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Category Archives: Soup

Cauliflower Pepper Jack Cheese Soup

Growing up Christmas dinner was usually Cauliflower Cheese soup.  My mothers secret was pepper jack cheese which gave the soup the perfect amount of spice.  My sister came across Cauliflower-Cheese Soup Recipe – Allrecipes.com which is an exact recipe.  It adds carrot, celery, and potato which my mom never did.  I gave it a try but added a bit of the secret ingredient and blended it a bit like my mom did.

My two-year old ate two bowls and asked again for more the next day.  I loved the added carrot and celery.  The added potato allowed a bit less thickener.  The best part you don’t need must seasoning but salt and pepper.

Cauliflower Pepper Jack Cheese SoupCauliflower Pepper Jack Cheese Soup:

  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 stalks celery,chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut in florets
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 4 Tbs flour
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups milk or half and half
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

In a medium pot combine water with celery, carrots, onions, potatoes, and cauliflower.  Bring water to a boil, cover with a lid and simmer for about 15 minutes until vegetables start to become tender.

Cauliflower Pepper Jack Cheese Soup

In a large pot or dutch oven melt butter.  Add in flour and cook about 2 minutes  on medium heat.

Cauliflower Pepper Jack Cheese Soup

Stir in milk until smooth and mixture begins to thicken.

Add in the water and vegetables.  Continue to cook until all vegetables are tender, season with salt and pepper.

It you prefer a smoother soup, use an immersion blender at this time to blend to desired consistency.

Stir in cheese and taste again for any seasoning needed.

Enjoy piping hot with a good loaf of bread.

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

I am a chili lover, especially if the chili is made with kidney beans.  Growing up my mom always made chili with kidney beans. To this day I swear I can eat chili breakfast, lunch, and dinner as long as it is homemade.  My mother’s chili is very similar but usually uses ground beef and omit the pumpkin and pumpkin spice.  Chili is so simple, versatile and forgiving, and is a one pot meal.  A slow cooker would work as well but as long as I am home I love to just simmer my soup in a dutch oven on the stove.

A few years ago I had come across a recipe that added pumpkin.  In the fall if I have any pumpkin in the freezer or extra from baking I make this chili.  The pumpkin purée added a depth and richness to the chili without a pumpkin flavor.

Of course chili can not be served without fresh cornbread.  Sour cream and cheddar cheese are optional.

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Turkey Pumpkin Chili:

  • 1 package ground turkey breast (16-20 oz.)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 green pepper,diced
  • 1  cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (26 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or (1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp allspice)

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

In a large pot brown turkey, add in onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant.

Add remaining ingredients and bring up to simmer, continue to simmer on low for at least 1 hour.

Serve with cornbread, tortilla chips, or with some cheddar cheese.
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Borscht

Borscht is essentially stew made with beets.  As a girl this was one of my favorite dinners my mom would make.  I would eat bowl after bowl until it was gone.  Although what is not to love beets are one of my favorite vegetables.

This is not only a healthy but a hearty soup to fill the bellies of the whole family.  You can blend it or dice your vegetables as fine as you would like.  I prefer it chunky as this is how I grew up with it.  I have never tried making it on my own but it turned out great.  My mother is an amazing soup maker and because she always throws things together I did my best.

Now if you think it is odd to add dollop of sour cream to you stew, you need to give it a try.  Borscht requires a dollop of sour cream and it just won’t taste the same without it.

Beet Stew with a dollop of sour cream

Beet Stew with a dollop of sour cream

Borscht:

  • 1 lb. beef stew meat, cubed
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce or 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 3 medium beets, peeled and diced
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and diced (if using new or red potatoes no need to peel)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 medium head of cabbage,diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash Worcestershire sauce

* This could easily be made in the crock pot.  After browning the stew meat combine all in the slow cooker and combine all ingredients.  Cook over low for at least 6 hours or until vegetables are tender.

In a 5 quart pot over medium/high heat oil and brown the stew meat.  Add in tomato sauce and beef broth.

Add in remaining ingredients  except cabbage and cover the pot with a lid.  Turn heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours.

Add in the cabbage and continue to cook and additional hour.

Taste and add any additional salt and pepper.  Remove the two bay leaves.

When the beets are tender and the meat is falling apart the Borscht is ready to serve.

Dollop each bowl with a bit of sour cream and serve.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

Mr.Picky came home excited years ago about Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup he had tried at a close family friends.  I was absolutely shocked because Mr.Picky dislikes soup so much.  He carried in the recipe copied for us and asked me to make it.  We had no mushrooms at the time and I kind of forgot about it the recipe in the box.

With the seasons turning it is now time to go pick wild mushrooms.  Most people find this to be scary because they are worried they will be poisoned.  I trust Mr.Picky and his mushroom skills.  He came home with 3 gallons of chanterelle mushrooms and a few huge lobster mushrooms.

Funny thing is I am in no way picky mushrooms is one of two foods I do not care for.  Most of the time I do not want to inflict my tastes on the kids so I suck it up and eat them.  We dried what we didn’t eat fresh the first day or in the soup, so now we can enjoy them throughout the rest of the year.

Back to the soup.  Once I sat down and read the recipe I realized why Mr.Picky liked it. Bacon, burger, and mushrooms are some of his favorite foods.  I made the recipe according to the directions as it was my first time.  I will probably take out the mushroom soup and make it by scratch next time.  Although this was really good and with a thick and creamy texture.  I also didn’t have just wild rice but I used a wild rice and quinoa mixture that worked well.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup:

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

 

  • 1/2 lbs. bacon (browned drained and chopped)
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef, browned drained and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup wild rice (can use brown)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 stalks celery,chopped
  • 2/3 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans beef broth
  • 1 cup dried mushrooms or fresh, chopped
  • 3 (10 3/4 oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper

Rinse rice in cold water until clear. Boil rice in 2 cups of water and simmer 15 min.

Saute veggies until onions are clear.

In 4 quart pan put cans of broth and cream of mushroom soup mix and heat until combined. Add remaining ingredients and season to taste with Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.

Simmer 1 hour, serve hot with some great crusty bread to dip.

I ate half the bowl before I remembered to take a picture.

I ate half the bowl before I remembered to take a picture.

 

Chicken and Wild Rice Quinoa Soup

For the first rain and pure fall day at home this season, soup was on the menu.  Honestly it was purely a concoction of what was in the fridge.  After separating two rotisserie chickens the other day I had two chicken carcasses to be boiled.  After that it was simply what vegetables needed to be used.

The kids both had seconds and enjoyed every bit of vegetables.  Not to mention the smell of roasting chicken throughout the house was mouth-watering.  I decided to use a wild rice/quinoa mix inside the soup as opposed to noodles or dumplings.  It was just as tasty and much healthier.

Chicken and Wild Rice Quinoa Soup:Chicken and Wild Rice/Quinoa Soup

  • About 6 cups water
  • 1-2 chicken carcasses
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 cup dry wild rice/quinoa mix or just quinoa
  • 4-6 cups vegetables your choice (I used broccoli,carrots,mushrooms,onions, and celery)

 

If you do not have a chicken carcass just use chicken stock or broth.  Place chicken bones and water in a pot with a lid.  Simmer for about 1 hours.  Remove lid and allow to cool about 1 hour.

Using your hands pick off any pieces of chicken and remove all bones and fat from the pot.

Return your chicken stock and chicken pieces to the stove and turn to a medium heat.  Place all raw vegetables, rice, and seasonings to the pot.  Simmer for about 30-45 minutes until vegetables are tender.  Taste as you go for additional seasonings.

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Serve steaming hot and enjoy the warmth on a cold day!

Egg Drop Soup

 

Egg Drop SoupThe kids and I love soup so we try to eat it when Mr.Picky is gone, so we don’t have to listen to complaining.  It is August which is usually warm for us here in the Pacific Northwest but it started raining.  So with rain came Egg Drop Soup for dinner.  Both children love it and quoting my five-year old “I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner”.

A couple of times a week I try to make meatless meals.  Usually when Mr.Picky (my meat and potato man) is not joining us for dinner.  We had plenty of protein in the egg and I add some sautéed chard out of the garden to mine.

Egg Drop Soup with Chard added

Egg Drop Soup with Chard added

I adapted the recipe from The Kitchn-How to Make Egg Drop Soup .  The directions are easy and The Kitchn gives a variety of ideas you can add to your soup.  There is great photos on how to pour the egg into the soup at the link above.  This is exactly how I made my soup to my taste.

Egg Drop Soup:

  • 4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tbs plus 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or crushed
  • 1 Tbs liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp chinese five spice seasoning
  • green onions, chopped

 

In a medium sauce pan in about 1 tsp olive oil heat fresh ginger and garlic until fragrant.  Add in chicken stock.

Simmer on medium for about 15 minutes.  At this point you could add any vegetables and cook until done.  I think corn, peas, and mushrooms would be wonderful in this soup.  Remove 1/4 cup of stock and mix with 1 Tbs cornstarch until smooth, mix this back into the pot.  Bring up to a good simmer, as soup begins to thicken add soy sauce and seasonings.

Taste the soup to see if you need addition seasonings for your taste.  Meanwhile whisk together 1 tsp cornstarch and 2 eggs.

While the soup is on a low simmer, slowly stream the egg mixture into the soup.  Cook for another few minutes.

Serve hot and with a few green onions atop the soup.

 

Chicken and Herb Dumplings

I don’t remember eating chicken and dumplings very often as a child.  As an adult my mother in-law makes it regularly.  My mother in-law uses canned chicken stock, and Bisquick dumplings.  Not that anything is wrong with that I just was going for recipe from scratch.  Mr.Picky doesn’t care for chicken and dumplings because it is soup.  Although if he would have been home last night to try mine I think he would have changed his mind.  The kids loved this, even with the peas in it which my almost 5-year-old doesn’t want anything to do with.

I had made my Sticky Chicken recipe, which we ate sliced off the roasted chicken.  After dinner that night, I stuck my chicken carcass and roasting drippings in a pot.  After I pulled any remaining chicken off and put it in a separate container to work with later.  Two days later I decided I was making chicken and dumplings.  I had never made it before but figured it couldn’t be too hard.  It is basically a slightly thickened chicken soup with dough dumplings on top.  I know how to make chicken soup and found a Herbed Dumplings Recipe – Allrecipes.com which turned out great with slight modifications.Chicken and Herb Dumplings

You can use a chicken broth or stock if you would like or a rotisserie chicken and take it apart.  Why not stretch one meal into two or three.  I think zucchini or mushrooms would be great vegetables to add to this soup as well, I just used what I had on hand which were pretty traditional.

Chicken and Herb Dumplings:

  • 1 chicken carcass, picked clean and any drippings from roasting can be added as well
  • 4 cups water
  • 1-1 1/2 cups chopped chicken (leftovers off your roasted chicken)
  • 1 cup carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 Tbs flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Place chicken carcass, 4 cups water, bay leaf, and any drippings from chicken in a pot.  Simmer on low/medium heat for about 30 minutes.  Strain out bay leaf and all chicken bones and skin.  Any chicken meat pieces can stay in the pot.

Chicken StockYou will be left with about 4 cups of chicken broth.  If you didn’t have a roasted chicken you can just use canned chicken stock and cooked chicken and start at this point.

Chicken and Herb Dumpling VegetablesTo the broth in the pot add carrots, celery, and onions simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Whisk together 1/2 cup water and flour, to make a slurry and stir into simmering soup.  Now it is time to season your soup, if you used canned stock you don’t want to add as much salt.  Add thyme, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and salt to soup.  Now taste and add some more to suit your taste.

Add your peas in frozen or thawed, and bring soup back to a slow simmer. Taste soup before now, make sure flavor is spot on before putting dumplings on.  Now it is time to prepare the dumplings.

Herb Dumplings:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 3/4 cup milk

Combine all except butter and milk.  Whisk the dry ingredients until combine.

Using a pastry cutter or fork, add butter and cut into flour mixture until it is a coarse crumb.  Add milk and mix into a sticky dough.Herb Dumpling Dough

Drop large spoonfuls into simmering soup.  Cover the pot and allow the dumplings to cook for 15 minutes.

Chicken and Dumplings will be extremely hot, be careful and enjoy!

Chicken and Herb Dumplings

Pan Roasted Corn and Potato Soup

The kids and I had caught a cold and were in need of soup for dinner.  I asked my daughter what kind she felt like and potato was the answer.  With eight ears of corn in my fridge I figured I better incorporate some of them.  This was I came up with and it turned out lovely.  Nothing better than sweet corn and a touch of heat to the dish.  Enjoy!

Pan Roasted Corn and Potato Soup

Pan Roasted Corn and Potato Soup:

  • 2 ears of fresh corn, kernels removed
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs green chiles or 1/2 a jalapeno, minced
  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 12 oz. evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seed, ground
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

In a dutch oven over medium heat add olive oil and corn.  Cook 10-15 minutes until kernels are turning golden.

Add seasoning, onions and chiles, cook 3-4 minutes more.Pan Roasted Corn and Potato Soup

Peel and dice potatoes and add them and the stock.  Simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

I used an immersion blender at this point to make my soup semi-smooth.  Your choice how smooth or chunky you go.

Add the can of evaporated milk and heat through.  Taste and add any additional salt or a dash of hot sauce.

We served our soup with a little cheese, green onion and chopped bacon I had in the fridge.  Tasted just as good the next day without toppings.

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

Mr.Picky hates soup, and I don’t use the word hate loosely.  There are probably five soups I could ever get Mr.Picky to eat and they can’t be made very often.  My daughter and son both love split pea soup as does Mr.Picky.  Mr.Picky has one requirement with the soups he eats, they have to be thick.  Almost so thick the spoon will stand up in it.  This is the recipe I use, sometimes changing the seasoning a bit.  Feel free the change anything but it is worth a try.

Split Pea Soup:

  • 2 1/4 dried split peas
  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 1 1/2 lb. ham bone
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 pinch of marjoram or sometimes I add thyme or Tarragon
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 1 bay leaf

In a large stock pot cover peas with water and soak overnight.  If you need a faster method simmer 2 minutes and soak one hour.

Once peas are soaked, add ham bone, onion, salt, pepper, bay leaf and marjoram.  Cover pot and bring to a boil, simmer for 1 1/2 hour.

Remove bone, and cut off meat.  Dice meat and set aside.

Add vegetables, cook slowly uncovered for 30-40 min or until vegetables are tender.

At this point if you like your soup smooth like we do, use your immersion blender to blend until desired smoothness.  Then add ham to soup.  Or don’t blend your soup and add the ham.

Eat up, and serve with saltine crackers.

* This soup freezes great.   I will usually freeze two portions together and pull it out in the morning for a quick lunch on a cold day.

Chicken and Rice Leftover Soup

So I had probably 4 cups of my chicken and rice leftover and needed to eat it up.  I never throw out leftovers, even if it means I eat it all week-long.  Mr.Picky despises leftovers, he has gotten better at eating them in the last year but before that he rarely.  Growing up in a large household, I tend to make too much of everything.  So I eat leftovers along with the kids for lunch.  Chicken and rice is a great meal, but the leftovers are just not the same.  Usually the leftovers are too dry, and don’t reheat well so I made them into soup.

This was my Chicken and Rice Leftover Soup, feel free to add whatever vegetables you have or like.  I think peas would be really good in it but had some garlicky green beans leftover so threw them in instead.  This was a great lunch and a great way to use up our odds and ends.

Chicken and Rice Leftover Soup:Chicken and Rice Leftover Soup

  • 4 cups or so of chicken and rice leftovers (see my Chicken and Rice recipe)
  • About 2 cups of water (give or take how thick you want your soup, ours was really thick)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • A cup of garlicky green bean leftovers (see my Garlicky Green Bean recipes), chopped to bite size

I sautéed my vegetables for about 10 min. in a TBS of olive oil.

Added my leftovers and water, and simmered until carrots were tender.  About 20 minutes.

Seasoned with salt, pepper, and thyme.  You can experiment with seasonings and it is all to taste.

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