Saturday, 28 February 2009

Pak Choi Soup

Okay, me neither!

The vegetable box this week brought a brown bag of pak choi (or Chinese leaves).

I think they like to challenge me!

Stir fry seems to be the most common use, although the leaves can be used instead of lettuce.

The leaves looked beautiful, lovely fresh green parts and creeamy stems.

So, soup it was.

I had 2 medium and 3 small onions in the fridge and 1 large potato.

I sliced the potato until it looked llike chips, then chopped the chips to even squares.

I then chopped the onions.

I sauted both gently in butter until well coated, meanwhile slicing the whites of the pak choi and tearing the greens.

The whites got added to the potato and onion mix and stirred in for a bit.

Then I added the torn greens and stirred them till they wilted down.

I poured on chicken stock and brought the pan to the boil before leaving to simmer for about 30 minutes.

When cool I blended it with a hand blender.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

French Onion Soup

I found yesterday, when clearing the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator, that I had an excess of onions (also potatoes, but that is for another post), so I decided to make French Onion Soup.

After cutting off the tops and bottoms and skinning the onions I found I had almost a 1 lb, so I made the soup like this:


1 lb onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsps olive oil
1 oz butter (I use organic)
salt and pepper
pinch sugar
1 level Tbsp flour
100 ml dry white wine*
1 litre beef stock **

* I know I should stick to lbs and ozs or metric, but my measuring jugs are metric.
** Back in the day I used to used Campbell's Condensed Beef soup, then stock cubes, but now I am trying these new stocks. M and S have bags of stoct, but I was in Asda and got some concentrated stock. Verdict to follow.


1. Heat the oil and butter and stir in the onions until coated.
2 Cover and saute very gently for about 10 or so minutes, stirring to make sure they don 't stick.
3. Add the sugar and seasoning and cook for 30 minutes stirring all the time until the onions are golden.
4. Make a roux with the flour, stirring well to make sure it is incorporated in the onions, then fry for about 3 minutes.
4. Pour in the wine, stirring followed by the beef stock, stirring all the time.
5. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for half an hour.

Traditionally, French onion soup has cognac added, and I used to use Remy Martin, but I am not so fond of using that now (never thought I'd see the day).

To serve, you would use slices of French loaf, toasted, and covered with grated Swiss cheese floating on the top. If you do this, you will probably find it is enough for a meal, certainly a lunch.