Relaxation in a bowl: French Onion Soup

When you are stressed and poor make this soup. Why? Because you will instantly feel warm and rich after just a couple bites and the ingredients needed to make it are soo cheap that you won’t compromise your budget and it makes loads!

So here was the big idea, I have some left over crusty wheat bread from another meal what can I do with that? Hmmmmmm, Oh yes, what about the delights of French onion soup?  I must admit to being fully smitten with the crock of onion soup served at a recently deceased Irish restaurant chain so this idea seemed like a good one. I made my own attempt with very little help (I did glance at this recipe). I decided to stay simple and use up a few ingredients I had been stock piling (What? When good quality broth in a box is on sale you get a case too, right?). So… survey says? This was a knock out! It was creamy because of the slowly stewed onions and it was rich because of the glug of marsala wine I had hanging out by the stove. All in all I was euphoric until I stepped outside and realized it wasn’t the cool 50 degrees outside I had conjured up in my imagination while slurping my soup.

 

French Onion Soup

3 Med/Lrg Onions sliced thinly

1 T. Butter

1 Garlic clove minced

½ t. Herbs de province

¼ C. Marsala wine or any wine

4 C. Beef stock (best quality you can get)

1 Beef bouillon cube

1 t. pepper (or more to taste) 

– Melt butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven (you’ll need a lid) over med-high heat.

– Sauté onions in butter until almost translucent

-Add garlic and Herbs de province and stir

-When garlic is fragrant (ie you can smell it at your front door; or about a minute) add wine to pan to deglaze; simmer for aprox 2-3 minutes (until the alcohol smell starts to fade)

-Add stock, bouillon, and pepper and bring up to light boil.

-Reduce heat to low so that soup can simmer with lid cracked for at least 30-40 minutes (if you can give it an hour or two it will only be better).

 

Serving assembly:

2 Thick slices dry bread (there are prepackaged Holland biscuits or just cut a hunk off a loaf and let dry out in the oven on 250 for 15 or so minutes)

2 Slices swiss cheese

– Pre-heat Broiler to high heat

– Line a baking sheet with foil and mist with nonstick cooking spray

– Stack each slice of bread with a slice of swiss cheese

– Place pan under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly

– ladle about 2 cups of soup in a bowl and top with cheese topped bread, let it rest for at least a couple minutes before eating.

*I make big bowls of soup but you can do a smaller serving and use this soup like a starter or you can multiply the recipe and make enough for 4 (I would take all the measurements and multiply by 1.5 a total double recipe would probably be more like 6 servings)

**If you have those super cute little brown crocks for soup that you can put in the oven by all means assemble soup with bread and cheese and broil it in crock to get ensure those sticky melted cheese on the rim of the bowl battles J

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Pan Seared tilapia

Some nights you just need something quic, some nights you need something healthy & low carb (haven’t you heard? Carbs are the devil lol), and some nights you need both. This is a meal for one of those nights.

It’s all of like 4 ingredients (sans seasonings and butter) for the main dish and if you’re me you just toss some frozen veg in a steamer bag and nuke them to just cooked perfection. After a couple sprays of your favorite healthy butter substitute and a small hunk of multi grain bread and vuala. The big take away for me was how delicious such simple (and cheap! Hello I’m on a grad school budget) ingredients could make something so fab. So give it a try with your fave ocean dweller and enjoy.

 

Pan-Seared Herbed Tilapia

 

1 Tilapia fillet

1 Garlic clove minced

1 T. chopped parsley

1 T. butter

1 half lemon juiced

1 t. lemon pepper

1 t. salt

 –         Heat pan to med-high heat

–         Sprinkle fillet with seasonings and coat with garlic and parsley

–         Allow butter to melt in pan then add seasoned fillet to hot pan.

–         Cook fish aprox. 3 minutes per side (or until opaque/flaky)

–         Just before removing fish from pan add lemon juice (you can also add an extra tab of butter now for extra tastiness) and serve.

 

He's concerned about his carb intake...