With the frigid cold this past weekend, it was the perfect time to make Hearty Minestrone. My good friend, Maribeth, introduced this recipe to me several years ago and it is a winter delight! Pair it with a crusty, hearty bread, a nice glass of red wine and you can please family and friends alike.
This soup freezes beautifully! With our busy schedules, what a treat to be able to have this soup on hand for those crazy, busy days we all have. If you are gluten-free, eliminate the noodles.
Mmmm…making me hungry for another bowl of leftovers!
2 pounds chuck roast
1 teaspoon salt
4 quarts water
1 cup sliced celery
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
6 ounces tomato paste
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
16 ounce can dark red kidney beans
15 ounce can garbanzo beans
16 ounce can pinto beans
10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 small zucchini
1 pound Italian sweet sausage, sliced
8 ounce package kluski (homemade style) noodles
In a large kettle, combine chuck roast, 1 teaspoon salt and water. Cover and simmer for 3 hours or until beef is tender.
Remove meat from kettle and set aside. Remove fat from broth by letting kettle cool in refrigerator and then lifting hardened fat off top and discarding. Break meat into 1-inch pieces and combine with broth in a very large stock pot.
Stir in celery, onion, carrot, tomatoes, parsley, tomato paste, salt, oregano, basil, kidney beans with liquid, garbanzo beans with liquid, pinto beans, spinach, zucchini and sliced sausage.
Simmer, covered, until vegetables and sausage are tender, about 1 hour. Soup may be frozen at this point.
To serve, cook noodles according to package directions. Rinse, drain and add to hot soup. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese and crusty Italian Bread.
My Czech roots are precious to me and this week I enjoyed a hearty stock of Sauerkraut Soup. This recipe was one of two recipes my Mother made and she was given this recipe by our dear Bohemian friend, Blanche.
I understand that many families serve a Sauerkraut Soup as a traditional Christmas Eve meal but I enjoy it anytime!
After the rich, sweet treats of the holidays, the hearty sauerkraut soup was a welcome change allowing me to walk down memory lane once again.
1 pint sauerkraut (add extra caraway seed if desired)
1 cup finely diced ham
1 quart cooked and drained diced potatoes
1 quart Milk (more or less)
1 egg yolk
1 heaping tablespoon of flour
salt and pepper
dill weed garnish (optional)
Put enough water on sauerkraut to simmer slowly with ham.
When tender, pour milk over and a chunk of butter. Salt and pepper to taste.
Break egg yolk into small bowl and whisk.
Add flour and mix together.
Drop small pieces of the dough into the soup until cooked through, 10-15 minutes.
Add cooked, drained potatoes to the soup.
Heat until low boil. Serve or cool to serve next day. The flavor is even better the next day!
Salted Caramel is a taste bud extravaganza! Combining salted caramel with chocolate has to be a winner.
A few weeks ago I discovered this recipe on Pinterest and, of course, had to try it. I made a batch to give as gifts but stashed a few servings away for me, too. It’s delicious. Add the sea salt to your taste and…BONUS…you have to try it to assure that the combination is absolutely perfect.
A cup of salted caramel hot chocolate mix for a long winter’s night…mmmm!
SALTED CARAMEL HOT CHOCOLATE MIX
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups good quality Dutch cocoa powder
1 to 3 tablespoons good sea salt (I used 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1 cup dry milk powder
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
10 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Heat the 2 1/2 cups sugar in large, heavy pan, over medium heat. Stir often.
When the sugar begins to melt, continuous stir (or swirl the pan) to melt without burning. The sugar seems to crystallize but it will melt to a deep amber color after 15-20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the vanilla (it will spatter). Whisk the caramel until smooth again, then immediately pour in the lined baking sheet. Allow it to spread without touching the sides. Set aside and let the caramel harden, at least 1 hour.
When ready to make the mix, use the back of a large spoon to tap the caramel several times into small broken pieces that can fit into the feeding tube of a large food processor.
Turn the processor on, and while running, feed the caramel pieces into the tube so the processor pulverizes the caramel into a fine powder. Continue to add the pieces, a few at a time, until it is completely powder (a cloud of caramel dust will float out of the tube). Turn the processor off and follow the next steps to complete the mix.
Add the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate, into the food processor with the caramel powder. Replace the lid and process until smooth.
Add the chocolate to the bowl and process again until the mixture is a fine powder.
At this point, I made a cup to taste to assure I added enough sea salt. Originally, I started with 1 tablespoon and after tasting, I added another 1/2 tablespoon to the mixture.
Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, for up to one month. To serve, stir 3 tablespoons mix into 1 cup hot milk.
Adapted from Pennies on a Platter 2007; Adapted from Mom It Forward
Potato Bacon Chowder is a favorite that my sister, Carolyn, shared with me a few years ago. She has often served this on Christmas Eve. It is wonderful for a quick lunch or dinner giving us that warm, cozy comfort food we crave this time of year. So simple, so good. Enjoy!
POTATO BACON CHOWDER
8 slices bacon (cut up)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cups cubed potatoes
1 cup water
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
2 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
Fry bacon until crisp in a 3 quart saucepan; add onion and sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Pour off fat.
Add potatoes and water. Bring to boil; cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Stir in soup and sour cream; gradually add milk. Add salt, pepper and parsley.
My good friend, Jan, was telling me about her favorite Fall salad. It sounded so yummy and had all the things in it that I love. I made, I shared, I loved. This is great as a side dish but it’s so yummy, it could easily be a dessert. Thanks Jan for the great idea!