New Winter Cook-ups

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It’s spring here now and everything is all very beautiful and green outdoors. But while the fruit trees just outside my kitchen window are bursting with the beginnings of peaches, plums and apricots, here in the high country of New South Wales it’s still rather coolish and warming foods are very much, part of our daily tucker. So before it starts really hotting up I thought I would sneak in a quick winter recipes post.

Fruit Trees - Sunday Musings

Two things are important in my kitchen ~ whatever I cook has to be easy and I don’t like cooking the same thing over and over. To that end, it was time to find some new recipes for Hubby. He loves soup, especially the blended kind, but cooking the same old, same old all winter long ~ even though he loves it ~ was starting to drive me to distraction. I mean, how many bowls of pumpkin or potato and leek soup can one have and still be in raptures over how delicious it is. Certainly not me! So it was time to add to the old favourites.

Even though I’m not overly keen on blended soups myself, I have to like whatever I cook. And they also have to be good enough to whip out of the freezer and serve up to guests at a moment’s notice if necessary. So, with all of that in mind I created these beauties, and they are all delicious. As with everything I cook, I start out with a recipe and then tailor it to my taste. So here they are ~ my versions of four new winter soups.

Beetroot Soup
Beetroot Soup - Sunday Musings

This is a delicious soup, and would go very well served with blinis and cream cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 40g of butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 potato, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ litre vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup water
  • 500g canned beetroot drained and chopped ~ I have used both baked beetroot and canned. I prefer the baked version, but hubby prefers the canned, which has more of a tart flavour.
  • 1 dessertspoon of sugar – add to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To Serve:

  • Sour cream or thickened fresh cream
  • Chopped chives

Method:
Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion, carrot and potato, and cook till softened. Add bay leaf, stock and water. Bring to boil and cook till vegetables are tender. Add the chopped beetroot and simmer for a few minutes. Blend after removing the bay leaf, however, if you like a thicker soup, take out about 250mils of the liquid before blending. You can always add it back if you need it.  Serve with cream and chives.

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup - Sunday Musings

This is a very up-market soup ~ a great dinner party starter with a bread roll and crisp white wine.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 large heads of broccoli cut into small pieces
  • 150g soft blue cheese with the skin removed
  • 2 chopped leeks
  • Butter for cooking leeks
  • 2 cups milk
  • Vegetable stock powder

Method:
Cook broccoli in a small amount of water until tender, set aside the liquid for later. You could use frozen broccoli, but I haven’t tried it as I prefer fresh vegetables. Next sauté the leeks in butter and add the milk. Break up the cheese, add it to the pot and heat through till it is fully melted. Don’t allow it to boil. Add vegetable seasoning to taste then, add the cooked broccoli and blend. If required, add back some of the cooking liquid.

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup - Sunday Musings

This soup is good country food. Very hearty and delicious, and goes well with pasties or sausage rolls.

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 2 potatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 shallots or one large onion
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cream for serving if desired

Method:
Preheat oven to 350F or 180C. In a large baking pan, toss cauliflower, potato, garlic and onion in olive oil and roast for 25-35 minutes. Place all baked ingredients into a large pot with the vegetable stock and simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are very tender. Blend, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a swirl of cream and crusty bread.

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Mushroom Soup - Sunday Musings

This one is just too easy and very delicious! Serve with crusty wholemeal bread rolls.

Ingredients:

  • 75grams butter
  • 2 leeks or 2 brown onions halved and coarsely chopped ~ I prefer leeks.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1kg Portobello mushrooms or the large flat variety coarsely chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable stock (4 cups for a thicker soup)
  • 1 cup of thickened cream, plus extra to serve
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ground nutmeg to dust

Method:
Melt half the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add the leek, garlic and thyme and cook, stirring until tender. Add the remaining butter and the mushrooms and cook, stirring for a further 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. Add the stock and bring the mixture to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes, then blend. Add cream and reheat on low. Serve with a swirl of cream and crusty bread.

So enjoy folks! Hubby certainly wolfed them down with a great deal of gusto!

Cheers!

Inara Hawley © 2015

2 thoughts on “New Winter Cook-ups

  1. Hi Inara, Well I’m still debating cleaning and reorganising my cupboards so I cooked mushroom soup instead. Much better fun and one gets to eat the rewards. Another sad day for our world. Keep safe my special friends, we love you both. Susie & John

    >

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