French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup by Chef Bari

Good Afternoon !  So – What’s for Dinner tonight? 

How about French Onion Soup?  It’s quick and extremely easy from the beginner cook to the most gourmet chef. 
When I had my ONE DAY OFF  working as a Chef, ( typically I would work 60-70 hours per day, 6 days a week)  I would spend as much time with my kids.  FROM bike riding to taking tae kwon do lessons in the evening. 
The point is, I had very little time on my side, so a fast dinner was quickly chosen.  Plus the fact I worked as a Chef, cooking all the time.  
Anyway – back on the subject : 
French Onion Soup fits perfectly into that category.

Chef Bari

As you noticed from my first photo above, the French a Onion Soup has a nice caramelized rich brown broth. 
The following photos show you step by step photos.

Here’s the Recipe : 
French Onion Soup by Chef Bari 
Ingredients: 4-6 sweet white onions – sliced2 tablespoons of butter2 tablespoons of sugar1 cup of Red Wine (If you’re going for that gourmet touch – it always sherry ) 2 tablespoons of tomato paste 1 litre of Beef or Chicken Stock 2 tablespoons of beef base ( dry – use a couple of the small packages ) 2 Bay leaves (optional)

Method
Place sliced onions and butter into pot or sauté pan. Turn heat onto medium.  Once it starts to cook begin stirring.  Your onions will become transparent to a nice Amber colour. Next – add your sugar. Mix throughout.Add your tomato paste. Mix throughout.Add the red wine or sherry.  Let reduce. Add beef or chicken stock. Bring back to a nice simmer. Add beef base. Mix throughout. Throw in the bay leaves and let simmer on low heat for 20 – 40 minutes. The longer the richer the broth will become. 

TIP :  Add more beef stock if required.  Remember, you are making a nice rich soup, not a sauce. 

NOW – At this point, you have a couple of options.  You may take it to the gourmet level and a nice toasty large crouton with Gruyere Cheese ( go ahead and use mozzarella if that’s all you have) 
Bowl (Plate Service) Gourmet style : place in French Onion serving bowls. Gratin your toasty crouton with Gruyere Cheese and place on top. You may place in the oven if you like, but not necessary. 
BUT – if your a busy parent and looking to cut corners – serve soup as is – trust me – it’s delicious by itself.  And a lot less calories too!  
So – there you have it – French Onion Soup by Chef Bari.  

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Beef Barley Soup

Welcome ! join me today as I prepare Beef Barley Soup by Chef Bari.

It’s that time of the year in Canada’s Great White North. Soups and Stews are a nice comfort food for the whole family, healthy and nutritional.  

Prep ( Mise en Place) takes approximately 20 minutes with cooking process another 50 minutes. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Pearl Barley
  • 1 cup Onions – medium cut 
  • 1 cup Carrots – small cut 
  • 1 cup Celery – small cut 
  • 2 cups Potatoes – small cut 
  • 1 cup of fresh Roma tomatoes – medium cut OR 1 can stewed Tomatoes ( crush by hand) 
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato paste 
  • 2 tablespoons of Grapeseed Oil ( you can use Canola or Olive Oil ) 
  • 2 tablespoons Butter 
  • 3 cups of Stewing (beef) meat ( If you’re looking to cut costs, instead of buying beef already cut, buy a couple of pieces of sirloin or inside round. Cut into bite size cubes) 
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 – 1 litre of Beef OR Chicken Stock ( I like to use Campbell’s stock because easy accessibility at Costco) That would be approximately 9 cups of stock. Also, I’m not worried if it’s chicken or beef stock. It’s whatever I have in my pantry.  
  • 2 tablespoons of beef base 

OPTIONAL: 2 Bay Leaves and couple of cloves of whole garlic 

METHOD

BEFORE YOU START ANYTHING, SOAK BARLEY IN WATER.

Get your prep ready as shown in my photo. 

  1. Get your favourite brazer pot or now-a-days the DUTCH OVEN has come back into popularity. Add oil with butter and add stew meat, begin searing ( brown on all sides )
  2. Add onions and cook until onions are transparent. 
  3. Add carrots and celery. 
  4. Add tomatoes 

TRICK OR TIP : To help speed up cooking time I like to add to 1 1/2 cups of water and stir evenly. Cover with lid and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes. ( Stir every few minutes, during this process) Remove lid, stir evenly again. Without lid, cook until liquid is almost evaporated. Don’t forget to stir. 

TRICK REASON : Without using a pressure cooker, it gives you a leap forward in helping tenderizing your meat product. 

NEXT : 

5. Add Cut Potatoes. 

6.Add beef or chicken stock. Stir evenly and bring to a boil. 

7. Drain Barley and Add to soup.

8. Add beef base and Tomato Paste. Stir evenly and let cook on low heat for 45 minutes until Potatoes are cooked. The beef should be tender too. The Barley should be also nice and tender. 

DON’T FORGET – KEEP STIRRING EVERY FEW MINUTES.   This is not the soup to leave alone. It will certainly stick on the bottom if you aren’t careful. 

After Beef Barley Soup is ready with all vegetables, meat and Barley is tender, serve to your guests with nice piece of crusty bread. French Bread works great ! 

Bon Appetite! 

 By Chef Bari 

Winter Red Lentil and Ham Soup

It’s winter here in the Canadian Northwest, otherwise known as The Great White North for good reason. Warm comfort dishes are indeed a welcome feature during our long winters. 

Hot Soups warm the soul.

Today’s recipe is ‘Winter Lentil and Ham Soup” – I hope you enjoy making this hearty soup along with me. 

Winter Red Lintel and Ham Soup 

WW Points per serving :  1 point per cup

It’s winter here in the Canadian Northwest, otherwise known as The Great White North for good reason. Warm comfort dishes are indeed a welcome feature during our long winters. 

Hot Soups warm the soul.

Today’s recipe is ‘Winter Lentil and Ham Soup – I hope you enjoy making this hearty soup along with me. 

Serves 6- 10 people ( depending how hungry your guests are – lol ) 

Tools and Equipment:  

  • One large Soup Pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Ladle
  • Large Bowl
  • Hand-held blender or a stand-up blender. However a hand-held blender is so much more convenient and easier.
  • 1 wet cup ( you use it all the time – the glass cup measure. In ingredients below when I refer to “cup” use the wet-cup measurement please. There’s the also the dry cup which is used during baking. We’re not using this measurement in this recipe.) 

Note : I’m on WW ( Weightwatchers program ) so if you want exchange oil with Pam vegetable can-spray. I spray the bottom of the pot before adding my veggies. Otherwise, just follow the ingredients below ) 

Also, just so you know, in Canada we have no choice but to use litres instead of gallons. So for our America friends, 4 cups = 1 litre 

Ingredients: 

  • 5 tablespoons of Grapeseed or Canola oil 
  • 1 cup of carrots ( small cut – in Chef terms : brunoise) 
  • 1 cup of celery (small cut) 
  • 1 cup of sweet white onions ( small cut ) 
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar 
  • 3 cups of split red lentils. ( NOT WHOLE) 
  • 3 cups of Cooked Ham diced – big enough cuts to fit serving spoon ( preferably on-the-bone because we like to use the bones for the soup. However it’s not necessary) 
  • 3 litres of Chicken Stock 
  • 1 litre of water 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 3 Whole Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed fine thyme

Pepper for seasoning ( I prefer white pepper but not necessary) 

Method : 

  1. Place split red lentils in large bowl and cover with water. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes. ( You will NOT be using this water in the soup) 
  2. Meanwhile, place oil in pot or spray pot as instructed above.
  3. Place in 1 cup each of cut carrots, celery and onions. Also add the 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Place on medium-high burner (middle setting) and stir. Stir and cook for 10 minutes. 
  4. Add one litre of chicken stock – stir mixing ingredients, bring back to a simmer. 
  5. Drain split red lentils and place into pot. Again, bring back to simmer.
  6. While you’re waiting to simmer, add all your spices ( curry, cumin, Bay Leaves, thyme) .
  7. Add the rest of the chicken stock (two more litres) plus 4 cups ( 1 litre) of fresh water. 
  8. Add the bones of the ham you cooked the night before. ( If you don’t have bone-in ham, forget this step. Just use boneless ham from the store. However, bone-in gives it so much more flavour. 
  9. Stir and bring back to a boil. Once it’s boiling, turn down to low so it’s just simmering. 
  10. While you’re waiting for the broth to come to a boil, you can start cutting 3 cups of ham into dice portions ( small spoon portions). Once their cut leave to the side for now. Don’t put into the soup just yet.
  11. Don’t leave your soup keep stirring on a regular basis. If you leave it, everything will settle to the bottom and burn. So just be aware. 
  12. Let the Red Lentil Soup cook for 45 minutes- stirring it occasionally. 
  13. Now, take off stove. REMOVE THE BONES AND 3 BAY LEAVES . I like to place the whole pot in the sink, just because it won’t mess up your stove then. With your hand-blender, begin blending the soup until it’s a nice purée. 
  14. Once it’s a nice purée, place on the lowest setting of your burner. Now add your chopped ham pieces. Stir in. If you still have any ham on-the-bone, remove that as well and add to the soup. 
  15. NOW, depending how thick you like the soup, you may or may not add water or chicken stock to thin out if necessary. 
  16. Let cook another 5 minutes until the soup is nice and hot for serving. Of course, you must keep stirring it. Taste it. Does it need to be seasoned? If so, lightly season with very little salt. Be careful, the ham is salty enough. Season with white or black pepper too. OR, just let your guest decide if it needs more seasoning at the table. 

Voila ! Bon Appetite! Serve with a nice portion of crusty bread. I love French Bread myself. No bread ? Soda crackers will do the trick. 

Enjoy! 

Chef Bari 

Please support my efforts by buying my published cookbook Canadian Recipes of the Great White North by Chef Bari. 

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Enjoy further recipes on blogger too on my older website too.

Thank you for reading and see you in the kitchen 

Cook’n Up a Storm with Chef Bari” 

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