Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One soup, two ways

I have started a new relationship. Yes, I am in love with a Rebel... Canon Rebel XS.

I bought it yesterday and now I can't put it down. My heart flutters every time I hold it. With each picture taken, it beats a little faster. And with every glance, the butterflies in my tummy go haywire.

Ok, ok, maybe it's not dramatic like that, but pretty close, no joke... So today, I made soup for my Rebel. Vegetable Soup Two Ways. Just to say "Welcome to the family, sit down and have a hearty soup to warm you up. Make yourself at home!" That kind of thing....

Chunky Vegetable Soup
  • A splash of olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced, or chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped.
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • a pinch of (sea) salt
  • 1 cup of tomato puree (I used canned)
  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • 1L of chicken broth (Or vegetable broth if you prefer)
  • 1 can of beans (I had pinto beans on hand) drained and rinsed
  • a pinch of dried herbs like: thym, rosemary, parsley,  
  • 1/2 cup cooking cream, or whole milk
  • a few pinches of turmeric, curry powder and cayenne pepper
Heat olive oil over medium low heat in a soup pot (big enough to hold everything you have) and throw in garlic, onions, carrots and celery. Stir around a bit, add the salt and cover. Let sweat for about 10 minutes.

Add the tomato puree and corn, stir, let cook for a few minutes. Then add the broth, turn heat up to maximum and bring to a boil.

Add the beans. Season with dried herbs.

Chunky vegetable soup

Cream of vegetable soup:
Transfer half of the chunky soup into another soup pot. Whiz everything up with a hand-held blender, or in a blender. Then use a sieve, and "filter" the soup. Bring back to a boil, add  cream, turmeric, curry powder, cayenne pepper and stir well. 

Cream of vegetable soup

And voila. All I'm missing right now is some thick slices of bread, toasted with melted cheese on top.... Hmmmm....

I am going back to my Rebel. Have a great day and Happy Holidays once again!!!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

St-Morgon spinach quiche

I had a block of Saint Morgon cheese just sitting in my fridge screaming "Spread me!" It's great on crusty bread because of its creamy smooth texture, pungent aroma and delicious taste BUT (yes... there is always a but... ) with all the hearty, rich and compact holiday meals wedged in, I just couldn't imagine myself ingesting all that. So I knew I had to make something with it...

Quiche! And just like that, it was one of the things featured on the menu for my dinner with friends. Since I was going to use the oven, I thought I might as well make two. Serve one and eat one by myself freeze one for later.

St-Morgon spinach quiche
(makes 2 pies, serves 8-10 each)

  • 2 deep dish pie crusts, home-made or store-bought.
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • A handful of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped.
  • 1 bag frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed of excess water (about 6-7 oz, a bag is 10 oz but I took out some for something else)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup table cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 wedges of La Vache qui rit cheese
  • 1 block of creamy Saint Morgan cheese (this is what I had on hand. Substitute with Brie if you want)
  • 16 big pieces of sun-dried tomatoes to decorate top if desired
Thaw pie crusts and pre-bake according to package. Let cool when done. Set oven to 350*F

In a pan over medium heat, drizzle the oil n butter, when butter melts, add the onions and cook until soft, about 10, 15 minutes, stirring once in a while. Then add the handful of chopped sun-dried tomatoes, stir around for a minute, then add the spinach, mix well and take off the heat.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs lightly. Add cream, milk, and break little pieces of La Vache Qui Rit, then whisk everything together.

Slice cheese (Saint Morgon) and put onto bottom of pie crusts, top with spinach mixture, and then egg mixture. Use a fork and nudge the spinach a bit so that the egg mixture fill up every space there is. Top with the rest of the tomatoes for decoration before putting them in the oven.

Bake until the center is just set. Mine baked for about 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes or so before serving.

***Just a little tip for the one you will be freezing. Cool it completely, cut into desired wedges then wrap individually in aluminum foil. Freeze. When you want to eat one, do not thaw, heat it as is, with the top opened, in a 350*F oven, for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.