On a cold day, there is nothing more comforting than this soul-warming soup ... except how little time is needed to prepare it!
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh thyme
2 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1 lb (450 g) assorted mushrooms, sliced
1 cup (250 mL) pearl barley, rinsed
8 cups (2 L) low-sodium vegetable stock
2 cups (500 mL) finely chopped spinach leaves
Heat oil in pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, thyme, sage, and pepper; cook for 2 minutes, or until onion begins to soften. Add mushrooms, barley, and vegetable stock. Lock lid in place and cook at high pressure for 8 minutes.
Release pressure naturally by moving pressure cooker from heat source, waiting for pressure indicator to show no pressure left. Remove lid, stir in spinach, taste, and adjust seasoning.
Each serving contains: 151 calories; 4 g protein; 4 g total fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 25 g total carbohydrates (1 g sugars, 5 g fibre); 141 mg sodium
source: "Pressure Cooking", alive #372, October 2013
Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.