Monday, January 24, 2011

Soups, Cornbread, and Kitchen Gadgets!

There are two things in life I absolutely love to try: 1) new recipes 2) new kitchen ware and gadgets

This Sunday I had the pleasure of doing both.  

For Christmas, my M-I-L gave me a Kitchen Aid Dutch Oven as one of my awesome gifts. She also gave me new dishes that I had been hinting at. My wish for the longest time was to convert over from mix matched dinner ware to all white uniformed ware. I tossed the old dishes and organized the new ones into my cabinets. My kitchen is getting closer to where I want it but there is still a lot of work to do. It's coming along nicely, though. 

My hubby joined Weight Watcher's this past week. I am so excited that he is sharing recipes with me that he would like to try. Since the weather has finally cooled down enough in H-Town, I decided to make his requested soup this past Sunday with my new KA dutch oven. 

First, I began with the cornbread. While the cornbread is not Weight Watcher's-friendly, it is a nice compliment to soup or chili. If you do not use parchment paper to line your pans, for cornbread I highly recommend spraying the pan with cooking spray and sprinkling the pan with a combination of cornmeal and flour (2 tbsp. to 2 tbsp. should do the trick). 

Next, follow this amazing recipe I borrowed from Shelby Ruttan of The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Shelby has an awesome site that I have followed for quiet some time now. 

I actually forgot to add in the melted butter which was left behind all by its lonesome in the microwave. It was discovered by my hubby who went to warm up some vittles. He asked me if I needed it to which I quickly responded by slapping my forehead and shouting some explicatives. Much to my relief, in the end, it worked out! 

I poked holes on the top of the cornbread and used a pastry brush to add the  forgotten melted butter over the bread. 


While the cornbread baked, I started the soup. While I had prepped everything for my South African Corn and Tomato soup, I soon discovered I had no corn. However, I did have some frozen mixed veggies. So, my South African Corn and Tomato soup, became South African Vegetable soup. No biggie.

See my nice new dutch oven? It did an awesome job of heating up and cooking.  The clean up was super easy, too! The lid is the best I have come across in a dutch oven, including my prized Le Creuset. I can hardly wait to use this new dutch oven to bake with, too! 

We like creamy soups in our family. Creamy soups usually have added in, well, cream to thicken them up and give them body. Well, it will do the same thing to you, too, so I used a trick I learned a long time ago from Oprah's chef's, Rosie, cookbook. Remember her? Rosie, not Oprah. 

Take some of the soup (about half) and blend it. Then, add it back into the original soup and mix it. The soup will be hot, so an immersion blender works best. If you are like me and do not have an immersion blender (another hint?), then reserve some of the chicken broth called for in the recipe (or liquid stock in any recipe) and add it to the blender with some of the hot soup (enough in total to make half). Make sense?  Or you risk hot liquid spurting out of the blender in all kinds of directions (heat creates pressure). If your idea of a kitchen adventure is darting away from hot liquid and cleaning up soup from walls, cabinets, and ceilings, then disregard my tip. If I lost you, here is a picture. 

I added one cup of broth (room temp) that was called for in the original recipe, then added enough soup to be about half of the total batch. Then, I blended it nice and good.  I added it back into the gorgeous dutch oven and stirred it back together. 

The soup will be thicker and have the texture of a creamy soup, but not the calories of one! Whew. 

When you are done, you will have this on a cold day. Or any day. 

Garnish the soup with chopped fresh Basil or Cilantro and black pepper. Then, your in business! 

All these pictures were taken with my iPhone.  One day, I plan on working on my photography and editing skills, but for now, I am happy to share with you my "humble" triumphs in the kitchen which now involve lighter fare and new dishes! Did you notice those, too? 

Both recipes were great!  I imagine I will be making both again soon in the near future which is looking so bright I gotta wear shades. 

I don't have any of those either. Hhhmmm. 

* Note: Total WW points: 10 for 1 serving of soup and 1 serving of cornbread


Cheryl said...

YUMMY, both of those would be awesome on a nice cold day! I went to a restaurant supply house and bought 25 of everything, plates, bowls, etc, solid white and they are virtually chip free and have been for years!

Leslie said...

I could go for a cup of that soup right now, and the cornbread looks irresistible too!

Shelby said...

The soup looks great and I'm so glad you loved the cornbread! I'm totally impressed with you brushing the butter over top! I think I need to leave the butter out just so I can do that! Thanks for the kind words!

Julie said...

The soup looks delish! Great idea to put the forgotten butter over the top :)