Fennel Soup with French Toast Croutons

Fall is such a great time for soup! I find myself always adding a soup recipe into my weekly meal plan these days, and this is one of my go-to’s. It’s fairly quick and easy, and the flavour is great! The cannellini beans give the soup a creamy texture, while the addition of the french toast croutons is something so fun and just makes this soup that much more delicious.  Of course, it is from my favourite, Jamie Oliver – Save With Jamie cookbook.

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Sweet Fennel Soup with French Toast Croutons
Serves 4

2 cloves garlic
2 yellow onions
2 bulbs fennel
3 cups vegetable broth
1 x 14 oz can of cannellini beans
1 egg
2 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 1/2 oz ciabatta or stale bread
4 tsp plain yogurt

Heat a large saucepan on medium heat with a good lug of olive oil.

Finely slice your onions into half rings. Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves. Trim and finely slice your fennel bulbs (make sure to reserve the green herby-tips to top your soup with at the end – they add great flavour!). Add all of these ingredients to the saucepan and give it a good stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the lid and cook for 30 minutes. Make sure to stir every few minutes. Once everything is softened, add in your broth and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for another 20 minutes with the lid off. Use your immersion blender to get the soup as smooth as you’d like – have some fun! If you prefer a chunkier texture, don’t overland. You could throw the whole thing in a blender for a really smooth texture. Season well with salt and pepper.

For the croutons:

In a bowl, add 1 egg, the grated cheddar and the chili flakes. In a mortar and pestle, crush the fennel seeds and add to the bowl as well. Whisk everything together well. Chop or tear your bread into 1″ chunks, throw them into the egg mixture and toss well – i suggest using your hands to scrunch the bread well and soak up all the goodness. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add a splash of olive oil, and throw your croutons in. Fry until golden all over.

Ladle out some soup into bowls and drizzle your plain yogurt over top. Place a few of your french toast croutons on top, add those fennel tops you saved, and even some extra chili flakes if you want extra heat.

Enjoy!!

Brianna

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BBQ Flank Steak

There is nothing better than Summer and BBQ. During the summer, I like to make a lot of meals on the BBQ because our house doesn’t have air conditioning, and I’d be crazy to turn my oven on when its 30 degrees out! Also, everything tastes so delicious when it is cooked on the BBQ. From meats to veggies, you can be so creative with meals cooked outside.

This recipe is so simple, but so delicious. You put the flank steak in the marinade the night before, or the morning of dinner, and then you just need to grill it – simple! My favourite thing to eat alongside this flank steak is boiled potatoes with butter and chives (you can’t be part of this family if you don’t like butter!), and either grilled veggies or a nice green salad. It’s so light and fresh, you will definitely make this a staple in your recipe rotation!

Enjoy!

Welsh’s BBQ Flank Steak

1.5 Lb Flank Steak
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a large ziploc bag – add your flank steak and marinade overnight or at least 6 hours.
Heat your BBQ to about 400 degrees. Pop your flank steak on the grill, and cook 5-8 minutes per side, depending on how rare you like it. I find flank steak is best cooked medium rare-medium. Remove from the grill and cover with tin foil. Allow your yummy steak to rest for 10 minutes.
Slice and serve with your favourite steak side dishes!

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Healthy Chicken Fajitas!

Happy Friday!

It has been a busy few weeks, and it doesn’t look like that will let up any time this summer. When we are super busy, I love having a few go-to recipes that are healthy and quick to prepare. The less work I have to do making dinner, the more time I get to spend with my boys!

The original recipe comes from Skinnytaste – have you followed her blog or Facebook page? Love her meal ideas! I added a few variations that we like in our house.

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Chicken Fajitas

8 x boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks or strips
2 x bell peppers (red, orange or yellow) cut into strips
1 x green pepper, cut into strips
1 1/2 x yellow onion, cut into strips
4 Tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp. ground cumin (if you don’t have ground, use whole and grind it in a Mortar and Pestle)
1.5 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper
small tortilla shells

Toppings

You can be creative with your favourite toppings! Here are our favourites:

Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Sour Cream
Avocado
Tomatos
Jalapeños
Limes
Cilantro

Place chicken, lime juice, and spices in a bowl and mix. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Toss vegetables with 1 tbsp olive oil, some salt and pepper. Heat a large cast iron pan on medium heat. Add vegetables and saute until the peppers and onions are soft to your liking, about 15 minutes. Remove from pan and add a lug of olive oil. Throw in your chicken and toss occasionally until the chicken is fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Add your peppers and onions and their juices back into the pan.

Now it’s time to assemble your fajita! Be creative, mix your favourite toppings and enjoy! How easy was this weeknight dinner?

Brianna

Food Friday – Jerk Chicken!

Welcome to Food Friday! Every Friday I will be adding a new recipe to the “Treats” section of my blog, and hopefully you will try them out and let me know what you think. I’m always open to suggestions on how to make the recipes better, and would love to know some of your favourite versions of these recipes too.

My husband Patrick loves spicy food, and this has to be one of his favourite recipes. The recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes. We tend to use his cookbooks a lot, and we think you will love them too! He uses great ingredients, his recipes are usually quite simple but taste delicious. This recipe is served with rice & beans, and we love a nice green salad too. Enjoy!

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Jerk Chicken

8 x Chicken Thighs, Bone-in & Skin On
2 x Tbsp. Honey, divided
3 x Sprigs Rosemary
3 x Sprigs Cilantro
4 x Green Onions
1 x Small bunch fresh Thyme
1/4 Tsp. Ground Cloves
1/4 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Tsp. Ground Allspice
1/3 Cup Golden Rum
1/3 Cup White Vinegar
1 Scotch Bonnet Chile (remove seeds and stalks)
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Cup Plain Yogurt
1 Lime

To begin, preheat your oven to 425ºF. I like to make the Jerk sauce first, and then the rest of recipe seems to flow quickly!

Roughly chop your green onions, and throw into a blender with all your spices, thyme leaves from most of your bunch, garlic, rum, vinegar, scotch bonnet pepper, 1 tablespoon of the honey, and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Blend these ingredients until you are left with a smooth paste. If it is a bit too runny, add another green onion to thicken it up a touch. If it is too thick, add a bit of olive oil to loosen it. You can give it a taste to see if the spice is at a good level for you – beware this is a spicy sauce!

Heat a large, ovenproof pan on medium heat. Meanwhile, drizzle your chicken thighs with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, rub these ingredients all over the thighs. Place the skin side down in your hot pan, and let brown for 3-5 minutes. Once the skin is nicely seared, flip the chicken and brown the other side for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and flip so the skin side is up again. Pour the jerk sauce all around your chicken thighs. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of honey over the thighs. Place a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme in the pan and pop on the top shelf of your oven for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. To elevate the chicken a bit more, I now place the over on broil, and let the skin get crispy for 3-5 minutes (be careful not to burn it!).

In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of yogurt with some chopped cilantro, a bit of olive oil, the zest and juice of 1/2 a lime, and a pinch of salt. This mix will help cut the heat of the jerk sauce, just spoon a bit on top and enjoy!