Island Cooking: Soup’s Good for What Ails You



I’m missing summer already. Every day when I leave the house to go somewhere, it seems the leaves are changing color faster than ever.

I swear I just put all of my outdoor furniture outside and now I’m going to have to start making room for it once again in my garage. And if I’m true to form I will put that off for later and will be shoveling it out from under 3 feet of snow in December. And the garage of course is the same garage that I was going to clean at the beginning of summer but failed to do so because there always seemed to be something more pressing to do – like visiting the new Marden’s where I purchased more plastic containers to organize my cellar and garage, which are now sitting in both locations unfilled and gathering dust along with everything that is supposed to be put in them.

 

While I was trying to get motivated to start these tasks, my son was generous enough to come home from school sick with a cold and give it to me. I don’t get sick very often, but this cold was doing me in. The one thing that irritates me the most when I get sick is that almost everyone I know, when they get sick, loses their appetite. Oh no, not me I’m even more hungry than usual. Let’s see, the first night I managed to choke down steak smothered with blue cheese and butter all over the top. The next morning when I was feeling at my worst I was still hungry, so for breakfast I had a large tortilla stuffed with leftover burrito mixture, jalapeños, cheese and salsa and iced tea. A few hours later, still hungry, I had oatmeal and toast, cheese and crackers and a large slab of chocolate cake that I had made for my son’s birthday, which was that same day. And in addition to a few other snacks, I managed to throw some dread dough fixings in the breadmaker so I could bake a loaf of and make fettuccine Alfredo for my son which he wanted for his birthday dinner. Not to worry: I had a nice healthy bowl of fettuccine and a couple slices of bread and more cake. I definitely won’t wither away when I’m sick.

So with the cold and flu season well on its way, I guess it’s time for some nice soup recipes – ones you can even make ahead and freeze in containers so you’ll be prepared when someone comes home with a cold and is kind enough to share it with you!

But just in case your starting to feel a little tickle in your throat or possibly a fever coming on, grab a big coffee mug and prepare this nice, soothing drink.

 

Hot Toddy

  • 1 mug, empty
  • 1 once of your favorite brandy or whiskey
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon’s juice
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tea bag

Pour the honey in the bottom of your mug and add whiskey or brandy and the juice of the lemon. Place teabag in your mug. Heat water to boiling and pour into mug stir, sit back, relax and enjoy.

 

French Onion Soup

This is one of my favorites.

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 to 5 large onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 6 cups low sodium beef stock
  • 4 toasted thick slices of a crusty French bread
  • 2 1/2 cups of your favorite cheese (best with Gruyere or Swiss)

Add oil and butter to a deep pan and heat to medium heat. Meanwhile slice all of your onions and place them in the pan, season with poultry seasoning and salt and pepper. Cook until tender and caramel colored, about 15 minutes or more, stirring frequently. Add bay leaf and sherry to the pot and stir up from the bottom, mixing everything together. Add beef stock and cover pot and bring to a boil, then turn off heat.

Place four crocks or ovenproof bowls on a cookie sheet. Ladle soup into bowls and place toasted bread on soup then top each with a good amount of cheese. Preheat broiler and put soup in the oven until cheese melts and is bubbly.

 

Chicken Noodle Soup

The classic.

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 8 cups chicken broth or your homemade stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups of your favorite dry pasta (I like a small penne or egg noodles)

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add celery and carrots; cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or just until they begin to soften. Add chicken cubes and continue to cook until no longer pink. Add chicken broth and parsley. Bring to a boil then reduce heat cover and let simmer for at least 10 minutes.

Boil noodles in a large sauce pan until al dente, drain, and add to the chicken soup and continue to cook another 5 minutes or until noodles are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Garden Vegetable Soup

It’s time to get some of those veggies from your garden, and put together a nice veggie soup.

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 medium stalks of celery, chopped
  • Three carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 tsp. sage
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. basil

In large pot combine all of your ingredients except cabbage. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes and add cabbage for the last five minutes. Enjoy!

 

For more arts & entertainment news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

 

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