Like most this time of the year we don’t get out much. Aside from the usual school and grocery runs… we are typically hibernating in our cozy little cottage binging out on Disney movies and 50 million grilled cheeses… because well… parent goals… thats why. So as long as the cheese, bread, strong coffee, and wine (always the wine) hold out, we are usually good to go till the first smell of spring in the air. I do however get into one heck of a mean soup making mood during this time of winter. I have included some of my favorite homemade soup recipes that I enjoy cooking up for my family.
Cream of Mushroom
Ok, I start off with about 2T of olive oil in the bottom of my dutch oven pot. You want to cook up all the veggies. I start by cooking the onions (I typically alternate between red & sweet vidella onions) until translucent. Then toss in your mushrooms, I prefer baby bella mushrooms for just about everything, but any mushroom you fancy would work fine. Lastly add your garlic to sauté for about a min or two with the veggies. Add fresh parsley and I add a sprinkle of herb de provence to my vegetables. After cooking them down for about 5 min or so, sprinkle in a little bit of flour. About 2 T, whisk the mixture together, and let cook for about another couple of minutes.
Next up I pour about 1/2 of a bottle of good dry white wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan. Add about 1/2 of a box of good vegetable stock. Salt and pepper to taste & let the soup simmer on a medium to low heat for another 5 minutes.
Add a touch of cream, about a cup to desired consistency. Stir that baby up & garnish with some freshly chopped parsley.
Tomato soup with crispy garbanzo beans and parmesan
Chop up some beautiful tomatoes, add a couple of T of extra virgin olive oil and cook those lovelies down.
Salt & pepper to taste, sprinkle a couple of T of flour, and give a sprinkle of Herbs de provence as well (I love me some herbs de provence). However the soup will taste equally as great with the herbs omitted. Whisk mixture together, cook the flour down for about 2 min and then add 1/2 box of good vegetable stock. Stir it up and let simmer for about 10-15 min on med-low heat.
Finally sprinkle in about a handful of freshly grated parmesan and add cream to preferred consistancy.
My favorite way to garnish this soup is with some garbanzo beans that are toasted with creole seasoning, fresh parmesan, and fresh parsley.
Thai Coconut Mushroom Soup
These soups are all my favorites BUT Thai coconut mushroom soup (Tom Kha Gai) is truly a special favorite of mine. There is just something about the combination of the lemon, mushrooms and coconut milk. Indulgent… thats how I would describe how good this soup tastes. The only thing missing from my outline of ingredients up top, would be coconut oil. I start off cooking the mushrooms, garlic, and cilantro in “ol trusty” the dutch oven pot with coconut oil. Then you add about 1/2 box of either veggie or chicken broth. I say chicken broth because this traditional recipe has chicken in it. So sometimes I cook up a pot with chicken and in that case I prefer to use the chicken broth to stay uniform with my flavors.
I add a little addition of siracha (perfectly fine to omit, if spice or siracha isn’t your thing). I figure it’s winter and blustery outside, so why not spice things up a bit?
Fresh Dutch Oven Herbs de Provence Bread
What goes better with a glorious bowl of soup in the winter than a slice of fresh made bread? Heaven. Thats where my main actor, my dutch oven again enters the scene.
First I get my dough together. In a stand mixer I pour about a cup of warm water over 1T of fast rising yeast and 1T of sugar. Wisk by hand until the liquid becomes frothy. Let sit for about 10-15 min.
Turn your mixer on slow speed with the bread hook attachment, add 1 cup of bread flour until dough ball forms (usually around 3-4 cups) Then I add a sprinkle of herbs de provence to the bread, kneed that in and form a ball and place in lightly greased bowl then cover with towel. Let rise for about thirty min. Meanwhile set your oven to 400 degrees with your dutch oven inside, so that the pot heats up as well.
Afterwards place your dough ball in the pot cover it up, and cook for about 30 more min. Then take the top off and continue to cook for another 5-10 min to let the top of the bread to cook.
Homemade Valentine Poptarts
These little beauties were what we made for daddy’s Valentines day surprise. Plus this was a super fun way to get momma’s little bear to participate.
You start with regular pie crust for your poptart dough. Cut out your heart shapes. I recommend having a second layer of dough on top of the first layer. That way when you cut out your shapes, the shape will be uniform and its a quicker way of cutting your shapes doing it 2 at a time. The simplest way of course would be to use cookie cutters. We for some reason had lost our heart cookie cutter so improvised by cutting out by hand.
fill with your favorite jelly and then place your top layer on top of that and crimp the edges together with a fork. place on a greased baking sheet and cook for about 15-20 min at 375 degrees.
Let your tarts cool & in a separate bowl, mix some powder sugar, half & half, vanilla, and food coloring of your choice for the icing & of course colorful sprinkles of your choice!