Soups on…

…and now for the post-Holiday January blahs…
Comfort food to cheer…like soup, warm and wonderfully good…like the new year.
The Menu Shoppe has it covered…discover our “finds”…appetizers or small plates. FOH or your place.
Cauliflower soup with Gorgonzola
1 medium cauliflower
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 smallish yellow onions, peeled and finely sliced
4 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 cup Gorgonzola cheese
1/3 cup creme fraiche
parsley sprigs for trim
Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower and break it into small florets (don’t remove the stalk – it infuses more flavor).  Set aside. Melt the butter gently in a  large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sweat gently for 5 minutes or so until translucent. Add the cauliflower, thyme and bay leaves. Season with little salt and pepper, to allow the flavors to adjust and find their feet. Pour in the stock, stir and bring to a simmer. Then cover and simmer for 20 minutes or so, until the cauliflower is very soft. Crumble in the Gorgonzola and stir over a low heat until it has melted into the soup. Add the creme fraiche and stir to combine. Pick out the bay leaves and thyme stalks, then blend the soup until really smooth.  Return the soup to the pan and reheat gently. Taste and add a little more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Ladle unto warm bowls, serve topped with chopped parsley.
Rustic Mushroom Soup with Thyme
10 ounces mushrooms ( assorted rustic variety )
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups chicken or turkey broth
½ cup dry white wine or sherry
1/4 cup half and half, or cream
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
dash pepper
dash sel de fleur
Brush mushrooms clean with damp towel–quarter and set aside. Melt half of butter in heavy stockpot. Add onions and heat until onions become transparent. Add mushrooms and the rest of the butter and stir until mushrooms begin to darken and cook.  Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for an hour. After an hour of simmering, allow the soup to cool. Working in batches, transfer mushrooms and most of the onions to a blender and purée, holding the blender top down. Return the purée to the stockpot, add wine and allow to simmer for another hour. Also add a rind of parmesan + the thyme and steep it to infuse flavor and texture–let steep 20 minutes. Just before serving, add the half and half  or cream to infuse a fabulous velvety sip. frenchkitcheninamerica.blogspot.com/2007/03/rustic-mushroom-soup-with-thyme-after.
Smokey Cheddar Potato Soup
1/4 cup butter
1 onion diced
2 cans of chicken stock
3 stalks of celery, diced
4-5 dashes of Tabasco
4 cups of potato, peeled and diced
1 can of milk, 12 oz
1 cup of smoked cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp of liquid smoke
4-5 dashes of tabasco
Brown onion and celery in butter in large dutch oven pan. Add chicken stock and water to level half-way up the pan. Bring to boil and add potatoes. Boil til potatoes are tender. Stir in milk, cheese, tabasco and liquid smoke. Hint: for extra texture, try a can of diced water chestnuts, pumpkin seeds or pine nuts.
From the Arcadian Inn Bed and Breakfast
If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
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