Beer and Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a soup person.

Chili? Always.

Soup? Eh.

To be fair, soup in my house growing up meant Campbell’s. The tomato soup was always made with water. {Yuck.} The brothy soups were bland, not filling, and frankly the meat in them just creeped me out.

I’m not a soup person.

Except that, maybe I am.

Something seems to have changed this year.

Maybe it’s because Sheena keeps posting some of the most delicious look soup ever?

Maybe it’s because I’m incredibly stubborn and am seeing how long we can go before we have to turn the heat on, so a nice warm bowl of soup sounds like perfection?

Maybe it’s because soup made from scratch, while still ridiculously easy, is exactly one and a half million times better than soup from a can?

Either way, I’ve been making soup.

This soup is the gateway soup. Between the bacon, aged cheddar cheese, and the dark wheat beer, there really is nowhere this sucker can go but on the keepers list.

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

Beer and Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup

{I had been dreaming about a broccoli cheddar soup with bacon and a dark wheat beer. After looking at tons of recipes, I liked From Away’s method best and used it as my base and inspiration. I altered the amounts to serve two, added the broccoli, and omitted some of the other ingredients.}

4 ounces {120 grams} thick cut bacon, chopped into bits
1/2 of a medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups of broccoli {I used about 3/4 of a head and chopped it up pretty small}
1 Tbsp thyme
salt and pepper
1 cup of beer {I used a dark wheat beer. My recommendation: Schneider Weiss Aventinus or Franziskaner Royal}
1 cup of chicken stock
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cream {I used soy.}
5 ounces {150 grams} of cheddar cheese

This is one of those recipes where its best to have everything prepped before you get started. So chop that bacon, onion, and broccoli. Peel the garlic and put it in the press.

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

Now let’s get started.

Heat a large pot in medium high heat.

Once hot, toss the bacon in there and cook it for a couple of minutes. You just want the fat to render and for it to cook up a bit. When it’s finished, transfer it to a bowl and set it to the side.

Back in the pot, throw your onion, broccoli, and minced garlic in and give it a stir. Cook for about 5 minutes or until it all starts to get tender. Stir regularly so all of that nice bacon grease on the bottom of the pan gets incorporated. Season the veggies with some thyme, salt and pepper.

Add about half of the beer {1/2 cup} to the pot and let it simmer away for 3 or 4 minutes until it has reduced by half. Then add the chicken stock.

While the beer and stock are reducing, we’ll make the roux to thicken this baby up. In a separate little pot, melt the butter and then whisk in the flour slowly to avoid lumps. Continue whisking for a couple minutes, then add it to the soup. Let this simmer for about 5 minutes while the whole thing thickens up.

Once the soup is coating your spoon, add the cream and the rest of the beer and give it a stir.

You can turn the heat off at this point, but leave the pot where it is. Add the bacon back in and start stirring in the cheese. It might take a couple minutes for the cheese to completely melt, but just keep stirring until the chunks are gone.

Serve it with bread. Serve it in a bowl. Serve it in a bread bowl. But most importantly, enjoy every bite!

Beer + Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Kiwi and Peach

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Sautéed Tomato and Garlic Fried Egg with Gorgonzola

If you’re thinking posting this week has been sporadic then you’d be right. Remember when I said that I thought we were on the mend? Well that only appears to have been half correct. I am much better. The Kiwi on the other hand got much, much worse. Between doctor’s appointments, pharmacy runs, working on the re-design that I really want to go live before Oktoberfest begins and trying to convince the Kiwi that he really must eat something, I’ve been on the struggle bus.

Something that makes all of this easier? Eggs. The Kiwi won’t eat much, but he’ll eat eggs. Needless to say, there have been a number of different egg combos whipped up in the kitchen this week, but the favorite has been this one.

Sautéed Tomato and Garlic Fried Egg with Gorgonzola | kiwi+peach

Sautéed Tomato and Garlic Fried Egg with Gorgonzola

olive oil
1 tomato, cubed
1 clove of garlic, pressed or minced
2 eggs
2 ounces gorgonzola, crumbled
2 large crackers or a piece of toast
basil optional

Start heating your pan on medium high heat. When it’s starting to get hot, add your oil and wait a quick minute for it to heat up too. Cube your tomato and prep your clove of garlic to press. When the oil is hot, add the tomatoes and press your garlic. Give it all a stir and leave it to cook for a couple minutes.

Push the tomatoes to the side and crack your eggs into the pan. Sprinkle them with a bit of salt and pepper then let them cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes or until the whites are looking pretty firm. Very carefully {you don’t want to break the yolk!} flip them. I’m a runny yolk fan, so I tend to only leave it on this side for 45 seconds to a minute, but you be the judge.

Transfer the egg to the cracker then top with the sautéed tomato and garlic, gorgonzola crumbles, and, if you’re so inclined, a bit of basil.

Sautéed Tomato and Garlic Fried Egg with Gorgonzola | kiwi+peach

Turkey Joes

When I was cooking just for myself, Sunday nights I would make a big batch of something and then just eat on it for lunches and dinners that whole week. I had about four things that I would rotate between which is good because when you’ve been eating something pretty much every meal for a week you don’t really want to see it again for a month. I will eventually get around to sharing all of these recipes {in their new and improved versions} because they really are still some of my favorites, but today we’re just going to talk about one.

Sloppy joes.

Or rather, turkey joes since I make them with ground turkey breast as opposed to ground beef which, after one of my foods classes, really freaked me out in college.

Ground turkey breast is pretty hard to find here in Deutschland, so these days, more often than not, I end up using beef. I will say that the grass-fed cows that led happy lives in the Alps before they ended up on my plate freak me out a bit less that the stuff we talked about in that class.

However, if I ever see ground turkey in the shop here, there is usually a squeal of delight {which gets many disapproving looks from nearby Germans} and I snatch that sucker up like they’re going to take it away from me {which they probably are because they think I’m insane}. What can I say? Turkey joes are a comfort food for me, and there is nothing like having your comfort food made just right.

I’m curious, what is your ultimate comfort food? When I was sick as a kid my grandmother would make me a fried bologna sandwich. You probably won’t be seeing it on the blog anytime soon, but man! Nothing says you’re safe and loved like mixed meat fried in bacon grease slapped between two pieces of Sunbeam, the whitest white bread imaginable, with globs of mayo. Am I right?

Probably not.

Kiwi+Peach: Turkey Joes

Turkey Joes

The Slop
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 of an sweet onion, diced
1/2 of a red pepper, diced {capsicum for the Kiwis}
200 grams ground turkey breast
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup BBQ sauce

The Assembly
1/4 cup BBQ Sauce
2 buns

Heat a deep sauté pan on medium high heat and add the olive oil. When it’s hot, throw in the diced onion and red pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook until the peppers are soft and the onions are translucent. This usually takes about 5-7 minutes for me. When you’re happy with the veg, push them to the side of your pan then add the ground turkey, chili powder, paprika, and cinnamon. Use your stirring device to break the meat up and slowly incorporate it into the veggies. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and appears to be cooked through.

{If you’re using ground beef instead of ground turkey breast, I advise doing the meat in a separate pan and draining off all the grease before adding it to the onion+red pepper mixture.}

Reduce the heat to medium low and stir in the BBQ sauce. Let the whole thing simmer away for about 5 minutes or until the BBQ sauce has reduced by about half.

While the slop is reducing and caramelizing and becoming awesome, you can be prepping the buns. Slice them in half and spread about a tablespoon of BBQ sauce on the top and bottom slices. When the slop is ready, spoon a big ol’, sensible size portion of it on the bottom bun. Add the top bun, smush a bit, and dig in.

Prepare to get messy.

Kiwi+Peach: Turkey Joes

The White

Remember last week when I told y’all all about my awful luck with restaurants staying in business and I shared one of my favorite places to eat in Athens {Georgia not Greece}? Well wouldn’t you know it…

Just kidding. They didn’t close. {Freaked you out there didn’t I, Mama?}

Oh man, now I’ve really jinxed it.

But really how could they with all the delicious things that have going on. Today’s recipe was inspired by my Mama’s favorite, the White Pizza. Being the queen of neutrals that she is, it really isn’t surprising that she’d go for the most monochromatic option, but what is surprising is how flavorful that sucker is! It’s strong on the garlic and has the perfect blend of melty cheeses and crisp, buttery focaccia.

Kiwi+Peach: The White

The White

The Mix
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1-2 cloves of roasted garlic
1/2 tsp salt

The Assembly
2 large wedges of focaccia
4-5 fresh basil leaves, sliced
1/2 ball fresh buffalo mozzarella

In a medium sized bowl, mix the cheese, garlic, and salt together well.

Split your focaccia wedges down the middle to make two slices. {You know like for a sandwich.} Liberally spread the mix on both slices. Sprinkle the bottom slice with the basil strips and then cover with chunks of your mozzarella.

Pop everything in the oven on broil {or grill for y’all Kiwis} for about 5 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted. When its finished top it off and enjoy!

Baked Jalapeño Poppers

We have found that, as a general rule, Germans are not huge fans of the spicy stuff.  German extra hot salsa is what we in the States would call mild. At our favorite Mexican take away, Condesa, which recently closed {sob}, they always asked what level of spicy sauce we want: 1 {German spicy, no not spicy at all}, 2 {American spicy}, 3 {Mexican spicy}, or a 4 which had the chilies spilling out the top of the bottle {I’m going to go ahead and assume that was English spicy}. That is why I laughed out loud at the shop the other day when I saw some habaneros. It took me a year and a half to find a jalapeño in this city, but they have habaneros, something that even I am not going to touch. Go figure.

Anyway.

I’ve been craving jalapeño poppers ever since we got back from our trip to the States last summer. There is just something about a crispy, spicy pepper filled with cheese that does me in. But, as previously stated, I couldn’t find a jalapeño in this whole city. I checked farmer’s markets, the special grocery stores that are in basements of department stores, and lots of Bio {organic} grocery stores other than my local. Nothing. Until last week, that is. I walk in the store and there, looking me square in the face is a huge basket of lovely, green jalapeños. And I only got a few dirty looks from other shoppers as I shoved handfuls of peppers into my shopping bag.

Naturally, the first thing I did when I got home was to whip up some jalapeño poppers.  Just a warning, these are not for the faint of heart. They are incredibly flavorful, but also really spicy. I’d say they’re a Mexican spicy on the Condesa scale. Unless of course, you miss a few seeds. Then it’s definitely a 4.

Kiwi+Peach: Baked Jalapeño Poppers

Baked Jalapeño Poppers

{inspired by In Fine Balance}

The Stuffing 
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

The Breading 
whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano

The Wichtige Sachen
6 jalapeños
1 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat your oven on high broil. {Grill for all y’all Kiwis.}

Slice your jalapeños down the middle. Remove the seeds and membranes, but leave the stem. It’s a great handle! As always when dealing with spicy peppers, be sure not to touch your eyes, nose, mouth, face, etc. until you’ve washed your hands really well. It makes for an unpleasant experience.

In a bowl, combine your cream cheese with all of the spices and mix well. Spoon a dollop into each pepper. Using the back of the spoon make sure the whole pepper is full of cheese.

On a small plate, mix the breading ingredients. Press each pepper, cheese side down, into the breading and then place on a grill rack. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the tops of the peppers and pop them in the oven towards the top.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the breading has browned a bit and it’s appropriately crispy.

Serve with some salsa and sour cream. Lots of sour cream.

Dig in! I may or may not have eaten an entire batch for lunch yesterday. True story.

The Caprese

Yesterday, around lunch time, I realized we had no bread and then I commenced with the panicking. Most of y’all in the States are thinking ‘So what? Go to the store you lazy bum.’ Not so fast my friends. Three words that really make you pay for any lapse in meal planning preparedness. Sunday. Shopping. Hours. As in, there are none. Grocery stores, retail stores, some restaurants. All closed. Coming from the land of 24 everything, it’s not my favorite thing about living in Germany. I mean, I understand the wonderful things it means about their society {kudos Deutschland} but sometimes I just really need some bread on Sunday.

So what is a girl to do? Naturally I scoured Pinterest for a quick bread recipe because the Kiwi was getting kind of hungry. I found this quick focaccia recipe and immediately started remembering all of the amazing focaccia with olive oil and balsamic we had in Italy. I was sold. You can’t really go wrong with olive oil and balsamic on fresh focaccia bread that is still warm. You know what else goes really well with that? Tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil from the garden.

Again, kind of like the fried egg and tomatoes, this isn’t as much a recipe as just a simple sandwich you an throw together in no time flat. {That is of course unless you’re making the focaccia too in which case it’s going to take about an hour.} In the end we were pretty pleased with our meal planning fail.

Kiwi+Peach: The Caprese

The Caprese

2 large slices of focaccia bread {or half a loaf of your own}
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 smallish tomatoes {or 1 large one}
1/2 of a ball of buffalo mozzarella
5-6 leaves of fresh basil
1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar {depending on your taste}

Slice the focaccia and pour the olive oil over the bottom slice. Then slice your tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Layer the tomatoes and mozzarella until the bread is covered and then sprinkle on the basil. Pour the balsamic over the top and close her up.


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TheKitchn Small Cool Kitchen 2013: Lauren's Tiny Yet Airy Kitchen

Fried Egg with Tomatoes, Feta, and Avocado

In keeping with our breakfast items for dinner theme this week, I thought I’d share one of my go-to last minute dinners. This isn’t really a recipe to write home about. It’s just a bunch of delicious things piled on a plate and called a meal; however, the simplicity of it really lets you taste all of the flavors and they are beautiful together!

If you follow us on instagram you already know this, but we have a tomato!! That my friends is something to write home about. We grew that! From a seed! {Please note that this is the first thing I’ve ever grown in the history of ever, so please pardon my over-enthusiasm for our tiny little tomato baby. This is a big day.} I can’t wait for the rest of them to really come in so I can try this recipe with fried green tomatoes!

Fried Egg with Tomato, Feta, and Avocado

Fried Egg with Tomatoes, Feta, and Avocado

olive oil
4 eggs
2 smallish tomatoes
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
1/2 of an avocado
4 fresh basil leaves
fresh ground black pepper

Start heating a pan on medium high heat. While its heating up, I go ahead and slice the tomatoes and place the slices on our plates. I also crumble the feta, slice the avocado, and slice the basil into strips.

Once the pan is hot, add a bit of oil to the pan {just so the egg doesn’t stick}. Crack an egg into the pan and let it sizzle away for about 3 or 4 minutes. Then, very carefully, flip it and let it cook for 1 or 2 more minutes depending on how runny you like your egg. When its finished, transfer to a plate and repeat for the remaining eggs.

Once all the eggs are cooked and in place, top with the avocado, feta, basil, and black pepper and enjoy!


Don’t forget to vote for us in The Kitchn’s Small Cool Kitchens 2013!

TheKitchn Small Cool Kitchen 2013: Lauren's Tiny Yet Airy Kitchen