French Onion Soup
3 large onions, thinly sliced
1 oz. butter
1 tbsp. plain flour
6 cups beef broth
8 slices French bread, toasted
2 oz. Gruyère or Emmenthal cheese, grated
Melt butter in a large saucepan and cook onions over medium heat until soft and transparent. Sprinkle onions with flour. Cook, stirring until flour colors. Gradually stir in beef broth. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Place toasted bread slices in bottom of individual ovenproof bowls. Pour soup over bread, reserving about one cup. Sprinkle cheese in the bowls and bake for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Take bowls out of the oven and pour the remaining soup over the cheese.
Yield: 4 servings
Chunky Beef Barley Soup
3 tbsp. butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
½ cup celery, sliced
1½ lbs. stewing beef, cut in ¼” cubes, fat removed
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
½ cup pearl barley
2 whole ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
5½ cups beef stock or broth
2 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
In large skillet or Dutch oven, melt 2 tbsp. of the butter; add garlic, onion, mushrooms and celery. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until onion is soft; remove from pan and reserve.
Add remaining butter to pan; melt. Dredge beef cubes in flour; shake off excess flour. Place meat in pan and cook, stirring occasionally until beef cubes are well-browned.
Return mushroom mixture to pan; add carrots, barley, tomatoes, beef stock and seasonings. Simmer over low heat for 2 hours.
Soup can be allowed to cool and then reheated to boiling point before serving. If too thick, add more beef stock, tomato juice or some red wine.
Tip: With the barley, vegetables and beef, this soup encompasses three food groups, making it a healthy, balanced meal. Barley is rich in soluble fiber and beta glucan, and is helpful in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Yield: 6 servings
Mom’s Homemade Chicken Soup
1 chicken breast, bone in
2 chicken legs with thighs attached, fat removed
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
4 carrots, whole and peeled
4 canned plum tomatoes, whole
1 stalk celery, halved
6 stems fresh parsley
3 tbsp. coarse salt
1 cube chicken bouillon
Place chicken in a large stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a simmering boil. With a slotted spoon, skim off fat and any foam that comes to the top. Add more water to fill the pot three-quarters full. Add remaining ingredients and allow mixture to come to a boil. Reduce heat, leaving lid slightly ajar. Simmer about 3 hours.
Remove chicken and carrots from pot and set aside to cool. Discard celery stalks. Using a mesh sieve, strain broth into another pot of similar size. The broth should be clear, without any vegetables or parsley leaves. Make sure the broth is well drained from vegetables, allowing the flavors to stay in the chicken stock.
Mash the carrots with a fork and add to the broth. Remove any skin and bones from chicken, then shred into small pieces and add to the stock. Return pot to stove, add bouillon cube and bring to a simmering boil once again. Taste soup and adjust for flavor. Add cooked noodles of your choice. Very small soup pasta, wide pasta noodles or rice are all great in this soup.
Tip: To ensure that your chicken stock remains clear and unclouded, cook your noodles in a separate pot, then add drained noodles to the stock. Never let your stock reach a rolling boil; instead, keep it at a low simmer.
Yield: 8-10 servings
Author Bio: When asked, Emma Di Francesco describes herself as “just an ordinary woman.” A full-time Executive Assistant and a wife and mother of two, she enjoys cooking and baking, spending most of her weekends either in the kitchen or at one of her children’s sporting events. Over the years, she has also served her local church in various leadership capacities in children’s and music ministries and in church administration. Emma’s heart of hospitality and culinary skills are well known and appreciated by both family and friends, and she enjoys sharing simple ideas, recipes and tips to help others prepare nourishing meals and snacks for their families, even in the midst of very busy and hectic lifestyles. She and her family reside in Maple Ridge, British Columbia.
All articles used with permission from Beautiful One Magazine, LLC, 2007.
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