I’ve decided that every month this year, I am going to add a new healthy habit to my life. Not necessarily to do with my immediate physical health, but I guess my overall well-being. Every day for 30 (or 31) days, I will dedicate myself to this habit. After that month, I am hoping that it will become part of a healthier lifestyle, something that I do naturally or without totally dreading it. I’m probably going to exclude June and July since I will be travelling for the majority of those months, but maybe I could think of something creative. At the beginning of each month, I will announce what I will be doing, and I encourage you to try as well! Let me know if you have any ideas.
For January, I am currently doing what I anticipate will be the hardest of all of the “healthy habits”. I am currently on Day 11/30 of 30 days of running. I got the idea from a friend of parents, and I am currently forcing one of my best friends, Shelby, to do it with me. All that it requires me to do is run, for at least 30 minutes, 30 days in a row. I can do it outside, on a track inside, or on a treadmill. If I feel like it, I can go for longer. I try not to pay attention to my speed, but just focus on running. I’ve mostly been going outside, since the weather has been surprisingly mild around here lately. I’m using the Nike+ app to track my runs and share them with Shelby.
I am hoping that at the end of 30 days, running will be something that I actually (kind of) enjoy. I don’t expect to go every single day after this month, but I am hoping that 4 or 5 days will become a habit for me. At this point, running every day is starting to become a routine, and I don’t totally hate it, so I think I’m heading in the right direction! If you are considering trying this, remember that the first week is totally the hardest.
Now that we are totally off topic, I present to you – Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Soup. This recipe popped into my head because I had no idea what to make for supper and not very many groceries. I was craving something with mushrooms, and because I am myself, I obviously decided on soup. Except I didn’t want that creamy, Campbell’s type soup that everyone is always looking for. My memories of that soup are not positive, because like I have said, I was the pickiest child on the planet.
Think of this soup as the beautiful, flavourful child of French Onion Soup and Campbell’s Mushroom Soup. Maybe that seems weird. But trust me, it is delicious and those caramelized onions will have your house smelling SO goooood. The slow cooking of both the onions and the mushrooms really bring out their sweet, robust flavours, and you hardly need anything else in this soup. Which makes it incredibly easy AKA my fave.
Oh, and you see that fancy little biscuit on the side? Just wait. You will be learning about those little guys very soon.
Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Soup
Serves 2 (or 4 as a side)
3 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
1 large Onion, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thinly
1 pound Mushrooms, sliced (any variety)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Dried Thyme (or 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, if you have it)
1 litre/4 cups of Vegetable or Chicken Broth
2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and stir occasionally for 10-15 minutes, until soft, deeply caramel in colour, and very sweet smelling. Remove from heat.
2. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add in the sesame oil and allow to heat, then add sliced mushrooms. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until they are tender and lightly golden in colour. Add minced garlic to the mushroom mixture, and sauté for another 2 minutes.
3. Add the mushroom/garlic mixture to the saucepan with the caramelized onions. Add in 2 tbsp of flour and combine to coat the mixture. Add in thyme and salt and stir to combine. Turn on heat to a medium. Add in 750 ml of vegetable or chicken broth. Pour the other 250 ml into the skillet that you used to cook the mushrooms and stir it around for a bit, making sure you get all of the dark, sweet stuff that is stuck to the pan (deglaze the pan), then pour this in with the rest of the soup.
4. Bring the soup to a boil, then decrease heat to a simmer and let cook for at least 20 minutes. Before serving, add in 2 tsp fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, with fresh bread and butter, or a biscuit*.
* You could also serve this similarly to french onion soup. Heat oven to a broil, pour the soup into oven-safe bowls, top with sliced baguette and swiss or asiago cheese. Put the soup into the oven for about 2 minutes, until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.