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Tonight's last minute dinner decision was Broccoli Potato Cheese Soup w/ Beer Bread. There's no secret to the beer bread; it's just Archer Farm's (from Target) Beer Bread, for which I used Shiner Black.
I've made up several recipes for (broccoli) potato cheese soup over the years. How I make it on any given day/night is largely determined by how much time I have and what ingredients I have on hand. Tonight's recipe was the quickest and easiest of all my potato cheese recipes.
Total prep time & cook time: 25 minutes (which includes washing the broccoli and cutting the florets off a head of broccoli)
Here's the recipe:
1 box (4 cups) Organic Chicken Broth
1 can Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup
4 oz. Five Cheese (Provolone, Mozzarella, Asiago, Romano, and Parmesan) shredded Kraft Cheese
2 cups Potato Buds
3 oz. Shiner Black beer
2 oz. water
3 cups broccoli florets (2 cups is okay if you prefer less)
1/2 teaspoon Lawry's salt
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon White Pepper, however much you prefer
In a 3 quart pan, heat the chicken broth. Once the broth is boiling, add the Broccoli. As it is boiling I added the Lawry's, Garlic Powder, and White Pepper. Cook broccoli to desired tenderness. (I like it to be softer rather than crunchy in a soup. Boiling about 8 minutes should do.)
Measure 1 cup of the Potato buds. Moisten the Potato Buds with the 2 oz. of water and the 3 oz. of beer. Stir it up real good until all the flakes have dissolved.
By now your broccoli is done, so with a slotted spoon, remove it from the pan and set it aside in a dish.
Add the Potato Buds mixture to the boiling broth and stir to dissolve it. While still stirring, add the remaining 1 cup of Potato Buds to the soup. Don't stop stirring! Stir it until the flakes are dissolved then remove it from the heat.
Open up the can of cheddar cheese soup and pour that into the pan. Stir that up until the cheese is no longer identifiable. Add the shredded cheese and place it back on the burner on medium heat. Stir it well until the shredded cheese is good and dissolved.
Last but not least, add the broccoli back to the soup and stir it just enough to mix it in.
If you really love cheese, you can serve it with some shredded cheese (Five Cheese or cheddar) on top.
Tonight I made a quick-n-easy vanilla ice cream. I made this up on the fly, no printed recipe. (I do that a lot; I make up recipes on the fly but write 'em down so I don't forget.)
Total prep time about 30 minutes, but the wait time is 12 hours after putting it in the freezer.
Update: I accidentally said whole milk. Turned out I used 2% Milk (Horizon Organic to be exact). Sorry about that! I'm sure whole milk would do fine though.
Here's the recipe:
1 pint (which is 2 cups) Heavy Whipping Cream
1 can Borden sweetened condensed milk
3 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup sugar
While the whipping cream was being whisked on high in the mixer, I measured the 1 cup of milk in a 4 cup capacity measuring cup.
Next, I added the rest of the ingredients to the measuring cup and stirred it up until the sweetened condensed milk was all dissolved.
By then the heavy whipping cream was completely aerated into a nice thick whipped cream. I added the mixture slowly (about 30 seconds of pouring) from the measuring cup into the mixer. I let it mix for another 30 seconds.
Then I transferred the mixture to the ice cream attachment of the KitcheAid and let it mix until it got good and thick.
Last but not least, avoid the temptation of eating it all and put it in a container in the freezer for at least 12 hours.
The result is a nice french vanilla sweet cream.