Tag Archives: bay leaves

bouquet garni

11 Jan

333027318_4410ff1af9Bouquet garni in French means “garnished bouquet,” a bundle of herbs tied together with string, or added to a small sachet made of cheesecloth. The bouquet is then added to various dishes, notably soups, stews and sauces. It’s then removed right before serving.

Making your own bouquet is a fun and creative way to flavor your meals. There are endless combinations, but the most popular mix is parsley, thyme and bay leaves. Additional ingredients like citrus peels, peppercorns, tarragon, basil, rosemary, and even veggies like leeks, celery, carrots, onions make for a real pop in flavor!

Here’s a savory and wintry beef stew recipe, from food.com that uses a bouquet garni.

Inspiration for dinner tonight?

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs lean stewing beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 slices orange rind, each about 2 inches or 1 teaspoon grated dried orange peel
  • 1 bouquet garni (thyme, parsley, rosemary, and bay leaf)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  • Brown beef in oil in a skillet or pressure cooker over medium-high heat.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Reduce heat and add onion, garlic, and 2 T of the broth.
  • Cook, stirring, about 1 minute.
  • And remaining ingredients (except the beef).
  • Stir well to dissolve the tomato paste.
  • Add beef.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or so, until beef is tender.
  • Remove bouquet garni.
  • Serve!

Photo courtesy of salimfadhely

Flora’s seasonal recipe: corn soup

13 Aug

7010181017_ec67a85b98Taking a bite into freshly picked corn, goes hand in hand with the smell of freshly applied sunscreen, the sound of birds chirping in the morning, the fragrance of fresh picked basil, the juiciness of a sun warmed tomato, and the sweetness and bright, brilliant colors of ruby red watermelons.

I was gifted a big bagful of fresh corn the other day, and while I was grateful, I was also a little hesitant, “what am I going to do with all of this corn?” After some corn and tomato salads and corn on the cob, my taste buds were looking for a different corn texture, so I ventured into summer soup making!

Here’s how my gifted corn turned into a hearty soup:

Serves 4 (if you have any left over, refrigerate and eat for lunch!)

Ingredients:

  • 3 ears of corn
  • 1 red onion
  • 3-4 medium sized potatoes
  • 4 cups veggie broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • Pinch of salt + a few grinds of pepper

Directions:

Husk your corn, remove silks (place silks to the side to make a delicious corn silk tea). Cut the kernels off of the cob, and set aside. Don’t throw away the cobs! Dice your red onion and potatoes, then turn your burner to medium heat. Using a medium sized pot add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, swirl the oil so that it covers the base, then add your diced onion and sauté until slightly caramelized. Add 4 cups of broth or water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring down to a simmer then add the kernels, cobs, and potatoes. Top off with 2 bay leaves, then add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper for extra flavor. Let simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until potatoes and corn are soft. Use an immersion blender (if you don’t have one of these, you should, they are a lifesaver! if you have a food processor blend your soup in small batches, or if you don’t have any devices, use a potato masher), and blend/mash to your desired consistency. Serve warm, or if you are super patient, let it cool down for a cold summer soup.

I had my leftover soup for lunch the next day, and boy was it delicious. Now I am wishing I was gifted bags of corn every week!

Photo courtesy of RaeAllen