Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sopa de Albondigas

Sopa de Albondigas
Sopa de Albondigas

Meatballs are an American favorite, but put into this soup, they're a delicious Mexican tradition. Mint is what makes them so tasty, but if you don't like that, oregano is a great substitute. Make sure to use very lean ground beef as these are cooked right in the broth and you don't want a lot of grease to contend with.

Sopa de Albondigas
Sopa de Albondigas

Sopa de Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Soup)
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Ready In: 50 minutes
Serves: 6
Price Per Serving: $1.80


1 pound 90% lean ground beef
1 large egg
1/3 cup raw white rice
2 teaspoons crushed dried mint
2 teaspoons crushed dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 Tablespoons cooking oil
1 medium yellow onion - chopped
2 large carrots peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic - minced
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups beef stock
1 cup tomato sauce
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
2 cups fresh green beans cut in 1-inch lengths
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano


1. Mix together ground beef, egg, rice, mint, parsley, salt and pepper until well combined. Roll into 1-inch meatballs and set aside.
2. In a large stock pot heat oil over medium-high heat and add onion, garlic and carrots. Cook and stir until onion is translucent.
3. Pour in stocks and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Once stock is boiling, drop in meatballs and turn heat down so soup is simmering. Cook for 15 minutes.
4. Add green beans and cook for another 15 minutes. Add chiles and oregano and cook another 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dole Garden Soups

As a soup lover and a soup blogger I'm not much of a boxed or canned soup eater. That being said, Dole just developed garden soups that come in a box that I actually really like.

Dole Garden Soups

First of all, Dole knows produce. I've bought their salad greens and kits for years and this seems a natural progression for them. Dole Garden Soups are fresher than you'd expect from something that comes from a box. The full line is preservative free, MSG free, low in fat and calories, vegetarian, gluten-free, cholesterol free, non-GMO and is a good source of fiber. DOLE even uses an innovative, gentle cooking method to protect and preserve the fresh flavors, vibrant colors and smooth textures that you expect in a delicious bowl of soup. They also make killer bases for all sorts of soup experiments and wonderfulness, which is exactly what I did.

The soups come in 5 delicious flavors (so far):

Carrot Ginger
Roasted Garlic Tomato Basil
Southwestern Black Bean and Corn
Sweet Corn
Tomato Vegetable

Visit the site for recipe ideas, a video, where to buy AND a coupon! Click here: https://dole.com/gardensoup

I was given Carrot Ginger and Sweet Corn to try and I added some savory components of my own to come up with two beautiful soups. They were absolutely perfect and I know I'll keep some of these soups on-hand for days when time is tight (isn't that always with 7 kids?).

Curried Carrot and Ginger Soup with Butternut Squash
Curried Carrot and Ginger Soup with Butternut Squash
The first soup is a sweet and spicy affair topped with a cooling cilantro lime cream and curried squash seeds.

Curried Carrot and Ginger Soup with Butternut Squash
Serves 4

1 box Dole Carrot and Ginger Soup
1 cup roasted butternut squash* purée
1/2 teaspoon hot curry powder


1/4 cup sour cream
3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon lime juice
Pinch Kosher salt
(stir together and set aside in refrigerator until needed)

Curried Squash Seeds**:

Squash seeds (about 1/2 cup)
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon hot curry powder
Pinch salt and pepper

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat toast 1 teaspoon hot curry powder - stirring constantly - until fragrant and beginning to darken - this takes about 1 to 2 minutes but can burn quickly so keep and eye on it. Set aside 1/2 a teaspoon of powder for the seeds.
2. Pour in soup and whisk in butternut squash. Heat through - about 3 to 5 minutes and ladle into bowls.
3. Top with cilantro lime cream and curried squash seeds. Serve hot.

*To roast the squash, cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds and insides. Clean off seeds and set aside to use as a soup garnish. Set squash cut side down on a greased baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. When soft remove skin and use as desired.

**To make curried squash seeds. take the clean seeds and dry well. Spray lightly with cooking spray to coat and toss with toasted curry powder. Sprinkle with salt and spread on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F until seeds begin to pop - about 25 minutes. Stir once during cooking time.

Sweet Corn Soup with Roasted Tomatoes and Bacon
Sweet Corn Soup with Roasted Tomatoes and Bacon
The second soup is sweet and savory swirled with roasted tomatoes, bacon and chives - topped with sour cream and extra garnishes.

Sweet Corn Soup with Roasted Tomatoes and Bacon
Serves 4

1 box Dole Sweet Corn Soup
4 slices turkey bacon - cooked crisp
2 Tablespoons chopped chives
2 large tomatoes - roasted, peeled and chopped*

1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon chopped chives
1 Tablespoon chopped crispy turkey bacon and
1 Tablespoon finely chopped roasted tomato

1. Pour soup into a small saucepan and heat through according to package directions.
2. Stir in chives, bacon and tomato. Heat for another 2 minutes.
3. Ladle into bowls and top with sour cream, chives, bacon and tomato before serving.

*To roast tomatoes, cut in half and set on a greased baking sheet. Roast at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until caramelized. When cool remove skins and chop finely. Use as desired.

Disclaimer: I received Dole Garden Soups for free - this in no way influences my review. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Creamy Hatch Green Chile Soup

Creamy Hatch Green Chile Soup
Creamy Hatch Green Chile Soup

When it comes to soups I can honestly say I love winging it. I like to look into the refrigerator and cupboards and see what I have on-hand that can be whipped up into a delicious soup. It was a little bit that way with this one.

I had just made several recipes for the Super Bowl using Hatch green chiles from The Hatch Chile Store and I had all manner of beautiful ingredients leftover, so I thought I'd mix them up into something delicious. This is that soup.

Creamy, spicy and flavorful, on a day like today (it's snowing for the umpteenth time here in Bethlehem, Pa) it warms you in more than one way. You can use olive oil in place of the butter and swap out low fat sour cream and cheese, as well, but the flavor will be altered slightly. You can also use vegetable stock instead of chicken, but again, the flavor will be a little different.

Creamy Hatch Green Chile Soup
Serves 6
Ready In: 30 minutes


1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup cup sliced green onions, white and green parts
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken stock
1 Tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro
1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Mexican crema or regular sour cream


1. In a heavy bottomed soup pot, melt butter over very low heat - you don't want it to brown.
2. Add all peppers and onions and cook over low heat for 10 minutes until vegetables are very soft but not browned. Stir often and keep an eye on them.
3. Stir in flour until well blended. 
4. Slowly pour in stock, whisking all the while. Cook until thickened, about 10 more minutes.
5. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
6. Stir in cheese, cilantro and crema and whisk until well blended and smooth. Top with sliced green onion and more chopped cilantro if desired.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Daniel East's Classic Turkey Noodle Soup

Daniel East's Classic Turkey Noodle Soup
Packed-Out Turkey Noodle Soup

If there is one thing I know for sure about Daniel East, it's the fact that he can pack out a soup better than anyone. There is no such thing as a "soupy" soup with this guy. If you recall The Soup that I posted a couple years ago, that was Dan's creation as well, so I know this one will be just as awesome.

Daniel East's Classic Turkey Noodle Soup
Soup Before Reducing

Almost everyone has leftovers this time of year and this is one of the tastiest ways I can think of to use them up. What I really like about this is that the noodles are cooked and set aside and the soup is ladled over them. Brilliant! No more mushy over-cooked noodles.

I love that I get these recipes ready-to-go and all typed up for me - with photos to boot! Give this a try and see what you think!

Daniel East's Classic Turkey Noodle Soup

1 lb egg noodles
1 gallon turkey stock
1 quart water
1 lb cut white meat turkey
1/2 lb cut dark meat turkey
2 cups chopped carrots
2 large white potatoes (washed, skin on cubed)
2 sweet white onions rough chopped
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped okra
1 c sweet peas
1 c sweet corn cut from cob
1 c chopped string beans
1 c organic barley
1c sliced button mushrooms - optional 
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp Stevia in the Raw or Sugar in the Raw (Not Truvia!)
1/4 c sea salt
1/4 c black pepper
2 tbsp corn starch
3 tbsp fresh or dry dill weed
1 tbsp fresh or dry basil

Cook noodles separately and set aside. 

Combine everything else but herbs and corn starch. Bring to a boil stirring often. 

Reduce heat to strong simmer to cook barley and reduce mixture for approx 90 min stirring often until barley expands and all veggies are tender. 

Fork mix/whisk corn starch in 1/4 c water until dissolved and add to soup. Stir mixture well throughout soup. Add herbs. Continue at low simmer for 30 min. 

Place noodles in serving bowl and pour soup over them. Serve with torn rustic bread or baguette.

Copyright ©2013 Daniel M. East. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Salmon Chowder

Salmon Chowder
Salmon Chowder

One of my coworkers absolutely does not like salmon. This is foreign to me as salmon is my favorite fish. So, when a friend of hers brought her a bag full of fresh salmon, she happily passed it on to me. It has been one of the most lovely batches of salmon I have ever eaten. Fatty and nearly melting in your mouth, yet still firm, I'm sad to see that last of it go.

I took the last pound and stretched it with this beautifully simple chowder using ingredients I had on-hand. It was ready in a mere 25 minutes and consumed just as quickly. I may share, I may not.

Salmon Chowder

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 25 minutes
Serves: 4-6


4 slices bacon - diced
1 large shallot - chopped fine
1 clove garlic
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes - scrubbed and diced (again, about 1/2 an inch)
1/2 cup red bell pepper - chopped
4 cups seafood or chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon dried chervil
1 pound fresh salmon filet - cubed (about 1/2 an inch)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


1. Heat a medium-sized heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add bacon and render fat.
2. Add in peppers, shallot, garlic and potatoes and cook briefly.
3. Pour in stock, cream and chervil and cook until potatoes are tender - about 15 minutes.
4. Add in salmon and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper (this will depend on how salty your stock was to start). Serve hot.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Slow Cooker Beef Ravioli Soup

Slow Cooker Beef Ravioli Soup
Slow Cooker beef Ravioli Soup

Most really good soups are an all-day affair with some babysitting here and there. This one cooks for 6 hours all by itself before it needs any tending. It's hearty enough for a full meal on its own and uses frozen ravioli, one of the most versatile ingredients in a busy family's pantry.

Slow Cooker Beef Ravioli Soup
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 7 hours and 30 minutes
Serves: 8


2 Tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic - minced
1 pound lean ground beef
8 cups beef stock
2 cups baby carrots cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pound frozen meat-filled ravioli
2 cups frozen cut green beans
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
8 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste


1. Brown beef and onion together in oil, adding garlic at the end and stirring well. Drain well and pour into the bottom of a 5 quart slow cooker.
2. Pour in stock and carrots and cook over LOW heat for 6 hours. Check carrots for tenderness.
3. Add ravioli, green beans, bay leaf and thyme. Switch heat setting to HIGH and cook for 1 hour.
4. Stir in tomato sauce and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and heat for another half hour over HIGH heat.
5. Remove bay leaf and serve.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup
It is with great personal injury that I bring you one of my all-time favorite soups. French Onion. When I was in culinary school it was my task one day to make the French Onion soup. When making soup for a restaurant you don't simply make a gallon, you make many gallons.

I remember cutting up pound after pound of onions and nearly losing my eyesight during the process. I adore onions, but in their raw state I seem to have issues. I don't just tear up, I have full-blown tears streaming down my face eyes swelling up moments - and that's with just one or two onions.

I would get through a couple onions and then race out of the kitchen to the girls' locker room and blow my nose, wipe my eyes, flush my face with water, sanitize my hands and then run back to the kitchen, sanitize hands again just inside the door and do it all again. I think I made the trip 5 or 6 times before I was done. 

Yesterday was a little easier as I was only cutting up 5 onions, but I still had to stop and deal with things before finishing.

French Onion Soup

No matter, this lovely soup is more than worth it. I like to use several different types of onion for my soup, though you can use all one kind if you wish. Whatever you do, make sure the onions are well caramelized before moving along with soup for the best flavor.

I did this in two ways, as well. In a large dish (ala Julia Child) and in individual bowls. Both ways are wonderful. I also like to use several different cheeses. This time it was Provolone, Parmesan and a bit of Mozzarella though I really love a good Swiss or Gruyere here, too. A perfectly stringy, gooey cheese experience to top this masterpiece.

French Onion Soup for Three

French Onion Soup
Serves: 6
Ready In: 1 hour and 10 minutes


1/4 cup olive oil
5 large onions (I used Vidalia, Spanish and Red here along with 3 shallots)
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup wine - something you like to drink - dry preferred 
2 quarts beef stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme - crushed
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
6 thick slices of French baguette - about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
8 ounces shredded cheeses 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1. Peel and slice onions thinly. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add olive oil, onions, garlic, sugar and half the salt.
2. Cook onions until well caramelized - this can take 20 minutes.
3. Place baguette slices in the oven while onions are caramelizing. They should be toasty in about 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.
4. Add wine to onions and stir well. 
5. Pour in stock and add thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Remove bay leaf and ladle soup into 6 individual crocks or one large oven-proof bowl (3 quart would be best.)
7. Top with bread and sprinkle cheeses atop each slice.
8. Place into oven and bake for 30 minutes. 
9. Turn broiler on and allow cheese to brown and bubble. Serve carefully!