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. Stephanie Johnson says:

    Everyone in the family always loved my mom’s currant jelly cookies & coconut pies (all from scratch). So now they all look to me to make them at the holidays and so far, no complaints :) I grow all heirloom vegetables in our garden so having an heirloom recipe cookbook would just simply rock! Heirlooms are just that for a reason, tried & true :)

  2. dd says:

    I have been dying to make onion soup to use my lovely leeks! This is the first year I have grown them and I am so happy. I make h. tomato soup w the toms that have small “Faux Pas” that need to be trimmed out. I add leeks, stock, garlic, swiss chard and some of my cranberry beans.

  3. tory says:

    I don’t have heirlooms, myself, yet. However, our family (my mom’s) crepe recipe is awesome and one that I always requested as a kid, and now my kids request frequently.

  4. Nancy says:

    I make the best seafood chowda. (That’s the way it is pronounce in Yankee territory) wink
    I have never written down the recipe but I will try here
    3 lbs of each of the following
    any white fish
    crab meat
    med shrimp
    3 dozen of the following
    3 large potatoes
    l large onion
    3 teaspoons garlic minced
    1 pint heavy cream
    3 cups milk
    1/2 lb butter
    salt to taste
    put the shrimp and crab shells in a saucepan with the heavy cream slowly simmer and boil potatoes in separate pot just before fork tender
    In a large pot make a roux with the butter and milk
    saute onion and garlic add to roux
    when this is nice and hot add the fish cook this for 8 minutes then add shrimp, then clams then scallops add potatoes cook for 10 minutes
    strain heavy cream from the shells and slowly add the strained heavy cream to the chowder,
    add oysters and enjoy!!
    This is a wonderful recipe and every time I make it there is nothing left in nothing flat. I have to make a double batch because it is sooo good the day after and they all want more
    Hope you enjoy it as much as we do

  5. Emily says:

    Hi Margaret,
    That cookbook sounds great! I have been making quite a lot of Thai curries since returning from that land. I make it usually at least once a week. Sometimes I feel I should branch out more, but it’s so delicious and you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. I’ve also tried your recipe (I think it was from here?) for “curry in a hurry” and love that one too!

  6. peg wolfe says:

    My chile colorado – it’s hard-core and VERY old school. I’ve been making it for 40 (!) years. No tomatoes, no beans (though you can have a nice batch of frijoles de olla on the side) – just chunks of pork shoulder or beef chuck, dried New Mexico red chiles, white onion, garlic, cumin, and Mexican oregano. The heat in the dried chiles can vary wildly, so I keep a stock of chiles de arbol and chile tepin (the tiny “Mother of all chiles,” botanically speaking) to jack up the heat level. I also keep a stock of salted chopped fresh red chile on hand in season (which is now!), and a tablespoon or two of this adds another layer of flavor.

    I may not live in the west anymore, but the act of making this dish instantly takes me back many decades.

  7. elaine koss says:

    The recipe I am most asked about is chilled red pepper and ginger soup. It’s made with red peppers and leeks, with the zest and juice of a large orange, equal parts chicken stock and buttermilk, and some cream. It’s easy to make and tastes delicious. (It was actually my late husband’s recipe, which he adapted from one he found in England.)

  8. Ellie says:

    I LOVE SOUP!. I prepare a different soup each Sunday and then eat it 3 or 4 times during the week. Always satisfying when I get home late from work with crackers or fresh bread and a salad. Some of my favs soups are Roasted Butternut Squash, Mushroom, Beef Veg and Split Pea. All easy to make and they freeze well.

  9. Angel says:

    My Jalapeno rolls is the recipe I have the most requests for. It is so simple and easy, I almost don’t want to give the recipe out. I usually say “If I told you I’d have to kill you”!

  10. Carole says:

    Soup, soup, soup using my heirloom tomatoes, green beans, herbs, onions, garlic and squash. Freeze a winter supply and just wait for a hot bowl of yummy soup on a cold winter day.

  11. Martha says:

    I am most famous for my Finger lakes Red Raspberry Riesling Jam. I am visiting my daughter in Boston and without my recipe… So you will just have to imagine how wonderful it is. The Fingerlakes in upstate NY are known for their riesling wine

  12. Ricky Rodriguez says:

    Growing up, every Halloween, my mother would bake a 9X13 cake for mine and my sister’s elementry school classes. It was a carrot cake, with a cream cheese frosting, topped with a border of Brach’s pumpkin candies, making sure there was one for each of the kids in our classes, all homemade (except for the Brach’s). Once I have kids, every year of their elementry school years, I’ll be baking each of them their Grandma Rodriguez’ Halloween Carrot Cake, creating an “heirloom” tradition!

  13. Dru says:

    I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s oven baked pork chops over potatoes and sliced onions simmered with golden mushroom soup. Not fancy, but my husband and son love it. We also sprinkle it with cheese just before removing from the oven.

  14. Brandi says:

    My heirloom recipe(s) are not so much the food, but really more or less me trying to keep my southern heritage alive and keeping my family`s food traditions even though I married a man from Chicago. Corn bread is served on a regular basis and I taught them a thing or two about how you can cook up some midy fine collard greens…Thanks so much. I have always enjoyed your blog and all of Andre`s doodles.

  15. Margaret says:

    ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED…and I will draw winners and notify them by email today.

    Thank you all for your great suggestions. What a range of delicious ideas.

  16. Lisa M says:

    I would love to win! I make onion soup the quick way by saute the onion and add a few cans of beef broth then I use the texas toast with cheese for the top. quick and deelish after a long day at work. :)

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