Archive for the ‘Soups’ Category

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Cream of Potato and Butternut Squash Soup

November 5, 2015

Every time I make something new I tend to declare it “the best I have ever made”. Longing for cool days, and always in the mood for soup I put up a crock full  the other night. When I tasted it the next day, I said those very words.Not thinking it would be this spectacular (it really is) I didn’t take step by step pictures. It’s quick and easy though, and the outcome is so worth it. Silky, not too thick, and perfectly seasoned. It’s easily adapted to your own tastes. You’ll find a few alternative suggestions at the end of the recipe. Don’t shy away from using a can of coconut milk. There was no coconut taste to this, but it yielded a creamy texture without the heaviness of cream.

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 .2.5 lbs. potatoes – I used 12 small russet potatoes
1 large or 1.5 small butternut squash
2-3 jalapenos – I left seeds and stems in- you can de seed and devein for less heat
4 C. Vegetable or Chicken broth
2 C. water
1 can coconut milk (you can use cream or milk)
2 t. basil
2 t. Italian seasoning
1 t. ginger
1 t. cumin
1 t. coriander
1/2 t. curry powder (optional)
1 t. red pepper flakes
salt to taste- potatoes are bland – I used about 4 t. sea salt total

Pierce the skin of the squash in several spots. Microwave in a damp paper towel for 12 minutes. Cut in half, and let cool a bit so you can handle them.

Peel and cut potatoes in small cubes.Put in crock. Add broth and water and turn on high. Set timer for 5 hours.

Cut squash in half. With a sharp knife cut a criss cross pattern – cutting almost to skin. then take a spoon and scoop the cuts out. You should have a bunch of cubes. Add to crock, then do the same with the other half of squash.

Add all your seasonings, and HALF of salt only. Cover. Go to bed.

Next morning add the can of coconut milk, or whatever milk you are using. Cook for one more hour on low.

Using an immersion or regular blender, puree the soup.

Taske for need of salt. Add just a bit at  a time.

I served this with some grated parmesan cheese, a bit more red pepper flakes and a few Pepitas  (toasted shelled pumpkin seeds) to garnish.

This is a VERY adaptable recipe.It would be good just made with  with 2 T. of dried dill in place of the other seasonings. Add some fresh dill at the end, and for garnish.Sage would be nice too, as well as thyme. Any seasoning that pairs with squash would be wonderful. Go for your favorites.

You can also omit the squash and make an all potato soup.Try some Yukon Golds for variety. Or switch out a few white potatoes, and add a few peeled cubed sweet potatoes and a carrot or two.

The possibilities are endless.

 

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Honeymoon Soup

December 4, 2012

Once the holiday turkey has provided the last bit of meat for a meal,it’s final hurrah is soup. Stock made with  roasted bones, like a roasted vegetable,will have a rich,more intense flavor than it’s boiled brothers. Since the majority of  the skin is gone as well,it is a very low fat stock.There  is little  to no skimming needed. Honeymoon Soup is a take off  on  the  classic  Italian wedding soup.The dense flavor of the stock holds up well to the addition of  jalapenos to a basic mirepoix, and jalapeno and turkey meatballs.

The Stock

bones from one 14 or more lb. turkey,or 2 breasts (can also be done with chicken carcass)

1 large sweet onion, rough chop

3 stalks celery,cut in at least 1” pieces

1/2 bag mini carrots

2 jalapenos,ribs and seeds mostly removed depending on heat you want

2 cans vegetable broth (or chicken)

2-3 C. water

2 C. cooked wild and brown rice (optional)

Put the broth, cold water and bones in 8 quart stock pot,making sure bones are covered.Bring to slight boil and  then simmer at least 3 hours.

Meatballs

1 lb. ground turkey

3 cloves garlic,crushed

2 slices soft bread,crust removed

1/2 C. milk

2 jalapenos,very finely chopped (seeds and ribs  removed depending on your heat  sensor!)

1 t. ground bl. pepper

Crumble the bread and cover with milk.When absorbed,combine with meat, garlic,jalapenos and pepper. Put in the fridge until the soup is  almost   done.

Strain your soup,making sure   any little pieces of  bone are gone. Put the broth back into the stock pot,or in my case I transfer it to my crock pot,which is too small for making the  stock.

Get  meat out of  fridge and make teaspoon sized mini meatballs. Brown on all sides in a frying pan. (about 15 minutes total cooking),Deglaze the pan with 1/2 C. water and put in the broth.

Melt one tablespoon butter in the same frying pan and start your mirepoix and jalapenos,. Cook only fifteen minutes,just enough to heat them through.Add them to your broth. Simmer on low about 2 hours,until vegetables are just barely soft.

I add rice individually to each serving,rather than cook in the soup. I recommend heating the rice before adding, as it will cool the soup considerably. So if you are adding the starch, now is the time to do it! Put the rice in the bottom of your bowl, and ladle your soup carefully over it.

Pour into bowls or large mugs, topped with a few slices of  raw jalapeno.. Perfect fall warmth…

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Better than Basic Bean Soup

December 4, 2010

Even in Florida it’s getting cold. Time to make the heartier soups and leave the lighter soups of summer behind. My daughter and I eat soup year round. My son can take it or leave it- preferably the latter. This started out as a basic black bean soup,until I realized I had no black beans. The outcome -Better than Basic Bean Soup. Topped with tortilla chips and cheese last night,even my son declared it a winner.

  • 16. oz. broth (your choice – I used a rich veggie I’ve recently discovered)
  • 8 oz. white wine – or red if you use beef broth
  • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 can undrained red kidney beans
  • 1 can undrained white navy beans
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 large sweet onion, large dice
  • 3 carrots, cut in thin slices
  • 2 cloves garlic,minced
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 2 T. EACH : white pepper,garlic salt,oregano,coriander,cumin

Saute onion,carrots and garlic in butter on low for a scant ten minutes.Just long enough to soften them a bit

Heat the broth and 3/4 of wine to just under a boil. If using a crockpot heat on  high until it’s steaming.Add the  brown sugar and stir until dissolved,then add vinegar. (Don’t be daunted by this.The soup does not have a sweet and sour flavor- it only carries a nice undertone.)  Empty the beans and corn into the liquid.Stir just to combine.

Reduce crockpot or stovetop to low.Pour the remaining wine over onions to deglaze, and add to broth and beans.  Season it up,stir to combine and let it do it’s magic.

I made this in a  crockpot, allowing it to cook on low for about 3 hours. Adjust accordingly on stove, remember to stir so it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Soup should be medium thick in consistancy.

Top with mini round tortillas and some shredded, sharp cheddar. Add a hot, crusty roll and be warmed  from the inside out on these chilly December nights.

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Adaptable Corn Chowder

November 4, 2010

I make a great corn and potato soup that takes at least 4 hours in the crockpot- in addition to peeling,chopping and all the other prep that goes with it – it’s a very tasty labor of love that’s a pain in the … to make.My daughter asked for some one day and I was just not in the mood,nor did I have the time to go through the “process”. So I came up with this cheater’s version. Ready in an hour and like most soups, sauces and stews even better the next day- if there is any left! (I rarely use the microwave  for cooking.However this and a few other recipes will not burn or require  the stirring  that it does on the stove when made in the mic.)Ingredient friendly- you can add chicken or clams to make a non vegetarian version.

  • 2 cans potatoes,drained and rinsed

  • 2 cans cream of corn

  • 1 C. vegetable broth

  • 2 small cans evaporated milk(you can use regular milk- evap. will make it thicker)

  • dill (I use at least 2 T. dried-if you don’t like dill- basil works)

  • 1/2 t. cayenne (optional)

    shredded Monteray Jack or Cheddar cheese to top

  • Variation”

  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled ,steamed in microwave whole for 3 minutes and then diced (optional)

  • another 1/2 C. broth or water if you add sweet potatoes

Mix ingredients together in a microwave 3 qt. sauce pan,except cheese. My version contains the sweet potatoes,so add them  now too if you are using them.Microwave on medium high for 10 minutes.Stir.Then microwave on medium 45 minutes.Take about 2/3 of it and puree in the blender or processor.Take out less if you like it chunkier.Add cubed cooked chicken, or clams at this point if unlike my house- you are not accomodating a vegetarian!Top with shredded cheese and serve.

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Chicken Soup Cure All

November 4, 2010

It’s that time of year.Changing seasons (yes even here in Sunny Florida) bring on the allergies,and the germs. This soup is good for what ails you,no matter what it is. The rich chicken broth’s protein has healing abilities. Garlic will scare off any germ that had the nerve to enter your body. Cayenne pepper is going to clear your nose,and speed up your metabolism, sweating the impurities away. Lastly, the addition of fresh lemon gives it a great taste ( yes, you can taste now that the cayenne has cleared your poor nose!) as well as cutting the phelgm and easing throat pain. I swear it works!!  So grab a mug, your favorite blankie, and feel better soon!

  • 2 C. chicken stock (preferably Bubbe’s Chicken Soup!)
  • 3 cloves garlic,sliced in thin circles
  • 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 C. cooked rice or soup  noodles,your choice & optional
  • 1/4 – 1/3 shredded soup chicken,optional
  • 1/4 fresh lemon
  • lemon circle for garnish

Bring broth to low boil,add the garlic and cayenne to the broth and simmer slowly for about 5 minutes,until garlic is soft. If you are adding cooked noodles and chicken add it now and turn heat off.Let sit until they are warmed – no need to simmer them,the soup should be hot enough to heat them through.Squeeze your lemon into your mug right before you are going to eat it.Garnish with a circle of lemon. Don’t cut corners just because you are sick-make it look pretty too!

When I make soups I always make the noodles,or rice separately.Cooking them in the soup uses up too much broth.The chicken from the chicken soup is removed and shredded, and the broth is drained.Sometimes when I’m not feeling well,I don’t want all the add ins. Keeping them separate gives me that option.Noodles only take a few minutes if I want them, and serving sizes of soup chicken can be frozen to add to each mug. (When you are sick- soup just tastes bettter in a big favorite mug)

Get your tissues, a good book or movie, cover up and enjoy your hot cup of comfort.

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Bubbe’s Chicken Soup

November 4, 2010

Well almost. Hands down my mom made the best chicken soup ever. When I would ask her what made it so good, the answer was chicken, water,carrots salt and pepper. Her secret ingredient was fresh dill and lots of it. Mine would never taste the same,never had the density that hers had,the rich chicken taste. When cold, hers was like jell-o.Mine was like…colored water.You are using too much water/not enough chicken if the soup doesn’t gel when cold. So here it is,the best recreation of Mom’s chicken soup.

  • 1 4-5 lb. chicken
  • 8 oz. fresh dill,snipped from stems
  • 1 onion whole
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 8 oz. baby carrots
  • 1/2 onion,large dice

Place whole cleaned chicken in a large stock pot and cover with COLD water. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from stove.Toss out the water,carefully. So to get the “cleanest” most clear soup,toss the first batch of water.Who likes skimming?

Once the chicken has cooled a bit cut it into the following pieces : 2 wings, whole breast, 2 thighs with legs attached. Make one slice down either side of the back bone and add the back bone too,as well as the neck from the pack inside the bird. The more “bone” in the soup,the richer the flavor.

I make my soup in the crockpot. The low setting seems to make the meat less stringy. Add your broth,half of the dill,whole onion and just enough water to cover the chicken. Cook on low for 4 hours. Take out the chicken,allow to cool and shred it.Throw out the whole onion.Put chicken in fridge until ready to add to soup.Strain the broth and return to the crockpot. I put mine in the freezer to cool so I can skim the fat off. Just like the beef ribs, the fat will congeal making it easier to remove 99% of the fat.Leave some- it does add flavor.

This is what chicken soup looks like when cold.I shook the pot so you could see the jiggle effect! You can also see the small amount of fat I left.

Add the carrots,diced onion  and remaining dill.

 Bring to a boil,then turn to low and simmer until the carrots are fork tender.Add salt and pepper to taste.

 Bring some water to boil for your noodles. I use medium ribbons and ALWAYS cook them separately from the soup.They deplete the broth when you cook them in it. Drain your noodles. 

It’s time to assemble the bowls. Add a handfull of chicken,a handfull of noodles and ladle your steaming broth and carrots over them.

Don’t forget to add the love <3!

I always freeze a container of plain broth. when cold and flu season come along,you have pure chicken broth to make the Chicken Soup Cure All!