Friday, October 6, 2017

SOUP(S) DAY ;-)

Today I got busy making soups for Fall meals; these I cooked in my various crockpots this afternoon - and will slip into the refrigerator tonight before I turn in & will puree and freeze tomorrow. Recipes for the asterisked soups follow at the bottom of this post:

F to BK ... Shitake mushrooms, Crimini mushrooms & Button Mushrooms for Wild Mushroom Soup.
Sliced mushrooms for the soup ...
Wild Mushroom & Leek Soup* ready to cook in the crockpot.
Prep for the 4 Onion Soup*, Soup, to be cooked in the crockpot.
Spicy Winter Squash Soup* ready to plug  in ...
This is all I used to prepare 3 meals that will stretch to 6 for the 2 of us.

After the crockpots were plugged in and the dishes washed, I turned my attention to breaking down and wrapping the Edelweiss meats – we were visiting loved ones in Oregon Tuesday morning and stopped by Edelweiss Meat Market & Deli (http://www.edelweissdeli.com/), before heading home, to visit our granddaughter and her fiancé that work there; and of course we ate a german fare lunch there (OH! SO GOOD!) and walked out with a hefty meat order that has to be wrapped today if we aren’t to lose it. I like German food in the Fall and Winter months, and am happy that there is a german market/deli somewhere closer than Leavenworth to go to when I get the urge for an authentic german meal. I bought some crumb cheeses too, bagged dry Spätzle noodles, and Mulled Cider also; fresh spätzle is time consuming to make, the cheeses sounded good (and they are!), and though I’m the only one in the family that likes mulled cider, it sure tastes good in October ;-)

Prep for freezing the meats we bought at Edelweiss Meat Market & Deli where Alyna & Liam work. Bottom working leftward – Garlic-Rosemary Bologna, Olive Bologna, Pistachio Bologna, a wonderful tasting dry sausage that tastes remarkably like Goteborg sausage, GIGANTIC 2 Ham Hocks, Beef Soup Bones, and Curry Brats. We can’t wait to eat this stuff! We don't know what the long sausages are in front of the ham hocks, but they looked good, so we bought them; LOL

As soon as the meats were taken care of, we hung the suet basket for the birds that we watch dart about and fly by our windows – and decided that instead of selling Bob’s original Bird Feeder and Bird House at one of the Bazaars, we’d keep them for ourselves and hang them where we can watch the birds from our easy chairs. While setting that up, I noticed that the Ranunculus bulbs I planted last week are beginning to push up through the soil in the container I planted them in; & a squawking flock of geese flew overhead so low that I could see their feet tucked up under them as they passed by …

Bird Suet hung in the tree.
Hub's original design Bird Feeder and Bird House ready for our feathers visitors ...
Ranunculus bulbs sprouting: hard to see in this pic, but there IS greenery showing ;-)

While the soups continue to cook and infuse our home with their delicious odors, I am going to spread my Bazaar totes out on the table and take inventory to see exactly what I have left-over from last year, and what I need to flesh out before the season begins. I know I am low on Coffee Cuffs, so I designed these 2, and whipped them up last night – though people think Frankenstein is strictly a halloween scare tactic, Mary Shelley was actually ahead of her times and onto a freaky truth that started in ancient Egypt and has been picked up in modern medical practices … some people today, desperate to hang onto their lives, are actually walking around with the body parts of cadavers in their bodies (hearts, lungs, eyes, faces, ect.) and give an up close and personal meaning to ’living dead’; some people with brittle bones have even had pig bone grafted to their bones. Doctors today are attaching fingers, hands, feet, ears, ect.; to people who have been injured in these areas. Frankenstein, to me, has always amplified reality more than superstitious scary innuendoes:

MOD Frankenstein Coffee Cuffs.

==WILD MUSHROOM SOUP & LEEK SOUP – Makes about 8 cups

1 stick unsalted butter – 1 small Onion, finely chopped – 1 small Leek, white parts only, finely diced – 1 small Celery stalk, finely diced – 1 small baking Potato, peeled & finely diced – 2 pounds = 10 cups Mushroom mix (I used button, crimini & shitake), minced – 4 cups Chicken Stock – ½ cup whipping cream – Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper to taste – freshly grated Parmesan Cheese – minced fresh Parsley,

Put the butter in the crockpot. Prepare the leek, celery, potato, & mushrooms as directed and place them in the crockpot. Add stock, salt, pepper & parsley – put lid on crockpot and plug in. Cook on HIGH to a boil, then reduce heat to LOW for about 6 hours. Unplug crockpot and remove crock to be placed into the refrigerator until cool enough to blend. Blend in batches to puree.

Add pureed soup to a saucepan and reheat on stovetop at medium-low heat; adding the cream slowly and stirring gently. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese.

==4 ONION SOUP – 6 Servings

3 TBLS unsalted Butter – 2 cups sliced Onions – 2 cups sliced Leeks (white & tender green parts) – 2/3 cups = 4 bunches sliced Green Onions (white parts only) – 1/3 cups sliced Shallots – 2 tsp. minced fresh Ginger – 1-1/2 tsp. minced Garlic – generous pinch of Cayenne pepper – 1-1/2 tsp. all-purpose Flour – 7 cups Chicken Stock – 1 cup dry White Wine – 1-1/2 TBSP Cognac – 2 or 3 tsp. fresh Lemon Juice – 1 tsp. Salt – ¼ tsp. fresh ground Black Pepper – snipped fresh Chives

Put the butter in the crockpot. Prepare the onions, leek, green onions, shallots, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, flour, stock, wine, cognac, lemon juice, and salt & pepper in the crockpot – put lid on crockpot and plug in. Cook on HIGH to a boil, then reduce heat to LOW for about 6 hours.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead and refrigerated: reheat.)

==SPICY WINTER SQUASH SOUP – 4 to 6 Servings

Use acorn, butternut or banana squash. (I used pumpkin because I like pumpkin ;-)) Basically any winter squash will due.

¼ stick of unsalted Butter – ½ cup Onion, chopped – 1-1/4 tsp. minced Garlic – ½ tsp. ground Coriander – ¼ tsp (scant) ground Cumin – pinch of Cayenne pepper – 4 cups Winter Squash, coarsely chopped – 3-1/2 cups water – ½ tsp. Sugar – Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper – ½ cup whipping cream OR Yogurt (optional) – 1-1/2 TBSP fresh Parsley, minced


Put the butter in the crockpot. Add everything EXCEPT the cream – put lid on crockpot and plug in. Cook on HIGH to a boil, then reduce heat to LOW for about 6 to 8 hours until squash is very tender. Unplug crockpot and remove crock to be placed in the refrigerator until cool enough to blend. Blend in batches to puree. Place pureed soup into a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in cream; thin with additional water if necessary. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead and refrigerated: reheat.)