French Onion Soup

Easy French Onion Soup

So simple, so rich, so delicious. There is something incredibly humbling about a French Onion Soup. Originating as a hearty soup for Paris market workers to warm themselves up on cold mornings, French Onion Soup is now considered one of the worlds classic soup dishes and has the ability to turn an ordinary meal into something deeply extravagant and sensual.

My tip is to make sure you caramelise your onions so they’re really rich, sweet, tender and impart that lovely deep brown colour that the dish is known for.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of Abe’s Bagels – Roasted Garlic Bagel Crisps
  • 1L of beef stock – change to vegetable stock for a vegetarian/vegan option
  • 1kg of brown onions – halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic – halved, lengthways and finely sliced
  • 1 tbs of butter
  • 1 tbs of olive oil
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 tsp of dried rosemary
  • 40g of grated parmesan
  • Fresh thyme leaves, to serve

Method

  1. Heat oil and butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes, or until onion is well browned and softened.
  2. Add stock, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, bay leaves and rosemary. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme stalks and bay leaves.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat grill and arrange half a packet of Abe’s Bagels – Roasted Garlic Bagel Crisps on a large baking tray. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and Grill for 1 minute or until cheese is golden and melted.
  4. Arrange remaining Abe’s Bagels – Roasted Garlic Bagel Crisps in the bottom of soup bowls, ladle soup into bowls over the crisps. Top with parmesan grilled Abe’s Bagels – Roasted Garlic Bagel Crisps, scatter with fresh thyme leaves and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Easy French Onion Soup

Pea and Avocado Gazpacho

Pea and Avocado Gazpacho

This is honestly one of the easiest dishes I have ever made – measure, blend and top. It is delicious, in fact I surprised myself with how good it tasted, and it can be ready in a flash. The vibrant green of the gazpacho against the red of the prawns gives this dish instant visual appeal which means it’s a sure thing for summer get together’s, parties or Christmas do’s.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of McCain Frozen Peas – thawed
  • 3 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 ripe avocado – mashed
  • 2 tbs of lemon juice
  • ½ cup of thickened cream
  • 500g cooked peeled prawns
  • 1 red chilli – halved, seeds removed and finely sliced
  • ½ cup of pea shoots
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ cup of McCain Frozen Peas – thawed, to serve
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
  • Oil olive – to serve, if desired.

Pea and Avocado Gazpacho Progress

Method

  1. Place McCain Frozen peas, garlic, vegetable stock, avocado and lemon juice in a large bowl and add in batches to a blender blitzing until smooth.
  2. Stir through the thickened cream and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the prawns, chilli, lime and pea shoots in a small bowl and toss to coat.
  4. Divide the gazpacho evenly among bowls, top with prawn mix, scatter with remaining McCain Frozen Peas and drizzle with olive oil, if desired.  Serve.

Pea and Avocado Gazpacho

Vegan Broccoli, Mushroom and Tofu Soup

Okay, so I am sure the word vegan has thrown you off and you probably think this recipe will be tasteless and leave you hungry, but you would be wrong! This soup is a wonderful set and forget meal that is hearty and will fill you and the family to the brim. It’s packed full of goodness and is a great winter warmer.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 10 mushrooms
  • 200g silken tofu
  • 1 x 2 person serve of 90 second brown rice
  • 1L of vegetable stock or chicken stock but obviously it won’t be vegan if you use the chicken stock
  • 1 large brown onion – diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic – minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat 1 tbs of oil in a heavy bottomed casserole dish – I used my La Chasseur cast iron pot.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and fry until fragrant and translucent.
  3. Break the florets from the head of broccoli, chop the stalk, quarter the mushrooms and add to pan.
  4. Cover with stock, bring to the boil, reduce to simmer and cover for 40 minutes.
  5. Cook the brown rice according to packet instructions, add along with the tofu.
  6. Use your spoon to break up the tofu and a stick blender to blend.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve!

I also cracked black pepper over the top when it was served so it didn’t look as much like a brown/green blob – just a thought.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato, Carrot, Leek and Pumpkin Soup

photo

With the morning hovering below zero in Young it has been hard to drag myself out of bed of a morning and when I manage to I am normally greeted by my over enthusiastic dog, coffee and peanut butter toast. While going through the usual morning procrastination about get out of my dressing gown, brushing my hair and plying my face with make-up the other morning. I decided it was simply imperative that I make a soup to greet me when I came home for lunch; and, boy am I glad I did.

Arriving home, the smell of delicious soup filled the air. I hurried over to my slow cooker, lifted the lid and knew I was in some kind of soup heaven. So, in summary I suggest that you make this soup for lunch or dinner. You can have everything in the slow cooker and ready to go in under five minutes – yes, I know, it’s crazy quick to prepare. And, if you leave it long enough everything will have collapsed so much that you don’t even need to blend it.

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato or yam for our friends from the U S of A
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 leek, white part only
  • 1 cup of dried yellow split peas, rinsed
  • 1/2 a butternut pumpkin – I use butternuts as I find them to have a creamier more subtle flavour but feel free to use whichever variety you have on hand.
  • 2L chicken or vegetable stock – if you use the vegetable you’ll have a lovely vegan soup
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 tsp of mixed dried italian herbs
  • 2 tsp of dried ground oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Peel the pumpkin and sweet potato.
  2. Cut all vegetables and split peas into chunks and place in slow cooker.
  3. Add all spices and stock.
  4. Place slow cooker on HIGH if you would like the soup ready in around 3-4 hours or on LOW if you would like it ready in 5-6 hours or more.
  5. Cover and let cook!
  6. Uncover – remove rosemary stalks and bay leaves. Taste and add any additional seasoning needed.
  7. If you would like the soup to be free of chunks use a stick blender or blender to blend until smooth in batches.
  8. Serve in a bowl as is or with sour cream.

Tip: if you’d like to give this soup a twist add in a tin of Coconut Milk at the end, stir through and top with coriander leaves.

Enjoy!

Mulligatawny

Mulligatawny is an Anglo-Indian soup which translates literally from Tamil “Mulligatawny” or “Milagu thanni” to “pepper water”; With “Millagu” meaning pepper and “thanni” meaning water.

This is a rich and delicious soup, full of flavour and the sweetness of the apple is a divine.

Interesting, Dr. Seuss used the term to refer to a fanciful creature in his book If I Ran the Zoo. The young wannabe zookeeper says, “I’ll capture them wild and I’ll capture them scrawny, I’ll capture a scraggle-foot mulligatawny”.

Ingredients

  • 1 brown onion – diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs curry powder – I used Clive of India
  • 1L chicken stock – bought or homemade if you have the time. I recommend Campbells
  • 360g chicken thighs – trimmed and halved
  • 1 granny smith apple peeled and finely grated
  • 2/3 of a cup of red lentils OR a two person serve of 90 second microwave brown rice
  • 270ml can of lite coconut milk or coconut evaporated milk
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • Fresh coriander leaves and cracked black pepper to serve
  • Optional: naan or pappadums to serve

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over a medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened and slightly translucent.
  3. Add curry powder and cook until fragrant. This will take around 30 seconds. The point of doing this is to release the flavours from the spices as they toast. Many are activated by heat and not toasting them will result in a dull flavour.
  4. Add the chicken and turn to coat and brown.
  5. Add the stock, bring to the boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken, place in a bowl and shred using a fork.
  7. Return the chicken to the pot and add the apple, lentils/rice and coconut milk.
  8. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
  9. Add the lemon juice, ladle into bowls and top with coriander leaves and freshly cracked black pepper.

Enjoy!

Thai Chicken Meatball Soup

Thai Chicken Meatball Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thigh fillets, trimmed of gunk 
  • 1 brown onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tbs of curry paste – you can buy it or make your own it really depends on how time you have
  • 1 tps salt
  • breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 300g snow peas
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 2L chicken stock – again, you can buy it or make your own it really depends on how time you have
  • olive oil
  • sesame oil
  • fish sauce
  • soy sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • brown sugar
  • 1 lime
  • tamarind paste

Method

  1. Add chicken thighs, 4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped, brown onion roughly chopped, curry paste, 2 eggs, the stalks of the fresh coriander, 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, 1 tsp salt and approximately 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs to a food processor. Blitz until will combined, but not complete mush. You may need to add more breadcrumbs to the mix depending on the consistency of the mixture – you could like it to feel like mince meat by the end.
  2. Roll into small balls, I made mine approx 2-3 cm wide so they could be eaten whole.
  3. Precook the balls, now you can do this a few ways but I would recommend either popping them in the oven as I did – oven at 180C, place them on baking paper with a light spray of oil and cook until golden, turning mid way through. Or, you can cook them in a pan – make sure the pan is on a medium to high heat and that the pan is well oiled and wiped clean between batches so it doesn’t smoke.
  4. Now, for the broth. If you have the time make a chicken stock it is worth it, if you don’t pay the little extra for something good, not full or numbers and made using actual chicken. Heat a splash of olive oil and sesame oil in a pot, add the remaining 2 cloves of garlic crushed and stir until it starts to sizzle, add the stock, using a cooking spoon as a meausre, you know the big kind you stir stuff with when you cook, add one cooking spoon of soy sauce, oyster sauce, 1/2 spoon of fish sauce, 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes, 2 tsp of brown sugar, 1/2 tsp tamarind paste and the juice of half a lime and allow to simmer.
  5. Add the meatballs, they should still be warm from the precooking, and whole snow-peas topped and tailed and the red capsicum cut into long strips.
  6. Taste the broth and adjust the flavours as needed, the precise measurements will vary every time depending on the flavour of your stock. Allow to simmer until the broth and meatballs are hot and the veggies are cooked to your desired tenderness, I like them quite crunchy so this is only about 2-3 minutes for me.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with fresh coriander and serve with lime wedges.

Note: I realise the Thai don’t actually use chopsticks I just like to eat the chunky bits with them and sip the broth from the bowl.

Enjoy!