Comfort Cooking Abroad

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Archive for the tag “soup”

Cream of Broccoli and Mushroom Soup

Broccoli and mushroom soup with cheddar.

Broccoli and mushroom soup with cheddar.

This recipe combines my two favorite cream soups and is much healthier than the traditional recipes. I traded half of the milk for whey, which I had leftover from making farmer’s cheese, and still got a rich creamy taste.

Ingredients for 6 servings

2 cups whey

1 small head of broccoli – chopped

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 tbsp flour

2 cups cold milk

salt and pepper to taste

Cheddar cheese for garnish if desired

This recipe is very simple and fast. Pour the whey into the pot of your rice cooker and set it to cook. When the whey begins to boil, add the vegetables. The broccoli needs to cook down until it is very soft. It will take 10 – 15 minutes for the broccoli to become soft and the mushrooms to cook through. * It’s important to keep the top of your rice cooker open while you are boiling liquid in it. If you close the cooker, you risk having the soup boil out of the steam vent and onto the electrical plug.

Cooked broccoli and mushrooms.

Cooked broccoli and mushrooms.

I like to keep the broccoli in bite sized pieces, but some people like to have it mashed into the soup. If you prefer to have the broccoli mashed, it is very easy to do with a potato masher. Just be careful not to splash the hot soup onto your hands.

When the vegetables have cooked, stir the flour into the cold milk. The milk needs to be very cold to mix the flour in without lumps. When all the flour has been absorbed, stir the mixture into the soup along with the salt and pepper. It should thicken quite quickly leaving you with a creamy soup. Now just pour it into bowls and top with cheese if desired.

Baked Potato Soup

ImageBaked potato soup is one of my favorites. It’s warm, hearty, very easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. In fact, there are only four ingredients in the basic recipe, all of which are pretty easy to find.

Ingredients for 4 servings

4 medium potatoes (russets or white potatoes have the best texture for soup)

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup milk

1 cup shredded cheese

Chives, green onions or scallions (optional)

Salt and pepper (optional)

Sour cream (optional)

Bacon (optional) 

As you can see there are a lot of optional ingredients. Adding all of the extras, as you see in the photo above, will give you a loaded baked potato soup. The basic recipe is great for vegetarians.

Start by peeling the potatoes then dice them finely. It’s important to cut them rather small to help them cook quickly and make mashing them easier. Pour the vegetable stock into the pot of your rice cooker and set the heat level to cook. Remember that you should leave the lid off when boiling in a rice cooker so that liquid doesn’t froth over the sides and spill into your electrical connection. Keep an eye on your stock and carefully add the diced potatoes as soon as it starts to boil.

Keep the temperature set on high and check the potatoes for doneness periodically. The best way to check is with a fork. Stab through one of the large pieces and lift it out of the stock. If it’s easy to get the fork into the potato, but the piece stays on the fork when you life it up, it isn’t done yet. If the potato falls of the fork when you lift it, you’re ready to start mashing.

Image

Turn the heat to warm and, being very careful not to slosh stock all over your kitchen, begin mashing the potatoes. The best way to do this without making a mess is to use a slight scooping action. Press straight down and then pull the masher towards you while lifting just a little. The potato pieces will get moved around enough to mash them evenly, but not so much that boiling stock splashes you in the face. You’re finished mashing when you reach the texture you like. Some people prefer chunks of potato in their soup, but I like it creamy.

Either way, when you’ve mashed the potatoes to your liking, add the milk and cheese. Leave the rice cooker on warm and stir the soup to incorporate. If you turn the heat up, you risk scalding the milk and that is not delicious. Once all the cheese has melted, which should only take a few minutes, you can add salt and pepper if you like. The other additions are best done in the bowl just before serving.

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