Baked Potato and Leek Soup with Cheddar and Bacon (and Beer)

Baked potato soup

Yesterday was quite a day here in Ottawa. I’m not here to be political, so all I will say is that on some days you crave something comforting and warm and yesterday was one of those days.

Here is a delicious recipe for Baked Potato and Leek Soup which was exactly what a day like yesterday called for.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Cauliflower and Potato Soup with Bacon

Bowl of cauliflower soupThis soup was easy to make and a nice change for a week night meal.  I’m not normally a huge fan of cauliflower… I mean, it’s fine, but other than covered in cheese sauce (I’m a firm believer that everything really does taste better with cheese) I find it bland and I run out of ideas to make it taste good.  We’ve been getting cauliflower fairly regularly lately through our CSA with Bryson Farms, so a new idea was in order.  I think roasting the cauliflower really adds a lot of flavour and pairs well with the bacon and potato. Continue reading

Spinach Quiche with Potato Crust…in a Snowstorm

SAMSUNGDon’t hate me because I love snow!  Even this late in winter, knowing that this might be our last big snowstorm, I still love it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love warm weather too – summer is my favourite season.  But there is something comforting and cozy about a snowstorm.  I like how my workplace is quiet (many people drive, I take transit, so it’s no biggie to go in to the office anyway), how the entire city moves slower, quieter.  If you do need to pick up any last minute things for dinner, local shop owners are that much more friendly and happy to see you in a snowstorm.  Our eccentric neighbour comes by with his snowplow to do our driveway (I know full well this means I’ll be helping him with his roof this summer, but today it seems worth it). Continue reading

Hearty Beer & Chicken Stew

One of the things I love about fall is that it gives me an excuse to have the stove on for hours heating up the house and making comfort food.  This was originally a slow-cooker recipe from Eating Well, but my slow-cooker isn’t big enough so I translated it to stove-top and made a few other tweaks along the way.

I used local meat to make this stew.  It’s so comforting finding a local butcher (or several) who you trust and can talk to about the origins of the food they sell.  The rich, smokey bacon flavour is really the star of this stew, so if you need an excuse to find a great local butcher I say now is the time!  If you’re in the Ottawa area, I got my meat for this meal at Sasloves.

6 tbsp plus 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I use Red Fife heritage wheat)
2 1/2 pounds local boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces
4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 pieces thick-cut local bacon, chopped
1 can of stout beer (I used Guinness, but would have loved to find a local microbrew!)
1 pound carrots, diced
6 medium red skinned potatoes, diced
1 cup red onion, chopped
1 cup white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups organic chicken broth
2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed
fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Combine 6 tablespoons flour with about 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a bowl. Dredge chicken thighs in the mixture to coat; transfer to a plate.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add half the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to a clean plate and repeat with more oil and second half of chicken. Remove it to the plate also.

3. Add bacon to the pot and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup flour over the bacon and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes more. Add beer and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. (This whole mess with the flour was really annoying, but worth it – it helps the wonderful bacon flavour permeate throughout the stew!)

4. Add carrots, onion, garlic, thyme and broth.  Stir.  Turn down heat to low.  Cover and simmer about half an hour.

5. Add potatoes.  Cook another 20 minutes.

6. Stir in peas, cook for 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.