Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Sunday August 30, 2009

Carole’s Concoctions:
Broccoli Harvest and a Cool Day


Nothing like a raw, unseasonably cool day to make me want to make soup. And fortunately, I had every single ingredient I needed on hand AND it was farm fresh....broccoli we just picked from our garden, leeks, carrots and garlic from the CSA and High Lawn Farm heavy cream. I even had vegetable broth in the freezer awaiting just this confluence of events. So, I figure when the food gods line up like that then I have no choice.....

 
Here's the recipe for Cream of Broccoli Soup - out of my Mom's archives of recipes with a note on top that says, "excellent." Oh and Julia Child would be proud - I used butter and heavy cream grin
 
9 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups leeks, minced
1 1/2 cups carrots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 heads broccoli, cut into small florets
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 pinches cayenne pepper or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
salt and pepper to taste
 
In a pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, garlic. Cook until tender but be sure not to brown (about 5 minutes).
 
Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the broccoli. Cook 8-10 minutes until the broccoli is tender.
 
Pour the soup into a processor (may need to do in batches) and process until veggies are finely chopped but not pureed. Pour soup back into pot. Stir in cream, celery seed and salt and pepper. Reheat before serving or freeze in batches as you await another cool day!!
 
Enjoy!
 
Serves 8-10.
 
p.s. You can leave out the cream entirely or exchange it for half and half or milk. When using great ingredients it's divine any way you eat it. I've got my 13 year old step son that prefers the heavy cream!!
 

Thursday July 30, 2009

Carole’s Concoctions:
Blueberry Indulgence

These past two weeks are among my favorite - the pick your own blueberry farms are open and blueberries abound at most farm stands and farmer's markets.  And of course I stuff my face until my mouth is blue, reveling in all the antioxidants this dark super food is delivering to my body. But I also love to bake with them.  One of my favorite things to do when I was a kid in the summer was to bake blueberry muffins or blueberry coffee cake.

 
Here is one that uses yogurt for an even more healthful indulgence:
 

Blueberry Yogurt Coffee Cake

This recipe has been in our stable of recipes as far back as I can remember. My Mom and grandmother made certain there was always yummy homemade baked goods in the house. This was a special weekend breakfast treat.  I used to view it as breakfast dessert.  We were big yogurt eaters so it’s not surprising that we baked with yogurt. I now love the new flavors like banilla that add a special twist - but plain usually does the trick!

 

 

For the Topping

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut up

 

For the Cake

8 tablespoons (one stick) butter, softened

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups flour

1 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9 x13 baking dish.  Using a fork, blend topping ingredients in small bowl and set aside. Cream the butter, brown sugar and egg (I do it by hand with a fork, but a mixer works wonders!) Add baking soda, flour, yogurt and vanilla and mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.  Pour cake batter into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle berries over top and gently push into batter and then sprinkle sugar topping over all.

 

Bake 45-50 minutes. Cool and cut into squares. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Wednesday June 17, 2009

Carole’s Concoctions:
Concocted a Roasted Turnip Soup for These Cool June Days

The CSA's are turning out a fine crop of spring harukai turnips and swiss chard and I thought I would take a page out of my grandmother's book and concoct a recipe for turnip soup.  You can use the basic premises of this recipe to turn many veggies into soup. Give this one a try - my family gobbled it up and I need to make more!!

 
Roasted Turnip Soup with Swiss Chard
 
4 Harukai Turnips - the root part only, sliced
6 Shallots - diced
4 Cloves Garlic - minced
1-2 Teaspoons fresh thyme - minced
Salt and Pepper to Taste
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Cups chicken or Vegetable Broth
1/4 or so Half and Half or Heavy Cream - depends on how indulgent you want to be
1/2-1 Cup of Swiss Chard - chopped
 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine first six ingredients, place in roasting pan and roast for 25-30 minutes until tender and golden.  Transfer into saucepan, add broth.  Bring to a gentle boil, lower heat to a simmer and puree until smooth with an immersion blender if you have one. (Otherwise use a blender or a food processor.) Add in half and half and finish off with the chopped swiss chard. Simmer for another 5 minutes and serve.
 
Hint:  If you can resist not eating it immediately, the flavors really meld together nicely overnight for an ever tastier treat the next day!!  Make enough and freeze for cool fall day.
 
Enjoy!!

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