Monday, February 24, 2014

Cream of French with Five Onions Soup


6  large sliced onions (red, sweet, white – or whatever mix you like)

2 cleaned and sliced leaks

2 chopped scallions

¼ cup of butter

¼ cup of flour

1 tbsp. sugar

Cut chives for garnish


½ to 1 cup of powdered Parmesan cheese (I purposely chose Kraft 100% powdered Parmesan for texture)

1 cup of cream

¼ cup sherry

½-1 cup of white wine

8 cups of beef broth

2 tbsp. of French mustard

4 bay leaves

Fresh thyme

Garlic (I used garlic powder for texture) – about 1 tbsp.

Salt and pepper


Slice and sauté all onions, leeks, and scallions in butter over a medium heat until just soft and translucent.  Add 1 tbsp. of sugar, ¼-1/2  cup of flour and stir.  Add 8 cups of beef broth, wine, sherry thyme leaves, bay leaves, mustard, salt and pepper, whisk and let come to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and let simmer for about an hour.  Add cream and Parmesan and stir.  Taste soup often to adjust seasonings – salt, pepper, or even more Parmesan -  which really is the secret to the deep flavour of this soup .  Feel free to add a little more cream or garlic or French mustard as well..    Once the soup is to your liking, let cool and blend.  For garnish, I cut puff pastry rounds, baked them (read package for temperature and time – I cooked mine at 425 on middle rack for about 10 minutes) then add shredded fontina cheese on top of each puff pastry round midway through baking.  To make cheese crisps, put approximately 7  one tbsp. separate mounds of  fontina cheese on a pie plate.  Bake until just melted and just a bit browned.  Take out and let cool and remove with a small spatula.  You can store cheese crisps and puff pastry rounds in a Tupperware until you need them for soup.  Just warm the puff pastry in a microwave for about 30 seconds, put in hot soup with fontina cheese crisp and chives.

Chocolate Berry Cheesecake Bar From the cookbook Butter by Rosie Daykin

I made a couple of small changes to the recipe and my God is it good!  Served this last night at our Soup Sisters' event and it was a requested recipe.

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 ½ cups icing sugar

2 cups of all-purpose flour

½ cup dark cocoa

1 8- ounce package cream cheese

1 ¼ cup of evaporated milk, add 1/3 cup sugar to it (the Butter cookbook calls for condensed milk, but I used evaporated with just 1/3 cup of sugar so it was less sweet)

1 large egg\1 tbsp. pure vanilla

2 cups mixed blueberries, raspberries and blackberries

1 tbsp. flour

Makes 24 bars

You will need 9X13 inch baking pan (I used 2 brownie pans)


Preheat the oven to 350 F


In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Turn mixer to low and add the flour and cocoa and mix until well combined.  Spread two-thirds of the mixture into the prepared pan (the cookbook calls for parchment paper but I forgot and just used a little butter)  and press down firmly and evenly.  Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Set aside.  Again in a mixture with paddle attachment whip cream cheese, evaporated milk, egg, vanilla and 1 tbsp. flour on medium speed until creamy.  Pour mixture evenly over the cooled chocolate base and then sprinkle with berries.  Sprinkle the reserved 1/3 of the base mixture evenly over the berries

Bake in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the cheesecake layer has set.  (It will firm up even more as it cools).

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in the pan.

Run a small knife along the two edges of the pan and cut into  2X2 inch bars