Friday, March 8, 2013

Spring Pea Soup

I got this recipe from my sister, who got it from.... I'm not sure. Maybe Food For Thought? Who knows. It doesn't matter. I love it and make it all the time, our whole family eats it up. I don't have a picture of the final, pureed product because I ended up rushing it over to a friend in need. But it's still green. GREAT for St. Patrick's Day..

Spring Pea Soup

2 Cans of chicken broth
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 package frozen peas
1 cup spinach leaves (I usually do two handfuls.)
1/2 cup heavy cream
White Pepper
Curry powder

In a pot, bring onions, broth and peas to a boil. Add spinach and cook till the spinach has wilted. Let cool for a minute then puree in a blender. Return to pot over medium heat and add cream, and seasonings to taste. If you want it thicker, you can add a small combination of water and flour- but it may slightly reduce flavor.

Aunt Linda's Mushroom Soup

I'm well aware that my aunt found this recipe somewhere and didn't invent it herself, but it will forever remind me of our cozy, Christmas party at her house where I fell in love with this soup.

I don't have an actual picture- it doesn't matter. It's not what it looks like that makes it appetizing. But here are some cutie mushrooms that will soon be soup:

Mushroom Soup

5 TB butter, divided
2 leeks, rinsed and chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
6 C chicken broth
2 tsp dill (dried is perfect)
2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 lbs of potatoes, peeled, rinsed and cubed
1 lb fresh mushrooms rinsed and sliced
1/2 C heavy cream
1/4 C flour

Melt 3 TB of the butter in a large sauce pan over med heat. Mix in leeks and carrots, cook for 5 minutes or until softened. 
Pour in the broth and season with dill, salt and pepper. Add bay leaf and potatoes and cover, cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. 
While that is cooking, saute the mushrooms in the rest of the butter and season with a bit of salt. Add the mushrooms to the soup and cook for another 5 minutes. In a small bowl mix the cream and the flour till smooth, stir it into the soup and serve very warm. 
Garnish with dill.

Chicken Pot Pie

My affection for chicken pot pie really made an appearance when I had a bite of Josh's when he ordered it at "Good Thymes Bistro" in Park City. The top was super flakey and the mess inside was different than most pot pies. They are usually yellowy, soupy and seem like a can of condensed soup. Now, that being said, this recipe has condensed soup in it, but it is the WHITE, CREAMY consistency that I was looking for, and achieved. Like so:

Now I have NEVER made pot pie before. So this was a risk altogether. And what I learned is this: dough does not rise when it is sitting on top of a moist, dense mixture. So although this puff pastry had the potential of being tall and flakey, it did not make it there for whatever reason. So if I were to make a change, it would be to bake the puff pastry SEPARATELY and then place it on top of the pie when the pie has about 5 min left. I had to turn the broiler on to get it crispy and even then, it was kind of the consistency of dumplings. Still good- but not what I was looking for. If anyone has suggestions on this, I'd love to hear them.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 1/2 lbs of skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pkg frozen peas
1 pkg frozen corn
2 carrots thinly chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Garlic salt*
1/2 tsp black pepper

1 package of puff pastry dough, (from the frozen section of the grocery store)**

Preheat oven to 400.

Unwrap the dough and let it defrost (about an hour will do.) While it is resting, put the sour cream, heavy cream, peas, corn and carrots into a bowl. Add the seasonings.

Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray or throw a pat of butter in. Stir in the chicken and the chopped onion, salt and pepper it a bit and cook through. Add the chicken mixture to the bowl of creamy vegetable mixture. Mix thoroughly. Spoon into a small casserole dish, 13X9 is fine..

*I added a clove of garlic to the chopped onions in replacement of the garlic salt.

OKAY- now this is what I did from this point, I cut stars out of the defrosted puff pastry and lined the dish with over-lapping layers and egg washed the pastry, and baked for 25-30 min. Again, it turned out fine, after broiling it a bit to get it cooked more, but here is what I would do instead...

**Follow the directions on the pastry box to cook the pastry BEFORE you cook the pot pie, cook it till it is ALMOST done, take it out and set aside. Put the pie in the oven and begin baking- when the pie is 5-10 mins before being done, take it out and add the pastry and finish baking.

I shouldn't give directions that I have not yet tried, but you better bet that this is the way I'll do it next time.