Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reuben Soup

One of my favorite sandwiches has always been the Reuben. To me, the ultimate grilled cheese includes Swiss, even though the rest of my family rails and refuses to eat it.

This soup can easily go far overboard in the sodium arena, so care in rinsing the sauerkraut is vital. I also purchase the bagged variety of sauerkraut as it seems less salty. Using homemade beef stock before any salt has been added, or low-to-no sodium beef stock is also important. Season as needed at the end of cooking.

You can always put a rye crouton on top of the soup bowls, add the cheese and broil until melted, but I chose to cook the croutons with cheese separately and the result was just as good.

Of course, I made this first and then searched the web for similar soups and it seems that 'creamy Reuben soup' is the big thing out there. I like to stay true to flavors and be a little different, anyway - and this was something everyone liked - except for the cheese.

Reuben Soup
Printable Recipe
Ready In: 35 minutes
Serves: 8

1 pound deli sliced corned beef - chopped
2 pounds sauerkraut - rinsed well and drained
10 cups beef stock or low-sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon caraway seeds (omit if using rye bread with seeds)
8 slices rye bread (seeded or seedless if fine - see above)
8 ounces Swiss cheese - shredded
1 cup Thousand Island dressing

1. In a large soup pot, heat to boiling the stock, sauerkraut and corned beef. Reduce to a simmer, add bay leaf and caraway seeds, if using. Cook for 30 minutes.
2. While soup is cooking, heat broiler and spread one side of rye slices with 1 Tablespoon Thousand Island dressing each. Broil until golden brown.
3. Turn bread and spread the other side with 1 Tablespoon Thousand Island dressing each. Top with 1 ounce shredded Swiss cheese for each slice and broil until melted and bubbly.
4. Ladle soup into bowls and top with hot croutons. Top each with an extra dollop of dressing, if desired.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Egg Roll Soup

Egg Roll Soup
Egg Roll Soup
It's no secret by now that I am fond of de-constructing foods and putting them into soup form. Check out Pierogi Chowder and Philly Cheesesteak Soup to get an idea for what I do. I think egg rolls are one of the best foods ever and I had it in my head for some time to make a soup resembling one.

This soup is to-die-for! I mean it. It tastes exactly like the egg rolls I make and the crisp egg roll wrapper strips are so good the kids ate a tray of them without anything else. You can buy fried noodles if you wish, but there is no comparison to the ones made with egg roll wrappers. They are thinner and crispier than the store-bought ones.

There are very few ingredients here, but the flavor is huge. No need for added salt, the soy sauce and stock handle that end very well.

Egg Roll Soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil plus more for frying
2 pounds boneless pork ribs - sliced thin (chicken is fine, too)
4 garlic cloves - minced
1 small head cabbage - shredded (about 6 cups)
2 small carrots - shredded (about 1 cup)
1 small bunch green onions - sliced (about 1/2 cup)
8 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce - plus more for serving
10 egg roll wrappers cut into thin strips

1. Heat oil in a large soup pot and saute pork until no longer pink.
2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
3. Toss in remaining ingredients (except egg roll wrappers) and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes until vegetables are soft.
5. Meanwhile, cook strips of egg roll wrapper in hot oil in small batches until browned and crisp. This only takes a minute or so per batch.
6. Drain well on paper toweling.
7. When soup is done, ladle into bowls and top with fried egg roll wrappers and extra soy sauce, if needed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dawn Hall's Creamy Chicken and Noodle Soup

Photo and recipes used with permission by Dawn Hall and Thomas Nelson Publishers

This recipe is from Dawn Hall's newest cookbook (her 8th!) Busy People's Fast & Frugal Cookbook. Her approach to food is simple, do the best you can with what you have. A fuller look at Dawn Hall, her amazing and inspirational story, and her cookbooks can be found today at the blog: Food for Thought. The cookbook debuts today and can be found at

With these recipes there's no stone unturned. Dawn lays it out for her readers from top to bottom: Timing, equipment and shopping list. The only thing you need to worry about is who to make these delicious meals for!

Creamy Chicken and Noodle Soup

This is my best Chicken Noodle Soup recipe yet! Grandma would be so proud!


12 cups plus 1 cup chicken broth made from bouillon, divided
6 stalks celery, finely chopped (to make 2 cups)
2 tablespoons minced garlic (from a jar)
1 (12-ounce) package fettuccine
½ cup cornstarch
1 (14.5-ounce) can sliced carrots
2 (12.5-ounce) cans chunk chicken breast in water

Instructions for entrée:

In a large non-stick Dutch oven or soup pan bring to boil 12 cups of chicken broth made from bouillon.*
Finely chop 6 stalks of celery with the leaves to make 2 cups, add to broth.
Add 2 tablespoon minced garlic (from a jar) to the broth stir well.
Add 1 (12-ounce) package fettuccine into the broth; break the fettuccine in half before adding to broth.
Bring soup to full boil stirring occasionally.
Cook at a full boil soup for 12 -14 minutes or until fettuccine is tender.
Dissolve ½ cup cornstarch into 1 cup chicken broth and set aside. Pour into the soup.
Add to soup 1 (14.5-ounce) can sliced carrots and 2(12.5-ounce) cans chunk chicken breast in water. Breaking up the big chunks of chicken before putting into soup.
Stir until everything is heated through.

Yield: 16 (1 cup) servings

Calories per serving: 153 (9% fat); Total fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 19 mg; Carbohydrate: 22 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Protein: 12 g; Sodium: 541 mg

Diabetic Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 very lean meat

Helpful Hint:

To make the broth: Add ¼ cup chicken granules instant bouillon to 12 cups water stirring until dissolved, and 1 teaspoon chicken granules instant bouillon to the 1 cup water stirring until dissolved.

MS/Meal Suggestion: 30 minutes for total meal:

Homemade Seasoned Crackers

Instructions to prepare suggested meal

Set timer for 30 minutes

30 minutes before meal:

Make the Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup according to the directions. After you put the pasta into the boiling broth, then make the Homemade Seasoned Crackers.

10 minutes before meal:

Begin making the Homemade Seasoned Crackers according to directions.(Recipe below)

5 minutes before meal:

Place the seasoned crackers in the oven. Bake until crispy, 3-4 minutes.
Finish making the soup.


Supplies List for entire meal

Large non-stick Dutch oven or soup pan

Cutting board


2 Baking sheets


Grocery List for entire meal


Celery (6 stalks needed)

1 (12-ounce) package fettuccine

1 (14.5-ounce) can sliced carrots

2 (12.5-ounce) cans chunk chicken breast in water

4 fat-free flour tortillas

Chicken broth made from bouillon (13 cups total needed)

Minced garlic


Garlic salt

Dried parsley (5 teaspoons needed)


Butter flavored cooking spray

Homemade Seasoned Crackers
(This is recommended with the Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup)

These were a huge hit with the children! They even made more independently later in the week for snacks, because they liked them so much!


4 fat-free flour tortillas
1 ½ teaspoon garlic salt
5 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon paprika


Place oven rack in middle of oven. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
Cut 4 fat-free flour tortillas into 8 pie shaped wedges. Arrange wedges in single layer on 2 baking sheets.
Spray wedges with butter flavored cooking spray on both sides of wedges.
Sprinkle 1 ½ teaspoons garlic salt, 5 teaspoons dried parsley and 1 teaspoon paprika evenly over wedges.
Place in oven and bake for
Place the seasoned tortillas in the oven. Bake until crispy, 3-4 minutes.

Yield: 16 (2 crackers) servings

Calories per serving: 31 (0% fat); Total fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Carbohydrate: 6 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Protein: 1 g; Sodium: 168 mg

Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 starch

Supplies List for cracker only

2 Baking sheets


Grocery List for crackers only


4 fat-free flour tortillas


Garlic salt

Dried parsley (5 teaspoons needed)


Butter flavored cooking spray

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ravioli and Meatball Soup

Yet another example of the fact that almost anything can be made into soup - this Ravioli and Meatball Soup is quick to get together and my kids ate it until the bottom of the pot was nearly dry. Top with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese for an extra flavor boost.

The best part of this is that you can go vegetarian very easily by using TVP meatballs and vegetable stock.

Ravioli and Meatball Soup
Printable Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 6-8

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion - chopped
2 small carrots - peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery - chopped
2 green onions - sliced green and white parts
8 cups chicken stock
1 pound pre-cooked meatballs
1 pound small cheese-filled ravioli

1. Heat oil in a medium soup pot over med-high heat.
2. Cook and stir vegetables until fragrant and translucent.
3. Add stock and bring to a boil.
4. Add ravioli and meatballs - bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until meatballs and ravioli are heated through and vegetables are tender.