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Chicken, Spinach, and Wild Rice Soup

6 May

A few months back, my younger daughter insisted we get a soup cookbook at the grocery store checkout. I’m sure you’ve all seen them, and sometimes I will flip through one while we wait if something looks appealing. Well, for whatever reason, we HAD to get this one, and since cooking is something I enjoy with both my girls and want to teach them as much as I can, I agreed. It actually has a nice variety of soups, and this was one we’ve had marked for a while to try. Tonight we finally had a chance to try it, and it was perfect. It was actually pretty easy to put together, even with my changes, and the longest part was cooking the wild rice. It worked out nice that I could put the rice in my rice/vegetable steamer while we went to a swim lesson. Then, it was a matter of putting together the rest of the ingredients, which took about 30 minutes.

Chicken, Spinach, and Wild Rice Soup

 

Chicken, Spinach, and Wild Rice Soup

What you need:

6 tablespoons butter
1 /2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 clove minced garlic
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth, divided
1 1/2 cups milk or half and half, divided
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups chopped spinach
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken

How to make it:

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and garlic, and cook until all are soft. Mix in flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup of the chicken broth and 1 cup of the milk. Cook for 5-10 minutes to allow to thicken.

Next, add in remaining chicken broth, rice, thyme, sage, and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Stir in spinach, chicken, and remaining milk. Cook, while stirring frequently, about 2-3 minutes, or until all ingredients heated through.

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

26 Nov

Today, I wanted soup and I also wanted to use ground beef.  So, I decided that cheeseburger soup sounded good, if it even existed.  It does, but most recipes I found have celery, carrots, potatoes.  All good things, but I really just wanted it to taste like a cheeseburger.  It did!  My husband and I both liked it, but my kids weren’t really fans. (But, they were both grumpy, so that may have played a part in their not liking it.)

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

What you need:

1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced mushrooms**
3 tablespoons flour**
2 cups milk**
4 cups beef broth
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, crumbled

How to make it:

In a large pot, mix together ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, and pepper.  Brown meat over medium high heat.  Stir in diced onion, and cook until soft.  Next, stir in diced mushrooms, and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle in flour, stir in and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Pour in milk and beef broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low to simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Stir in shredded cheese and crumbled bacon, and heat until cheese is melted.

**If desired, a can of cream of mushroom soup concentrate or homemade cream of mushroom soup concentrate can be substituted for the mushrooms, flour, and milk.

Slow Cooker Spicy 9 Bean and Pork Soup

4 Jun

Last fall, on my trip to Willcox, one of the stops was the Bonita Bean Company.  I have been using the pinto beans I purchased to make Refried Beans, but I also had gotten a 9 bean mix I still needed to use.

9 Bean mix from Bonita BeanIt is a 20 ounce bag containing pinto, cranberry, light red kidney, yellow, black, small red, pink, navy, and Great Northern.  I had a pork tenderloin in the freezer to use, along with some green chile and onion, and decided that all would make a good soup.  And, with beans taking so long to cook, I decided the slow cooker was the way to go to make this.  My older daughter and I thought it turned out really well, in fact, we both had a second helping!  Even though I have it labeled as spicy, it’s a  low level of heat, but still a little on the spicy side.  If you don’t have a bean mix, you can make a mix of your own, a great way to use up small amounts of different kinds of beans!

Slow Cooker Spicy 9 Bean and Pork Soup

Slow Cooker 9 Bean and Pork Soup

What you need:

3 cups of a dry bean mix
1 1/2 pounds pork roast or tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green chiles
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt

How to make it:

Put beans in a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker.  Add pork next, then the remaining ingredients.  Cook on high for 5-7 hours, or until beans are tender.

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

31 Mar

This has been on my list of things to try making for a while.  Our main Olive Garden favorite is Zuppa Toscana, which I still make regularly, but I still wanted to give this one a try.  It is actually really easy to make and doesn’t take too long to make.  For the gnocchi, you have the option of buying at the store (usually in the pasta, refrigerated, or frozen section) or making your own.  I had a leftover baked potato in the fridge, so I decided I would try making my own.  It’s not too hard either, just a little time-consuming.  I’ll give the recipes for both.

Potato GnocchiPotato Gnocchi

What you need:

1 large russet potato, weighing about 1 pound
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup flour, plus more for work area
Pinch of salt

How to make it:

First, bake potatoes. I used a potato that I had baked in the slow cooker earlier in the week.  If you don’t have an already baked potato, preheat oven to 350 F.  Pierce potato with a fork all around potato.  Bake for about 1 hour, or until potato is very soft.  Remove potato to a rack and cut open to allow to cool.

Scoop out the insides of the potato and discard skins (or save skins for some other use).  Pass the potato through a potato ricer or run along a small grater.  Add the egg yolk, flour, and salt, and mix by hand until you get a ball of dough.

Flour your work area.  Take a small ball of the dough and gently roll on your work surface until you have a long roll about 3/4″ in diameter.  Cut off 1″ sections.  Roll each along the back of a fork to get small indentations in each piece.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

Potato Gnocchi waiting to be cookedAt this point, if you will not be using right away, place the cookie sheet in the freezer.  Once frozen, place gnocchi in a freezer safe bag or container until you will use.

To cook, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Gently add gnocchi, a few at a time, to the boiling water.  When they rise to the surface, use a slotted spoon to remove gnocchi.  Repeat for remaining gnocchi.  Serve with sauce or pesto, or set aside to add to soup below.

 

Chicken and Gnocchi SoupChicken & Gnocchi Soup

What you need:

1 lb chicken, cut into 1″ cubes (or 2 cups cooked chicken)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups half and half (I just use 1% milk in all my soups, and it comes out fine)
1 pound potato gnocchi, made as above or cooked according to the package directions
3 cups coarsely chopped spinach leaves
Salt and black pepper to taste

How to make it:

Heat a little olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add chicken, and cook until no longer pink inside and slightly browned outside.  Remove from pot and set aside.

Heat the 3 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic.  Cook until vegetables become tender, about 10 minutes.  Mix in the flour, basil, salt and pepper.  Stir continuously for about 5 minutes.

Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and half and half to prevent any lumps from forming.  Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat to low to simmer for 20 minutes, until soup thickens.

Add the cooked gnocchi and spinach to the soup.  Gently stir and cook until spinach wilts.  Serve immediately.

 

 

 

Sausage and Chayote Stew

2 Mar

In last week’s Bountiful Baskets Mexican themed veggie pack, there was a chayote:

Chayote

 

I had gotten these before in another Mexican themed pack a while back, but this pack only had one.  However, there was zucchini as well, and since chayote is also a member of the gourd family, they both go well in this stew.  Normally, I would put tomatoes in as well, but my husband requested no tomatoes, so I left them out.  This is also similar to the Sausage, Zucchini, and Tomatoes over Rice, but adds a few more ingredients.  I would also suggest serving this over Cilantro Lime Rice, which I didn’t get a chance to make because we had to get to a meeting this week.

Sausage & Chayote Stew

 

 

Sausage and Chayote Stew

What you need:

1 pound Italian sausage
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 chayote squashes, seeded and chopped (I used 1 chayote and 1 zucchini)
3 green chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
3-4 tomatoes, cores and seeds removed, diced (about 2 cups diced tomatoes)
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup frozen corn
Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:

Place a large pot over medium-high heat.  Remove casings from sausage, crumble, and cook in the skillet until browned.  Add the onion and garlic to the skillet.  Cook and stir until the onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chayote squash and green chiles.  Cook and stir until the squash begins to soften, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, black beans, and corn.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until completely heated through, about 10 minutes more.  Remove from heat and serve over rice.

Variations on Potato Leek Soup

2 Mar

After ending up with plenty of leeks and gold potatoes after Bountiful Baskets last week, we’ve been enjoying plenty of Potato Leek Soup.  However, my husband complains about the lack of meat.  So, I tried a couple different variations this week, and they were great!

Potato Leek Soup with Sausage:  While soup is cooking, crumble and brown 1 pound of Italian sausage.  Drain excess fat.  Stir into finished soup.

Potato Leek Soup with Sausage

 

Potato Leek Soup with Ham: After soup has finished cooking, add in 2 cups of fully cooked ham (such as Zaycon Foods ham)

Potato Leek Soup with Ham

 

I will update the original post for Potato Leek Soup with these variations as well!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

12 Nov

 

So, I usually make potato soup in the slow cooker, but I didn’t really think far enough ahead of time to get it going.  So, I decided to try a stove top version instead.  I looked up a few recipes, and came up with a mix between my normal recipe and some others I found.

 

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

What you need:

1/2 pound bacon
1/2 onion, finely diced (I used a red onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup flour
1 quart chicken broth
2 1/2 pounds potatoes, diced, peeled or unpeeled (I used a mix of red and white potatoes, and left the peels on)
1 8oz package cream cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

How to make it:

In a large stockpot, cook bacon until crispy.  Remove from pot and crumble; set aside.

Keeping the bacon grease in the stockpot, add onions and minced garlic.  If there is not enough bacon grease, melt 4 tablespoons  of butter in the stockpot.  Cook onions and garlic until caramelized.  Stir in flour.  Pour in chicken broth while stirring constantly to avoid any lumps.     Add the potatoes, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  Use a potato masher or immersion blender to mas potatoes to desired consistency (I prefer my soup to be a little lumpy).  Stir in bacon, cream cheese, and shredded cheddar cheese, and continue to cook until cheese is melted.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

21 Oct

 

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a 40 pound case of Zaycon Foods boneless, skinless chicken breasts like the case I got in March.  A friend of mine came over with her case, and we worked on processing the cases together.  She cut the butterfly breasts into 2 pieces, while I cooked dinner (bacon wrapped chicken stuffed with cream cheese and chives, with sweet potato chips as a side), grilled about half of each case, and got the FoodSaver bags ready.  5 hours later and we had 80 pounds of chicken processed!  As she was cutting the breasts and removing extra fat, there were small chicken pieces that we set aside, my guess it was about 4 pounds worth.  We decided it would be best for some kind of stew, so I decided on chicken and rice.  I had onion, carrots, and corn in the freezer, so after a long night of prepping chicken, it was easy to throw this all in the slow cooker and let it cook overnight.  It turned out perfect!

 

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

What you need:

4 pounds fresh chicken, diced
2 cups carrots, sliced
2 cups onion, diced
2 cups kernels of corn
8 cups water
6 chicken bouillon cubes (gluten-free)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cooked rice

How to make it:

Add all ingredients, except rice, to the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.  After it is done cooking, stir in the cooked rice.  Serve hot.

Borscht

21 Oct

 

I had heard of borscht, but never actually had it.  Beets are regularly available in Sunizona Family Farms FarmBoxes, so when my husband requested that I make this, I knew where I could get beets.  I also had gotten a head of cabbage and a bunch of carrots from them, then I had onion and potatoes from Bountiful Baskets and ground beef from Zaycon Foods.  Who needs the grocery store anymore?!?

In my search for the recipe, I discovered that everyone makes this a little different.  Even I varied some from the recipes I mainly used.  I only had ground beef on hand, so I used it instead of stew meat.  I also didn’t have tomato paste, so I used ketchup instead of the tomato paste and cider vinegar.  This does take a little time and effort, but it’s worth it!  It does have a little beet taste, but not really.  It’s more of a stew taste with all the different veggies in it.  And, fair warning, this makes a LOT, so be prepared to eat it for a few days or cut the recipe down.

 

Borscht
Based on recipes here and here

What you need:

16 cups water
2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/4″ rounds, then cut in fourths
1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
1 pound ground beef
2 carrots, cut in matchstick pieces
1 pound beets, peeled and cut in matchstick pieces
1 small onion, finely diced
1/3 cup ketchup (or 1/3 cup tomato paste and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar)
6 beef bouillon cubes
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh dill or 1  1/2 teaspoons dried dill
Salt and pepper

How to make it:

In a large soup pot, add the water and potatoes, bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are softened, about 15-20 minutes.  Add cabbage and cook another 5-10 minutes.

While the potatoes and cabbage are cooking, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  Add carrots, beets, and onion, and cook until the vegetables have softened, about 15-20 minutes.  Stir in the ketchup (or tomato paste and vinegar).

Add the vegetable mixture to the soup pot.  Add bouillon cubes, lemon juice, bay leaves, dill, salt, and pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes at high heat to dissolve the bouillon, then reduce heat to a simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender to eating.  Serve hot, with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Potato Leek Soup

10 Sep

I have eaten Potato Leek Soup before, but it was a store bought soup mix.  I have never actually cooked with leeks, so I was excited to see them in my Bountiful Baskets this week while most people were turning up their noses at them.  Plus, we also got gold potatoes, so Potato Leek Soup had to be made!  My husband was really excited too, and he really enjoyed the soup.  It also worked out that Saturday was an overcast, rainy, cooler day, great soup weather.  And, it was coupled perfectly with the baguettes I had gotten from my Sunizona Family Farms FarmBox.  Can you tell how excited I am about how well this meal came together?!?!

Potato Leek Soup
Based on recipes here and here

What you need:

1/2 cup butter
2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, chopped (There is a great video here on how to clean and chop the leeks, thank you Kelly H. for the link!)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (make sure to use gluten-free broth if you need this gluten-free)
2 1/2 lbs potatoes, preferably Yukon gold, diced
2 cups half and half or whole milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper

How to make it:

Melt butter in a large stock pot and add chopped leeks, plus salt and pepper to taste.  Cook leeks in the butter until tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Do not let leeks brown, brown will give them a burnt taste.

Next, wisk the cornstarch into the chicken broth, leaving no lumps.  Pour into the stock pot.  Then, add the diced potatoes and half and half.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.  Stir in the parsley and more salt and pepper, if desired.  If you want a smoother soup, remove about half of soup to a blender and puree, then return to the pot.  You can also use an immersion blender or hand potato masher to slightly mash some of the potatoes in the soup.  Serve hot.

Variations:

Potato Leek Soup with Sausage:  While soup is cooking, crumble and brown 1 pound of Italian sausage.  Drain excess fat.  Stir into finished soup.

Potato Leek Soup with Ham: After soup has finished cooking, add in 2 cups of fully cooked ham (such as Zaycon Foods ham)

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