In the winter months, there seems nothing better than making soup, and of course then having it for lunch or dinner. It is so fast and easy. I often make a couple in one day, so we have several meals from it. I freeze what we don’t eat, so we have something I can defrost on a busier day. Right now days are not too busy with the pandemic.
A French classic, this creamy potato leek soup is quick, easy, and delicious! And always good with a nice red wine! But then I think most anything is good with a nice red wine.
Prep Time: 25
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large leeks, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped (about 5 cups)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
7 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream ( I did not have any, so used 1/2 cup of sour cream)
Chives, finely chopped, for serving
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until soft and wilted, about 10 minutes. Do not to brown.
Add the potatoes, broth, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft.
Remove the thyme sprig and bay leaves, and purée the soup with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth, or use a standard blender to purée the soup in batches. Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If soup is too thin, simmer until thickened. If it’s too thick, add water or stock to thin it out. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.
Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup can be frozen, without the cream, for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. Once heated through, add the cream and bring to a simmer before serving.
Note: I added some slice ham, so make it a bit hardier. It was wonderful.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll (10×15”) pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. (Use the spray with flour or actually grease and flour the foil to avoid sticking.)
Beat eggs at high speed for 2 minutes, until frothy and dark yellow. Beat in sugar, lemon juice, and zest.
Whisk together salt, baking powder, and flour. Stir into wet ingredients just until blended.
Spread in prepared pan. Batter will be in a very thin layer and you will need to use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread it to all the corners of the pan. Bake for 9-11 minutes (mine took 10).
While the cake is baking, set a clean kitchen towel out on a large work surface. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar (about ¼ cup). As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it over on the kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove foil carefully.
Working at the short end, fold the edge of the towel over the cake. Roll tightly, rolling up the cake into the towel. Let cool completely while rolled, at least one hour.
While the cake is chilling, make the filling. Beat the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold in the lemon curd. Chill until ready to use.
When cake is cool, carefully unroll the towel. Spread the lemon whipped cream over the cake. (You might have some whipped cream left over.) Gently but tightly, re-roll the cake and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill until it firms up a bit, at least one hour or overnight. Slice and serve. Cake will last covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Candied Lemon Slices
Candied lemon slices are an easy to make garnish to dress up your favorite desserts. Use candied lemons for decorating cakes, pies, cupcakes, and more.
Candied lemon slices are lemon slices that have been cooked in sugar and dried out. You can eat them as a delicious snack or use them to garnish a plate. It’s simple to make once you know a few basic things.
How To Make Candied Lemon Slices:
First, you will want to cut your lemon slices as thin as possible. Use a mandoline or a sharp knife. I’m lazy about taking out my mandoline so I just use a knife. I prefer a serrated knife because it gives me the most control when cutting.
Second, some recipes say that you have to blanch the citrus before cooking them in sugar water. Blanching softens the rinds and removes the bitterness.
Next, it’s important to simmer the lemon slices in the sugar water using a WIDE bottom pot so the lemon slices do not over lap. This way each slice is more exposed to the syrup. Let the slices simmer away until they turn translucent.
Finally, you have to let them dry out using one of these options. The first is to dry them overnight by letting them sit out on parchment paper. The second option is to put them in the oven at a low temperature for about and hour.
I prefer using the oven because it’s quicker and results in a less sticky lemon slice. You do need to be careful not to over heat them in the oven so keep an eye on them.
What’s for dinner on a weeknight? Got some hamburger in the freezer, some fresh mushrooms, sour cream and a few other additional items and you have the poor man’s version of Beef Stroganoff:
I served it with a ten-minute instant pot recipe for artichoke. They are on sale this time of year, so perfect accompaniment for a simple dinner.
The recipe can vary based on the ingredients you have on hand. I find ground beef gives the best flavor but you can certainly substitute another type of ground meat such as ground turkey or pork. If using something other than beef, you’ll likely want to add some extra Maggi or Beef Bouillon for a richer flavor!
This easy Ground beef stroganoff recipe is made from scratch with fresh ingredients (no Cream of Mushroom soup as there is too much sodium). This way too simple to make! You’re literally just minutes away from getting this beef stroganoff on the table!
Brown beef, onions and garlic.
Add mushrooms, sauce & seasonings. Simmer a few minutes.
Start your egg noodles cooking!
Stir in sour cream and serve over egg noodles.
Sour cream may curdle if it boils so add the sour cream, after you have completed everything else.
You can use Greek yogurt if you do not have sour cream. I prefer “light” sour cream or non-dairy sour cream.
Add a little more flavor with any or all of the following:
A teaspoon or so of dijon mustard
Add a sprig or two of fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon of dried)
Add a couple of slices of chopped cooked bacon with the sour cream. ( You can cook it covered with a paper towel for six minutes)
Add a small bit of smoked paprika and a dash of hot sauce
I like to serve over thick fresh egg noodles, but you could serve it over potatoes, rice or normal pasta.
Poor Man’s Beef Stroganoff
1 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion diced
1 clove garlic minced
3/4 lb fresh mushrooms sliced ( I like a variety of fresh mushrooms)
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups beef broth (I have bone broth, which worked great)
salt & pepper to taste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
Brown ground beef, onion and garlic in a pan until no pink remains.
Add sliced mushrooms and cook 2-3 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 more minute. ( I cook my mushrooms separately ahead of time, so there is less liquid)
Add broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low 10 minutes.
Cook egg noodles according to package directions.
Remove beef mixture from the heat, Let sit to cool a bit, stir in sour cream and parsley.
It is so very nice to finally awaken to fresh clean smoke free air. Another day at last in my studio enjoying putting paint on a 36″ x 36″ canvas. With time in my studio and time in my kitchen life is good. I called the “The Air is Clearing”, as I could almost see the sky become blue during the day.
When I am not painting I seem to be cooking and made this Plum, Nectarine and Blackberry Galette in the morning.
My friend Reed really liked I think, as this was what was left after breakfast…
The recipe is in one of my earlier posts, and it is so easy and so delicious, you should make one. The last one I made with peaches and blackberries. I like to add a little cinnamon on top and four or five dabs of good butter, with an egg wash and a little sugar on the crust. I use Italian Joe’s Pie Crust recipe, as it is moist, flakey and goes together easily:
2tbsptomato paste— optional, but a good idea for color
1 28 oz can of Bianco Crushed Tomatoes (available at Albertsons)
4 cups Beef Stock & a little water
2/3cup fresh feta cheese— crumbled
A little fresh thyme
Salt & White Pepper to taste
Heat olive oil (butter) over medium heat in a large pot ( or a Dutch Oven). Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, tomato paste, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender and cooked. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Or I find it just as easy to use my Cuisinart for this.
Put the warm soup in bowls and place feta and thyme on top. It is pretty and adds a little more flavor to the soup.
Here is a little bit of fun kitchen information. If you are using olive oil, heat the pan first, then add the olive oil.
If you are using butter, put the butter in the pan and heat as the pan heats.
Jambalaya has its origins in several rice-based dishes well attested in the Mediterranean cuisines of West Africa, Spain, and France, especially in the West African dish Jollof, the Spanish dish Paella (native to Valencia), and the French dish known as Jambalaia (native to Provence).
I combined a couple of recipes and added a few ingredients of my own. I didn’t have chicken but would have added that to enhance the flavor. I love shrimp and would have added it at the end, but my husband does not eat it.
2 TBL olive oil (EVOO)
1 pound sausage ( I used mild Italian that I made)
1 onion (chopped)
1 red or yellow bell pepper (chopped)
3 stalks celery (sliced thinly)
3 garlic (chopped)
2 TSP Cajon seasoning
1 TSP oregano ( I prefer fresh)
Pinch of Cayenne
1 TSP Scallions (white part) and save the green and slice for serving
14 oz chopped tomatoes with chili
Beef stock ( one container) I used homemade chicken stock
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup of okra (fresh or frozen-thawed)
Add some shrimp if you like it
Sauté chicken in olive oil until cooked and the sausage is lightly browned. Set aside.
Sauté the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic until soft.
Add rice, liquids, and seasonings. Add the cooked rice, chicken (or beef) stock, crushed tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, oregano, cayenne, and bay leaf. Give everything a good stir.
Cover and cook. Then cook for 20 minutes, being sure to stir the mixture every 5 minutes or so (to prevent burning) until the rice is nearly tender.
Add the okra and shrimp and cook for 5 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and opaque.
Taste and season with salt and pepper (add Cajun seasoning, if needed).
Serve warm. Garnished with green sliced scallions and enjoy!
Since we have a lot of sausages leftover from my birthday, I am attempting to find creative ways to use it, so we don’t get tired of it or waste it. This soup was rich and very delicious and I would definitely make it again. Add a little crust of bread for dipping and it is a wonderfully easy dinner. You could add a little rice or pasta of preference if you need more substance to your meal. I used all low-sodium products to make it healthier than the original recipe. I threw a little shave Parmesano Reggiano on top, but I do that to a lot of dishes. Enjoy this Fall soup!
to Add all ingredients to list
In a stockpot or Dutch oven, brown sausage with garlic. Stir in broth, tomatoes and carrots, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
Stir in beans with liquid and zucchini. Cover, and simmer another 15 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
Remove from heat, and add spinach. Replace lid allowing the heat from the soup to cook the spinach leaves. Soup is ready to serve after 5 minutes.
With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar to a smooth pale cream. Beat in the zests and almond extract. Add the ground almonds and mix very well.
With clean beaters, beat the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold them into the egg and almond mixture (the mixture is thick, so you will need to fold it quite a bit).
Grease an 11-inch springform pan, preferably nonstick, with butter and dust it with flour or spray with cooking spray. Pour in the cake batter, and bake into a preheated 350°F for 40 minutes, or until it feels firm to the touch. Let cool before turning out.
Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar. Or, if you like, cut a St. James Cross out of paper. Place it in the middle of the cake, and dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar, then remove the paper.
Stencil the top of the cake using the traditional cross symbol of Saint James.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the cauliflower florets to the pot and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse the florets with cold water. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook for 8-10 minutes until browned, using a spoon to break into small pieces. Stir in the onion, garlic, and thyme. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the tomatoes and juices to the pan and cook for 5 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the skillet from heat and carefully stir in the cauliflower. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with almond flour. Bake for 20 minutes, and then turn the oven to broil and cook an additional 3-5 minutes. Garnish with parsley to serve.