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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Please watch this area for important information like updates, food recalls, polls, contests, coupons, and freebies.
  • [January 15, 2016] - It's National Soup Month so this month's posts will focus on soups. Yum!
  • [February 1, 2016] - An interesting report on why you should always choose organic tea verses non-organic: Toxic Tea (pdf format)
  • Sticky Post - Warning: 4ever Recap reusable canning lids. The reports are growing daily of these lids losing their seal during storage. Some have lost their entire season's worth of canning to these seal failures!

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Souped Up Cream of Broccoli Soup

Several years ago I discovered the food channel, Food Network. It quickly became and still is my favourite channel. While I enjoy watching and learning from all of the chefs and cooks, I am rather partial to Michael Smith. His philosophy is cooking without a recipe which is something that is very much my style of cooking. Some of the best meals are those made without using a recipe. I agree with him that a recipe is just a starting point. Recipes are not intended to written in stone!

Have you ever wondered why a dish you made using your friend's recipe did not taste like your friends? This is due to a few reasons. First every cook has little ways of doing part of the prep or cooking that isn't reflected in the recipe. These are not intentional omissions but rather they aren't mentioned because they are second nature to the author of the recipe so the author simply doesn't think to include them. For example they may only use sea salt but because that is all they use, they don't think to specify because to them it's just salt. The second reason that the recipe results will differ is the ingredients themselves. Something as simple as the variety of the tomato used in a dish can change the flavour yet most recipes do not specify the variety to use. Flavours of the same ingredient vary not only between brands but within the same brand depending on location. Some ingredients are only locally available so substituting another similar ingredient will have an effect on the dish. Finally don't over look the importance of emotion in relation to how we remember how a particular dish tasted. So next time you are following a recipe do a little experimenting. You will be surprised at what can happen!

Cream of Broccoli & Mushroom Soup

Winter is hanging in there so soup is always a welcomed meal. Virtually none of my homemade soups have an actual recipe that is meant to be followed exactly. They are jotted down in my kitchen journal as I make them so I can keep a record of tweaking but even as they appear on this blog they can still be tweaked further for your family's tastes.

Yesterday I decided to make cream of broccoli soup (my recipe here). I thought it would be a great soup on a cold, blustery day. As I was getting the ingredients out, the mushrooms caught my eye. Hmm, mushrooms would be a nice addition so they went into my ingredient group. I spotted the bacon and thought "why not?" so it went into the ingredient group as well. Instead of using a flour slurry to thicken the soup I decided on using instant potatoes. Instant potatoes are wonderful for thickening cream based soups! Use the finely ground instant potatoes rather than flakes for thickening although flakes will work in a pinch. I used turkey stock in place of vegetable stock. The resulting soup was quite lovely!

Method: Use the recipe in the link above as a start. Omit the cheese if desired as I did in this soup. Cut the bacon into pieces and fry. Drain and pat to remove fat. After adding the stock and partially blending the soup, add the mushrooms and bacon. Slowly pour in instant potatoes stirring constantly to get the desired consistency.

2 food lovers commented:

JeanC said...

YUM! I think I know what I'm making this weekend :)

Garden Gnome said...

Thanks :) Enjoy!