Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Sunday, December 4, 2016

#Soup, It's What's For #Dinner! ;-)

Hey Everyone! :-)

Winter has finally arrived and the weather here has been getting colder. So, today, I thought I'd share one of my favorite soup recipes with you. I hope you find it as delicious and warming as I do. :-)

Meatless "Beef" And Potatoes Soup:
4 large potatoes cubed
3 large onions chopped
2 large portabello mushrooms, stems and caps, sliced
1 14oz container of sliced button mushrooms
2 large carrots chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
3 cups of raw kale chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups water or vegetable stock
1 cup red wine (Merlot or Burgandy work well)
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the onions in the olive oil and butter in a stock pot until they are well caramelized. Add the carrots and pepper and continue to cook to until they soften. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms soften. Stir in the tomato paste and deglaze the pot with the wine.  Add the water or stock, salt and pepper, and potatoes. Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for half an hour and stir. Allow to simmer for another 20 minutes to half an hour and stir.  Check to make sure the potatoes are soft and add the kale. Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the kale wilts, and serve.

If you'd like, once the vegetables are softened you can transfer them to a crockpot and complete the soup there. Still deglaze the pot or pan with the wine and pour that into the crockpot as well. If you don't like wine, or don't keep alcohol in the house, you can use 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 3/4 cups water or stock to deglaze the pot or pan.  If you don't like button mushrooms, you can use any kind of mushroom you like. If possible, you should use the portabello mushrooms as they add a "meaty" texture and richness to the soup.

You can thicken the broth by mixing 1/4 cornstarch with cold water to make a slurry and adding it to the soup at the end. You can also add any other vegetables you like in your soup. I've made the soup with sweet potatoes instead of potatoes. You can also replace the potatoes with barley or rice. If you like your soup spicy, you can add a couple of chili peppers or some curry paste to the soup. Basically, this is a good basic soup that can be taken in a lot of directions, so don't be afraid to experiment.

Bon appetit!

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