Friday, November 27, 2009

Grant Farms Soup

Grant Farms Soup

My parents are in Mexico. Such a life! Well, there are benefits to knowing people who travel.
1. You can stay in their mountain cabin as much as you want.
2. They let you drive their much nicer car.
3. They give you their shares to Grant Family Farms.

Grant Farms is an organic farm in Waverly.
This is a community supported Agricultural project. At the beginning of the year you can buy a share that entitles you to weekly organic fruits and vegetables. The problem is, you don't know what you will get until you get there. This week we got gourds of some flavor, leeks, apples (amazingly sweet), lettuce, spinach, cilantro, parsley, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and potatoes. This is what I made. Harry is NOT a soup person (must be because of some Seinfield episode) but he LOVED this and went back for thirds. Really yummy and easy.

4 chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 or whole onion
2 c fresh or frozen broccoli
2 c. fresh or frozen cauliflower
1 sm. potato, diced
3 cloves of garlic - smooshed
3/4 c (more or less) cheddar cheese grated
1/2 c. milk
Salt and pepper (no salt if using canned broth)
Hot pepper sauce or chili pepper flakes optional

Bring broth, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, and potato to a boil in a soup pot. Reduce heat, cook covered, 10 minutes. Remove 1 cup plus broccoli and cauliflower pieces, set aside. Cook soup 10 minutes longer. Put cheese and milk into blender or food processor. Ladle in a 1/2c of soup broth. Puree until very smooth. Pour in 1-2 cups of veggies and continue to puree until creamy. (Beware - it's hot!) Return pureed soup to pan with reserved vegetables and heat through, but do not boil or cheese will curdle. Add seasonings.

Upside-Down Carmel Apple French Toast

We are up in Red Feather this weekend for Thanksgiving.  My mom reminded me of one of my favorite holiday recipes.  This is what we usually have on Christmas morning with coffee and orange juice.  It is very easy and very fancy.

Upside-Down Carmel Apple French Toast 

Prepare the night before or at least 3 hours in advance.
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon water
Combine butter, brown sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat on medium until bubbling, stirring frequently. Place in a 9" x 13" pan and allow to cool for 20 to 30 minutes.
3 Granny Smith apples
Cinnamon, to taste (we like lots!)
1/2 cup raisins, optional
1 loaf French bread, sliced 1 ½ inch thick (about 8 slices)
1 1/2 cups milk
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Peel, core and slice apples. Place the slices in rows, close together (overlapping), on top of the caramel sauce in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and raisins. Place the slices of bread on top of the apples. Mix together the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate over night. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 60 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on the top.
Serve upside-down. Spoon any extra sauce in the pan over the French toast. Serve with Crème Topping and garnish with nuts, if desired. Serves 6.
Crème Topping- not at all necessary
1/2 cup whipping cream (or Cool Whip)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract OR orange extract
Whip on high until thickened. Place 2 tablespoons of topping on top of each serving of French Toast.
Absolutely delicious and so easy to make!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

World Famous Gypsy Soup

Or at least it is famous around our house.  This is a very old recipe that I got from Jane Brody.   Not only is it yummy but it is also very weight watcher friendly. My husband is not a "soup person." Yet, he likes this one.  The ingredients sound a bit odd, but trust me and try it.  You'll like it or your money back.

Gypsy Soup
2T olive oil
1-2 cups chopped onions
2 or more large garlic cloves crushed
1/2 c celery chopped
2 c peeled, chopped sweet potatoes
3 c broth (not brother)
1 bay leaf
2 t paprika
1 t turmeric
1 t basil
salt to taste
Dash cinnamon
Dash cayenne
1 c chopped tomatoes
3/4 c green beans
1 can drained chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1T tamari or soy sauce

In a large pot, heat the oil and saute the onions, garlic, celery and sweet potatoes for about 10 minutes.  Add the broth, bay leaf, paprika, turmeric, basil, salt, cinnamon and cayenne.  Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and cove while simmering for at least 15 minutes- until sweet potatoes are almost soft.  Add the tomatoes, green beans, and chickpeas.  Simmer for about 10 minutes longer.  Stir in the tamari if  desired.  Serve warm- Great with home made bread.