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Harvest Vegetable Quinoa Soup

19 Mar

Harvest quinoa soup-001Harvest soup in March?  March is known for madness, so why not?  Add cooked cubed chicken–or not.  Quinoa is a complete protein so makes this tasty dish a complete meal without meat.  And it’s gluten free. This soup fits the bill for just about everyone!

Ingredients

  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup diced baby carrots
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups torn kale
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2/3 cup quinoa
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed (optional)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus extra for topping

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add celery, carrots, and onion and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for ten minutes, or until tender.  Add the kale and garlic plus more salt and pepper and saute for three minutes.
  2. Add 7 cups of broth, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf and bring to a boil.  Add potatoes and quinoa.  Lower heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and quinoa is cooked.
  3. Add in chicken, if desired, and heat through.  Turn off heat and stir in parmesan.  If necessary, add more salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe inspired by Iowa Girl Eats.

Photo by me, mylittlefoodspot.

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Classic Two-Meat Chili

22 Feb

classic two meat chili01I found this recipe in some slow cooker cookbook but have found, over time, that I prefer just about everything prepared by some method other than a crockpot.  The flavors of this soup are very well balanced and I have always loved the addition of the ground sausage so I had to adapt it to a stovetop method (didn’t take too much genius).  I sometimes eliminate the “spicy” from the sausage and/or the beans, depending upon my mood, what’s stocked in my cupboard and what’s available at the supermarket.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb Jimmy Dean spicy ground pork sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 28 oz can stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 30 oz can spicy chili beans, undrained

In a dutch oven or other heavy pot, cook ground beef, sausage and onion; drain.

Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer for at least an hour (up to 3 or more hours) to allow the flavors to meld.

Photo by me, My Little Food Spot

Spicy Sausage and Potato Soup

22 Feb

spicy sausage and potato soup01The recipe calls for andouille sausage. I usually keep some frozen on hand but was unknowingly out at the time I made this. I used some standby hot Italian sausage in place of the Andouille and found that it complimented the other ingredients just fine. Derek commented that the soup was full of flavor. In a very good way. I think.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
12 to 16 ounces andouille sausage or other smoked sausage
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried leaf basil
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, and diced sausage; sauté until the vegetables are tender and sausage is lightly browned. Stir in the flour until smooth and well-blended; stir in green onions, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring, for 1 minute. Blend in the chicken broth. Add the diced potatoes, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Stir in the heavy cream and continue cooking until heated through.

Recipe from southernfood.about.com
Photo by me, My Little Food Spot

Sweet Potato and Andouille Soup

22 Feb

Sweet, smooth, and spicy. Derek made the comment, in regards to this soup, that I pick recipes he would never have chosen, but end up being really tasty.  I certainly come up with some doozies from time to time (usually when we have unexpected company), like this weird chicken-sausage mozzarella casserole or a crockpot meatloaf that totally bombed, but I wholeheartedly agree with him on this one.  The sweet potatoes lend a natural sweetness while the cayenne and andouille provide a wonderfully salty heat.  Great, great flavor and very unique, but not foreign; rather comforting, actually.  But, boy do I need to invest in an immersion blender.  It would be so much easier and safer than transferring hot soup.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 pound bulk andouille sausage, crumbled, or pulsed in food processor if link sausage
  • 1 cup julienned onions
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Coat the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the oil and place in a small baking dish. Place the baking dish in the oven and roast the sweet potatoes for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are fully roasted and fork tender. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin from the potatoes. Reserve the sweet potato flesh until ready to use.

Heat a 1 gallon stockpot over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the andouille to the pot and saute until most of the fat has rendered and the meat is well caramelized, stirring constantly, 5 to 6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the andouille and drain on a paper-lined plate. Set aside until ready to use. Add the onions and saute until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the cayenne pepper and chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the roasted sweet potatoes to the soup and stir to blend. Simmer for 10 minutes, then blend with an immersion blender or in batches in a bar blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, if necessary, and stir in the heavy cream. Season with the salt and if necessary more pepper. Garnish with the cooked andouille, chopped chives and serve.

Recipe from Emeril Lagasse

Photo by mylittlefoodspot

Tomato and Tortellini Soup

24 Oct

Love this soup.  It has a chicken stock base but the burst tomatoes give it a little more depth.  It’s really pretty perfect the way it is, however, I am thinking of adding a little cream or perhaps some milk and a thickening agent sometime, to make it creamier.  UPDATE: I tried it with the half and half.  It turns out a milky, pinky color, not really a creamy red.  It tasted sweet, salty and creamy, though.  So…aesthetically, not the best, but tasted really great.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • One 32-ounce container (4 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 pound fresh cheese tortellini or ravioli
  • 1/2 cup half and half (optional)
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • A chunk of parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for shaving
  • Crusty bread, for dunking

In a large, deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, or a Dutch oven, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Stir in the tomatoes and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes burst and a thick sauce forms, 7 to 8 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the tortellini and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.  If desired, add the half and half towards the end of the tortellini cooking time.  Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and scallions to wilt.

Serve the soup in shallow bowls and top with large shavings of the parmigiano cheese. Serve with the bread for dunking.

Recipe inspired by Rachael Ray

Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

26 Nov

Gumbo-001This is the first meal that Derek and I prepared together.  Neither of us had ever eaten gumbo and this recipe became an instant favorite.  We love the soft texture of the okra and the chewiness of the rice, countered by the crunch of the peppers and celery.  The andouille sausage  provides a nice level of saltiness and smoky heat.  Derek and I have made this many times and quite often find ourselves saying, gumbo sounds good, when we’re at a loss for menu ideas.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1 stalk chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground red cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 14 1/2 oz. chicken broth, heated
  • 1 1/4 cups water, heated
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 8 oz. andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 10 oz. frozen cut okra
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice
  • filé powder (optional)

For roux, in a large heavy saucepan or pot combine flour and oil till smooth.  Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cook and stir for 10 to 15 minutes more or till the roux is dark reddish brown (like the color of a penny).

Stir in onion, celery, sweet pepper, garlic, black pepper and ground red pepper. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes or till vegetables are just crisp-tender, stirring often.

Gradually stir in hot chicken broth, hot water, chicken, sausage, okra and bay leaves.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or till okra is tender.  Discard bay leaves. Serve in bowls with rice. If desired, stir 1/4 to 1/2 tsp filé powder into each serving.  Makes about 7 cups.

Recipe courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

Photo by me, mylittlefoodspot

Creamy Potato Soup

27 Mar
creamypotatosoup400b[1]
Thick and creamy potato soup seasoned with onion and dill, topped with croutons
Ingredients:
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cups sliced and peeled potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Few dashes of pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • Seasoned croutons and crumbled bacon, for serving (optional)
Instructions: 1. Bring first three ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until done. Cool slightly, then blend until smooth. Set aside.

2. Stir together the next four ingredients. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Stir into potato mixture. Add dill and heat soup thoroughly. Top with croutons and serve.

Yields 8 servings

Recipe from Tammy’s Recipes