Soup and sandwich

We actually haven’t had dinner yet.  Keith is still at tennis.  But it will be ready for eating as soon as he gets home.  I made the cauliflower soup that everyone loves and I have a leftover chicken breast for sandwiches.  That will give me time to make a batch of The Barefoot Contessa’s Tri-berry muffins with fresh berries from the produce stand.

Cauliflower soup

  • 4 TB butter
  • 4 leeks, well cleaned and white and light green parts chopped
  • 2 heads cauliflower, trimmed to florets (If you can find orange cauliflower it makes the soup a pretty color.)
  • 8 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I use more because Keith and Samantha both like things spicy.)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 2 – 3 oz Prosciutto thinly sliced

Melt butter in a heavy pot and saute leeks stirring until soft (about 5 minutes).  Add cauliflower, chicken stock and pepper.   Bring to a boil, stirring and then lower heat and cover pot and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Vegetables should be tender.

Puree in batches in a blender or food processor and then return to pan.   Stir in 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and creme fraiche.  Serve as is or with crispy Prosciutto strips.

 

It’s all about the apps!

Tonight is the Super Bowl.  Sadly, the Ravens are not in the big game so for those of us in Baltimore, it isn’t quite as thrilling.  It’s still fun to enjoy some good food and watch the game (and the commercials).  We debated about what to have.  Keith makes an excellent (in fact, an award-winning) chili.  We love the cream of Maryland crab soup and jambalaya.  The challenge is that we love guacamole and nachos and by the time you eat that, you aren’t really up for eating a lot of chili.  So we decided to focus on appetizers and serve cauliflower soup along with them.  So here is our Super Bowl menu.

Guacamole

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1 TB lime juice
  • 1 TB sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 TB salsa
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • cilantro (optional)

Mash avocados, add remaining ingredients and mash until well combined.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.  This is one of the few recipes I make where I don’t skimp on salt.  Salt and the chili powder are the two “magic” ingredients that you should consider adding.  Let sit in a bowl with the avocado pits in the guacamole until ready to serve.  (That keeps it from turning brown.)

Nachos

  • chips
  • shredded pepper jack cheese
  • pickled jalapenos

Spread chips on a baking sheet and top with cheese.  (If someone in your house isn’t wild about super spicy, be kind and don’t top all of the chips with pickled jalapenos!)  Heat until cheese is melted and serve with guacamole, salsa and sour cream.

Roasted shrimp cocktail

If you have always steamed your shrimp, consider switching to roasting.  If you’re like me, you won’t turn back.  Simply peel and devein shrimp and toss with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast at 425 for about 10 minutes (that is for extra large shrimp, if using smaller shrimp they will take less time.)  Serve with cocktail sauce.

Cauliflower soup

  • 4 TB butter
  • 4 leeks, well cleaned and white and light green parts chopped
  • 2 heads cauliflower, trimmed to florets (Last time I used purple cauliflower but the soup ended up being sort of gray.  If the Ravens were playing I would have used purple but today, I opted for orange.)
  • 8 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 2 – 3 oz Prosciutto thinly sliced

Melt butter in a heavy pot and saute leeks stirring until soft (about 5 minutes).  Add cauliflower, chicken stock and pepper.   Bring to a boil, stirring and then lower heat and cover pot and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Vegetables should be tender.

Puree in batches in a blender or food processor and then return to pan.   Stir in 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and creme fraiche.

When ready to serve, cut Prosciutto into strips.  Saute in about 2 tsp of olive oil in a nonstick pan until crisp.  Serve soup with a few pieces of the crispy Prosciutto and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese in each soup bowl and ladle hot soup over top.

The soup is currently bubbling on the stove, I’ll make the guacamole in a little bit and roast the shrimp shortly before game time.  I pulled some brownies from the freezer and I can relax and see how I do in the football pool!  Enjoy rooting for your team!

Purple soup

Samantha and I went to the mall last night.  I hate the mall but had a few Christmas items that required a trip.  When we got home I made the chicken pizza.  I was tired but pushed through to make the soup for tonight’s dinner.  Although it was challenging, I was glad to get home from work tonight with the soup ready to heat.  The only thing I needed to do was crisp the proscuitto.

Cauliflower soup

  • 4 TB butter
  • 4 leeks, well cleaned and white and light green parts chopped
  • 2 heads cauliflower, trimmed to florets (I used one white and one purple which made the soup a pretty color.  I think next time I’ll use one white and one orange.)
  • 8 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 2 – 3 oz Prosciutto thinly sliced

Melt butter in a heavy pot and saute leeks stirring until soft (about 5 minutes).  Add cauliflower, chicken stock and pepper.   Bring to a boil, stirring and then lower heat and cover pot and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Vegetables should be tender.

Puree in batches in a blender or food processor and then return to pan.   Stir in 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and creme fraiche.

When ready to serve, cut Prosciutto into strips.  Saute in about 2 tsp of olive oil in a nonstick pan until crisp.  Serve soup with a few pieces of the crispy Prosciutto and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese in each soup bowl and ladle hot soup over top.

soup

We each had a roll with our soup.

Cauliflower soup

On Sunday we had Thai carryout with Christie.  She had made cauliflower soup and sent us home with some.  We had that for dinner tonight so I told Christie she was guest blogger for tonight!  Here is her recipe:

Cauliflower soup

  • 1 Tbsp. olive or coconut oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
  • dash of ground black pepper
  • sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth or chicken stock
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, roughly chopped to the same size
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (light or regular)
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • fresh dill (for garnish – optional)

In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-low. Add onions and all seasonings except for garlic, and saute, stirring occasionally until the onions become translucent, about 10 minutes. Then, add the garlic and saute another few minutes.

Add broth and cauliflower and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for about 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.

Remove from heat and transfer carefully to a blender. Blend on high (allowing steam to vent) for a few minutes, until silky and smooth.

Transfer back to the soup pot and stir in the coconut milk and vinegar. Bring back to heat over low, ensuring it doesn’t boil.

Something old and something new

Tonight we had the shrimp and sausage pizzas.  It is one of Keith’s favorites and I have blogged it many times before.  Rather than repeating it (you can search blog if you haven’t seen it before), I’ll share my new find.  Last week I made cauliflower soup and we have been enjoying it ever since (we had it with quiche last night).  I remember my parents having cauliflower when I was a kid and I thought it was gross and smelled awful.  I have become a convert and love it roasted.  I saw a recipe for cauliflower soup and thought with a few tweaks, we would enjoy it.  Here is what I did:

Cauliflower soup

  • 4 TB butter
  • 4 leeks, well cleaned and white and light green parts chopped
  • 2 heads cauliflower, trimmed to florets (I used one white and one purple which made the soup a pretty color)
  • 8 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • Smithfield or country ham, thinly sliced

Melt butter in a heavy pot and saute leeks stirring until soft (about 5 minutes).  Add cauliflower, chicken stock and pepper.   Bring to a boil, stirring and then lower heat and cover pot and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Vegetables should be tender.

Puree in batches in a blender or food processor and then return to pan.   Stir in 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and creme fraiche.

When ready to serve, put a few pieces of ham and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese in each soup bowl and ladle hot soup over top.

Delicious!  NOTE: Since you are adding ham and Parmesan cheese, this does not need salt.  If you wanted to leave off ham you should test soup for seasoning and salt as desired.

We had this one night last week with open-faced steak sandwiches to use up the last of the steak from having dinner with Keith’s dad and then on Sunday afternoon I made my classic herb quiche and we had soup and quiche last night.  There is a little bit left and we’ll enjoy that and add to my list of things to make again!