last year with us. BOO hoo… As a responsible adult, she has therefore been applying to various colleges over the US, some close and some not so close. In fact a bit further than we would like it to be.. but this is how life goes….

Because of a lack of time, we decided to visit a few colleges during this Christmas break. Well, I know most colleges are empty during this time but it is difficult to get some days off when you have a full time job. Any way, after offering a delicious Christmas dinner to my family on the 25th of December, we quickly cleaned everything, packed our suitcases to drive towards Florida on the 26th at 6:00 am. Though the timing was a bit hectic, we were happy to leave the Carolinas to find the sunny weather and warmth of Florida. Well, after being back I am happy to say that Lisa did not find a colleges that she fell “in love with” just yet, so may be she will not be going too too far. We can dream, right???

Well as we made our return back to the Carolinas yesterday, we also left the warmth of  Florida and found ourselves coming to an even colder state than we had left. It was 23 yesterday when we got home. BRRRR…

After a long drive, sitting more than 15 hours in the car, I was not really in the mood to cook dinner, but i was so cold that a soup really sounded appetizing. Well, after a long week of absence, I can say that little can be found in the fridge, and so i had to do with what I had: Potato and Kielbasa Sausage.

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Ingredients for a large pot of soup for 10 people:

  • 1 onion sliced thinly
  • 1 kielbasa sausage sliced thinly and cut in quarters
  • 8 medium sized potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 4 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  • 1-2 cup of cream
  1. Place the large pot on top of the stove and turn the heat to medium high. Add the butter and melt it.
  2. When the butter is sizzling, add the onions and saute them until they become translucent and golden.photo 1
  3. Add the sausages and saute them as well.
  4. Then add the potato cubes to the onion mixture and saute them as well for a few minutes until they become a bit golden.photo 2
  5. Pour in the broth and bring the mixture to boil. Lower the temperature to medium low and cook for at least 30 minutes or the potatoes are tender. Add salt, pepper and stir well. For a faster option, you may transfer the content of the pot into a large round mold, place the octogonal silpat on top to close it and cook the potatoes for 13 minutes. Then transfer the content back into the pot. Pour the broth over the potatoes, add salt, and pepper and bring it to boil. Lower the temperature and cook for 5 minutes.photo 1
  6. Add the cream and mill the mixture until it is smooth.photo
  7. If  you wish to have a soup free of lumps, you may sieve the soup through a fine sieve. I did not, and still enjoy it very much. Warm and cozy. Yum!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

Transfer the content of the pot into the large round

Cauliflower Cream


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The day before valentine’s I needed to fix dinner and since I had some cauliflower in the fridge I decided to make a cauliflower gratin with bechamel as it is one of my children’s favorite. I had a million of things to do that day so I asked my sweet child to go grocery shopping for me.

To my liking she had bought all I needed ( not like someone else in the house;-), but she had also bought another cauliflower… Two to fix…. That was a bit much…
I guess I could have roasted the cauliflower florets in the oven later on this week but with Valentin’s coming, I decided that a cauliflower cream would be good:-)
And it is easy to make too:-)
Ingredients for about 6-8 servings: 

  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 1 medium white onion , sweet preferably
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1-2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper

 

  1. Cut the cauliflower in small florets.
  2. Place them in the large round mold and place the octogonal silpat.
  3. Cook for 6/8 minutes. It needs to be tender.
  4. Meanwhile warm up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot and when the oil  is warm add the chopped onion.
  5. Stir and cook until it sweats. Then add the cooked cauliflower and cook it also for a few minutes. photo
  6. Add the warm broth, salt, pepper and stir.
  7. Bring the mixture to boil, then lower to low and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Purée the soup, add the cream and warm it up. Add salt if needed.
  9. Fill up individual bowls and sprinkle celeri seed, or salt on top for added flavor. photo

Bon appetit and happy cooking!!!

Carrot and Leek Soup


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I easily get cold. In the winter, it is even worse. I am a total ice-cube. You can ask my husband, he would confirm;-). Well, even though my classroom is the warmest in the school ( it must be because my students always say, it is warm in here, Madame Wagner), I am still cold and wear a vest all day long. So I will tell you that in the winter a nice warm soup for lunch is always welcome, because it warms me up from inside out.

I had lots of carrots that needed attention so I decided that a leek and carrot soup would be awesome. I still have great memories of my mom’s;-). I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I am ….

Ingredients for 4:

  • 1 lb of carrots
  • 2 medium-sized leeks
  • 4 cups of vegetables or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • celeri salt.
  1. Cut the green end of each leek but leaving the tender  green part of the leek ( about 1/2 inch from the white part).
  2. Cut the leeks in half and run water over them while spreading the layers of the leeks to clean up any dirt, or sand.
  3. With a paper towel, dry the leeks. Then place them on a cutting board and cut very thinly.photo
  4. Place a medium-sized pot on medium-high temperature and melt the butter.
  5. When the butter is sizzling, add the leeks and saute them for a few minutes until they become translucent and golden.
  6. Add the carrots and saute them as well for a few minutes.photo
  7. Add the warm broth to it and bring to boil.
  8. When the soup is boiling, reduce the heat down to low and cook for about 30 minutes or until the carrots are getting really soft.
  9. Puree the soup with an immersion blender.
  10. While the soup is cooking, whip the cream in a kitchen mixer and add some celeri salt to season it to your taste.
  11. Serve the soup in individual bowls, add a dollop of whipped cream. Decorate with some carrots matches, et voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Butternut Squash, Coconut Milk and Wasabi Soup


What did you guys eat this evening? left-over turkey, and left-over food from Thanksgiving? I was not that lucky to have left-overs as I did not host Thanksgiving, and all I brought was eaten.

Then on the other hand, I am glad that I did not have any as I was wanting something more light for my fare. Soup was going to be it for me. The rest of my crowd, was on their own ( do not feel sorry for them-they had plenty of wonderful cold cuts and French cheese to make great sandwiched with…)

I had a small butternut squash in my fridge, and a few other things and since butternut squash soup is definitly one of my favorite soups, there was no hesitation as what my dinner was going to be. So while everyone was busy fixing their sandwiches, I came up with this recipe:

Ingredients for 4-6 people:

  • 1 small butternut squash peeled, and cut in cubes
  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and cut in cubes also
  • 1 red onion thinly chopped
  • 3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 can of light coconut milk
  • 1-2 tbsp of wasabi paste

Place the cubed butternut squash, and sweet potato in the large round mold. Cover the round mold with the octogonal silpat and cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile in a medium-sized pot, warm up 2 tbsp of olive oil. When the olive oil is warm, add the chopped red onion and saute it. Stir and cook the onion on medium-high for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is a golden brown and is soft. Add the steamed vegetables and saute them as well. Warm up the broth and pour it over the vegetables. Bring this mixture to boil and when it has come to boil, lower the temperature to medium. Cook the soup for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. With an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add the coconut milk and the wasabi and stir well. I added 2 tbsp of wasabi paste, but you may want to use less.

This soup was such a treat. I loved it, i hope that you will like it as well.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

2. I

Sweet Potatoes, Apple and Cayenne Pepper Soup


I am a cold nature. I easily get cold, and when I do, it takes me for ever to regain my warmth. I have to put several layers, and socks over socks. I am the laughing stock of my family when i do… What is so strange is that it does not even have to be really cold outside for me to be cold so I have to have several sweaters on hand just in case. My husband makes fun of me because he says that i would never survive living back in France as their winter are usually more frigid than here…I really can’t disagree though I would probably readjust.

When you are cold, there is nothing more recomforting than drinking a warm soup at any time of the day. With the cool temperature coming up, soup is great for lunch or even for appetizers before dinner.

Last week I felt like eating a pumpkin and apple soup, but since I did not have any pumpkin on hands, I subsituted pumpkin with sweet potato. I really loved it. It is a bit different, but it was a nice change to the pumpkin or butternut squash soup that I often make in the fall.

Ingredients for 4-6:

  • 1 sweet potato peeled, sliced thinly
  • 2 gala apples peeled and sliced thinly as well
  • muscovado brown sugar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups of broth ( chicken, or vegetable)
  • 2 cups of fat free milk or any other milk (you can even subsitute with almond milk)

Turn the oven to 450. Place a large silpat on  a large perforated sheet and set aside. Place all the sliced vegetables and fruit and large bowl and drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil over them. With a spatula mix well so that the vegetables will be well coated with the olive oil. Spread the vegetables/ fruits over the silpat. Sprinkle some turbinado brown sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper over the vegetables/ fruits and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked and are a bit roasted.

Empty them into a large pot,  add 6 cups of vegetable stock and cook for 15 minutes to 30 minutes. With an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add 2 cups of milk ( skim, whole, almond…whichever), stir and enjoy!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Carrot and GInger Soup


I was not feeling very well today. There has been so much going on at school, and so much viruses and “bugs” that it must have caught up with me today. I was a bit croaggy, but was hungry so I decided to make soup. Any soup would have probably done its trick. Soups make you feel better somehow. Well, I wanted to get rid of my carrots, and thought to use ginger as it usually heal any stomach ache. So here it is:

Ingredients for 4 individual bowls.

  • 1 bag of carrots of 1lb.
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger grated
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 sweet onion sliced and diced thinly
  • salt/ pepper to taste
  • parsley or chives for decoration

Peel and cut the carrots, and place them in the round mold. Place the octogonal silpat on top of the round mold, and place the mold in the microwave. Cook the carrots for 6 minutes. In a medium saucepan, warm up the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the diced onions and cook at medium temperature until the onions are becoming translucent and golden. Add the grated ginger and cook for a minute or two. Then add the carrots to the onions and saute them for a few minutes. Add the warm broth, and bring to boil. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper, stir and bring the mixture to boil. When the soup has come to boil, reduce the temperature to low and cook for 3o minutes. Puree the soup.

At this point, you can do a few things. If you want to impress your guests, then drain your soup through a fine sieve to get rid of the large pieces.

You may also eat the soup ” au naturel”, but you may also add 1/2-1 cup of heavy cream to make the soup smoother.

Laddle the soup into individual bowls and add a sprig of chives for decoration. C’est tout!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

A Basic: French Onion Soup


I love fall, but I hate the dull days that sometimes it brings. A week ago, the day was so gloomy that, had I not been working, I would have probably spent my day on the couch watching tv and being comfortable. Well at dinner time, I did not feel any better. I wanted good comfort food. So I made French Onion Soup.

Today I will share with you my husband’s favorite: French Onion Soup

There are millions of recipes out there, but this one I learned  from my mom, and I love it because it is a bit sweet.

Ingredients for 4:

  • 3 purple onions sliced very thin
  • 4-5 cup of broth ( beef broth ( homemade or in a can)
  • 2 tbsp of  sugar
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 2/3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Stale bread, or country style bread
  • 1 cup or more of grated Emmenthal or Swiss cheese 

In a large pot, warm up the olive oil, and when the oil is warm, add the onions. Stir and stir until the onions are becoming a brownish color and are tender. It will take at least 10 minutes to get the onions caramelized.

When the onions are a nice brown color, add the sugar and cook for a few minutes on a medium-low temperature. Then add the warm broth, the wine, the fresh thyme, and the laurel leaf. Stir and bring the mixture to boil. When the soup has come to boil, lower the temperature and cook the soup for at least 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

While the soup is cooking, cut thin pieces of bread, place them on a silpat and toast them in the oven at 400 for 5 minutes. Laddle the soup in individual bowls.

Place a toasted bread in each bowl on top of the soup. Add 1/4 cup of cheese over the bread. Place the bowl back into the oven and cook for a few minutes ( 5-7) or until the cheese is melted and is becoming crispy.

I am usually not fond of onion soup, because it is so hard on my stomach, but this soup tastes so good and so sweet that it is difficult not to be tempted. In fact i could not help but having a cup and it was un vrai delice;-) It warmed my heart and my soul. What good end  to my day;-)

Bon Appetit and happy Cooking!!!