Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The best chicken soup...

Seyfi is really into soup these days. I'm not sure if it is because he is coming home for lunch everyday, and a bowl of soup seems to hit the spot, or if it is because Belgium has the kind cold that goes right to your bones, and a bowl of soup warms up your soul, but he would like to have soup everyday, and I try to make sure he gets that. (Since I love him so much...)

At least once every week, I make a roast chicken. It is something that we all really love, and I always take the bones, add in a few more things and make a really lovely stock from them. Usually, I am adding in a carrot, an onion, some garlic, herbs and salt and pepper. This base really makes for the best soups.

However, lately we have been getting a bit bored of our roast chicken dinners, so I decided to glaze the chicken with a barbecue sauce (that I had made), mixed in with a bit more brown sugar and then watered down abit with some apple juice. I brushed my glaze on the chicken every ten minutes while it was in the oven, and the end result was a really lovely tasting chicken.

Now, I was not about to go without making my stock for my soups for the week, so I took the barbecue sauce bones and made my stock from that, but this time only adding some salt and pepper. The end result... a delicious, sweet, dark stock.

What I will share with you today is my recipe for the barbecue glaze and the ingredients that I added to the stock...

Barbecue Glaze

1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
8 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey mustard
1 tablespoon soya sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Bring to a bowl. Turn down and simmer for at least half an hour. If it seems too thick for glazing, add some more apple juice.
Brush on chicken every ten minutes while it is roasting.

Best Chicken Soup

1 carrot
1 leek
1 cup of cauliflower
1 celery stalk
1 tablespoon olive oil

Finely chop the vegetables and saute them in a stock pot in the olive oil.

6 cups of chicken stock (I use my barbecue glazed stock, but any stock is fine.)

Add to the sauteed vegetables, and bring to a boil.

1/2 cup green lentils

Add to the boiling stock, and let the soup simmer for at least 45 minutes.

1 cup soup noodles (I used some gluten free ones that I had made)

Add to the soup ten minutes before you want to serve it. Enjoy!

This soup really did turn out surprisingly delicious. I served it to a friend who also said it was wonderful, but the toughest critic of all, Alara ate two bowls of it so it must have been really good!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Holidays at home...

I'm sorry that I haven't been writing for so long, I'd like to say that it is because I have been so busy, but really I haven't been all that busy.

Over Christmas and New Years, Seyfi was off, so we had that opportunity to do some traveling. However, between all the snow, and how ill all of us got, we didn't get too far at all.

One thing that we did to was visit all of our neighbours at Christmas. This was a real highlight for us. It was very nice to be able to go to everyone and visit, and get to know the lovely people who live around us. What was even nicer was when they came to visit us as well. We had decided to live in a little community like this so that we could meet the people around us, to learn about Belgium from Belgians, and it seems that we are on the road to doing this.

We were also invited to our landlord's home to celebrate the Epiphany, or Three Kings on the sixth of January. We sat with them and ate Frangipane (an almond pie) and drank Champagne (with a blackberry syrup for the ladies). One of the fun things about the night was that there was a statue of the king hidden in the pie, and while we were eating, who ever found the statue was the king of the night. Guess who was the king- my lucky husband! He spent the rest of the evening wearing a crown!

I guess that we did have a quiet holiday, but I wouldn't have changed it for the world. We could have gone anywhere, but by staying home, we learned so much more about the country we are living in, and the people who live here.