Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Creamy Carrot Soup & Cheese Biscuits

Creamy Carrot Soup
1/2 large white onion, diced
3/4 cup butter, more if needed
4 medium carrots, chopped small
1/2 cup white flour
900 mL chicken broth or stock
*3 3/4 cup water
2 small russet potatoes, chopped small
1/4 cup shredded cooked farmer sausage
basil, to taste
orregano, to taste
shredded dill, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
fresh bacon bits, to taste
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup milk

1. Melt the butter in large saucepan. Add onions and carrots and let them sweat out.
2. Slowly add the flour, little bits at a time, to form a roux*. Brown the roux for about 30 seconds.
3. Add the chicken broth/stock slowly, stirring constantly to let the roux blend in the the liquid. Add potatoes and spices.
4. Let come to a boil, stirring constantly (or it will me).
5. After its come to a boil, turn the heat down to low and add about 2 cups of the water. Let simmer until it thickens more. Add the rest of the water. Continue simmering until vegetables and potatoes are cooked.
6. Add the cream and milk. Let heat up just until hot, but stirring constantly*.
7. Once heated through, you can either eat it like this or continue on to the next step.
8. Pour some of the soup into a blender or food processor. Turn it on high until everything is pureed. Continue this step until all the soup is pureed.

* 3 3/4 cup water is a very rough estimate. If you want thick and creamy, add around 2 1/2 to 3 cups, for a thinner soup, add the full amount.

*Roux - if you don't know what a roux is, don't worry! A roux is simply a mixture of equal parts fat and starch. The fat here is the butter, and the starch is the flour. This is formed when making soups and sauces, used to thicken and darken the colour of the final product. The longer you brown it, the darker your product will be. You'll also achieve a more defined, deep flavor.

*Dairy products are very stubborn when it comes to cooking them on an element. They burn very fast and require lots of attention while being heated.

Cheese Biscuits
2 cups white flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened but not melted
1 1/2 cups sharp marble cheese, grated
1 cup water

1. In large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter until its nice and crumbly.
2. Add the water and the cheese, mix until well blended.
3. Place on baking sheets in rounded teaspoons, about 1-2 inches apart (to make nice even biscuits, dip your fingers in some water and just press them slightly in the top, rounding them out).
4. Bake @ 425 degrees F. for 8-12 minutes, or until golden and lovely.

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