Wild Mushroom and Onion Soup

Adding wild mushrooms to a classic French onion soup gives this hearty and rich dish for winter fare a little twist. A great make ahead to heat up after a ski trip to the chalet or after a backyard snowman making session.

1/4 cup (50 mL) dried porcini or other mushrooms
1/2 cup (125 mL) boiling water
1/4 cup (50 mL) butter
2 large Spanish onions, thinly sliced
2 lbs (1 kg) wild mushrooms, such as shitake, cremini, oyster, king or chanterelle, trimmed and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried
1/3 cup (75 mL) dry sherry or Madeira wine
8 cups (2 L) vegetable or chicken stock
6 oz (175 g) cambozola cheese, sliced
16 slices artisan baguette

Place mushrooms in a small bowl and pour water over top. Let stand 15 minutes or until softened. Drain, reserving water and chop mushrooms. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, melt butter over medium-high heat and cook onions for about 10 minutes or until softened. Add fresh mushrooms, garlic and thyme and cook for about 15 minutes or until no liquid remains. Add sherry and cook for about 5 minutes or until evaporated. Add stock, reserved mushroom soaking liquid and soaked mushrooms. Bring to a gentle boil and let cook for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place cheese on top of baguette slices. Ladle soup into eight French onion soup bowls or heatproof bowls and top each with 2 cheese-topped baguette slices. Place on baking sheet and broil for about 1 minute or until cheese is bubbly and baguette is golden.

Makes 8 servings

Per serving: 310 calories; 12 g protein; 13 g fat; 35 g carbohydrate; 6 g fibre

Good Source of Vitamin B2, Good Source of Iron, Source of Fibre, Source of Vitamins B1 and B3, Source of Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc.

Smokey Root Vegetable Soup with Red Pepper Salsa

Smoked turkey leg provides a deep smokey flavour to this vegetable soup. Using a mix of root vegetables makes this soup hearty and satisfying for a cold winter’s night. The fresh crisp bite of the red pepper salsa balances the tender cooked vegetables in this freezable soup.

1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme leaves
1 tsp (5 mL) dried sage leaves, rubbed
2 parsnips, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
Half rutabaga, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
8 cups (2 L) chicken stock
1 smoked turkey drumstick or wing
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Red Pepper Salsa:

1/2 cup (125 mL) finely diced red pepper
2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped green onion
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tbsp (15 mL) wine vinegar
Pinch each salt and pepper

In a soup pot, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion, garlic, thyme and sage for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add parsnips, carrot, celery, rutabaga, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until well. Add chicken stock and turkey and bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 1 hour or until vegetables are very tender and turkey meat falls off the bone. Remove turkey from the soup and let cool slightly. Cut meat off the bone and chop. Return to soup pot with beans and heat through.

Red Pepper Salsa:

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine red pepper, green onion, parsley, vinegar, salt and pepper. Ladle soup into soup bowls and top with salsa before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Helpful Hint

To freeze this soup, let it cool completely and freeze in single servings for totable lunches or larger size for families. Freeze for up to 2 months. Do not freeze with red pepper salsa. Salsa needs to be made at time of serving.

Rutabaga is sometimes sold as waxed turnips in stores. It is a heartier storage vegetable and larger than traditional white turnips that are not waxed and also sold fresh. You can use white turnips in place of the rutabaga if desired.