Sunday, November 27, 2011

Leftover Mashed Potato Soup

Such a perfect way to use up an leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving. It is so good that you will want to make mashed potatoes just so you can make this soup!

Serves 4

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes, brought to room temperature or microwaved for a minute to take the chill off (if you have any whole potatoes leftover, you can chop up a few and add along with the potatoes to make the soup chunkier)
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
32 oz chicken broth
2 tbs flour
1/4 c milk
1 cup frozen chopped broccoli, defrosted
1 tbs chives, plus more for garnish (I like the freeze dried chives you can find in your produce section, since I don't use chives often)
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium sized pot, heat a little olive oil over medium high heat and add onion. Once onion begins to soften add garlic and cook for about a minute. Add broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and mix together milk and flour until it is smooth (mixture should be thick, think cake batter, but not lumpy, use a whisk and add more flour or milk if needed) and whisk into broth and potato mixture. Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes to thicken, stirring occasionally. Add broccoli and chives once soup has thickened. Serve with bacon, cheese, and extra chives.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lentil Soup with Bacon and Parmesan

It's a hearty and filling meal for the cooler weather. Feel free to leave off the bacon to make it totally vegetarian, but if you are down with bacon, I highly recommend it!

Serves 4, generously

1 tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
3 stalks of celery, diced
3 carrots, cut into coins
1 1/4 c lentils, picked over and rinsed
32 oz broth
1 bay leaf (optional)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices of bacon cooked until crisp, crumbled
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat about one tbs of oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until it begins to soften, then add garlic and saute for a couple minutes. Add celery and carrots and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened slightly. Add lentils, bay leaf, thyme, and broth, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 40 minutes or until lentils are soft. If the broth has cooked down more than you would like, add enough water to thin out the soup. Remove bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with the bacon and cheese.