Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Soup

French Onion Soup

Appetizer, Dinner, SoupTove Balle-PedersenComment
French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

French onion soup is a worldwide classic and a big favorite in my house. The deep, somewhat sweet and umami flavors with the saltiness from the gruyere is a party in my mouth. I like to serve  some extra crispy slices of cheesy bread slices, to add some extra texture. French onion soup is normally an appetizer, but somehow it always transforms itself to a main course, when I make it at home. Perfect for a meatless Monday or any other day. 

Serves 6 as an appetizer 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, salted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 onions, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup (2½ dl) white wine
  • 1 liter (4 cups) beef broth

Topping:

  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • ½ pound gruyere cheese

Directions:

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, and thyme, and cook until the onions are soft and caramelized, this will take about 25 minutes. You want to get a good caramelizing on the onions, this will make the flavors more deep and more complex. Add the wine, broth, garlic and bay leave. Bring the soup to simmer. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes. Season to taste. Discard thyme sprigs, garlic and bay leave.

Preheat the oven to 400℉ (200℃). Spread the baguette slices on a baking sheet, sprinkle with some olive oil. Toast the bread for about 10 minutes until golden and crispy. 

Preheat the boiler.

Pour the soup into ovenproof cups or bowls. Place 1-2 bread slices on top, and sprinkle a good amount cheese on top. Place the soup under the boiler and heat until the cheese has melted and turned golden and bubbly. 

Serve the soup immediately.

Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Appetizer, Dinner, Holiday, Soup, VegetablesTove Balle-PedersenComment
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Dansk udgave

First time I encountered a butternut squash was after moving to the US. Every fall I would see piles of this oddly shaped beige vegetable in the grocery store. They were hard like a pumpkin, but didn't look like the pumpkins I knew from back home. Pumpkin was not something we cooked with in Denmark, at least not in my family. My mom had made pumpkin jam and sugar pickled pumpkin, but the recipes is long gone.

I got to taste a butternut squash soup at a friends house one Thanksgiving, and I kinda liked it, but I was on the sweeter side, and as I recall it, it had nutmeg or some warm spices in it. 

I don't have to tell you, but I'm not a fan of pumpkin pie, but I will never pass on a Pumpkin Spice Latte. It must be the coffee that make me love it.

I like a fresher and lighter taste to my butternut squash soup, so I was delighted when I found a soup with few ingredients, including an apple, on CHOW.com.  I made a few changes, and got a crisp fresh butternut squash soup, that even my squash-hating husband liked. He ranked it up with his favorite, spicy peach soup, so I must have hit something right with this soup.

Here is my version:

Serves 4 for dinner or 6-8 for an appetizer.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced 
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 3 teaspoons chicken paste*
  • 4 cups (about 1 liter) water
  • 2 teaspoons salt or taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or taste

Garnish:

  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • ½ leek, thinly sliced
  • a few sugar pickled chilies

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220℃). 

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Brush them with about 1 tablespoon of butter all over the cut side. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast squashes for about 50 minutes, until knife tender and browned on the edges.

Melt the remaining butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple and onion, and cook while stirring until softened about 5 minutes. 

When the squash has cooled somewhat, scoop the flesh out with a spoon into the sautéed onions and apples. Discard the skins.

Add chicken paste and water, and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes, until the flavors are blended. Season with salt, pepper and fresh sage. 

Purée the soup in batches in a blender** until smooth. (You can also use an immersion blender.) Season with more salt and pepper if needed. 

Serve the soup hot with your favorite garnish and a slice of good bread.

* You can use chicken or vegetable stock instead of the paste and water. 

**Be careful when blending hot liquids, it can make the lid pop off, and you may risk getting serious burns on you skin. You can remove the small cap on you blender lid and cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel. You need to hold on to the lid and towel. This will let the steam from the hot soup escape and avoid the lid from popping off. You can also get blenders like the Vitamix, where you can blend hot liquids, without any hassle.


The Danish version:

Bagt Butternut-Græskar-Suppe

Til 4 personer til aftensmad eller 6-8 personer til forret.

Ingredienser:

  • 2 mellemstore butternut græskar, halverede på langs og fjern frøene
  • 2 spsk smør
  • 1 Granny Smith æble, skrællet og skåret i tern 
  • 1 løg
  • 4 friske salvieblade
  • 1 liter kylling eller grøntsagsboullion
  • 2 tsk salt, eller efter smag
  • ¼ tsk friskkværnet sort peber, eller efter smag

Tilbehør:

  • ½ dl ristede græskarkerner 
  • ½ porre skåret i tynde skiver
  • lidt sukkersyltede chilier

Fremgangsmåde:

Opvarm ovnen til 220℃. 

Kom staniol på en bageplde/bradepande, og sæt de flækkede græskar her på, med skærefladen opad. Pensl dem med lidt smeltet smør, og krydder med rigeligt salt og peber. Bag græskarne i ca. 50 minutter, indtil de er møre og brunede i kanten. De er møre, når du let kan stikke en kniv ned i kødet.

Smelt resten af smørret i en stor tykbundet gryde, og sauter løg og æbletern heri indtil de er bløde, ca. 5 minutter. 

Når græskaret er kølet lidt og det er til at håndtere, skrab kødet ud af skallen og ned til løg og æbler. Smid græskarskallerne ud.

Tilsæt bouillonen og kog suppen op. Lad suppen simre i ca. 15 minutter. Krydr med salt, peber og salvie. 

Blend suppen i en blender eller med en stavblender. Pas på med at blende den varme suppe, da det kan give skoldninger, hvis låget hopper af. Man kan evt. tage det lille låg af blenderen og dække hullet til med et viskestykke, men der blendes. 

Smag suppen til med salt og peber en sidste gang, og server den brændvarm med det ønskede tilbehør.

Velbekomme

NB. Man kan få blendere som f.eks. Vitamix, som gør det muligt at blende varme supper uden problemer.

Lasagne Soup

Dinner, Meats, SoupTove Balle-PedersenComment
Lasagne Soup

Lasagne Soup

Lasagne is the ultimate comfort food for me, so why not make the dish into a yummy hearty soup?

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound (450 g) ground beef
  • 1 large onions, chopped 
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup red wine (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5-6 cups (1½ l) Beef stock (I used leftovers from my beef soup)
  • 1 handful pasta (I used  XX)
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Topping: 

  • 1 cup (240 ml) sour cream or creme fraiche
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • shredded mozzarella cheese 

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the beef, breaking it up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. 

Add onions and cook until softened, then add garlic, and spices. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and heat it through, until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves and beef stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. The longer you let it cook, the deeper the flavors become. 

Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Right before serving stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the topping. In a small bowl combine all but the mozzarella, and season with salt and pepper.

Serve the soup in bowls with a dollop of the topping and som sheredded mozzarella on top.

Enjoy!

The Danish version:

Lasagnesuppe

Ingredienser:

  • 2 tsk olivenolie
  • 450 g hakket oksekød
  • 1 stort løg, groft hakket 
  • 4 fed hvidløg, presset
  • 2 tsk oregano
  • 1 tsk timian
  • 1 tsk basilikum
  • 1 tsk rosmarin
  • ½ tsk chiliflager
  • 2 spsk konc. tomatpuré
  • 1 dåse hakkede tomater 
  • 2½ dl rødvin (behøves ikke, men giver mere dybde i smagen)
  • 2 laurbærblade
  • 1½ l okseboullion (jeg brugte resterne af min oksekødssuppe)
  • 1 håndfuld pasta 
  • 1 dl hakket frisk basilikum
  • salt og friskkværnet peber, smag retten til

Topping: 

  • 240 ml creme fraiche
  • 1 dl friskrevet parmesan 
  • ¼ tsk salt
  • 1 knsp friskkværnet peber
  • ½ dl hakket frisk basilikum
  • revet mozzarella

Directions:

Varm olien i en tykbundet gryde, og brun det hakkede oksekød heri. Sørg for at kødet bliver findelt, mens det brunes. Tilsæt løg, hvidløg og krydderierne, og steg i et par minutter indtil løgene er blevet bløde. Tilsæt tomatpureen og varm den igennem, til den får en rødbrun farve, Dette tage lidt af syren i tomatpureen.

Tilsæt de hakkede tomater, rødvin, laurbærblade og oksebouillonen. Lad suppen simre i omkring 30 minutter. Jo længre tid den koger, jo dybere bliver smagen.

Kom den ukogte pasta i suppen og kog indtil den er al dente.  Kom den friske basilikum i suppen lige før serveringen. Smag suppen til med salt og peber. 

Mens pastaen koger i suppen, mix toppingen. Bland alt undtagen mozzarellaen  og smag det til med salt og peber.

Server suppen i skåle med en klat topping og revet mozzarella på toppen

Velbekomme!

 

Green Asparagus Soup

Dinner, SoupTove Balle-PedersenComment
Green Asparagus Soup

Green Asparagus Soup

Asparagus soup is white, right? I always thought so. The frozen and canned asparagus soup I've seen in Danish stores where all white. But why not use the tasty green asparagus for soup? It could be a healthier option than the white creamed soup that I've always known.

I got the inspiration from Giada de Laurentis cook book "Weeknights with Giada" where she made a green asparagus soup with goat cheese as a topping. I tweaked the recipe to fit my taste and this is my take on it:

Serves 3-4

Ingredients: 

Soup: 

  • 2 teaspoon butter

  • 150 g Leeks

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • a pitch of yellow mustard seeds

  • 2 bunches of asparagus

  • 1/4 cup white wine

  • 2-3 tablespoons chicken base (Better than Bouillon reduced sodium)

  • 1 quart boiling water

  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)

  • 1-2 fresh squeezed lemon juice

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings: 

  • dry chorizo, thinly sliced and fried to crispy

  • asparagus tops (save some of the tops, and fry them briefly)

  • Goat cheese mixed with finely chopped fresh basil and a splash heavy whipping cream.

Directions: 

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In a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium-low heat. When hot, add the leeks and the mustard seeds, cook, stirring constantly until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes, be careful not to get any colour on the leeks. Add wine, stock, water, asparagus. Bring soup to a simmer and cook until the asparagus are tender about 7-10 minutes.

Blend the soup smooth with a immersion blender or a regular blender. Be careful when working with hot soup in a blender.  If you need a new blender, consider a Vitamix. They are expensive, but they are worth all the money. They can liquefy almost anything and makes soup and margaritas so smooth and creamy. But the best part, you can blend hot soups without having to clean the soup of all your kitchen cabinets afterwards. Just saying. ;)

Season the the soup with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Serve the soup hot with the toppings. Enjoy!