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Is it cold enough for you?

The weather has been a prime topic as we try to make sense of this crazy winter. The weather’s been all over the map. Whether it is a cold winter’s night or a rainy afternoon, however, these recipes will warm your tummy and your senses.

This week’s soup is wonderful with local mushrooms, during a time of year where it gets difficult to find locally grown ingredients. Look at the labels and start asking your produce department where the local ingredients are located. To brown the mushrooms be sure to get a solid heat in the pan. The golden brown colour offers flavour, texture and depth to the soup. I use brown mushrooms, as they offer great colour and flavour; white mushrooms do not bring as much boldness to the pot but can be used as well.

We are making bread in the store daily now and can barely keep up with the demand for flatbreads. This recipe is great in a hurry but looks like you have been baking all day. If it becomes part of your repertoire you would be surprised how many uses there are for brown butter. You can brown butter in larger batches and store it in the fridge for the next time.

Mashed potatoes, beans, carrots, on top of a bagel with a bit of honey – its simple nutty flavour is a homey sense that follows through the day. Be careful when browning the butter not to go too far in the pan: remove the butter to a metal or glass container once it is browned so the residual heat in the pan won’t take the butter to the bitter side.

Enjoy the simple pleasure of homemade soup and bread. Happy cooking.

 

Forest Mushroom Soup

  • 7 tbsp (3/4 stick) butter
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 2 pkg cremini mushrooms, stemmed, caps chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth

 

Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add all mushrooms and thyme; sauté until mushrooms begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Add brandy; stir 30 seconds, then mix in flour. Slowly stir in broth; bring soup to boil;

Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 10 minutes;

Add 1/2 cup of 35% cream, reduce another 10 minutes;

Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls.

 

Brown Butter Soda Bread

  •  1/4 cup butter
  • 3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1-3/4 cups buttermilk

 

Place butter in hot pan and swirl around gently until it stops foamy and browns, smelling nutty;

Stir flour, oats, sugar, thyme, baking powder and baking soda and pepper in mixing bowl. Add butter milk and browned butter. Mix with dough hook until combined;

Divide the ball in half and shape into 2 balls. Flatten the balld into 6” round patties, brush with egg white, sprinkle with tablespoon of oats and score an X on top;

Bake for approximately 45 minutes.

This bread does not need to be kneaded for long: No gluten needs to develop.

 

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