giveaway: easy, cozy recipes from beekman 1802

IAM SIMMERING A POT OF ONION SOUP as I type, thanks to a reminder from “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook” about how simple, delicious and suited to the season it is. Broccoli-Cheddar Soup may be next (not sure I can resist!) and then there’s a recipe for Roasted Cauliflower and Apple Soup, too. Oh, dear; I haven’t even gotten beyond the fall chapter and I’m already over the limit of what the freezer will hold the leftovers of. Want the onion soup recipe—and a chance to win one of three copies of this new cookbook that I’ve bought to share?

I paid a visit this summer to historic Beekman 1802, the rural residence of my ex-Martha Stewart colleague Brent Ridge and his partner Josh Kilmer-Purcell, also known as “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” from the Planet Green reality show and from the popular memoir “The Bucolic Plague” that Josh published last year about their city-to-country transition.

For the Beekman Boys’ latest project (do they ever stop?), the cookbook team included another old friend, Sandy Gluck, former food editor of Martha’s “Everyday Food” magazine and one of the smartest cooks I know. The result: a happy combination of fresh-from-the-garden ingredients, including many heirlooms, that Brent and Josh grow at their Sharon Springs, New York, farm or purchase nearby, combined into well-written, practical recipes that invite me to try them. No crazy-long lists of ingredients; no daunting step-by-steps, thank you.

The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook” has me busy harvesting not just recipes but also flavor ideas. I wouldn’t have thought to fold tangy leaves of sorrel into my mashed potatoes, or to weave mushrooms and kale into my ramekins of crumb-topped mac and cheese. Fried green tomatoes get extra-crunchy with panko bread crumbs instead of cornmeal; pears poached in red wine and sugar gain an extra kick from cinnamon, peppercorns, allspice, and vanilla bean.

It’s also a cookbook that invites personalization, with space left on each recipe page for writing in notes (“Practice your handwriting,” suggests Brent) and bound-in envelope-like folders to tuck your own recipes into.

All I can say is good thing it’s not June, or I’d be face-down in the Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble instead of sharing this recipe with you.

Cheese Toast-Topped Onion Soup

From ‘The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook’

beekman 1802 onion soup

Serves 8

It always seems that the first thing to come out of the root cellar each autumn (even though they’ve been hanging for only a few weeks) is a bundle of onions for a slowly cooked pot of onion soup–the perfect herald to the season. This richly flavored soup—with sweet, golden onions, red wine, and just a touch of sherry—is made even more irresistible with a topping of country bread and melted cheese.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ½ pounds large yellow onions, halved, peeled, and thinly sliced (8 cups)
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 6 teaspoon dried
¾ cup red wine
2 tablespoons sherry
6 cups homemade chicken stock or reduced-sodium canned broth*
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 slices crusty country bread
¼ pound Gruyère-style cheese, thinly sliced

In a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and thyme, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 20 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until golden bro wn, about 25 minutes.

Stir in the red wine and sherry, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes to concentrate the flavors.

Preheat the broiler.

Divide the soup among 8 soup bowls. Cut each slice of bread in half and place on a baking sheet or broiler pan. Top with the cheese. Broil the cheese toasts 4 to 6 inches from the heat for 2 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Place 2 slices in each bowl of soup.

(*I’m using homemade vegetable stock in place of the chicken.)

More, More, More

How to Win 1 of 3 Cookbooks

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO QUALIFY TO WIN one of three copies of “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook” I bought to share is comment below, offering up an example of a recipe you’d call one of your own “heirlooms.” (You don’t have to post the whole recipe, but just describe it a bit–up to you.) Is there a recipe you’re known for, that friends and family want when they visit you?

Don’t worry if you’re feeling shy. I’ll count your comment even if you just say , “I want to win” or some such. I’m pretty easy.

Winners will be chosen at random, using the number-generating tool on random [dot] org, after entries close at midnight Thursday. October 20. Good luck to all.

Credits: Recipes and images reprinted with permission from “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook” © 2011 by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by © Paulette Tavormina. Also: A portion of anything you might buy from an Amazon link here results in a small commission, which I use to buy more books for future giveaways.

  1. Daisy marshall says:

    Rice with cranberries walnuts and pears. Great side dish with so many things, I often serve it with roasted chicken, even store bought. Brown rice about 1 and 1/2 cup, 2 tblsps walnuts and cranberries each, 2 and 1/2 cup low salt chicken broth, juice of one orange and one lime each,1 pear coared cut in chunks, I’ve also used apples. Seems to always please. Not a great cook I do love soup making and would love to win a copy of the book but of course it goes on the list. Thank you Margaret. D. marshall

  2. Jade says:

    My great-grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies — fabulous….and over Christmas I’m set to learn how to make my Granny’s famous rolls!

  3. Kimm says:

    I collect old and heirloom cookbooks and would love to win this one. I truly believe that cooking and feeding your family is the heart of the home. When I’m cooking I feel connected to all the generations of women in my family who have gone before. Some of my best memories are cooking with my mother, aunts and grandmother when I was a child and I still get great joy when my 80+ year old aunts come over to cook with me as they will before Thanksgiving.

    There are many wonderful recipes to share, but one of my ‘signatures’ is my pea soup. Most of the ingredients are standard – split peas, onions, carrots, parsnip, thyme, bay leaf, ground pepper. What distinguishes this soup is that I use broth from a corned beef dinner the night before. This gives the soup an incredible depth of flavor. I also chop up any unused corned beef and add it to the soup.

    The day before making the soup, I boil the corned beef with spices, potatoes,veggies, etc.. and then when tender, mix together dijon mustard and apricot preserves, spread it over the top and put it under the broiler for 5-10 minutes til bubbly and brown. There’s never any left over!

  4. This image looks like Fall to me! I want to make that soup! Images can be a powerful springboard to new adventures…such as now a desire to grow onions to make this soup! This last spring I saw and episode of Jamie Oliver that focused on tomatoes, all kinds of recipes. Well this summer I grew 4 tomato variates……yum!
    By the way, love the blog and your book!

  5. Claire Davis says:

    Onion soup sounds devine and a gift of a cookbook a cooks delight. Soup making
    is one of my favorite things, taught to me by my Pop. who took over the cooking
    chores every week-end he was home. I just remember his Pea soup, Manhatten
    Clam Chowder, Potatoe Soup,oh the memories in a bowl of soup. Thanks for
    being hear to listen…

  6. Kate says:

    I’m a little too young to have an heirloom recipe – I often get requests to make Hershey’s chocolate cake with Swiss meringue, if that counts. Would love to have the chance to get this heirloom cookbook and start making recipes for the years!

  7. Renee says:

    My heirloom recipe is Canadian meat pie, my grandmother’s specialty. Ground pork with onions and tiny pinch of allspice in a two-crust pie. When I was growing up, there was always a pie-making day before Thanksgiving, when this was as important (more important?) as the turkey. One aunt finally took notes and measurements, so we got the real recipe. *Love* the Beekman Boys!

  8. June Creasy says:

    I am a Southern traditionalist with a wealth of heirloom recipes and a rich heritage of superb cooks. I have created a healthier version of my favorite recipes, baking coconut shrimp rather than deep frying, and using whole wheat pastry flour rather than white flour in most of my baking. The onion soup is a winner, as is your newsletter. I am filling a folder with each month’s issue; they contain a weath of information in such an interesting artistic format I cannot part with them.

  9. Yasi P says:

    I just finished harvesting the onions from my garden, so this is a timely recipe. I don’t usually follow a recipe and then a couple days goes by, and I forget how I assembled that surprisingly fantastic dish.

  10. Mary Ahern says:

    Hubby Dave loves my curry squash soup but it’s too spicy for the rest of the family. My grandsons love baking with me, lots of cakes & cookies. Some of the cakes are stuffed with pudding. What fun!

    Hope we win the cookbook. I love adventures.

  11. Evi says:

    My heirloom recipe is potato salad made of boiled and grated potatoes, with lots of onions, bacon,and vegetable broth. It should be allowed to sit several hours so it is the perfect party fare.

  12. Tania Tyler | Whole Living Today says:

    Don’t really think that it classifies as a heirloom recipe of mine but I make a great curried roasted pumpkin soup with coconut milk.

  13. Linda Ganci says:

    My favorite heirloom recipe is Pork Pie, brought to my family in Massachusetts from Quebec by my Great-grandmother with her 10 young children to settle here. My Mom always made it for New Year’s Day.

  14. T says:

    I want copies of everyone’s recipes they speak of above.. they all sound delicious..and the book would be nice.. I’m best known for my Chocolate Banana Peanut butter pie.. my family begs for it..Thanks

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