Dinner,  Fish / Seafood,  Soups / Stews

Cooking…and drinking with wine

White wine that is, and if there is one recipe to make, it’s this soup! An infused broth of bay leaves, thyme, carrots and onions, vegetable broth and crisp white wine. I saw a couple of recipes on a White Wine Soup and combined what I liked to make this. I wasn’t sure how it would eventually taste but I can excitedly report that it was divine! Very elegant, a gorgeous blend of flavors and enticing aroma.  Using a good bottle of white wine, that is, one you like is key as the wine is the star ingredient. Simmered slowly, the alcohol evaporates leaving the rich full taste of the wine. The toasted baguette slice was heavenly floating on the soup and soaking up the goodness!
Having that bottle of wine open, I had to have a glass…..and come up with some other dishes! Shrimp and Fennel simmered in white wine, again the flavor was amazing and the fennel braised to a lightly caramelized softness. My third dish was quick and easy roasted rosemary skewered scallops in a lemony, garlic white wine sauce. 
 Every now and then I enjoy getting into my kitchen and creating new dishes. Okay, I’ll be honest, I am always in my kitchen and I am always preparing several new dishes. I get bored easily and rarely like to repeat, unless they are my classic Italian, family dishes. No doubt, I will repeat the White Wine Soup; possibly as my starter for Christmas dinner. I loved it that much!!
White Wine Soup
 Adapted from Saveur article clipped long ago!

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

3 cups vegetable broth

1 ¼ cups white wine, I used Kendal Jackson Reserve Chardonnay

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs thyme

¼ cup heavy cream

6 large egg yolks

Kosher salt and pepper for taste

Freshly grated nutmeg, about ¼ teaspoon

4 baguette slices

Herb butter or plain

In a medium large saucepan, saute the onion and carrot in olive oil until soft. Add the broth, wine, bay leaf and thyme and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and continue to cook for 15 – 20 minutes. Strain stock and return to the same pot over low heat. Discard solids. Add in ¼ cup cream. Whisk ½ cup of the hot stock in the egg yolks stirring quickly to avoid scrambling the yolks. Pour the yolk mixture into the saucepan and heat to serving temperature, but do not boil. Season the soup with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Meanwhile, toast baguette slices and butter each slice. Serve each bowl with a baguette topping. To make ahead, gently rewarm soup and top with baguette before serving.

Shrimp and Fennel in a Wine Sauce
Adapted from Trattoria cookbook
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
 1 tablespoon butter





1 large fennel bulb, cut into thin slices, leaving leaves attached to the core

¾ cup white wine

¼ cup chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 bay leaf

1-2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 lb wild caught shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 freshly squeezed lemon

Freshly chopped parsley, small handful

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet. Add in fennel and onions and saute 2 -3 minutes. Add in white wine, bay leaf, garlic and some salt and pepper. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Continue to simmer uncovered until fennel is tender but still al dente, about 7 minutes. Remove the fennel. Add in the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes. Return the fennel, add in lemon juice and fresh parsley. Serve at once.

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.


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