The days are getting shorter and colder and that means it’s time for lazy evenings by the fire and steaming bowls of stick-to-your bones soup. The only problem - besides dealing with kids’ snowsuits and missing mittens - is just because the snow is here and all I feel like doing is hibernating, it doesn’t mean our evenings are getting any less busy. But on the rare occasion where we actually have an evening at home, this soup is fast, easy, and the perfect cold-weather meal.
To make it even more weeknight friendly, chop your veggies (except the potatoes) before you go to work and use pre-grated cheese OR make this soup on the weekend and freeze then reheat on your busiest and coldest nights.
2 heads broccoli, chopped (I usually just use the florets and some of the stems)
1/3 large white onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cubed (I use russet)
900mL chicken broth (one box)
½ cup white wine
1 ½ to 2 cups milk (I use skim)
2 cups old cheddar cheese, grated or cubed
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
In large pot, combine broccoli, onion, garlic, potatoes, chicken broth and wine. Let simmer until veggies are softened (approx. 10-15 minutes).
Using an immersion blender carefully blend to desired consistency while adding milk in batches. My kids like it almost smooth with a few small broccoli pieces left (Note: if you don’t have an immersion blender you can carefully transfer soup to regular blender, adding milk in batches while blending then transfer carefully back to pot).
Add cheese and stir until cheese is melted. If soup is too thick, add a bit more milk.
Season with salt and pepper.
PS: You can half this recipe, but I prefer to make a bigger-sized batch so I have leftovers for lunches or the freezer.
PPS: Looking for my other favourite soups? Try my kids' favourite Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup, my Dad’s Two Potato Soup, my Slow Cooker French Onion Soup, my Buffalo Chicken Soup or my Healthy Roasted Cauliflower Soup.
I can’t remember the first time my sister-in-law made these super yummy Gingerbread Cookies but they quickly became one of my top Christmas cookie recipes. They're perfect for gifting and cookie exchanging - and just plain eating with a festive beverage by the Christmas tree.
If you’re looking for an easy gingerbread cookie recipe that doesn’t require a rolling pin or cookie cutters, then this one is for you!
Simply mix your wet ingredients.
Mix your dry ingredients.
Combine and roll into balls.
Form into logs.
Sprinkle with sugar.
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
¼ cup molasses
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ to ½ tsp of cloves
Topping Ingredients (optional):
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
In large bowl, beat together butter, 1 cup sugar, egg and molasses until combined.
In separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients only until combined.
Divide dough into 4 balls and roll each ball into a 12-inch log. This does not have to be perfect or look pretty.
Place logs on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and space a few inches apart (they will spread!).
Flatten gently with your hands, brush with water and sprinkle with additional sugar.
Bake in pre-heated 350F oven for 12-14 minutes.
Let cool on rack for approx. 5 minutes then cut into ½ to 1-inch bars. Leave on cookie sheet to cool completely. When bars are completely cooled, mix glaze ingredients until smooth then spoon glaze over cookies. Allow glaze to harden a bit on the cookies then enjoy (but don’t try to eat just one!).
For more of my favourite cookie recipes check out my Top Five Easiest Christmas Cookie Recipes, my Top Ten Cookie Recipes and my youngest daughter’s favourite Disney Frozen inspired cookies (which could easily be Rudolph cookies with a red Smartie!). Also if you like gingerbread you'll love my Gingerbread Cake.