Friday, January 30, 2015

Red wine and mushroom soup

The idea for this soup came to me a couple of weeks ago. I had leftover red wine from a dinner with friends that I had to use up and a bucket of mushrooms in the fridge.

Here's what I came up with. Hope you'll like this recipe and try it at home!

INGREDIENTS (4 people):
- 1x 8oz bucket of cremini mushrooms
- 3/4 cups red wine
- 4 cups broth (I used beef, but feel free to use chicken or vegetable broth)
- 1 small onion (or 1/2 medium)
- 3 medium russet potatoes
- a splash of olive oil
- salt, pepper to taste
- a sprig of thyme (not pictured)
- 3 rashes of thick cut bacon, finely chopped (not pictured)
- optional: dried porcini mushrooms (I just did not have any on hand, but would have added it to the soup had I had some!)

- optional: if you have dried porcini on hand, rehydrate them with 1/2 cup boiling water and let them steep for 30 minutes, then drain them thoroughly, chop them and reserve the liquid
Note: using rehydrated porcini mushrooms will add a deep earthy mushroomy flavor to this soup. I highly recommend splurging :) 
- peel and dice the potatoes and onion in 1/4 inch cubes and slice the mushrooms thinly

- in a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and a sprinkle of salt and saute until nice and golden

Note: at first, they will render a LOT of moisture and start to steam. This is perfectly normal and when the moisture evaporates, they will eventually become crispy and golden.
- when the mushrooms are cooked, add the onions and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent

Note: if you are using rehydrated porcini mushrooms, add them at this stage
- deglaze with the wine, then add the potatoes, thyme and broth and bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat

Note: if you are using rehydrated porcini, add the reserved liquid at this stage
- lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender

- while the soup is cooking, crisp up the sliced bacon in a skillet and reserve on a paper towel

- when the potatoes are cooked through, pour out 1 to 2 cups of soup in a small container and using a stick blender, puree until smooth then return the pureed soup to the bigger pot

Note: this is an optional step that thickens the soup and adds a creamy texture without adding any cream, flour or cornstarch
- sprinkle a spoonful of crispy bacon on top and enjoy!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Turkey and chickpeas crockpot "chili"

Hi guys!!!

How have YOU been doing?? Like I said in my last post, a cute little furry life event has been the reason for the sluggish blog output at PITK these past two months.

But I'm back! And today is a snowday here in Boston. So let's kick-start the 2015 PITK season in style and make a crockpot chili :)


INGREDIENTS (2-3 people):
- 1.5 lbs ground turkey
- 3 rashes of thick cut bacon
- 1 large Idaho potato, peeled and diced in bite sized cubes
- 1/2 large or 1 medium onion
- 1x 15oz can of chickpeas, juice reserved
- 1x 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1tbsp salt
- 1tbsp ground cumin
- 1tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder

- in a dutch oven, fry the chopped bacon until crispy and golden over medium high heat then add the chopped onion and saute until translucent over medium heat

- add the ground turkey and cook until golden, using a wooden spoon to break off any large chunks

- when the meat is brown, but not completely cooked, place in the slow cooker together with the chickpeas, diced potato, tomatoes and spices

- stir well and cook on HIGH for 4 hours

- stir every 30 minutes and adjust the consistency to your liking with the reserved chickpea liquid

- serve sprinkled with grated cheddar and a few slices of avocado
- enjoy!