Asian Dishes · New Favorite · Soups and Stews

Quick & Easy Won Ton Soup

Lunch time and what to eat? I had limited time and the ingredients to make this quick and easy Won Ton Soup. I first saw this recipe on the Facebook page, Favorite Trade Joe’s products. The Chicken Cilantro wontons from Costco (or Trader Joe’s) are delicious but I’ve never used them in Won Ton Soup. This soup took about 20 minutes to make, from start to finish and it was delicious. It would be easy to mix it up and use spinach and/or pea pods. It serves 2-3 for an entrée or 5-6 for an appetizer.

Easy Won Ton Soup

INGREDIENTS:
  • 6 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • 1- inch piece fresh ginger (sliced thin)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 20 mini frozen wontons (I love the Chicken Cilantro one’s Costco but may be available at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms (I used baby portabella)
  • 4 baby bok choy (halved lengthwise and halved)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • scallions (sliced green parts only for garnish)
  • Optional: I added a bit of onion powder and salt
DIRECTIONS:
  • Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot.
  • Smash the sliced ginger with the side of a knife to bring out the flavor and add to the pot with the garlic, cover and cook 5 minutes.
  • Add the bok choy and partially cook 5 minutes, then add the frozen wontons and mushroom, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the wontons are heated through and bok choy is tender and wilted.
  • Stir in soy sauce and sesame oil.
  • Divide soup in four bowls. Garnish with fresh scallions.

Recipe slightly adapted from SkinnyTaste.com

Family · Family Favorites · Garden · Home · Soups and Stews · Vegetarian

Roasted Tomato Soup

Campbell’s Tomato Soup and grilled cheese were common in our house when the girls were growing up. Now that I’ve discovered homemade tomato soup, the canned stuff is out the door. I roast tomatoes all summer and freeze them for soup and sauces in the winter. The tomatoes I had frozen did not have garlic and onion in them, so I sautéed the onion in a little olive oil and added the garlic when the onions were brown. The end result was delicious. The soup was a little thick, so I added water to gain the consistency I like.

The perfect lunch or dinner for a snowy winter day!

Roasted Tomato Soup

INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 lb. Roma Tomatoes (I used a variety of tomatoes from my garden)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup milk or cream (I used Half and Half)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil (I used pureed frozen basil)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Water or milk to thin the soup to your liking
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cut tomatoes in half, drizzle with oil. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 40-50 minutes, until the tomatoes start to brown. (At this point you can freeze the tomato mixture for later or proceed with the recipe.)
  4. Scrape the tomato mixture into the blender and add the milk or cream, Parmesan cheese, basil, tomato paste, and sugar. Puree until completely smooth and adjust seasonings to taste.
  5. Serve immediately with grilled cheese for dunking. Yum!

Recipe adapted from thereciperebel.com

https://www.thereciperebel.com/easy-roasted-tomato-soup-and-a-giveaway/

Czech Heritage and Dishes · Soups and Stews

Simple Sauerkraut Soup

Sauerkraut Soup is a wonderful winter meal, reminding me of my Czech roots and of my Mother’s homemade sauerkraut.  I’m obsessed with trying new recipes, particularly those of my family roots.

I have followed TresBohemes.com for some time and enjoy their stories and recipes.  This one is delicious and easy to make.  As they say in the Czech Republic, Dobrou chuť (Enjoy Your Meal)!

SIMPLE SAUERKRAUT SOUP

1/2 tablespoon duck fat (you can use butter or olive oil if you prefer)
1 Polish Kielbasa, sliced
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 jar sauerkraut (lightly rinsed and drained)
1 cup fresh cabbage, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
water to cover
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
Sour Cream

  • In a large soup pot, melt the duck fat over medium heat.
  • Add the klobasa and cook until lightly browned.
  • While the klobasa is cooking, peel and cut the potatoes.
  • Once the potatoes are diced, add them to the pot.
  • Next add the sauerkraut and fresh cabbage.
  • Stir everything together.
  • Now add the paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Stir again and then add water until all of the ingredients are covered (you may add more or less water depending on how thick you like your soup).
  • Next raise the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil.
  • Once the soup has reached a boil reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • The soup is finished when the potatoes and cabbage are soft.
  • To thicken the soup slightly and to give it a creamier texture, I like to make a rue once the soup is cooked.
  • To make the rue, cook the flour in a small pan over high heat, stirring continually, until it turns a light brown color. Then add the butter, continuing to stir the mixture until it forms a thick golden paste. At this point you should remove the pan from the heat.
  • Now add a ladle of the soup liquid into the rue and stir it until combined. Repeat this step until the rue has thinned in consistency. Once you have added 3 or 4 ladles of the soup liquid to the rue, you may pour the rue into the soup and stir to combine.
  • Serve garnished with a spoon of sour cream and a slice of Czech rye bread.

Recipe from tresbohemes.com

My Roots · New Favorite · Soups and Stews

Cabbage Roll Soup

Cabbage Rolls were not a part of my childhood but I enjoyed them as an adult at Hungarian restaurants. I’ve never made cabbage rolls but I loved the idea of soup, my go-to meal in winter.

This is a simple and wonderful soup.  The rice absorbs much of the broth, but you could easily add more broth or vegetable juice.  Yummy!

CABBAGE ROLL SOUP

1 large onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 pound lean ground beef
½ pound lean ground pork
¾ cup uncooked long grain rice
1 medium head cabbage chopped (core removed)
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups beef broth
1 ½ cups V8 or other vegetable juice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

  • In a large pot, brown onion, garlic, pork and beef. Drain any fat.
  • Stir in chopped cabbage and let cook until slightly softened (about 3 minutes).
  • Add all remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and reduced heat to medium low. Cover and simmer on low until rice is fully cooked (about 25-30 minutes)
  • Remove bay leaf and serve.
If you prefer a thinner soup, add more beef broth to reach desired consistency once rice is cooked.
New Favorite · Soups and Stews

Roasted Butternut Squash & Bacon Soup

Butternut Squash is a fall favorite. Roasting the squash for this delicious soup sounded amazing, and it was. I did not roast the Squash with bacon but chose to keep it a bit healthier, only adding bacon bits to the final product. It is delicious with goat cheese but I also tried it with shredded Monterey Jack (shown below) and it was equally as good. Think of this soup as a spoonful of autumn in your mouth. Yum!

Roasted Butternut Squash & Bacon Soup

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, diced (I did not add bacon to the roasted squash)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, or more, to taste
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Place butternut squash, onion, bell pepper and bacon in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.
  3. Place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until butternut squash is tender, stirring at halftime.*
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butternut squash mixture and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chicken stock and puree with an immersion blender.
  6. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  7. Serve immediately, garnished with bacon, goat cheese and chives, if desired.

Recipe from Damndelicious.net

Family Favorites · New Favorite · Soups and Stews

Cheeseburger Soup

Cheeseburger Soup on a cold, Colorado day, hit the spot.  I love soups and I love cheeseburgers…so what’s not to like?

I modified the recipe a bit and added green beans so there was something green in the soup.  After eating it, I decided I will add broccoli next time for a Cheeseburger Broccoli Soup, combining another favorite.  

CHEESEBURGER SOUP

4 tablespoons butter, divided
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1-3/4 pounds (about 4 cups) cubed peeled potatoes
4 cups chicken broth (and I added 2 additional cups of water)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 to 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
Optional:  Add frozen green beans or fresh broccoli when you add the potatoes

  • In a large soup pot,  over medium heat, cook and crumble beef until no longer pink; drain and set aside.
  • In same saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Saute onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, potatoes, ground beef, and optional green beans or broccoli; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir until bubbly, 3-5 minutes. Add milk, slowly, to make a white sauce.
  • Add sauce to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper; cook until cheese melts. Remove from heat; blend in sour cream.

Recipe adapted from tasteofhome.com

Breads · Family · New Favorite · New Traditions

Crusty No-Knead Bread

Crusty Bread that I don’t have to knead?  Just what I needed to go with the soup I was making.  Honestly, the recipe seemed too easy but it worked perfectly.  I baked the bread in my Lodge Dutch Oven and I baked it according to directions.  The crust was a little too brown, but the interior of the bread was perfect and tasted great!

It is wonderful served with soup and also wonderful as a sandwich.  As long as I plan a day ahead, I can make this bread any time!

CRUSTY NO-KNEAD BREAD

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. active dry yeast
1 ½ cups water 
room temperature

  • Form the dough: In a big bowl mix the flour, salt and yeast together. Pour water into the bowl and using a spatula or a wooden spoon mix it until well incorporated. You do not need to activate the yeast before, even though we’re using active dry yeast. The slow rising process will do the trick.
  • Allow it to rise: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter or inside your unheated oven for 12 to 18 hours.
  • Preheat your oven: Preheat oven to 450°F. Add your cast iron pot to the oven as it’s heating and heat it as well until it’s at 450°F. Usually when the oven is done preheating your pot should be hot enough as well. Remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid from it. Use oven mitts, as to not burn yourself.
  • Shape the dough: Flour your hands really well and also sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough. With your floured hands gently remove the dough from the bowl and roughly shape it into a ball. Sprinkle some extra flour directly into the bottom of the pot. Take the ball of dough and drop it into the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and place it back in the oven. Alternatively, you can also place the ball of dough onto a piece of parchment paper, then lift the parchment paper and drop it in the pot, with parchment paper and all. This could also ensure that your bread doesn’t stick at all to the bottom of the pot. I have found that if I use parchment paper, the bread doesn’t brown so much on the sides, but otherwise it’s still crusty and delicious.
  • Finish the bread: Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, after which remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove the bread from the pot, it should fall out easily. Let cool completely before slicing into it and serving.

Recipe from JoCooks.com

Home · New Favorite · Soups and Stews · Vegan · Vegetarian

Spicy Peanut Soup with Sweet Potato and Kale

Wonderful, yummy Spicy Peanut Soup with Sweet Potato and Kale is a new favorite.  I first enjoyed this soup at a Bunco gathering a few years ago and I asked for the recipe.  The source, Pinch of Yum, is a favorite site for my daughters and I and this recipe doesn’t disappoint.

The title says ‘spicy’ but with one chopped jalapeno, it was not hot at all.  If you truly want it hot, I would suggest adding 2+ jalapenos.  With this batch, I only added the curry powder, but next time I will add the tumeric.

This soup is Vegan and Vegetarian.  If you would like protein, adding some shredded chicken would be delicious.  It’s fall y’all, and I’m cooking up a soup storm!

SPICY PEANUT SOUP WITH SWEET POTATO & KALE

2 tablespoons olive oil
half an onion, diced
1 jalapeño, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 14-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes1
14-ounce can light coconut milk
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry and/or turmeric
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup peanut butter
1–2 cups kale, stems removed, chopped

  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Saute until soft and fragrant.
  • Add sweet potatoes. I like to brown them a little bit with the aromatics to get them nice and flavorful.
  • Add tomatoes, coconut milk, water, spices, and peanuts. Simmer until sweet potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Add peanut butter and kale. Simmer until everything is thick, creamy, and delicious. Top with more peanuts and a little cilantro if you’re obsessed like me.

NOTES

Instant Pot: Cook everything except peanut butter and kale on high pressure for about 3 minutes with a quick release. (Sometimes I reduce the liquid when I make it in the Instant Pot by a cup or so, and then just add more as needed when it’s all done. But that is optional – it should work fine either way.) Stir in the peanut butter and kale after cooking. Voila!

Slow Cooker: Cook everything except peanut butter and kale on low for 6 hours. Stir in the peanut butter and kale. Don’t cook the sweet potatoes too long or they’ll fall apart on ya! Just cook until they pierce easily with a fork.

One last note. This recipe is inspired by an amazing West African recipe called maafe, or groundnut soup. I did what I always do and changed/added some ingredients based on what I love and what I had on hand (kale, jalapeño, coconut milk, cilantro, etc.) making it more of a cultural mash-up. That’s why I’m not calling it a proper West African peanut soup even though those are its roots.

Freezer Meal Version

Freeze Together:
3 cups chopped sweet potatoes, fresh or frozen
jalapeños, minced
half of an onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 14-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1 14-ounce can coconut milk

  1. Instant Pot Instructions: High pressure 8 mins + 10 mins natural release
  2. Slow Cooker Instructions: High setting 6 hours
  3. Final Step: Stir in 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, and 1-2 cups chopped kale. Add water to thin to desired consistency.
  4. Check out our full freezer meal posts with all recipes and instructions here!

Recipe from Pinch of Yum

New Favorite

Pork Poblano Stew with Citrus Notes

Fall is in the air and I am ready for soup season! A friend shared the Pork Poblano Stew (with citrus notes) recipe with me and we brainstormed a starch to use in the recipe.  I thought sweet potato would be great either added to the stew (which I did) or served over a baked sweet potato.  The flavors are unique and so delicious.  It is great served with cornbread, crusty bread or, as one daughter suggested, with tortilla chips.

Next week I’ll post a second recipe for a savory Pork Poblano Stew.  Both are delicious!

PORK POBLANO STEW WITH SWEET POTATO

2 teaspoons hot or mild chili powder
1 ¼ pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 fresh poblano chile pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large red sweet pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion cut into thin wedges
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (optional–I added and it was delicious)
14.5 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes with garlic, undrained
14.5 ounce can chicken broth (I used a quart of chicken broth)
3 inch stick of cinnamon
2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
1/4 cup fresh orange juice

  • In a medium bowl, sprinkle chili powder over pork. Toss to combine.
  • In a large saucepan heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook the pork, about 4 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Remove pork from saucepan; set aside.
  • Add remaining oil to saucepan. Add poblano pepper, sweet pepper, and onion to saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add sweet potato, tomatoes, broth, and cinnamon stick.
  • Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover and add reserved pork and orange juice. Return to a simmer for 5 minutes more. Stir in orange peel.
  • To serve, remove stick cinnamon. Ladle into shallow bowls.

Recipe adapted from BHG.com

New Favorite · Soups and Stews

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Cold winter nights mean hearty soups in my kitchen. Broccoli Cheddar Soup is always a favorite when dining out but I’ve rarely made it.  This is a great recipe that has become a family favorite.

IMG_7524

BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP

1 tablespoon + 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 small/medium sweet yellow onion, diced small
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced finely
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups fat-free half-and-half (I used regular half-and-half)
3 cups broccoli florets, diced into bite-size pieces
2 large carrots, trimmed, peeled, and finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika, optional and to taste
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder, optional and to taste
pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
8 ounces grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese, with a small amount reserved for garnishing bowls

  • In a small saucepan, add 1 tablespoon butter, the diced onion, and sauté   over medium heat until the onion is translucent and barely browned, about 4 minutes. Stir intermittently.
  • Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and set pan aside.
  • In a large heavy-bottom pot, add 4 tablespoons butter, flour, and cook over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until flour is thickened. You are making a roux and it’s very important the mixture is thick or soup will never thicken properly later.
  • Slowly add the vegetable stock, whisking constantly.
  • Slowly add the half-and-half, whisking constantly.
  • Allow mixture to simmer over low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened some. Whisk intermittently to re-incorporate the ‘skin’ that inevitably forms, this is normal.
  • While mixture is simmering, chop the broccoli and carrots. After simmering 15 to 20 minutes, add the broccoli, carrots, and the onion and garlic you previously set aside.
  • Add the salt, pepper, optional paprika, optional dry mustard powder, and optional cayenne.  Stir to combine.
  • Allow soup to simmer over low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened some. Whisk intermittently to re-incorporate the ‘skin’ that inevitably forms, this is normal.
  • Optional: I used a Braun hand blender to blend the vegetables into a creamier consistency.
  • While soup simmers, grate the cheese. After simmering about 20 to 25 minutes, add most of the cheese, reserving a small amount for garnishing bowls. Stir in the cheese until melted and incorporated fully, less than 1 minute.
  • Transfer soup to bowls, garnish with reserved cheese, and serve immediately. Soup will keep airtight for 5 to 7 days in the fridge. Reheat gently in the microwave.

Recipe slightly adapted from Averiecooks.com