2 pounds mushrooms (button/cremini), roughly chopped
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 quarts homemade or store-bought beef broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning blend, recipe below
3 tablespoons butter
5-8 sprigs of fresh thyme
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Homemade Croutons, recipe below
Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and sauté until tender (about 5 minutes). Add in the minced garlic and continue to cook for another minute. Reduce the heat to medium and add in the chopped mushrooms and the thyme Cook until the mushrooms release some of the water content, stirring frequently about 10 minutes.
Next, add the beef broth, all-purpose seasoning blend, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. Cook this mixture for an additional 15 minutes then reduce the heat to low. Remove the thyme sprigs. Blend the soup using an immersion blender. Add the cream and heat over low. Serve with croutons.
All-Purpose No-Salt Seasoning Mix
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 1/4 teaspoons dried savory
1 1/4 teaspoons ground thyme
1 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix garlic powder, basil, parsley, savory, thyme, mace, onion powder, black pepper, sage, and cayenne pepper in a bowl; store in a sealed jar.
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
6 slices day-old bread, cubed
In an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan, combine the butter, oil, and seasonings. Heat in a 300° F oven until butter is melted. Remove from the oven; stir to combine.
Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Cool. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
3 cups finely diced leftover baked ham
2 hard-boiled eggs finely chopped
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced bell pepper
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Ground black pepper or cayenne pepper to taste
Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream and Dijon in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until completely combined. Cover and chill until serving time.
Serve on a salad plate over shredded lettuce or on a sandwich made with pumpernickel bread.
Real pumpernickel bread is made using pumpernickel flour, a whole grain flour. This flour is made from coarsely ground whole rye berries. Rye breads have some amount of wheat flour added to their dough since rye does not contain gluten-producing proteins to make a good loaf of bread.
Pumpernickel bread is delicious in so many ways. Of course, it makes great sandwiches, especially Reubens, and it is also a good base for many appetizer toppings, like smoked salmon or egg salad.
Homemade pumpernickel bread is so much tastier than store-bought, unless you have a great bakery near where you live. I do not, so I make my own. You do need a few special ingredients to make this bread and I order them from the King Arthur Flour Company online.
Vital Wheat Gluten
Deli Rye Flavor
Pumpernickel Sourdough Bread
Makes 1 large loaf
1 cup sourdough starter
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup pumpernickel flour
1/4 cup Pumpernickel Bread Flavor
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1/2 teaspoon Deli Rye Flavor
2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
Combine all of the ingredients in an electric mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, mixing until the dough forms a ball.
Switch to the dough hook and knead until the dough is elastic and slightly sticky.
Let the dough rise in a lightly greased, covered bowl for 1 to 2 hours; it should become puffy.
Transfer the dough to a cutting board and shape it into a long loaf.
Place the shaped loaf into a long stoneware baker (e.g., La Cloche), and cover with the lid.
You can also place the formed bread loaf on a parchment-lined baking sheet, if you do not have a long stoneware baker. Cover and let rise.
Let the loaf rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s almost doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Slash the loaf diagonally in several places.
Bake the loaf for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes; the bread will be dark.
Bake the loaf on the parchment covered baking sheet for 35-40 minutes.
When done, the bread will be crusty, and a digital thermometer inserted into the center will read 190°F to 200°F.
Remove the bread from the oven and transfer it to a rack to cool completely.