The Foodie Blogroll

Get Ready For Those Cold Days with Some Warm Soup

The past few days Mother Nature has decided to grace us Torontonians with some beautiful snowflakes. With that comes colder weather. Cold weather screams for soup, hot, flavourful, delicious, soothing, comforting soup. One of my favourite soups has long been French onion soup. Since I’ve been intrigued with trying some of Julia Child’s recipes I thought that French onion soup was surely one recipe needed to be tried. I made everything exactly as stated, the only thing I changed is that I used vegetable stock instead of beef.

How was this soup? Insanely flavourful. If I hadn’t of had Jordan there to help me though it probably would have been really bland. Why do I say this? We started cooking this at about 6:40 pm, and seeing there were multiple steps and needed at least an hour and a half to cook by the halfway point I felt like I could eat a house. Usually I eat dinner between 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm so starting dinner at 6:40 pm was very late for me. I wanted to take the onions off the stove and Jordan was so funny, “Sam! Look at the picture, they are brown, yours are not”. I said fine. Then when the time came to simmer the brother, I wanted to take it off at about twenty minutes. “Sam, this does not taste that great, wait, and it will taste so much better!” We waited, and hot dang was it ever good.

This soup was so darn good. There was no molasses in this recipe, which I was quite shocked about. I’ve only made French onion with molasses so I was a little skeptical at first. Butter and olive oil just added a whole level of flavour, you know how the French are though!

This really was good. We made the soup according to the numbers and the recipe is supposed to yield four servings. Between both Jordan and I, it was gone. It was so freakin’ delicious.

The crusty bread I used was a recipe that I got from (never home)maker as you will see below. The soup was brought to an even higher level with this bread. I mean, I’ve had French onion soup with good crusty bread before, but the garlic and caraway seeds in the bread added such a beautiful flavour to the soup.

I loved this bread. I loved that I could make it in my Dutch oven. I wanted so many times while waiting for this bread to rise to just put it in my oven and cook, but I restrained myself and waited the many hours it asked for. It was worth it. Unfortunately due to the complex carbs and the weight from the multi-grain bread it didn’t rise as high as it would if it had of been simply white bread flour. Regardless, it did rise a bit, and it was so so so good, and it really was the perfect consistency of bread for the soup! This is the first time I’ve used caraway seeds, and boy what a punch it adds to the bread, it brings it to an all new level with almost a licorice type flavour to it. I loved it.

This bread really was fun to make, and I will certainly try it again with white bread flour to see the bread raise to its full potential. It was so darn simple and the results were marvelous. These two combinations: the delicious bread + Julia’s beautiful soup = in one delicious unique flavourful soup!

I will certainly be using Julia’s French onion soup recipe as my go-to from now on.

Crusty Garlic-Tuscan Herb Loaf

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached white bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups multi-grain bread flour
  • 2 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast
  • 1 cup cool (55 to 65 degrees) water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or herb variety
  • Cornmeal or additional flour for dusting

Directions:

In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, salt, garlic powder, and yeast. Make an impression in the middle of the dry ingredients, almost like a little bowl. Pour the water and olive oil into the impression you just made. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, adding a bit more water if necessary.

Cover the bowl with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 18 to 24 hours.

When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Using lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper or spatula, lift the edges of the dough in toward the center. Tuck the edges of the dough under to make it round. Dust a cookie sheet with cornmeal. Gently place the dough on the cookie sheet, seam side down. Dust the top lightly with cornmeal. Place another lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap over the loaf-in-progress. Then let rest in a warm, draft-free spot for just about 2 hours.

Position one of your oven racks so that your dutch oven will be centered in the oven, and preheat it to 475 degrees F.

Place a covered 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 quart cast-iron dutch oven in the center of the rack. Let fully preheat. Carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Gently invert the dough into the pot, seam side up. Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking until the loaf is a deep chestnut color -- but not burned -- 15 to 30 minutes. Use a heatproof spatula to carefully lift the loaf out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly before slicing.

French Onion Soup a la Julia Child

Recipe taken from here

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 lbs. or about 5 cups of thinly sliced Vidalia onions
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of sugar (helps the onions to brown)
  • 3 tbsp of all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Slices of French Bread
  • 1/2 cup of Gruyere, grated
Directions:

Cook the onions slowly with the butter and oil in the covered saucepan for 15 minutes.

Uncover, raise heat to moderate, and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook for 30-40 minutes stirring frequently, until the onions have turned an even, deep, golden brown.

Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 3 minutes.

Off the heat, blend in the boiling liquid. Add the wine. Simmer partially covered for 30-40 minutes or more, skimming occasionally. Correct seasoning.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Pour into soup cups. Top with a slice of crusty bread and a handful of grated Gruyere cheese. Place soup on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melty and brown.

Coconut Soup

Recipe adapted from here

The next soup I made was for an incredibly flavourful and oh so easy soup. This soup was full of exotic flavours with a nice spice from the coriander and ginger, plus a zing of spice from the chili peppers. I decided to add edamame instead of the peas and felt as though this really was an authentic Thai soup. I loved it. It really was simple to make and the result was one heck of a delicious dinner bowl. I loved it. This was perfect for a cold evening’s night. I will certainly make this again!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of lite coconut milk
  • 1 can of vegetable broth
  • 1 block of firm tofu, drained and cubed into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 medium white onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 cup frozen of frozen edamame
  • EVOO
  • 1 tsp of dried coriander
  • 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
Directions:

In a medium-large mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, vegetable broth, ground ginger, and coriander.

In a medium pan, heat approx. 1 tbsp of evoo. . . then throw in the minced garlic, chili flakes and onion. Saute until glassy.

Take the garlic, chili flakes and onion out of the frying pan and mix it into the coconut-vegetable broth mixture. Let sit while you prepare the tofu. This allows the heat of the oil and pepper to spread through the broth.

Add a bit more chili oil to the frying pan . . . and add the cubed tofu. Fry until golden on all sides.

Pour broth into a stockpot and heat over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and edamame. Heat to a soft boil, reduce to simmer.

Cozy up during these cold winter days and nights with something warm and comforting!

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